Creating the page template

Hello Magnolia

You can create a working page template instantly with a CLI command called create-page, but we’ll make the first template by hand for educational reasons.

In the following steps, you’ll learn to create:

  • A CSS-based styling for the page.

  • A page template script file containing FreeMarker directives. The directives make it possible to retrieve the content of some parts of the page from the JCR repository.

  • A page template definition. This makes the template available to Magnolia’s authoring system.

  • A dialog definition. A dialog definition defines the editable page properties.

Create a styling for the page

  1. Create a new css folder in /hello-magnolia/webresources/.

  2. Copy the CSS below and save it as /hello-magnolia/webresources/css/hello-style.css. We will reference this stylesheet in a FreeMarker template script.

    @import url(//;
    body {
       padding: 20px;
       font-family: Raleway, Helvetica, Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif;
       background-color: #1e5799;
       background-attachment: fixed;
    .container {
       width: 100%;
       max-width: 960px;
       margin: 0px auto;
       padding: 20px;
       box-sizing: border-box;
       background-color: white;
    main {
       padding: 20px;
       margin-bottom: 40px;
    h1 {
       font-size: 4em;
       font-family: Raleway, Helvetica, Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif;
       font-weight: normal;
       background-color: #f6f6f6;
       padding: 30px 0 30px 15px;
       margin: 0;
    blockquote {
       margin-top: 65px;
    blockquote cite {
       font-size: 1.3em;
       color: #333;
    blockquote p {
       border: 5px solid #0066aa;
       border-radius: 12px;
       padding: 25px 15px;
       position: relative;
       background-color: #fff;
       margin-bottom: 30px;
    /** Add the bottom triangle for the quote bubble using CSS **/
    blockquote p:before, blockquote p:after {
       position: absolute;
       display: block;
       border-style: solid;
       content: "";
       height: 0;
       width :0;
       box-sizing: border-box;
    blockquote p:before {
       left: 20px;
       bottom: -30px;
       border-color: transparent #0066aa transparent transparent;
       border-width: 0 30px 30px 0;
    blockquote p:after {
       left: 29px;
       bottom: -15px;
       border-color: transparent #fff transparent transparent;
       border-width: 0 15px 15px 0;

Create a page template script

A template script defines the output, typically HTML, and is interpreted by a page renderer. The script below uses a templating language called FreeMarker.

  1. Go to the /hello-magnolia/templates/pages/ folder.

  2. In there, create a file called hello.ftl and copy the following content to it:

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html xml:lang="${cmsfn.language()}" lang="${cmsfn.language()}">
        [ /]
        <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="${ctx.contextPath}/.resources/hello-magnolia/webresources/css/hello-style.css" media="all" />
        <div class="container">
          <h1>${content.windowTitle!content.title!} works!</h1>
    • Line 2: The ${cmsfn.language()} function sets the value of the lang attributes. This will make sure that the primary language of the page will be rendered correctly if you decide to localize your web page(s) into more languages.

    • Line 4: The [ /] directive adds toolbars and makes the page properties dialog available. You will create the definition for this dialog immediately after creating a page template definition.

    • Line 5: The ${content.windowTitle!content.title!} directive retrieves the content of the <title> element from the JCR repository.

    • Line 6: The ${ctx.contextPath} directive creates a reference to the CSS file. When the page is rendered, we need to know the absolute path to the CSS resource. This directive ensures that the path to the resource is full and correct on both the author and the public instances.

    • Line 11: The ${content.windowTitle!content.title!} directive renders the first part of the page title dynamically using the content of page properties.

Create a page template definition

A template definition gives the template a name and makes it available to the system. It also tells the system which script renders the content.

We use YAML to create template definitions.

  1. In /hello-magnolia/templates/pages/hello.yaml create a file named hello.yaml and copy the definition code below into it.

    title: hello
    templateScript: /hello-magnolia/templates/pages/hello.ftl
    renderType: freemarker
    dialog: hello-magnolia:pages/hello
    visible: true

Create a dialog definition for page properties

Copy the following code into a file named hello.yaml in /hello-magnolia/dialogs/pages/:

      $type: textField
      i18n: true
      $type: textField
      i18n: true

A dialog defined like this allows content authors to add and edit the values of page properties such as windowTitle and title fields. The content of these properties is stored in the Magnolia JCR repository.

Provide English labels for dialog fields

Dialog fields and other UI elements can be displayed with labels and descriptions. For the fields of the page properties dialog, provide the labels in form of an i18n language bundle.

Go to the /hello-magnolia/i18n/ folder, edit the file with the following content and save it:

hello-magnolia.pages.hello=Page properties
hello-magnolia.pages.hello.windowTitle=Window title

hello-magnolia.components.quotation.citedPerson=Cited person

Lines 1 to 3 define field labels for the Page properties dialog.
Lines 5 to 7 define labels for the fields of the quotation component, which you will create further on.