Wires are the older way to code actions and client/server interaction. It is now advised to use MQTT topics with mod_mqtt instead.


The action defines what should happen when the wire is triggered. Actions can be client-side (such as JavaScript animations) or server-side postbacks.

Trigger actions from JavaScript

To trigger an action from an HTML element, you attach a wire to the element:

<a href="#" id="link">Click me!</a>
{% wire type="click" id="link" action={fade_out target="link"} %}

The wire’s id value must match the id value of the HTML element. This wires up a link with a fade_out action, so that when the link is clicked, it fades away.

Actions can be called from the template, but can also be called when some server-side event occurs.

Server postbacks

Postbacks are server-side actions. For instance, to submit a form asynchronously through Ajax, use a postback:

{% wire type="submit" id="myform" postback="form_submitted" delegate="mysite" %}
<form id="myform" method="post" action="postback">
    <input name="username" />
    <button>Submit form</button>

This will submit the form over Ajax; the result is that a function will be called in the specified delegate module mysite.erl, called event/2:

event(#submit{}, Context) ->
    io:format("The value of 'username' is: ~s~n", z_context:get("username", Context),

Trigger browser actions from the server

Named actions

If you want to trigger actions from your JavaScript code, give the action a name:

{% wire name="my_action" action={growl text="Hello World"} %}

You can then refer to it in your JavaScript code:


And pass arguments to the action:

z_event("my_action", { foo: bar });

The argument foo will become a query argument, that you can access in your Erlang module with z_context:get_q(foo, Context).

Auto-generated identifiers

If you include a template many times (i.e. from a for loop), then having fixed element identifiers are no good. Zotonic provides a mechanism to generate an identifer which has a unique value within the template.

To prefix the id with a unique value (per invocation of the template) prefix the id with a #-sign:

<div id="{{ #foo }}">

This special notation will replace #foo with an auto-generated identifer, which will expand to something like this:

<div id="ubifgt-foo">

Unique ids can also be generated inside a for loop:

{% for id in mylist %}
    <li id="{{ #foo.id }}">{{ id.title }}</li>
{% endfor %}

This will generate HTML like this:

<li id="gdjqa-foo-1234">Some great news</li>

When using a wire tag, that same unique id can be referenced:

{% for id in mylist %}
    <li><a id="{{ #list.id }}" href="#">{{ m.rsc[id].title }}</a></li>
    {% wire id=#list.id action=some_action %}
{% endfor %}

Translation Developer Guide Access control

Referred by


Action An action is functionality that can be attached to a HTML element or event. Actions are wired to an element or…


Modules are the building blocks of Zotonic. They add functionality to your Zotonic website such as:


An overview of all wire actions.