Widgets are small pieces of functionality such as showing the latest Comments or Flickr Photos. They normally display on the sidebar of your website.

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CI Silverstripe supported module


Widgets are small pieces of functionality such as showing the latest comments or Flickr photos. They normally display on the sidebar of your website.


composer require silverstripe/widgets


Widgets are essentially database relations to other models, mostly page types. By default, they're not added to any of your own models. The easiest and most common way to get started would be to create a single collection of widgets under the name "SideBar" on your Page class. This is handled by an extension which you can enable through your config.yml:

    - SilverStripe\Widgets\Extensions\WidgetPageExtension

Run a dev/build, and adjust your templates to include the resulting sidebar view. The placeholder is called $SideBarView, and loops through all widgets assigned to the current page.

Alternatively, you can add one or more widget collections to your own page types. Here's an example on how to just add widgets to a MyPage type, and call it MyWidgetArea instead. Please ensure you add the correct namespaces for your module.

Installing a widget

By following the "Packaging" rules below, widgets are easily installed. This example uses the Blog module which by default has widgets already enabled.

  • Install the blog module.
  • Download the widget and unzip to the main folder of your Silverstripe website, e.g. to /widget_<widget-name>/. The folder will contain a few files, which generally won't need editing or reading.
  • Run
  • Login to the CMS and go to the 'Blog' page. Choose the "widgets" tab and click the new widget to activate it.
  • Your blog will now have the widget shown


See the docs/en folder.


This library follows Semver. According to Semver, you will be able to upgrade to any minor or patch version of this library without any breaking changes to the public API. Semver also requires that we clearly define the public API for this library.

Reporting Issues

Please create an issue for any bugs you've found, or features you're missing.

  • Install the Widgets Module, see above.
  • Add a WidgetArea field to your Page.
  • Add a new tab to the CMS with a WidgetAreaEditor field for managing the widgets. e.g.



use SilverStripe\CMS\Model\SiteTree;
use SilverStripe\Widgets\Forms\WidgetAreaEditor;
use SilverStripe\Widgets\Model\WidgetArea;

class Page extends SiteTree
    // ...
    private static $has_one = array(
        'MyWidgetArea' => WidgetArea::class

    public function getCMSFields()
        $fields = parent::getCMSFields();
        $fields->addFieldToTab('Root.Widgets', new WidgetAreaEditor('MyWidgetArea'));
        return $fields;

In this case, you need to alter your templates to include the $MyWidgetArea placeholder.

Writing your own widgets

To create a Widget you need at least three files - a php file containing the class, a template file of the same name and a config file called _config.php (if you dont need any config options for the widget to work then you can make it blank). Each widget should be in its own folder like widgets_widgetName/

After installing or creating a new widget, make sure to run db/build?flush=1 at the end of the URL, before attempting to use it.

The class should extend the Widget class, and must specify three config variables:

  • title: The title that will appear in the rendered widget (eg Photos). This can be customised by the CMS admin
  • cmsTitle: a more descriptive title that will appear in the cms editor (eg Flickr Photos)
  • description: a short description that will appear in the cms editor (eg This widget shows photos from Flickr). The class may also specify functions to be used in the template like a page type can.

If a Widget has configurable options, then it can specify a number of database fields to store these options in via the static $db array, and also specify a getCMSFields function that returns a FieldList, much the same way as a page type does.

An example widget is below:



namespace Yourname\MyWidget;

use FlickrService;
use SilverStripe\Widgets\Model\Widget;
use SilverStripe\Forms\FieldList;
use SilverStripe\Forms\TextField;
use SilverStripe\Forms\NumericField;
use SilverStripe\ORM\ArrayList;
use SilverStripe\View\ArrayData;
use SilverStripe\View\Requirements;

class FlickrWidget extends Widget
    private static $db = array(
        'User' => 'Varchar',
        'Photoset' => 'Varchar',
        'Tags' => 'Varchar',
        'NumberToShow' => 'Int'

    private static $defaults = array(
        'NumberToShow' => 8

    private static $title = 'Photos';
    private static $cmsTitle = 'Flickr Photos';
    private static $description = 'Shows flickr photos.';

    public function Photos()
        // You'll need to install these yourself
        Requirements::javascript(THIRDPARTY_DIR . '/prototype/prototype.js');
        Requirements::javascript(THIRDPARTY_DIR . '/scriptaculous/effects.js');

        $flickr = new FlickrService();
        if ($this->Photoset == '') {
            $photos = $flickr->getPhotos($this->Tags, $this->User, $this->NumberToShow, 1);
        } else {
            $photos = $flickr->getPhotoSet($this->Photoset, $this->User, $this->NumberToShow, 1);

        $output = new ArrayList();
        foreach ($photos->PhotoItems as $photo) {
                new ArrayData(
                        'Title' => $photo->title,
                        'Link'  => '' . $photo->image_path .'.jpg',
                        'Image' => '' .$photo->image_path. '_s.jpg'
        return $output;

    public function getCMSFields()
        return new FieldList(
            new TextField('User', 'User'),
            new TextField('PhotoSet', 'Photo Set'),
            new TextField('Tags', 'Tags'),
            new NumericField('NumberToShow', 'Number to Show')

<% control Photos %>
    <a href="$Link" rel="lightbox" title="$Title"><img src="$Image" alt="$Title" /></a>
<% end_control %>

Releasing a widget

Follow the standard procedures defined for releasing a Silverstripe module.

Here is a composer template you can use.

You need to finish off / change:

  • name (eg: yourorganisation/silverstripe-widget-carousel)
  • description
  • keywords
  • license
  • author
    "name": "",
    "description": "",
    "type": "silverstripe-module",
    "keywords" : [
    "require": {
        "silverstripe/framework": "^5.0",
        "silverstripe/cms": "^5.0"
    "license": "BSD-2-Clause",
    "authors": [
            "name": "",
            "email": ""
    "autoload": {
        "psr-4": {
            "Yourname\\MyWidget\\": "src/"

Extending and Customizing

Rendering a $Widget Individually

To call a single Widget in a page - without adding a widget area in the CMS for you to add / delete the widgets, you can define a merge variable in the Page Controller and include it in the Page Template.

This example creates an RSSWidget with the Silverstripe blog feed.

public function SilverStripeFeed()
    $widget = new RSSWidget();
    $widget->RssUrl = '';
    return $widget->renderWith('WidgetHolder');

To render the widget, simply include $SilverStripeFeed in your template:


As directed in the definition of SilverStripeFeed(), the Widget will be rendered through the WidgetHolder template. This is pre-defined at widgets/templates/ and simply consists of:

<div class="WidgetHolder">

You can override the and templates in your theme too by adding WidgetHolder and Widget templates to themes/myThemeName/templates/Includes/

Changing the title of your widget

To change the title of your widget, you need to override the getTitle() method. By default, this simply returns the $title variable. For example, to set your widgets title to 'Hello World!', you could use:


public function getTitle()
    return 'Hello World!';

but, you can do exactly the same by setting your $title variable.

A more common reason for overriding getTitle() is to allow the title to be set in the CMS. Say you had a text field in your widget called WidgetTitle, that you wish to use as your title. If nothing is set, then you'll use your default title. This is similar to the RSS Widget in the blog module.

public function getTitle()
    return $this->WidgetTitle ? $this->WidgetTitle : self::$title;

This returns the value inputted in the CMS, if it's set or what is in the $title variable if it isn't.

Forms within Widgets

To implement a form inside a widget, you need to implement a custom controller for your widget to return this form. Make sure that your controller follows the usual naming conventions, and it will be automatically picked up by the WidgetArea rendering in your template.



namespace Yourname\MyWidget;

use SilverStripe\Widgets\Model\Widget;

class MyWidget extends Widget
    private static $db = array(
        'TestValue' => 'Text'

namespace Yourname\MyWidget;

use SilverStripe\Widgets\Controllers\WidgetController;
use SilverStripe\Forms\Form;
use SilverStripe\Forms\FormAction;
use SilverStripe\Forms\FieldList;
use SilverStripe\Forms\TextField;

class MyWidgetController extends WidgetController
    public function MyFormName()
        return new Form(
            new FieldList(
                new TextField('TestValue')
            new FieldList(
                new FormAction('doAction')

    public function doAction($data, $form)
        // $this->widget points to the widget

To output this form, modify your widget template.



Note: The necessary controller actions are only present in subclasses of PageController. To use widget forms in other controller subclasses, have a look at ContentController->handleWidget() and ContentController::$url_handlers.

But what if I have widgets on my blog currently??

Note: This applies to old versions of the blog module. The latest version of this module does not contain BlogHolder.php.

If you currently have a blog installed, the widget fields are going to double up on those pages (as the blog extends the Page class). One way to fix this is to comment out line 30 in BlogHolder.php and remove the DB entry by running a


class BlogHolder extends Page
    // ........
    static $has_one = array(
        // "Sidebar" => "WidgetArea", COMMENT OUT
        'Newsletter' => 'NewsletterType'
    // .......
    public function getCMSFields()
        $fields = parent::getCMSFields();
        // $fields->addFieldToTab("Root.Widgets", new WidgetAreaEditor("Sidebar")); COMMENT OUT
    // ...

Then you can use the Widget area you defined on Page.php


Translations of the natural language strings are managed through a third party translation interface, Newly added strings will be periodically uploaded there for translation, and any new translations will be merged back to the project source code.

Please use to contribute translations, rather than sending pull requests with YAML files.

See the "i18n" topic on for more details.