Custom Themes

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This documentation was modified on 4/19/2019

If you have a hired or are considering hiring a third party developer or designer to work on a theme for your website please have them review the information below. We highly recommend confirming they are familiar with Drupal.

What version of Drupal is the IndieCommerce site based on?What version of Drupal is the IndieCommerce site based on?    

IndieCommerce websites have been upgraded to Drupal 7.65.  Our sites are created using a multi-site install.  This allows ease of updating and managing our sites as they share the same code base.  Currently, there are over 400 IndieCommerce sites using this shared code base. For the security of all sites, there are restrictions on certain aspects of your IndieCommerce site.  If you plan on creating a custom theme or customizing a theme and you have questions after reviewing the FAQ, we encourage you to reach out to the IndieCommerce Team at staff@bookweb.org before you begin any development work.  This could save you valuable time.

I would like to update my custom theme. How do I go about doing that?I would like to update my custom theme. How do I go about doing that?

While updating your current theme or creating a new one, you will need SFTP access to the themes folder of your site. Please contact staff@bookweb.org with a request. We will send the login information as soon as it becomes available. Before beginning any theme work, review this document in its entirety. If you have any questions, please contact the IndieCommerce team before beginning any work on your theme. When creating a custom theme, we recommend that you download an instance of Drupal 7.65 and begin working on your local environment before you upload the new theme to your themes folder for final tweaking. You must make sure that your theme does not have any module dependencies that are not supported by the IndieCommerce platform. If you are unsure about whether or not a module is pre-approved, please email us with the module name and a link to its information page on drupal.org.

I have hired the help of a third party developer to update my site. How can the developer get started?I have hired the help of a third party developer to update my site. How can the developer get started?

First, send us an email informing us that you have hired a developer to work on your site (name and email). Second, have the developer review this FAQ section. Third, email us your plans for your new theme and the name of the theme you would like us to provide a copy of. We will then set up an SFTP account to provide access to your site's theme folder. If your developer has additional questions, they can email us at staff@bookweb.org and if needed, we can schedule a call.

Are there rules for either customized or completely custom-built themes?Are there rules for either customized or completely custom-built themes?

There are three important considerations for any store planning to customize an IndieCommerce off-the-shelf theme, a purchased theme or a custom-designed and built theme. First, the final theme must be compatible with Drupal 7.65 and we require that the theme be renamed to something with the store's name in it. Second, the final theme must not be dependent upon any Drupal module unsupported by IndieCommerce.The IndieCommerce platform installation of Drupal 7.65 includes core and contributed Drupal 7.65 modules that we have tested. We will again review, on a case-by-case basis, additional modules that might benefit all users, but this does not alter the requirement that custom themes be free of dependencies upon unapproved modules.Third, in order to avoid unnecessary expense, confusion with developers or web designers and a customized site that does not function as part of IndieCommerce, notify the IndieCommerce staff of your theme plans in advance by writing staff@bookweb.org.

Can I have a staging environment to work with my custom theme?  Can I have a staging environment to work with my custom theme?

We can create a development environment for you upon request. Theme files from the development server can be copied over to the production server. Configuration settings and new content added to the development server should be duplicated on the production server by the store or developers hired by the store.

About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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