How to Connect Wagtail and React

Stacking Tabs
5 min readJan 30, 2022


Integrating Django/Wagtail with React Hooks using Wagtail’s v2 API and Axios

Thinking about using your Python’s Django skills to create a blog but want to use Javascript’s React as your frontend? I will share with you what the method I used. To connect Wagtail (backend) with React (frontend), we have to use Wagtail’s v2 API and Axios.

Connect Wagtail (backend) to React (frontend) using Wagtail’s V2 API and Axios
Connect Wagtail (backend) to React (frontend) using Wagtail’s V2 API and Axios [resource credit on photo]

Assuming you’ve already had Python and Node.js installed, let’s start from the very beginning by activating virtual environment. Setup may be different, I use Visual Studio Code.

Activate venv on Visual Studio Code:

Create a folder, eg. mysite, it can be of any name. Then open this folder in your terminal.

> python -m venv mysite\env\Scripts
> cd [insert the folder containing activate.bat, ie. mysite\env\Scripts\Scripts]> .\activate

Let’s set up Wagtail. These are the same steps as on Wagtail’s website.

Install WagTail:

> pip install wagtail

Create WagTail project:

> wagtail start mysite> cd mysite> pip install -r requirements.txt> python makemigrations> python migrate> python createsuperuser·         Username: admin·         Email address:·         Password: 123> python runserver

To stop server after python runserver, do Ctrl+C.

Install Django-CORS-Headers package

In your terminal, first install django-cors-headers in mysite/mysite.

> cd mysite\mysite> pip install django-cors-headers

In your mysite/mysite/mysite/settings/, add to


INSTALLED_APPS = [    ‘wagtail.api.v2’,    ‘corsheaders’,    ‘rest_framework’]


MIDDLEWARE = [    ‘corsheaders.middleware.CorsMiddleware’,    ‘django.middleware.common.CommonMiddleware’,]


This setting is for the current development mode we’re in. It’s another story when it comes to production mode.

CORS_ORIGIN_ALLOW_ALL = True # for development mode onlyALLOWED_HOSTS = [‘*’]

All in all, it should look something like this:

We’re pretty much done at this point. You can continue on if you want to see how this plays out. It’s optional :)

Following Wagtail’s documentation:

WagTail’s Part

Populate your model. This is an example model in mysite/mysite/home/

mysite — this folder is the one we created in the very beginning (Activate venv on Visual Studio Code: Create a folder). This folder contains subfolders env and mysite.

mysite — this subfolder is the one created when we run > wagtail start mysite.

home — you don’t have to create this folder, it is already there. Look for it.


from django.db import modelsfrom wagtail.core.models import Pagefrom wagtail.core.fields import RichTextFieldfrom wagtail.admin.edit_handlers import FieldPanel, PageChooserPanelfrom wagtail.images.edit_handlers import ImageChooserPanel
class HomePage(Page):
template = "home/home_page.html" max_count = 1 #"""No child page for homepage.""" banner_title = models.CharField(max_length=100, blank=False, null=True, default="Title not added") banner_subtitle = RichTextField(features=["bold", "italic"], default="SubTitle not added") banner_image = models.ForeignKey( "wagtailimages.Image", null=True, blank=False, on_delete=models.SET_NULL, related_name="+" #"""Not using any related name, just using field name""" ) banner_cta = models.ForeignKey( "wagtailcore.Page", null=True, blank=False, on_delete=models.SET_NULL, related_name="+" #"""Not using any related name, just using field name""" ) content_panels = Page.content_panels + [ FieldPanel("banner_title"), FieldPanel("banner_subtitle"), ImageChooserPanel("banner_image"), PageChooserPanel("banner_cta") ]class Meta: verbose_name = "Home Page" verbose_name_plural = "Home Pages"

In mysite/mysite/mysite containing file, migrate.

> py makemigrations> py migrate

In mysite/mysite/mysite, first create file.

And in mysite/mysite/mysite/ :

from wagtail.api.v2.views import PagesAPIViewSetfrom wagtail.api.v2.router import WagtailAPIRouterfrom wagtail.images.api.v2.views import ImagesAPIViewSetfrom wagtail.documents.api.v2.views import DocumentsAPIViewSet
# Create the router. “wagtailapi” is the URL namespace
api_router = WagtailAPIRouter(‘wagtailapi’)# Add the three endpoints using the “register_endpoint” method.# The first parameter is the name of the endpoint (eg. pages, images). This# is used in the URL of the endpoint# The second parameter is the endpoint class that handles the requestsapi_router.register_endpoint(‘pages’, PagesAPIViewSet)api_router.register_endpoint(‘images’, ImagesAPIViewSet)api_router.register_endpoint(‘documents’, DocumentsAPIViewSet)

mysite/mysite/mysite/ :

from django.conf import settingsfrom django.urls import include, path, re_pathfrom django.contrib import adminfrom wagtail.admin import urls as wagtailadmin_urlsfrom wagtail.core import urls as wagtail_urlsfrom wagtail.documents import urls as wagtaildocs_urlsfrom search import views as search_viewsfrom .api import api_router
urlpatterns = [ path(‘django-admin/’,, path(‘admin/’, include(wagtailadmin_urls)), path(‘documents/’, include(wagtaildocs_urls)), path(‘search/’,, name=’search’), path(‘api/v2/’, api_router.urls), # Ensure that the api_router line appears above the default Wagtail page serving route

# re_path(r'^', include('blog.urls')),
re_path(r’^’, include(wagtail_urls)),]
if settings.DEBUG: from django.conf.urls.static import static from django.contrib.staticfiles.urls import staticfiles_urlpatterns # Serve static and media files from development server urlpatterns += staticfiles_urlpatterns() urlpatterns += static(settings.MEDIA_URL, document_root=settings.MEDIA_ROOT) urlpatterns = urlpatterns + [ # For anything not caught by a more specific rule above, hand over to # Wagtail’s page serving mechanism. This should be the last pattern in # the list: path(“”, include(wagtail_urls)), # Alternatively, if you want Wagtail pages to be served from a subpath # of your site, rather than the site root: # path(“pages/”, include(wagtail_urls)),]

Now we’ll be filling in our blog app.

Create blog app using

> python startapp blog

Add blog.apps.BlogAppConfig to INSTALLED_APPS in mysite/mysite/mysite/settings/

INSTALLED_APPS = [    ‘home’,    ‘search’,    ‘blog.apps.BlogConfig’,]


from django.db import modelsfrom wagtail.core.models import Pagefrom wagtail.admin.edit_handlers import FieldPanelfrom wagtail.api import APIField
class Blog(Page): description = models.CharField(default=’’, max_length=200) published = models.BooleanField(default=False) content_panels = Page.content_panels + [ FieldPanel(‘title’), FieldPanel(‘description’), FieldPanel(‘published’), ]
api_fields = [ APIField(‘title’), APIField(‘description’), APIField(‘published’) ]

Don’t forget, as usual, to migrate

> py makemigrations> py migrate


from rest_framework import serializersfrom blog.models import Blog
class BlogSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
class Meta: model = Blog fields = ('title', 'description', 'published')

That’s all for Wagtail’s side. You can run Wagtail on localhost port 8000.

python runserver

The url for admin is localhost:8000/admin.

Here you can put a new blog entry.

To access API of pages, the url is localhost:8000/api/v2/pages .

To access other fields, try localhost:8000/api/v2/pages/?type=blog.Blog&fields=published,description .

React’s Part

Assuming you already have node.js installed, start by opening folder mysite/mysite. Create React app using create-react-app and naming it frontend.

npx create-react-app frontend

In mysite/mysite/frontend, install the packages, axios and react-router-dom using npm install or yarn add.

npm install axios react-router-dom styled-components

In app.js

import React, { useState, useEffect } from “react”;import styled from ‘styled-components’;import axios from ‘axios’;
axios.defaults.baseURL = process.env.REACT_APP_API_URL

const Wrapper = styled.h1`
function App() {
const [blog, setBlog] = useState([]); useEffect(() => { axios.get(`/4`).then((response) => { setBlog(; console.log(blog) }); }, []); return ( <Wrapper> <p>Hi {blog.title}</p> </Wrapper> );}export default App;

Under mysite/mysite/frontend, create a file named ‘.env.development’.


And in the file


This supplies the REACT_APP_API_URL in axios.defaults.baseURL = process.env.REACT_APP_API_URL from App.js.

Run servers

By splitting terminal (running both together)

Run Wagtail (localhost port 8000) using

python runserver

Run React (localhost port 3000) using

npm start

If your blog’s title appears then it works.

I’ll make a video tutorial and a github repository….after I take my rest. I’ll come back and edit this tutorial as I go.



Stacking Tabs

My learning playground. Coding. Korean. German? History. Many interests. Food. E-commerce?