I am designing and developing 2 new WordPress themes to be released by early 2016. They’re called The Secret and Facture.
I’m excited about creating these new WordPress themes, as they’re the first (of many, hopefully) that I’ve made entirely from scratch that I feel really good about. Other themes I’ve put together for clients based off of Underscores or JointsWP were pretty quick and dirty. I’ve also hacked on plenty of other people’s themes and made child themes, but making something completely new is very fulfilling.
WordPress Themes for Real Businesses
What sets these new WordPress themes apart from a lot of the stuff on the WP repo is that they’re made with real businesses in mind. I have worked on websites for companies across several industries in manufacturing, aerospace, news media, marketing, food, beverage, non-profit, healthcare and many others. I’ve also created several websites for my own projects, and most importantly, I’ve used all of these websites. I’ve added content, moved things around, improved SEO and put in long hours to work with them.
Because a Lot of Business Themes Aren’t Practical
This experience creating and working on websites for several kinds of businesses has given me a unique perspective so that the place I’m coming from when I create new WordPress themes is one of business-first. I’m not making every single element on the page animate as you scroll to it. There’s no parallax scrolling (yet, anyway). I’m not trying to impress other people who make WordPress themes. These are built for real businesses, with features that make sense.
Less Is More
I’ve taken the approach of Keep It Simple, Stupid. The “KISS method” was one of the most valuable things I was taught in design school. These themes should load fast, right out of the box. Typography is beautiful and simple. There’s plenty of white space. These themes are made to look great, but they make your content stand out and look really great. Less really is more.
Except When It Comes to Page Templates
There will be many page templates available right out of the box. No need to code custom templates in a child theme or buy a premium version. The Secret already has page templates for right side, full width, centered, landing page and full width landing page. This allows a diverse range of ways to present your content.
Built With Foundation
Both The Secret and Facture are built with Zurb’s Foundation framework which allows you to go ahead and write with their grid system in the WordPress text editor, if you want to. You don’t need to have ever touched Foundation or even know what it is in order to use these themes, but if you already love and use Foundation regularly, you’ll be happy to know you have the entire Foundation toolbox at your disposal.
Free Release Will Be on GitHub and WordPress.org
These themes will be free, and available to download on GitHub and the WordPress.org theme repository. The GitHub release will be immediate after development is completed, and the WordPress.org repo will probably take a couple extra months. This is because themes are checked, tested and approved manually by WordPress volunteers, and there’s always more work than there are hands.
For this reason, I also plan to join the Theme Review Team after finishing these new themes. I’d like to contribute and help the community once I have a good handle on what goes into a full cycle of theme development. If you’re a WordPress developer with theme experience, you really ought to consider joining as well. It’s a great community of people who love to help one another.
Test My Themes and Make Suggestions
While I’m developing these 2 new WordPress themes, you can download them from GitHub and create issues with feedback. You can point out what doesn’t work right, and make suggestions. My work can always be improved with the feedback of others, so don’t hesitate to drop me a note about how I can make them better.
Please Note: These Themes Are Not Ready for a Production Environment
After you download a theme and test it out, be sure to leave a GitHub issue with some feedback, or tweet me @paul_shryock.
More to Come Soon
So I sort of took 2 months off from writing blog posts, and I did a bunch of stuff during that time including getting married, going on a honeymoon, visiting some local churches and getting to know some new people in the area I just moved to.
Now that my wife and I are getting settled in together, I will be back on a schedule of writing regularly. Subscribe for updates in your inbox, and feel free to leave a comment or get in touch.