Pangolin Essay not working for me

Hi, watched Matts video a number of times and tried to get Pangolin Essay working for a number of hours. I must be doing something wrong as I see others have it working.

Pangolin Essay template is set up and left at default. Created a new Album with template, added text (and photos) and saved but the web page continues to look empty. The breadcrumb is there. I can add cover photos to the album and it shows up but clicking on the album again shows nothing, just the breadcrumb.

I redownloaded the essay template last nigh as I know it was not downloading properly in the early hours. Still no difference
Any suggestions?

can you share a link to the album?
Have you tried adding images to the essay using the image button that appears in the top pallet when you view the album while logged in?

Also, check the browser console for JavaScript errors.

What do your image file names look like?

Thanks Matt
does this help from the console?

   GET 404 (Not Found)

Backlight.getAlbum @ api.js:27
(anonymous) @ (index):872


   GET 404 (Not Found)

Backlight.getAlbum @ api.js:27
(anonymous) @ (index):872

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on. I’m not able to reach your site at all, not even its home at Are you having issues with your host?

Sorry Matt. It is my server. Big wind storm last night on west coast of Canada Took out internet. Its all working now.

Glad to hear things are good now.

Sorry Matt. To be clear my server is working but the problem with Essay persists

From what I can see, a lot of your site isn’t working. Seems to me you either haven’t copied the .htaccess files to your site as instructed in our install, or you’ve got a problem with it working on your server.

For example, I get a 404 when attempting to access your About page, via your menu, at this address:

However, I can get there with this:

So, your URLs are busted, and that’s why I’m also getting a 404 on the essay page(s), when trying to contact the API for the album info.

If it’s not there, you need the .htaccess file. If it is there, then you need to work with your host to determine why it’s not working.

Thanks again Matt,
.htaccess is present but to make sure I reinstalled them from a fresh download of Backlight. Problem still exists. Essay can’t be found.
All my albums and album sets work fine
I fixed the menu links that you mentioned. I never bothered to configure them before.
One problem that I have had for a while is with publisher authentication if I use it will not authenticate. I was told on the site to use And that does work. Is that a clue to the problem?

Yes, it’s exactly what I was saying in my previous message, about your URL rewriting not working. That’s the reason Pangolin Essay is failing.

We’ve released version 4.1.1, which may help with this. Please update, and let us know whether you’re able to use Essay.

Hi Matt,
Thanks for following up. I am running vanilla Ubuntu 20.04 on my server. Ben had a look at the configuration and was able to identify the problem. Here are his comments which may benefit others.

It looks like .htaccess files are being ignored.

The fix should be to edit the file at /etc/apache2/sites-available/ and add a section for Directory so that the entire file looks like this:

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
DocumentRoot /var/www/
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} [OR]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME}
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]

<Directory “/var/www/”>
AllowOverride All

You’ll then need to reload or restart apache.

A fresh Ubuntu instance does not support mod-rewrite and .htaccess processing without additional configuration. The lines in the config are one way of adding that configuration. Shared hosts already have this type of functionality set up.

I hope this helps others. Essay module now works great.

Thanks to you all


1 Like