Creating a CMS collection page that works with external api data


I’m using this tutorial from finsweet to create a collection list populated with external api (cf

My client would like to create a page for each item, which is very easy to do when all cms data are stored by webflow but i’m stuck with external data. I’m not that good in code tho.

thanks for your help !

Here is my public share link: Webflow - Lime Group
(how to access public share link)

Hey Matthew you basically have two options-


  • Build your site as a fully 100% CMS site
  • Use automation to synchronize your external data source with the CMS to keep it current


  • Build only the static portions of your site
  • Use a reverse proxy to handle acquisition of external data based on the URL path, and the ability to merge it into a template page. You’ll want caching as well.

Hello and thanks for your answer,

I’m not really confident with the second solution. What do you have in mind where you talk about automation in the first solution ? Things like zapier ? It seems very limited, isn’t it ?

Zapier, Make, n8n, Pipedream, there are many options.

Limited? Not really, most of them have code steps that allow you to do whatever processing you need, and API integrations for any arbitrary connection you would want.

You could write your own custom data-loading processes and host them somewhere to do the same thing.

I had some cors policy issue when calling the API directly in webflow so I had to make the call from a third party element anyway. Which will allow me, as you said, to create a 100% CMS site, and i’m very excited for that !

I chose Zapier, made my webhooks, getting the data. Basically it’s a list of properties with different values (like price, city, phone number etc)

Then I made a step to create a live item in webflow collection. My goal is obviously to populate the collection with the properties and their respective value. But the only thing I succeed to do is to create one item with ALL the prices (for example) from data on a single field.

It’s been hours, I can’t find a “simple” way to actually populate the collection.

The only solution would be to make the API call in something like Airtable, write a script to filter data and put them in the right columns (or something like that) and then only go on zapier to make the connexion with webflow … ? It looks very complexe for something that shouldn’t be no ?

Here is my api documentation if it can helps you to understand anything I didn’t :{agency_id}-properties

Thanks !

Hey Matthew I can’t really guess your data structures, your desired CMS item results, the overall business process and data flow… it would require me to spend some time in your project, zaps, schema and dataflow diagrams to point to whatever your problem / solution are.

I do that type of work professionally, so drop me a direct message if you’re looking for a dev to assist on this.

Beyond that, I’m sort of guessing that you’re trying to take the data from a single webhook trigger event and create multiple CMS items? Possibly in different collections? Yes you can do that, however;

  • Afaik Zapier doesn’t really provide a foreach loops feature, so you’d need to get creative with some massive if-then chains. Make and Pipedream and n8n are better at logic flow.
  • Depending on how many items you’re creating, and how many users are using your site simultaneously, you’ll need to watch out for API rate limits and the possibility of API calls failing.

Thanks for your answer, after 20 hours of straight (sleep is for noob) work I got the solution by myself, optimized my script to have minimum operation for same result, I moved to Make cause Zapier sucks tho.

Here my result (sharing cause i’m proud lol) :

If you see anything that is weird, don’t hesitate to tell me haha

By the way, only issue is the publish item module not working for no reason which is weird, maybe the site need to be on CMS plan before.

And I keep your name in mind next time I have an overwhelming project