Part 2 Creating partial views and loading them inside the container view

Codeigniter HMVC

Organizing page mark up and having separate partials inside Code Igniter is something which I really enjoy and it is very important when you project has a lot of pages.

The basic idea is to have all the repeating elements of the page as individual views and only work on the piece of content which is required. This also helps the themer work in sync with the development process.

Here is how I see my views and partials forming a single page:

Codeigniter HMVC

This shows that the main page is using four different views. This is how I generally divide my page layout. There can be more partials forming your main layout depending upon the need.

Header: This view is where the HTML tag starts, the title, scripts, css and meta tags are added and it also opens the body tag for me. Nothing more than that. I also put some code to dynamically add javascript files and css files inside this view.

Menu / Navigation: This view holds my menu, breadcrumb markup. I have used Bootstrap CSS framework in quite a few of my projects and one thing is for sure – the menu markup has a lot of nesting. And to have all of them inside the main layout will soon bloat up your main layout and you won’t feel like working on it :). So, I put that as an individual view.

Footer: This is where I will add the rest of the footer markup. Sometimes the Google analytics code, and also script tag code if there are some javascript files which I would like to load after the HTML markup to speed up the page load.

Partial view: This is the content view which will come from the controller. I will be using the main page layout, pass this view as part of the view data and then the main view will render this view and the data for that particular page will be passed into it.

So, let’s create a few files:

Codeigniter HMVC

Now, we will create the default template that is showcased on Twitter Bootstrap site. Click here to view the template. This is the Bootstrap starter template.

So, first we will set up the header_view inside the partials folder which will container all the header code and the css file inclusion. Here is the view code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>Bootstrap, from Twitter</title>
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <meta name="description" content="">
    <meta name="author" content="">
    <!-- Le styles -->
    <link href="<?php echo base_url(); ?>css/bootstrap.css" rel="stylesheet">
      body {
        padding-top: 60px; /* 60px to make the container go all the way to the bottom of the topbar */
    <link href="<?php echo base_url(); ?>css/bootstrap-responsive.css" rel="stylesheet">
    <!-- HTML5 shim, for IE6-8 support of HTML5 elements -->
    <!--[if lt IE 9]>
      <script src="//"></script>

I have made a few changes to the default template to use this with Code Igniter. The first is to echo the base_url function to get the url from the CI framework. And also I have added the html5shiv js from the cdn instead of storing it locally.

Once this is done, we will need to take care of the menu. If you see the markup the navigation code comes before the start of the container tag. So, when the final layout view is built, we need to take care of that.

<div class="navbar navbar-inverse navbar-fixed-top">
<div class="navbar-inner">
<div class="container">
      <button type="button" class="btn btn-navbar" data-toggle="collapse" data-target=".nav-collapse">
        <span class="icon-bar"></span>
        <span class="icon-bar"></span>
        <span class="icon-bar"></span>
      <a class="brand" href="#">Learning CI</a>
<div class="nav-collapse collapse">
<ul class="nav">
    <li class="active"><a href="#">Home</a></li>
    <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
    <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
<!--/.nav-collapse -->

And then the easy part is the footer view which does not have much for now. Here I have removed the script tags because we will be loading them later or through the controller as per our requirement.

Now comes the page_view which is kind of the main container view and will be calling all the partials and finally build the page.

<?php $this->load->view('partials/header_view'); ?>
<?php $this->load->view('partials/menu_view'); ?>
<div class="container">
<h1>Bootstrap starter template</h1>
Use this document as a way to quick start any new project.
 All you get is this message and a barebones HTML document.
 <!-- /container -->
<?php $this->load->view('partials/footer_view'); ?>

In this you will see that I have user the code igniter function to load the view – the partials which we have created. First is the header then the menu ahead of the container div and then last is the footer. Once this is done, we create a controller home.php and inside the index function we call the page_view view. Once this is done, we will get the full page as we wanted.

Here is the code for the controller

<?php if ( ! defined('BASEPATH')) exit('No direct script access allowed'); class Home extends CI_Controller { public function __constructor() { parent::__constructor(); } // this is the home page public function index() { $this->load->view('page_view');

You can find the final code on Git hub on this link: Github code