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Managing and Compiling Assets


Managing and compiling assets is a very common task in web development. Unfortunately, it's rarely fun.

With Hyde, you don't have to do it, in fact, you can skip this entire page if you are happy with how it is. But as always with Hyde, you can customize everything if you want to.

Hyde ships with a complete frontend using Blade views, TailwindCSS styles, and Alpine.js interactions. Some extra custom styles are made in the HydeFront package, which is pre-installed and bundled in the pre-configured Laravel Mix.

To get you started quickly, all the styles are already compiled and minified into _media/app.css, which will be copied to the _site/media/app.css directory when you run php hyde build.

Additional Information and Answers to Common Questions

Is NodeJS/NPM Required for Using Hyde?

No, it is optional. All the compiled styles that you need are already installed, and NPM is only necessary if you want to compile your own styles.

When Should Assets be Compiled?

The _media/app.css file that comes with Hyde contains TailwindCSS for all classes that are used in the default Blade views, as well as the HydeFront custom styles. If you want to customize the Tailwind settings or add custom styles, you will need to recompile the styles yourself.

For example, if you customize the Blade views and add new classes or add new classes in Blade-based pages, you may need to compile the assets yourself to get the new styles. If you use Markdown-based pages, you do not need to compile anything as those styles are already included in the compiled CSS file.

How are assets stored and managed?

The frontend assets are separated into three places.

  • The resources/assets folder contain source files, meaning files that will be compiled into something else. Here you will find the app.css file that bootstraps the TailwindCSS styles. This file is also an excellent place to add your custom styles. It is also where we import HydeFront. If you compile this file in the base install, it will output the same file that's already included in Hyde.

  • The _media folder contains compiled (and usually minified) files. When Hyde compiles your static site, all asset files here will get copied as they are into the _site/media folder.

  • The _site/media folder contains the files that are served to the user.

What is the difference between _media and _site/media?

It may seem weird to have two folders for storing the compiled assets, but it is quite useful.

The _site directory is intended to be excluded from version control, while the _media folder is included in the version control. You are of course free to modify this behaviour by editing the webpack.mix.js file to change the output directory.

How Do I Compile assets?

First, make sure that you have installed all the NodeJS dependencies using npm install. Then run npm run dev to compile the assets. If you want to compile the assets for production, run npm run prod. You can also run npm run watch to watch for changes in the source files and recompile the assets automatically.

How does it work?

Hyde uses Laravel Mix (which is a wrapper for Webpack) to compile the assets.

When running the npm run dev/prod command, the following happens:

  1. Laravel Mix will compile the resources/assets/app.css file into _media/app.css using PostCSS with TailwindCSS and AutoPrefixer.
  2. Mix then copies the _media folder into _site/media, this is so that they are automatically accessible to your site without having to rerun php hyde build.

Telling Hyde where to find assets

Customizing the Blade templates

To make it really easy to customize asset loading, the styles and scripts are loaded in dedicated Blade components.

  • Styles are loaded in hyde::layouts.styles
  • Scripts are loaded in hyde::layouts.scripts

To customize them, run the following command:

1php hyde publish:views layouts

Then edit the files found in resources/views/vendor/hyde/layouts directory of your project.

You might not even need to do anything!

For the absolute majority of the cases, you don't need to mess with these files. Hyde will automatically load the app.css file when it exists in the _media directory.

Loading from CDN

If you want to load the same pre-compiled file included with Hyde but from a CDN, you can set load_app_styles_from_cdn to true in the config/hyde.php file. While you lose the ability to customize it, your styles will be automatically updated when needed, as the installed Framework version will automatically specify the correct version to load.

Using the TailwindCSS Play CDN

Note that the Play CDN is not meant for production use, so enabling it will add a warning to the web console.

If you want to use the TailwindCSS Play CDN, all you need to do is set use_play_cdn to true in the config/hyde.php file. This will in addition to loading the standard app.css file, also add a script tag which loads the TailwindCSS Play CDN.

What's even better is that Hyde will also inject the contents of the included tailwind.config.js file into the script tag, so the Play CDN styles match the ones created by Laravel Mix.

All in all, this allows you to tinker around with Tailwind without having to compile anything.

Managing Images

As mentioned above, assets stored in the _media folder are automatically copied to the _site/media folder, making it the recommended place to store images. You can then easily reference them in your Markdown files.

Referencing images

The recommended way to reference images is with relative paths as this offers the most compatibility, allowing you to browse the site both locally on your filesystem and on the web when serving from a subdirectory.

Note: The path is relative to the compiled file in the site output

The path to use depends on the location of the page. Note the subtle difference in the path prefix.

  • If you are in a Blog Post or Documentation Page, use ../media/image.png
  • If in a Markdown Page or Blade Page, use media/image.png
  • While not recommended, you can also use absolute paths: /media/image.png
  • You can of course also use full URLs, for example when using a CDN.

Making images accessible

To improve accessibility, you should always add an alt text. Here is a full example including an image in a blog post:

1![Image Alt](../media/image.png "Image Title") # Note the relative path

Setting a featured image for blog posts

Hyde offers great support for creating data-rich and accessible featured images for blog posts.

You can read more about this on the creating blog posts page.