Introducing the SXA Styleguide

Published on March 9, 2020

Whenever I want to test something, do some R&D or just need an example SXA implementation to record a video or explain a certain concept I had two choices: Use a blank SXA instance or use Habitat Home, our official Sitecore Demo environment. Both of them work excellent, but a blank SXA instance is typically not sufficient due to the lack of content. The other option, using Habitat Home was often the opposite since it is a full demo of the entire Experience Platform.

So I needed something that was somewhere in the middle. A website with content that preferably did not required to much code to run. Since I am working closely with the SXA product team I got access to such a site. This however was build on a very early SXA version and got upgraded each version. This also meant that while the site still worked, it did not leverage all sorts of new features that SXA introduced along the way.

The Styleguide

So I figured it was time for a complete rebuild of that website using all the features that SXA 9.3 has to offer. And while at it, why not make it open-source.

When I started with SXA it helped me a lot that I had an example site that I could easily install and see how certain components worked and other SXA specific features where implemented. So why not share this new site with the rest of the community.

I would like to introduce you to something I have been working on for some time; the SXA Styleguide. A website completely build using nothing but just SXA 9.3.

Whats in the Styleguide?

The content for the SXA Styleguide is an updated version of the old showcase website. It describes some of the features that SXA offers apart from the toolbox.

In the site are several examples of search and it has a listing of all the OOTB components. These components all have their own page that illustrate how components can be used in a variety of configurations.

Finally we have a list of SXA resources that are publicly available.

That's simply how the site looks. The most interesting for me at the time when I used the showcase website was the ability to take a look under the hood.

The Styleguide uses its own theme, created using the new CLI with support for Creative Exchange Live (there is a seperate repository that contains all the theme source files). You will also notice that I am using Scriban Templates inside some of the rendering variants.

There is an extension theme, including all the scaffolding steps, that injects some JavaScript and CSS into the Styleguide theme and adds some extra styles.

And there is much more like search scopes, custom facets, personalization rules, page and partials designs including the use of base partials etcetera.

Installing the Styleguide

Installing the Styleguide is very simple. Download the package from the releases tab on Github and install in any Sitecore 9.3 instance with SXA. After installation rebuild the search indexes and you are good to go. By default the site runs in a virtual folder (https://[yourhostname]/styleguide) using the master database.

Thanks to Michael West you can also run the Styleguide in a Docker container. Just make sure you have the pre-build 9.3 images locally or in your container resource. For more instructions please see the readme file.

What's next

I will be using this site as an example site for future blogposts and videos. And obviously I will continue to develop the site. I already have tons of ideas on improvements and new funtionality but am always open for more. If you have any feedback or ideas on how to improve please reach out to me through the various social channels, GitHub or via email.

Finally I would like to thank the SXA team, and in specific Adam Najmanowicz (SXA Product Manager) for his patience :-), support and feedback he provided as well as Sebastian Winter for all of his initial testing.

The SXA Styleguide is available as a Sitecore package on GitHub as well as the Visual Studio project that contains all the serialized items.

Please note: The SXA Styleguide should not be considered as a demo environment for SXA or Sitecore in general. For demo purposes I strongly recommend Habitat Home, the official demo environment maintained by Sitecore and available as open-source.

The SXA Styleguide is not supported by Sitecore Professional Services or Sitecore Support.

Support is provided on a best-effort basis via GitHub issues.