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Webflow CMS for Beginners

Webflow CMS for Beginners

Webflow offers a versatile CMS feature to help you manage dynamic content, and in this guide we'll show you how to use it step by step.

Pierluigi Giglio
September 15, 2023

Webflow offers a versatile CMS feature to help you manage dynamic content, and in this guide we'll show you how to use it step by step.

Webflow CMS Building Blocks

In order to truly understand the power of Webflow CMS, you need to learn about the dynamic content building blocks:

Content Fields

These are the building blocks where you will input and capture content. Whether you're adding content one-by-one or importing a bulk of data via CSV, content fields are where it all starts.

Content Fields in action


Collections serve as the top-level containers for your content. For example, if you're managing a team, each member becomes an item within the collection. All items are group together as a collection .

A collection is the top-level container for our content. So: if we have a collection of team members, each team member is an item.

A visual hierarchy of CMS Collections

Items and Fields

Each item (e.g., a team member) is composed of content fields. This structure forms the backbone of the Webflow CMS.

Using Collections: Now, how do you put these collections to work in your project? You have two main options:

1. Collection List: This element allows you to display collection content anywhere in your design.In Webflow, a "Collection List" is a dynamic element that allows you to display and present content from a collection (database) on your web page. It's a powerful feature that enables you to create dynamic and data-driven websites without having to manually code each individual item.

visual representation of the connection between collection lists and collection content nested within them

2. Collection Pages: Design a single Collection Page, and all other collection items follow suit automatically. Each collection item gets its own Collection Page.

a visual representation of a collection page

3. Design Flexibility: Collection lists and pages can be designed to align with your brand's aesthetics. You have the freedom to modify or add more content to your collection whenever you like, whether in the Designer or using the Editor.

Collaboration with the Editor

The Editor is a powerful tool that enables collaborators to log in and access your collections. This makes it incredibly efficient to add content such as blog posts, employee profiles, or news updates. All of this content is seamlessly connected to the fields you've set up.

Live Editing: Collaborators can even edit content directly on the live website. When they're ready, a simple click of "Publish" from the Editor makes the content live for the world to see.

In summary, the Webflow CMS simplifies dynamic content management. You have collections, each containing items with fields. These collections can be used throughout your project, whether via Collection Lists or Collection Pages. The Editor streamlines collaboration and content updates, connecting everything to the structured fields you've created. It's a powerful system for site owners to manage and publish content efficiently.

What is a CMS?

A CMS, or Content Management System, is like a software tool that helps people create and manage stuff on the internet, like websites or blogs, without needing to be super tech-savvy. It's a bit like using an easy-to-use program to build and update your website.

Here are some things a CMS can do:

  1. Create Content: You can make and edit things like text, pictures, and videos right in the CMS.
  2. Organize Content: It helps you put your stuff in order, like sorting it into categories or making it easy for people to find.
  3. Control Who Does What: You can decide who can add, change, or delete stuff on your website.
  4. Keep Track of Changes: It remembers all the changes you make, so if you mess up, you can go back to how it was before.
  5. Work Together: If more than one person is helping with your website, the CMS can make sure everybody's on the same page.

Other Well Known CMS

One of the most widely recognized CMS platforms is WordPress. To illustrate the concept of a CMS and its functionality, let's take a brief look at WordPress. Although it wasn't the initial CMS to emerge, it has gained significant popularity. Here's a glimpse of the user interface within WordPress when you want to create a new post on your website.

This interface streamlines the process of adding content. You simply input your title, insert text and images into the content area, and hit the publish button when you're ready. In this manner, you've successfully generated a new blog post page for your website without needing to manipulate any code.

Should you desire further insights into WordPress and a comparison with Webflow, you might want to explore this article: "Webflow vs WordPress: Which one is superior?"

By leveraging plugins and third-party themes that are available for purchase, you can enhance the customization of your website's design, all while maintaining the ease of editing and updating through a straightforward CMS.

Similar capabilities are offered by competing website builders like Squarespace and Wix.

Pierluigi Giglio

Sr. UI/UX Designer and Consultant with over 10+ years of experience working with Fortune 500, large enterprises and funded startups. Having worked on hundreds upon hundreds of design projects, collaborated with 40+ clients from all around the world and taught design to thousands of students I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to give back to the design community and help other become better designers.

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