Customize your creator template and publish your creative content.
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Getting started with a Webflow template may seem a little daunting at first, but we’ve covered all the basics you need to know to get going — from purchasing your template and customizing it, to publishing your creative content for the whole world to see.
In this lesson you’ll learn how to:
Before you can start designing, you need to purchase your template and create a project from it in your Webflow Dashboard. You can purchase your creator template to use for only one person, business, or project.
To select and purchase your creator template:
Remember, after you’re done working on your design, you can always access your project in your Webflow Dashboard.
After you’ve purchased your template, you can start customizing it to make it your own.
Your template may have opened up directly in the Webflow Designer, or you might prefer to open your project from your Webflow Dashboard. Either option will take you to the same place — the Designer — which is where all your custom design magic happens!
Before you begin customizing the look of your template, you can familiarize yourself with the different panels in the Designer, as well as the Webflow canvas itself:
These panels give you access to your pages (Pages panel), the hierarchical structure of the elements in your pages (Navigator panel), an overview of any assets added to your project (Assets panel), and the ability to adjust the style of the elements on your pages (Style panel). The Canvas is where you can interact with the elements in your project.
You can also preview your design in your browser before you publish it by clicking the “eye” icon in the upper left corner of the Designer.
Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to periodically check the tablet and mobile views of your design when making changes to your project. You can do this by switching between different breakpoints.
In addition to the information we’ve included in this lesson, the template designer may have provided a “Start Here” guide as one of the pages in your template. If one of these exists in your project, click on it to learn tips and tricks specific to the template you purchased.
Let’s walk through how you can use the Designer to:
To edit text in your template, double-click the text element or select it and press enter. Then, select the placeholder text and replace it with your own content.
You can also change your text’s font, weight, color, etc. Typography style properties are located under the Typography section of the Style panel.
If your template’s color scheme was built using color swatches, you can easily edit a color swatch to update it sitewide (e.g., changing a red color swatch to purple updates all red colored elements to become purple).
Some elements use a background color, image, or gradient to add visual interest.
Setting the background on an element gives you control over appearance and legibility. In the Backgrounds section of the Style panel, you can add a background image, gradient, or color to most elements (except media elements like video and image).
You can replace any placeholder images in your template with ones you upload yourself.
Customizing your template means you’ll also want to update any links in your chosen design.
To quickly update a link, select the element that contains the link. Open the Settings panel and make adjustments as needed.
To collect subscriber information (e.g., sign ups for your newsletter, etc.) or to allow visitors to submit messages to you via a contact form, you can configure your form to accurately collect your subscriber’s information and send it to you.
You can collect this information directly in your Webflow account, or you can use third parties like MailChimp or Zapier to collect form data for you.
To modify the title, image, and description that appears when you share your site, or when someone searches for your site, you can adjust SEO settings and Open Graph settings within your page’s settings.
If your template came with a built-in blog, you can quickly create new posts featuring your very own dynamic content — all by using Webflow’s built-in content management system (CMS).
A CMS is where all dynamic content is stored and maintained. Your website references that dynamic content on different pages, so anytime you create or change any content in the CMS, it updates all the pages where it’s referenced, instantly.
Webflow's "visual" CMS enables you to create structured content, design around that content, and update it all — without touching a line of code. Read more about Webflow CMS and how to work with individual Collection items.
You can identify dynamic CMS elements by their purple colored outlines.
Let’s walk through how you can:
To customize a blog post, you can do this from within the Webflow CMS. Your CMS will likely contain 2 (or more) CMS Collections with some sample content (e.g. a “Blog posts” collection and a “Categories” collection). You can update the sample content with your own information.
A CMS Collection is a collection of similar items. For instance, you might have a CMS Collection called “Blog posts.” The “Blog posts” Collection contains individual Collection items — individual blog posts.
Each Collection item (e.g., each blog post) contains fields for you to fill in data. For instance, you can add a blog post title, the blog post content, the blog post’s featured image, the post category, etc.
To update the sample content with your specific information:
Repeat the above steps for any other blog post Collection item you want to update. The changes you’ve made will automatically update on the canvas (unless you’ve set your post as a “Draft”, which will hide it from view on your site).
To add a Collection item (e.g., a blog post or a blog category) you can create new items manually, import items from a CSV file, or import them through the CMS API using Zapier or webhooks.
To delete a Collection item (e.g., a blog post or a category) you can either delete many items at a time, or you can individually delete a Collection item.
To delete a single Collection item:
Instead of publishing a blog post to your site, you can save it as a draft first.
You can edit draft items as many times as you need and continue to save them as a draft until you’re ready to publish them. Once ready, the item can be staged for publish or published instantly to your site.
Scheduled publishing lets you prepare content releases in advance and have it pushed live automatically. This feature is only available on Hosted CMS, Business, and Ecommerce Plans.
You’ve chosen your desired homepage from your template to customize, but maybe you have a completely different social media account you want to add, or a new link you want to feature in your links list. Or maybe you don’t have a Whatsapp account or a product store and you’d prefer to remove these items from your design. You can do any of this to perfectly customize the content you’re presenting.
Let’s walk through how you can:
You can reuse elements and components in your project. For instance, if you want to add another link, you can copy the link you want to duplicate and paste its duplicate right into your project:
You can also undo the paste action by pressing Command + Z (on Mac) or Control + Z (on Windows).
You can also remove elements from your project. For example, you may not use a social media platform and would like to remove the link to it:
You can also undo the delete action by pressing Command + Z (on Mac) or Control + Z (on Windows).
As you customize your design, you can publish your project to Webflow’s native domain for free (e.g., “www.myamazingplants.webflow.io”) to get a feel for what your site looks like on the web.
While you can always publish your project to Webflow’s native domain for free (e.g., myamazingplants.webflow.io), you also have the option to connect your custom domain to your project and publish it there instead (e.g., myamazingplants.com).
We’ll walk through how you can:
If you’d like to use a custom domain with your project or set up a more robust blog, you can purchase a site plan for your project.
If your template uses the Webflow CMS (e.g., for a blog), you will not be able to purchase a Basic site plan until the CMS has been removed from your project. In some instances, this may break portions of the template design, so be sure to backup your project prior to removing the CMS.
Once you’ve purchased a site plan for your project, you can publish your project to any custom domain you own (e.g., myamazingplants.com).
You’ve created a sweet site. Now it’s time to add Google Analytics to track powerful metrics like how many users and pageviews your site is getting, how long people are spending on your site, and how many of them are leaving the page without clicking other links (bounce rate). Google Analytics also allows you to see where the traffic to your site is coming from. You can even narrow these parameters down to the city.
If you are new to Webflow, you might find that templates using lots of interactions, custom menus, and popup modals can be challenging to edit at first. However, if you need support for your template, you can reach out to the template designer for help (and many template designers include help documentation within their templates).
Pat yourself on the back for making such a cool, custom site, and share that creative content with the world!
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