A simple pseudo-static site app with menu, submenu and pages.
Python Graphviz (DOT)
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A simple pseudo-static site app with menu, submenu and pages.


  • A decoupling of navigational structure and content - this allows for setting up a menu/submenu structure for which some menu's and submenu's might refer to other app's views and some might refer to 'pages' in simplesite.
  • Validation of navigational structure: when creating menu or submenu object, the validity of the resulting URI's is automatically checked, preventing the creation of broken links.
  • Rather than implementing a full tree structure, a 2-level menu/submenu hierarchy has been chosen as to maintain simplicity and to help content managers by forcing them to make data accessible using a minimal amount of navigation.
  • Fully integrated TinyMCE WYSIWYG-editor using the django-tinymce package.
  • Inline image support and cross-linking pages from within TinyMCE.
  • A SimplesiteFallbackMiddleware allowing for simplesite to be used similar to the FlatpageFallbackMiddleWare of Django's own flatpages. This allows one to override specific parts of the URI space which would otherwise be covered by other apps.
  • A menu RequestContext processor making a menu- and submenu-list and with it the current page available in the request context.
  • Fully translatable content using the django-multilingual-model app.
  • A simple mechanism allowing for template overrides for specific menu's or submenu's.
  • Integration with Django's sitemaps.


Please refer to requirements.txt for an updated list of required packes.


  1. Install the package and its dependencies straight from Github and link them into your PYTHONPATH:

    pip install django-tinymce \
        -e git+http://github.com/dokterbob/django-metadata.git#egg=django-metadata \
        -e git+http://github.com/dokterbob/django-multilingual-model.git#egg=django-multilingual-model \
        -e git+http://github.com/dokterbob/django-simplesite.git@multilingual-model#egg=django-simplesite \

    (In either case it is recommended that you use VirtualEnv in order to keep your Python environment somewhat clean.)

  2. Add simplesite and to INSTALLED_APPS in settings.py and make sure that the dependencies django-tinymce and django-extensions are there as well:

  3. Update the database structure:

    ./manage.py syncdb
  4. Add the menu context processor to Django's default TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS:


    This will make the following variables available from within any view using a RequestContext for template rendering:

    • menu_current: The current Menu object (if any)
    • submenu_current: The current Submenu object (if any)
    • menu_list: A list of visible main menu items
    • submenu_list: A list of visible submenu items for the current menu
  5. Setup the SimplesiteFallbackMiddleware to go and look for a page related to the menu whenever a 404 is raised:


    Note that the order of MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES matters. Generally, you can put SimplesiteFallbackMiddleware at the end of the list, because it’s a last resort.

    Alternately, you can simply use simplesite's page view directly from your urls.py by adding the following line:

    urlpatterns = patterns('',
        (r'^', include('simplesite.urls'))

    Make sure you add this line at the end of your urlpatterns, otherwise it will make all other URI's inaccessible.

  6. Setup (at least) the page template simplesite/page.html, which receives the context variables from the RequestContext described above.

  7. Optionally, override the basic page template for menu's and submenu's, according to the following template:

  8. Optionally, add simplesite to your Django sitemaps.

    Make sure you install the sitemaps framework first. After that, add something like this to your urls.py:

    from simplesite import sitemaps as simplesite_sitemaps
    sitemaps = {
        'menu': simplesite_sitemaps.MenuSitemap,
        'submenu': simplesite_sitemaps.SubmenuSitemap,
        'pages': simplesite_sitemaps.PageSitemap
    urlpatterns = patterns('',
        # Sitemaps
        (r'^sitemap\.xml$', 'django.contrib.sitemaps.views.sitemap', {'sitemaps': sitemaps}),
  9. Optionally, exclude some URI's regexp's (ie. sitemap or admin) from being treated by the middleware or the context processor:

    import re


  • Add one additional level of navigational depth, a 'subsubmenu'.
  • Make all elements produced by the RequestContextProcessor lazy so we never produce redundant database hits.
  • Write unittests for both master as well as the multilingual-model branches.
  • Find a workflow in which merging of multilingual and master branches becomes a lot easier.
  • PEP8 cleanup.
  • Write decent documentation.
  • Add image size to <img> tags produced by TinyMCE.