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A universal, styled link plugin for django-cms.

Why would you use this instead of the djangocms-link Plugin? Well, imagine that you have a number of CMS pages, but you've also defined an app-hook which has a list-view and a detail view that displays any number of model objects? At best, your operator would have to type in the url to that object which is both annoying for the operator and brittle for the system. If the object's absolute_url changes, the link will probably 404 until it is updated.

This plugin also provides more comprehensive support for different link types (intra-page, intra-site and external) and better search-engine support.

The plugin can be used in any placeholder and is "text-enabled" for use in text plugins such as djangocms-text-ckeditor.

This code is tested to work with Python 2.7, Django 1.6 and django-cms 3.0, but should work fine with older versions of each (within reason). One thing to note is that users of Python < 2.7 may need to install importlib from

# This is NOT needed for Django 2.7+
pip install importlib

Optional but Recommended

If django-easy-select2 is available, its Select2 widget will be used in the plugin. This not only provides a much more attractive select box (the venerable Select2), but also provides enhanced useability by allow the operator to narrow the available choices by typing in string. Note the screenshot below does not use select2, but standard Django ChoiceField's widget (a normal select element).

Operator Configuration

Operators can configure the link to go to:

  • A hash (works by itself for linking to an anchor on the current page, or on an internal object page);
  • An internal object (more below);
  • An external URL;

In addition to being very flexible with the link destination, the operator can also affect:

  • The linked text;
  • The link’s title attribute for browser implemented tooltips;
  • The target attribute to open the link in one of same window (default), new window, parent window, top-most frame;
  • Whether search engines should follow this link when indexing via the rel="nofollow" attribute.
  • Zero or more styles as defined by the developer (see below);

Other Features

  • This plugin is also 'allow_children' enabled, so, it can "wrap" other content plugins like images, by accepting them as children plugins;
  • Destination model objects URLs are updated as they change, preventing broken links in most cases.
  • If the destination model object is deleted, this plugin will "decay" from a link to normal text, so that broken links are not left all over your project.

Features coming soon!

  • A management tool to assist in finding plugins whose destination objects no longer exist.

Developer Configuration

Available Internal Destination Choices

The developer can easily configure which internal objects may be link destinations as follows:

In the projects, define the setting DJANGOCMS_STYLEDLINK_MODELS.

By default, this is set to:

        'type': 'CMS Pages',
        'class_path': 'cms.models.Page',
        'manager_method': 'public',
        'filter': { 'publisher_is_draft': False },

which will allow the user to select any published CMS Page as an internal destination.

The developer may update this setting to include other models as well. Each model is specified within its own dict. The resulting drop-down list will contain objects grouped by their type. The order of the types in the list is defined by the order of their definition in this setting.

The only required attribute for each model is class_path, which must be the full path to the model.

Additional attributes are:

  • type: This is the name that will appear in the grouped dropdown menu. If not specified, the name of the class will be used E.g., "Page".

  • filter: You can specify additional filtering rules here. This must be specified as a dict but is converted directly into kwargs internally, so, {'published': True} becomes filter(published=True) for example.

  • order_by: Specify the ordering of any found objects exactly as you would in a queryset. If this is not provided, the objects will be ordered in the natural order of your model, if any.

NOTE: Each of the defined models must define a get_absolute_url() method on its objects or the configuration will be rejected.

NOTE: At this time, all choices are rendered as a grouped drop-down list. If your project will present a very large number of choices for the configured models, you should consider another solution until we can find another solution for this project.

An example of multiple types.

        'type': 'Clients',
        'class_path': 'myapp.Client',
        'manager_method': 'published',
        'order_by': 'title'
        'type': 'Projects',
        'class_path': 'myapp.Project',
        'filter': { 'approved': True },
        'order_by': 'title',
        'type': 'Solutions',
        'class_path': 'myapp.Solution',
        'filter': { 'published': True },
        'order_by': 'name',

Link Styles

The developer can also define a number of link styles. These are "defined" by creating the appropriate CSS class and rules and adding this class to the StyledLinkStyle objects in the appropriate Administration panel.

The template for the resulting link is carefully crafted using only <span>'s so that the link will work as a inline element and, with appropriate styling, as an inline-block or even block-level element.

<span class="plugin_styledlink [Selected StyledLink Style classnames]">
    <span class="inner">
        [ link and link content ]

We've found this to be extremely flexible and allows for a wide variety of styles, but if you find this is too limiting, you may override the template in the normal Django manner.

Note that the operator can choose multiple styles at the same time, so the CSS rules should allow for this, carefully considering how combinations of styles should render.

Preview of plugin

This is an animated GIF preview of the plugin UI for a ficticious set of data. It alternates between the plain form and with the drop-menu menu invoked.