I know in a template you can add

<jdoc:include type="modules" name="newposition"   />

and then within the positions tags you add your new position.


But I also know you can just create a position out of nowhere by typing it in the module back end in the position slot.

Adding a new module position in the Joomla! module backend

And then you can do module loadposition.

{loadposition some_position}

But if I echo this text in my module it's just text (a string). If I echo the XML that's also a string, but I never expected that to work as it's not in the XML file.

Is it possible to add a module position within a module?

I'd rather do this the built in Joomla! way than using any extensions.

I have tried it with a content prepare plugin but I would rather try Sharky's method but I cannot get it working. Here is what I have tried.

use Joomla\CMS\Factory;

<div class="ui-nav ui-nav-mobile">
    <div class="g-content">
    <a class="ui-btn ui-menu-close">Close <i class="fa fa-close" aria-label="Close dialog"></i></a>        
        foreach ($subform_items as $item) {
            $position_name = "{loadposition " . $item->position_name_x . "}";
         $modulePositions = JHtml::_('content.prepare', $position_name, '', 'mod_koy_sticky_contact.content');
            //$modulePositions = Factory::getApplication()->getDocument()->loadRenderer('modules')->render($position_name);
            echo "<div class='" . $item->position_name_x . "'>" . $modulePositions . "</div>";

The commented out part shows a blank, but the other version works.


Although using content plugin works, there is no need for it in PHP code. Instead you can use the document renderer directly:

use Joomla\CMS\Factory;

echo Factory::getApplication()->getDocument()->loadRenderer('modules')->render($position);
  • Nice. Is getDocument still being used in J4? I should update my instance to use HTMLHelper instead of JHtml – Eoin Jun 26 '19 at 19:51
  • 1
    \Joomla\CMS\Factory::getDocument() works in J4 but is deprecated. Instead could use \Joomla\CMS\Factory::getApplication()->getDocument(). It works in J3 too. – Sharky Jun 26 '19 at 20:13
  • 1
    My method doesn't run unneeded code. – Sharky Jun 27 '19 at 5:58
  • 1
    No. mod_custom intends to trigger content plugins. – Sharky Jun 27 '19 at 13:11
  • 1
    You are passing a shortcode ($position_name), not the position ($item->position_name_x) to render() call. Also, you can move Factory::getApplication()->getDocument()->loadRenderer('modules') out of the loop. – Sharky Jul 19 '19 at 22:13

It probably depends on specific circumstances. I have custom modules that contain several 'secondary' modules. I accomplish this using the Modules Anywhere extension and add {example module} to the code for the module I'm putting it in. You don't need to include a module position in the module settings to use Modules Anywhere.


  • Hmm, yes, I'm aware of that extension and it is useful. – Eoin Dec 29 '18 at 0:09


You need to switch on the content plugin

Trigger the onContentPrepare plugin event


I ended up creating a Joomla! subform so I could add multiple positions. Here is my code.

        foreach ($subform_items as $item) {
            $position_name = "{loadposition " . $item->position_name_x . "}";
            $modulePositions = JHtml::_('content.prepare', $position_name, '', 'mod_my_module.content');
            echo $modulePositions;

What this is doing is:

  1. A foreach on my XML to gain each position.
  2. Use the usual {loadposition yourPositionName} code that can be seen here: https://docs.joomla.org/How_do_you_put_a_module_inside_an_article%3F
  3. Usually you would manually type it or use the Editor Module Plugin, in my example I used yourPositionName, but in real life I wanted these positions to come from my module where there is a repeatable field. So I called $position_name_x which is part of the params of my $item.
  4. I then echo my position name. Without content prepare it will echo a literal string {yourPositionName} and not the modules in that position, but with content prepare it will send you the modules. This is using the system plugin onContentPrepare I believe.

I hope that helps someone

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