Access Contao content via an easy to use JSON-API

2.6.3 2020-04-29 11:40 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-06-16 15:09:57 UTC


Contao Content API

We at Die Schittigs love Contao, but the web moves forward and static HTML templating just doesn't cut it anymore. Thus we came up with an easily digestible JSON-API to access Contao content via JavaScript (or anything else that can handle JSON).

With the Contao Content API it is possible to write the entire Frontend of your website in React.js, Angular, vue, or any other JS-framework. All while still using the great Contao Backend.


You'll need an up-and-running Contao 4.4.x installation. Please note that the API is not compatible with Contao 3.x.


Install composer if you haven't already, enter this command in the main directory of your Contao installation:

composer require dieschittigs/contao-content-api

Contao Content API is now installed and ready to use.


Once installed, the following routes are available:


Gets the sitemap including the root pages.



Gets all pages as key value pairings where the key is the URL.



Gets all URLs from the generated sitemap XML(s). If you define a file, only that XML will be parsed.



Gets the page, including all articles and contents at the url.



Gets the news reader content from the url



Tries to get the page at the url, and contents from any reader



Gets the logged-in frontend user, if available.



Gets the content of a module by id



Gets the content of a language file by filename(s)



Gets the file or directory at path and also it's children, limited by depth


All routes also take the additional lang parameter (e.g. ?lang=de). If you need to override the language.


Disabling the API

Edit your parameters.yml.


The API routes are now all disabled. This may be helpful if you only want to use the classes included in the bundle.

Response headers

Edit your parameters.yml.

    'Access-Control-Allow-Origin': 'https://mysite.org'

These headers will be added to all responses from the API.

Custom readers

Contao has the concept of Reader Module (e.g. News Reader). These can be inserted anywhere inside of an article where they read the URL to display their contents. If you want to add additional Reader Modules, you can do so by adding them in your parameters.yml.

        newsreader: NewsModel
        blogreader: BlogModel

Please note that the second parameter is the model class, not the module class. The new reader is now available at


or, if you want to include the whole page, at


Internally the API tries to instantiate the model with the alias found in the url. It also tries to add all ContentModels it can find.


We provide some basic hooks:

class Hooks{

    // $GLOBALS['TL_HOOKS']['apiBeforeInit']
    public static apiBeforeInit(Request $request){
        return $request

    // $GLOBALS['TL_HOOKS']['apiAfterInit']
    public static apiAfterInit(Request $request){
        return $request

    // $GLOBALS['TL_HOOKS']['apiContaoJson']
    public static apiContaoJson(ContaoJson $contaoJson, mixed $data){
        if($data instanceof ContentModel){
            $contaoJson->data = null;
            // End of the line
            return false;
        // Do your thing, ContaoJson
        return true;


    // $GLOBALS['TL_HOOKS']['apiResponse']
    public static apiResponse(mixed $data){
        $data->tamperedWith = true;
        return $data;


    // $GLOBALS['TL_HOOKS']['apiModuleGenerated']
    public static function apiModuleGenerated(ApiModule $module, string $moduleClass)
        // Override the way certain modules are handled
        if ($moduleClass != 'Contao\ModuleBlogList') {
        $_module = new ModuleBlogList($module->model, null);
        $module->items = $_module->fetchItems(


The classes crafted for the API might be a good starting point if you want to build anything on top of Contao.

Check out the docs here


Bug reports and pull requests are very welcome :)

© Die Schittigs GmbH 2019