Introduction to Particles

Would you like to change where the Logo appears on your site? How about adding new positions for modules/widgets and placing it directly below the menu? You can do these things and more without even touching your keyboard thanks to a new concept to the Gantry Framework called Particles.

Gantry 5’s Layout Manager gives you the power to create a virtually unlimited amount of Particles, including Positions, resize them, and place them just about anywhere you want them to appear on the frontend.

There are three basic types of Particles. Here is a quick breakdown of what they are, and the role they play in your website.

Type Description
Standard Particle Referred to as Features in previous versions of Gantry, these are small, modular blocks with preset scripting that enable you to add elements to your page. Particles can have simple or complex sets of options which enable you to further customize how they appear on the page.
Position Position Particles are blocks that can have content or scripting assigned to them by the CMS. The content body, as well as widget/module positions fall under this category.
Atom Atoms are non-visible Particles which provide scripting to your site. Analytics tracking, custom CSS / JavaScript, and other elements that need to run when the page loads but do not appear visually fall in this category.

Standard Particles

Particles

Particles are basically like WordPress widgets or Joomla modules. They are blocks of content that are configured on the back end. You can use modules/widgets exactly as you always did, but what makes particles especially useful is their simplicity and the fact that they live independently of the CMS.

For theme developers, particles can be created in minutes, and they can add functionality to your page in an environment that is easy for your clients to navigate and work with.

Instead of pointing them to a Custom HTML module (Joomla) or Text (WordPress) widget, where they have to navigate through supporting code to make small adjustments, they can fill out preset forms that enable them to change things like the section's title, content, any images or links, and more.

Positions

Positions are Particles that have content assigned to them by the CMS. In most CMS frameworks, these are hard-coded in the theme. In Gantry 5, you can freely create, move, and remove them as you please using the Layout Manager.

In WordPress, this is called a Widget Position. In Joomla, it's a Module Position. You can find out more about positions in our detailed documentation.

Atoms

Particles

Atoms are particles that do not render on the frontend in any visible fashion. They make it easy to add scripts such as custom CSS or JS, as well as tracking methods like Google Analytics. You can visually arrange their order in the Layout Manager to determine the order in which they load during page rendering.