Off topic, but what platforms are you guys using for building database applications? Doesn’t necessarily have to be integrated with a Webflow site. Would love some recommendations!
For simple stuff I have used www.AirTable.com.
For my clients complex membership web Apps I typically do something custom: Angular 4 and PHP/Rest API , webflow is used just for templates to create templates and then those templates are merged with a angular 4 framework.
less complex sites can be built directly in webflow using the webflow CMS, API, and Zapier + Airtable or some Spreadsheet application.
Also a nice combo for large web shops is to build the front end in webflow and export to a custom WP back-end with a woocommerce plug-in / integration.
I hope that info helps!
- SVZ Design
Thank you! Very much appreciated.
what’s the target device
Context: This is a specialty library with a membership database (they also do events and commerce). They are currently using an ancient MS Access template that lives locally on one computer (I know). They asked me to do a revamp. I can do it in VBA but would rather bring them into the modern era.
Perhaps you should consider a server-based solution.
Webflow’s CMS is server-based… and from my understanding…
it would suffice for many smaller clients.
- Smaller clients meaning smaller needs or finances.
This coming from a person who uses Webflow on a daily basis…
- to construct server-side applications using PHP, Angular, and MySQL being the back-end database.
In addition to the cost, and limitations of Webflow…
- you are also locking yourself into the Webflow eco-system.
If that’s ok with you… then there are no worries.
So in conclusion
You need to look at the clients budget versus needs… versus need for control.
- If your client has a limited budget… but you know PHP / MySQL…
- you could stay away from Webflow’s CMS but still use the Webflow Design to build the basic foundation of your application.
- If your client has enough budget… and you know PHP / MySQL…
- I’d recommend building a custom application in PHP with the design coming from Webflow. The database would probably be MySQL.
- If you don’t know PHP / MySQL…
- then Webflow is probably a good route for you. No programming involved. No database hassles… but you have limitations - a higher cost - and an eco-system to deal with.
- If you need control of the application…
- then you should custom build it. You can still use Webflow as the design tool… and the recommendation would be #1 or #2… but then you have to get over the budget or expertise humps if they exist.
The last membership system I built (3 months ago) was designed in Webflow (no CMS)… then converted to PHP with MySQL as the back-end. Angular was used on the front-end to drive data from the back-end.
Their system was a membership tracking application for local trade association. They didn’t have e-commerce products… but they “sold” new memberships / renewals / upgrades online. Payment was collected via a card processor. This was a smaller system with about 30,000 members (records).
The larger ones I’ve built have had millions of records. In those cases… Oracle or SQL Server was used (depending on the project) and Cold Fusion was the driving language. Your client most likely does not need this type of solution.
So what I am saying is…
- review the clients needs (what do they really need) and financial capabilities (how much will it cost).
- review your expertise (what will it take to get there) and availability (Is it worth my time)
@Revolution sincerest thanks for this thorough response. Sounds like I need to brush up on my PHP skills
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