Creating admin views

The most common use for adding custom views to the Wagtail admin is to provide an interface for managing a Django model. The Index app makes this simple, providing ready-made views for listing, creating, and editing objects with minimal configuration.

For other kinds of admin views that don’t fit this pattern, you can write your own Django views and register them as part of the Wagtail admin through hooks. In this example, we’ll implement a view that displays a calendar for the current year, using the calendar module from Python’s standard library.

Defining a view

Within a Wagtail project, create a new wagtailcalendar app with ./manage.py startapp wagtailcalendar and add it to your project’s INSTALLED_APPS. (In this case, we’re using the name ‘wagtailcalendar’ to avoid clashing with the standard library’s calendar module - in general, there is no need to use a ‘wagtail’ prefix.)

Edit views.py as follows - note that this is a plain Django view with no Wagtail-specific code.

import calendar

from django.http import HttpResponse
from django.utils import timezone


def index(request):
    current_year = timezone.now().year
    calendar_html = calendar.HTMLCalendar().formatyear(current_year)

    return HttpResponse(calendar_html)

Registering a URL route

At this point, the standard practice for a Django project would be to add a URL route for this view to your project’s top-level URL config module. However, in this case, we want the view to only be available to logged-in users, and to appear within the /admin/ URL namespace which is managed by Wagtail. This is done through the Register Admin URLs hook.

On startup, Wagtail looks for a wagtail_hooks submodule within each installed app. In this submodule, you can define functions to be run at various points in Wagtail’s operation, such as building the URL config for the admin and constructing the main menu.

Create a wagtail_hooks.py file within the wagtailcalendar app containing the following:

from django.urls import path
from wagtail import hooks

from .views import index


@hooks.register('register_admin_urls')
def register_calendar_url():
    return [
        path('calendar/', index, name='calendar'),
    ]

The calendar will now be visible at the URL /admin/calendar/.

A calendar, presented in unstyled HTML

Adding a template

Currently, this view is outputting a plain HTML fragment. Let’s insert this into the usual Wagtail admin page furniture, by creating a template that extends Wagtail’s base template "wagtailadmin/base.html".

Note

The base template and HTML structure are not considered a stable part of Wagtail’s API and may change in future releases.

Update views.py as follows:

import calendar
from django.shortcuts import render
from django.utils import timezone

def index(request):
    current_year = timezone.now().year
    calendar_html = calendar.HTMLCalendar().formatyear(current_year)

    return render(request, 'wagtailcalendar/index.html', {
        'current_year': current_year,
        'calendar_html': calendar_html,
    })

Now create a templates/wagtailcalendar/ folder within the wagtailcalendar app, containing index.html as follows:

{% extends "wagtailadmin/base.html" %}
{% block titletag %}{{ current_year }} calendar{% endblock %}

{% block extra_css %}
    {{ block.super }}
    <style>
        table.month {
            margin: 20px;
        }
        table.month td, table.month th {
            padding: 5px;
        }
    </style>
{% endblock %}

{% block content %}
    {% include "wagtailadmin/shared/header.html" with title="Calendar" icon="date" %}

    <div class="nice-padding">
        {{ calendar_html|safe }}
    </div>
{% endblock %}

Here we are overriding three of the blocks defined in the base template: titletag (which sets the content of the HTML <title> tag), extra_css (which allows us to provide additional CSS styles specific to this page), and content (for the main content area of the page). We’re also including the standard header bar component, and setting a title and icon. For a list of the recognised icon identifiers, see the style guide.

Revisiting /admin/calendar/ will now show the calendar within the Wagtail admin page furniture.

A calendar, shown within the Wagtail admin interface

Adding a menu item

Our calendar view is now complete, but there’s no way to reach it from the rest of the admin backend. To add an item to the sidebar menu, we’ll use another hook, Register Admin Menu Item. Update wagtail_hooks.py as follows:

from django.urls import path, reverse

from wagtail.admin.menu import MenuItem
from wagtail import hooks

from .views import index


@hooks.register('register_admin_urls')
def register_calendar_url():
    return [
        path('calendar/', index, name='calendar'),
    ]


@hooks.register('register_admin_menu_item')
def register_calendar_menu_item():
    return MenuItem('Calendar', reverse('calendar'), icon_name='date')

A ‘Calendar’ item will now appear in the menu.

Wagtail admin sidebar menu, showing a "Calendar" menu item with a date icon

Adding a group of menu items

Sometimes you want to group custom views in a single menu item in the sidebar. Let’s create another view to display only the current calendar month:

import calendar
from django.shortcuts import render
from django.utils import timezone


def index(request):
    current_year = timezone.now().year
    calendar_html = calendar.HTMLCalendar().formatyear(current_year)

    return render(request, 'wagtailcalendar/index.html', {
        'current_year': current_year,
        'calendar_html': calendar_html,
    })

def month(request):
    current_year = timezone.now().year
    current_month = timezone.now().month
    calendar_html = calendar.HTMLCalendar().formatmonth(current_year, current_month)

    return render(request, 'wagtailcalendar/index.html', {
        'current_year': current_year,
        'calendar_html': calendar_html,
    })

We also need to update wagtail_hooks.py to register our URL in the admin interface:

from django.urls import path
from wagtail import hooks

from .views import index, month


@hooks.register('register_admin_urls')
def register_calendar_url():
    return [
        path('calendar/', index, name='calendar'),
        path('calendar/month/', month, name='calendar-month'),
    ]

The calendar will now be visible at the URL /admin/calendar/month/.

A single calender month

Finally we can alter our wagtail_hooks.py to include a group of custom menu items. This is similar to adding a single item but involves importing two more classes, Menu and SubmenuMenuItem.

from django.urls import path, reverse

from wagtail.admin.menu import Menu, MenuItem, SubmenuMenuItem
from wagtail import hooks


from .views import index, month


@hooks.register('register_admin_urls')
def register_calendar_url():
    return [
        path('calendar/', index, name='calendar'),
        path('calendar/month/', month, name='calendar-month'),
    ]


@hooks.register('register_admin_menu_item')
def register_calendar_menu_item():
    submenu = Menu(items=[
        MenuItem('Calendar', reverse('calendar'), icon_name='date'),
        MenuItem('Current month', reverse('calendar-month'), icon_name='date'),
    ])

    return SubmenuMenuItem('Calendar', submenu, icon_name='date')

The ‘Calendar’ item will now appear as a group of menu items. When expanded, the ‘Calendar’ item will now show our two custom menu items.

Wagtail admin sidebar menu, showing an expanded "Calendar" group menu item with a date icon, showing two child menu items, 'Calendar' and 'Month'.