Streaming live at 10am (PST)

Webflow design with future need for database + CMS integration

So in advance I apologize on my newbie question!

I have a website/business idea that I am hoping to explore further. I am hoping to design my initial mockup and then once I test out the concept and workflow and ideally even get a few beta users with a smaller scale product before I invest too much and get some real developer talent to fix my potential amateur mistakes on the backend of my website.

Backstory- I am a System Engineer by trade and have basic programming knowledge from school, but really my niche is more figuring what a customer actually needs (not just what they say :joy:) and helping to design a system visually and working with talented developers to make that vision and my mockups into a reality. I have a strong background with photoshop etc too. And have done web design but always using tools like weebly, Squarespace etc and then minor code edits.

All that said I am hoping to see if I can do what I am hoping with Webflow or very open for any suggestions of other tools or things to learn. From what I have read and seen I think I can make my initial pages with webflow as I think I’ll have more flexibility to make it look like I want. But I will ultimately need an actual database and CMS on the backend. At a high level I need to create almost like a registry system once you get past the initial marketing pages explaining the value. It’s not a wedding gift registry site but functionally it will have enough elements it’s easy enough to think of that. And the added bonus the user will sometimes need to add some extra information to the “gifts” they select for the registry that will be visible to anyone that can see their registry.

So now if anyone hasn’t given up reading this my question :laughing::woman_facepalming:… I would love to be able to mockup a visually appealing prototype before I invest in a developers time or spend tons of time learning the wrong products. Let’s pretend I knew what I was doing or had a proper developer what tools would you use? Is it an okay plan to make my initial interfaces from webflow? I have not played with it yet but it looks like they have added basic e-commerce capabilities so I could potentially even mockup where and how a user would select items. At what point would you move over what you create in webflow? My understanding is that they really don’t have the tools currently to have a user add things to a database and then pull data based on a users information. If you use webflow for your template then any recs of where you would even move over what you create? What would backend database or tools would you recommend both short term for a prototype and then long term if I was to hire a developer or spend time to teach myself. I don’t mind learn new things and spending the time but would love any suggestions of what languages, programs and/or tools to learn/ use!

Thanks for anyone who made it this far in my long post! I’m sorry for such an amateur question but would love any recommendations!! Thanks in advance!

Do all the frontend design work excluding the e-commerce parts. Do NOT use Webflow CMS if you are planning to export (Create the designs as static/single pages). Export and integrate with the CMS of your choice (Wordpress? Shopify?) since they have their own cart/checkout pages.