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The stackbit.yaml file is where you provide the configuration and content models necessary for Stackbit to convert your theme to support other static site generators and to connect it to a CMS.

The stackbit.yaml should be placed in the site's root directory.

When you import a custom theme into Stackbit it will validate the theme based upon the stackbit.yaml file. During development, you can validate themes locally using the Unibit CLI.

npm install -g @stackbit/unibit
unibit validate

Basic stackbit.yaml

The following example shows an example of many of the typical fields you would need to include.

stackbitVersion: ~0.2.0
ssgName: custom    # allowed values: unibit, jekyll, hugo, gatsby, custom
buildCommand: npm run build  # build command that builds static site
publishDir: dist   # folder with the generated static site files
staticDir: static  # folder with files that are copied to publishDir as is
uploadDir: images  # folder with media files, relative to staticDir
pagesDir: content  # folder with markdown page files
dataDir: data      # folder with data files (yaml, json, toml)
  - example/**/*
  ... # see Stackbit Content Model documentation

stackbit.yaml Fields


The Stackbit custom themes version to use. Useful if you want to use a specific version or a development version. Generally it is recommended that you use ~0.2.0 (note the tilde), which will fetch the latest version automatically.

  • Example value: ~0.2.0
  • Allowed values: any valid version number using semver syntax
  • Default value: none
  • Required: true


Supplying a supported static site generator name will set default values for a number of stackbit.yaml fields. For this reason, if you are importing a custom theme, it is recommende that you use custom to avoid setting default values which may not match your theme's unique structure.

  • Example value: custom
  • Allowed values: unibit, gatsby, hugo, jekyll or custom
  • Default value: unibit
  • Required: true


The build command that is used to build the static site. For example, for a Hugo site the command is normally hugo, for a Gatsby site it is normally gatsby build. However, this value does not need to be SSG centric. It can be any command line command or it can point to a shell script or custom build script as well.

  • Example value: "hugo"
  • Allowed values: string
  • Required: true


The directory in which the static site generator publishes the generated static files after running the build command. For example, for a Jekyll site the publish directory is normally _site.

  • Example value: "public"
  • Allowed values: string
  • Required: true


The directory containing static files that are not converted by the static site generator. For example, for a Hugo site the static directory is normally static.

  • Example value: "static"
  • Allowed values: string
  • Required: true


The directory containing media files that will be uploaded to a headless CMS. This value must be relative and nested inside staticDir folder. Normally this would the images folder inside the static directory.

  • Example value: images
  • Allowed values: string
  • Required: true

When connecting a theme with a CMS, all media assets from uploadDir are uploaded to the headless CMS. Stackbit replaces all image paths with the asset URL produced by a headless CMS. For this replacement to work, fields referencing images must be of type image, and the image path must match existing files using a path relative to the static folder.

Note that, due to limitations on certain CMS, only a single uploadDir can be specified.


The directory which contains content files (*.md).

  • Example value: "content"
  • Allowed values: string
  • Required: true

If you have multiple content folders in your project you may set pagesDir: "" which will scan for all markdown files in your theme. Keep in mind unwanted files like the might be included and the validator will require a matching page model. You can explicitly exclude unwanted files using the excludePages field.


The directory which contains data files (*.yaml, *.json, *.toml). For example, in Hugo the data directory is normally data.

  • Example value: data
  • Allowed values: string
  • Default value: "" [an empty string, indicating the root folder]
  • Required: false


This does not select a layout or template for your pages, which is handled by the underlying static site generator. This field enables explicit mapping of markdown files to page models via the page's front-matter. This is useful as an alternative to using the file matching features available when defining Page Models (i.e. folder, match, exclude and file). It is also a way to distinguish between pages that may meet the same matching requirements. Not that if you set this field, you will need to add a layout field to all of your page models.

  • Example value: "model_name"
  • Allowed values: string
  • Required: false

Let's look at a simple example. In the below stackbit.yaml the pageLayoutkey is set to model_name. Two page models are defined (basic_model and contact_model)

# stackbit.yaml
pageLayoutKey: model_name
        type: page
        label: Basic Page
        match: *.md
        layout: basic_model
        type: page
        match: *.md
        label: Contact Page
        layout: contact_model

Now that the pageLayoutKey is defined, we can use that key in the front matter of the page to specify a page model to use:

# content/
title: contact
phone: 2423234234
model_name: contact_model # this page will use the "contactpage" page model.
# content/ - this page will continue to use the 
# "basicpage" model because no `model_name` has been set
title: Home

Welcome to the homepage


A structure that defines the site's content models, which contain field models.

Content Models

Field Models


Specify a glob string or a list of globs to exclude specific files from being matched by a page model.

  • Example value: ['example/*/', '']
  • Allowed values: an array of glob strings
  • Required: false
  - example/**/*
  - posts/
    type: page
    label: Page


Defines the information about your theme that will display to a user within the Stackbit app when they are choosing a theme. This field is not currently used by custom themes which are imported but may be in the future.

  title: My Site Title
  description: Description of the site
  author: Stackbit
  authorURL: ''
    small: images/demo-256x192.png
    large: images/demo-1024x768.png


Open Source Themes

Check our Example Themes for a list of open-source Github repos which include working stackbit.yaml files.

Stackbit Themes

You can examine the source code of all of the themes available in Stackbit. Launch Stackbit and select a theme and an SSG. Create the site and the code will be generated in your own Github account. From there you can examine the stackbit.yaml.