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About Components


Components are single, logical blocks of content within a Page. They typically represent the main content area of a Page, with many components being rendered sequentially into that one area. In fact, the Page Content you are currently reading is not a static part of the page layout, but is just a Component which renders the page content.

Components are also commonly used to implement sidebars, footers, and other "widget areas" within a layout, and as such can be defined by the theme. There is no difference in whether a Component is attached to a Page or a Theme.

Components allow you to build a site with modular "content blocks" that are defined by the end-user, rather than forcing the user to only use certain pre-defined templates as is normally the case with CMS and SSG themes. Each component is easy to set up and use with very little or no configuration required, but when combined with other components allows you to build highly complex and beautifully unique sites with very little effort.

Using Components


Basic Usage

Components are usually defined in a page's Front Matter as a list of objects, with a type property telling Orchid which component to use. All pages have a components property that holds the normal components for a page, but anything that has an option of type ComponentHolder can declare and use components in the exact same way.

---
...
components:
  - type: 'pageContent'
  - type: 'form'
    form: 'contact'
---

Plugins and themes may provide their own component types, and any of them may be used anywhere in your site. Each component type typically defines its own options in addition to those outlined below, so be sure to check out the plugin's documentation to see what is available. Or better yet, visit your Admin Panel to let Orchid tell you exactly what components and options are available to you with the guarantee of always being completely up-to-date.

Component Ordering

These components are rendered on the page in the order they are declared in that list. You may also explicitly set the order in which you want your components rendered. If no order is manually set, it will be assigned an order of 10x its position in the list. So the first item defaults to order 10, the second item has order 20, and so on. In the following example, the form component will be rendered before the pageContent component, because it has a lower order value.

...
components:
  - type: 'pageContent'
    order: 20
  - type: 'form'
    form: 'contact'
    order: 10

# `form` will be displayed before the `pageContent`

Hiding Components

You may manually hide components by setting hidden: true. This has the effect of not rendering a template for that Component on the page, but will still include its CSS and JS assets.

...
components:
  - type: 'pageContent'
  - type: 'form'
    form: 'contact'
    hidden: true

# `form` will not be rendered as a template, but its assets will still be included

Component Wrappers

Some themes will choose to wrap each component in additional markup, such as the "boxes" for the page content in the Future Imperfect theme. But in some cases, you may wish that the doesn't doesn't apply these wrappers to a particular component, like if it provides its own container markup. For these situations, you may set noWrapper: true to render the component without a wrapper.

...
components:
  - type: 'pageContent'
  - type: 'form'
    form: 'contact'
    noWrapper: true

# `form` will not be wrapped

Custom Component Templates

Sometimes, the template that a plugin provides for a component doesn't look the greatest in your theme, or maybe you want to use the same component in multiple places, but with different templates in each, as in the case of the sidebar and homepage of the Orchid starter repo. For these situations, you can provide a custom template to render instead of the default given by the plugin ot theme. The templates property accepts either a single String or an array of Strings, the first of which that is found will be used.

...
components:
  - type: 'pageContent'
  - type: 'form'
    form: 'contact'
    template: 'customForm' 

# `form` will now prefer the `components/customForm.peb` template over `components/form.peb`

Page Content Component

Most pages include a Component that represents the intrinsic content of that Page. For example, a Blog post comes from a single source file and produces a single Page whose "content" is simply the text content of that file. This component is added to Pages by default, unless the Generator or Page says otherwise. If you specify custom components to use on a Page and want to include the Page content, make sure to add the "pageContent" component.

When rendering Page Content, it is common for the pages produced by different Generators to have different requirements in rendering. For example, a Page produces by the OrchidPages may want to show a list of tags and its author, while a Page produced by the Wiki may want to highlight the Wiki section currently being read. To support this, Page Content components load a "page template" in a similar way to how a page Layout template is chosen, but is just for that one, logical block of content within a page, rather than the entire page.

This even allows plugins to create simple, yet semantic, HTML page templates that look good in any theme, but that Themes can then override to make much more custom or bring more fully in-line with its own styling. These page templates then always look the same for a given page type, regardless of the layout chosen, which aids in maintainability of a theme.

Component Assets


Components do not need to be declared on a page directly, but they are attached to the page when it is rendered, and is able to provide any kind of scripts or styles to the page in which it is being used.

Some components, like the Swagger Component add their own scripts and styles to the page. You do not need to do anything for this, the component will take care of telling Orchid to render its assets and add them to the Page so they end up in the same blocks of scripts and styles that the Theme also provides.

You are also free to add your own assets to any given component. For example, if you wanted to use a form component on all your blog posts, but the styling wasn't quite to your liking, you could make your own SCSS file, add the styling customizations there, and then tell your form component to use your custom CSS. Then, every page that includes your form component will also automatically compile and include your custom styles. The same can be done for extra JS assets as well.

 1 ---
 2 ...
 3 components:
 4   - type: 'pageContent'
 5   - type: 'form'
 6     form: 'contact'
 7     extraCSS:
 8       - 'assets/css/form-overrides.scss'
 9     extraCSS:
10       - 'assets/js/form-ajax.js'
11 ---

This is particularly useful when you are declaring your components in the Archetypes of a page rather than in the page's own Front Matter, as it allows you to add extra assets to numerous pages with a single declaration.

 1 # page's Front Matter
 2 components:
 3   - type: 'form'
 4     form: 'contact'
 5     order: 100
 6       
 7 # config.yml
 8 posts:
 9   postPages:
10     components:
11       - type: 'pageContent'
12         order: 10
13       - type: 'form'
14         form: 'comment'
15         order: 50
16         extraCSS:
17           - 'assets/css/form-overrides.scss'