What is BigCommerce’s Stencil Framework?

BigCommerce’s Stencil Framework empowers developers to create highly customizable and visually appealing online stores. It offers tools and features to streamline theme development, customize the storefront, enhance the shopping experience, and ensure security and scalability. Whether starting a new store or transitioning from the Blueprint theme platform, Stencil provides a modern and flexible solution.

What is BigCommerce's Stencil Framework?

BigCommerce’s Stencil Framework is a powerful tool designed to help developers create beautiful and customizable online stores. It provides a flexible and efficient way to build themes, customize storefronts, and enhance the overall shopping experience. With Stencil, developers can leverage modern web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to create responsive and mobile-friendly themes. It offers a wide range of features and capabilities that enable developers to deliver unique and engaging shopping experiences for their customers.

The Stencil Framework is built on a foundation of best practices and industry standards, ensuring that developers can create themes that are secure, scalable, and performant. It also provides a seamless migration path for developers who are transitioning from the Blueprint theme platform.

Getting Started with Stencil

To get started with Stencil, developers can refer to the BigCommerce documentation, which provides a comprehensive guide on how to set up their development environment, install the Stencil CLI, and create a new Stencil theme.

The documentation covers all the necessary steps, from installing Node.js and npm to creating a new Stencil theme using the provided starter files. It also provides guidance on how to use the Stencil CLI to preview and test the theme locally before deploying it to a live store.

Developers can explore the various Stencil CLI options and commands to optimize their development workflow. Additionally, the documentation offers troubleshooting tips and solutions for common issues that developers may encounter during the setup process.

Understanding the Stencil Technology Stack Stencil is built on a modern technology stack that enables developers to leverage the latest web development techniques and tools. The stack includes:

    • Node.js: Stencil uses Node.js as the runtime environment, allowing developers to execute JavaScript code on the server-side.
    • npm: npm is a package manager for Node.js that helps developers manage and install the dependencies required by their Stencil theme.
    • Gulp: Gulp is a task runner that automates repetitive tasks such as compiling Sass, minifying JavaScript, and optimizing images.
    • Webpack: Webpack is a module bundler that allows developers to organize and bundle their theme’s assets and dependencies.
    • Handlebars: Handlebars is a templating language that enables developers to create dynamic and reusable HTML templates for their Stencil theme. By understanding the Stencil technology stack, developers can optimize their workflow, leverage the available tools and frameworks, and create high-performing themes.
Transitioning to Stencil

For developers who are already using the Blueprint theme platform, BigCommerce provides a smooth transition path to Stencil. The transition process involves migrating the existing theme files, customizations, and settings to the Stencil framework.

The BigCommerce documentation offers detailed guidance on how to migrate from Blueprint to Stencil, including step-by-step instructions and best practices. It covers various aspects of the migration, such as handling custom code, updating templates, and ensuring a seamless transition for customers.

Developers can also take advantage of the Stencil Migration App, which is a tool provided by BigCommerce to automate parts of the migration process. The app helps in converting common Blueprint theme files and settings to their Stencil equivalents, saving development time and effort.

Exploring Stencil CLI

The Stencil CLI (Command Line Interface) is a powerful tool that simplifies theme development and speeds up the development process. It provides a set of commands that enable developers to perform various tasks, such as creating new themes, compiling assets, and deploying themes to BigCommerce stores.

To start using the Stencil CLI, developers need to install it globally on their system using npm. Once installed, they can use commands like stencil init, stencil start, stencil bundle, and stencil push to create, preview, build, and deploy their Stencil themes.

The Stencil CLI also offers options and flags that allow developers to customize their development environment. For example, developers can specify a custom port for the local development server, enable hot module reloading, or disable certain features during the development process.

In addition to the CLI, developers can take advantage of various Stencil CLI plugins and extensions to enhance their development workflow. These plugins provide additional functionality, such as linting, code formatting, and asset optimization.

Customizing the Storefront

One of the key features of the Stencil Framework is the ability to customize the storefront to match the brand identity and design requirements. Stencil provides a flexible and modular structure that allows developers to customize various aspects of the storefront, including the directory structure, theme assets, and page composition.

Directory Structure The directory structure of a Stencil theme follows a logical and organized layout that makes it easy for developers to navigate and manage their theme files. The main directories include:

    • Assets: This directory contains the theme’s static assets, such as images, fonts, and JavaScript files.
    • Config: The config directory holds configuration files, including the theme’s settings schema, template files, and locale files.
    • Templates: This directory contains the Handlebars templates that define the structure and layout of the theme’s pages and components.
    • Styles: The styles directory holds the theme’s Sass files, which define the styles and appearance of the storefront.
Theme Assets

Stencil allows developers to customize the theme’s assets, such as images, fonts, and JavaScript files, to create a unique and visually appealing storefront. This customization extends to the logo, banners, icons, and other visual elements that define the brand’s identity. By replacing or modifying these assets, developers can ensure that the online store aligns with the brand’s aesthetics and messaging.

Page Composition

Developers have the flexibility to customize the page composition by editing Handlebars templates. Handlebars templates allow for dynamic content rendering and the creation of reusable components. This means developers can design and structure product pages, category pages, and other sections of the storefront to meet specific design and functionality requirements.

Theme Settings

Stencil also provides options for configuring the theme’s settings to control various aspects of the storefront’s behavior and appearance. Developers can define color schemes, typography, layout options, and more through the theme’s settings schema. This level of customization ensures that the online store reflects the brand’s unique style and provides a consistent user experience.

Mobile Responsiveness

With the increasing prevalence of mobile shopping, it’s crucial for online stores to be mobile-friendly. Stencil makes it easier for developers to create responsive designs that adapt seamlessly to different screen sizes and devices. By utilizing CSS media queries and other responsive design techniques, developers can ensure that the shopping experience is optimized for both desktop and mobile users.

Enhancing the Shopping Experience

Beyond visual customization, Stencil offers tools and capabilities to enhance the overall shopping experience for customers. Developers can integrate features like product reviews, live chat support, product recommendations, and social media integration to engage shoppers and improve conversions.

App Integration

To extend the functionality of an online store, developers can leverage third-party apps and integrations. BigCommerce offers a marketplace with a wide range of apps that can be easily integrated into Stencil themes. These apps cover various aspects of e-commerce, including marketing, analytics, payment processing, and shipping. Integrating these apps allows businesses to tailor their online store’s capabilities to their specific needs.

Performance Optimization

Performance is a critical factor for online stores, as slow-loading pages can deter potential customers. Stencil encourages performance optimization by supporting techniques like image optimization, lazy loading, and efficient asset delivery. Developers can also take advantage of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to ensure fast and reliable page loading times for users worldwide.

Security and Scalability

The Stencil Framework prioritizes security and scalability, adhering to best practices and industry standards. This ensures that online stores built using Stencil are robust and can handle increasing traffic and sales volumes. BigCommerce also takes care of security updates and compliance, allowing developers to focus on enhancing the shopping experience without worrying about potential vulnerabilities.

In conclusion, BigCommerce’s Stencil Framework empowers developers to create highly customizable and visually appealing online stores. It offers a range of tools and features to streamline theme development, customize the storefront, enhance the shopping experience, and ensure security and scalability. Whether you’re starting a new online store or transitioning from the Blueprint theme platform, MageMontreal can show you how Stencil provides a modern and flexible solution for building e-commerce websites that meet the unique needs of businesses and your customers.

What is BigCommerce's Stencil Framework?

If you’re a developer looking to create beautiful and customizable online stores, then BigCommerce’s Stencil Framework is the powerful tool you’ve been searching for. Stencil provides a flexible and efficient way to build themes, customize storefronts, and enhance the overall shopping experience.

With Stencil, you can leverage modern web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to create responsive and mobile-friendly themes. It offers a wide range of features and capabilities that enable you to deliver unique and engaging shopping experiences for your customers.

The Stencil Framework is built on a foundation of best practices and industry standards, ensuring that you can create themes that are secure, scalable, and performant. It also provides a seamless migration path if you’re transitioning from the Blueprint theme platform.

Getting Started with Stencil

To get started with Stencil, you can refer to the BigCommerce documentation, which provides a comprehensive guide on how to set up your development environment, install the Stencil CLI, and create a new Stencil theme.

The documentation covers all the necessary steps, from installing Node.js and npm to creating a new Stencil theme using the provided starter files. It also provides guidance on how to use the Stencil CLI to preview and test the theme locally before deploying it to a live store.

You can explore the various Stencil CLI options and commands to optimize your development workflow. Additionally, the documentation offers troubleshooting tips and solutions for common issues that you may encounter during the setup process.

Understanding the Stencil Technology Stack

Stencil is built on a modern technology stack that enables you to leverage the latest web development techniques and tools. The stack includes:

Node.js: Stencil uses Node.js as the runtime environment, allowing you to execute JavaScript code on the server-side.

npm: npm is a package manager for Node.js that helps you manage and install the dependencies required by your Stencil theme.

Gulp: Gulp is a task runner that automates repetitive tasks such as compiling Sass, minifying JavaScript, and optimizing images.

Webpack: Webpack is a module bundler that allows you to organize and bundle your theme’s assets and dependencies.

Handlebars: Handlebars is a templating language that enables you to create dynamic and reusable HTML templates for your Stencil theme. By understanding the Stencil technology stack, you can optimize your workflow, leverage the available tools and frameworks, and create high-performing themes.

Transitioning to Stencil

If you’re already using the Blueprint theme platform, BigCommerce provides a smooth transition path to Stencil. The transition process involves migrating the existing theme files, customizations, and settings to the Stencil framework.

The BigCommerce documentation offers detailed guidance on how to migrate from Blueprint to Stencil, including step-by-step instructions and best practices. It covers various aspects of the migration, such as handling custom code, updating templates, and ensuring a seamless transition for customers.

You can also take advantage of the Stencil Migration App, which is a tool provided by BigCommerce to automate parts of the migration process. The app helps in converting common Blueprint theme files and settings to their Stencil equivalents, saving development time and effort.

Exploring Stencil CLI

The Stencil CLI (Command Line Interface) is a powerful tool that simplifies theme development and speeds up the development process. It provides a set of commands that enable you to perform various tasks, such as creating new themes, compiling assets, and deploying themes to BigCommerce stores.

To start using the Stencil CLI, you need to install it globally on your system using npm. Once installed, you can use commands like stencil init, stencil start, stencil bundle, and stencil push to create, preview, build, and deploy your Stencil themes.

The Stencil CLI also offers options and flags that allow you to customize your development environment. For example, you can specify a custom port for the local development server, enable hot module reloading, or disable certain features during the development process.

In addition to the CLI, you can take advantage of various Stencil CLI plugins and extensions to enhance your development workflow. These plugins provide additional functionality, such as linting, code formatting, and asset optimization.

Customizing the Storefront

One of the key features of the Stencil Framework is the ability to customize the storefront to match your brand identity and design requirements. Stencil provides a flexible and modular structure that allows you to customize various aspects of the storefront, including the directory structure, theme assets, and page composition. The directory structure of a Stencil theme follows

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