Children & Pagination

By default each model can have child pages. This is what enables the hierarchical structure of the Lektor database. Children are configured together with a model that encloses it. This is typically called the “collection model”. For instance you can have a collection model called pages which is the parent to a few page children.

Child Configuration

Most configuration related to child pages goes into [children]. It configures how children of the model should be handled. In particular it controls if a page can have children to begin with, if the children can be of any format or have to match specific models and more.

Here are the most important options below [children]:

  • enabled: this can enable or disable children. The default is that a page can have children.
  • slug_format: this key controls the URL key for children. By default the URL key is the ID of the page. However in some cases you might want to change that. For instance blog-posts might want to pull in parts of the date into the URL. This is a template expression.
  • model: if this is set to a string, then all children are automatically forced to the same model and the UI will not give a way to select a model when creating a new child page. This allows specific parts of the website to use the correct models automatically. For instance you can force all pages below /projects to use the project model.
  • order_by: a comma separated list of fields that indicate the default sort order. If a field is prefixed with a minus sign, the order is inversed.
  • replaced_with: this allows a page to simulate that it has children when it really has not. This can be a query expression and the result is then used as the children of the model. This for instance can be used to implement categories with filtering.
  • hidden: if this is set it can override the parent's hidden flag for all children. This is particularly useful if you want to have a folder for error pages or other special pages where the parent itself should not be rendered but all children should. The default is not set. (Note that an explicit value for a child's _hidden field will override any value set here.)

The hidden flag was added in Lektor 2.0

Child Slug Behavior

Slugs are the URL paths or more correctly: parts of it. The URL paths always are the concatenation from the parent's page URL path plus the children's slug. If not configured the default slug of children is the page's _id. A slug can contain slashes to navigate into folders. This also allows pages to overlap into other pages. For instance if you have a model called categories which is used by a folder named categories/, that folder could set the _slug to blog/categories and then the URL for categories would be blog/categories/example instead of categories/example.

The default slug can be changed with the slug_format parameter in the [children] section which can be a template expression. For instance a common way to format slugs would be to include some date components. What's important about this is that the slug expression must not fail even if fields are empty! This is necessary because new pages will start out with the fields not being filled in.

This for instance includes a date in the URL if set:

slug_format = {{ (|dateformat('YYYY/M/') if ~ this._id }}


In general a source document renders into a single page. The exception to that rule are pages with children which show the children on the rendered page and have pagination enabled. In that case it becomes possible to slide the range of children into smaller pieces and render those slides instead.

Pagination is controlled from the [pagination] section. The following keys are available:

  • enabled: if set to yes pagination becomes enabled. It's off by default.
  • per_page: this controls how many children are shown per page. If pagination is enabled and this is not set, an implicit default of 20 is assumed.
  • items: if this is set to a query then the pagination's items will be overridden by it. This can be used to make the pagination work over a subset of items.

If pagination is enabled then the pagination attribute of a record becomes available. For more information have a look at the pagination guide.

The items property was added in Lektor 2.0