Customize your creator template and publish your creative content.
Note: We’re transitioning to Workspaces, and this lesson has been updated to reflect that change. Visit the Workspaces blog post to read more about these updates and changes.
Getting started with a Webflow template may seem a little daunting at first, but we’ve covered the basics so you can get going — from purchasing and customizing your template, to publishing your creative content for the world to see.
In this lesson you’ll learn:
Before you can start designing, you need to purchase your template and create a site from it in your Webflow Dashboard. You can purchase your creator template to use for only one person, business, or site.
To select and purchase your creator template:
Later, you can access your template-based site from 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 site 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 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 assets you’ve added to your site (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 site.
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.
It’s a good idea to periodically check different breakpoint views of your site’s design, to ensure that your website is responsive on multiple devices. Learn more about 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 the template. If one of these exists in your site, you can use it to learn tips and tricks specific to the template you’ve purchased.
If you’re using Webflow’s Starter site plan, you’ll be able to edit all the pages within your template, but you will not be able to add additional pages or duplicate a page without first upgrading to a paid Workspace plan or paid site plan.
Let’s walk through how you can use the Designer to:
To edit text in your template, double-click a text element or select it and press Enter/Return. 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., switching a red color swatch to purple changes all red colored elements to 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 Style panel > Backgrounds, you can add a background image, gradient, or color to most elements (except media elements like video and image). Learn how to adjust background styles.
You can replace placeholder images in your template with other images you upload yourself. You can upload images and access previously uploaded images via the Assets panel. Learn how to replace images.
You’ll also want to update any links in your chosen template design. To quickly update a link, select the element that contains the link, then open the Settings panel > Link settings and make adjustments as needed. Learn how to set a link and adjust its settings.
To collect site visitor 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 this information and send it to you.
You can collect this information directly in your Site settings, or you can use third parties like MailChimp or Zapier to collect form data for you. Learn how to manage form submissions and notifications.
To modify the title, image, or 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. Learn more about SEO in our SEO fundamentals course.
To access SEO settings and Open Graph 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 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 instantly updates all the pages where that content is referenced.
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 the Webflow CMS and how to work with individual Collection items.
You can identify dynamic CMS elements by their purple colored outlines or by selecting the element and going to the Style panel. If a Dynamic style settings section is visible, the element is a dynamic CMS element.
Let’s walk through how you can:
You can customize a blog post from within the Webflow CMS. A CMS in a template site 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 Collection is a collection of similar items. For instance, you might have a 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 your data. For instance, you can add a blog post title, the blog post content, the blog post’s featured image, the blog post’s category, etc.
To update the sample content with your specific information:
Then you can:
Repeat the above steps for any other 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). Learn more about how to update Collection items.
Important: If you change the blog post’s title, make sure you update the URL slug as well.
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. Learn how to create new Collection items.
You can delete many Collection items at a time or you can delete an individual 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 you’re ready, the item can be staged for publish or published to your site. Learn how to edit draft items.
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 site plans.
You’ve chosen your desired template to customize, but maybe you want to add a new image to the homepage or you have a new link to feature in your links list. Or maybe you don’t have a Twitter account link or a product store and you’d prefer to remove these elements from your design. You can add or remove elements from your site to perfectly customize your content.
Let’s walk through how you can:
You can reuse elements and components in your site. For instance, if you want to add another link, you can copy the link you want to duplicate and paste it right into your site:
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 site. For example, you may not use a certain social media platform and would like to remove the link to it. To remove an element:
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 site 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. Learn how to publish your site.
While you can always publish your site to Webflow’s native domain for free (e.g., myamazingplants.webflow.io), you also have the option to connect your own custom domain to your site 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 site or set up a more robust blog, you can purchase a site plan for your site. Learn how to manage your site plans.
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 site. In some instances, this may break portions of the template design, so be sure to back up your site prior to removing the CMS.
Once you’ve purchased a site plan for your site, you can publish your site to any custom domain you own (e.g., myamazingplants.com). Learn how to connect your custom domain.
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. Learn how to set up Google Analytics for your site.
If you’re new to Webflow, you might find that templates with lots of interactions, custom menus, and popup modals can be challenging to customize. 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!