Managing a "featured list" for BlogPosts with ModelAdmin

Silverstripe Version: 4.13.0

Question: Can I (or should I) manage a “featured posts” list using ModelAdmin?

I would like to use ModelAdmin so that I have a central location to see and add/remove existing blog posts to a limited list of, say, 3 posts. I am using the Silverstripe Blog Module.

I’m familiar with adding a ModelAdmin page to add/edit/delete DataObjects, but here, I only want to be able to create a UI to exclusively select, using GridFieldAddExistingSearchButton, to identify up to 3 BlogPosts, and have that selection saved and retrievable from my templates.

I’ve gotten as far as adding BlogPost to $managed_models

private static $managed_models = [

But this only results in listing all the blog posts.

I realize I could add a “featured” checkbox to the BlogPost objects (and I have), but it has been a mess when many more posts than intended get this flag and I have to go looking for which ones have it… With ModelAdmin I thought I’d try this from the other direction and create a UI with 3 slots to fill. Then everything would be centralized and ONLY 3 posts would ever be featured.


you could e.g. create a “featured blog posts” elemental block that holds a manymany relation to BlogPosts (or if you don’t use Elemental, add a relation to SiteConfig). Then you can have a GridField for editing this relations in a central place.

I once made this kind of block for, the main parts of that block are:

    private static $many_many = [
        'RelatedArticles' => BlogPost::class

    private static $many_many_extraFields = [
      'RelatedArticles' => [
          'SortOrder' => 'Int'

    /* Set to false to prevent an in-line edit form from showing in an elemental area. Instead the element will be
    * clickable and a GridFieldDetailForm will be used.
    * @config
    * @var bool
    private static $inline_editable = false;

    public function getCMSFields()
        $fields = parent::getCMSFields();

               /** @var GridField $relationGrid */
        $relationGrid = $fields->dataFieldByName('RelatedArticles');
        if ($relationGrid) {
            $orderableRows = GridFieldOrderableRows::create()

        return $fields;

I hope that helps.

Of course, with ModelAdmin you could do something similar using filters (for showing all blog posts or just featured ones, filter by dates etc…), bulk actions, gridfield-inline-edit checkbox etc. It’s possible, depending on your needs another solution might be much easier.

Thanks wmk, that is an interesting idea. I do use elemental.

Is there a way to get elemental blocks or CMS UI into a ModelAdmin extension?