The default behavior of feincms3’s renderer is to concatenate the rendered result of individual plugins into one long HTML string.

That may not always be what you want. This guide also describes a few alternative methods of rendering plugins that may or may not be useful.

Rendering plugins

The feincms3.renderer.RegionRenderer offers two fundamental ways of rendering content, string renderers and template renderers. The former simply return a string, the latter work similar to {% include %}.

String renderers

You may register a rendering function which returns a HTML string:

from django.utils.html import mark_safe
from feincms3.renderer import RegionRenderer
from app.pages.models import RichText

renderer = RegionRenderer()
    lambda plugin, context: mark_safe(plugin.text)

Template renderers

Or you may choose to render plugins using a template:

from feincms3.renderer import template_renderer


The configured template receives the plugin instance as "plugin".

If you need more flexibility you may define your own plugin renderer:

from feincms3.renderer import render_in_context

def external_using_template(plugin, context):
    if "youtube" in plugin.url:
        template_name = "plugin/youtube.html"
    elif "vimeo" in plugin.url
        template_name = "plugin/vimeo.html"
        template_name = "plugin/external.html"
    return render_in_context(context, template_name, {"plugin": plugin})



You could also render the plugin using render_to_string but render_in_context has the advantage that it makes the surrounding context (using all context processors etc.) available, at least when using the {% render_region %} template tag.

Often, having the surrounding template context and the plugin instance available inside the template is enough. However, you might want to provide additional context variables. This can be achieved by specifying the context function. The function receives the plugin instance and the surrounding template context:

from feincms3.renderer import template_renderer

def plugin_context(plugin, context):
    return {
        "plugin": plugin,  # Recommended, but not required.
        "additional": ....

    template_renderer("plugin/plugin.html", plugin_context),

Rendering individual plugins

Rendering individual plugin instances is possible using the render_plugin method. Except if you’re using a non-standard RegionRenderer class used to encapsulate the fetching of plugins and rendering of regions you won’t have to know about this method, but see below under Grouping plugins into subregions.

Regions instances

Because fetching plugins may be expensive (at least one database query per plugin type) it makes sense to avoid fetching plugins if there is a valid cached version. The feincms3.renderer.RegionRenderer which handles the specifics of rendering plugins belonging to specific regions has a method, RegionRenderer.regions_from_item, which automatically creates a lazily evaluated content_editor.contents.Contents instance.

The region renderer knows which plugins to load. It also supports inherited regions introduced in the More regions section of the Templates and regions guide.

The object returned by regions_from_item (and regions_from_contents) is an opaque object with the following interface:

  • regions is the list of content_editor.models.Region objects.

  • render(region_key, context) is a method which returns a single rendered region.

If RegionRenderer.regions_from_item received a timeout argument accesses to the interface above are automatically cached.


Caching either works for all regions or for none at all.

Rendering regions in the template

The template requires the regions instance mentioned above so that regions can be rendered:

from .renderer import renderer

# Inside a view or middleware:
page = ...
return render(
        "page": page,
        "page_regions": renderer.regions_from_item(page, timeout=60),

In the template you can now use the template tag:

{% load feincms3 %}

{% render_region page_regions "main" %}

Using the template tag is advantageous because it automatically provides the surrounding template context to individual plugins’ renderers, meaning that they could for example access the request instance in a plugin template if e.g. an API key would be different for different URLs.

Grouping plugins into subregions

The RegionRenderer class supports rendering subregions differently. Plugins may be grouped automatically by their type or by some attribute they share.

Let’s make an example. Assume that we want to group adjacent teaser elements. We have several teaser plugins but they all share the same subregion attribute value:

class ArticleTeaser(PagePlugin):
    article = models.ForeignKey(...)

class ProjectTeaser(PagePlugin):
    project = models.ForeignKey(...)

Next, we have to define a regions class which knows how to handle those teasers. The name of the handler has to match the subregion attribute exactly:

from feincms3.renderer import RegionRenderer

class SmartRegionRenderer(RegionRenderer):
    def handle_teasers(self, plugins, context):
        # Start the teasers element:
        yield '<div class="teasers">'
        for plugin in self.takewhile_subregion(plugins, "teasers"):
            # items is a deque, render the leftmost item:
            yield self.render_plugin(plugin, context)
        yield "</div>"

renderer = SmartRegionRenderer()
renderer.register(ArticleTeaser, ..., subregion="teasers")
renderer.register(ProjectTeaser, ..., subregion="teasers")

Grouping plugins into containers

The previous example added an <div class="teasers">...</div> wrapper element to a group of teasers. However, sometimes you want to allow some plugins to escape the containing element. In this case it may be useful to override the default subregions handler instead:

from django.utils.html import mark_safe

from feincms3.renderer import RegionRenderer, render_in_context

class FullWidthPlugin(PagePlugin):

class ContainerAwareRegionRenderer(RegionRenderer):
    def handle_default(self, plugins, context):
        content = [
            self.render_plugin(plugin, context)
            for plugin in self.takewhile_subregion(plugins, "default")
        yield render_in_context(
            context, "subregions/default.html", {"content": content}

    def handle_fullwidth(self, plugins, context):
        content = [
            self.render_plugin(plugin, context)
            for plugin in self.takewhile_subregion(plugins, "fullwidth")
        yield render_in_context(
            context, "subregions/fullwidth.html", {"content": content}

# Instantiate renderer and register plugins
renderer = ContainerAwareRegionRenderer()
renderer.register(FullWidthPlugin, ..., subregion="fullwidth")

regions = renderer.regions_from_item(page)
output = regions.render(...)

Using marks

Some plugins may be usable inside several subregions. In this case you cannot simply set the subregion; you have to find another way.

One example may be a plugin which starts a collapsible region and which only supports text inside. Adding an image will automatically close the collapsible subregion as will adding another CollapsibleRegionPlugin.

class CollapsibleRegionPlugin(PagePlugin):
    title = models.CharField(
        help_text=_("Leave empty to explicitly finish a previously opened region."),

class CollapsibleRegionRenderer(RegionRenderer):
    def handle_collapsible(self, plugins, context):
        collapsible = self.render_plugin(plugins.popleft(), context)
        content = [
            self.render_plugin(plugin, context)
            for plugin in self.takewhile_mark(plugins, "collapsible-content")
        yield from ...

renderer = CollapsibleRegionRenderer()
    lambda plugin, context: {
        "title": plugin.title, "is_collapsible": bool(plugin.title)
    lambda plugin, context: mark_safe(plugin.text),
    # ...

Generating JSON

A different real-world example is generating JSON instead of HTML. This is possible with a custom RegionRenderer class too:

from feincms3.renderer import RegionRenderer

class JSONRegionRenderer(RegionRenderer):
    def render_region(self, *, region, contents, context):
        return [
                self.render_plugin(plugin, context),
            for plugin in contents[region.key]

        # Alternatively (In this case the ``type`` key above would have to be
        # provided by the renderers themselves):
        # return list(self.generate(self.contents[region], context))

def page_content(request, pk):
    page = get_object_or_404(Page, pk=pk)

    renderer = JSONRegionRenderer()
        lambda plugin, context: {"text": plugin.text},
        lambda plugin, context: {"image": request.build_absolute_uri(plugin.image.url)},

    regions = renderer.regions_from_item(page, timeout=60)

    return JsonResponse({
        "title": page.title,
        "content": regions.render("main", None),


A different method would have been to use lower-level methods from django-content-editor. A short example follows, however there’s more left to do to reach the state of the example above such as caching:

from content_editor.contents import contents_for_items

renderers = {
    RichText: lambda plugin: {
        "text": plugin.text
    Image: lambda plugin: {
        "image": request.build_absolute_uri(plugin.image.url)
contents = contents_for_item(page, [RichText, Image])
data = [
    for plugin in contents.main
# etc...