How to add Wagtail into an existing Django project

To install Wagtail completely from scratch, create a new Django project and an app within that project. For instructions on these tasks, see Writing your first Django app. Your project directory will look like the following:

myproject/
    myproject/
        __init__.py
        settings.py
        urls.py
        wsgi.py
    myapp/
        __init__.py
        models.py
        tests.py
        admin.py
        views.py
    manage.py

From your app directory, you can safely remove admin.py and views.py, since Wagtail will provide this functionality for your models. Configuring Django to load Wagtail involves adding modules and variables to settings.py and URL configuration to urls.py. For a more complete view of what’s defined in these files, see Django Settings and Django URL Dispatcher.

What follows is a settings reference which skips many boilerplate Django settings. If you just want to get your Wagtail install up quickly without fussing with settings at the moment, see Ready to Use Example Configuration Files.

Middleware (settings.py)

MIDDLEWARE = [
  'django.contrib.sessions.middleware.SessionMiddleware',
  'django.middleware.common.CommonMiddleware',
  'django.middleware.csrf.CsrfViewMiddleware',
  'django.contrib.auth.middleware.AuthenticationMiddleware',
  'django.contrib.messages.middleware.MessageMiddleware',
  'django.middleware.clickjacking.XFrameOptionsMiddleware',
  'django.middleware.security.SecurityMiddleware',

  'wagtail.core.middleware.SiteMiddleware',

  'wagtail.contrib.redirects.middleware.RedirectMiddleware',
]

Wagtail requires several common Django middleware modules to work and cover basic security. Wagtail provides its own middleware to cover these tasks:

SiteMiddleware
Wagtail routes pre-defined hosts to pages within the Wagtail tree using this middleware.
RedirectMiddleware
Wagtail provides a simple interface for adding arbitrary redirects to your site and this module makes it happen.

Apps (settings.py)

INSTALLED_APPS = [

  'myapp',  # your own app

  'wagtail.contrib.forms',
  'wagtail.contrib.redirects',
  'wagtail.embeds',
  'wagtail.sites',
  'wagtail.users',
  'wagtail.snippets',
  'wagtail.documents',
  'wagtail.images',
  'wagtail.search',
  'wagtail.admin',
  'wagtail.core',

  'taggit',
  'modelcluster',

  'django.contrib.auth',
  'django.contrib.contenttypes',
  'django.contrib.sessions',
  'django.contrib.messages',
  'django.contrib.staticfiles',
]

Wagtail requires several Django app modules, third-party apps, and defines several apps of its own. Wagtail was built to be modular, so many Wagtail apps can be omitted to suit your needs. Your own app (here myapp) is where you define your models, templates, static assets, template tags, and other custom functionality for your site.

Wagtail Apps

wagtailcore
The core functionality of Wagtail, such as the Page class, the Wagtail tree, and model fields.
wagtailadmin
The administration interface for Wagtail, including page edit handlers.
wagtaildocs
The Wagtail document content type.
wagtailsnippets
Editing interface for non-Page models and objects. See Snippets.
wagtailusers
User editing interface.
wagtailimages
The Wagtail image content type.
wagtailembeds
Module governing oEmbed and Embedly content in Wagtail rich text fields. See Inserting videos into body content.
wagtailsearch
Search framework for Page content. See Search.
wagtailredirects
Admin interface for creating arbitrary redirects on your site.
wagtailforms
Models for creating forms on your pages and viewing submissions. See Form builder.

Third-Party Apps

taggit
Tagging framework for Django. This is used internally within Wagtail for image and document tagging and is available for your own models as well. See Tagging for a Wagtail model recipe or the Taggit Documentation.
modelcluster
Extension of Django ForeignKey relation functionality, which is used in Wagtail pages for on-the-fly related object creation. For more information, see Inline Panels and Model Clusters or the django-modelcluster github project page.

URL Patterns

from django.contrib import admin

from wagtail.core import urls as wagtail_urls
from wagtail.admin import urls as wagtailadmin_urls
from wagtail.documents import urls as wagtaildocs_urls

urlpatterns = [
    re_path(r'^django-admin/', include(admin.site.urls)),

    re_path(r'^admin/', include(wagtailadmin_urls)),
    re_path(r'^documents/', include(wagtaildocs_urls)),

    # Optional URL for including your own vanilla Django urls/views
    re_path(r'', include('myapp.urls')),

    # For anything not caught by a more specific rule above, hand over to
    # Wagtail's serving mechanism
    re_path(r'', include(wagtail_urls)),
]

This block of code for your project’s urls.py does a few things:

  • Load the vanilla Django admin interface to /django-admin/
  • Load the Wagtail admin and its various apps
  • Dispatch any vanilla Django apps you’re using other than Wagtail which require their own URL configuration (this is optional, since Wagtail might be all you need)
  • Lets Wagtail handle any further URL dispatching.

That’s not everything you might want to include in your project’s URL configuration, but it’s what’s necessary for Wagtail to flourish.

Ready to Use Example Configuration Files

These two files should reside in your project directory (myproject/myproject/).

settings.py

import os

PROJECT_DIR = os.path.dirname(os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__)))
BASE_DIR = os.path.dirname(PROJECT_DIR)

DEBUG = True

# Application definition

INSTALLED_APPS = [
    'myapp',

    'wagtail.contrib.forms',
    'wagtail.contrib.redirects',
    'wagtail.embeds',
    'wagtail.sites',
    'wagtail.users',
    'wagtail.snippets',
    'wagtail.documents',
    'wagtail.images',
    'wagtail.search',
    'wagtail.admin',
    'wagtail.core',

    'taggit',
    'modelcluster',

    'django.contrib.auth',
    'django.contrib.contenttypes',
    'django.contrib.sessions',
    'django.contrib.messages',
    'django.contrib.staticfiles',
]


MIDDLEWARE = [
    'django.contrib.sessions.middleware.SessionMiddleware',
    'django.middleware.common.CommonMiddleware',
    'django.middleware.csrf.CsrfViewMiddleware',
    'django.contrib.auth.middleware.AuthenticationMiddleware',
    'django.contrib.messages.middleware.MessageMiddleware',
    'django.middleware.clickjacking.XFrameOptionsMiddleware',
    'django.middleware.security.SecurityMiddleware',

    'wagtail.core.middleware.SiteMiddleware',
    'wagtail.contrib.redirects.middleware.RedirectMiddleware',
]

ROOT_URLCONF = 'myproject.urls'

TEMPLATES = [
    {
        'BACKEND': 'django.template.backends.django.DjangoTemplates',
        'DIRS': [
            os.path.join(PROJECT_DIR, 'templates'),
        ],
        'APP_DIRS': True,
        'OPTIONS': {
            'context_processors': [
                'django.template.context_processors.debug',
                'django.template.context_processors.request',
                'django.contrib.auth.context_processors.auth',
                'django.contrib.messages.context_processors.messages',
            ],
        },
    },
]

WSGI_APPLICATION = 'myproject.wsgi.application'

# Database

DATABASES = {
    'default': {
        'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.postgresql',
        'NAME': 'myprojectdb',
        'USER': 'postgres',
        'PASSWORD': '',
        'HOST': '',  # Set to empty string for localhost.
        'PORT': '',  # Set to empty string for default.
        'CONN_MAX_AGE': 600,  # number of seconds database connections should persist for
    }
}

# Internationalization

LANGUAGE_CODE = 'en-us'
TIME_ZONE = 'UTC'
USE_I18N = True
USE_L10N = True
USE_TZ = True


# Static files (CSS, JavaScript, Images)

STATICFILES_FINDERS = [
    'django.contrib.staticfiles.finders.FileSystemFinder',
    'django.contrib.staticfiles.finders.AppDirectoriesFinder',
]

STATICFILES_DIRS = [
    os.path.join(PROJECT_DIR, 'static'),
]

STATIC_ROOT = os.path.join(BASE_DIR, 'static')
STATIC_URL = '/static/'

MEDIA_ROOT = os.path.join(BASE_DIR, 'media')
MEDIA_URL = '/media/'


ADMINS = [
    # ('Your Name', '[email protected]'),
]
MANAGERS = ADMINS

# Default to dummy email backend. Configure dev/production/local backend
# as per https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/stable/topics/email/#email-backends
EMAIL_BACKEND = 'django.core.mail.backends.dummy.EmailBackend'

# Hosts/domain names that are valid for this site; required if DEBUG is False
ALLOWED_HOSTS = []

# Make this unique, and don't share it with anybody.
SECRET_KEY = 'change-me'

EMAIL_SUBJECT_PREFIX = '[Wagtail] '

INTERNAL_IPS = ('127.0.0.1', '10.0.2.2')

# A sample logging configuration. The only tangible logging
# performed by this configuration is to send an email to
# the site admins on every HTTP 500 error when DEBUG=False.
# See https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/stable/topics/logging for
# more details on how to customize your logging configuration.
LOGGING = {
    'version': 1,
    'disable_existing_loggers': False,
    'filters': {
        'require_debug_false': {
            '()': 'django.utils.log.RequireDebugFalse'
        }
    },
    'handlers': {
        'mail_admins': {
            'level': 'ERROR',
            'filters': ['require_debug_false'],
            'class': 'django.utils.log.AdminEmailHandler'
        }
    },
    'loggers': {
        'django.request': {
            'handlers': ['mail_admins'],
            'level': 'ERROR',
            'propagate': True,
        },
    }
}


# WAGTAIL SETTINGS

# This is the human-readable name of your Wagtail install
# which welcomes users upon login to the Wagtail admin.
WAGTAIL_SITE_NAME = 'My Project'

# Override the search results template for wagtailsearch
# WAGTAILSEARCH_RESULTS_TEMPLATE = 'myapp/search_results.html'
# WAGTAILSEARCH_RESULTS_TEMPLATE_AJAX = 'myapp/includes/search_listing.html'

# Replace the search backend
#WAGTAILSEARCH_BACKENDS = {
#  'default': {
#    'BACKEND': 'wagtail.search.backends.elasticsearch2',
#    'INDEX': 'myapp'
#  }
#}

# Wagtail email notifications from address
# WAGTAILADMIN_NOTIFICATION_FROM_EMAIL = '[email protected]'

# Wagtail email notification format
# WAGTAILADMIN_NOTIFICATION_USE_HTML = True

# Reverse the default case-sensitive handling of tags
TAGGIT_CASE_INSENSITIVE = True

urls.py

from django.conf.urls import include, re_path
from django.conf.urls.static import static
from django.views.generic.base import RedirectView
from django.contrib import admin
from django.conf import settings
import os.path

from wagtail.core import urls as wagtail_urls
from wagtail.admin import urls as wagtailadmin_urls
from wagtail.documents import urls as wagtaildocs_urls


urlpatterns = [
    re_path(r'^django-admin/', include(admin.site.urls)),

    re_path(r'^admin/', include(wagtailadmin_urls)),
    re_path(r'^documents/', include(wagtaildocs_urls)),

    # For anything not caught by a more specific rule above, hand over to
    # Wagtail's serving mechanism
    re_path(r'', include(wagtail_urls)),
]


if settings.DEBUG:
    from django.contrib.staticfiles.urls import staticfiles_urlpatterns

    urlpatterns += staticfiles_urlpatterns() # tell gunicorn where static files are in dev mode
    urlpatterns += static(settings.MEDIA_URL + 'images/', document_root=os.path.join(settings.MEDIA_ROOT, 'images'))
    urlpatterns += [
        re_path(r'^favicon\.ico$', RedirectView.as_view(url=settings.STATIC_URL + 'myapp/images/favicon.ico'))
    ]