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metalsmith-react-templates npm package

A metalsmith templating plugin using JSX templates. Supports React / Preact / React-Router etc.

Build Status Coverage Status npm downloads PRs Welcome


metalsmith-react-templates is a metalsmith plugin to render files using JSX templates like React and Preact.

It is extensible, and thus could be expanded to support other similar libraries like Inferno as long as they have support server-side rendering.


Using npm:

$ npm install --save metalsmith-react-templates

Install other dependencies. For example, if you're using just React:

$ npm install react react-dom

If you're using an older version of React, you may need to install an older version of this package.

React Version Package Version
15.x.x > 5.x.x
0.14.x 3.x.x or 4.x.x
0.13.x 2.x.x
0.12.x 1.x.x

If you're upgrading, you may want to check out the Upgrade Notes. For example, react-router v4 is only supported for package versions > 7.0.0

For more information on engine usage, you can check out the corresponding integration test files. i.e. integration-[LIBRARY].spec.js.

CLI Usage

Install the node modules and then add the metalsmith-react-templates key to your metalsmith.json plugins.

  "plugins": {
    "metalsmith-react-templates": true

If you want to specify additional options, pass an object:

  "plugins": {
    "metalsmith-react-templates": {
      "baseFile": "base.html",
      "isStatic": true,
      "directory": "templates"

JavaScript Usage

Simplest use case:

import templates from 'metalsmith-react-templates';


To specify additional options:

  baseFile: 'base.html'
  isStatic: true,
  directory: 'templates'

Usage Notes

Specifying Templates

If an rtemplate field is set in the yaml front matter of your markdown files, metalsmith-react-templates will use the specified template instead of Default.jsx.

You can also set templateKey to other values like template and the plugin will use that value (in this case the template field) instead of rtemplate field in the yaml front matter.

Webpack / Build Systems

If you import css or any other non-standard JavaScript code using require, you might want to make use of the requireIgnoreExt to ignore those files.

You may also add other extensions that are treated as JSX. using requireTemplateExt.


If you are using material-ui v1.0, components are not properly styled due to the way material-ui's server-side theming system works.

The solution is to use a higher-order component (HOC) so that the inline css is rendered when metalsmith runs. See this issue and solution.

Using the post render hydrator

Using a custom hydrator via the postRenderHydrator option allows you to control how the data generated via the strategy is applied on a file. By default, the integrated hydrator only puts the generated React markup in the contents attribute of the file. But there are cases where your React code might generate more than just content markup, for example when using React Helmet.

By using a custom strategy and a custom hydrator, you can add additional properties on the processed files and then do whatever you want with it, like render them in your base template or use them in other metalsmith plugins.

Here is an example of a custom strategy and hydrator used to make React Helmet work.


All parameters are optional.

Parameter Default Value Description
baseFile null Specifies a file which the contents of the react template will render into.

This is similar to the index.html file which you React.render() your components in.

In your base file, put {{contents}} in the location where you want your data will render into.

You may also override this value by placing a baseFile key in your source file's front matter.
baseFileDirectory null Sets the directory which your baseFile resides. By default, it assumes your base file is in the same directory as your templates.
defaultTemplate Default.jsx The default template file to use if no template is specified.

Set to '' or null if you do not want metalsmith to not apply template transformation on files that do not have a 'template / rtemplate' key present.
directory templates Sets the directory which your react templates resides.
extension .html Option to rename your files to a specified extension. Set to null if you do not want to change the file extension
isStatic true Since this is a static site generator, by default, it will render the React Templates using renderToStaticMarkup().

However, you may choose to make a static site generator with React functionalities (similar to first render from server) and subsequently pull page routes via JavaScript / React.

Setting this parameter to false will cause templates to be parsed using renderToString().
pattern **/* Specifies a file filter pattern.
preserve false Stores a copy of un-templated contents into rawContents meta which you can access in your React components.
props null Accepts a function returning props or a string containing the props to provide to the template. If null the defualt set of props will be returned.
requireIgnoreExt [ ] A list of extensions to ignore.

For example, {requireIgnoreExt: ['.css']} would ignore declarations like require('file.css')
requireTemplateExt ['.jsx'] A list of extensions to treat as JSX.
strategy reactTemplates (function) The function handler of different library types
postRenderHydrator null Accepts a function that takes care of putting the data returned by the strategy in each file object. Takes the current file data and the content returned by the strategy in parameters, must return a newly formed data object. By default, sets the React generated markup on the contents attribute.
templateKey null Allows you to specify the key in the markdown file that will serve as the template file name. By default, it is rtemplate.
templateTag null Accepts a function pattern(key) which returns a regex object used to find and replace template tags in your output file.

By default, template tags are assumed to be {{tag}}. You may use this to allow for other tag formats (eg. you may want <!--tag--> instead).

Check the test case for an example.
tooling { } Options to pass into the babel transpiler.

Deprecated Options

Parameter Default Value Description
propsKey null Specifies a key containing the props to provide to the template. If left unspecified, a generic props containing all keys is provided.
noConflict true By default, this plugin will read from the rtemplate key in your yaml front matter. However, if this is the only templating plugin, you may set noConflict to false to use the template key instead.


  • jsx-render-engine - The core of this module, also published as a independent package.


MIT License © Gerald Yeo