3.2.7 • Public • Published


🛒 Shopify theme development toolkit


Well, Slate is Shopify's toolkit but absurdly discontinued, and Slater is a proposed alternative - but not nearly as stable as is made out. For example, it doesn't work on Windows and I've made efforts to repair it but it might be a lost cause. Also the monorepo structure is an absolute nightmare to work with, in my opinion, such as how you could never npm install a fork to test it.

Aaaanyways.. TL;DR we need various simple features for a productive workflow:

  • ✔ Template and asset sync with Shopify
  • ✔ Live reloading (HMR style refresh through a local proxy) [disabled by default]
  • ✔ .SCSS -> .CSS compilation
  • ✔ .ES6 -> JS compilation
  • ✔ Wipe the entire theme's assets
  • ✔ Upload an entire theme (with checksums to save time)
  • ❌ Template (this project only contains the tools for development, not a theme)


Here is an example project, showing the installation and a typical directory structure, if that helps but what you do is:

npm i slatest

Create a slatest.config.json file in your project root along the lines of:

  "themeId": "11111111111",
  "appPassword": "66666666666666666666666666666666",
  "store": "",
  "port": 3030

You will need to create a new theme in the Shopify admin, and get it's ID from the customize URL for your themeId value.

Also, find your way to Develop Apps to create a new private app called Slatest with the following.

Configuration > Admin API integration > Edit, and enable:

  • write_themes

  • read_themes

    API credentials, hit Install Token and use its 'Admin API access token' as your appPassword value (it used to be 'API secret key', but hey ho)

Add yourself some package.json scripts such as:

"start": "slatest",
"upload-theme": "slatest --upload-theme"

And fire it up!

npm start

Deploying entire theme

When you first start a project, you possibly want to dump an entire theme into the project and have it upload. You can do so by running:

npm run upload-theme

It's a little intense and takes a while, so I wouldn't recommend doing it on the regular.

You may also wish to delete everything, which is possible - see CLI commands below.

About what are you talking, Willis?

Have a look at the demo:


You might want to .gitignore your assets/*.compiled.* files in your project, as they're likely being compiled. Just a suggestion, to avoid merge conflicts with your fellow devfellows.


Your directory wants typical Shopify theme directories and an /src/scss/app.scss file gets compiled to /assets/app.compiled.css which is, in turn, uploaded. Similarly, with /src/es6/app.es6.

│  ├──es6
│  │    app.es6
│  └──scss
│       app.scss


You can write typical ES6, with imports and whatnot, or even .JSX files with Inferno or whatever and it'll be compiled into vanilla JS (IE11+). NB: You'll still need polyfills if you are indeed injecting Reacty stuff while supporting IE.

Key File Ignorance

Certain files are ignored:

  • index.liquid / index.json, as updating these currently wipes homepage content (currently a Shopify bug circa August '23)
  • settings_data.json, as it contains all of your site's default settings and may wipe customisations. If you really are starting from scratch and want to upload it, find your theme's 'Edit code' button in the Shopify admin and paste the contents manually.

Multiple Developers?

The inherent problem is that, when editing a file, it automatically uploads it to your site. So if multiple people are working on the same theme, it'll go haywire.

SO, the solution (thanks to a friend) is to:

  • Duplicate your theme in the Shopify admin
  • In package.json, add commands with a config parameter that'll make it use a custom version of the config file. i.e.
    "start:jeff": "slatest --config slatest.config.jeff.json",
  • Create this slatest.config.jeff.json file, changing the themeId value to target your duplicated theme

If you're a Shopify Partner

Creating a whole new dev store is an even safer alternative, if possible, with a separate (entirely different) config file.

Different compilation entry points?

If you want to compile different entry points than app.scss and app.js, add an entryPaths value to your slatest.config.json along the lines of:

  "entryPaths": {
    "app.compiled": ["./src/scss/app.scss", "./src/es6/app.es6"],
    "extra-thing.compiled": ["./src/scss/extra-thing.scss"]

Stop watching directories or ignore certain files?

By default it watches all files in the typical theme structure and ignores key files but, for whatever reason, you could change all that by modifying your slatest.config.json with something like:

  "watch": ["assets/*.css", "snippets/**/*"],
  "ignore": ["config/settings_data.json", "snippets/never-change-this.liquid]

Just show me what you got!

Here are all the CLI options.

Parameter Shorthand What it do
--config "filename" -c Use a specified JSON config file.
--livereload -l Enable live reload [disabled by default - as not everyone likes it, and it's buggy with certain plugins that domain check your site].
--build -b Perform a one-off build, as opposed to it's default watch behaviour with nice minified output and whathaveyou.
--upload-theme -u [DANGER] Upload all the theme files to your site, overwriting everything!
--upload-theme-exhaustive -e [DANGER] Upload all the theme as above, but skips checksums
--delete-theme -d [DANGER] Delete all the theme files. Rarely useful, except when starting a site truly from scratch.
--sound-effects -s Enable sound effects, e.g. on successful upload
--silent-scss -i Silence SCSS deprecation warnings




Package Sidebar


npm i slatest

Weekly Downloads






Unpacked Size

35.7 kB

Total Files


Last publish


  • entozoon