Kickstart Webflow hybrid apps with this template

This article provides a step-by-step guide to setting up a Webflow hybrid app using a streamlined starter template, covering initial setup, authorization, and customization.

Kickstart Webflow hybrid apps with this template
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I’ve been exploring Webflow apps at Lunch Pail Labs and in this article, I’m diving deep into a starter for Webflow hybrid apps. Drawing from Webflow's excellent hybrid app example, I slimmed it into a more generalized version for kickstarting a variety of hybrid apps.
 
The starter is currently spartan and incorporates some adaptable elements from Webflow’s original example, such as Webflow authentication, user login functionality, redirects, and API access. So with that said, let's dive in!
 

Initial setup

Ensure you have the following:
  • Node.js (version 18.17+): This starter requires a newer version of Node than Webflow apps typically require due to its reliance on Next.js.
  • A test-ready Webflow site.
To get this set up:
  1. Clone the repository using the following command in your terminal:
    1. git clone https://github.com/lunchpaillola/webflow-hybrid-app-starter.git
       
  1. Navigate to the project directory and install dependencies
    1. cd webflow-hybrid-app-starter
      npm install
       
  1. Install the necessary packages in the data-client directory
    1. // Navigate to /data-client and install dependencies
      cd data-client
      npm install
       
  1. Install the necessary packages in the designer-extension directory
    1. // Navigate to /designer-extension and install dependencies
      cd ../designer-extension
      npm install
  1. Copy the .env.example file to .env.local in both the data-client and designer-extension directories. Update the environment variables with your CLIENT_ID, CLIENT_SECRET, and backend URL.
    1. notion image
 
That’s all for setup.
 

How does it work?

When users visit your app’s URL, they are greeted with a Webflow login modal. This allows them to authorize the integration with an app on their site. This login functionality is implemented in the page.js file, located within the \login folder of the \data-client directory (link to page.js file)
notion image
 
Users proceed to the authorization step. This process is managed in the webflow-redirect file located in the \data-client directory (link to webflow-redirect.jsx ).
 
notion image
After authorization, users can choose to copy their token. In a regular browsing session, the token will automatically be set, eliminating the need for manual copying. However, if users are in incognito mode, they'll have the option to copy and save their token for later use. This process is handled by page.js in the /data-client directory (link to page.js file).
 
notion image
 
Within the Webflow editor, users can launch and use the application through Webflow's designer interface. The main code for this extension is located in page.tsx within the /designer-extension directory. (link to page.tsx file)
notion image
 
The next section delves deeper into the project structure and highlights key files to customize

Project structure

This starter embodies a hybrid app structure, combining a designer extension and a data client.
 
The table below details the key files in the root directory.
Name
Purpose
package.json
Holds project metadata and manages the list of dependencies and scripts.
data-client
Contains backend logic interfacing with Webflow's API and other services.
designer-extension
Holds the files for a browser extension to enhance the Webflow design experience.
 

Data client directory

This directory serves as the backend hub, handling user authorization and interactions with Webflow's REST APIs and other external APIs.
 
The table below outlines the critical files within the data-client directory. While you might need to modify several files, prioritize the ones marked with a ✎ pencil icon for app customization.
 
File
Purpose
.env.example
Contains environment variable templates and sample values for initial setup.
/components
Holds components for the app
/app
The main area for application building, including login and API routes.
/utils
Stores utility scripts such as webflow_helper.js for Webflow authorization. Add additional utilities here as required.
package.json
Holds project metadata and manages the list of dependencies and scripts.
middleware.js
Retrieves an access token from Webflow; redirects to log in if missing.
/public
Stores logos and other public-facing assets.
 
The /app directory is where the bulk of customization happens, from altering styles to modifying functionality or adding new API routes.
 
Name
Purpose
globals.css
Modify the data client’s styling here.
page.js
Customizes the startup view for logged-in users.
/webflow_redirect
Manages the redirection to Webflow.
/login
Customizes the startup view and branding/styling for logged-out users.
/api
Handles interactions with third-party apps and Webflow's REST APIs.
layout.js
Sets the globally shared UI within the data client
 

Designer extension directory

The designer extension serves as the user interface for the Webflow app within Webflow, establishing the link with Webflow's designer APIs.
 
The table below details the key files in the designer extension directory. While you might need to modify several files, prioritize the ones marked with a ✎ pencil icon for app customization.
Name
Purpose
webflow.json
Defines your extension metadata and sets the display size options: default, comfortable, and large.
/src/app
The core of the extension where components, icons, and single-page app logic are unified.
.env.example
Contains environment variable templates and sample values for the initial setup.
package.json
Holds project metadata and manages the list of dependencies and scripts.
/public
Stores logos and other public-facing assets.
 
The /src/app directory is where you'll build the core logic for the single-page application within the extension. Users see and interact with the page.tsx, making it the central file for the extension's user interface
 
Name
Purpose
page.tsx
Customizes the extension's interface and functionality.
/types
Stores any necessary types for files in the /designer-extension
/components
Hosts components useful for organizing and managing distinct screens in the page.tsx
globals.css
Modify the designer extensions styling here.
/icons
Contains all the icon assets for the extension.
layout.tsx
Sets the globally shared UI within the extension
 
 
This starter is just the beginning – it's a living project that will evolve with new utilities and app UI components for Webflow. If there's something specific you're looking to include or if you have any ideas, I'd be thrilled to hear from you! Don't hesitate to drop a line at hey@lunchpaillabs.com.
 
 
 

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Written by

Lola
Lola

Lola is the founder of Lunch Pail Labs. She enjoys discussing product, SaaS integrations, and running a business. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.