Build your CMS

This guide shows step by step how to use the tools provided by feincms3 to build your own CMS.


If you just want to quickly check out what feincms3 is capable of, have a look at the feincms3-example project. It shows how everything works together, but also uses advanced functionality which might be confusing to newcomers and is not necessary for smaller CMS projects.

Getting started

Install feincms3 and all recommended dependencies:

pip install feincms3[all]

Add the following settings:

     # Optional, but not for this guide:

Configure the rich text editor

The bundled rich text plugin (which we’re going to integrate) uses feincms3.cleanse.CleansedRichTextField which always sends HTML through html-sanitizer. The default configuration of HTML sanitizer is really restrictive and removes images (besides other things such as normalizing the HTML and removing script tags etc.)

The corresponding django-ckeditor configuration follows. It should also be added to your settings:

# Configure django-ckeditor
    "default": {
        "toolbar": "Custom",
        "format_tags": "h1;h2;h3;p;pre",
        "toolbar_Custom": [[
            "Format", "RemoveFormat", "-",
            "Bold", "Italic", "Subscript", "Superscript", "-",
            "NumberedList", "BulletedList", "-",
            "Anchor", "Link", "Unlink", "-",
            "HorizontalRule", "SpecialChar", "-",
CKEDITOR_CONFIGS["richtext-plugin"] = CKEDITOR_CONFIGS["default"]


HTML copy-pasted from other sources (e.g. Word) is often messy. It is generally a good idea to sanitize HTML on the server side to prevent XSS attacks or even just the general uglyness that results from giving website editors too much freedom.

We almost never allow embedding images, tables etc. into rich text elements on our sites. It is just too easy to add a 10MB JPEG or even a BMP file and scale it down to 50x50. Adding images as a separate plugin has other benefits too: No parsing of rich texts to replace images, it’s much easier to e.g. create a lightbox, use the first image on the site as teaser image or whatever comes to your mind.

That being said, adding your own rich text plugin which allows whatever you want is quite straightforward and completely supported.


The page model and a few plugins could be defined as follows:

from django.db import models
from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _

from content_editor.models import Region, create_plugin_base

from feincms3 import plugins
from feincms3.pages import AbstractPage

class Page(AbstractPage):
    regions = [
        Region(key="main", title=_("Main")),

PagePlugin = create_plugin_base(Page)

class RichText(plugins.richtext.RichText, PagePlugin):

class Image(plugins.image.Image, PagePlugin):
    caption = models.CharField(_("caption"), max_length=200, blank=True)

Views and URLs

You’re completely free to define your own views and URLs. That being said, the AbstractPage class already has a get_absolute_url implementation which expects something like this:

from django.conf.urls import url

from app.pages import views

app_name = "pages"
urlpatterns = [
    url(r"^(?P<path>[-\w/]+)/$", views.page_detail, name="page"),
    url(r"^$", views.page_detail, name="root"),

If you don’t like this, you’re completely free to write your own views, URLs and get_absolute_url method.

With the URLconf above the view in the app.pages.views module would look as follows:

from django.shortcuts import get_object_or_404, render

from feincms3.regions import Regions

from .models import Page
from .renderer import renderer

def page_detail(request, path=None):
    page = get_object_or_404(,
        path="/{}/".format(path) if path else "/",
    return render(request, "pages/standard.html", {
        "page": page,
        "regions": Regions.from_item(
            page, renderer=renderer, timeout=60


FeinCMS provided request and response processors and several ways how plugins (in FeinCMS: content types) could hook into the request-response processing. This isn’t necessary with feincms3 – simply put the functionality into your own views code.

Rendering and templates

Here’s an example how plugins could be rendered, app.pages.renderer:

from django.utils.html import format_html, mark_safe

from feincms3.renderer import TemplatePluginRenderer

from .models import Page, RichText, Image

renderer = TemplatePluginRenderer()
    lambda plugin: mark_safe(plugin.text),
    lambda plugin: format_html(
        '<figure><img src="{}" alt=""/><figcaption>{}</figcaption></figure>',

Of course if you’d rather let plugins use templates, do this:


And the associated template:

  <img src="{{ plugin.image.url }}" alt="{{ plugin.caption }}"/>
  {% if plugin.caption %}<figcaption>{{ plugin.caption }}</figcaption>{% endif %}

The default image field also offers built-in support for thumbnailing and cropping with a PPOI (primary point of interest); have a look at the django-imagefield docs to find out how.

And a pages/standard.html template:

{% extends "base.html" %}

{% load feincms3 %}

{% block title %}{{ page.title }} - {{ block.super }}{% endblock %}

{% block content %}
    <h1>{{ page.title }}</h1>
    {% render_region regions "main" %}
{% endblock %}

Admin classes

Here’s an example how the app.pages.admin module might look like:

from django.contrib import admin

from content_editor.admin import ContentEditor
from feincms3 import plugins
from feincms3.admin import TreeAdmin

from app.pages import models

class PageAdmin(ContentEditor, TreeAdmin):
    list_display = ["indented_title", "move_column", "is_active"]
    prepopulated_fields = {"slug": ("title",)}
    raw_id_fields = ["parent"]

    inlines = [

    # fieldsets = ... (Recommended! No example here though. Note
    # that the content editor not only allows collapsed, but also
    # tabbed fieldsets -- simply add 'tabbed' to the 'classes' key
    # the same way you'd add 'collapse'.

    # class Media: ... (Add font-awesome from a CDN and nicely
    # looking buttons for plugins as is described in
    # django-content-editor's documentation -- search for
    # "plugin_buttons.js"), PageAdmin)