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NationBuilder Architect certification

In order to become a certified NationBuilder Architect, you will need to create a great looking and modern website design within your NationBuilder sandbox that both demonstrates your proficiency with our theming system, as well as the level of designs you are capable of creating for our customers.

Learn more about how powerful this certification can be for your business.

If you haven't already, get your sandbox by applying for Architect certification.

Many people create a website promoting their NationBuilder design services, so that the site is functional outside of this design certification. This website will also be listed alongside your listing in the Architect directory as an example of your work to our customers. Alternatively, you can build a site for one of your clients on NationBuilder, but it must also meet the requirements listed below:


Site requirements

  • The website design should look heavily customized and not too similar to the official public themes. View examples.

  • Start with the "Bootstrap" theme. This is the boilerplate framework which NationBuilder themes are built on. 

  • Do not strip the contents of theme.scss and do not remove them from layout.html. Think of this stylesheet as a framework you are modifying and adding to. You can add styles or even modify existing styles as you wish, but you should never remove them completely. Doing so almost certainly results in broken elements on various page types.

  • These elements should always remain in the layout.html file (not hardcoded):
    • {% include "nav" %}
    • {{ content_for header }}
    • {{ content_for_footer }}
  • Details matter: the forms and functionality should all operate properly. All components of the theme (forms, sidebars, top navigation, et.c) should have a custom design that plays into your overall design scheme. 

  • Use the liquid tags {% subpage %} or {% tag %}. It is important to clearly understand how these liquid tags work, as it is what displays forms, functionality and dynamic content from one page on another page. For example, it's how you would create a "latest blog posts" or "upcoming events" widget on your homepage. Use this technique to either do one of those things. Learn more by reading the theme documentation.
  • Keep customizations at the theme level as much as possible. New pages added to your site inherit customizations made at the theme level and not the page level. Your theme should maintain a consistent design layout as the site evolves. 
  • Build around engagement. NationBuilder sites are meant to inspire action and your theme should reflect this through creative use of forms, suggestion boxes, petitions, etc. 


Documentation and resources

If you have any questions, or run into any stumbling blocks, please contact Brian Tippy at