Creating template-based dynamic pages for clients

Hi. I am new to Webflow and have a few questions. Other CMS tools that I have worked with use a template model. Pages that are based on that template will have a set of tools and features that come with that template, and the styles that are associated with it.

Generally I will design a versatile page template that allows our clients to add a wide variety of content. This might include text, then images, then text, a pull-quote and a video, or maybe just an image gallery. Then I give the client access to the backend admin, and they can create and customize as many pages using this template as they like. They can also change a page to another template if they would like it to display differently.

On Webflow, if I want clients to be able to create pages on their own and have them automatically come with styles and features, should I use Collections to create them? Or is there another way to allow clients to create pages?

Hey Zappa,

Welcome to the community! It’s great to have you. Great questions by the way. I think it’s absolutely important to consider this for clients. Thankfully, Webflow provides some nice options to handle this.

First thing I will say is you have to consider what kind of content you’re working with. It’s it’s blog material, then using the CMS is a great option and makes sense. You can design a templated page and let the clients update and create new pages via the CMS. This is great if any new content will reuse the same layout and just need to swap out the content (images & text content).

If the clients have different types of content that will need to be shown in different ways on unique pages, then I would heavily consider symbols. Symbols are great because you can make more modular symbols as components if you will, and drag and drop what you need on any page to make a full layout. You can make symbols as big or small as you want. The other great thing about symbols is you can override the content within them without changing the design of them. Perfect and safe for clients of just want to add or update copy, images, etc.

You can watch a video showcasing the power of symbols here: How to use symbols to reuse navigation, footers, and other designs — Webflow tutorial - YouTube

I hope that helps!
If you have any other questions, just ask :wink:

– Noah

Thanks Noah, this makes sense. The sites we build are often pretty data-heavy, with a lot of pages across several sections. It sounds like the majority of the pages that our clients would need to update would be managed from the database. Other pages like the home page would be one-off, custom static pages.

Many pages could be essentially the same structure and live in the same collection. I would name that collection “general pages” or something like that.

I’m not sure how to best manage the site structure in that case, as the majority of pages would all be in the same collection. I can change the slug to reflect the intended architecture, but it looks like the slug field ignores slashes, so there isn’t a semantic difference between those pages. Also it would be confusing for the end user, without any visual reflection of the site hierarchy.

Are there best practices there, or any recommendations on that?

I appreciate your suggestion of using symbols. I’ve used them for navigation and footers, etc, but haven’t tried symbols that clients could override yet. I’ll dig into that!

Thank you for your quick and helpful response!

Ahh, I came up with a possible solution. Adding a collection for the site sections allowed me to add a reference field. That will allow us to sort by the ‘section’ field. This might not be visible from the Editor, but at least would be visible in the CMS.

The only thing missing is a semantic URL structure for SEO.

This topic seemed to evolve into more of a CMS subject, so I posted about it here: