Templates & Placeholders

In this tutorial we’ll introduce Placeholders, and we’re also going to show how you can make your own HTML templates CMS-ready.

Templates

You can use HTML templates to customise the look of your website, define Placeholders to mark sections for managed content and use special tags to generate menus and more.

You can define multiple templates, with different layouts or built-in components, and choose them for each page as required. A page’s template can be switched for another at any time.

You’ll find the site’s templates in mysite/templates. If you didn’t change the automatically-created home page’s template, it’s feature.html.

Placeholders

Placeholders are an easy way to define sections in an HTML template that will be filled with content from the database when the page is rendered. This content is edited using django CMS’s frontend editing mechanism, using Django templatetags.

You can see them in feature.html: {% placeholder "feature" %} and {% placeholder "content" %}.

You’ll also see {% load cms_tags %} in that file - cms_tags is the required templatetag library.

If you’re not already familiar with Django templatetags, you can find out more in the Django documentation.

Try removing a placeholder from the template, or adding a new one in the template’s HTML structure.

Static Placeholders

The content of the placeholders we’ve encountered so far is different for every page. Sometimes though you’ll want to have a section on your website which should be the same on every single page, such as a footer block.

You could hardcode your footer into the template, but it would be nicer to be able to manage it through the CMS. This is what static placeholders are for.

Static placeholders are an easy way to display the same content on multiple locations on your website. Static placeholders act almost like normal placeholders, except for the fact that once a static placeholder is created and you added content to it, it will be saved globally. Even when you remove the static placeholders from a template, you can reuse them later.

So let’s add a footer to all our pages. Since we want our footer on every single page, we should add it to our base template (mysite/templates/base.html). Place it at the bottom of the HTML body:

<footer>
  {% static_placeholder 'footer' %}
</footer>

Save the template and return to your browser. Change to Draft and then Structure mode and add some content to it.

After you’ve saved it, you’ll see that it appears on your site’s other pages too.

Rendering Menus

In order to render the CMS’s menu in your template you can use the show_menu tag.

The example we use in mysite/templates/base.html is:

<ul class="nav navbar-nav">
    {% show_menu 0 1 100 100 "menu.html" %}
</ul>

Any template that uses show_menu must load the CMS’s menu_tags library first:

{% load menu_tags %}

If you chose “bootstrap” while setting up with djangocms-installer, the menu will already be there and templates/menu.html will already contain a version that uses bootstrap compatible markup.

Next we’ll look at django CMS plugins.