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Rails Pagination with Tailwind

eclecticcoding profile image Chuck ・4 min read

Adding pagination to any web site can be a challenge. Luckily, there are a few ways to accomplish this is Rails. This article will add pagination to a simple post and then we will configure Tailwind for styling to pagination block.

TLTR: You can go view the code at the repository.

Setup

So, I have created a fairly basic Rails application using the basic defaults. I scaffold out a Post resource: rails g scaffold Post.

As mentioned I have set up TailwindCSS for styling. This is not a Tailwind CSS tutorial, per se, but if you need help installing and configuring Tailwind in a Rails 6 application, Tuna Çağlar Gümüş has written a wonderful tutorial for this purpose. I have included basic styling to get started as seen here in the following application.html.erb:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en" class="h-full">
<head>
  <title>ArticlePagination</title>
  <%= csrf_meta_tags %>
  <%= csp_meta_tag %>

  <%= javascript_pack_tag 'application' %>
  <%= stylesheet_pack_tag 'stylesheets' %>
</head>

<body class="flex flex-col h-full bg-gray-200">
<main class="container mx-auto m-8 flex-1">
  <%= yield %>
</main>

</body>
</html>

To get a post feed setup I have setup posts from JSONplaceholder in the following way:

Install Faraday to make the HTTP requests to JSONPlaceholder. Either bundle add faraday or add to your Gemfile: gem 'faraday' and then bundle install. Add the following to the db/seed.rb file:

@response = Faraday.get 'https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts'
post_data = JSON.parse(@response.body)

post_data.each do |post|
  Post.create!(
    content: post['body'],
    title: post['title']
  )
end

Then seed the database: rails db:seed.

The post index page is setup like so with the appropriate styling:

<p id="notice"><%= notice %></p>

<h1 class="text-2xl font-semibold my-2">All Posts</h1>

<% @posts.each do |post| %>
  <h2 class="text-xl font-semibold"><%= post.title %></h2>
  <p class="m-1 pb-4"><%= post.content %></p>
<% end %>

<div class="mx-auto text-center my-4">
  <%= will_paginate @posts %>
</div>
<br>

This is how our post feed appears now:
Alt Text

Pagination

Pagination in Rails can be fairly easy with the help of a gem called will_paginate. With this gem, it takes literally two lines of additional code. To get started, install the gem: bundle add will_paginate.

In your Post ERB for the index view, place where you want your pagination to appear: <%= will_paginate @posts %>. Your index.html.erb should like like this:

<h1 class="text-2xl font-semibold my-2">All Posts</h1>

<% @posts.each do |post| %>
  <h2 class="text-xl font-semibold"><%= post.title %></h2>
  <p class="m-1 pb-4"><%= post.content %></p>
<% end %>

<%= will_paginate @posts %>

Add the following to the Post controller's index method:

def index
    @posts = Post.paginate(page: params[:page])
end

The pagination defaults to 30 items and you will probably want to adjust the per_page maximum. Back in the controller file, tweak the index method to the following:

def index
    @posts = Post.paginate(page: params[:page], per_page: 10)
end

You now have a working pagination, however, it is not styled:
Alt Text

There are gem's which will style will_paginate, for instance, if you use Bootstrap there are a few gem's that can quickly add styling for the pagination, but I have yet to find one for Tailwind CSS. This seems like a good future project ... hmm?

So, we will have to add the styling ourselves and fortunately will_paginate does add structured HTML code that already has classes in which we can target.

<div role="navigation" aria-label="Pagination" class="pagination">
  <span class="previous_page disabled">← Previous</span> 
  <em class="current" aria-label="Page 1" aria-current="page">1</em> 
  <a rel="next" aria-label="Page 2" href="/posts?page=2">2</a> 
  <a aria-label="Page 3" href="/posts?page=3">3</a> 
  <a aria-label="Page 4" href="/posts?page=4">4</a> 
  <a class="next_page" rel="next" href="/posts?page=2">Next →</a>
</div>

So the first addition we add is to add a div wrapper that can target to center the pagination block:

<div class="text-center my-4">
    <div role="navigation" aria-label="Pagination" class="pagination">
      <span class="previous_page disabled">← Previous</span> 
      <em class="current" aria-label="Page 1" aria-current="page">1</em> 
      <a rel="next" aria-label="Page 2" href="/posts?page=2">2</a> 
      <a aria-label="Page 3" href="/posts?page=3">3</a> 
      <a aria-label="Page 4" href="/posts?page=4">4</a> 
      <a class="next_page" rel="next" href="/posts?page=2">Next →</a>
    </div>
</div>

We will add the new styling to the app/javascript/css/application.scss stylesheet and will start with the pagination class.

@import "~tailwindcss/base";
@import "~tailwindcss/components";

.pagination {
  @apply flex justify-center;
  @apply my-2 py-2;
}

@import "~tailwindcss/utilities"; 

FYI. Make sure you add your custom styling between the tailwindcss/components and utilities.

Then we need to target each child element of the parent pagination class:

.pagination * {
  @apply px-3 py-2 mx-2;
  @apply text-gray-700 no-underline bg-white rounded-lg;
}

Now finally we add the hover styling:

.pagination a:hover {
  @apply font-semibold text-gray-200 bg-gray-700;
}

Now you have a nice pagination block styled with Tailwind CSS:
Alt Text

Thank you for reading and message me with any question you may have.

Posted on by:

eclecticcoding profile

Chuck

@eclecticcoding

Fullstack development looking for first Remote position. Recently Graduated from @FlatIron School #HireMe.

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