How to work on a website but have a public "under construction" landing page?

Hi everyone, I’m not a professional designer and I’m a beginner to webflow. I purchased a template that I want to use as the base for my website, but it isn’t connected to my actual hosted website. It’s a different project. So I guess I have two questions

  1. how can I make it so that the template I purchased is being used on my hosted website project
  2. How can I work on the template, modify it, etc. without the template being displayed to the whole internet?

hey @christianherrera ! so, i’m also a beginner in webflow but, i presume that:

  1. answer: you can either copy the template structure in the navigator and paste it into your actual project navigator (but pay attention to animations because some of them cannot be copied so, you’ll have to create them) OR get a site plan for your template (which i assume is in your workspace already) to link your custom domain to it.

  2. answer: you can either create a coming soon page and select it as your home page in the page settings inside the designer editor, then publish it in your custom domain, and whenever you want to publish to preview the actual website you only publish it in the domain (your custom domain is below it when you click publish). You also have the option to create a password for your pages, just in case.

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Hi @christianherrera and welcome to the Webflow Community.

Your situation depends on a few things really. Are you hosting externally to Webflow so using a different provider like 20i or Hostgator? If so then there is normally a “maintenance mode” you can put your hosted site into which will only show a “site in progress…” type of message and not display the site you are working on.

If you are hosting within Webflow, like @Lara_Graysse suggested, create a “site in progress…” page and set as Homepage within the page settings, this way when published, this will be the page visitors are greeted with.

You can then work on the template within Webflow, when ready change the homepage and publish. Depending on where you are hosting, if internal (Webflow hosting) then you will need to add your custom domain. If external (20i or Hostgator etc.) then you will need to export your project code from Webflow and import to your hosting provider.

Hope this helps. Feel free to message me if you need any help.

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From your description, it sounds like;

  • you have a current LIVE site, and you’re redesigning it.
  • both the current site, and the new one, are Webflow projects

Webflow templates are not “swappable” in the same way as WP themes. They’re a starting point for your own customized design.

As such, it’s generally not realistic to copy-paste a template into an existing Webflow site. You would technically get most of the styling, but your class hierarchy would be complete chaos, and you would have an enormous amount of cleanup to do.

The way to do a template-based styling change is to build a new site, and copy over your content into the new template. Your CMS can be exported and imported. Your assets will need to be manually re-loaded. Your static pages will have a different layout, so you’ll copy paste content ( not elements ) as appropriate from your previous site.

Build your new site offline, and publish it when you’re ready. Your new site won’t affect your old site at all, until you add a hosting plan and move over your domains.

A word of caution for @Lara_Graysse and @WisdomainUK . If you were wanting to create a coming soon page, and prevent access to the unfinished areas of your site, it’s not as simple as temporarily changing your home page.

If your site is published, Google can see it, and in fact the sitemap.xml will list every page your site has- finished or not. You’d need to play a careful game of drafting pages, password-protecting folders, and some gnarly dancing about.

Instead, I’d password protect the site, and restyle the login utility page as a coming soon page. If you’re not needing it for anything else, that gives you the simplest way to accomplish all 3 goals;

  • Designing while your site is published to a target domain
  • Presenting a coming soon page for visitors
  • Allowing your clients access via the password, when you’re ready for them to look at things
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Thanks @memetican ! Still learning here, it’s good to see this amount of info


Hi, thanks for your detailed response. I’m using webflow hosting, can I just switch the web hosting to the template project? Right now my site is hosting a blank page basically. So could I just remove hosting from my current website - the blank page - and then set up hosting on the template when it’s ready?

Correct- I’m not sure why you’re paying for hosting on a blank page, but once your new site is ready;

  • Add your site plan to your new site
  • Setup any special hosting features you’re using like redirects
  • Remove the domain from your old site, and add it to your new site
  • Re-publish and test everything on your new site

When everything checks out;

  • Cancel hosting on your old site
  • Contact support, let them know you’ve migrated your hosting plan to a new site and to please credit the balance of your old hosting plan. Webflow is generally very good about this, since they know site migration is not well supported.
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I’m paying for hosting on a blank page because I don’t know what I’m doing :joy: It’s actually a coming soon page, I’m looking for suppliers/vendors right now so it helps legitimize my business in the meantime. Thanks for the response! I will work on my “template” project and eventually switch hosting over to it. Thank you!

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Hahaha, that’s not wrong at all, and I’ve paid for hosting coming soon pages too, with mailing list notification, countdown, the works.

Sometimes it’s justified.

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