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Advice for using a different CMS

Hello,

Im building a media site and im at the part where im creating collections and connecting them to the project too see it filled content and at that point where im making dummy items and i get a max dummy item notice and a upgrade option this was lucky because i then realized the CMS item restrictions (10,000) and the hosting plans. Which i suppose the latter was always in the back of my mind because I’ve always considered hosting it at an outside source and using a 3rd party global CDN because they offer better plans that are cheaper for more storage $20 for 150gb $60 for 500gb and it only goes up from there but each of the two stated come up to 500,000 stored files. Beyond that it is unlimited and that seems more logical with scalability and all that because if my projections are accurate i’ll chew through that 10,000 fairly quickly.

So here’s the rub. I learned you can only use WebFlow CMS if you host through WebFlow. Kinda a bummer because im building these collections and grids and all that and now im like “well? what happens to what i built?” and “what CMS am i going to use?” That was where i was recommended Strapi.io , a open source CMS that is similar to Webflow’s in many of it’s abilities. So here is my question how do i integrate it into my project and build my collections from that since it seems i will have to use a different CMS anyway due to outside hosting. I mean if i just build the site or build it off of Webflow’s CMS i would imagine when it comes to launching it at the other hosting im gonna have issues. But I’m also not an expert. Like does anyone has a step by step guide that could be followed by someone like myself. I was not the top in my class, wasn’t the bottom either though :slight_smile:

Thanks and sorry for the novel.

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There are definitely benefits to hosting on Webflow (in addition to using their CMS) but not every website is right for the platform. It’s not the most feature-rich, and it requires you to utilize their hosting in order to get the juiciest benefits, but I fight tooth and nail to bring clients on board because it does a lot of things very well. I’ve been a member since late 2013 and they’ve constantly surprised me with the thoughtfulness of their feature implementations and their ability to make complex situations easy to manage.

If you’ve created and populated some collections on Webflow and decide to look for another solution, you are free to export your website (HTML, CSS, and JS) as well as a CSV file of your CMS content. In most cases, this will give you flexibility to take your website and content anywhere else you fancy.

When it comes to platforms like Strapi, you’re working with a headless CMS - something a bit different from what’s offered with Webflow. Instead of a platform where both the database that stores your content (CMS items) as well as the front-end that displays it (what you see within the Designer) are integrated, you’re working with the database as a separate entity and calling that data via an API to use with just about any front-end. While it gives you a lot more flexibility, it’s much more development heavy.

That being said, you can totally use Webflow alongside other platforms. There are lots of resources available that walk through converting (or in the case of Udesly, automatically convert) exported Webflow sites to platforms like Shopify or Wordpress. This gives you the ability to develop dynamic sites with the Webflow Designer that are not limited to the Webflow CMS.

There’s really no simple “step-by-step” process due to the sheer amount of paths you could take with any number of languages and platforms. I’d recommend approaching each project as it’s own entity with it’s own needs, and finding the “stack” that works best. If you’re not comfortable with programming, start with one of the user-friendly, all-in-one SaaS platforms and work your way up to the more complex options that rely on multiple technologies working together.

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May i ask a followup? You said Udesly can convert a site and it’s contents to run on wordpress. Does that mean if i build my site normally as i was such as using the WF CMS to populate dummy content and get things placed, link to memberstack and other third party resources, i can then use Udesly to convert it to a wordpress format and it will be exactly how i left it but ready for upload on WP? One further followup if i may, doing that can i still link to a 3rd party CDN for media storage and distribution? As i have heard that WP is fine with images but having users upload video directly to a WP hosted site opposed to embedding causes issues. I dont recall exactly what though, i wanna say it has something to do with bandwidth but i could be completely wrong on that.

Thank You

I don’t have much experience Udesly or Memberstack so you’ll want to look into the limitations of both platforms but that’s essentially the process. Keep in mind that even though Udesly can help you get your project converted to another platform, you’ll need to make sure that some setup is done beforehand. This is done by mapping custom attributes to the content that is required for the platform of choice within the Webflow Designer.

In regards to file hosting, if you’re not wanting to use the chosen platform as a host I don’t see why you’d have a problem referencing a third-part CDN - this is just where your files are located.

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Last question, i promise. you said i can of course link an outside CDN if i choose. Does that mean that with a hr or two of a freelancers time they could go in and have my CMS files divert there which would eliminate that need for a 3rd party CMS and i could just use Webflow and not worry about CMS limits because it is going to CDN77 for example which offers 150gb and 500k files starting at 20 a month. Is that possible?

Also thank you so much for being so helpful

I’m not sure I understand the question. The Webflow CMS is a dynamic content management system for allowing the client the ability to add or modify content seen on the front-end, where the images are stored is a separate thing all together. Theoretically you could have a field in the Webflow CMS that allows the client to enter the URL of an item hosted on a separate CDN (or anywhere really) that is referenced on the front-end, however normally the client would just upload the file to Webflow’s servers so they’re reference from the same place.

Once you export your website’s code, you’re not hosting the content on Webflow’s servers, so all reference to those files would need to be updated to the new location - in this case, your CDN. That means that your site is now ‘static’ and not powered by any CMS - that is, unless you decide to manually hook up a third-party solution. If you go with Shopify or Wordpress for example, you would just host your files on their servers and there really wouldn’t be a reason for a separate CDN.

Ok, that makes sense. i guess where i get lost in that is if i export the code and use that conversion to WP or Shopify will all the functionality follow? You said it would be a static site, but once it is attached to a CMS through WP or shopify does it go back to being responsive and do all my features i have set up return to normal? Does that make sense? Originally my question was could i just change the location the CMS stores and pulls information to an outside CDN (that offers more) while hosting at WF purely to keep the CMS and functionality there. But i guess if it is really a stay and be limited to 10k items or go and have more the question turns into what you see above in regards to will the WP of Shopify CMS painlessly restore the functionality and responsively of the site?

Im trying to do as much as i can before i bring in a freelancer because of money. I know at somepoint i’ll have to bring one in for a few things i cannot find answers to.

Thanks and sorry, so much for last question

Once you export the site, it will be static, however converting it to either Shopify or Wordpress will give you the ability to use their CMS capabilities within the limitations of the chosen platform. In addition to your site code (HTML, CSS, and JS) you can also export all of the CMS data, however this won’t just “work” with another platform - you’ll need to map the data to a CSV that can be imported by the platform you choose. You’ll have access to all of the data from the Webflow CMS, but not everything will fit nicely. Products in Shopify for example only offer a handful of fields by default so if you’ve added a number of custom fields in the Webflow CMS, not everything will have a place in Shopify without some additional development or third-party apps. The same goes for Wordpress, although admittedly I don’t use the platform so I’m not sure how easy it is to expand what’s offered out of the box.

Webflow CMS limitations are set based on the amount of CMS items on your project, so regardless of where that content is actually hosted, you’ll still hit your limit if you have 10,000 CMS items. From what I can tell, there’s no “space” limitation on the files, just a limit on the monthly visits you get to the site and and the amount of database entries, but entries don’t exactly equal files. A blog post for example may use 5 different images attached to it, but that’s only counting as 1 CMS item. I’d bet there are a very small percentage of Webflow customers that get anywhere near that limit.

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Use Export Code to Netlify and hook up using export.

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You can export Netlify Converter using Eleventy CSV files are the collections. With Udesely Converter.

You can use Shopify API with Collections Product ID and Buy SDK with Strapi. It doesn’t work using Native Liquid / Shopify Theme.

But if you use the SDK, you will be fine.

Use with Stripe, SoundCloud, Youtube, Cloudinary (that has a auto Sync to Shopify Image management)

Sync with Zapier.

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thank you so much for both of your posts. :slight_smile:

I will try that