Blog
/
How to create an online community with Webflow
How to create an online community with Webflow

How to create an online community with Webflow

With the help of new 3rd party tools, Webflow is now a great option for building a community website.

Online communities have never been more popular. In addition to the surging popularity of networks like Reddit, there is a major trend of businesses and content creators building their own branded communities with tools like Circle, Mighty, & Skool, instead of using Slack, Discord, or Facebook Groups. Why? It’s because these tools make audience monetization easier, can be custom-branded, encourage deeper connections through long-form content & educational environments, and much more. 

An example of community built with a new age community platform Skool)

But a new tool has entered the chat. With the help of new 3rd party tools, Webflow is now a great option for building a community website. 

Webflow offers several advantages over other website, web app, and community development tools, including: 

1 SEO  If you are building an online community like a forum, chances are organic traffic will be a key acquisition channel. Out of the box, Webflowʼs best-in-class technical SEO & CMS maximizes the likelihood of new pages of user generated content not only being indexed on search engines, but also ranking higher.

2 Design flexibility  This is a matter of preference. But, Webflow gives you the power to create an online community with unique UX & UI that not only matches your existing digital presence / brand, but also addresses your usersʼ unique needs. With Webflow, you can custom-design every aspect of your community website in a visual editor, completely no-code. While the new-age community platforms like Circle, Skool, & Mighty Networks offer clean & modern templates that can be custom branded, itʼs impossible to customize most aspects of their UX& UI. Even with custom code.

3 No cross-platform friction  Many Webflow sites already own a user base through tools like Memberstack or Outseta or Webflowʼs native memberships feature. Yet, syncing user data or enabling SSO with community platforms requires cumbersome Zapier or Make automations. Or with Slack or Discord, your users need to sign up again to another 3rd party tool. Through the solutions in this tutorial, you can build the community within your Webflow site and ensure your member base stays within one tool without needing to sync data across platforms.

What types of communities can I build with Webflow? 

Forums 

Since launching in March of 2024, multiple Webflow sites have used Supersparks to create custom-designed forums with Webflowʼs CMS. Through Supersparks community posting feature, users can create new pages of community discussions from the CMS. Members can then respond to discussions / posts in the comment section. To see a Supersparks  Webflow forum in action, check out this demo project.

A forum custom built using Webflow 

Adapting the design, using Webflows nocode interface

Reviews based communities 

Through Supersparksʼ reviews feature & its integrations with membership toolslike Webflow Memberships, Memberstack, & Outseta, itʼs possible to create a reviews-based community like a Goodreads, Letterboxd, or Rate Your Music. Stackradar is also a great example of this.

In addition to being a powerful library & tool for discovering & building tech stacksfor a business, this very site has cultivated a passionate community where members review & discuss software. Since launching in May, members have posted 200 reviews to Stackradar.

Stackradar's Review Section

Curated Content Feeds 

Atmos is a new tool & browser extension that gives community members the power to curate content from around the internet and publish it to Webflow sites via the CMS. So imagine creating your own custom-designed Pinterest-style feed for your Webflow site. 

The founding team behind Atmos, Colleen & Raymmar, are absolute legends of the Webflow community who are now are leveraging their product to build the State Of Flow community site. In addition to being a popular front page for community curated Webflow news, resources, & events, State of Flow is a powerful showcase of the collaborative & social media capabilities their tool unlocks. 


State Of Flow's homepage feed with curated content from community members 
State Of Flow's content page - also integrated with Supersparksreviews feature.

How can I create a community on my Webflow site? 

The tool we are going to use in this tutorial is Supersparks, which enables community websites within a Webflow site in minutes and gives you the freedom to custom-design every aspect of a community in the Webflow Designer. The main type of community this tutorial will focus on is a forum. For more details on how to build a community like Stackradar, be sure to check out this tutorial

There are two methods for installing a forum: 1 From a template; or 2 From scratch, which we will both cover in this tutorial. After signing up to Supersparks, you can get started with the installation 👇

Template installation 

We recommend starting from a template to speed up the process of designing and developing a new forum from scratch. If the design of the templates are not your cup of tea, you will be happy to know that every aspect of these templates can be adapted in the Webflow designer. But if you would prefer to build from the ground up, we recommend skipping to the next section of this tutorial.

The first step is to clone one of one of our templates from the Webflow showcase. Once this is done, you can either create a new website from the template or add it to an existing website.

A cloneable template from Supersparks

The process of adding a template to an existing site is a bit more complicated, as it requires either setting up a reverse proxy or pasting all of the components from the cloned template to the existing site - the cloned template to the existing site - check out our help desk article, which dives this further into this method.

After these steps have been completed, be sure to check out this video tutorial to help guide you through the installation process. 

Supersparks template select installation step

From scratch installation 

The other method for installing Supersparks is ‘from scratch’. This is ideal if you prefer to design & develop the entire community website for Webflow from scratch, instead of adapt from a template. As a result, this method for setting up a community takes much longer.  

For more details on the installation process, check out our tutorial.

Supersparks from scratch installation

Adapt the design in Webflow 

Now on to the fun part. Once you have implemented Supersparks, you can get started adapting the design template or components in the Webflow designer to look however you want. In addition to changing the layout, styling, & branding, you can treat your community like a digital product by changing your siteʼs UX based on user feedback / behavior.

Adapting the design of the rich text editor form for new forum posts 

Adapting the design of the CMS template page where new posts are generated from.

Membership tools for a Webflow community 

Supersparks integrates with three membership tools commonly used with Webflow sites: Outseta, Memberstack & Webflow Memberships Webflowʼs free memberships feature). These tools will not only act as the authentication (sign up, login, logout, etc) provider for your website, but give you the power to enable paid memberships for your community.

Through Supersparks integrations with these tools, data from member accounts (name, username, avatar, & up to 3 custom fields of your choosing) will automatically be displayed with any content they post to your community site.


Members name, role, company, & avatar data being displayed with content.

To set this up, first go to the 'Memberships' section in Supersparks, select the memberships tool you would like to use, click save, and integrate the member fields for each membership tool. For template installation, this step will already be completed. In this section, you can also enable notification emails to members whenever one of their comments or posts receives a reply.

Supersparks membership settings

Features like spaces, gamifiction, courses, events, & features are not yet possible natively with Supersparks yet. But considering the no-code flexibility Webflowʼs CMS & these membership tools have to offer, itʼs definitely possible to add these extra features with a bit of elbow grease. 

Extra Supersparks features 

Some notable features that are available through Supersparks include: commenting, public profiles, category & topics for posts, upvoting (posts & comments), different filtering / sorting / pagination options with Finsweet Attributes, and much more. Most of these features will come pre-installed with templates.

Supersparks public profile / content history extra feature

Managing community content 

Once you publish your site and it starts receiving content, you can can moderate all of the forum posts & comments posted to your website in the Supersparks dashboard. It's also possible to publish, delete, & unpublish forum posts & comments to your Webflow site.

Creating an engaged community 

Once your community website is live, the work is far from done! First off, you need to convince your audience to join your community. Be sure to focus on the value your community will offer beyond your content - for example, exclusive content, connecting with other like minded people, learning, etc.

Successful communities will then ensure members are engaged, contributing, consuming content, and coming back. To accomplish this, itʼs important to constantly offer value and make members feel special by being present, creating new discussion topics, & connecting directly with your members. Here are some great tips for further encourage engagement within your community.

Wrapping up 

Communities have become one of the most popular monetization channels for creators. And as the creator economy fast approaches its half-a-trillion dollar market projection, standing out will be more & more important for creators. Webflow & its 3rd party tools will allow creators to accomplish this and build a unique community experience without needing to hire a team of developers.

Stay tuned. You are about to see designers & nocoders build some amazing community websites now that these capabilities have been unlocked! If you have any questions or thoughts, do not hesitate to reach out to me at hello@supersparks.io. Thanks for reading!

Supersparks
custom-designed communities in Webflow.
Supersparks is a tool that allows nocoders to create custom-designed community websites using Webflow. Unlike other community tools where you're stuck with a generic template, we leverage Webflow's best-in-class design flexibility & CMS so users can create a community site with custom UX & UI to match their brand and address their users' unique needs.
Supersparks
Supersparks
Supersparks
Features

💬 Comment Section

🔊 Audio Player

💸 Klarna for eCommerce

⚡️ Airtable linking

🌎 Interactive maps

⭐️ Reviews & Ratings

👥 Community Posting

Login or register to join the conversation.

Join the discussion

user-profile

0 comments

Active Here: 0
Be the first to leave a comment.
Loading
Loading
Someone is typing
User
No Name
Set
This is the actual comment. It's can be long or short. And must contain only text information.
Edited
Your comment will appear once approved by a moderator.
User
No Name
Set
This is the actual comment. It's can be long or short. And must contain only text information.
Edited
Your reply will appear once approved by a moderator.
Load More 👇
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Load More 👇
Loading