Best alternative (w CMS) to Webflow (no CMS) for this type of news site

I am creating a specialized news site. I just found it way too labor intensive to use Webflow for this kind of site. I’d like to be able to enter a news article in once and have it populate numerous pages based on tags. I understand this requires CMS which is somewhere in the Webflow development pipeline but just not here yet. I would welcome a recommendation for a site like Weblfow (ease of use by a novice) where I can create a site with the functionality I require. It’s been suggested I try Joomla, Wordpress or Drupal. I have no experience with any of these and would welcome this communities thoughts. Where do you turn when CMS is a must? Thank you.

BTW- Here is my start on such a site in Webflow before it dawned on me the work that would be required to keep all the pages populated and current.

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You could check out weebly (and maybe squarespace). I’ve used both of those before. I think weebly might do what you need.

I use Webflow to design all my site and then integrate the design into Modx.

David, have you used other CMS platforms? What makes Modx better than the others? I’ve tried a few before a few years ago (webpop being one) but gave up on it for some reason.

I haven’t tried many other CMS platforms, so I can’t say what is better about Modx. I can tell you why I like Modx. I like that the system can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. In other words you can adjust Modx to fit your design rather then altering your design to fit the CMS. You literally input your Webflow code into a template and replace your reusable elements with costume placeholders and editable content with template variables.

Thank you very much David and Glen. I will check them out.

David - “replace your reusable elements with costume placeholders and editable content with template variables” . LOL I have no idea what that means - gives you some indication of my skill level - and why I like Webflow

Woa! Just went to the MODX site and signed up for a 21 day trial. My eyes are still crossed.

I went to the “never used modx” to learn and hopefully see some quick examples of how it can be used or integrated… to learn why this is the way to go. I have come to the conclusion that I (with my skill level) am not who they are targeting as a customer. After 45 min and a couple of tutorials I honestly have no idea what they are talking about? It’s like landing in a foreign country where no one speaks your language! Ugh!

The search continues.

Any CMS you try is going to have a learning curve to it. It took me a week to pickup Modx and it was the best investment I have ever made, besides Webflow of course :smile:. I found this video tutorial helpful in understanding Modx. He is using an older version of modx, and if you are using Their Cloud hosting I think you can ignore the installation process (which would be used with other hosts).

Just for reference sake here is the learning curve you can expect with the major CMS on the market, it might speed up your search.

There is also the option of investing in a developer.


Lol. I watched about a minute or two and I was like “nah, not for me”.

people who don’t understand this

  • are wondering why drupal is not shown on the chart :wink:

I luv the graph! Soooo true. Thanks David for the video (I will try to watch it again cause he lost me at the 4:30 - my eyes crossed at 5:20).

I sent MODX a note about their method for explaining their capability - that they need to re-think how they communicate to people like me (IF I (and people with the limited experience like me) is who they are targeting with their product.)

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Hey Davidn thanks for your great info about ModX.

Can you illustrate by an easy ex. ?


OMG no thank you, I watched almost the whole thing and I want to take a nap. That is incredible complicated. I think something like cloudcannon is on the right track.

Sure. @TomWell @DFink
I’ll use some simple code.

First I would recommend setting up a local development environment if you don’t have one. It is great for testing out different CMS.

And the go to and download it for free.

<!DOCTYPE html> 
<!-- This site was created in Webflow.>
<!-- Last Published: Tue Mar 31 2015 23:02:22 GMT+0000 (UTC) -->
<html data-wf-site="54de3f9776b509d72ca98bbb" data-wf-page="55010674de74515e5236e4b6">
<title>[[*pagetitle]] - [[++site_name]]</title>
<base href="[[++site_url]]" />

This code outputs the pages title and site name to the title tag in the head section of the webpage.

You can use the [[*pagetitle]] anywhere you would like the title of the page you are publishing to appear.


standard Webflow code: <div class="class created in Webflow"><h1>This is my main heading</h1></div>

In Modx: <div class="class created in Webflow"><h1>[[*pagetitle]]</h1></div>

The built in fields that I have used the most are

Title = [[*pagetile]]
Description = [[*description]]
Content =[[*content]]
Published on=[[*publishedon]]

A template variable or TV is simple a costume field you can use to extend the built in fields used in Modx.

For example if for some reason I didn’t like the Title field (outputted using [[*pagetitle]] in the code) I could create a new one. I might call it “themoreawsometitle” I would then use [[*themoreawsometitle]] in my code to output that field. (this is a silly example)

A chunk is the same as a Webflow symbol. Re-usable code.
Say you had a complex site and were going to need many templates. It would be a pain to have to recreate the <head> every time. This is especially true when adding in all of the types of data that could be in the head tag.

My solution would be to create a chunk called “head” and put this code inside:

    <title>[[*pagetitle]] - [[++site_name]]</title>
    <base href="[[++site_url]]" />

Then declare it in the template like this:

<!DOCTYPE html> 
    <!-- This site was created in Webflow.>
    <!-- Last Published: Tue Mar 31 2015 23:02:22 GMT+0000 (UTC) -->
    <html data-wf-site="54de3f9776b509d72ca98bbb" data-wf-page="55010674de74515e5236e4b6">

Lets review the basics;

We learned about some of the built fields used in Modx like “Title”(this is called in the code like this [[*pagetitle]])

We learned about template variables also know as TVs. These are custom fields called in the code like this [[*nameOfYourTVhere]]

We also learned about chunks. These are where you put your re-usable code like your footer, header and navigation elements. You call them into your code with this declaration [[$nameOfYourChunk]]

Full example

<!DOCTYPE html> 
    <!-- This site was created in Webflow.>
    <!-- Last Published: Tue Mar 31 2015 23:02:22 GMT+0000 (UTC) -->
    <html data-wf-site="54de3f9776b509d72ca98bbb" data-wf-page="55010674de74515e5236e4b6">
         <meta charset="utf-8">
         <meta name="description" content="[[*description]]">

<!-- these two meta tags are using TVs to populate their content-->

         <meta name="keywords" content="[[*keywords]]">
         <meta name="author" content="[[*author]]">

<!-- end of meta tags using TVs-->

         <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
         <meta name="generator" content="Webflow">
    <title>[[*pagetitle]] - [[++site_name]]</title>
    <base href="[[++site_url]]" />

<!-- chunk containing HTML for my header and navigation elements. This will be used in other templates so I used a chunk-->

<!-- end of chunk-->
<article class="webflow class"> [[*content]]</article>


LOL, yeah not complicated at all *sarcasm. That might as well be chinese algebra. That doesn’t seem to be very friendly for people like me who got into webflow to avoid coding.


lol, yeah it is not a code free solution, just a very powerful a flexible solution for those who want to learn it.

Just to be clear the only code I added to the Webflow exported code was:

[[*pagetitle]], [[*description]], [[*keywords]], [[*author]], [[*content]], [[++site_name]], [[++site_url]],

The other declarations are

[[$headerNav]], and  [[$footer]]

Which are just placeholders for webflow code I want to re-use in other templates.

Hi Davidn: My god what a profound and illustrative replay to my quest. to you.

I must admit that i’m not an real ace in much of you try to illustrate to me, but i try to understand :smile:

I didn’t know that modx exist in a local downloadble version, ok.

I’m running a Intel Core i7 with 16 Gram with WIN8.1: What do you suggest me to use as a local dev. env. ?

To make it as easy as posible ? WAMPServer installation on my local machine ? Or what would you recommend since you state it in your reply to me :smile:


I use WAMP. I used a set of YouTube videos to set it up
I am no ACE either all self taught.

Ok i see, then we are two :slight_smile:

Whats all about as i do understand you is how to make a fusion between Webflow and modx.Input og Wenflow to modx.
But if you want to export HTML/CSS-code into modx then you can’t do it with the free-plan as far as i see in their plan on Webflow…

What is needed is a service where you can just upload an exported webflow zip file, press an easy button and magically have a cms or blog. The workflow would basically mean that your design lives in webflow and your cms/blog with that service.

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