This Week in Wagtail

16 June 2023

There's a new option coming to the Wagtail start command. 👀

Adding custom templates with Wagtail start


One reason people love Wagtail so much is that it provides frontend freedom. Unlike other content management systems, you aren't locked into a particular frontend technology and you can pair Wagtail's Python-based backend with just about any frontend you prefer.

Yet we have also come to realize that with the large number of frontend technologies available today, it can be really hard to choose one to start with. Also, we want to make it easier for people to reuse and share backend code for items like Streamfield blocks. That's why we're planning to add a new addition to the wagtail start command that gives you the option to install a template rather than starting completely from scratch.

Here's how it's going to work. Whenever you start a new Wagtail project, you typically run the wagtail start my_blog command in a terminal to get all of the project files set up. With this new feature, you'll be able to type something like wagtail start my_blog --template wagtail-blog-starter in your terminal and the starter files for the frontend will be set up along with the files for the backend.

We're definitely looking to connect with people who are interested in helping us build out the example template or who would like to contribute a template. If you have existing code from a starter project or example project that could be converted into a template, please do let us know! Here are the best ways to get in touch:

  1. Comment on this GitHub discussion about the new feature
  2. Post a message in the #developer-relations channel of our Slack community

We're definitely excited to give the frontend nerds in our community something to cheer about. We can't wait to see what comes out of the creativity of the community as we bring this feature to life. ✨

How Wagtail is approaching sustainability 🌍

As Wagtail took off as a project, it became clear it would be popular. Not necessarily as popular as the most established CMS options (yet!), but still Wagtail is powering serious websites on the web. This popularity comes with responsibility: We must acknowledge the carbon footprint of Wagtail websites in their operations and work to reduce it. We’ve decided to start with a few baby steps. Here's what we've done so far:

  1. Made progress on estimating the emissions of Wagtail websites
  2. Created a sustainability statement

If you want to learn more about our recent work in this space, come say hi on the #sustainability channel on the Wagtail Slack.

🚧 Newsletter Experiments 🚧

The amount of community news coming in has been a bit slower recently, so we're going to be experimenting with changing the frequency of the newsletter from once a week to every two weeks. Why change it up? Well, we want to make sure we're bringing you the highest quality news and tips. Also, we want to invest some time in updating our email framework (the one we use right now isn't supported anymore and is a little hard to maintain).

Since This Week in Wagtail is billed as a weeklyish newsletter, we're planning on keeping the name for now. If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or things you'd like to see, please reach out to us on the #twiw channel in our Slack community.

Package updates

Until next time, thank you for reading! If you have a news item to contribute or a package release to report, please reach out to us through the Slack community or email us.

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