Starter Kit

A bunch of files to kick-start a new FT Interactive project.

What is the Starter Kit?

It's a bunch of files you can use as a template for a new project. These files are held in a repository on Github. It's similar to Google's Web Starter Kit, but less generic and more FT.

What's included?

  • A build system, so you can run tasks to process and optimise your code. This build system includes:
    • Sass – a language that compiles to CSS. It looks similar to CSS but has extra functionality.
    • Babel – converts ES2015 JavaScript to the more widely-supported ES5, so you can use next-generation JavaScript features today while still supporting older browsers.
    • Code minification and other optimisations.
  • An index.html with all our usual boilerplate (header, footer, analytics code, social media meta tags.).
  • Some basic Sass and JavaScript files to start you off.
  • Various configuration files for things like Origami and Bower.

How to start a new project

The easy way

If you haven't already got it, install startfrom:

$ npm install -g startfrom

Then make sure you're in an empty directory, and run this:

$ startfrom ft-interactive/starter-kit

If it finishes with the message "ALL DONE!", you should be good to go.

The manual way

If you can't use startfrom for any reason, follow these manual steps:

  1. Download a zip of the Starter Kit.

  2. Extract the zip. You should have a folder containing a bunch of files (such as gulpfile.babel.js). Rename the folder to something appropriate for your project.

  3. Delete stuff you don't need: the docs folder and the

  4. Initialize it as a git repo (git init, or use SourceTree or something) and do an initial commit of all the files in the starter kit (e.g. git add . and git commit -m "starter-kit" – or use your preferred GUI tool instead). This step is a good idea because it means you will always be able to compare with this first commit to quickly see which code you've written as opposed to what came with the starter kit.

  5. cd into your new project, and run npm install.

If that all finishes without errors, you're good to go.

Developing your app

Start the development server like this:

$ npm start

The command output should tell you where your dev server is running (the Local URL) – open this in your browser. (Tip: if you're using iTerm, you can simply CMD+click on the URL and it should open in your browser.)

While the dev server is running, you can edit files within client and your browser should refresh automatically.

The automatic refreshing is done by BrowserSync, which also magically syncs up scrolling and other events between multiple devices, making it easier to develop with a bunch of phones and tablets on your desk.

Remember to commit often – see the git workflow guide.

Building for production

Run this command to do a full production build:

$ npm run build

That will build a deployable copy of your app to the dist directory.

Deploying to the IG web server

There's a deploy task that lets you easily upload the contents of your dist folder to the IG web server.

First-time preparation

Before you deploy for the first time, you'll need to set your deploy target:

  1. Open gulpfile.babel.js and find the line const deployTarget = '';
  2. Set the value to an appropriate location for your project, such as 'features/henry-rollins-profile'.
    • This is the location (relative to the public web root) where your project will be uploaded.
    • Think of it as the XXX in
    • Do not include a leading or trailing slash.
    • See Naming conventions for advice on picking a good project name, and for formatting.


$ npm run deploy