Contributing Guide

Frontity, as an open source project, welcomes everyone to contribute to code, so we are trying to make it as easy as possible.

The most common way to suggest improvements or changes to Frontity (and most of the projects) is to copy the Frontity project to your own repository and make there all the changes you want. Once you consider they are okay, make a pull request to submit your contribution to Frontity.

Before starting, the only prerequisite is to have Node.js 10 installed in your computer.

Quick guide

  1. Fork this repository and clone your fork.

  2. Run npm install in the root folder.

  3. Run cd examples/mars-theme-example/ to go to the example directory.

  4. Run npx frontity dev to start Frontity with mars-theme on localhost:3000.

  5. Make any changes you consider to the packages.

    WARNING: After adding/removing dependencies to a package, go back to the root and do npm install again.

  6. Run npm test in the root to check if the fork passes the tests.

  7. Commit and push to your fork.

  8. Open a Pull Request detailing the changes.

Step by step guide

1. Fork this repository:

You can go to our repository, click on "Fork" at the right-top corner and select your user.

After doing this, you will create Frontity project at your own repository so you can access and modify it at:{YOURUSERNAME}_/frontity/.

2. Clone your own fork:

This should be made to work on it on a local environment. If you are not using a Git Graphical User Interface (like GitKraken or SourceTree), you can clone your fork on the console by changing the current working directory to the location where you want the cloned directory to be made and running the following command:

git clone

It will create a folder named β€œfrontity” inside your current directory, and we will work on it from now on.

3. Run npm install on the root folder:

Make sure you are at the root folder of Frontity project and run npm install, don't do it on the packages.

At this point, before starting your work, it is a good practice to have a place to see all the changes you are making, and check if your new code is working properly. For doing so, we have provided some tools to run mars-theme in your local server:

4. Go to /examples/mars-theme-example/ :

To access an example to test your changes you should run the command cd examples/mars-theme-example/.

5. Run your local server:

To check your modifications, being in the folder previously mentioned, run npx frontity dev and it will start Frontity with mars-theme on localhost:3000. It will open automatically a new tab on your browser.

6. Make any changes you consider:

At this point, you are able to make any improvements you want to any of the packages (not only mars-theme), and after saving your code changes, you should check if they are working by refreshing localhost:3000. For managing the files and the code, we strongly recommend to use a code editor like Visual Studio Code.

WARNING: After adding/removing dependencies to a package, you must go back to the root and do npm install again

If you are doing modifications to the packages that run before webpack, like file-settings, babel-plugin-frontity or the scripts of core, you need to run npm run build in that package folder after each change.

7. Run the tests:

Once you have finished, for adding your changes to Frontity project, your fork must pass all the tests. For checking it you should run npm test in the root folder. This will tell you if the tests are okay and in case they are not, they will tell you which ones aren't.

If you find some errors, you can try:

  • Run npm test on a package to detect where is the problem.

  • Run npm run test in the root to pass all tests without cache. It is useful for TypeScript tests.

8. Commit and push to your fork:

Again, we recommend you to use a Git Graphical User Interface like GitKraken, but it can also be done in the console if wanted.

9. Open a Pull Request

At this point, your fork should be ready to be merged to Frontity, so you can open a Pull Request and we will review it. Make sure to select a descriptive name and follow the template.

For opening one you have to go to Frontity's pull requests page and select compare across forks.

Select your own repository and the dev branch on Frontity, and create the pull request.

Commit messages

Commit messages are one of the most common ways developers communicate with other developers so it’s important that your commit message clearly communicate changes with everybody else.

In Frontity, we follow the seven rules of Chris Beams:

  1. Separate subject from body with a blank line

  2. Limit the subject line to 50 characters

  3. Capitalize the subject line

  4. Do not end the subject line with a period

  5. Use the imperative mood in the subject line

  6. Wrap the body at 72 characters

  7. Use the body to explain what and why vs. how

Additionally, you can add a scope followed by a colon. Sometimes it may help clarify and shorten the message:

Decode: Fix regexp for numeric entities
Fix the decode regexp for numeric entities

Remember to capitalize the subject again after the colon.

For a more detailed explanation please read the excellent article of Chris Beams and the guide of WordPress VIP:

Code comments

For code comments, we follow these rules:

  1. Write your comments in plain, valid English.

  2. Capitalize the first word.

  3. End with a period.

  4. Break the line at 80 characters.

// This is a bad comment because is longer than 80 characters and people need to scroll right to read it. Don't do this.
// This is a good comment. You can create different phrases. Then, break
// the line if it is too long so people do not have to scroll to the right
// to read everything.
// Bad comment. Too Cryptic. Please talk English.
// This is a good comment. It is not cryptic and it's easy to read.
// Please, talk in proper English, like when you talk to a person.
// this is a bad comment
// Remember to capitalize the first word and end with a period.


We use Changesets to manage our versioning and changelogs.

What is a changeset

A changeset is a piece of information about changes made in a branch or commit. It holds three bits of information:

  • What we need to release.

  • What version we are releasing packages at (using a SemVer bump type).

  • A changelog entry for the released packages.

If you pull request has changes that need to be released in a new version of some of the packages, you need to include a changeset file in the pull request.

How to create a changeset

  1. Run the command-line script npx changeset.

  2. Select the packages you want to include in the changeset using ↑ and ↓ to navigate to packages, and hit space to select a package. Hit enter when all desired packages are selected.

  3. You will be prompted to select a bump type for each selected package. Select an appropriate bump type for the changes made. Those are:

    • Major version: when you make incompatible API changes.

    • Minor version: when you add functionality in a backward compatible manner.

    • Patch version: when you make backward compatible bugfixes. See here for information on SemVer versioning.

  4. Your final prompt will be to provide a message to go alongside the changeset. This will be written into the changelog when the next release occurs.

After this, a new changeset file will be added, which is a Markdown file with YAML front matter.

-| .changeset/

You can write as much Markdown as you want

The message you typed can be found in the Markdown file. If you want to expand on it, you can write as much Markdown as you want, which will all be added to the changelog on publish. If you want to add more packages or change the bump types of any packages, that's also fine.

A good idea of what should be in a changeset is:

  • What the change is.

  • Why the change was made.

  • How a consumer should update their code.

Once you are happy with the changeset, commit the file to your branch.

You can add more than one changeset to a pull request

Changesets are designed to stack, so there's no problem with adding multiple. You might want to add more than one changeset when:

  • You want to release multiple packages with different changelog entries.

  • You have made multiple changes to a package that should each be called out separately.

For a more detailed information on changesets please read their guide.

Still have questions? Ask the community! We are here to help 😊