General Recipes

This page contains an assortment of problems and their respective solutions related to Grav in general.

  1. Change the PHP CLI version
  2. Creating a simple gallery
  3. Render content in blocks or columns
  4. Really simple css image slider
  5. Wrapping Markdown into html
  6. Add a recent post widget to your sidebar
  7. Create a private area
  8. Add JavaScript to the footer
  9. Override the default logs folder location
  10. Split vertical menu system

Change the PHP CLI version

Sometimes on the terminal the PHP version is different than the PHP version used by the web server.

You can check the PHP version running in the CLI by running the command php -v. If the PHP version is less than 5.5.9, Grav won't run as it requires at least PHP 5.5.9.

How to fix?

You need to enter some configuration to .bashrc, or to .bash_profile in your user home folder. Create those files if you don't already have them in the user folder. They are hidden files, so you might have to do ls -al to show them. Once the configuration is added, you'll need to start a new terminal session for those settings to apply.

An example configuration could be:

alias php="/usr/local/bin/php53"
export PHP_PATH = "/usr/local/bin/php53"

An alternative way is to add:

# .bash_profile

# Get the aliases and functions
if [ -f ~/.bashrc ]; then
        . ~/.bashrc

# User specific environment and startup programs


export PATH

The exact path of course depends on how your system is setup, where it stores the more recent PHP version binaries. That might be something you find in the Hosting documentation, or you can ask your hosting setup if you do not find it anywhere.

You could also try looking in the php-something files or folders under the /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/lib folders, with ls -la /usr/local/lib/ |grep -i php.

Creating a simple gallery


A common web design requirement is to have a gallery of some kind rendered on a page. This could be to display photographs of your new family pet, a portfolio of previous design work, or even a basic catalog of some products you wish to display and sell to your users. In this example, we'll assume you want to just display a bunch of photographs with a caption below. This can of course be adapted to other uses also.


The simplest way to provide a solution for this problem is to make use of Grav's media functionality which allows a page to be aware of the images available in its folder.

Let's assume you have a page you've called and also you have a variety of images in the same directory. The filenames themselves are not important as we will just iterate over each of the images. Because we want to have extra data associated with each image, we will include a meta.yaml file for each image. For example we have a few images:

- fido-playing.jpg
- fido-playing.jpg.meta.yaml
- fido-sleeping.jpg
- fido-sleeping.jpg.meta.yaml
- fido-eating.jpg
- fido-eating.jpg.meta.yaml
- fido-growling.jpg
- fido-growling.jpg.meta.yaml

Each of the .jpg files are a relatively good size that is appropriate for a full-size version, 1280px x 720px in size. Each of the meta.yaml files contains a few key entries, let's look at fido-playing.jpg.meta.yaml:

title: Fido Playing with his Bone
description: The other day, Fido got a new bone, and he became really captivated by it.

You have complete control over what you put in these meta files, they can be absolutely anything you need.

Now we need to display these images in reverse chronological order so the newest images are shown first and display them. Because our page is called we should create an appropriate templates/gallery.html.twig to contain the rendering logic we need:

{% extends 'partials/base.html.twig' %}

{% block content %}
    {{ page.content }}

    {% for image in %}
        <div class="image-surround">
            {{ image.cropResize(300,200).html }}
        <div class="image-info">
            <h2>{{ image.meta.title }}</h2>
            <p>{{ image.meta.description }}</p>
    {% endfor %}

{% endblock %}

For modular gallery to be displayed inside another page, remove the following code from the Twig file in order to make it work:

{% extends 'partials/base.html.twig' %}

{% block content %}
    {{ page.content }}


{% endblock %}

Basically this extends the standard partials/base.html.twig (assuming your theme has this file), it then defines the content block and provides the content for it. The first thing we do is echo out any page.content. This would be the content of the file, so it could contain a title, and a description of this page.

The next section simply loops over all the media of the page that are images. We are outputting these in an unordered list to make the output semantic, and easy to style with CSS. we are assigning each image the variable name image and then we are able to perform a simple cropResize() method to resize the image to something suitable, and then below it we provide an information section with the title and description.

Render content in columns


A question that has come up several times is how to quickly render a single page in multiple columns.


There are many potential solutions, but one simple solutions is to divide up your content into logical sections using a delimiter such as as the HTML <hr /> or thematic break tag. In markdown this is represented by 3 or more dashes or ---. We simply create our content and separate our sections of content with these dashes:

title: 'Columns Page Test'

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas arcu leo, hendrerit ut rhoncus eu, dictum vitae ligula. Suspendisse interdum at purus eget congue. Aliquam erat volutpat. Proin ultrices ligula vitae nisi congue sagittis. Nulla mollis, libero id maximus elementum, ante dolor auctor sem, sed volutpat mauris nisl non quam.

Phasellus id eleifend risus. In dui tellus, dignissim id viverra non, convallis sed ante. Suspendisse dignissim, felis vitae faucibus dictum, dui mi tempor lectus, non porta elit libero quis orci. Morbi porta neque quis magna imperdiet hendrerit.

Praesent eleifend commodo purus, sit amet viverra nunc dictum nec. Mauris vehicula, purus sed convallis blandit, massa sem egestas ex, a congue odio lacus non quam. Donec vitae metus vitae enim imperdiet tempus vitae sit amet quam. Nam sed aliquam justo, in semper eros. Suspendisse magna turpis, mollis quis dictum sit amet, luctus id tellus. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Aenean eu rutrum mi.

Note: the extra line after the column and before the ---. This is because if you put a triple dash right underneath text, it's actually interpreted as a header.

Then we simply need to render this content with a columns.html.twig template (as the page file was named

{% extends 'partials/base.html.twig' %}

{% block content %}
            {% for column in page.content|split('<hr />') %}
            <td>{{ column }}</td>
            {% endfor %}
{% endblock %}

You can see how the content is being split by the <hr /> tag and converted into an array of 3 columns which we loop over and render. In this example we are using a simple HTML table tag, but you could use anything you wish.

Really simple css image slider


You need an image slider without any overhead.


This recipe is for 4 images and a page called! Simply put the images where the .md file is. Next, create a new Twig template and extend base.html.twig.

{% extends 'partials/base.html.twig' %}

{% block content %}

    <div id="slider">
        {% for image in %}
            {{ image.html }}
        {% endfor %}

    {{ page.content }}
{% endblock %}

For modular slider, please remove the

{% extends 'partials/base.html.twig' %}

{% block content %}


{% endblock %}

from the previous Twig file.

Time for css stuff. Add this to your _custom.scss

@keyframes slidy {
    0% { left: 0%; }
    20% { left: 0%; }
    25% { left: -100%; }
    45% { left: -100%; }
    50% { left: -200%; }
    70% { left: -200%; }
    75% { left: -300%; }
    95% { left: -300%; }
    100% { left: -400%; }
body { margin: 0; }
div#slider {
    overflow: hidden;
    margin-top: -3rem;
    max-height: 30rem;
div#slider figure img { width: 20%; float: left; }
div#slider figure {
    position: relative;
    width: 500%;
    margin: 0;
    left: 0;
    animation: 30s slidy infinite;

That's all.

Wrapping markdown into html

On some pages you might want to wrap parts of the markdown content into some custom html code instead of creating a new Twig template.

To achieve this you follow these steps:

in your system configuration file user/config/system.yaml make sure to activate the markdown extra option:

    extra: true

in your wrapper tag make sure to add the parameter markdown="1" to activate processing of markdown content:

<div class="myWrapper" markdown="1">
# my markdown content

this content is wrapped into a div with class "myWrapper"


Add a recent post widget to your sidebar


You want to create a recent post widget on the sidebar


The final code in your Twig template (or create a seperate temple, store it in partials and extend partials/base.html.twig) is shown below:

<div class="sidebar-content recent-posts">
    <h3>Recent Posts</h3>
    {% for p in page.find('/blog').children.order('date', 'desc').slice(0, 5) %}
        {% set bannerimage =['banner.jpg'] %}
        <div class="recent-post">
            {% if bannerimage %}
                <div class="recent-post-image">{{ bannerimage.cropZoom(60,60).quality(60) }}</div>
            {% else %}
                <div class="recent-post-image"><img src="{{ url('theme://images/logo.png') }}" width="60" height="60"></div>
            {% endif %}
            <div class="recent-post-text">
                <h4><a href="{{p.url}}">{{ p.title }}</a></h4>
                <p>{{|date("M j, Y")}}</p>
    {% endfor %}

All this code does is sort the children (blog posts) of the /blog page by decending date order. It then takes the first five blog posts using the slice Twig filter. By the way, slice(n,m) takes elements from n to m-1. In this example, any blog posts that have a banner image have been named banner.jpg. This is set in a variable bannerimage. If bannerimage exists, it is shrunk down to a 60px x 60px box and will appear to the left of the post title text and date. If it does not exist, the website logo is resized to 60px x 60px and placed to the left of the title and date text instead.

The CSS for this widget is listed below:

.sidebar-content .recent-post {
    margin-bottom: 25px;
    padding-bottom: 25px;
    border-bottom: 1px solid #F0F0F0;
    float: left;
    clear: both;
    width: 100%;

.sidebar-content [class~='recent-post']:last-of-type {
    border-bottom: none;

.sidebar-content .recent-post .recent-post-image,
.sidebar-content .recent-post .recent-post-text {
    float: left;

.sidebar-content .recent-post .recent-post-image {
    margin-right: 10px;

.sidebar-content .recent-post .recent-post-text h4 {
    font-family: serif;
    margin-bottom: 10px;

.sidebar-content .recent-post .recent-post-text h4 a {
    color: #193441;

.sidebar-content .recent-post .recent-post-text p {
    font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
    font-size: 1.5rem;
    color: #737373;
    margin: 0;

Adjust the spacing between recent post items, font-family, font-size and font-weight to taste.

Create a private area

Grav makes it very easy to create a private area on a website. It all works thanks to the Login Plugin.

Require users to login prior to access a part of the site

If you don’t have it already, install it through the Admin Panel or using the GPM command line utility.

Next, open a page in Admin, switch to expert mode and in the Frontmatter section add

    site.login: true

Users accessing the page will need to login prior to see the page content.

Notice that the permission does not extend by default to subpages. To do so, from the Login plugin configuration enable "Use parent access rules".

This option allows you to create extended private areas without worrying further about access level. Just put all under a page which has a restriction on access.

Require special permissions to view one or more pages

Similarly to the above process, you can assign any permission you want to a page. You can even come up with your own permission names.

For example:

    site.onlybob: true

Next, add the site.onlybob permission to Bob, in its bob.yaml user file under the user/accounts folder:

    site.onlybob: true

Use group-based permissions

You can also assign users to a group, and assign permissions to the group instead of to individual users. Users will inherit the group permissions.

Add a user/config/groups.yaml file, for example with this content:

  readableName: 'Registered Users'
  description: 'The group of registered users'
      login: true
  readableName: 'Premium Members'
  description: 'The group of premium members'
      login: true
      paid: true

Now assign users to a group by adding

      - premium

to their yaml user file, under user/accounts

Now users belonging to the premium group will be allowed to access pages with a site.paid permission.

Add JavaScript to the footer

In many cases you'd want "some" javascript to be added to the footer instead of the page header, to be loaded after the content has been rendered.

A good example of doing this is to check the Antimatter theme.

Antimatter's templates/partials/base.html.twig defines a bottom block for js by calling {{ assets.js('bottom') }}

{% block bottom %}
    {{ assets.js('bottom') }}
{% endblock %}

You can add assets in that block in Twig for example by calling

{% do assets.addJs('theme://js/slidebars.min.js', {group: 'bottom'}) %}

or in PHP by calling

$this->grav['assets']->addJs($this->grav['base_url'] . '/user/plugins/yourplugin/js/somefile.js', ['group' => 'bottom']);

Override the default logs folder location

The default location for the logs output of Grav is simply called logs/. Unfortunately there are instances where that logs/ folder is already used or is off-limits. Grav's flexible stream system allows the ability to customize the locations of these folders.

First, you need to create your new folder. In this example, we'll create a new folder in the root of your Grav install called grav-logs/. Then create a new root-level file called setup.php and paste the following code:

use Grav\Common\Utils;

return [
    'streams' => [
        'schemes' => [
            'log' => [
               'type' => 'ReadOnlyStream',
               'prefixes' => [
                   '' => ["grav-logs"],

This basically overrides the log stream with the grav-logs/ folder rather than the default logs/ folder as defined in system/src/Grav/Common/Config/Setup.php.

Split vertical menu system

To create a vertical, collapsible, hierarchical menu of pages you need a Twig-loop, a bit of CSS, and a bit of JavaScript. The final result will, when using the Antimatter-theme, look like this:

Vertical Menu

Let's start with Twig:

<ol class="tree">
    {% for page in pages.children.visible %}
        {% if page.children.visible is empty %}
            <li class="item">
            <a href="{{ page.url }}">{{ page.title }}</a>
        {% else %}
            <li class="parent">
            <a href="javascript:void(0);">{{ page.title }}</a>
                {% for child in page.children.visible %}
                    {% if child.children.visible is empty %}
                        <li class="item">
                        <a href="{{ child.url }}">{{ child.title }}</a>
                    {% else %}
                        <li class="parent">
                        <a href="javascript:void(0);">{{ child.title }}</a>
                            {% for subchild in child.children.visible %}
                                <li><a href="{{ subchild.url }}">{{ subchild.title }}</a></li>
                            {% endfor %}
                    {% endif %}
                {% endfor %}
        {% endif %}
    {% endfor %}

This creates an ordered list which iterates over all visible pages within Grav, going three levels deep to create a structure for each level. The list wrapped around the entire structure has the class tree, and each list-item has the class parent if it contains children or item if it does not.

Clicking on a parent opens the list, whilst regular items link to the page itself. You could add this to virtually any Twig-template in a Grav theme, provided that Grav can access the visible pages.

To add some style, we add some CSS:

ol.tree li {
    position: relative;
ol.tree li ol {
    display: none;
ol.tree > ol {
    display: block;
ol.tree li.parent:after {
    content: '[+]';
ol.tree {
    content: '';

This should generally be placed before the Twig-structure, or ideally be streamed into the Asset Manager in your theme. The effect is to add [+] after each parent-item, indicating that it can be opened, which disappears when opened.

Finally, let's add a bit of JavaScript to handle toggling the open-class:

<script type="text/javascript">
var tree = document.querySelectorAll('ol.tree a:not(:last-child)');
for(var i = 0; i < tree.length; i++){
    tree[i].addEventListener('click', function(e) {
        var parent =;
        var classList = parent.classList;
        if(classList.contains("open")) {
            var opensubs = parent.querySelectorAll(':scope .open');
            for(var i = 0; i < opensubs.length; i++){
        } else {

This should always be placed after the Twig-structure, also ideally in the Asset Manager.