Custom layout in the backend

MetaModels allow to define where they shall be included in the Backend menu. The listing display in the content section is also completely customizable.

Customizable edit mask

The editing mask of a MetaModel can be adjusted in almost no time to match custom needs. Access to all input fields can be restricted on a usergroup level allowing for complex workflow setups.

Simple management of variants

For items that share most attributes but some shall differ, variants have been introduced. All variants inherit the values of their base items and may only differ in the defined "variant"-attributes (here: platform and website).

Simple translation handling

Translate all the items without having to leave edit mode or jump to another location in the backend. Language switching is achieved via the top right language selector.

MetaModel definition

At the beginning, there is the definition of a MetaModel itself. Here the name and table name has to be defined. Here is also the place to make the decision if the MetaModel shall support translation and/or variants.

Attribute definition

Attributes of each MetaModel can be defined without restrictions. You specify the type of the attribute, an internal name, the name to be presented to the editor along with a description text and custom settings per attribute.

Custom listings

Each backend and frontend listing can be customized as to which attributes and in what order shall be displayed. Attributes can also be unpublished temporarily using the familiar "eye"-symbol. To get the display up and running in no time, handy tools like the "add all" have been invented, which will remove the burden of adding all the attributes to the listing by hand.

Custom backend integration

Define where and how your MetaModel shall be integrated in the backend, either in standalone mode, as a new element on the left hand backend menu (including a custom icon), or as a child collection of another MetaModel or plain table.

The integration can also be changed on a per user-group level, allowing to have models appear under different backend sections for editors and administrators.

Complex filtering made easy

MetaModels provide you to the most flexible way to define filters for your data. All filters are a combined set of small filter settings, each solving a small part of the requirement. Using such an "divide and conquer" approach allows to remove any limitation of the filter task.

Combine input screens and render settings

MetaModels allows to define different combininations of input screens and render settings on a per usergroup base. This allows i.e. to have only the usergroup "publishers" to be able to really publish items where the "editors" may only edit the content.

Features, paving the road to success

Customizable data models

MetaModels allow you to define your data model in the Contao backend (almost) without any restrictions.

No matter what the datatype of the desired attribute is, let it be text, image, some number, tags, everything is possible and should you ever hit a limit that the desired type is not available, you can implement it with minimal amout of hassle.

The flexible right system developed for MetaModels allows to define seperate backend sections for certain editor- and administrator groups. The edit view is still the familiar look and feel of the Contao backend.

But the backend can be altered to give only certain groups access to a predefined set of fields and even change the order of the fields. The first step towards a perfect workflow has been made.

Multi language support

MetaModels were designed from the beginning with data in multiple languages in mind. Therefore attribute types may support translation of it's data into different languages. You simply switch the current language via the language selector on top and are editing the data in the selected language.

The best part of it, the data not defined as translateable will not be translated. This allows you in example to only translate the name and description texts of products without having to re enter the sku and dimensions reducing redundancy of data.

Variant support

Variants are the logical answer to the problem of managing datasets that differ only in a few attributes. Instead of defining all entries as an independant dataset, variants collect these related items to a logical group. It was about time to have variants of datasets in Contao without having to abuse Isotope for this.

With MetaModels, you can manage variants of the same item. Simply define which attributes of the model may change in variants of an item and only these will be editable in the variants.


MetaModels feature a completely redefined and alternative filter concept. The administrator of the website is completely free in defining the filter interaction to the custom need by simply configuring and combining "filter settings" and parameters.

MetaModels does not impose any limits when combining filters and is well capable of the most complex filter environments and should the need arise, thanks to the open structure of the API, own filter setting classes can be developed in almost no time.

MetaModels does ship with six different filter settings which can be used to generate frontend-filter-widgets like select boxes, range filters, text search etc. Combining these filter settings with non widget capable filter settings using AND/OR conditions, custom SQL statements and other pre defined filter rules allows to define complex interactive filters without sacrificing high performance.

Of course filter rules providing filter widgets are as easy to implement as the others lowering the barrier of alterering the behaviour to custom need.

Dynamic views

Using rendersettings, MetaModels take the "partial"-Template concept of Contao (at least) one step further. The user is free to define every aspect of the view on attribute and item level.

Many common settings can be defined in the backend configuration but can also be overridden, fine tuned or ignored altogether by switching to a custom template per attribute or item. Render settings simply provide the most flexible way to define data views.

The designer can configure a completely seperate view for each purpose, let it be a simple list, a teaser for the home page or a detail view of an item, and also when and where to use it.

Output of RSS-Feeds and other syndications are planned and will perfectly complement the concept of render settings. We love the render settings and are confident, so will you!

Many more features

Along the previous mentioned major features, MetaModels provides a whole lot of small features which turn MetaModels into what it is today.

Among these small features are Inserttags, content elements, frontend modules and a lot of useful attributes (text, select, tags, rating, geoprotection, etc). Thanks to the community and the team new attributes are added regularly.

Furthermore, MetaModels provide an internal API for developers which gets enhanced over time. Especially useful for editors is the automatic usage of the meta title and meta description (SEO) and the generating of search engine friendly URLs.

Many more features can be discovered in the backend.