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CS-Cart Boilerplate Theme: Minimum of Code, Maximum of Flexibility


At CS-Cart, we’re continually developing and polishing storefront design—the built-in CS-Cart Responsive theme. The Responsive theme is mobile-friendly, customizable via the Visual Editor, and perfect for a startup.

But owners of the big online stores often order custom designs or install third-party themes to make their stores look unique. And here comes trouble for theme developers: to develop a new theme from the Responsive theme, a developer has to completely rework the Responsive theme by deleting tons of code.

We’d like to ease the work for theme developers, so we’re presenting to you a special CS-Cart Boilerplate theme that has a minimum of code and is easy to develop.

What Makes the Boilerplate Theme Easy to Work With

We’ve contacted our developer partners and asked them to provide us with feedback about CS-Cart theme development: difficulties, special aspects, and requests.

We’ve analyzed the feedback and created the Boilerplate theme—a skeleton that has much less code and files than the Responsive theme:

    • The Boilerplate theme uses Bootstrap 3.3.5—an HTML, CSS, and JavaScript framework that developers use as a basis for creating responsive websites.

      Bootstrap is easy to work with because you can use dozens of pre-built components such as dropdowns, navigation, buttons, and other interface elements. No deep HTML, CSS, and JavaScript knowledge required—copy-paste the pre-cooked code and you’re good to go.

      Bootstrap is open source and available on GitHub.

    • The Boilerplate theme supports both Glyphicons, which ship with Bootstrap, and Font Awesome icons. These icons simplify and speed up theme development—you add a ready-made icon to your theme by copying the pre-cooked code.
    • Since the Boilerplate theme uses Bootstrap, we have re-factored all the templates—now they use bootstrap components and have simplified HTML.
    • The Boilerplate theme has 1,000 lines of our CSS code left (Responsive has 11,000 lines). Less code—less work to do.
    • The number of template files decreased by 131 files compared with Responsive.
  • Unlike the Responsive theme, which uses a 16-column grid, the Boilerplate theme has a more common 12-column grid.
The Boilerplate theme is open source, so you are welcome to send pull requests.

Plans for the Future

After the release of the Boilerplate theme, we’ll continue to polish and simplify it. Here’s how we’re planning to improve it in the future:

    • Through the theme, you’ll be able to override store settings—in the theme’s manifest.json file, you can change product page templates, thumbnails size, number of layout columns, and more.
    • We’ll rework JavaScript by simplifying it and deleting redundant code. For example, jQuery UI will be totally removed.
  • We’ll reduce the amount of the CSS code that developers have to modify during theme development and simplify the templates’ logic.

You are welcome to download the Boilerplate theme. Please test it, and post issues if you find any.

Tell us what you think about the new Boilerplate theme in this forum topic. We greatly appreciate your feedback!

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Head of Content Marketing at CS-Cart | Website

Yan Anderson is the Head of Content Marketing at CS-Cart with over 10 years of experience in the eCommerce industry. He's passionate about explaining complicated things in simple terms. Yan has expertise in building, running and growing eCommerce marketplaces. He loves to educate people about best practices, new technologies, and trends in the global eCommerce industry.