Site definition

A site definition contains site-wide configuration such as navigation, common page areas, and JavaScript that you want to load on every page. A site definition also contains a reference to your theme and defines locales for entering content in multiple languages.

Do I need a site definition?

No, it is not necessary to use a site definition. A site based on concrete template definitions works perfectly well. A site definition is an advanced option. It is useful when you have a large site and want to avoid repeating a similar configuration.

Without a site definition you can still:

  • Choose which templates are available to editors.

  • Add CSS and JavaScript at the page level instead of site level.

  • Configure variations for each page template.

But without a site definition you cannot use:


You need the Site module in order to create a site definition. The Site module may not always be included, for example when you create your own webapp based on the empty webapp. Add a dependency to the Site module in your webapp POM file.

DX Core provides the multisite feature. It allows you to configure a different site definition for each website in a single Magnolia instance. Each site can be mapped to a different domain and you can serve content from different workspaces. These features are in the Multisite module.

Site limitation

In DX Core, the number of sites that can be used is defined by the number of sites purchased.

In the Community Edition, you can only create and use one site.

Configuring a site definition

Configure a site definition in the Site app.

Example: Site definition for the Travel Demo site that ships with Magnolia (partial example).


Property Description





The template prototype is a master template definition which applies to the whole site. Anything you configure in the prototype is applied to all page templates.



Template availability defines which page templates are available to editors in the Pages app. There are more ways to control page template availability.


optional, default is true

Enables and disables the site definition.



Maps domain names to the site. Requires the Multisite module (DX Core).



Reference to a theme that defines the look and feel of the site. Themes are configured in config:/site/config/themes.



Locale configuration and support for entering and serving content in multiple languages.

When configuring the i18n node, make sure to provide the properties class and enabled.


required (when using i18n)

For instance use info.magnolia.cms.i18n.DefaultI18nContentSupport.


optional, default is false



URI mappings that define which node in a workspace should be served when a particular URI is requested.



Custom template properties that you can access from a script without having to write a class.



Variations adapt the site for different devices or geographical locations.

The Site app is actually a shortcut that displays the configuration from:

  • config:/modules/site/config/site and from any extended locations in a single-site setup (Community Edition, DX Core)

  • config:/modules/multisite/config/sites in a multisite setup (DX Core)

Choosing a fallback site definition

fallback is a special site definition that is used when no site matches the request. Think of it as a default.

When you have multiple sites, configure one of them as a fallback. Use the extends property to reference a complete site definition.

Example: Choosing travel as a fallback site definition in /modules/multisite/config/sites :