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Mastering CMS Custom Filters in Webflow: Simplifying URL Management

Working with the Webflow CMS is always a smooth ride but sometimes, managing URLs for your CMS items can be a bit of a puzzle. You might find yourself asking, "Is there a way to filter CMS items by the URL rather than creating hundreds of pages?" or "How can I have one collections page that filters results based on the URL?". If these questions sound familiar, you're in luck. This article aims to guide you through mastering CMS custom filters in Webflow and simplifying your URL management.

The Problem: Managing Hundreds of Pages

Let's say you're working on a site where you have several CMS items that need to be filtered based on certain parameters. For example, you might have a list of counselors with different specialties located in various cities. You want to be able to filter these counselors based on location, gender, and specialty.

In a typical scenario, you'd probably create separate pages for each filter combination. But if you've got hundreds of items and multiple filters, this can quickly become cumbersome and hard to manage.

The Solution: Webflow CMS Custom Filters

The good news is, there's a way to simplify this process in Webflow using CMS custom filters. With this approach, you can set up one collections page that dynamically filters content based on the URL.

Here's how you can do it:

1. Utilize Page Slugs and Collection List Filters

Webflow allows you to rely on page slugs and filters on collection lists. You can group items using reference fields. This way, you can create different pages that display filtered results based on the criteria set in the URL.

2. Use Third-Party Tools for Dynamic Filtering

While Webflow does not natively support dynamic content generated by URL parameters, there are third-party tools that can help you accomplish this. One such tool is F'in Sweet CMS Library. It allows you to filter items in a collection list based on text content inside the item.

3. Leverage Mixitup for Large Collections

For larger collections that require pagination, MixItUp is a great library to consider. It can dynamically filter results from a collection list based on an attribute. However, it's worth noting that it cannot combine with the native Webflow Pagination.

4. Implement Multiple Filters

Need to filter based on multiple criteria? No problem! You can set up your URLs in a way that allows multiple items filtering. For example, you can set up your URL like this: www.url.com#male,auckland. This would display all male counselors in Auckland.

By mastering these CMS custom filters in Webflow, you can simplify your URL management and make your website more user-friendly and efficient. So, go ahead and give it a try!

Top Tip: Harness the Power of Custom Code for Unlimited Filtering

Now, you might be thinking, "What if I want to push the boundaries and create a really complex filtering system? Is it possible with Webflow?". The answer is a resounding yes! It involves a bit of custom code, but don't worry, you don't need to be a coding guru to implement it.

With custom code and Webflow's embed feature, you can create a filter system that's not limited by the default options in Webflow's CMS. This is particularly helpful if you're dealing with large collections or complex filtering systems.

For example, you can create a custom filter that groups CMS items by multiple reference fields. You can also add a search function to your filter system, so users can search for specific CMS items within a filtered list.

This is how you can do it:

  1. First, create a new HTML embed in your collections page. This will hold your custom code.
  2. Next, in the HTML embed, write a script that defines how your filter system should work. This will involve using JavaScript to manipulate the DOM based on your filter criteria.
  3. Finally, test your custom filter system to make sure it works as expected. Remember to publish your site and view it in a live environment, as custom code does not run in Webflow's designer view.

This approach allows for virtually unlimited filter options and opens up a world of possibilities for your Webflow site. It's a more complex solution, but it gives you great flexibility and helps you create a truly unique user experience.

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