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Welcome to the MultiBit Website Repository v4.0.0

Project status: Public beta. Expect minor bugs and API changes.

Build status: Build Status

This branch contains the source for the MultiBit website.

MultiBit Website

From a technical point of view this project uses

  • Java 7+ - Primary language of the app
  • Maven - Build system
  • Dropwizard - Self-contained web server
  • HTML5 and CSS - All pages are simple HTML5 with Bootstrap and Font Awesome
  • LESS - LESS is compiled into CSS to provide succinct stylesheets

Why Dropwizard? We don't want the complexity that comes with an application server or an external servlet container. Dropwizard gives us the simplicity we crave.

We looked at Jekyll, and while it's a great technology, we found it a bit limiting for what we needed from our website.


We follow the "Git Flow" branching strategy.

This means that the latest release is on the master branch (the default) and the latest release candidate is on the develop branch. Any issues are addressed in feature branches from develop and merged in as required.

Getting started

The website is a standard Maven build from a GitHub repository.

Below are some basic instructions for developers.

Verify you have Git

$ git --version

Install git if necessary.

Then, if this is your first time working with the website source code, clone the source code repository (over HTTPS) using:

$ git clone

A sub-directory called multibit-website will be created which is your project root directory.

To update a previous clone of the website use a pull instead:

$ cd <project root>
$ git pull

Verify you have Maven 3+

Most IDEs (such as Intellij Community Edition) come with support for Maven built in, but if not then you may need to install it manually.

IDEs such as Eclipse may require the m2eclipse plugin to be configured.

To quickly check that you have Maven 3+ installed check on the command line:

$ mvn --version

Maven uses a file called pom.xml present in the MultiBit HD source code project directory to provide all the build information.

Build and Preview

There are two ways to run up the project depending on whether you have access to a Java IDE or not.

Start the application (from an IDE)

To run the application within an IDE, simply execute SiteService.main(). You'll need a runtime configuration that passes in server site-config.yml as the Program Arguments.

Start the application (from the command line)

To run the application from the command line, first build from the project root directory (pulling in all sources from upstream):

cd <project root>
mvn clean dependency:sources install

then start the application using the shaded JAR:

java -jar target/site-<version>.jar server site-config.yml

where <project root> is the root directory of the project as checked out through git and <version> is the version as found in pom.xml (e.g. "4.0.0") but you'll see a .jar in the target directory so it'll be obvious.

All commands will work on *nix without modification, use \ instead of / for Windows.

Open a browser to http://localhost:8888/ and you should see the site (8888 is the develop branch port).

Workflow inside an IDE (strongly recommended)

Nobody wants to waste time getting stuff done, so here are some processes that we follow to make changes to the site efficiently.

Changing FTL files (rare)

Changes to the Freemarker templates (.ftl) that wrap the HTML require a restart to be picked up. To optimise this process you should set up a runtime configuration as follows:

  1. Adjust the runtime configuration for SiteService so that it performs both a "make" then a mvn generate-resources
  2. Start the SiteService process and only restart if you make a change to an .ftl file (should be rare)
  3. The restart will automatically generate fresh CSS from the LESS so it may be a quicker workflow
  4. Refresh your browser and verify that Dropwizard serves the resource as a 200 OK rather than 304 NOT MODIFIED if the change is not apparent

Changing only CSS/HTML

Changes to CSS are made by editing the .less files and compiling them through Maven using mvn generate-resources. HTML files can be edited directly. There is no need to restart SiteService if the changes do not involve a .ftl file which is the normal state of affairs.

  1. Create a runtime configuration for mvn generate-resources (no clean) call it "Maven Resources"
  2. Start the SiteService process and leave it running continuously
  3. For CSS, use Firebug/Developer Tools to preview the effect you're after then locate the main.less file and edit to accommodate your changes otherwise
  4. For HTML just edit the appropriate file under src/main/resources/views/html
  5. Run "Maven Resources" to compile main.less to target/classes/assets/css/main.css
  6. Refresh your browser and verify that Dropwizard serves the resource as a 200 OK rather than 304 NOT MODIFIED if the change is not apparent

Workflow outside an IDE (really slow)

If you're running via the command line your workflow is unfortunately a little less efficient.

  1. Run up the site application as detailed in the earlier sections
  2. Use Firebug/Developer Tools to preview the effect you're after
  3. For CSS, use Firebug/Developer Tools to preview the effect you're after then locate the main.less file and edit to accommodate your changes otherwise
  4. For HTML just edit the appropriate file under src/main/resources/views/html
  5. Stop the site application process (CTRL+C)
  6. Run mvn package to rebuild with the newly generated main.css
  7. Restart with java -jar target/site-<version>.jar server site-config.yml
  8. Refresh your browser to observe the change

Clearly an IDE is the better way to go if you think you will have a lot of editing work that will need an incremental approach.


Bitcoin is a global currency and so this site has many translations. If you'd like to contribute your own translation for the pages on offer please use this process:

  1. Find the two letter ISO 639-1 code for your language (fr, en, ja etc)
  2. Copy existing html files from src/main/resources/views/html/{lang}/ according to your source language (e.g. you're a French to Japanese expert so base on fr and copy to ja)
  3. Paste new html files to src/main/resources/views/html/{lang}/ according to your target language
  4. Repeat for image files in src/main/resources/assets/images/{lang} this is for language-specific screenshots that are applicable
  5. Translate all .html and image files as required then issue a pull request

Advanced Usage

The following are for administrators of the site and don't affect most people.


Use src/main/resources/views/ftl/base.ftl to change static elements like the alert and download version.

Building the web support files (site.xml and atom.xml)

Before pushing to GitHub the site.xml and atom.xml files need to be regenerated. This is done by executing the normal Maven build but adding a profile parameter as well:

mvn -DupdateWebSupport=true clean verify

Pushing changes

Push changes to the git repo using

git push production release-4.0.0:master

Where does the ASCII art come from?

The ASCII art for the startup banner was created using the online tool available at TAAG

I like this approach to building a website can I copy it?

Yes. All the code in this repo is under the MIT license so you are welcome to take it and go.

However, this implementation serves the MultiBit site so don't just clone this and run a mirror without first consulting us.

You may be interested in deploying Dropwizard applications on Heroku since their free instances are sufficient for most low to medium traffic sites and they integrate very well with git.

I've spotted a bug in the site what should I do?

Raise an Issue through GitHub and we'll address it. Before diving in make sure that you've checked to see that the issue has not already been raised by another.