Sitecore SXA- Remove div row wrappers when using Sitecore placeholders

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Sitecore uses placeholders to render components which allows to dynamically assemble the page layout. This allows the content editors to design specific pages.

When using MVC layout and BootStrap grid, SXA adds additional DIV when a placeholder is used.

For e.g. if you see the views/sxalayout/Bootstrap4Body.cshtml file. If has a placeholders header, main and footer.

Page is rendered with the header, main and footer tags having placeholders within.

These placeholders is wrapped with a div tag when rendered with class row.

Problem– Extra div tag with class row might not be required or if you don’t to have this as part of your markup. How to remove div tag?


The configuration to exclude the placeholder wrappers is in Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Grid.config

Any custom or OOTB placeholders can be added to placeholderWrapper/exlcudedPlaceholders list

Best Practice – Never modify the OOTB config’s as this can be changed in the future releases and upgrades. Patch the config instead.

Patch file should look something like this-

Resulting to the entry added in excludePlaceholders list and the div been not rendered-

Hope this helps

Install Sitecore 9.0.2 – Cannot process argument transformation on parameter ‘Signer’

If you see this error whilst installing Sitecore 9.0.2 the issue might be due to multiple certificates been issues.

In this case delete both certificates listed –

Get-ChildItem Cert:\LocalMachine\Root\<<Thumbprint>> | Remove-Item

Try the installation again



Check and remove – DO_NOT_TRUST_SitecoreRootCert if its expired from Local Computer and Current User.

Also remove the same form the dis mainly from C:\certificates



Install Docker on LINUX – Ubuntu

OS requirements

To install Docker Engine, you need the 64-bit version of one of these Ubuntu versions:

  • Ubuntu Hirsute 21.04
  • Ubuntu Groovy 20.10
  • Ubuntu Focal 20.04 (LTS)
  • Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 (LTS)

To check the OS version of Linux, use-

cat /etc/*release*

Check if you have already install docker on machine-

docker --version

Uninstall the older version of Docker if you have any, to do so-

sudo apt-get remove docker docker-engine containerd runc

Install Repository

Before the docker is installed setup the docker repository-

User Application Package Tool (APT) to install supporting packages for Docker. Use following commands-

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install \
    apt-transport-https \
    ca-certificates \
    curl \
    gnupg \

Add Docker’s official GPG key:

GPG or GNU Privacy Guard is a public key cryptographic implementation and is used for allowing secure transmission of information between source and destination

curl -fsSL | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg

Install Docker Engine

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli

This installs the latest version of docker on OS.

Check the latest version of docker

docker --version

Reference documents-

Sitecore 10 SXA- Improve site performance by enabling Asset Optimizer

Asset optimizer helps improve the performance in production site by compressing/minifying the CSS and JS.

Minification of assets helps to cut the unnecessary portions of code and reduce the size of file to boost the performance by reducing amount of data over the internet.

Sitecore administrators can enable/disable optimizer globally of to a specific site.

Enable/Disable the Asset Optimizer globally

Enabling or disabling optimizer globally affects all the sites configured in the Sitecore instance.

To change the optimiser settings navigate to following location. This is accessible to Administrators-

/sitecore/system/Settings/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Theming/Optimiser

You can also search “optimiser”-

If you can’t find this you may have to re-index master.

Select Scripts or Styles to change the settings

Modes of Optimizations

Concatenate And Minify Mode

When this option is selected. Sitecore will concatenate and minify the OOTB and Custom Scripts and Styles.

Example:- If you have a custom theme you can add the css files in your extension theme

This is in master database

Highlighted CSS is a extension to the base theme.

Web database when the page is first requested Sitecore will concat and minify all css in extension theme folder and create a optimised-min.css file

Styles loaded from the extension theme is concatenated and minified version with timestamp in query parameter (optimised-min.css)

Notice that the file name is optimised-min.css

Size of the optimized version is 367 KB
Concatenate and minified. Loads without comments

Concatenate Mode

Change the mode of optimization to “Concatenate”.

Web database now has optimized file created in extension theme

Styles loaded from the extension theme is concatenated version with timestamp in query parameter (optimised.css)

Notice that the reference to file is changed to optimised.css

Size of the optimized version is 381 KB
Concatenate but not minified. CSS loads with comments

Disabled Mode

Change the mode to “Disabled” and should see all the files loaded separately. Disabled mode is good for debugging but should not be used for production as it will give a performance hit.

CSS files are loaded separately and not concatenated nor minified

Best Practice – Enable Asset Optimizer in production environments

The same can be applied to the Scripts.

You have set the optimizer to concatenate and minify globally to your Sitecore instance but still don’t see the site been optimized.

Install and use custom Sitecore SXA module

Previous post I described how to create a new module

In this blog lets install and use the newly created module

Right click on Site and select option Scripts and “Add Site Module

Overlay to select modules is displayed-

Select the newly created module and click Ok

Create a new Sitecore 10 SXA module

Sitecore SXA module contains templates, Renderings, Layouts, Placeholder Settings, branch etc. It helps structure the SXA site by scaffolding items required to setup the component.

In this blog post I will walkthrough the steps to create a module manually to have a better understanding and helps specially to debug when there are issues with the existing modules.

Create Module (Part 1)

Navigate to – /sitecore/system/Settings/Feature

Right click Featur folder to create module

Create new module overlay will open.

  1. Provide a Module name – i.e. Custom Image Block
  2. Choose the location where this module to be created.
  3. Select the system areas the module folders to be created
  4. Choose the module should be applied to tenant or site

When module is created should be able to see the folder with the Site Setup Root item

Once the Site Setup Root is created you should be able to see folders with name “Custom Image Block” will be created in Branch, Template, Renderings, Placeholder Settings, Layouts and Media Library or the system areas selected.

Create template required for creating Branch

For creating a branch you will need a template and rendering. Create a template in “Custom Image Block” folder. For now you don’t have to add fields. See blog the fields that were created for component.

Create “Image Block Folder” Template

Create rendering required for creating Branch

Create controller rendering with name “Image Block” in – /sitecore/layout/Renderings/Feature/Wits/Custom Image Block.

For now don’t setup anything in rendering. See blog for the configuration required in rendering-

Create Branch

Navigate to /sitecore/templates/Branches/Feature

Create a new branch. Right click on the folder “Custom Image Block” and insert new branch option

Select the template earlier created-

Branch with name “Image Block” will be created.

Delete $name item in the branch

Rename the Image Block to “Available Image Block Renderings”.

Right click branch and insert item from template-

/sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Presentation/Available Renderings/Available Renderings

Give it a name $name as this will create a item in “Available Renderings” folder in site with the component name

Select $name and select the newly created rendering-

Create or Copy the existing branch and name it as “Image Block Variant”

Create a variant, name it as “$name” from template – /sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Rendering Variants/Variants

Create Variant Definition under Variant name it as “Default” from template

Path of the variant definition- /sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Rendering Variants/Variant Definition

Create Scriban Variant named “Scriban” from template – /sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Scriban/Scriban

Add markup in template field or the same can be added when the module is installed on the site – if the markup is specific to the site.

Branch structure should like this-

Create Module (Part 2)

Add Site Item to add Available rendering to the site module is installed

Name it “Add Available Renderings”

Select the Location from the Site>>Presentation>>Available Renderings

In Template field select the “Available Image Block Renderings” from the newly created branch.

Provide the Name

Add Site Item to add rendering variant to the site module is installed

Add another site item, name it “Add Image Block Variant”

Select “Rendering Variant” in Location and “Image Block Variant” created in branch

This will create a “Image Block” in the “Rendering Variant” folder in the site where the module will be installed

Add Site Item to add data folder to the site module is installed

Add another site item, name it “Add Image Block Data Item”

This will create a “Image Block Folder” in “Data” folder in the site where the module will be installed

That’s it you are good to install “Image Block” module.

Create a custom Sitecore SXA component using Scriban from scratch

Often you see examples for creating a new Sitecore SXA component is suggested to be cloned from the Promo component which helps developers to quick start the development.

But its always good to know the process and supporting items that are created to support he component.

In this blog post I will walk through the steps required to create a SXA component using Scriban from scratch. This post is not about how to use Scriban, will cover that in another post.

This post assumes the SXA Site is configured with the custom theme. See links to create Tenants/Sites/Themes –

  1. Create Tenant and SXA Site
  2. Configure Theme to the SXA Site
  3. Assign Theme to the SXA Site

The component contains images and text and should look like this-

Step 1 – Create Templates –

Lets start creating a template first. Lets give it a name ImageBlock

Template Name – Image Block

Template Name – Image Block Folder

Set the Image Block as Insert Options so Image Blocks can be created under Image Block Folder

Template Name- Image Block (Rendering Parameter)

The below inheritance is required to style, cache and attach a rendering variant.

This template should inherit following-

Inherited template paths-

Template structure for Image Block component looks like this-

Step 2 – Create Rendering for Image Block component

Before you could start creating rendering, its good to have content as the rendering will require the Datasource location and the view.


IMPORTANT– Data folders for component can be configured using modules. For this post will create it manually.

Navigate to the Site -Data folder and create a Image Block Folder

Example at this location-

/sitecore/content/Wits Recruitment/Wits/Site Regions/Wits UK Recruitment/Data

I have named it Image Blocks and enter content for the template-


Create a view. Place following markup in cshtml. Place this in your custom folder in Sitecore instance view folder

@using Sitecore.XA.Foundation.RenderingVariants.Extensions
@using Sitecore.XA.Foundation.SitecoreExtensions.Extensions
@using Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Variants.Abstractions.Fields
@model Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Variants.Abstractions.Models.VariantsRenderingModel

@if (Model.DataSourceItem != null || Html.Sxa().IsEdit)
    if (Model.DataSourceItem == null)
        foreach (BaseVariantField variantField in Model.VariantFields)
            @Html.RenderingVariants().RenderVariant(variantField, Model.Item, Model.RenderingWebEditingParams, Model)


Create controller rendering for Image Block Controller

Controller– Sitecore.XA.Foundation.RenderingVariants.Controllers.VariantsController, Sitecore.XA.Foundation.RenderingVariants

Controller Action- Index

Parameter Templates – Select the Rendering Parameter template created in previous step.

Example – /sitecore/templates/Feature/Wits/PageContent/Rendering Parameters/Image Block

Datasource Location – Query to the Site data location. You may also have to consider same for shared sites

Sample- query:$site/[@@name=’Data’]/[@@templatename=’Image Block Folder’] | query:$sharedSites/[@@name=’Data’]/ [@@templatename=’Image Block Folder’]

Datasource Template– Location of the template (Image Block)

Example- /sitecore/templates/Feature/Wits/PageContent/Image Block

Rendering view path– provide the path of your custom view

Example- ~/Views/Wits/ImageBlock.cshtml

Step 3 – Create Rendering Variant

Create a rendering variant i.e. items from templates-

/sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Rendering Variants/Variants

/sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Rendering Variants/Variant Definition

/sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Scriban/Scriban

Paste the markup to render

Step 4 – Add rendering to Page

Add rendering to the page. Ideally this can be done by creating a Branch and create a module which should allow to drag and drop the SXA component to the page using experience editor.

Select Home page and select option Presentation ==> Details

Add the rendering “Image Block” in the placeholder “main”

Edit the control and select the Variant “Default” in Styling section.

Remember we created a Rendering Variant “Image Block” in step Step 3 and the name of the variant was “Default”. This variant is listed in dropdown for selection. Also select the datasource

Select rendering variant-

Select the datasource-

Save and Publish and should be able to see the newly created component in Home page

Step 5- Update rendering variant to display content from Image Block item

In step-3 we added a static markup in rendering variant.

Use the following scriban changes to get the content from selected datasource. See BlockTitle, Heading and Description1 and Description2 to pull the content from item-

Example- {{sc_raw i_datasource ‘Description2’ }}

<div class="support-company-area support-padding fix">
            <div class="container">
                <div class="row align-items-center">
                    <div class="col-xl-6 col-lg-6">
                        <div class="right-caption">
                            <!-- Section Tittle -->
                            <div class="section-tittle section-tittle2">
                                <span>{{sc_raw i_datasource 'BlockTitle' }} </span>
                                <h2>{{sc_raw i_datasource 'Heading' }}</h2>
                            <div class="support-caption">
                                <p class="pera-top">{{sc_raw i_datasource 'Description1' }}</p>
                                <p>{{sc_raw i_datasource 'Description2' }}</p>
                                <a href="about.html" class="btn post-btn">Post a job</a>
                    <div class="col-xl-6 col-lg-6">
                        <div class="support-location-img">
                            <img src="assets/img/service/support-img.jpg" alt="">
                            <div class="support-img-cap text-center">

Finally we have component been rendered and content pulled from item-

Hope this helps.

Sitecore XC 10.1 compatibility

Microsoft Edge
Mozilla Firefox
Google Chrome
Apple Safari

Operating System
Window Server 2019 (GA)
Windows Server 2016
Windows 10

.NET Framework
.NET 4.8
.NET 4.7.2
.NET 4.7.1


ASP.NET Core 3.1

Database Server
MS Azure SQL
MS SQL 2019
MS SQL 2017

Windows PowerShell
PowerShell 5.1 or later

Search provider
Solr 8.4.0

Redis (Linux) 4.0.9
Redis (Azure) 4.0.14
Redis (Windows) 3.0.504

Newtonsoft Json.NET
Newtonsoft Json.Net 12.0.1

OData 7.5

Visual Studio
Visual Studio 2019

Docker Images
Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC
Windows 10, version 2004
Windows 10, version 20H2
Sitecore XP and modules 
XP 10.1 Initial
SXA 10.1
SPE 6.2

Step-by-step install Sitecore XP 10.1 to developer workstation using Sitecore Containers with Docker

To know more about containers here is the official documentation from Sitecore on Containers

Lets get started to create a Sitecore XP 10.1 development environment using docker.

Before getting started please see Installation Guide for Developer Workstation with Containers

Topology user here will XP0 or per guide XP Workstation (XP Single)

Hardware and Networking Requirements-

Sitecore instance needs below ports, avoid using these ports other than Sitecore.

Required portRoleDescription
443TraefikHTTPS proxy
8079TraefikTraefik dashboard
8984SolrSolr API and dashboard
14330SQLSQL Server

Prepare/prerequisite for Sitecore XP workstation

  • [Optional] OS- Windows 10 1809 or later or Windows Server 1809 or later

Login to Azure portal to create a VM

Image – Select Image to Windows 10 Pro, Version 1809- Gen 1

Size – Standard_D8s_v3- * vcpus, 32GiB memory

Inbound ports– Select RDP, dont select HTTPS 443 as this will be used by Traefik as mentioned in previous section

  • Download and Install Docker Desktop for Windows

Download and install Docker Desktop for Windows. You can get Stable version from here

After installation Restart the machine, this should enable the Hyper-V feature

This should also have Docker running and should see the same in system tray

  • Switch to Windows containers

Right click on Docker icon and switch to Windows Container. See this link for more details as per guide

Download and Prepare for installation

  • Download and extract the Sitecore Container Deployment Package from the Sitecore Developer Portal and store it on your local workstation or check releases here
  • Copy and extract for e.g:- C:/sc101_install

Navigate to C:\sc101_install\compose\ltsc2019\xp0

  • Open .env file, we need to fill in this parameters before starting installation. You can find more details in guide for each option.
  • Download PowerShell script to initialize (init.ps1) the parameters from docker-examples. Parameter values in .env can be populated manually by individually executing the commands for required for each parameter in guide(see Appendices) but I would recommend to use init.ps1 as this is provided by Sitecore and hence tried and tested.

Folder structure should look like this-

  • Change parameter values in init.ps1 file.

Change the SitecoreAdminPassword, SqlSaPassword and host entries as per requirement. If you are changing host entries also ensure the same is updated in .env file for CM_HOST and ID_HOST parameters. Lets keep the default values.

  • Populate .env file using init command

Open PowerShell as a Administrator, navigate to the folder having init.ps1 file.

Execute init.ps1 script. You may have to set the execution rights to current user to execute the script-

Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser Unrestricted

Provide the path of license file

This should Install and Import SitecoreDockerTools and Populate the environment file.

Ensure to Switch to Windows Container before executing below command


Execute docker compose command

docker-compose.exe up --detach

Installation complete-

Once command execution is complete, should see all the checks done and Sitecore dev. instance ready in 20 minutes

Open Docker Dashboard and should see Sitecore-XP0 running

Site listening to address- https://xp0cm.localhost/

Cleanup the workstation

To cleanup/stop workstation use following commands. You can find these in instllation guide

To stop a Docker Compose environment without removing its contents:

docker-compose.exe stop

To resume a previously stopped Docker Compose environment:

docker-compose.exe start

To remove a Docker Compose environment and all the non-mounted volumes

docker-compose.exe down

Hope this helps to install Sitecore XP 10.1 using Docker!!!

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