How to Customize FTW
So you've decided to build your own marketplace using Flex Template for Web (FTW). That's awesome! This guide will help you in setting up your fork and describes the general workflow.
Table of Contents
Flex Templates for Web (FTW) are marketplace web applications built on top of the Marketplace API. While you can create a marketplace client application from scratch using just the API, it requires a lot of effort and we recommend that you use a template as a starting point for customizations.
To use the Marketplace API, you will need a client ID. You can obtain one by creating a new Flex marketplace at the Sharetribe website.
To start a new customization project, you should create a separate Git repository and setup the Git remotes so that you can pull in changes from the main (upstream) repository to your custom repository.
If you are new to Sharetribe Flex or FTW, we recommend going through couple of articles first:
The Tutorial introduction will also walk you through creating a GitHub repository.
Tutorial goes through one of the FTW templates (FTW-daily), but that's not the only one. Currently, you can choose from three templates:
- FTW-daily "Saunatime" - a rental marketplace with day-based bookings
- FTW-hourly "Yogatime" - a service marketplace with time-based bookings
- FTW-product "Sneakertime" - a product marketplace with stock management.
Note: By default your Flex marketplace comes with day-based transaction process. If you want to start working with FTW-hourly, you need to change to the time-based process. See getting started with Flex CLI for more information.
You should follow the tutorial to set up local development environment and connect it to GitHub.
If you want to update your local customization project with changes in FTW, you should pull in changes from the upstream remote.
Note: Depending on the changes you've made to the template, this might be hard/impossible depending on what has changed. You should mainly think of FTW as being the starting point of your customization, not something that is constantly updated as you make changes to it.
Run the following commands in a feature branch
Create a new feature branch and switch into that branch:
git checkout -b updates-from-upstream
Fetch the latest changes from the upstream repository:
git fetch upstream
Merge the changes to your local branch
FTW-daily and FTW-hourly still follow old Github convention to name the default branch as master instead of main.
git merge upstream/master
FTW-product uses main as main branch.
git merge upstream/main
Fix possible merge conflicts, commit, and push/deploy.
See also the Syncing a fork documentation.
In your project root, install dependency libraries:
There are some mandatory configuration, and some configuration that you most likely want to at least go through.
To get started, run:
yarn run config
This command will create
.env file and guide you trough setting up the
required environment variables.
.env file is the place to add your local configuration. It is
ignored in Git, so you'll have to add the corresponding configuration
also to your server environment. Check this
Render config setup
article - and there's also a generic article about
deploying to production.
There are some mandatory configuration variables that are defined in the template. See the FTW Environment configuration variables reference for more information.
See also the src/config.js file for more configuration options.
└── src └── config.js
└── src └── config └── config.js
To develop the application and to see changes live, start the frontend development server:
yarn run dev
imports may not be synced properly with ESLint. You may see an error
Unable to resolve path to moduleeven though the module exists in the right path. Restarting the server doesn't help. To solve the issue, you need to make a change to the file where the error occurs.
The usual way to develop the application is to use the frontend development server (see above). However, in production you likely want to use the server-side rendering (SSR) setup. To develop against the actual server locally, run:
yarn run dev-server
This runs the frontend production build and starts the Express.js server in server/index.js.
└── server └── index.js
The server is automatically restarted when there are changes in the server/ directory.
Note: this server does not pick up changes in the frontend application code. For that you need to rebuild the client bundle by restarting the server manually.
To start the test watcher, run
For more information, see the How to test FTW documentation.
There are many things that you should change in the default template, and many more that you can change. For more information, check the FTW customization checklist documentation too before publishing your site. See also tutorial and other articles in Flex Templates for Web and How-to categories.