Introduction to Front-End Development

You have complete front-end development freedom. You can use Liferay DXP’s front-end frameworks, along with the front-end technologies you love the most:

To load modules, you must know when they are needed, where they are at build time, whether they should be bundled together or loaded independently, and you must assemble them at runtime. Liferay’s Loaders (YUI/AUI, AMD, and npm in AMD format) handle loading for you. All you must do is provide a small bit of information about your module.

The Liferay JS Bundle Toolkit(the JS Portlet Extender, Liferay Bundle Generator, and liferay-npm-bundler ) has the tools you need to create and develop JavaScript portlets with pure JavaScript tooling. You can use the liferay-npm-bundler to bundle npm packages in your applications. It even has several presets for common module types (AMD, React, Angular JS, etc.) to save you time. It creates an OSGi bundle for you, extracts all npm dependencies, and transpiles your code for the Liferay AMD Loader.

While developing JavaScript applications, you may need to access Liferay DXP-specific information or web services. The Liferay global JavaScript Object exposes this information for you, to use in your JavaScript applications.

Lexicon and Clay

Liferay uses its own design language, called Lexicon, to provide a common framework for building consistent UIs and user experiences across the Liferay product ecosystem. The web implementation of Lexicon (CSS, JS, and HTML) is called Clay. It is automatically available to application developers through a set of CSS classes or our tag library.


For templating, you can use Java EE’s JSP, FreeMarker, or whatever else you like.


Themes use the standard components (CSS, JavaScript, and HTML) along with FreeMarker templates. Although the default themes are nice, you may wish to create your own look and feel for your site. The Liferay JS Theme Toolkit has all the tools you need to create and develop themes, but you can use the tools you prefer.

From the Theme Builder Gradle Plugin, to the Liferay Theme Generator, to Blade CLI’s Theme Template, you can choose the development tools you like best, so you can focus on creating a well designed theme.

Front-End Extensions

Liferay DXP’s modularity has many benefits for the front-end developer, in the form of development customizations and extension points. These extensions assure the stability, conformity, and future evolution of your applications.

Below are some of the available front-end extensions:

See Theme Components and Understanding the Page Structure for more information.

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