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The render pipeline can be modified by including either custom or 3rd-party extensions.

The pipeline is configured using the pipeline.rb file in the _ext/ directory.

The _ext/ directory is automatically added to the $LOAD_PATH so that site-supplied extensions may easily be loaded.

An extension class

An extension class only need implement a single method, execute(site). Each extension in the pipeline will be called, in-order, and passed the site object.

class MyExtension
  def execute(site)

    # body goes here


Configuring the pipeline

New extensions can be added to the existing _ext/pipeline.rb file using the extension method.

require 'my_extension' do
  extension 'news' ) 

The processing chain

The extension pipeline runs immediately before the final URL assignment to pages and generating the final output pages.

The process{.centered}

Given the timing of the extension pipeline execution, advanced functionality can be applied. Pages can be added or removed, output locations can be changed, and links between pages or YAML-based structures may be created.


Since the extension pipeline runs before the final render stage, it has the opportunity to do wild manipulations to the state of the site.


The Posts extension makes any Awestruct site "blog-aware". It scans all pages under a given sub-tree, and if they match a particular naming convention, it does some work.

If the current output path matches the pattern of YYYY-MM-DD-post-title, it does the following:

  • Adjusts page.output_path to use directories instead of dashes.
    YYYY-MM-DD-post-title becomes /YYYY/MM/DD/post-title.
  • Adds the page to an array it makes available as site.posts.
  • Adds navigational links between blog post pages
    • points to the next entry
    • page.previous points to the previous entry

Pretty URLs

The Indexifier extension adjusts the page.url for any page that is not currently output as an index.html.

For instance, a page with a url of /stuff.html gets modified so that page.output_path returns /stuff/index.html.

By placing the Indexifier last in the chain, it can affect the entire tree, regardless of the source of the page.

Synthetic page generation

An extension may decide to leave all pages alone, but inject additional synthetic pages into a site at generation time.