Make the consequences of restoring a backup more obvious

Recently, to revert a design change, we restored our Webflow site from a backup. We discovered afterwards that restoring a site changes all the collection and item IDs in the CMS. Because several of our integrations depend on these IDs, many features on our site broke. Fixing them took us about five developer-days.

I can see in the Webflow forum and wishlist that we aren’t alone in feeling this pain. I realize that it may not be possible to keep collection and item IDs constant when restoring a site, but we wanted to recommend a few ways to prevent other Webflow users from experiencing the issue we did.

  1. The Webflow University lesson about restoring backups includes a helpful warning: “When you perform a restore, all CMS Collection and item IDs will refresh.” However, the warning appears at the bottom of the page and is rather subtle and easy to overlook. We recommend moving the warning to a more prominent location.

  2. When you try to restore a backup from the designer or project settings, you see the following warning: “Restoring will change some of your collection IDs, which may break integrations that rely on the CMS API.” This warning is helpful but insufficient. It suggests that only some collection IDs will change (not all of them), and it says nothing about item IDs. We suggest making the text here similar to the warning on the Webflow University page.

  3. Since restoring from a backup is such a destructive action, Webflow users should have the option to disable this feature for specific projects.

  4. In many tools (AWS, Github, Vercel, etc.), before executing a destructive action, a user must manually type a confirmation message, such as the name of the repo they’re about to delete. Webflow could implement a similar confirmation step when a user attempts to restore a backup.

I hope these suggestions are helpful!

  • Speakeasy
  • Jul 9 2021
  • Reviewed