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Looking for best practice to modify a theme from marketplace

  • This topic has 7 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 7 months, 1 week ago by .
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  • #10175
    Avatar photolars

    I was wondering how to modify a theme from marketplace, for example a template file, without loosing the possibility of updating the theme.

    For a client I used the persona_free theme with some modifications. I took the persona_free v.1.2.1.0 theme, crated a new theme from it and applied my modifications to it. That way I lost the possibility to easily update the theme and get i.e. latest bug-fixes (v.1.2.3.0). The only way I can apply changes is do it manually … or create a diff from persona_free v.1.2.1.0 with v.1.2.3.0 and apply that patch to my modified theme.

    I am new to publii and might have overlooked something. Is there something like sub-theming, which allows theme customization without losing updateability?

    #10176
    Avatar photoBob

    Just override the files you want: https://getpublii.com/dev/theme-overrides/

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    #10177
    Avatar photolars

    Thank you Bob, for pointing to the tutorial. Maybe it’s worth to get it’s own entry in the dev documentation menu.

    The tutorial was very helpful, I was able to change my current implementation to use theme overrides. The only thing I did not expect is, that the the build process modifies the file input/themes/persona_free/assets/css/style.css. It’s not a big deal, I just realized it, while I put the complete website project under git version control.

    #10178
    Avatar photoshaun2k
    lars wrote:

    The only thing I did not expect is, that the the build process modifies the file input/themes/persona_free/assets/css/style.css.

    Take a look at this post.

    You should not be modifying style.css.  Essentially,

    The theme CSS is a sum of five CSS sources:
    `theme-variables.js output + main.css + GDPR popup CSS + visual-overrides.js output + custom CSS`

    #10179
    Avatar photolars

    Thank you shaun2k. I did not modify the style.css, but the input/themes/persona_free-override/assets/css/main.css, which is a modified copy of input/themes/persona_free/assets/css/main.css.

    Is that fine or should I better add my changes to “custom CSS” or somewhere different?

    #10180
    Avatar photoshaun2k
    lars wrote:

    Is that fine or should I better add my changes to “custom CSS”?

    If the modifications are theme-specific, I would override main.css rather than custom css.
    Whatever you put in custom css remains even when you decide to switch to a different theme for the website.
    The custom css may or may not be applicable in that new theme.

    #10181
    Avatar photolars

    For now I decided to put changes into custom-css.css as overriding main.css may makes it difficult to get css updates of original theme, although custom-css.css is global.

    #10315
    Avatar photocandidexmedia
    lars wrote:

    For now I decided to put changes into custom-css.css as overriding main.css may makes it difficult to get css updates of original theme, although custom-css.css is global.

    This is a good point, however, there are cases when Custom CSS falls short for me, or when I need a proper code editor.

    To maintain a “sane”, upgrade-ready modified main.css file, I make sure to add comments every time I make an edit or addition. Then, when I update a theme, I run a git diff with VS Code of the modified CSS against the update theme’s CSS to quickly merge or ignore new changes.

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