During the last 2 - 3 years, Webflow has become a more and more popular CMS due to the reason that it allows you to quickly and easily create beautiful, fast-loading, responsive websites without having to rely on complex coding, which has attracted a lot of web designers & developers.
When Webflow first started out, it was primarily used by small businesses and startups that required simple websites, however, over the years Webflow has also become increasingly popular with enterprise companies, who are now using the platform to create robust websites with dynamic content, complex CMS functionality, and much more.
Naturally, a lot of these bigger enterprise companies have advanced tech stacks or complex infrastructures that often require the use of reverse proxy servers.
Using a reverse-proxy server can be a great solution for many uses cases, for example:
- Overcoming the Webflow static page limit: Webflow has a static page limit of 100 pages per project. For enterprise clients who require more than a hundred static pages, a reverse-proxy server can be used to run multiple Webflow projects within one same domain.
- Use URL structures not supported by Webflow: Webflow is kind of limited when we talk about URL structures, so sometimes when migrating from another CMS platforms like WordPress, it can be hard to match the same URL permalinks, requiring to add 301 redirects for a lot of URLs, affecting the SEO authority.
However, this can be solved by using a reverse-proxy server, like in the example below.
Let’s say you are migrating from WordPress and your blog post URLs are:
However, Webflow CMS only supports single folder URL structure, so it wouldn’t be possible to add 2 folders (/resource/ and /blog/), but just one. Fortunately, by using a reverse-proxy server, the URL can be masked to look the same even if Webflow doesn’t natively support it.
- Using multiple platforms, apps, or CMS within one domain: Enterprise customers often have complex tech stacks that require many different website platforms, however, this commonly requires to use of only one per sub-domain, having a negative SEO impact on the overall SEO authority of the website.
For example, we often see the following situation:
Let’s say you are using Webflow for your marketing website, but HubSpot CMS for all the Resource Center in your website. Commonly, companies doing this create a subdomain for the separate platform, such as blog.domain.com, keeping everything separated, however, this is not ideal from an SEO perspective, neither from a UX perspective.
Having a reverse-proxy server can allow you to point to both platforms without using subdomains, making it very convenient.
These are some of the more popular use cases for reverse-proxy, however, there are numerous more which may vary depending on the technical stack used. Once it’s clear what is a reverse-proxy server, and what are the common use cases, let’s see to implement this in Webflow.
For this, we have 2 different routes:
1. Implement reverse-proxy on Webflow using Cloudflare Workers
A reverse-proxy is a type of server that sits between a client (the user) and a server, acting as a middleman. It receives requests from the client and forwards them to the server, then sends the server's response back to the client.
This means that you could easily use an AWS or DigitalOcean server to do this, however, it doesn’t make sense to complicate things so much, as there is a great tool from Cloudflare that can make the setup much simpler, it’s called: Cloudflare Workers.
A Cloudflare Worker is one of the multiple products offered by Cloudflare's web infrastructure. It allows developers to create code that runs on the edge of Cloudflare's CDN (Content Delivery Network), close to where users are located. This code can be used to modify requests, manipulate responses, handle authentication. In a nutshell, it pretty much is a reverse-proxy server as a service.
You can read a great step-by-step tutorial on Alphi.dev blog, which will guide you throughout the process with screenshots and detailed explanations.
If you are looking for a Webflow Expert team that offers a done-for-you service for setting-up a tailor made solution for your own tech stack, that’s where we come in. Get in touch with our Webflow Agency, and one of our team members will get back to you within 24 business hours.
2. Implement reverse-proxy through Webflow Enterprise
The second route to use reverse proxy on Webflow is to get in touch with one of the Webflow’s Customer Success Manager to upgrade to Webflow Enterprise and include reverse proxy as part of the service.
If you are not familiar with it, Webflow Enterprise is a higher-tier Webflow plan that includes more advanced solutions tailor-made for bigger organizations. Along the reverse-proxy setup, they also include some great features such as:
- Page Branching
- Advanced Publishing and Project Access
- Form Integration with HubSpot
These are some of the most relevant features, however, there are many more advantages and specific solutions that you can go over on the Webflow Enterprise page.
While going with this route is a great option to get reverse-proxy setup by one of the Webflow Technical Architects, it is important to mention that the Webflow Enterprise plans are tailored for startups or companies of a medium to large size, and unfortunately not for small businesses or companies just starting out.
At BRIX Agency, we are one of the very few Webflow Enterprise Agencies, so if you are looking to upgrade to a Webflow Enterprise plan, we invite you to get in touch with us, and we will connect you the Webflow Enterprise team to help you out with this inquiry.