Grav - Themes Basics


Themes control the looks of your Grav site. Themes in Grav are built with the powerful Twig Templating engine.

Content Pages and Twig Templates

The pages that you create, references a specific template file by name or by setting the template header variable for the page. Using the page name is advised for simpler maintenance.

After installing Grav Base package, you will find the file in user/pages/01.home folder. The name of the file, i.e., default tells Grav that this page should be rendered with the twig template default.html.twig placed inside the themes/<mytheme>/templates folder.

For example, if you have a file called, it will be rendered with twig template as themes/<mytheme>/templates/contact.html.twig.

Theme Organization

In the following sections, we will discuss about theme organization, i.e., its definition, configuration and more.

Definition and Configuration

The information about the theme will be defined in user/themes/antimatter/blueprints.yaml file and form definitions to be used in Administration panel are provided optionally. You will see the following content in user/themes/antimatter/blueprints.yaml file for Antimatter theme.

name: Antimatter
version: 1.6.0
description: "Antimatter is the default theme included with **Grav**"
icon: empire
   name: Team Grav
keywords: antimatter, theme, core, modern, fast, responsive, html5, css3
license: MIT

   validation: loose
         type: toggle
         label: Dropdown in navbar
         highlight: 1
         default: 1
            1: Enabled
            0: Disabled
            type: bool

In order to use theme configuration options, you need to provide the default settings in a file called user/themes/<mytheme>/<mytheme>.yaml.


enable: true

Theme and Plugins Events

The ability of theme to interact with Grav via the plugins architecture is another powerful feature of Grav. To achieve this, simply create user/themes/<mytheme>/<mytheme>.php (for example, antimatter.php for default Antimatter theme) file and use the following format.

namespace Grav\Theme;

use Grav\Common\Theme;

class MyTheme extends Theme {
   public static function getSubscribedEvents() {
      return [
         'onThemeInitialized' => ['onThemeInitialized', 0]

   public function onThemeInitialized() {
      if ($this->isAdmin()) {
            $this->active = false;

         'onTwigSiteVariables' => ['onTwigSiteVariables', 0]

   public function onTwigSiteVariables() {

         ->add('jquery', 101)


The structure of Grav theme has no set rules except that there must be associated twig templates in templates/ folder for each and every page types content.

Due to this tight coupling between page content and twig template, it's good to create general themes based on the Skeleton packages available in downloads page.

Suppose you want to support modular template in your theme, you have to create modular/ folder and store twig templates files inside it. If you want to support forms, then you should create form/ folder and store form templates in it.


To define forms for options and configuration for every single template files blueprints/ folder is used. These will not be editable via the Administrator Panel and it is optionally used. The theme is fully functional without blueprints folder.


If you want to develop site with SASS or LESS, then you have to create sub-folders in user/themes/<mytheme>/scss/, or less/ if you want LESS along with a css/ folder.

For automatically generated files which are compiled from SASS or LESS, the css-compiled/ folder is used. In Antimatter theme, scss variant of SASS is used.

Follow these steps to install SASS in your machine.

  • At the root of the theme, type the command given below to execute scss shell script.

$ ./
  • Type the following command to directly run it.
$ scss --sourcemap --watch scss:css-compiled

The css-compiled/ will contain all the compiled scss files and css file will be generated inside your theme.

Other Folders

It is recommended to create separate images/, fonts/ and js/ folders in your user/themes/<mytheme>/ folder for any images, fonts and JavaScript files used in your theme.

Theme Example

The overall folder structure of the Antimatter theme that we discussed so far is shown below.

Grav Theme Basics