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CMS API Basic Question from a designer, not a developer


#1

Hi all,
Apparently, the addition of the API is a huge deal. My question, as a designer who had NO developer experience (unless you count copy/paste/modify javascript :slight_smile: ), is this... What does this capability actually allow us to do?

I looked at the documentation, but it's all greek to me. Does that mean as a non-developer that I really won't find a use for this new function since I won't know how to use it?

Can someone provide an actual example of a real-world case where we might be able to use it on Webflow?

I looked for a video where this is explained for how it integrates into Webflow, but didn't find anything. If I missed it, please provide a link.

Thanks for your help!


Here is my public share link: LINK
(how to access public share link)


#2

I'm not sure these are possible yet, but here's some examples that could happen with the API:

New tweet -> create new CMS entry
New dribbble post -> ""
New Medium post -> ""
Form submission -> "" (think restaurant reviews, testimonials, etc)

That kinda stuff will be possible (and easy) once the Zapier integrations are fully up and running. It'll work the other way too, e.g. New CMS entry -> some other service, but most of the examples I've see are inputting data and not outputting it.

Someone who's more familiar with this, correct me if I'm wrong.


#3

Thank you, this is helpful!


#4

For me, it serves 2 important (client) purposes:

  1. Migrating from Wordpress, a client has many hundreds of archived blog posts, and wants the content to be available on the new (Webflow) site. Damned if I'm going to add each one by hand! API allows me to import programmatically.
  2. Same client was concerned about data lock-in. Meaning, if s/he invests many years and many hundreds more blog posts, will those items be locked inside the Webflow CMS? Normally, when you export the site, the data don't go with it. The API allows entries to be exported!

Essentially, the API is for any use cases where you want to add content to the CMS that is not by coming to Webflow.com and logging in to the Designer/Editor back-end. It's a way to allow other services to create, edit, and delete entries on your behalf.

Indeed, everything you mentioned is already both possible and easy!


#5

Thank you!! That furthers my understand.


#6

Are the Zapier integrations published? I didn't see them last I checked.


#7

That's the thing: you don't anything special. See here:

With Zapier's "Webhooks" feature, you can GET / POST / PUT / DELETE anything you want, right now, from any form submission on the planet. So for example you could have a form -- even a Webflow form! -- with the action URL set to the Zapier Webhook (which it generates for you). At that point, you can capture the data of the form, and POST it to a Webflow collection.

This link above should provide enough detailed information but let me know if you have questions. Essentially, I test all my API calls using Postman so that when I create the Zap, all I have to do is copy/paste the JSON payload which I already know works. Does that make sense? You can use the API with Zapier right now! I have been for the last few weeks and it's marvelous.


#8

@sprockethouse quick question! I'm new to the CMS and the structure behind it. Ok so here is my question:

I have a user submitted blog. It has 12 differen't categories.

When I have a new form submission that is marked as category "x"
With Zapier setup; will it create a new CMS entry under BLOG POSTS with the category attached, and then post that CMS entry? Without me having to publish it myself?

Currently I have a new form submission, then I create the CMS entry by hand and then publish it.


#9

When the API was first released, each added item was set only to 'staged', which means we as users had to go into the dashboard and manually click 'publish' for them to appear. What a hassle!

But about 4 or so weeks ago, the team enabled the auto-publish of live items. You just have to append ?live=true to your URL. See here in the docs:

https://developers.webflow.com/#create-new-collection-item

Does that answer your question?