Developer roadmap – Effective Volto – Getting Started

Developer roadmap#

If you're coming to Volto as a backend Plone developer, you'll have to learn and adjust to the new frontend-centered development.

But if you already have some frontend development experience any JS frameworks such as Angular, Vue or React, you'll find that Volto is a relatively shallow framework, structured as a typical Redux-centered React application. Although there will be Volto-specific knowledge to be gained along the way, you can be productive in a short time.

As a reference, here's an overview of knowledge and frameworks, for a more complete and accurate picture of the Volto framework.

The foundation#

As is the case with similar modern JavaScript-based applications, you should know:

  • Modern JavaScript development. Volto uses next-generation JavaScript. Follow the ES6 guide to get up to speed.

  • React knowledge - basic level is fine for the beginning, you'll progress along the way. React itself is a simple and well documented framework.

  • A basic understanding of JavaScript CommonJS, NPM packages, Yarn, Babel and Webpack.

Basic Volto development#

Once you've bootstrapped your Volto project you can already start hacking. Some of the things you can do at this stage:

  • Configure your text editor for JavaScript and Volto development

  • Volto project-based development

  • Understand and debug React errors

  • Understand React component lifecycle

  • Customize (shadow) Volto's builtin components

  • Write a new block

  • Adjust Volto's builtin settings

  • Extend the Pastanaga theme

  • Extend the richtext editor capabilities with new buttons and styles

  • Use the Redux store

  • Deploy your first project

After you've mastered the foundation and basic Volto development, the learning-curve smoothes out. Volto uses simple and familiar concepts, there is nothing on the level of ZCA that needs to be internalized before you can be really productive.

Normal, everyday Volto development#

  • Write new Redux actions and reducers

  • Create new views for Plone content.

  • Install and integrate new JavaScript libraries or third-party React components

  • Create a new Volto addon

  • Integrate addon LESS with Volto's theme variables

  • Use schema-based forms to write block components

  • Write new form widgets

  • Write tests for jest

  • Write integration tests for Cypress

  • Split your code and lazy-load libraries, to improve performance

  • Use more advanced React concepts: hooks, context providers, etc.

  • Make your code reusable, separate business logic and repeated behaviors as Higher Order Components (HOCs)

  • Write extensible blocks


Not really advanced but perhaps less common, here's some stuff you can do:

  • Provide backend-based integration to your Volto code, write plone.restapi endpoints, adapters and other extensions

  • Custom integration for blocks to the backend using the block transfomers concept

  • Write Express middleware for Volto's server

  • Customize Volto's Webpack configuration or project loader using Razzle

  • Write a Redux middleware

  • Start hacking on Volto.