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Community Campaign For Feature Advancement: Tags! (Nested References)

I have a dream… a dream wherein I could rally the Webflow community to hasten the development of nested collection lists!

The feature is marked “Planning” in the Wishlist (see it here: https://wishlist.webflow.com/ideas/WEBFLOW-I-15), but it desperately needs YOUR VOTE to help the company recognize the importance of delivering this basic feature that has been so sorely overlooked/delayed in what is otherwise an amazing advancement of a product in the most rapid way possible.

Seriously, how is the (IMHO) overly-upvoted “ecommerce” feature suppose to function without this feature?! A product page without categories, tags, or similar/suggested items?! Duh! I have had to steer away 4+ clients from the platform over the last few years because of this simple limitation, and these aren’t even ecommerce clients!

We need Webflow to roll this feature out as a priority! Perhaps if you all could list your plethora of examples that you’ve been stymied with in the comments as well, we’d get some faster traction on this feature (beyond voting of course.)

/end_rant

3 Likes

Hi @chriscarlston – I’m one of the product managers here at Webflow, and am specifically focused on continuing to build out our CMS and Ecommerce functionality.

We completely understand, and share your strong desire to have Nested Collection Lists available for your projects. Honestly, it’s a limitation that I think I have personally run into and been frustrated by in almost all of my own CMS-based projects as well :sweat:

One of the big technical challenges that has stood in our way with this feature has been performance concerns. As you can imagine, with the ability to nest collection lists without any intelligent limitations, users can quickly get into situations where they are exponentially increasing the number of ‘dynamic’ elements that need to be queried for, rendered, and interacted with on their pages.

Unchecked, this could not only hurt the performance on the live published sites, but the Designer and Editor workflows for building out these sites as well. So we have wanted to proactively address some of these performance concerns prior to building out this feature.

The good news is that we are truly planning on pushing it forward in the near future!

First, though, we are tackling another major gap in our CMS functionality – the ability to paginate collection lists in your sites. Not only is this specific feature important on its own, however, it also will actually help address the performance concerns for nested collection lists in a way as well – by offering designers the ability to limit the number of collection list items being displayed in a page at any given time, but NOT limiting the ability for the end users of their sites to access more of the collection content through the pagination.

Second, we are continuing to invest more time/energy into further performance investigations and improvements that will help us with our development of Nested Collection Lists as well.

So… while it’s not yet imminent, this is definitely something that we are actively working on making possible as soon as we can based on these directly related projects, and balancing the other big initiatives that we are pushing forward as well.

I hope that helps at least provide a little more context, even if it isn’t exactly the answer you were hoping for. Just know that we hear you – and really do want this feature just as strongly!

13 Likes

@kkilat first off, thanks for taking time to address my rant in length!

Good insight in how it relates to pagination (workflows, server load, etc.). Small steps, I get it, I think.

I understand the need to throttle the exponential nature of database queries, especially with this feature request/need. Perhaps instead of hard limits, I wonder if some sort “score” metric could pop up when things get “heavy”… metered with a warning, escalating to a forced limit to paginate/limit queries on a single page.

All this is also needs to take into account the “invisible” state of server-side rendering of pages… which is complicated with the existing feature of setting any list call to “random.” I would gladly give up “random” for nested references!

I may be way off, but thanks again for the reply and know that I am eager for the feature! In the meantime, I still think if this feature gets more votes, it will help everything along!

1 Like

Perhaps instead of hard limits, I wonder if some sort “score” metric could pop up when things get “heavy”… metered with a warning, escalating to a forced limit to paginate/limit queries on a single page.

Yeah, there are definitely some interesting ideas to consider here around providing more information and guidance rather than hard limits. Thanks for sharing!

I still think if this feature gets more votes, it will help everything along!

:100: I voted!

1 Like

Hi, great to hear this is a priority for Webflow, but I wonder if there is simpler short-term fix that covers the use case on what most people need.

In my case, and I think in the case of many others looking for this, within a list of collection items we only need to show linkable names from the multi-reference field. I wonder if a simpler feature that allows this could be fast-tracked in order to solve this issue.

While this request is sometimes referred to “nested collection lists” what we’re really asking for is just to be able to show the name/names within a collection item’s multi-reference field.

When editing a collection item, it already lists the names of the other items referenced in the multi-reference field; so the functionality already seems to exist.

Currently, as a workaround I am having to create a multi-reference field to create the linkages between a collection item and the ways I categorize it, but then to display these tags within a list of items I need to create a rich text field, and type in and link the items by hand. It’s very time consuming, but very necessary since a user will want to see these tags when viewing a list of items.

2 Likes

I like this idea, but the problem with just rendering a raw series of links is the lack of styling options. It sort of violates the Webflow designer paradigm.

Three possibilities that I really favor though.

  1. Add a new Designer Element, called a Tags List, which can be (perhaps) only dropped within a Collection List Item, and bound to a Multi Reference field. That Tags List could have binding properties to that referenced item type, allowing you to bind the Text label, Link, Foreground Color and Background Color. This is a pretty simple structure but would immediately solve support for “tags” in a clean an elegant way - and this element should probably exist even once nested collection lists are supported.
  2. Whenever a Collection List is in a page, offer the option to emit a JSON data chunk in the page which contains all of the current collection items shown, and any Multi Reference fields and their list of items. This would only be rendered in published sites, and only of the Collection Lists “Publish JSON data” is selected. jQuery could then easily access that to build out the tags and other UI structures we need.
  3. In CMS Collection Pages we currently have the ability to publish RSS, for the entire Collection table, e.g. /event/rss.xml. Here, add JSON publishing support, e.g. /event/data.json. When publishing a table, publish all items, plus the linked items in all multi-ref fields ( with no deeper iteration ).
3 Likes

I already did the math and concluded voting in the wishlist doesn’t really push it to a higher priority. Furthermore it’s already one of the top-voted items…, and already requested since 2015. I doubt a few more votes will make any difference at this point.

2 Likes

I have a question that is really just “Would nested collection lists help me?”

I’m creating a store page that has a gallery of items. When you click on an item, a modal window pops up that contains a name, description, price, and a few more images. The gallery images are populated from a CMS list, but I don’t seem to have a way to make the other images also pull from a list. If I add those images to the main CMS list, they show up in the gallery (which is what I don’t want), but if I specifically put them in their own CMS list, then I can’t have the extra images pull from that.

Is this a situation where nested collection lists would help me? Or is there another solution that someone could point me to perhaps?

I do really agree with @chriscarlston in that this seems to be something massively important to the whole ecommerce feature. IMHO it may have been a better idea to delay the launch of ecommerce until both could be implemented simultaneously, but I think I get a hint at the business-side necessity for launching ecommerce in at least some form, with the ability to tweak it.

As a very new Webflow user, I just want to say I greatly appreciate the massive amount of help and information that’s available in this community!

-Scott