Front Matter

Front Matter is a set of configurations you specify on every page

The front matter is the stuff enclosed in 3 dashes at the top of the page. The front matter is used to configure the settings specific to that page, such as the title and permalink.

Specific pages like the home page and contact us page have more configuration options, such as the content in the hero banner or the phone numbers displayed.

The way the front matter is structured is called YAML. You can think of it as a language used to specify data in a way that can be read and understood by Isomer.

Like all languages, YAML has its own 'grammar', known as syntax. Syntax are a list of rules that you have to follow in order for the YAML to be properly understood. There are quite a number of rules in YAML, but we'll just cover what you need to know.

The most important thing in YAML is the spacing. Certain lines have extra spaces at the front. See this sample extract from a home page's (index.md file) front matter:

resources:
title: Media
subtitle: Learn more
button: Contact Us

In this example, there is a resources section. The title, subtitle, and button properties each have 2 spaces at the front. This means that the 3 properties are describing the resources section, instead of the whole page.

The next thing you should know about YAML are lists. Here's an extract from a dropdown menu in navigation.yml:

options:
- title: Option A
url: /page-a/
- title: Option B
url: /page-b/
- title: Option C
url: /page-c/

A dropdown menu will have multiple options. This is when we need to use a list. Each item in a list is specified by adding a dash (-). Note that url, which is part of the option together with title, must be vertically aligned with title.

This is more or less what you need to know for YAML. Don't worry if you don't know the specific options to use for each page - you can always refer to the configuration options for the details. All you need right now is to understand when the extra spaces are needed, and when lists are needed.

As a final note, if you have special characters like # in your YAML, it is a good idea to wrap the entire text in double quotes, like so:

title: "#hashtags"