Using Webflow Collections for Relational Data

Hello there,

I am new to webflow and have been working on my site for a while on another platform. I’m looking to move it over here but want to be sure i can accomplish a moderately complex data schema in a simplified way.

My question is can i create the below options with webflow collections only or will i need to add a back end like xano?

What I’m trying to accomplish:

My site will have users with free and paid subscriptions (I am looking at member stack as well.)

Each of my users will have a profile - simple collection. But i also want them to be able to create lists that will be related only to them.

list of things they are working on or items in a list they like - or a sort based on their favorites from existing lists.

I’m also looking for them to be able to create a list of dates that are important to them and have them available to display when needed.

Will native collection handle this or do i need Xano etc…

I’d like to build the right stack or combo from scratch rather than shoehorn something in after

Here is my site Read-Only: LINK
(how to share your site Read-Only link)

yeah this is available in can check more on webflow university Intro to dynamic content | Webflow University

No, Webflow does not support any connection between the CMS and the Memberships user accounts.

It’s possible to make it work using a lot of external API automations and some client-side scripting, but it’s a very complex and fragile mess of duct tape that will keep you awake at night wondering “where did I go wrong with my life?”

Based on the shape of what you’re trying to build, I would most definitely go with Wized and then an external data storage like Xano or Airtable.

All-in-all what you’ve asked for is straightforward enough and totally doable.

I wire solutions together like this without much issue.

Memberstack is the right choice based on what you’ve said in your post.

Memberstack provides a unique member id for the logged in user so this becomes super easy to accomplish from both a profile and lists perspective.

I have a screencast that walks through doing this with Memberstack v1. They are currently on v2 so a few details are out of date but they have great docs to help you overcome this.

This is again is fairly straightforward.

They provide the ability for you store this information per user.

Here is a screen share using Webflow & Memberstack (again v1) to create a course site.

It makes use of the Memberstack lists per user that you need.

Checkout the demo of what you build in that screen share.

Add a fake email address to enroll and then start tagging lessons as “complete”.

Which lessons have, or have not been completed is stored in a list for each user within Memberstack. If you like, you can then sync this to the Webflow CMS, but this example does not (and still works great!).

If you sync this to the Webflow CMS then you can redirect your users to a CMS template page to make things even easier.

Hope that helps!

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Thank you. This looks like a great option. I am planning on using member stack in any case but i was trying to determine if Xano or Airtable were necessary. I appreciate the feedback and will definitely look at hose walkthroughs.

Thank you for the advice. Do you think i can ‘get away with’ just using memberstack with user lists or will Xano / Airtable be an easier choice no matter what?
As i mentioned i want to build the base correctly from the start and don’t want to fall down another rabbit hole just yet. LOL

It’s hard to say, it depends on a lot of feature & design approach details, which is part of the problem. The limitations of the CMS and collection lists means you’re walking a very narrow path that doesn’t allow for much leeway.

That’s particularly difficult when you’re storing user data for all kinds of reasons.

Webflow’s Memberships can actually be “extended” to give you a unique user ID so in a way, so in that way, Memberships could be made to work. The storage is the bigger issue.

If you’re highly technical and like solving problems + trying to keep monthly costs as low as possible + ok with running and maintaining a fragile system with a lot of failure points, then your most workable path is probably-

  • Hosted Webflow site
  • Memberships
  • Sygnal Attributes User Info lib
  • Airtable
  • Make / Integromat
  • Lots of client-side JS

Memberstack would make the user piece a bit easier and make a member ID more accessible, but at a monthly cost.

Wized would eliminate your client-side coding needs, and your need for a separate memberships system.

Xano would replace airtable with a fully capable database, at a more substantial cost.

Honestly I’d probably try Wized + Airtable initially. It solves a lot of problems out of the gate, without breaking the bank.

For the type of question you’re asking, you have take feedback on a forum with a grain of salt.

Specifically in your case, its purpose is to expose you to different approaches. It’s too big of a question, with way to many unknown variables to simply say:

“This is the absolute correct approach for YOU to take.”

If you were asking how to change the text color within the Webflow Designer, there is a definitive answer that can be given on a forum.

Do you think i can ‘get away with’ just using memberstack

i want to build the base correctly from the start and don’t want to fall down another rabbit hole

For your question specifically, only you can provide that definitive answer.


The best approach to solving these complex problems is by doing something I call a “nocode spike”.

I totally stole that term from software development.

" A [nocode] spike is a product development method … that uses the simplest possible program to explore potential solutions."

For you. The best approach is to map out your needs (which you’ve already done in your original post, good job!).

Then, before you continue you’ll want to make sure you set boundaries with what you’re about to do.

This helps you avoid the “rabbit holes” you spoke of before you even get started.

Next, signup for all of those services and create a “playground” environment in Webflow to use them.

Now, with your boundaries set, start creating the simplest solution possible with each of those technologies. Keeping in mind that this isn’t a finished product. This is just a “nocode spike” to test which technology does and does not meet your specific needs.

Much like a rouge draft outline for a novel, this is a very rough draft of potential solutions. Don’t spend time smoothing things out, just prove what does or does not work.

You’ll VERY quickly figure out which stack to use for your specific case.

Good luck!