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Getting started with an Orchard Core Theme

In this article, we are going to create an Orchard Core Theme by adding it to an existing Orchard Core CMS application created previously.

Create an Orchard Core Theme

  • Install the Code Generation Templates
  • Create a folder alongside (not within) the application folder created before, with the name of your theme (Ex: MyTheme.OrchardCore). Preferably create a new folder under OrchardCore.Themes directory. Open it. We are going to create a new project in this folder.
  • Execute the command dotnet new octheme
  • In Visual Studio, add the newly created theme project to the solution, then add a reference to the project from the main Orchard Core CMS Web application.
  • In Visual Studio Code or CLI, execute the command dotnet sln add MyTheme.OrchardCore.csproj to add project to solution. Then, go to OrchardCore.Cms.Web folder and execute the command dotnet add OrchardCore.Cms.Web.csproj reference ../OrchardCore.Themes/MyTheme.OrchardCore.csproj
  • Set the main Orchard Core CMS Web application as the startup project.

  • The Admin UI can utilize a thumbnail by incorporating a wwwroot\Theme.png file within the root folder of the theme project.


The properties of the theme can be changed in the Manifest.cs file:

using OrchardCore.DisplayManagement.Manifest;

[assembly: Theme(
    Name = "MyTheme",
    Author = "My name",
    Website = "",
    Version = "0.0.1",
    Description = "My Orchard Core Theme description."

The theme should be available in the Active themes admin page, and can be set as the default theme.

How to enable Razor templates in my theme?

The themes we have in source code uses only Liquid files so their .csproj only reference :

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">

If you want to use Razor templates in your theme you simply need to change this .csproj first line for :

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk.Razor">