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Component Development


Components files and directories reside in the /components subdirectory of a plugin directory. Each component has a PHP file defining the component class and an optional component partials directory. The component partials directory name matches the component class name written in lowercase. An example of a component directory structure:

📂 plugins
 ┗ 📂 acme
   ┗ 📂 myplugin
     ┣ 📂 components
     ┃ ┣ 📂 componentname        <=== Component partials directory
     ┃ ┃ ┗ 📜 default.htm        <=== Component default markup (optional)
     ┃ ┣ 📂 partials             <=== Any partials shared by more than one component in the plugin
     ┃ ┃ ┗ 📜 partialname.htm
     ┃ ┗ 📜 ComponentName.php    <=== Component class file
     ┗ 📜 Plugin.php

Components must be registered in the Plugin registration class with the registerComponents method.

Component class definition

The component class file defines the component functionality and component properties. The component class file name should match the component class name. Component classes should extend the \Cms\Classes\ComponentBase class. The component from the next example should be defined in the plugins/acme/blog/components/BlogPosts.php file.

namespace Acme\Blog\Components;

class BlogPosts extends \Cms\Classes\ComponentBase
    public function componentDetails()
        return [
            'name' => 'Blog Posts',
            'description' => 'Displays a collection of blog posts.'

    // This array becomes available on the page as {{ component.posts }}
    public function posts()
        return ['First Post', 'Second Post', 'Third Post'];

The componentDetails method is required. The method should return an array with two keys: name and description. The name and description are display in the CMS backend user interface.

When this component is attached to a page or layout, the class properties and methods become available on the page through the component variable, which name matches the component short name or the alias. For example, if the BlogPost component from the previous example was defined on a page with its short name:

url = "/blog"


You would be able to access its posts method through the blogPosts variable. Note that Twig supports the property notation for methods, so that you don't need to use brackets.

{% for post in blogPosts.posts %}
    {{ post }}
{% endfor %}

Component registration

Components must be registered by overriding the registerComponents method inside the Plugin registration class. This tells the CMS about the Component and provides a short name for using it. An example of registering a component:

public function registerComponents()
    return [
        'Winter\Demo\Components\Todo' => 'demoTodo'

This will register the Todo component class with the default alias name demoTodo. More information on using components can be found at the CMS components article.

Component properties

When you add a component to a page or layout you can configure it using properties. The properties are defined with the defineProperties method of the component class. The next example shows how to define a component property:

public function defineProperties()
    return [
        'maxItems' => [
                'title'             => 'Max items',
                'description'       => 'The most amount of todo items allowed',
                'default'           => 10,
                'type'              => 'string',
                'validationPattern' => '^[0-9]+$',
                'validationMessage' => 'The Max Items property can contain only numeric symbols'

The method should return an array with the property keys as indexes and property parameters as values. The property keys are used for accessing the component property values inside the component class. The property parameters are defined with an array with the following keys:

Key Description
title required, the property title, it is used by the component Inspector in the CMS backend.
description required, the property description, it is used by the component Inspector in the CMS backend.
default optional, the default property value to use when the component is added to a page or layout in the CMS backend.
type optional, specifies the property type. The type defines the way how the property is displayed in the Inspector. Currently supported types are string, checkbox, dropdown and set. Default value: string.
validationPattern optional Regular Expression to use when a user enters the property value in the Inspector. The validation can be used only with string properties.
validationMessage optional error message to display if the validation fails.
required optional, forces field to be filled. Uses validationMessage when left empty.
placeholder optional placeholder for string and dropdown properties.
options optional array of options for dropdown properties.
depends an array of property names a dropdown property depends on. See the dropdown properties below.
group an optional group name. Groups create sections in the Inspector simplifying the user experience. Use a same group name in multiple properties to combine them.
showExternalParam specifies visibility of the External Parameter editor for the property in the Inspector. Default value: true.

Inside the component you can read the property value with the property method:


If the property value is not defined, you can supply the default value as a second parameter of the property method:

$this->property('maxItems', 6);

You can also load all the properties as array:

$properties = $this->getProperties();

To access the property from the Twig partials for the component, utilize the __SELF__ variable which refers to the Component object:

{{ __SELF__.property('maxItems') }}

A dropdown allows you to select a single value from a series of options. A set allows you to select multiple values from a series of options.

The option list for dropdown and set properties can be static or dynamic. Static options are defined with the options property for dropdowns and the items property for sets. Example:

public function defineProperties()
    return [
        'units' => [
            'title'       => 'Units',
            'type'        => 'dropdown',
            'default'     => 'imperial',
            'placeholder' => 'Select units',
            'options'     => ['metric'=>'Metric', 'imperial'=>'Imperial']
        'favoriteFruits' => [
            'title' => 'Favorite fruits',
            'type' => 'set',
            'items' => [
                'apples' => 'Apples',
                'bananas' => 'Bananas',
                'cantaloupes' => 'Cantaloupes',
            'default' => ['bananas', 'cantaloupes'],

The list of options or items could be fetched dynamically from the server when the Inspector is displayed. If the options parameter is omitted for dropdowns or the items parameter is omitted for sets, the list is considered dynamic. The component class must define a method returning this list. The method should have a name in the following format: get*Property*Options, where Property is the property name, for example: getCountryOptions. The method returns an array of options with the option values as keys and option labels as values. Example of a dynamic dropdown list definition:

public function defineProperties()
    return [
        'country' => [
            'title'   => 'Country',
            'type'    => 'dropdown',
            'default' => 'us'

public function getCountryOptions()
    return ['us' => 'United states', 'ca' => 'Canada'];

Dynamic dropdown and set lists can depend on other properties. For example, the state list could depend on the selected country. The dependencies are declared with the depends parameter in the property definition. The next example defines two dynamic dropdown properties and the state list depends on the country:

public function defineProperties()
    return [
        'country' => [
            'title'       => 'Country',
            'type'        => 'dropdown',
            'default'     => 'us'
        'state' => [
            'title'       => 'State',
            'type'        => 'dropdown',
            'default'     => 'dc',
            'depends'     => ['country'],
            'placeholder' => 'Select a state'

In order to load the state list you should know what country is currently selected in the Inspector. The Inspector POSTs all property values to the getPropertyOptions handler, so you can do the following:

public function getStateOptions()
    $countryCode = Request::input('country'); // Load the country property value from POST

    $states = [
        'ca' => ['ab' => 'Alberta', 'bc' => 'British Columbia'],
        'us' => ['al' => 'Alabama', 'ak' => 'Alaska'],

    return $states[$countryCode];

Page list properties

Sometimes components need to create links to the website pages. For example, the blog post list contains links to the blog post details page. In this case the component should know the post details page file name (then it can use the page Twig filter). Winter includes a helper for creating dynamic dropdown page lists. The next example defines the postPage property which displays a list of pages:

public function defineProperties()
    return [
        'postPage' => [
            'title' => 'Post page',
            'type' => 'dropdown',
            'default' => 'blog/post'

public function getPostPageOptions()
    return Page::sortBy('baseFileName')->lists('baseFileName', 'baseFileName');

Routing parameters

Components can directly access routing parameter values defined in the URL of the page.

// Returns the URL segment value, eg: /page/:post_id
$postId = $this->param('post_id');

In some cases a component property may act as a hard coded value or reference the value from the URL.

This hard coded example shows the blog post with an identifier 2 being used:

url = "/blog/hard-coded-page"

id = "2"

Alternatively the value can be referenced dynamically from the page URL using an external property value:

url = "/blog/:my_custom_parameter"

id = "{{ :my_custom_parameter }}"

In both cases the value can be retrieved by using the property method:


If you need to access the routing parameter name:

$this->paramName('id'); // Returns "my_custom_parameter"

Handling the page execution cycle

Components can be involved in the Page execution cycle events by overriding the onRun method in the component class. The CMS controller executes this method every time when the page or layout loads. Inside the method you can inject variables to the Twig environment through the page property:

public function onRun()
    // This code will be executed when the page or layout is
    // loaded and the component is attached to it.

    $this->page['var'] = 'value'; // Inject some variable to the page

Page execution life cycle handlers

When a page loads, Winter executes handler functions that could be defined in the layout and page PHP section and component classes. The sequence the handlers are executed is following:

  1. Layout onInit() function.
  2. Page onInit() function.
  3. Layout onStart() function.
  4. Layout components onRun() method.
  5. Layout onBeforePageStart() function.
  6. Page onStart() function.
  7. Page components onRun() method.
  8. Page onEnd() function.
  9. Layout onEnd() function.

Component initialization

Sometimes you may wish to execute code at the time the component class is first instantiated. You may override the init method in the component class to handle any initialization logic, this will execute before AJAX handlers and before the page execution life cycle. For example, this method can be used for attaching another component to the page dynamically.

public function init()
    $this->addComponent('Acme\Blog\Components\BlogPosts', 'blogPosts');

Halting with a response

Like all methods in the page execution life cycle, if the onRun method in a component returns a value, this will stop the cycle at this point and return the response to the browser. Here we return an access denied message using the Response facade:

public function onRun()
    if (true) {
        return Response::make('Access denied!', 403);

You can also return a 404 response from the onRun method:

public function onRun()
    if (true) {
        return $this->controller->run('404');

AJAX handlers

Components can host AJAX event handlers. They are defined in the component class exactly like they can be defined in the page or layout code. An example AJAX handler method defined in a component class:

public function onAddItem()
    $value1 = post('value1');
    $value2 = post('value2');
    $this->page['result'] = $value1 + $value2;

If the alias for this component was demoTodo this handler can be accessed by demoTodo::onAddItem. Please see the Calling AJAX handlers defined in components article for details about using AJAX with components.

Default markup

All components can come with default markup that is used when including it on a page with the {% component %} tag, although this is optional. Default markup is kept inside the component partials directory, which has the same name as the component class in lower case.

The default component markup should be placed in a file named default.htm. For example, the default markup for the Demo ToDo component is defined in the file /plugins/winter/demo/components/todo/default.htm. It can then be inserted anywhere on the page by using the {% component %} tag:

url = "/todo"

{% component 'demoTodo' %}

The default markup can also take parameters that override the component properties at the time they are rendered.

{% component 'demoTodo' maxItems="7" %}

These properties will not be available in the onRun method since they are established after the page cycle has completed. Instead they can be processed by overriding the onRender method in the component class. The CMS controller executes this method before the default markup is rendered.

public function onRender()
    // This code will be executed before the default component
    // markup is rendered on the page or layout.

    $this->page['var'] = 'Maximum items allowed: ' . $this->property('maxItems');

Component partials

In addition to the default markup, components can also offer additional partials that can be used on the frontend or within the default markup itself. If the Demo ToDo component had a pagination partial, it would be located in /plugins/winter/demo/components/todo/pagination.htm and displayed on the page using:

{% partial 'demoTodo::pagination' %}

A relaxed method can be used that is contextual. If called inside a component partial, it will directly refer to itself. If called inside a theme partial, it will scan all components used on the page/layout for a matching partial name and use that.

{% partial '@pagination' %}

Multiple components can share partials by placing the partial file in a directory called components/partials. The partials found in this directory are used as a fallback when the usual component partial cannot be found. For example, a shared partial located in /plugins/acme/blog/components/partials/shared.htm can be displayed on the page by any component using:

{% partial '@shared' %}

Referencing "self"

Components can reference themselves inside their partials by using the __SELF__ variable. By default it will return the component's short name or alias.

<form data-request="{{__SELF__}}::onEventHandler">

Components can also reference their own properties.

{% for item in __SELF__.items() %}
    {{ item }}
{% endfor %}

If inside a component partial you need to render another component partial concatenate the __SELF__ variable with the partial name:

{% partial __SELF__~"::screenshot-list" %}

Unique identifier

If an identical component is called twice on the same page, an id property can be used to reference each instance.

{{ __SELF__.id }}

The ID is unique each time the component is displayed.

<!-- ID: demoTodo527c532e9161b -->
{% component 'demoTodo' %}

<!-- ID: demoTodo527c532ec4c33 -->
{% component 'demoTodo' %}

Rendering partials from code

You may programmatically render component partials inside the PHP code using the renderPartial method. This will check the component for the partial named component-partial.htm and return the result as a string. The second parameter is used for passing view variables. The same path resolution logic applies when you render a component partial in PHP as it does with Twig; use the @ prefix to refer to partials within the component itself.

$content = $this->renderPartial('@component-partial.htm');

$content = $this->renderPartial('@component-partial.htm', [
    'name' => 'John Smith'

For example, to render a partial as a response to an AJAX handler:

function onGetTemplate()
    return ['#someDiv' => $this->renderPartial('@component-partial.htm')];

Another example could be overriding the entire page view response by returning a value from the onRun page cycle method. This code will specifically return an XML response using the Response facade:

public function onRun()
    $content = $this->renderPartial('@default.htm');
    return Response::make($content)->header('Content-Type', 'text/xml');

Injecting page assets with components

Components can inject assets (CSS and JavaScript files) to pages or layouts they're attached to by using the controller's addCss and addJs methods to add assets to the CMS controllers. This should be done in the component's onRun method. See the Asset Compiler docs for more information

public function onRun()

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