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Quick Guide: Changing Date on CMS Item in Webflow

When managing a website on Webflow, you might find that all your blog posts have the same publication date. This can be problematic, especially when you want to maintain the original publication dates of your posts for accuracy and SEO purposes. Fortunately, there's a way around this. Let's dive into how you can change the date on a CMS item in Webflow.

The Problem: Incorrect Publication Dates

By default, Webflow doesn’t preserve dates when you make changes to an article. This means that each time you update an article, the date will change to the most recent date of modification. This can be especially frustrating if you're migrating a website from another platform like WordPress to Webflow, where preserving the original publish dates is crucial.

Why is this a problem?

  • The publication date of a blog post can be important for SEO purposes. Search engines like Google often use the original publication date as one of the factors to determine the relevance of a piece of content.
  • If you're migrating content from another platform, having the correct dates is crucial for maintaining an accurate content archive.
  • Incorrect dates can also be misleading to your readers, who might assume that an older post is recent because of the updated date.

The Solution: Creating a Custom Date Field

As a workaround to this issue, you can create a custom date field in your CMS and bind this date to your article. This way, even if you make changes to the article, the original date will remain the same. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

Step 1: Create a custom date field

In your Webflow dashboard, go to your CMS Collection settings, and add a new field. Choose the "Date/Time" field, and name it something like "Original Publication Date". Make sure to save your changes.

Step 2: Set the original publication date

When creating or editing a CMS item (like a blog post), you'll now see the "Original Publication Date" field. Here, you can set the date and time when the post was first published. Remember to save your changes.

Step 3: Bind the custom date field to your article

When you're designing your Collection Page or Collection List, add a text element where you want the date to appear. In the Inner Text Settings, check the "Get text from" checkbox, and select your "Original Publication Date" field from the dropdown. You can then choose a date (and time) format that suits your needs.

In this way, you can preserve the original publication dates of your blog posts or other CMS items in Webflow. Remember, though, that this is a manual process – you'll have to set the date for each item individually. But once it's set up, you're good to go!

For a visual guide on how to set up a custom date field, check out these YouTube tutorials.

Useful Resources

Remember, the Webflow community is also a great resource if you're having trouble. Don't hesitate to reach out on the Webflow forums if you need help.

Pro Tip: Leverage Webflow's Zapier Integration for Automated Date Settings

If you're dealing with a large number of articles and manually setting the dates seems too tedious, here's a pro tip: you can automate this process using Webflow's integration with Zapier, a powerful automation tool.

Zapier can pull the original publication dates from your previous platform and automatically set them in your custom date field in Webflow. This is especially useful if you're migrating a lot of content from another platform and want to preserve the original publication dates.

Here's how you can set it up:

Step 1: Set up your Webflow trigger

In Zapier, create a new Zap and choose Webflow as the trigger app. Select 'New Item' as the trigger, and connect your Webflow account. Set the Webflow site and the Collection you want to work with.

Step 2: Set up your action

Next, choose Webflow as your action app. This time, select 'Update Live Item' as the action and map the 'Item ID' from the trigger step to the 'Item ID' in the action step. Finally, map the original publication date from your previous platform to your custom date field in Webflow.

This way, each time a new item is added to your CMS in Webflow, Zapier will automatically update the item with the correct original publication date. It's a one-time setup that can save you a lot of time and effort!

For more information on Webflow's Zapier integration, check out this guide on Webflow University.

Remember, automation can be a powerful tool when used correctly. But it's always a good idea to double-check your settings and test your Zaps to make sure everything is working as expected. Happy automating!

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