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CMS Pages

Introduction

All websites have pages. In Winter, frontend pages are rendered by page templates. Page template files reside in the /pages subdirectory of a theme directory. Page file names do not affect the routing, but it's a good idea to name your pages according to the page's function. The files should have the htm extension. The Configuration and Twig template sections are required for pages, but the PHP section is optional. Below, you can see the simplest home page example:

url = "/"
==
<h1>Hello, world!</h1>

Page configuration

Page configuration is defined in the Configuration Section of the page template file. The page configuration defines the page parameters, required for the routing and rendering the page and its Components, which are explained in another article. The following configuration parameters are supported for pages:

Parameter Description
url the page URL, required. The URL syntax is described below.
title the page title, required.
layout the page layout, optional. If specified, should contain the name of the layout file, without extension, for example: default.
description the page description for the backend interface, optional.
hidden hidden pages are accessible only by logged-in backend users, optional.

URL syntax

The page URL is defined with the url configuration parameter. URLs should start with the forward slash character, and can contain parameters. URLs without parameters are fixed and strict. In the following example, the page URL is /blog.

url = "/blog"

NOTE: The page URL is case-insensitive by default.

URLs with parameters are more flexible. A page with the URL pattern defined in the following example would be displayed for any address like /blog/post/something. URL parameters can be accessed by Winter components or from the page PHP code section.

url = "/blog/post/:post_id"

This is how you can access the URL parameter from the page's PHP section (see the Dynamic pages section for more details):

url = "/blog/post/:post_id"
==
function onStart()
{
    $post_id = $this->param('post_id');
}
==

Parameter names should be compatible with PHP variable names. To make a parameter optional, add a question mark after its name:

url = "/blog/post/:post_id?"

Parameters in the middle of the URL cannot be optional. In the next example, the :post_id parameter is marked as optional, but is processed as required.

url = "/blog/:post_id?/comments"

Optional parameters can have default values which are used as fallback values in case the real parameter value is not presented in the URL. Default values cannot contain any asterisks, pipe symbols, or question marks. The default value is specified after the question mark. In the next example, the category_id parameter would be 10 for the URL /blog/category.

url = "/blog/category/:category_id?10"

You can also use regular expressions to validate parameters. To add a validation expression, add a pipe symbol after the parameter name, or a question mark, and specify the expression. The forward slash symbol is not allowed in these expressions. Examples:

url = "/blog/:post_id|^[0-9]+$/comments" - this will match /blog/10/comments
...
url = "/blog/:post_id|^[0-9]+$" - this will match /blog/3
...
url = "/blog/:post_name?|^[a-z0-9\-]+$" - this will match /blog/my-blog-post

It is possible to use a special wildcard parameter by placing an asterisk after the parameter. Unlike regular parameters, wildcard parameters can match one or more URL segments. A URL can only ever contain a single wildcard parameter, cannot use regular expressions, or be followed by an optional parameter.

url = "/blog/:category*/:slug"

Wildcard parameters themselves can be made optional by preceding the asterisk with the ? character however.

url = "/blog/:slug?*"

For example, a URL like /color/:color/make/:make*/edit will match /color/brown/make/volkswagen/beetle/retro/edit and extract the following parameter values:

  • color: brown
  • make: volkswagen/beetle/retro

NOTE: Subdirectories do not affect page URLs - the URL is defined only with the url parameter.

Dynamic pages

Inside the Twig section of a page template, you can use any functions, filters, and tags provided by Winter. Any dynamic page requires variables. In Winter, variables may be prepared by the page, layout PHP section, or by Components. In this article, we describe how to prepare variables in the PHP section.

Page execution life cycle

There are special functions that can be defined in the PHP section of pages and layouts: onInit, onStart, and onEnd. The onInit function is executed when all components are initialized and before AJAX requests are handled. The onStart function is executed during the beginning of the page execution. The onEnd function is executed before the page is rendered and after the page components are executed. In the onStart and onEnd functions, you can inject variables into the Twig environment. Use array notation to pass variables to the page:

url = "/"
==
function onStart()
{
    $this['hello'] = "Hello world!";
}
==
<h3>{{ hello }}</h3>

The next example is more complicated. It shows how to load a blog post collection from the database, and display on the page (the Acme\Blog plugin is imaginary):

url = "/blog"
==
use Acme\Blog\Classes\Post;

function onStart()
{
  $this['posts'] = Post::orderBy('created_at', 'desc')->get();
}
==
<h2>Latest posts</h2>
<ul>
    {% for post in posts %}
        <h3>{{ post.title }}</h3>
        {{ post.content }}
    {% endfor %}
</ul>

The default variables and Twig extensions provided by Winter are described in the Markup Guide. The sequence that the handlers are executed in is described by the Dynamic layouts article.

Sending a custom response

All methods defined in the execution life cycle have the ability to halt the process and return a response - simply return a response from the life cycle function. The example below will not load any page contents, and instead return the string Hello world! to the browser:

function onStart()
{
    return 'Hello world!';
}

A more useful example might be triggering a redirect using the Redirect facade:

public function onStart()
{
    return Redirect::to('http://google.com');
}

Handling forms

You can handle standard forms with handler methods defined in the page or layout PHP section (handling the AJAX requests is explained in the AJAX Framework article). Use the form_open() function to define a form that refers to an event handler. Example:

{{ form_open({ request: 'onHandleForm' }) }}
    Please enter a string: <input type="text" name="value"/>
    <input type="submit" value="Submit me!"/>
{{ form_close() }}
<p>Last submitted value: {{ lastValue }}</p>

The onHandleForm function can be defined in the page or layout PHP section, like so:

function onHandleForm()
{
    $this['lastValue'] = post('value');
}

The handler loads the value with the post function and initializes the page's lastValue attribute variable which is displayed below the form in the first example.

NOTE: If a handler with the same name is defined in the page layout, the page, and a page component, Winter will execute the page handler. If a handler is defined in a component and a layout, the layout handler will be executed. The handler precedence is: page, layout, component.

If you want to refer to a handler defined in a specific component, use the component's name or alias in the handler reference:

{{ form_open({ request: 'myComponent::onHandleForm' }) }}

404 page

If the theme contains a page with the URL /404, it is displayed when the system can't find a requested page.

Error page

By default, any errors will be shown with a detailed error page containing the file contents, line number, and stack trace where the error occurred. You can display a custom error page by setting the configuration value debug to false in the config/app.php script, and creating a page with the URL /error.

Page variables

The properties of a page can be accessed in the PHP code section, or Components by referencing $this->page.

function onEnd()
{
    $this->page->title = 'A different page title';
}

They can also be accessed in the markup using the this.page variable. For example, to return the title of a page:

<p>The title of this page is: {{ this.page.title }}</p>

More information can be found at this.page in the Markup guide.

Injecting page assets programmatically

If needed, you can inject assets (CSS and JavaScript files) into pages with the controller's addCss and addJs methods. It could be done in the onStart function defined in the PHP section of a page or layout template. Example:

function onStart()
{
    $this->addCss('assets/css/hello.css');
    $this->addJs('assets/js/app.js');
}

See the Asset Compiler docs for more information.

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