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Efficient Webflow CMS Item Creation from Submitted Forms

In this article, we're going to delve into an issue that's been discussed among Webflow users: creating CMS items efficiently based on submitted forms. This is particularly useful when you're dealing with multiple pages, each with its own form, and you want to create a CMS item for the chosen form. For instance, you might have a collection of books, where each book has its own page and a review form. When a user submits a review, you'd want a new CMS item to be created for that particular book. So, how do you go about this? Let's explore.

The Challenge

There's a bit of a challenge when it comes to reference fields. As it currently stands, reference fields are not supported by the API. This means that you can't automatically create a CMS item with a reference field based on a submitted form. So, if you have multiple pages each with its own form, you can't select a reference item (like a book from your collection) and have a new CMS item automatically created for that book when a form is submitted. This presents a bit of a hurdle for those looking to automate their CMS item creation process.

The Solution

While it's true that you can't automatically set a reference field, there's a workaround that you can use. Instead of a select field, you can use a hidden field with the current book's title already filled in. This way, when a form is submitted, the book's title will be included in the form data. From there, you can manually create a new CMS item and set the reference field by hand using the book's title from the form data.

Now, you might be wondering: "How do I create a hidden field with the current book's title?" The process is quite straightforward. Here's how to do it:

  • First, go to your form settings in Webflow.
  • Next, add a new field to your form. In the 'Type' dropdown, select 'Hidden'. This will create a new hidden field.
  • In the 'Name' field, enter a name for your hidden field. This could be something like 'Book Title'.
  • Finally, in the 'Value' field, enter the current book's title. You can do this by using a dynamic field. To do this, simply click on the 'Add Field' button in the 'Value' field, and then select your book title field from the dropdown.

With this setup, whenever a form is submitted, the current book's title will be included in the form data. You can then use this data to manually create a new CMS item and set the reference field by hand.

If manually creating CMS items and setting reference fields by hand sounds like a lot of work, there are third-party widgets that can help streamline the process. For instance, the Customer Review / Comment section widget can help automate the process of creating CMS items from submitted forms.

Remember, while Webflow doesn't currently support automatically setting reference fields via form submissions or the API, there are workarounds available. With a little bit of creativity and the right tools, you can still achieve efficient CMS item creation from submitted forms in Webflow.

Supercharge your Workflow with Webhooks

Here's an advanced tip that might surprise you: Webflow supports webhooks. A webhook is a way for an application to provide other applications with real-time information. In the context of Webflow, you can use webhooks to notify an external service whenever a form submission occurs. This can significantly streamline your CMS item creation process.

For example, you could set up a webhook to trigger whenever a form is submitted. This webhook could then send the form data to a service like Zapier or Integromat, which could automatically create a new CMS item based on the form data. This completely bypasses the need to manually create CMS items, saving you a significant amount of time.

To set up a webhook in Webflow, follow these steps:

  • Go to your project settings in Webflow.
  • Go to the 'Integrations' tab.
  • Scroll down to the 'Webhooks' section.
  • Click on 'Add Webhook'.
  • Enter a name for your webhook, the URL of the service you want to send the data to, and select 'Form Submission' as the trigger event.
  • Click on 'Save Webhook'.

With this setup, your CMS item creation process will be supercharged. Every form submission will automatically trigger a new CMS item creation, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your Webflow site.

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