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Can I create a custom CMS collection template?

Hi y’all. Just wondering if I can create a custom CMS collection template? I am building a musician directory, and I need a seperate collection for each instrument. I don’t want to have to add every field for every instrument. There doesn’t seem to be a way to duplicate a collection, or build your own preset. Is this true, or have I missed it?

The answer to your question is no. But :

If your instruments mostly have the same fields, they should be in the same collection: intruments. Then you should have other collections, referenced in the instruments collection, for specific categories: drums, chords etc.

If you’re more specific about your projet I’d be happy to help you find the best database structure you can create with Webflow.

Hi Vincent! Thanks for your help. What I am creating is an artist directory sorted by instrument played. So I need a collection for saxophonists, pianists, drummers etc. Each collection will have the exact same fields —

33 pm

And they would be displayed like this (this is just an illustrator mockup at this stage), with each picture hopefully linking to a light box with the relevant info in it, but I’m yet to look into what can be housed in a lightbox. —

Any advice you can give would be appreciated!

Great let’s do… database structure 101!

In the real database world, a collection is a table, and we structure data by crossing tables

For example, when an information is a characteristic, repeatable, like a category of posts, or, in your case, intruments for players, it should be a table.

You should have a collection of all intruments. and even a collection of groups of instruments (drums, wind things, chords things etc)

In the instruments collection you’d reference the group of instruments collection, and in the players collection, you’d reference the instruments collection. So in the players collection, when entering a new player, you’d select and instrument instead of entering it as plain text.

In the end you’d be able to have lists of players by instuments, list of instuments by group etc.

Do you see where I’m going?


To add perspective to that, you can for example, in the instrument collection, add a color for each intrument or group of instrument. And when making an alphabetical list of players, you can use that color for background or the name of the players. So it’s easy to identify the purple pianists.

And if you have players that play several instruments, you can add a multi reference field in the players collection, referencing instruments. Then you can add more instruments to one player (but careful there’s a limitation here, sorting with multi-ref isn’t yet possible, so keep the original single reference for the main instrument played)

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Here is what a typical database structure for a website referencing players would be:

I added a few collections that you didn’t list or want, just to make the point on how you structure data. (genres, countries etc)

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Wow, thanks so much! So you can have collections within collections? This I did not understand, and it will make things so much easier. I probably won’t need the colour coding, because the site is largely grayscale. I don’t think I fully understand all this yet in practice, but this sends me down the right path, for sure.

Thanks again!

Yes. Link with those fields:

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Hi Vincent, thanks again for all your help! I’ve hit a snag. I need the musicians to be able to show up in more than one instrument grouping if they play several instruments from different groups.

Because I’m building a single page website, I’m not using Collection Pages. Multi-reference only works on Collection Pages, and filters are only AND not OR, so I can’t even use extra category filters.

Cannot see a way around this!

Here’s my link

Yes you’ve hit a limitation. I’m sure this limitation will be lifted in the future, but just not now.

Could you maybe consider a limited number of instruments per musician, like primary, secondary, tertiary, then add three references to the instruments collections instead of one multi reference, and see how you can manage your filtering?

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This is the AND not OR problem. With multiple filters the musicians have to fulfil ALL parameters not just one or the other. I see it’s already on the wishlist, and I’ve added my vote to it, but for the time being maybe I have to find some script to help me?

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