Creating a Starter Kit

Thinking of creating your own Statamic Starter Kit? Here's everything you need to know to get started.

Overview

Starter kit development happens within a real instance of Statamic, just like developing any other Statamic site using your normal, preferred workflows.

A released Starter Kit package contains only the files relevant to the kit itself, and not a full Statamic/Laravel instance. Our Import/Export tools will allow you to maintain only those relevant files, without having to worry about maintaining the Statamic and underlying Laravel instances as they get updated over time.

The Export command will export all the files and directories you've created or configured to a new location. It's this directory that becomes the package, and is the thing you should version control, not the sandbox instance.

For example, maybe you are creating a pre-built, theme-style Starter Kit, the high-level workflow might look like this:

  1. Create a new Statamic project.

  2. Develop the theme as you normally would.

  3. Export the theme to a separate repo for redistribution.

    php please starter-kit:export ../kung-fury-theme
  4. Publish to Github, Gitlab, or Bitbucket.

  5. Install into new Statamic projects.

    php please starter-kit:install the-hoff/kung-fury-theme

Creating the Starter Kit Project

The first step is to create a new Statamic project. This is essentially a throwaway sandbox that you will use to develop and test your starter kit.

Exporting Files

When ready to export your Starter Kit, run the following command:

php please starter-kit:export {export_repo_path}

If you are exporting for the first time, a new starter-kit.yaml config file will be created in your app's root, and you will be instructed to configure which export_paths you would like to export.

For example, the following config would tell Statamic to export sample content, along with related assets, config, blueprints, css, views, and front-end build config out for distribution on the Statamic Marketplace.

export_paths:
- content
- config/filesystems.php
- config/statamic/assets.php
- resources/blueprints
- resources/css/site.css
- resources/views
- public/assets
- public/css
- package.json
- tailwind.config.js
- webpack.mix.js

Anything not configured in your starter-kit.yaml will not be exported. This way you don't have to maintain a full Statamic site, or any bootstrap code that is unrelated to your Starter Kit.

Once your export paths are configured, re-run the above starter-kit:export command. Your files should now be available at your new export repo path.

Avoiding Path Conflicts

If you have a filename conflict between your sandbox and your starter kit repo, you can use export_as to customize its export path.

For example, you may wish to export a README.md for installation into new sites that is separate from the README.md in your starter kit repo.

export_as:
file-in-sandbox.md: file-in-exported-repo.md
README.md: README-for-new-site.md

This will instruct starter-kit:export to rename each of those paths on export, and in reverse on starter-kit:install to match where you had them in your sandbox app.

Exporting Dependencies

If you wish to bundle any of your installed Composer dependencies with your starter-kit, just composer require them in your sandbox project as you would into any app, then add them under a dependencies array in your starter-kit.yaml config file:

dependencies:
- statamic/ssg

The exporter will automatically detect the installed versions and whether or not they are installed as dev dependencies, and export accordingly.

When installing the starter kit, composer will install with the same version constraints as you had installed in your sandbox project during development.

Publishing a Starter Kit

Once exported, you will notice that a sample composer.json file was created at your specified export repo path. Make sure you update the package's vendor name:

{
"name": "the-hoff/kung-fury-theme",
"extra": {
"statamic": {
"name": "Kung Fury Theme",
"description": "Kung Fury Theme starter kit"
}
}
}

Now create a README.md file and push to Github, Gitlab, or Bitbucket, as you would any PHP package. This is all that is required to publish a free Starter Kit!

Hot Tip!

Unlike addons, you are not required to register on Packagist.

If you would like to share your kit, receive more exposure, or would like to charge for your Starter Kit, you should publish it to the Statamic Marketplace.

Publishing to the Marketplace

Once your Starter Kit is ready for the world, you can publish it on the Statamic Marketplace where it can be discovered by others.

Before you can publish your Starter Kit, you'll need a couple of things:

In your seller dashboard, you can create a product. There you'll be able to link your Composer package that you created on Packagist, choose a price, write a description, and so on.

Products will be marked as drafts that you can preview and tweak until you're ready to go.

Once published, you'll be able to see your Starter Kit on the Marketplace and within the Starter Kits area of the Statamic Control Panel.

Installing from a Local Repo

To test install your Starter Kit from your local exported repo, you can add the repo's local path to your global Composer config.json file as a repository:

{
"repositories": [
{
"type": "path",
"url": "/Users/hasselhoff/kung-fury-theme"
}
]
}
Hot Tip!

If you are not sure where your config.json is located, run composer config --global home to see the location of your global Composer config.

With your repo's local path added to your config.json, you should now be able to install using the --local cli option:

statamic new kung-fury-dev the-hoff/kung-fury-theme --local

Maintaining a Starter Kit

When making changes to your Starter Kit, just re-export from your development repo and push your changes from your exported repo.

Keeping up-to-date with Statamic and Laravel

Rather than maintaining your development repo as new Statamic and Laravel versions are released, you can always install your Starter Kit into a fresh Statamic instance by using the --with-config install option.

statamic new kung-fury-dev the-hoff/kung-fury-theme --with-config

This will install your Starter Kit into a brand new Statamic project, along with your starter-kit.yaml config file for future exports.

Addons vs. Starter Kits

Both addons and Starter Kits can be used to extend the Statamic experience, but they have different strengths and use cases:

Addons

  • Addons are installed via composer, like any PHP package
  • Addons live within your app's vendor folder after they are installed
  • Addons can be updated over time
  • Addon licenses are tied to your site
Hot Tip!

An example use case is a custom fieldtype maintained by a third party vendor. Though you would install and use the addon within your app, you would still rely on the vendor to maintain and update the addon over time.

Starters Kits

  • Starter kits are installed via php please starter-kit:install
  • Starter kits install pre-configured files and settings into your site
  • Starter kits do not live as updatable packages within your apps
  • Starter kit licenses are not tied to a specific site, and expire after a successful install
Hot Tip!

An example use case is a frontend theme with sample content. This is the kind of thing you would install into your app once and modify to fit your own style. You would essentially own and maintain the installed files yourself.

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