I hope everyone is having a great day. I am building a website for my client and they have a lot of different kind of content, one of which is tables.
Those will have to be displayed on CMS items.
From what I have discovered so far, there is no way natively create tables in CMS (please, correct me if I am wrong).
In order to achieve that I have used the FinSweet’s plugin to generate tables, then styled them, then export the code and add it as custom code within the rich text element in CMS item.
It technically works really well to be honest, although it’s massively time consuming.
Also a major drawback I have just learned - it’s not being indexed by webflow’s site search, which is a major issue.
Does anybody know any ways of
a) building tables for the CMS item
b) make them indexable and searchable?
Thank you so much for any answers!
Here is my public share link: LINK
(how to access public share link)
The site search compatibility issue is the big one. Webflow indexes before JS is run so whatever content you want indexed just exist in the raw page.
Rich text HTML embeds should work as far as I know, so if you’re embedding the content directly as HTML within HTML embeds, they should show up in site search at the next index ( 3 days I think on CMS plan? )
If that’s not happening, I’d message support first, because you will need to know the edges of the problem you’re trying to solve. There’s a chance the search indexer just ignores all HTML embeds, though that seems a bit nuts to me.
You’ve not provided any links or images but it sounds like your tables are heavily formatted. If that’s the case, it adds complexity.
It sounds like you might have to separate the table creation problem from the table-content indexing problem and deal with them separately.
In a pinch, #2 can be done simply by hiding your table content somewhere on the page for Webflow’s searchbot to index. That frees you up on #1.
To make nice looking visual tables, you will likely need a good custom code solution to create the formatting you need. The data can be in-page, or stored somewhere like Google Sheets. Depends entirely on the nature and size of your tables, how they’re updated, etc.
If get stuck and need help building this out, DM me and I’ll share my rates. I’d need to see your site and table requirements to give you an estimate.
Michael to the rescue!
Thank you for your response and for all the great tools you provide - I am actively using wfu-hide attribute from Sygnal tools - THANK YOU!
So I managed to successfully create good looking tables via embed code - see the link below, it’s a CMS item and every table is a code embed.
Of course, I thought about your suggestion of actually creating additional CMS field with all the content copied from the table and set size to 0, so it’s only visible to search index and it of course, works. But the whole reason for this post was to see if there is more elegant way of achieving this?
In the ideal World scenario I should be able to create content on the page and not to duplicate it, but looks like it’s not exactly an option
I will reach out to support to find out why Webflow isn’t indexing content embedded in code block -and if it’s the case, I agree with you - it’s NUTS! It shouldn’t be the case.
Your table formatting is very consistent, and it looks like site search is working fine on embeds
That just leaves the question of how to make table formatting more convenient.
I think at this point you’d need to consider the bigger goals of the website, like;
- Will there ever be additional information attached to these chems, like photos, information sheets ordering or enquiry forms.?
- How important are they to SEO… does this client need people who are looking for specific formulations to be able to find their site?
- How will the client be managing these lists, and will they ever change?
At the extreme far end of this, you make every one of those items a CMS item. Super easy to edit and maintain the lists. Great for SEO since every single formulation could have its own page potentially. However you have a lot of data here, and it’s being shown in table groupings on other collection pages which means you’d need some JS infrastructure to bridge that gap.
Another option to keep your table formatting, and keep the content inline, but make editing easier, is to use something like markdown formatting inside of the embeds;
Of if the lists are maintained somewhere externally such as in spreadsheets, you could write a CSV parser to create your tables.
Hi Eugene, I was thinking about the same approach but currently spend more time googling the issues as it seems so cumbersome and at the same time like such a basic feature. Webflow could also simply allow apps to integrate with CMS blogposts, then Finsweet table could be used there directly.
It makes me even think creating separate pages instead of blog posts.
Could you share your efficient way of exporting the table’s html code? Does it integrate perfectly with the CSS for the formatted classes?