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

If you already have some frontend development experience with any JavaScript framework such as AngularJS, Vue, or React, then 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, to give a more complete and accurate picture of the Volto framework.


As is the case with similar modern JavaScript-based applications, you should be familiar the following foundational topics.

Basic Volto development#

Once you've bootstrapped your Volto project, you can immediately start hacking. The following is a list of some the things you can do at this stage.

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 complexity level of ZCA that you would need to internalize before you can be really productive.

Routine Volto development#

While developing a project using Volto, you might perform the following routine tasks.

  • 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 add-on

  • Integrate an add-on's LESS statements with Volto's theme variables

  • Use schema-based forms to write block components

  • Write new form widgets

  • Write tests in Jest

  • Write integration tests in Cypress

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

  • Use more advanced React concepts, including hooks, context providers, and other topics

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

  • Write extensible blocks

Occasional Volto development#

From time to time, you might perform the following tasks.

  • Provide backend-based integration for your Volto code by writing plone.restapi endpoints, adapters, and other extensions

  • Custom integration for blocks to the backend using the block transformers 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

Add-on first approach#

Developing for Plone's frontend means to add code to a Volto project. The frontend files of the project are created in the frontend folder. The generator also creates a default add-on in the frontend/src/addons folder. The project is already configured to use this add-on. Add your code and customizations to this add-on, and Volto will load them on start up or a restart. This add-on is configured as a theme add-on, so you are able to customize the look and feel of your site as well.

See also

For more information about how to develop a Volto project as an add-on, see Volto Add-ons Development.