Build a blog demo using Contentstack's PHP SDK and Symfony framework

This example application is built using Symfony and PHP. It uses Contentstack to store and deliver the content of the website.

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Quickstart

Here’s a quick guide on how to create a blog using Contentstack’s PHP SDK and Symfony Framework.

Prerequisites

Note: For this tutorial, we have assumed that you are familiar with Contentstack and Symfony Framework. If not, then please refer to the docs (Contentstack docs and Symfony Framework) for more details.

In this tutorial, we will first go through the steps involved in configuring Contentstack, and then look at the steps required to customize and use the presentation layer.

Step 1: Create a stack

Log in to your Contentstack account, and create a new stack. This stack will hold all the data, specific to your website. Learn more on how to create a stack.

Step 2: Add a publishing environment

To add an environment in Contentstack, navigate to ‘Settings' -> 'Environment', and click on the '+ New Environment’ tab. Provide a suitable name for your environment, say ‘staging’. Specify the base URL (e.g., ‘http://YourDomainName.com’), and select the language (e.g., English - United States). Then, click on 'Save'. Read more about environments.

Step 3: Import content types

A content type is like the structure or blueprint of a page or a section of your web or mobile property. Read more about Content Types.

For this example app, four basic content types are required: Header, Footer, Posts, and Authors. For quick integration, we have already created these content types. You simply need to import them to your stack. (You can also create your own content types. Learn how to do this).

To import the content types, first save the zipped folder of the JSON files given below on your local machine. Extract the files from the folder. Then, go to your stack in Contentstack. The next screen prompts you to either create a new content type or import one into your stack. Click the ‘import’ link, and select the JSON file saved on your machine.

Here’s a brief overview of all the content types required for this project.

  • Header: This content type lets you add content for the header section of the site.
  • Footer: The Footer content type enables you to add content for the footer section of your site.
  • Authors: This content type lets you add authors for your blog posts. The fields in this content type include first name and last name.
  • Posts: This content type will help you create blog posts. The fields include name, URL, author, date, featured image, and so on.

Download All Content Types

Now that all the content types are ready, let’s add some content for your app.

Step 4: Adding content

  • Create and publish entries for the ‘Authors’ and ‘Posts’ content type
    Add a few entries each for the ‘Category’ and ‘Products’ content type. Save and publish these entries. Learn how to create and publish entries.
  • Create and publish entries for the ‘Header’ and ‘Footer’ content types
    Add a few entries each for the ‘Header’ and ‘Footer’ content type. Save and publish these entries. Learn how to create and publish entries.

With this step, you have created sample data for your blog. Now, it’s time to set up your Symfony application and initiate the Contentstack app.

Step 5: Set up Symfony Application

If you still use PHP 5.3 or can't use the Symfony installer for any reason, you can create Symfony applications with Composer, the dependency manager used by modern PHP applications.

If you don't have Composer installed in your computer, start by installing Composer globally. Then, execute the ‘create-project’ command to create a new Symfony application based on its latest stable version.

Follow these steps for Creating Symfony Applications with Composer.

Step 6: Initialize your project

To initialize your project, perform the following steps:

  1. Download ‘contentstack-php’ SDK and add it in the ‘src\AppBundle’ folder.
  2. Create a your own controller file and place it in the ‘src\AppBundle\Controller’ folder.
  3. Within your Controller file, add the code snippet given below:
    use Contentstack\Contentstack;
    require_once dirname(__DIR__).'/contentstack-php/lib/index.php';    
    This will include your ‘contentstack-php’ SDK in your Controller file.
  4. Connect the Symfony framework with Contentstack by adding the following code snippet in the Controller file you created in the above step:
    public function postlistAction()
    {
        $stack = Contentstack::Stack('Stack_API_Key', 'Delivery_Token', 'Environment Name');
    }    
    Learn how to find your Stack's API Key and Delivery Token. Read more about Environments.

Step 7: Build and configure app

To get your app up and running quickly, we have created a sample blog app (using Symfony Framework and contentstack-php SDK) for this project. You simple need to download it and change the configuration.

Download code

Fire up your terminal (command prompt or similar on Windows), point it to your project location and run the following command:

php bin/console server:run

You can check your blog post on your local machine by hitting the URL: http://127.0.0.1:8000

Note: This will initiate your project. However, you will not be able to see your blog post until all the content types are published.

Step 8: Go live

You can make the application live by deploying it on any cloud hosting service. In this tutorial, we have used Heroku App.

Follow these steps to make it live on Heroku.

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