Development Guide

This development guide is for someone who has completed the Schema Setup Guide and is ready to start developing their site.

Before you can begin developing, make sure you have the Airship CLI Tools installed by navigating to a terminal and running the airship command. If you do not have them installed yet, check out the instructions on Installing the Airship CLI Tools. Once your CLI tools are installed, feel free to briefly look over the available Airship CLI Commands that may be used during development.

In order to become more familiar with the development workflow, it might be helpful to review how to Use Layouts & Templates, what the Project Structure is like, and how to use Airships Propeller Helpers to render your site content.

To view some sample projects with different development workflows, check out the Boilerplates & Examples in our Docs.

Develop Locally

Once you have your pages and collections set up in the Admin portal, you're ready to start developing!

The following is the general development workflow for a simple website.

1. Login

To begin developing, you must first airship login to your site using your Superadmin credentials.

First, create or navigate to the desired project directory in your terminal. This is where all the files for your site will live locally.

Run the airship login mysite command, where mysite is the subdomain of your site.

If this is a new directory, you will be asked to set the current directory to your sites project root. Enter y if this is okay.

After validating connection to your site, this will open a new window in your browser with a login prompt. Remember to login with your Superadmin credentials or you will not be able to land your site in the next step. Check out the Airship CLI Troubleshooting Information if you experience any authentication issues.

2. Land

Continuing Projects

You can skip airship land if you are continuing work on an existing project. You are probably using an SCM tool or some other means to back up files, so the only commands you really need are airship serve to serve files, and airship launch to publish files.

New Projects

Once you have successfully authenticated, you're ready to airship land your new project. First, ensure that you are in the project root directory, then run airship land.

This will ask you if it is okay to download the site compartments to your local project directory. This includes all the files for your site, such as the layouts and templates created in the Admin portal.

Note: Running airship land will overwrite anything you were working on locally that was not published to your site using airship launch or backed up with source code management. Be sure to your backup files or use a source management tool to avoid losing any of your hard work!

Once you have downloaded your sites compartments, your Project Directory should look similar to the following:

├── .airship
│  └── name
└── compartments
   ├── airmail
   ├── assets
   ├── layouts
   │   └── application.html
   ├── partials
   └── templates
       └── root.html

3. Serve

To view what your site looks like locally, run airship serve in your projects root directory, then navigate to http://localhost:9001 in your browser.

This will render any changes you have locally that are not necessarily published on the site. When you make changes, you typically won't have to restart the server. However, if the server must be restarted, simply exit the terminal process and rerun the airship serve command.

4. Developing

Make changes to files within the /compartments/templates directory and save, then refresh the page in your browser at http://localhost:9001 to see the update.

Any changes made locally to files and templates won't be published on your actual site until you explicitly run the airship launch command. Changes made in the Admin portal, however, will be immediately visible on your and launched site.

You can customize your development workflow to use pre-processors, scss, Angular, React, node, and many other frontend tools. As long as the output files end up in /compartments/templates and /compartments/assets you are good to go. For more extensive applications, you will need to set up SPA Routes in the Admin Panel to create custom handlers for page routing.

To view some examples of development workflow, check out the Boilerplates & Examples in our Docs.

5. Launch

When you are ready to publish changes to your live site at, remember to back up your files, then run the airship launch command in your project root directory.

This will show a list of actions being requested to update the live site, then show a prompt to publish those changes. Enter y.

That's it! Your site changes will be launched to