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Nest CMS List in Webflow: Simplifying Content Organization

Any web designer knows that an organized content management system (CMS) can be a game-changer in managing and updating a website. But as your site grows, so does your CMS, and things can start to get a bit cluttered. One of the solutions to this problem is nesting CMS lists within CMS lists. This can be a bit tricky to set up in Webflow, but don't worry, we've got you covered. In this article, we will guide you through the process of nesting a CMS list in Webflow and how it can simplify your content organization.

The Problem: Organizing Complex CMS Lists

Let's say you are managing a website for a series of events in various venues. Your CMS might have a list for venues and another for events. But how do you easily display which events are happening at each venue? You could create multiple CMS lists, but this can become unmanageable as your site grows. The ideal solution is to have a nested CMS list where events for each venue are neatly organized under that venue.

The Solution: Nesting CMS Lists in Webflow

Webflow does not inherently support nested CMS lists. However, thanks to the ingenuity of the Webflow community, there is a workaround using a bit of custom code. The process involves creating your CMS lists as usual, then using HTML embeds and a small piece of jQuery code to move your nested list items to their corresponding parent item. Michael Wells shared this solution on the Webflow forum. He provides a clear step-by-step guide and even includes a demo site for you to play around with.

Step 1: Set Up Your CMS Lists

Your setup will likely involve a one-to-many relationship. For example, one venue can host many events. Each event should have a reference field linked to one venue only. Create your CMS lists as usual, adding all the fields you need.

Step 2: HTML Embeds

Within each venue collection item, place an HTML embed where the events will go. This will serve as the container for your nested list. You will do something similar for the event collection item. This embed will contain the venue slug for the event, allowing us to link the two later.

Step 3: The Magic of jQuery

With your HTML embeds in place, it's time to use a little jQuery magic. The script will run as soon as the page is loaded. It works by selecting all venue event container DIVs, and for each venue, it appends the corresponding events that have the same venue ID. This effectively moves your event items to their corresponding venue, creating a nested list.

Step 4: Styling Your Lists

With your lists now properly nested, you can go ahead and style them however you want. You can also use the power of flexbox to control the layout of your nested list. For example, you might want your events to display in a grid format rather than a single column. Remember, the power of Webflow is in its visual designer, so make use of that to create stunning nested lists.

While this solution may seem complex, it provides a powerful way to organize your CMS content in Webflow. Remember, every site and CMS is different, so you may need to tweak this solution to fit your needs. But with a bit of patience and experimenting, you can create a neatly organized CMS that will make managing your site a breeze.

Pro Tip: Harness the Power of Dynamic Embeds for Nested CMS Lists

While the solution above works great, there's an additional trick that can simplify the process even further - using dynamic embeds. Dynamic embeds in Webflow allow you to pull data from your CMS and use it directly within your custom code. This can be a big timesaver and can also reduce potential errors.

Instead of manually typing each venue ID into the jQuery script, you can use a dynamic embed to automatically insert the ID for each venue. You can do this by adding the "slug" field of the venue CMS within your HTML embed like this: <div class="venue-events" data-id="{{wf {"path":"slug","type":"PlainText"\} }}"></div>. Now, the venue ID is dynamically inserted into the script for each venue, making the process more efficient and less prone to manual errors.

Remember, the key to using dynamic embeds effectively is to understand your CMS structure and know exactly what data you want to pull in. So go ahead, experiment with dynamic embeds and see how they can make your nesting process more efficient.

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