Introduction to ProcessWire API variables

ProcessWire provides various API variables to every template file. These variables provide full access to all site content. This page provides an introduction on how to use them.

API variables can be accessed in a few different ways. The most common way is as a variable. Here are a few different ways you might access the same $page API variable (as an example):

  • $page the most common access as a variable.

  • page() accessing as a function can be very convenient, when available.

  • wire('page') This works anywhere, and with any version of ProcessWire.

  • $this->page This is how you might access it from within a Wire-derived class.

  • $this->wire('page') A slightly more efficient way you can access from within a Wire-derived class.

  • $pages->wire('page') API variables can also access all other API variables, by way of their wire() method. In this example, we are accessing the $page API variable from the $pages API variable. So if you have any one API variable, then you actually have them all.

Accessing API variables as a function rather than a variable can be more convenient when the variable version may be out of scope, or if your IDE highlights API variables as undefined. So whenever we refer to an API variable, make note that access it however you'd like.

This is just an introduction to some of ProcessWire's API variables. Once you are familiar with these, you'll want to use ProcessWire's full API reference instead.

Some of ProcessWire’s most common API variables

  • $page

    The $page variable is provided to every template, and it contains all the fields specific to the page being viewed. This includes both built-in fields, which are common to all pages, as well as the custom fields.
  • $pages

    While the $page variable holds the current page, the $pages variable is where you can get at all the other pages in your site. It includes functions for getting, finding, saving and deleting pages.
  • $input

    The $input variable is your connection to GET, POST and COOKIE variables, URL segments, page (pagination) numbers, and more.
  • $sanitizer

    The $sanitizer functions are provided to fill the most common data sanitization needs with sites developed in ProcessWire. Always sanitize any data you get from user input.
  • $session

    This API variable provides access to read/write of session variables, login and logout of users, redirects, and more.
  • $fields

    $fields is an API variable that contains all the custom page fields in your site. It provides the API functions available in the admin control panel under Setup > Fields. Use it to retrieve, save or delete custom page fields.
  • $user

    The $user API variable is your connection to the current user viewing the page.
  • $log

    The $log API variable enables you to create, manage and filter log entries. Log files are stored in /site/assets/logs/.
  • $templates

    The $templates API variable provides access to all of your site’s templates. Use the $templates API variable to retrieve, modify, create or delete templates and control what fields are attached to them.
  • $config

    The $config API variable contains all the settings specific to your site configuration. This includes URLs and paths, database configuration, session configuration, and more.

Twitter updates

  • This week we’ve got a few new and interesting core updates in progress, though none quite ready to release just yet. So rather than releasing version 3.0.154 today, I thought we'd instead take a brief look at what’s coming over the next few weeks… More
    3 April 2020
  • ProcessWire 3.0.153 (dev) focuses on comments field updates, significant refactoring/improvements to ProcessWire’s core Template class and PagesLoader class (which is used by the pages API variable), and we introduce a useful new pages API method— More
    20 March 2020
  • ProcessWire 3.0.152 core updates— This week we have some major improvements to our core date/time Inputfield, as well as a new ability to specify your own custom classes for Page objects— More
    6 March 2020

Latest news

  • ProcessWire Weekly #308
    In the 308th issue of ProcessWire Weekly we're going to take a look at some upcoming core and pro module updates, check out two all-new third party modules, and more. Read on!
    Weekly.pw / 4 April 2020
  • ProcessWire updates and additions in progress
    This week we’ve got a few new and interesting core updates in progress, though none quite ready to release just yet. So rather than releasing version 3.0.154 today, I thought we'd instead take a brief look at what’s coming over the next few weeks. This post covers all the details.
    Blog / 3 April 2020
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“We were really happy to build our new portfolio website on ProcessWire! We wanted something that gave us plenty of control on the back-end, without any bloat on the front end - just a nice, easy to access API for all our content that left us free to design and build however we liked.” —Castus, web design agency in Sheffield, UK