Page Controllers

This feature is only available in Contao 4.10 and later.

Starting with Contao 4.10 you can implement so called Page Controllers. These are special page types implemented as controllers in order to handle the request to the route of a specific page type within the Contao site structure. Page controllers combine the ability to define a page in Contao’s site structure while still having full control over the routing and route attributes like with regular controllers.

For example, imagine you need to provide an RSS feed or other structured feed for entries of your own DCA. This RSS feed could be implemented as controller with its own route. By implementing it as a page controller, you might allow the administrator or editor of a site to freely define the route (i.e. alias) of the page, plus additional configuration settings from within the back end of Contao. Even the suffix can be freely defined, so you might have a list of your database records under https://example.com/foobar/records.html, while the RSS feed is defined to have a route like https://example.com/foobar/records.xml.

Registering Page Controllers

As with content elements, front end modules, hooks and DCA callbacks, Page controllers can be registered via annotations. The following shows the most basic example:

// src/Controller/Page/ExamplePageController.php
namespace App\Controller\Page;

use Contao\CoreBundle\ServiceAnnotation\Page;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response;

/**
 * @Page
 */
class ExamplePageController
{
    public function __invoke(): Response
    {
        return new Response('Hello World!');
    }
}

The same can be achieved without annotations by tagging the respective service with contao.page.

Without any parameters, the type of the page is inferred from the class name. In this case the type of the page will be example, since suffixes like Page and Controller (or both together) are automatically ignored.

Next a palette for the back end should be defined for this page type:

// contao/dca/tl_page.php
$GLOBALS['TL_DCA']['tl_page']['palettes']['example'] =
    '{title_legend},title,alias,type;{publish_legend},published,start,stop';
;

A translation for the back end label should be defined to:

// contao/languages/en/default.php
$GLOBALS['TL_LANG']['PTY']['example'] = ['Example', 'Example page type.'];

Now we are all set and can add this new page in the site structure of the Contao back end:

Custom page type in the Contao back end

The alias will be the “route” of this controller. When accessing https://example.com/route/to/example/page/controller in the front end, you should see the Hello World! response.

You might want to implement pages that should only exist once within a website (see Contao’s 401, 403 and 404 error pages for example). Use the FilterPageTypeEvent to dynamically limit which pages are available for selection in the back end.

Parameters

In principle, the @Page annotation allows you to set parameters that you would normally be able to define with regular controllers, like requirements, options, methods and defaults for request attributes. See the Symfony routing documentation for these possibilities.

There are however a few differences and additional options.

All specific parameters using annotations
All specific parameters using the service tag

type

As mentioned previously, the type is automatically inferred from the page controller’s class name, if not specified. If you want to specifically set the type string yourself, you can pass it as the first parameter of the annotation (or use type="custom_type").

/**
 * @Page("custom_type")
 */

Note that this one of the differences between the @Page and Symfony’s @Route annotation where in the latter case, the first parameter is the path of the route.

path

For regular Symfony routes the URL of the route is only defined via the path parameter. In case of page controllers the URL of the page will either be defined via its alias, which is defined in the back end, or its configured path - or even a combination of both!

For instance, with the following annotation and the default .html URL suffix:

/**
 * @Page(path="/foo/bar")
 */

the URL of the page will always be https://example.com/foo/bar.html, no matter what is defined in the back end. This means that you should not add the alias field to the palette of this page in the tl_page DCA.

However, if the defined path of the page configuration is a relative path rather than an absolute one, then the URL of the page will be a combination of both the configured path and the defined alias of the page, where the configured path of the page will be appended to the alias of the page.

So for example, with the following annotation:

/**
 * @Page(path="foo/bar")
 */

and an alias like example/alias defined in the back end, the final front end URL of the page will be https://example.com/example/alias/foo/bar.html.

urlSuffix

Since Contao 4.10 you can define the URL suffix of a site in the settings of the respective website root. However, with page controllers you can also override that URL suffix in the page controller’s configuration:

/**
 * @Page(urlSuffix=".csv")
 */

So if the page in the site structure has the alias foo/bar then the final front end URL will be https://example.com/foo/bar.csv even though the root page’s url suffix might be .html.

contentComposition

This is a boolean property defining whether this page type is used for content composition. By default, custom page types implemented via page controllers do not have content composition enabled, meaning you are not able to manage the content and layout of this page via the back end. For example an RSS feed page controller would not use content composition, since its content is not supposed to be editable via the back end.

If your page handles the rendering of page articles which are managed via the back end, then you need to enable this property on your page controller:

/**
 * @Page(contentComposition=true)
 */

In Contao 4.10 there is no abstraction yet in place for you to render such content easily. You can use the PageRegular class of the legacy framework of Contao to render the page layout as defined in the page structure (in addition to processing your own logic):

// src/Controller/Page/ExamplePageController.php
namespace App\Controller\Page;

use Contao\CoreBundle\ServiceAnnotation\Page;
use Contao\PageModel;
use Contao\PageRegular;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response;

/**
 * @Page(contentComposition=true)
 */
class ExamplePageController
{
    public function __invoke(PageModel $pageModel): Response
    {
        // The legacy framework relies on the global $objPage variable
        global $objPage;
        $objPage = $pageModel;

        // Render the page using the PageRegular handler from the legacy framework
        return (new PageRegular())->getResponse($pageModel, true);
    }
}

However, upcoming feature versions of Contao will likely provide better abstraction for this task.