Defining Global Styles

Configuration file

You can manage your theme’s front-end components by configuring its config.json file. This file is made up of different keys and values that define your theme’s global styles.

config.json performs the following functions:

  • Provides global context for Stencil’s CSS and Handlebars resources.
  • Provides values for the Page Builder UI to manage.
  • Provides metadata for your theme’s listing in the Theme Marketplace.
  • Defines variations included in your theme.

For a list of all available keys and values in config.json, see Models.

Requirements and restrictions

The config.json file must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be named config.json, must reside in the root of your <theme-name> top-level subdirectory (for example, /cornerstone/config.json), and must contain valid JSON.
  • The maximum allowable size for a theme’s config.json file is 64 KB. Exceeding this limit will trigger an error upon uploading the theme to BigCommerce.
  • Each key’s value is restricted to 64 characters. Exceeding this limit will similarly trigger an upload error.

Apart from the aforementioned size constraints, there is no limit on the number of keys and values you can place in a theme’s config.json.

Carefully check your theme against all the listed requirements – including the required keys within the meta object and variations array. While some requirements are not enforced in local development, they will be validated when you upload your theme to BigCommerce.

Required config.json keys

The config.json file must contain the following keys:

  • name
  • version
  • settings
  • variations
  • meta (see specific requirements below)

Required meta keys

The meta object must contain the following keys:

  • price
  • author_name
  • author_email
  • author_support_url
  • documentation_url
  • composed_image
  • features

For illustration, below is a commented excerpt.

{
  ...
  "meta": {
    "price": 15000, // in cents; non-negative integer, minimum 0
    "author_name": "eCommerce Themes, Inc.", // Must be a string, not null
    "author_email": "support@example.com", // Must be a string, should be a valid email address, not null
    "author_support_url": "http://example.com/contactus", //  Must be a string, should be a valid URL, not null
    "documentation_url": "http://example.com/guide", // Must be a string, limit of 255 characters, not null
    "composed_image": "path/to/composed.png", // Must be a string path to the composed-image file
    "features": [ // Array of feature strings, all of which must be in the list enumerated here:
          https://github.com/bigcommerce/theme-registry/blob/master/app/schemas/theme_config.json#L33
      "fully_responsive" // Must include at least one feature, and no duplicate entries
    ]
  },
  ...
}

Required variation keys

A theme requires at least one variation. For each variation that you choose to include in your theme, you must provide the following keys:

  • name
  • id
  • meta

For illustration, below is a code sample from Cornerstone.

"variations": [
    {
      "name": "Light",
      "id": "light",
      "meta": {
        "desktop_screenshot": "desktop_light.png",
        "mobile_screenshot": "mobile_light.png",
        "description": "Ideal for a wide range of businesses and brands, this design is fully responsive, simple, and ready for you to add your branding, logo, and products. ...",
    ...
    }
  ]

New products example

The values that you define in the config.json file interact with local resources making it possible to customize your theme’s appearance globally. Your config.json definitions set global defaults for templates, front matter attributes, and Handlebars resources throughout your theme. You can also define custom variables in config.json, named according to your needs. To see how interactions with config.json values work, first note the default values in config.json for the homepage_new_products_count and product_list_display_mode keys.

{
"settings": {
  "homepage_new_products_count": 5,
  "product_list_display_mode": "grid",
  }
}

Next, open your templates/pages/home.html file. Note the reference to the homepage_new_products_count key in the file’s front matter. If your current theme’s home.html front matter omits products:new:limit, paste it in for this demonstration.

products:
  new:
    limit: {{theme_settings.homepage_new_products_count}}
  featured:
    limit: {{theme_settings.homepage_featured_products_count}}
  top_sellers:
    limit: {{theme_settings.homepage_top_products_count}}
carousel: {{theme_settings.homepage_show_carousel}}
blog:
    recent_posts:
        limit: {{theme_settings.homepage_blog_posts_count}}
{{#partial "hero"}}
<!-- [...] -->
{{/partial}}
{{> layout/base}}

You should see five products displayed in a grid in the New Products section of your homepage.

Changing page layout using local front matter

In the home.html front matter, products:featured:limit controls how many products appear on the home page. The number of products is set by the config.json file’s homepage_featured_products_count.

<!-- [...] -->
products:
  featured:
      limit: {{theme_settings.homepage_featured_products_count}}
<!-- [...] -->

To set theme-wide configurations in the front matter using config.json, replace the {{theme_settings.homepage_featured_products_count}} statement in home.html with a hard-coded 2. For reference, see the following example.

products:
  <!-- [...] -->
  featured:
      limit: 2
  <!-- [...] -->
<!-- [...] -->
{{#partial "page"}}
<!-- [...] -->
<div class="main full">
  {{#if products.featured}}
      {{> components/products/featured products=products.featured columns=2}}
  {{/if}}
</div>
{{/partial}}
{{> layout/base}}

Reload the page. You should see the number of products displayed in Featured Products change to two.

Retrieving specific config.json values through Sass

In config.json, global variables bring dynamic values into the framework. Sass imports these global variables’ values to handle data, such as colors hexadecimal values, and to make the data available to Page Builder. The following is a snippet of color variables from config.json.

{
<!-- [...] -->
"color-highlight": "#00abc9",
"color-highlightDark": "#f2f2f2",
"color-highlightDarker": "#dfdfdf",
<!-- [...] -->
}

Below are the corresponding references in the theme’s assets/scss/settings/global/color/_color.scss file.

// ...
$color-highlight:       stencilColor("color-highlight");
$color-highlightDarker: stencilColor("color-highlightDarker");
$color-highlightDark:   stencilColor("color-highlightDark");
// ...

In config.json, try redefining one or more color variables to hex values of your choice. Reload the page to see the effects.

Adding and removing components

The properties that Stencil abstracts as Handlebars resources are portable between HTML files. To see this in action, open any storefront page in a browser and navigate to the page’s footer where you should see the Categories section. Open your theme’s footer.html file located in templates/components/common/footer.html, navigate to the footer-info section, and remove the following footer-categories component:

<article class="footer-info-col footer-info-col--small" data-section-type="footer-categories">
  <h3 class="footer-info-heading">{{lang 'footer.categories'}}</h3>
  <ul class="footer-info-list">
      {{#each categories}}
      <li>
          <a href="{{url}}">{{name}}</a>
      </li>
      {{/each}}
  </ul>
</article>

Refresh the page. The Categories section should disappear from the footer. Next, add a footer directory to templates/components and create a new categories.html template (for example, templates/components/footer/categories.html). Paste the code block from the previous step into categories.html.

<article class="footer-info-col footer-info-col--small" data-section-type="footer-categories">
  <h3 class="footer-info-heading">{{lang 'footer.categories'}}</h3>
  <ul class="footer-info-list">
      {{#each categories}}
      <li>
          <a href="{{url}}">{{name}}</a>
      </li>
      {{/each}}
  </ul>
</article>

In templates/components/common/footer.html, add a reference to the new template as shown below.

<footer class="footer" role="contentinfo">
  <div class="container">
      <section class="footer-info">
          <!-- [...] -->
          {{> components/footer/categories}}
          <!-- [...] -->
      </section>
  </div>
</footer>

Refresh the page. The Categories list should reappear in the footer.

Resources

Additional resources