How to share your Frontity project

When you create a Frontity project most of the times you'll end up creating a custom theme:

Whatever the case is, you may want the community:

  • To be able to check the code of your theme

  • To be able to install it locally so it can be debugged β†’ this will help the community to help you with any issue you may have with your project/theme

  • To be able to install it as an npm package (eventually) so it can be easily reused in some other projects

Here you have a few things to consider to ease contributions and support from the community to your theme

A Frontity theme project structure

In Frontity, themes are packages that can be published in npm so they can be installed and used in any other Frontity project

You can find all the Frontity themes looking for the tag frontity-theme at npm

The suggested structure for developing new themes that works with Frontity is the following one

/my-frontity-project
|__ frontity.settings.js
|__ package.json
|__ /node_modules
|__ /packages
|__ /awesome-theme
|__ /my-custom-extension-1
|__ /my-custom-extension-2

This is the structure we recommend you to upload to your remote git repository (Github, Bitbucket or any other)

Examples:

In this structure, the theme you're developing is a local dependency of the main package.json

"dependencies": {
"awesome-theme": "file:packages/awesome-theme"
}

This type of dependency is automatically defined if you create the package (theme) w/ the Frontity command npx frontity create-package awesome-theme Β» Read more about frontity create-package​

This structure implies having a main Frontity project (root package.json) and some packages (each one with its own package.json) under the packages folder

/my-frontity-project
...
|__ package.json
...
|__ /packages
|__ /awesome-theme
|__ /my-custom-extension-1
|__ /my-custom-extension-2

So, to create a custom theme project we recommend you to:

  1. Create a Frontity project β†’ npx frontity create awesome-theme-project

  2. Create a Frontity package (your theme) β†’ npx frontity create-package awesome-theme

​The Project​

These files in the root represents the Frontity project that can be launched and that will allow to see the theme (or any other package) in action

In the root folder you'll find the following:

frontity.setting.js

A frontity.setting.js file containing the settings for your project (among other settings you'll usually define the use of this theme)

For example:

...
"packages": [
{
"name": "awesome-theme"
},
...

node_modules

A /node_modules/ folder, where the dependencies of the project are installed

packages

A packages folder where your local packages live

package.json

And a package.json with the configuration & dependencies for the Frontity project.

This package.json is used when you publish a package in npm, but this Frontity project is not meant to be published

Notice the "private": true preventing this package (the main Frontity project defined in the root) being published

The Theme

With this structure you can develop your theme as a package inside the packages folder.

Each one of these packages will have its own package.json and these packages are the ones meant to be published (npm publish)

In Frontity you can create a new package by doing npx frontity create-package <my package name> (from the root of the Frontity project) Β» Read more about frontity create-package​

Why this structure?

This structure allows to:

  • Launch the project using the theme locally

  • Publish the theme independently

So any developer can clone this project, launch the Frontity project locally, have a look at how the theme looks like & behave and make contributions (pull requests) to your repository (that can be eventually merged into the main repository).

And also, the owner of the theme still can publish those new updates independently (from the theme folder, packages/awesome-theme in this case)

Example: Frontity Chakra Theme

Let's take Frontity Chakra Theme as an example of a Frontity theme available:

  • As an npm package ready to be installed and used as a theme in any Frontity project

  • In a GitHub repository ready to be cloned and launched locallly, and also ready to accept contributions from the community via Pull Requests​

Clone and launch it locally

Once we clone the theme we can see the project follows the structure of a typical Frontity project

/frontity-chakra-ui-theme
|__ frontity.settings.js
|__ package.json
...
|__ /packages
|__ /frontity-chakra-theme

From the root of the project we can do

npm install

This command will install the dependencies of the Frontity project and the dependencies of its dependencies, just as any other npm package

So, as Frontity Chakra Theme is also one of the dependencies (a local dependency) is:

"dependencies": {
...
"frontity-chakra-theme": "./packages/frontity-chakra-theme"
}

All needed dependencies (the ones defined for the Frontity project and the ones defined for the theme) are installed

​Read more about npm install <folder>

Once we have all the dependencies installed you can do (from the root)

npx frontity dev

This will launch the Frontity project using this theme

Publish the theme (as npm package)

As we can see frontity-chakra-theme is published as an npm package​

> npm search frontity-chakra-theme
NAME | DESCRIPTION | AUTHOR | DATE | VERSION | KEYWORDS
frontity-chakra-theme | A frontity theme… | =segunadebayo | 2020-01-28 | 0.0.2 | wordpress frontity frontity-theme frontity

How did @segunadebayo published this theme once he finished it? Just by doing:

cd packages/frontity-chakra-theme
npm publish

Take into account that there cannot be two packages with the same name (property name in your package.json) so if you try to publish a package that is already published you will get an error