Do I need to purchase hosting, site plan or workspace plan for my website?

I understand there seems to be some confusion regarding hosting, site plans and workspaces, which can indeed be a bit complex. Let me simplify it for you:

Firstly, it's essential to know that you do not need to purchase hosting from a third-party provider. Webflow offers hosting services, which they term as a "Website Plan." This name choice reflects that their offering includes much more than traditional hosting—it encompasses features like CMS, form submissions, site search, etc. As you opt for higher-priced plans, you gain access to an increasing number of features.

Regarding the possibility of using a free site plan, it's feasible only in specific, limited scenarios. The free plan does not support connecting a custom domain and restricts you to 2 pages and 50 CMS items (which are essentially template pages for recurring content such as blogs and case studies). It also limits you to 50 form submissions over the entire lifetime of the website, among other restrictions. This plan is suitable for very basic websites without any need for additional functionalities.

A good example of how we at Rapid Fire Web Studio leverage the free website plan is through a case study in which we demonstrate the structuring of an ideal landing page. We opted not to link directly to any of our clients' actual landing pages. Instead, we combined our expertise to create a comprehensive landing page that showcases our skills. Our goal was for it to be accessible online, allowing people to browse it in real time. Naturally, we wanted to avoid the costs associated with acquiring a custom domain and a paid website plan. Thanks to Webflow's free plan, we were able to have the page up and running, effectively serving its intended purpose.

In most cases, we recommend opting for the CMS site plan, which is $23/month when billed annually (as of February 2024). This plan usually covers all requirements. The purchase can be delayed until closer to the launch date or when one of limitations is hit.

Webflow Site plan pricing
https://webflow.com/pricing

Webflow also offers workspace plans, which generally don't concern most website owners. Advanced workspace plans are tailored for those managing multiple websites and large teams. One point of confusion is that a paid workspace plan can override some restrictions of free site plans. For instance, if you have a website that exceeds the two-page limit but don't wish to purchase a site plan for it, this limitation can be bypassed with a paid workspace.

Webflow Workspace Plan Prices
https://webflow.com/pricing

To summarize, if you own one or just a few websites published on custom domains, your primary concern should be the website plans, with each site requiring its own plan. However, if you manage several websites in development (a common scenario for agencies or businesses with multiple products) and have a team involved in development and content editing, you might need to consider upgrading your workspace.

Remember, Webflow does not provide custom domains, although domains ending in .webflow.io are provided for free.

I hope this clarifies things for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions.