Here I'll be sharing insights from my professional experiences, and studies in data science and web development. There'll be plenty of Wagtail, Django and Python, a bit of javascript and css thrown in, and more on data science & engineering, getting on to big data and machine learning. There might even be a bit of time for some project management and business analysis too.

I'll also be adding insights into how this site was built with code examples and thoughts on how those could be further developed.

Feel free to leave questions or comments at the bottom of each post - I just ask people to create an account to filter out the spammers. You won't receive any unsolicited communication or find your email sold to a marketing list.

Use JavaScript to Add a Dynamic Table of Contents to Your Pages

Use JavaScript to Add a Dynamic Table of Contents to Your Pages

Creating a table of contents or menu based on content is time-consuming for editors and prone to errors. You may need such a feature on your data fed pages and not even have the ability to create and link to content on the page.

Here, I create an automated, on-the-fly table of contents without the need for hard-coded anchor links, regardless of the source of your content. It's easily adaptable to turn into a nav bar or similar menu. Similarly, this technique could be used to produce a summary with links on an API data feed page for rapid data analysis and drill-down capability.

At the end, I wrap it in a Wagtail stream block ready to drop into your templates.

Translating Static Template Text with Wagtail Localize

Translating Static Template Text with Wagtail Localize

You have all your page content and snippet components translating successfully, but what to do with all those bits of static text in the non-Wagtail pages?

Static text lurks in the error pages, search results, e-mail templates and any Django pages that may be getting served on your site.

Here's an easy way to keep it all under the Wagtail Localize umbrella without the pain of making PO files and peppering your templates with blocktrans tags.

Dealing with UNIQUE Fields on a Multi-lingual Site

Dealing with UNIQUE Fields on a Multi-lingual Site

In Django and Wagtail, for many translation models, a copy of the page tree is made for each language rather than inserting the translated text directly into the template or model. This poses a problem for models that have fields with UNIQUE constraints as attempting to save a copy of the default language instance will trigger an integrity error (ie duplicate key). Fortunately, if you're using the TranslatableMixin, there's a way around this.

Wagtail - Configure the robots.txt and Block Search Indexing (the correct way)

Wagtail - Configure the robots.txt and Block Search Indexing (the correct way)

Rather than just being a static file, you can use Django/Wagtail templating to create a dynamically generated robots.txt. This is not the place to block search engine crawlers though, I'll show a method to apply that from your base template.

Configuring a Dynamic Sitemap on Wagtail

Configuring a Dynamic Sitemap on Wagtail

A sitemap lists a website’s most important pages, making sure search engines can find and crawl them. It's important to keep your sitemap up to date for optimal SEO. With a quick bit of coding, you can set your sitemap to be created dynamically on demand, ensuring it always reflects the latest content. There's another tweak needed for routable pages and multi-lingual sites using wagtail-localize.

Open Wagtail Rich Text Block Links in a New Tab

Open Wagtail Rich Text Block Links in a New Tab

You'd think this would be something you could do out of the box, but the makers of Wagtail have stated that this is against their philosophy and won't ever be implementing it. Here's a simple fix to circumvent that decision.

Making Wagtail pages more SEO friendly with Wagtail Metadata

Making Wagtail pages more SEO friendly with Wagtail Metadata

Wagtail pages are great for creating a lot of rich content straight out of the box, but for SEO optimization, they need some tweaking.

Here, I subclass the Page model with some help from the wagtail-metadata plug-in.

This subclassed model becomes the base for all site pages and holds all the data for og metadata, twitter cards, page description etc..

Wagtail Introduction

Wagtail Introduction

Wagtail is a leading open source CMS utilising Python and the Django framework. Tens of thousands of organisations worldwide, including Google, Mozilla, NASA, and the British NHS are now using Wagtail. In case you're new to Wagtail, and looking to learn as a developer, I've gathered some great learning resources here to get you started.