Front Matter Defaults
Using front matter is the way you specify metadata for the file-based resources for your site, setting things like a default layout, or customizing the title, or providing taxonomy terms.
Sometimes you will find you’re repeating a few configuration options over and over. For example, setting the same layout in each file, adding the same category, etc. You might even want to add author names which are the same for the majority of posts.
There are two ways to accomplish this: the data cascade, and via your site’s configuration file.
The Data Cascade #
You can add
.json) files anywhere in your source tree, which will then cause a “data cascade”. In other words, any resources in that folder or in a subfolder will use the front matter data contained in the defaults file. Defaults files in subfolders can also potentially overwrite values contained in parent folders (hence the term “cascade”).
For example, if you want all “posts” collection resources to have the layout “post” without having to repeatedly write
layout: post front matter, simply add
_defaults.yml to the
Now, if you have some posts in a subfolder (let’s say
fancy_posts) and you want those posts to use the “fancy_post” layout, you could add a second
_defaults.yml file in that subfolder like so:
Now all the
fancy_posts posts will use the
fancy_post layout. If you had other front matter variables in the parent
src/_posts, those would carry over to the
fancy_posts defaults unless you decide to override them explicitly.
Also, keep in mind these are “default” values, so if you were to add
layout: some_other_layout to a post, it would overwrite either
layout: post or
layout: fancy_post. This is what makes front matter defaults so powerful!
Trick out your collections
Defaults files work well for custom collections! Just add a
_defaults.yml to the collection root folder to set layouts and other variables for your entire collection.
You can also add a defaults file to
src itself! For example, if you wanted every resource on your site to start off with a default thumbnail image, you could simply add
image: /images/thumbnail_image.jpg to a defaults file in
src and it would apply globally.
Configuration-based Front Matter Defaults #
Instead of (or in addition to) the data cascade, you can set front matter defaults in your configuration file using a special rules-based syntax. To do this, add a
defaults key to the
bridgetown.config.yml file in your project’s root folder.
Let’s say that you want to add a default layout to all pages and posts in your site. You would add this to your
Stop and rerun
bridgetown.config.yml main configuration file contains global configurations and variable definitions that are read once at execution time. Changes made to
bridgetown.config.yml will not trigger an automatic regeneration.
Use Data Files to set up metadata variables and other structured content you can be sure will get reloaded during automatic regeneration.
You probably don’t want to set a layout on every file in your project, so you can also specify a
collection value under the
This will only set the layout for resources in the
You can set multiple scope/values pairs for
path: "projects" # scopes to a particular path within your source folder
layout: "project" # overrides previous default layout
author: "Ursula K. Le Guin"
With these defaults, all pages would use the
my-site layout. Any html files that exist in the
projects/ folder will use the
project layout, if it exists. Those files will also have the
resource.data.author variable set to
Ursula K. Le Guin.
In this example, the
layout is set to
default inside the collection with the name
Glob patterns in Front Matter defaults #
It is also possible to use glob patterns (currently limited to patterns that contain
*) when matching defaults. For example, it is possible to set specific layout for each
special-page.html in any subfolder of
Globbing and Performance
Please note that globbing a path is known to have a negative effect on performance. Globbing a path will increase your build times in proportion to the size of the associated collection directory.
Bridgetown will apply all of the configuration settings you specify in the
defaults section of your
bridgetown.config.yml file. You can choose to override settings from other scope/values pair by specifying a more specific path for the scope.
If you set defaults in the site configuration by adding a
defaults section to your
bridgetown.config.yml file, you can override those settings in an individual resource’s front matter. For example:
# In bridgetown.config.yml
author: "Ursula K. Le Guin"
# In projects/foo_project.md
author: "John Smith"
The post text goes here...
projects/foo_project.md resource would have the
layout set to
foobar instead of
project and the
author set to
John Smith instead of
Ursula K. Le Guin when the site is built.