Learn how to grow your organic traffic with AirOps SEO Playbook

Optimizing the Order of CMS Items in Webflow: A Comprehensive Guide

Creating a dynamic and engaging website often requires a strategic approach to organizing your content. This is especially true when dealing with Webflow's CMS (Content Management System), where the order of your CMS items can significantly impact the overall user experience. However, optimizing this order can sometimes be a bit of a puzzle, especially if you're dealing with a bulk of articles under the same dates. In this guide, we'll delve into some practical solutions to help you effectively manage and optimize the order of your CMS items in Webflow.

The Problem

As a Webflow user, you might have encountered a situation where the order of your dynamic lists does not remain fixed even after sorting them out from Newest to Oldest. This can be particularly perplexing when the list is limited to just one item, and the appearance keeps changing despite not setting it to a random order. As discussed in the Webflow forum, one possible reason for this constant change could be that the articles it's changing to are under the same dates.

The Solution

Let's go through some solutions that were suggested by experienced Webflow users in the forum:

1. Use the Date Fields

You can leverage the default date fields such as date published and date created. These dates always have a time attached to them, which can provide a more consistent sorting result if used as a criterion. This will ensure only one item matches the parameters set in your filter/sort settings.

2. Add a Switch Field

Another method is to add a switch field to the Blog collection to control which post is featured. Then, you can set your filter for that Collection list to only show the featured post based on that switch. This method is especially useful if you want to highlight a specific post.

3. Combine Two Filters

If the switch, let’s call it “Featured”, only serve that one purpose, you can combine two filters so you don’t have to go remove it from an item when you add it to another. Combine a switch filter with a date filter and only the most recent item with the switch on will display.

4. Activate the Timestamp

Activating the timestamp on your date fields can also help sort your CMS items effectively. You don’t need to add data there, when you’ll add an item, Webflow will add the current time. So the last item will always have a “higher” date than the previous, hence your filter result being correct.

Note that activating the timestamp is a good solution for the items you'll enter from now on. For existing items, you might have to do a bit of manual work to update the timestamp. But don't worry, the effort is worth the increased consistency and control over the order of your CMS items.

Final Thoughts

Optimizing the order of CMS items in Webflow doesn't have to be a daunting task. With the right strategies and a bit of patience, you can effectively manage your content and ensure a smooth and enjoyable user experience. Remember, the key is to understand your content and how it can best serve your audience. Happy organizing!

Top Secret: The Power of Custom Sort Order Fields

For those looking for even more control over the order of your CMS items in Webflow, here's a pro tip that can truly revolutionize the way you manage your content: Use a custom sort order field.

This involves creating a new number field within your CMS collection and using it as a sort order field. This new field essentially serves as an index that you can manually adjust to dictate the exact order of your CMS items. This is especially useful when you want to override the default Newest to Oldest sorting and customize the order of your items in an entirely unique way.

To implement this, follow these simple steps:

  • Add a new number field to your CMS collection. You can name it 'Sort Order' or something similar.
  • Populate this field for each CMS item. Remember, lower numbers will appear first if you sort in ascending order.
  • Finally, when setting up your dynamic list or collection list, choose to sort by this new field.

This allows you to have absolute control over the order of your CMS items, providing a level of customization that’s not possible with the default date or alphabetical sorting.

Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Make sure to keep track of your numbering to avoid any confusion and ensure a seamless user experience.

Grow your site's organic traffic with AI-powered long tail SEO at scale