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Simple Site Layout

Render Engine has a very simple site layout. You can see the example site layout below generated via the cli.

python -m render_engine init
├── # Logic/Configuration for building your site
├── content
│  ├── pages # collection of files to build similarly styled pages    ├──
│    └──
│  └── blogs
├── static # static files (images, css, javascript)  ├── img.jpg
│  └── style.css
└── templates # jinja templates
   └── index.html

Building your Site

Creating your Site

Let's look at the file and explore the different components.

# import Render Engine components
# import render engine plugins and themes
from render_engine import (
from render_engine_kjaymiller_theme import kjaymiller
from render_engine_youtube_embed import YouTubeEmbed

# create Site() as `app` or `site`
# add your `output_path` (if not default)
# add local `static_paths`
# register plugins and themes

app = Site()
app.output_path = "output"

# add any custom settings
settings = {
    "SITE_TITLE":"My Cool Website",
   "NAVIGATION": [{...}, ...]
   "plugins": "YouTubeEmbed": {...},
   "theme": {...},

# Add Routes. Start with single pages and add Collections
class Index(Page):

class Pages(Collection):
    content_path="content/pages" # path to files to build similarly styled pages

if __name__ == "__main__":

Importing Render Engine Components

Render Engine uses classes to create most of the objects for the site.

You will need to import the Site and Page/Collection classes you'll need render_engine.


from render_engine import Site, Page, Collection

Importing parsers needed to generate html

Render Engine uses parsers to convert content into html. There are two built-in parsers: (BasePageParser and MarkdownPageParser) or create your own.

Custom parsers can be imported and set in the Parsers attribute of the Page or Collection class.

from render_engine_rss import RSSCollection, RSSFeedPageParser

IMPORTANT: Some custom parsers will only work with custom collections. Please refer to the parser's documentation for more information.****

Render Engine plugins and themes

Plugins and themes are not required but can be used to quickly get your site's style and functionality up and running quickly.

To use custom plugins and themes, you will need to import the parsers you want to use.

from render_engine_kjaymiller_theme import kjaymiller
from render_engine_youtube_embed import YouTubeEmbed

Then you'll need to register the plugins and themes you want to use.


IMPORTANT: You can register multiple themes but be careful of the order as theme files are looked up in REVERSE order they are added (LIFO - Last in, First out)

from render_engine_kjaymiller_theme import kjaymiller
from render_engine_icon_packs import icon_packs


app.register_themes([kjaymiller, icon_packs])

Adding custom site_vars

Render Engine has a few built-in site variables (site_vars) that can be used to customize your site. You can also add your own custom settings.

app = Site()
   "SITE_TITLE":"My Cool Website",

Adding Pages and Collections

The page that is created there will generate a file called index.html in the output directory. That name comes from the class name but can be defined either in the class itself (using the slug attribute) or in a markdown file (defined with the content_path attribute).

The template variable is the name of the template file that will be used to render the page. The title variable will be passed to the template as title.

The default template engine is jinja2. This means you can use jinja2 syntax in your templates.

# templates/index.html

would render as:

# output/index.html

<h1>Welcome to my Page!</h1>

Adding attributes from a file

Render Engine can also add attributes to your page from a markdown file. This is useful if you want to add a lot of content to your page. To do this, Render Engine uses frontmatter to parse the attributes at the top of the markdown file.

# content/
title: Welcome to my Page!
template: index.html

I'm happy that you are here!

In order to use this, you must set the content_path attribute to the path of the markdown file.

class Index(Page):

The end result is the same as the previous example. If we want to get the content of the markdown file, we can pass the content attribute to the jinja2 template.

# templates/index.html


The markdown in content will converted to html and rendered in the template.

<h1>Welcome to my Page!</h1>
<p>I'm happy that you are here!</p>

Creating a Collection

Collections are a group of pages that are rendered using the same template and (some) attributes. They are created using the Collection class and the render_collection decorator.


class Blog(Collection):

The content_path attribute is the path to the folder that contains the markdown files for the collection. Every markdown page will be converted into a Page object. The template attribute is the name of the template that will be used to render each page in the collection.

You can also pass custom attributes to the collection. These attributes will be passed onto each page in the collection as well.

Custom Collections

We named our collection Blog but there aren't a lot of features that come with a blog included. Render Engine actually has a built-in Blog class you can use to create a blog. It will automatically create a collection of posts and a page for each post. It will also create a page for the blog index and an RSS Feed.

It's still rendered using the same render_collection decorator.


class Blog(Blog):

Continue to Creating a Page