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Baffled? I certainly am


#1

Is it just me or is Webflow mind-boggling if you have never used it before?
Why is something so basic as an image gallery so difficult to do?
I don’t want to break my keyboard by banging my head on the desk any more!
If you all felt the same way at the start, it will mean I am not being really stupid, yet!
Thanks
BarryT
https://preview.webflow.com/preview/btph-new-site?preview=d12c990894e260da27d192d5f8f8f9a5


#2

Hi @Barryt

Welcome to the forum! :slightly_smiling_face:

No…you are not the first to feel like that at the start…fear not!

Have a look at it from a different angle… :thinking:

Unlike other website building software, which offer pre-made components to drag and drop, but only limited control of customising them, Webflow instead takes that idea and gives you full control down to the div block and pixel, similar to being able to hand-code websites.

So, seeing it in that context, you could also say - is learning and writing HTML/CSS and JS mind-boggling if you’ve never used it before?

The answer to that is most likely yes, but stick at it a little and the pennies start to drop, push up over that initial mountain and then a world of capabilities awaits.

So yes, at first, with no training or familiarisation - creating something as simple as an image gallery is difficult to do, but only because you’ve got full design control of the pieces needed to create one. Webflow isn’t restricting your design skills, power is handed to you!

There are a number of great resources to tap into, and the forum here is very friendly - post away if you get stuck on anything :+1: - Which issue are you trying to solve with your current gallery?


#3

Yep, that’s exactly how I felt at first too, so don’t feel like you’re the only one! :slight_smile:

However, the Webflow university videos that @StuM linked to were basically how I was able to get up and running. Yes, it will take some time to go through them, but I set aside some time initially and devoured them to learn as much as I could. (And they’re fantastically made!)

Another thing that can help is to download a free template or two just to get an idea of how things were made on the back end. And watching a site be designed live in front of you (via the workshops) is also a great resource.

And, last but not least, the forums are EXTREMELY helpful!

Hang in there - once you start getting a feel for it I’m sure you’ll be blown away by how great it is! I know I was! (I’m an ex Adobe Muse user, so I jumped ship whenever that initial announcement was made - April 2018 or something? And I’ve made leaps and bounds of progress with Webflow since then, and have really only scratched the surface.)


#4

Also @Barryt - just to mention, if you are looking at building in a factfile of some of the wildlife you photograph, you could take a look at this Photography themed template:

It’s free, features a photo grid, but is also connected to the CMS, so you could add new items to the gallery via the CMS, clicking them to open a page with the expanded photo and facts.

In that template the CMS is setup to a degree, but you could tailor it, or as with the site design, you have full control of how to shape your CMS data the way you need it.


#5

Hi StuM,

Many thanks for your response.

I don’t doubt the penny will eventually drop but that point seems a long way off at the moment.

There has been progress, but my new site will be very image-based and although I have been able to link back to my galleries where they are currently stored, I would much prefer to have them as assets inside Webflow.

I find it strange that there are all types of blocks etc I can insert into the site, but nothing designed specifically for galleries of images.

It will get sorted, but is taking much longer than I had hoped.

Cheers,

BarryT


#6

Would something like the image gallery on this page work for you? Or are you looking to do more of a lightbox-type thing?


#7

You’re 100% right.

We’re working to create something that will make this easier and about six orders of magnitude more powerful. It’s a pretty big project, but we’re all over this.

In the meantime, our education team can do a better job creating guides that teach this use case.


#9

Hey Barry!

I’m so glad to see you joined Webflow since our first conversation back in April, and I’d love to help!

We currently have a Lightbox element that will create a gallery similar to the ones you have on your site. You can see this video @McGuire made to help new users learn about creating image galleries with the Lightbox element.

Another option – perhaps even more scalable – is the content management system [CMS], which will let you create collections of images. You can then display those images on your site, or even give each image its own specific page where you can tell its story and provide a little background information.

Either way, I wanted to let you know that I too, have been – and sometimes still am - baffled by Webflow. But what you’ve created already is absolutely great. The body of work you’ve catalogued stands on its own as a photographer and zoologist.

As artists, photographers, and designers we’ve created some pretty amazing tools, but learning them can be challenging at times. My first roll of film shot on an SLR was nearly unusable. My first time using Webflow [before Webflow University] wasn’t pretty, either. And you’ve already done much, much better than my first attempts at web design. I had elements overlapping and running off the page on mobile views – but now I work for Webflow full-time! :slight_smile:

Just like using all of the settings on an SLR is extremely complex for new photographers, it takes a little bit of time and help. Even advanced photographers learn and change the way they capture light and adjust for conditions. I can see this quality in your work, and web design is no different.

Feel free to continue this thread, and join the Community of hobbyists, professional designers, and even full-blown agencies on the Forum. The quality of help and kindness here is absolutely unique, and you’ll find that people want to help you bring your vision to life.

And as always, if you ever need help from the Customer Success Team, we hang out here on the Forums after work, or you can reach us during office hours here.


#10

I had the same experience when I opened Webflow for the first time. It all looked a bit overwhelming. I too migrated from Adobe Muse and was “forced” to look for an alternative. Was gutted when Adobe announced they stopped developing Muse - but NOW I understand why. Webflow is way superiour to Muse. I would never have been able to build my current project in Muse. However as with all new programs you have to learn it feels like you’re about to climb a mountain.
I been through most of the tutorials multiple times and most of the rebuild workshops with Nelson (he’s the best) and they have been a huge help to get going.
I think you’ve to look at Webflow a bit like Photoshop. There’s tons of options and many ways to do the same thing. Some better than others of course but it’s about start trying and eventually you’ll find the best solution and practicies. You want to do it all the correct way from the beginning but often you will learn more from your mistakes. Switching back and forth between designing and viewing tutorials.


#11

Hi Cricitem,
Many thanks for your suggestion, I will certainly look at that.

Trouble is there are a lot of images to deal with, but I will get there in the end!

Regards,

Barryt


#12

Hi McGuire,
Great, I am glad it is something that is being worked on.

Most galleries in the templates seem to have fairly low numbers of showcase images and I could deal with that.

With what will be a reference site for various species with hundreds of images, and not having much if any knowledge of CMS, it is very difficult.

Look forward to see what Webflow comes up with.

Regards,

Barry


#13

Hi Andrew,

Good to hear from you!

Everything you say gives me more confidence that I will get there in the end.

Being used to creating image galleries in Lightroom sort of underlines my problem.

You get the images right, design/choose a template and away you go.

I can link back to my Lightroom galleries where they are on my current server from my Webflow site and it works fine.

I can link back to the Webflow site with a link too.

Trouble is I would need to maintain that server to do that for all of them and it isn’t ideal at all.

CMS is, to be honest, something I had never heard of.

Now I understand what it does I can see it might be the answer, but again it something else to get to grips with.

I will now look not at McGuire’s video and hopefully start making steps forward instead of back!

Webflow help and the Forum are great, I would probably have jumped ship by now but for them!

Regards,

Barry


#14

It is so not you! I’m another Muse refugee. Prior to Muse, I used Dreamweaver, years ago. I have a small amount of html and CSS knowledge, but am not comfortable coding.

Webflow reduces me to tears of frustration. I keep sticking with it, because there aren’t many other viable options for non-coders who want a lot of design control, and people swear it gets easier, but I am so frustrated! Basic things I could have done in 10 minutes in Muse I’m still struggling with after 10 days of watching tutorials. Very basic things, like setting up a functional navbar with dropdown links where the top index button is also a clickable link and the hover state actually does what you think it should do. The tutorials make everything look like a piece of cake, but then when I try to follow along, few things work the way I think they should.

That said, after years of learning Muse and wading through the viper pit that was the Adobe Muse help forum, the Webflow community has been a real selling point that has kept me from jumping ship too. The staff and fellow community members have been so patient, generous and not condescending, even when I feel like an idiot and I’ve barely been able to suppress my overflowing rage after hours of frustration!

Good luck to you, and to all of us new beginners.


#15

Hi CuriousChip,

Many thanks for taking the time to comment on my post.

We are obviously in the same boat with Webflow!

I totally agree that their support and the Forum are great and I was forewarned that Webflow was a steep learning curve.

There is a world of difference between building a business site which has may be 30-40 images at most, to building a species reference site where there are several hundred or more species, let alone two or three thousand images to include.

Unfortunately, given that the world is very ‘image driven’ these days, in terms of both still images and video, the number of sources for web building which cater for large numbers of images is very very limited.

CMS may be the answer, but either way, I am wasting a lot of time learning (slowly) when I could be doing something much more productive - like photographing more wildlife!

I will persevere even so, hopefully making progress before I write I all off as a bad move and try something different.

Thanks to to everybody who has responded to this thread!

Regards,

BarryT


#16

I really feel for you, Barry. My frustration with Webflow is growing by the day, and, yes, the wasted time and lack of productivity is incredibly depressing. I’m also dealing with a particularly difficult personal situation at the moment (my husband was just enrolled in hospice), and this @#$% program is just adding to my despair! I would write it off and try something else by now, if I thought there was a viable option. Here I am, more than a week later, and I still can’t create a basic dropdown menu with clickable index links that works as it should – and it certainly isn’t for lack of trying! This should be a very basic thing. It’s ridiculous.

Good luck to you! I hope you’re having better luck than I am.


#17

Hi CuriousChip.
Sorry you are having the same difficulties I had with Webflow.

Must be hard when you are in the middle of other problems too.

I am not sorry to have walked away from it for now.

When I started a new Muse replacement site, I made more progress in an hour than in a whole week of scratching my head in Webflow.

Muse sites work well on external servers, so that is what I will use for now.

With another 2-3 years, possibly, of Muse, I can get something up then try something else in the interim.

It has at least has given me the time to do all the other associated tasks such as archive re-organisation/updates and new site structure.

It would be great if Webflow made the builder more user-friendly, they must be losing a lot of new business this way.

Best of luck with your site, hope everything else gets better!

Regards,

Barry


#18

I totally agree with you. EXAMPLE:: I am not a fan of WIX - but WIX UI is great. The gallery is the third most important block (After Text And Image!!)

image

Very simple UI (No CMS collection - but each block with specific images - easy to set order - add/remove images) - Widget like this in webflow will be a game changer

Edit

(This is what i need in webflow - create block and add/remove/reorder))

Change layout

Maybe this idea its too much for webflow (Beacuse the dev could control the layout) - or not


squarespace


Wordpress Elementor


weebly


#19

Hi Ezra,

You are right, we need something which is more flexible than Wix and similar systems.

Something which allows you to put your own ‘style’ into a web site but still based on templates without coding or complex and intricate box models…

Oh, sorry, forgot that we probably had that with Muse and they took it away.

There is a really big gap in the market here.

Now, the trouble is if something just right comes along and is popular, is it going to be withdrawn again just as everybody has bought into it?

We need stability.

Regards,

Barry


#20

I know very well Lightbox.js galleries like photoswipe or fancebox3 this is not so simple to give the user/dev full control.

So again “more flexible than Wix” this is something it’s easy to say but hard to implement. But in practice clients need grid-gallery like in WIX/Weebly - you don’t need to change this to much (Except - spacing, colums per row and basic stuff) and maybe masonry layout (also famous). Like Elementor

Custom code its always an option (For speacial cases).


#21

Hi Barry,

I’m genuinely glad for you that you were able to go back to Muse for a while! It must be a massive relief.

One of my issues is I need to modernize a big site for an organization I work with. In good conscience I don’t think I can spend the kind of time it will take to redo the thing in Muse, knowing I could wind up leaving these people with a site built with software that fewer and fewer designers are using. But, as you say, what stability do we really have?

Good luck to you – I hope you eventually find a replacement that works for you!