Creating the content structure
Now, before we added even a single pixel to our ebook website, we knew we wanted to create a structure that would last for the long haul.
We didn’t just want to create one ebook: we wanted to build a whole elibrary.
Thus, setting up the CMS structure right played a crucial role in getting the ebook website going.
In the end, we created just three collections:
That may not sound like much, but between these three collections, dozens (and soon, hundreds) of Collection Template pages emerged.
The structure needed to be simple, so it would be easy to maintain, but it also needed to be scalable. We knew we wanted ebooks, but it took a while to come up with the idea of Chapters as a Collection.
In the real world — and in the reader’s experience of our ebooks — a chapter is intrinsically part of a book.
But on the Webflow Ebooks site, Chapters aren’t connected to their ebooks at all (from a structural standpoint).
What we decided was that the ebook collection would act more like a category — a simple way to bundle together chapters. In the end, we simply bound the two collections together, so that each chapter needed to reference a single ebook for it to be published.
This structure gives us the flexibility and scalability to add all the chapters (which make up the bulk of the site’s content) to a single Collection (Chapters), instead of having to create a new Collection for each ebook.
Finally, we came up with a design
The third and final step in this process was designing the website itself. Now that we had our content created, structured, and ready to go in the Webflow CMS, we could finally start putting pixel to monitor.
Luckily, when we began this process, our amazing developer team had just finished building Webflow’s flexbox features. We were still a few weeks out from a public launch, but thought: What better way to test it than with a complex site of our own?
So flexbox played a huge role in building the site. In fact, without flexbox we wouldn’t have been able to create it in its current form at all.
And because we thought you might want to take a closer look at how we built our ebook site, I created a full website tutorial, just for you:
What ebooks would you like to see from us?
At Webflow, we’re always looking for ways to make our content better, and the ebook was just the first step. If you haven’t already, check out our ebooks, Web Design 101 and The Freelance Web Designer’s Guide.
Oh, and stay tuned for another new ebook — this one covering the art of content — coming soon!
Have a request for a future ebook? Feel free to tweet at us, or comment below!