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Eleventy Plugin Directus


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Expose Directus collections as global data in 11ty. By default the data will be available in directus.collections.*

This plugin also creates filters to manage assets URLs and translations, creates a directus.collections.all collection, and will help you make pages out of Directus collections.


This plugin is a work in progress, we use it in production at Internet 2000, PRs welcome

Following this discussion with @rijkvanzanten, lead maintainer of Directus, I need your input on how to make this plugin better, as it depends on the use cases. So please head to this discussion and let's talk use cases

Also we should make this plugin compatible with 11ty i18n/internationalization mechanism as for now it has a simple but different mechanism - see the directus_translate filter

Why this plugin?

11ty static site generator and Directus headless CMS are excellent tools, both open source and part of the JS ecosystem. They work very well together, they make a great tech stack for static and dynamic sites, and even web apps. They share a "simple is beautiful" philosophy, they are based on open standards to a great extent, and get more complex as your needs grow.

As we use 11ty+Directus a lot at internet 2000 web studio to produce eco-friendly websites, it made sense to open source this part of our code.

Also please note we use Silex website builder with 11ty+Directus as this no-code tool also has a lot in commong with Directus.

Why a plugin at all?

As you can see on this official blog post, it is easy to import Directus data into an 11ty website. With this direct approach, this is how 11ty data file which fetches Directus content.

The problem with this approach is that you will need to explicitely re-define your content structure a second time, as you already made the structure in Directus. It also requires redondant glue code for each collection you want to use in your templates.

What this plugin does is to retrieve all the data recursively from Directus and then you can use it from your templates with the "dot notation" as JSON objects. The drawback this approach - at least as it is implemented for now, is that uses a "simple" / hacky approach to just fetch everything up front, even a lot more data than you need when you have a recursive relationship, e.g. articles->related_articles->articles - see discussion here. Until now this hasn't been a problem for us as it is data that is exposed to templates and then forgotten, but feel free to discuss any better implementation details.

Use cases

Use this plugin to


  1. Install the plugin using npm:

    npm install @silexlabs/eleventy-plugin-directus
  2. Add the plugin to your .eleventy.js config:

    const pluginDirectus = require("@silexlabs/eleventy-plugin-directus")
    module.exports = (eleventyConfig) => {
      eleventyConfig.addPlugin(pluginDirectus, {
        url: 'http://localhost:8055',
  3. Run or build your Eleventy project and use the global directus.collections data variable to access your collections


directus_collections need to be readable, as well as the other collections you want to access in your 11ty website

For this plugin to retrieve public data, check the permissions for the public role in directus

For this plugin to retrieve private data, use the skd.authenticated option, see "Advanced options" section bellow

Advanced options

Variable name Desctiption Default
url Directus server root URL http://localhost:8055
name Name of the global data key and prefix of the filters directus
auth Object passed to Directus SDK's constructor as the auth option - (optional, this is useful for custom auth implementations only)
login Object passed to Directus SDK's auth.login method - (optional, this is useful to retrieve private data only)
token String passed to Directus SDK's auth.static method - (optional, this is useful to retrieve private data only)
onItem A callback to modify each item while collections are created. Use item.collection if you need to take the collection name into account. item => item
filterCollection A function which takes the collection name as input and outputs a boolean. It is applied as a filter when first getting the collections list default: collection => collection
allowHidden Keep hidden collections in directus.collections.all true
allowSystem Keep system collections in directus.collections.all true
sequencial Should all collections and their items be fetched sequencially or in parallel false
recursions How many levels of recursions do you need? This uses the fields field of requests. 7

Config Examples

  eleventyConfig.addPlugin(pluginDirectus, {
    url: 'http://localhost:8055',
    name: 'directus',
    login: {
      email: '',
      password: 'd1r3ctu5',

Available global data

In your templates:

In JS:

const directus = await  eleventyConfig.globalData.cms()
const { pages, posts, categories } = await directus.getCollections()
const settings = await directus.getCollection('settings')
const all = await directus.getAll()
all.forEach(item => console.log(`I belong to the collection ${item.collection}`))

Filters and shortcodes

Media URL


Use the translate filter to get the translated part of a directus collection item

argument description default example
translation field The name of your directus "translations field" (see directus docs about translations fields) Tries to find a field translations in the input item and if it fails takes the input item's collection field and append _translations to it {% assign translated = item
language The language code you need Takes the input item's lang attribute if it has one {% assign translated = item

Returns an object with all the fields of the input, plus the fields of the object in the translations field which has lang set to the language you want

For example let's say you have a directus collection called "post" containing a list of posts. In this collection you have 2 text fields: non-translated-text and a "translation field" called translation_field. In the collection "translation_field", you have just one field called translated-text

In your layouts use the filter to find the appropriate language and merge the translation with the item itself:

{% for item in directus.collections.posts %}
  {% assign translated = item | directus_translate: "translation_field", "fr" %}
  {{ translated.non-translated-text }} This will output the value of the non translated field
  {{ translated.translated-text }} This will output the value of the non translated field  
{% endfor %}

Or in a JS data files:

directus.translate(item, "page_translations", "en")

What this filter does is find the item language (item.lang) in item[item.collection + "_translations"] and merge its content into item

Please ask in the issues if this example is not clear

Collection's items data

Each directus.collection is an array of items or an item (case of a singleton), with items look like this:

attribute description
collection Name of the item's collection.
All other attributes The attributes you define in Directus

Directus collections and 11ty pages

Check the documentation folder

Collections in a multi-lingual website

If you use Directus fields of type translations, you will probably need to have pages with URLs like these: /fr/page-1/, /en/page-1, /fr/page-2/, ... In that case you need an 11ty collection containing 1 item for each item of a Directus collection and for each language of your website:

  "title": "bonjour",
  "lang": "fr",
}, {
  "title": "hello",
  "lang": "en",
}, {
  "title": "ca va bien",
  "lang": "fr",
}, {
  "title": "how are you",
  "lang": "en",

Here is how to make that happen - let's say your language collection is named languages in directus:

  // In .eleventy.js
  eleventyConfig.addCollection('translated', async function(collectionApi) {
    const directus = await  eleventyConfig.globalData.cms()
    return directus.getAll()
      .flatMap(item =>{code}) => ({
        lang: code,
      .map(item => ({
        // store translated data here, e.g.
        translated: directus.translate(item, `${item.collection}_translations`),
        // or for the example above
        ...directus.translate(item, `${item.collection}_translations`),

Then you can use this collection in a markdown file

  data: collections.translated
  size: 1
  alias: current
permalink: /{{ current.lang }}/{{ current.some_field | slug }}/


<h1>{{ current.title }}</h1> <--- this will be in the current language

This title is in {{ current.lang }}

The permalink of this page includes the current language

Unit tests

npm test