Custom System Messages


Brian Litzinger

3rd Party (Commercial)

EE Version Support

  • ExpressionEngine 2


If an item is crossed out, it might be untested, not applicable or incompatible. Contact the developer to be sure.

  • Updater
  • Multi Site Manager
  • Stand Alone Entry Form
  • Low Variables
  • Content Elements
  • Better Workflow
  • Matrix
  • Grid
  • Webservice
  • Publisher


Add-On Type(s)

Extension, Plugin


Custom System Messages provides an alternative to the the Specialty Templates for ExpressionEngine. All ExpressionEngine messages, regardless of type or severity, are filtered through the same group of templates, which are only editable within the Control Panel. If you use Subversion or Git to version your templates, the Specialty Template are left out. On top of this fact the Specialty Templates do not not parse other template tags, so embedding other templates, or using tags from third party add-ons do not work... until now.


This extension lets you define any 2 templates within your template groups to be used as the error page. You have access to all the usual variables from the Specialty Templates, plus two new ones {referrer} and {action}. The full list of available variables are:

  • {title}
  • {meta_refresh}
  • {heading}
  • {content}
  • {link}
  • {action} - ACT ID
  • {error} - Boolean
  • {referrer} - The URL prior to receiving the error.

There are also aliases for for each variable that are parsed early, thus they can be used in conditional statements and other template tags. Each variable above has an alias prefixed with csm:. For example {content} is also available with {csm:content}. If you are having trouble with the original variables, try the aliases.

{action} will return the ACT ID which you can use it in your templates to show messages specific to the action the user performed. The {error} variable returns true or false if the form returns as an error. By default, EE uses the same ACT ID for success or error messages, only internally does it know which message to display (e.g. what the {content} variable is set to).

Example Template

Even though the {action} and {error} variables are available, you may want to use entirely different templates for each ACT and on their success or error results instead of conditionals. You can do this by selecting which template each action in the drop down is assigned to, there is also an “(On Error)” version for each action.

Custom System Messages Links

Hooks Used

If the add-on is an extension, and ties into ExpressionEngine's core files, it will use ExpressionEngine hooks. We are listing any hooks the add-on uses for developers to have an easier time locating other add-ons that they can reference for their own work.

  1. sessions_start

This entry was created January 22, 2010, 10:14 am.
This entry was last updated June 2, 2017, 11:19 am.

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