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Getting started with the Webflow Data API

The Weblow Data API allows you to read and update content on your Webflow site. In this blog post, we will review the Webflow API basics and help you get started managing your site’s content with the Data API.

What is the Webflow Data API?

The Webflow API is a REST API that allows you to query data about your site’s CMS collections, pages, forms, e-commerce products, users, and more. Besides querying data, the API allows you to update or add new data. For example, you may use the API to add blog posts or e-commerce products from an external source. Or you may use the API to sync product availability between your internal systems and Webflow.

Aside: The Webflow Designer API

This blog post looks at the Webflow Data API, a REST API to manage your site's data. Webflow also has a Designer API, which allows developers to build extensions that integrate directly with the Webflow Designer, for example, to manage elements, properties, styles, etc, on the Designer canvas. We will not look at the Designer APIs in this blog post.

How do I get started with the Webflow Data API?

The best place to get started with the Webflow Data API is the API reference section of the Webflow Developer portal. The API reference will give you information on the Webflow API basics, such as authorization, scopes, rate limits, etc., and all the endpoints you can call from your application.

The top navigation

Let’s dive into this deeper and start off by discussing the top navigation section. At the time of writing this blog post, the top navigation consists of the following sections:

  • API v2: This is the current version (Version 2) of the Webflow Data API and contains stable endpoints which can be used in production applications. Unless there are other mitigating circumstances, this is the version you must use. All API endpoints for the V2 API are in the v2 namespace and thus start with the URL
  • API v2 (Beta): This is the beta (or development) version of the Version 2 endpoints. This contains new and updated endpoints still in development and not considered stable as they may change. You should typically only use these endpoints for internal use or if you are developing a product that integrates with Webflow and want to start prototyping with these endpoints. All API endpoints for the V2 (Beta) API are in the beta namespace and start with the URL
  • API v1 (Legacy): This is Version 1 of the Webflow API and should not be used for new development. Webflow is not making any more enhancements to these API endpoints, which will be deprecated at some point.

The side navigation

The side navigation for the Data API starts with an Introduction section. This section contains information about the API structure, authorization, scopes, versioning, etc. It is suggested that you read through these sections first, as they contain important information about using the API. After that, you will find the navigation for all the individual API endpoints, categorised by section. For example, there will be a section for all endpoints related to working with Sites. Another section will contain all endpoints related to working with Pages. Etc.

Endpoint information

You can get information about a particular endpoint by clicking on the endpoint in the sidebar navigation. The endpoint information page contains the following sections:

  1. The top section contains the endpoint name, URL, short description, and the scopes required to call the endpoint.
  2. This section contains information about the parameters that can be passed to the endpoint and indicates whether parameters are required. The parameters can be either path parameters, passed as part of the URL, or body parameters, passed as part of the body of a POST, PUT, or PATCH request.
  3. This section lists the various HTTP status codes that the endpoint can return and the response payload for each response code.
  4. This section allows you to view sample code for calling the endpoint. You can switch between any available language to view the code in that particular language. You can also try executing the endpoint in the browser from this section (more about that below).
  5. This section contains a sample response returned by the endpoint. A dropdown in the top right of the response sections allows you to switch between response samples for the various response codes.

Executing API endpoints in the browser

The Webflow Data API website allows you to test the various API endpoints inside your browser before integrating them into your application. This allows you to view the responses of the API endpoints against your personal Webflow data and verify that the endpoints can retrieve and update the data as per your expectations.

To try out an API endpoint, you must go through an authentication process that will generate a Bearer token for authorizing your API requests.

Click on the Authenticate button. This will take you through the normal OAuth 2.0 authorization flow and prompt you whether you want to allow the Webflow Developers Site access to your account. Select the sites you want to give it access to and click the Authorize App button. You will be redirected to the endpoint page, and the Bearer token will be filled in. Click the Try It! button to test out the API call. The API call will execute, and the response window that previously contained a sample response payload will contain the real data from your site.

Using the Data API in your application

Using the Data API in your application will depend on your programming language, so it is not practical to give a step-by-step guide in this blog post. Instead, I will give you high-level steps to guide you through this process.

Step 1: Register your application

The first step is to register your application in your Webflow workspaces. This is required to obtain a Client ID and Client Secret required for the OAuth 2.0 authorization flow. You can find a step-by-step guide in the Webflow Authorization documentation.

Step 2: Get an access token

You can use the Client ID and Client Secret from your app registration to initialize an OAuth 2.0 flow. This will ultimately give you an access token that can be used to call the various API endpoints on behalf of the user.

The access token will be passed as a Bearer token in the Authorization header of your API requests. Once again, more information can be found in the Webflow Authorization documentation. Most programming languages have first-party or third-party libraries to execute the OAuth 2.0 authorization flow. I suggest searching for “oauth 2.0 with [your programming language]” on Google or YouTube.

Step 3: Call the API

Next, you can call the API endpoints and pass the access token you obtained previously as a Bearer token in the Authorization header. The Webflow API documentation contains code samples for the most popular programming languages.

  1. Select the programming language of your choice. Only the top 5 languages are listed, but you can access code examples for more languages by clicking the overflow menu to the right.
  2. Follow the installation instructions to install the required libraries for your programming language and then copy and adapt the code snippet for use in your application.

Step 4: Submit your app for approval

By default, only users from your Webflow Workspace can use your application. If your application is for internal use, this will not be a problem. However, if you want the application to be available to users outside your organization, you must submit the application for approval.

To enable the OAuth 2.0 application you registered in Step 1 to be available to users outside your Workspace, you must submit the application for approval.

You can find more information on the Marketplace Guidelines and process for Listing your App in the Webflow documentation.

Frequently asked questions

Let’s look at some common questions regarding the Webflow API to close this blog post off.

Does Webflow have an API?

Yes, Webflow has a Data API that allows you to manage the data in your Webflow site, such as pages, CMS collections, users, etc. Webflow also has a Designer API which is a Javascript-based API that allows you to develop extension that enhance the functionality of the Webflow Designer.

Is the API free?

Yes, the Webflow API is free to use.

Does your API application require approval?

If you intend to make your application available to users outside your Webflow Workspace, you must go through the Marketplace approval process. For internal apps, i.e. apps used by users in your Webflow Workspace, no approval is required.

Is the Webflow API rate limited?

Yes, the default rate limit is 60 requests per second. You can find more information in the Webflow rate limits documentation.

Does the Webflow CMS have an API?

Yes, the Data API can be used to manage CMS items.

Jerrie Pelser
Founder and CEO of Cloudpress. I understand many of the frustrations of creating content in a collaborative environment and strive to make the content publishing workflow for customers as seamless as possible.