You sit down, ready to kick off development of a new eCommerce website for your client.

The base theme has been agreed upon and you have plans to customize it. Change some colors here. Modify the layout there. Tweak the checkout pages and add some interactive graphics.

There’s only one problem–you’re not sure how to get started. You’re left wondering “what’s the ideal workflow for developing custom LemonStand themes?”

Enter: 🍋 LemonSync

What it does

Think of LemonSync as Dropbox for LemonStand themes.

It’s a small utility that watches for file changes in a local theme folder on your computer. Every time a change is detected, it automatically syncs the files to your LemonStand store.

This allows you to develop LemonStand themes locally, using your favorite web development tools.

Pretty neat, huh?

I love that I can use my favorite code editor and build tools to develop LemonStand themes, and see my code changes right away using LemonSync.

– Leah Wagner, The Jibe

How it fits into your workflow

If you’re an agency partner, you can kick off new theme development by using your sandbox store. Or, you can work directly in your client’s store by setting up a staging theme that you put into editing mode (so only you can see it).

Start with one of our existing themes, either by downloading a zip file of a theme that’s currently installed in your store or by cloning it from Github.

Once the files are on your computer, we recommend setting up a Git repository for the theme you’re working on, and committing changes as you normally would for version control, collaboration, and backup.

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Before you start making customizations to your theme, run the LemonSync command line tool so that changes are pushed to your store. To see the changes you’ve made, just refresh your browser as you go.

LemonSyncJS watching for changes

LemonSync plays nicely with Grunt, Gulp and all build tools you prefer. Run LemonSync beside your build tools, and it will follow along with changes made to compiled files.

There’s also some advanced features to overwrite either the local or remote themes when starting LemonSync–this comes in handy for changes that were made offline. But as always, use with caution when overwriting.

When initializing, LemonSync will also tell you how many new files were found locally and/or are on the store side, so you can decide how to sync up.

What’s new in LemonSyncJS?

The first version of LemonSync was built in Python. It got the job done, but some developers had issues getting a reliable Python environment set up with current versions of HTTPS and TLS.

To remedy this, we rebuilt LemonSync in NodeJS for easier installation and better compatibility.

In addition to the rewrite in JS, we improved usability and simplified configuration.

Start using LemonSync today

You can find installation and configuration instructions over on LemonSync’s GitHub page here.

If you need help or come across any issues, feel free to email support (or use the handy support message box from your store’s admin panel) and we’ll help you out.

Happy theme development on LemonStand! 🍋