Upcoming Framework Updates and Compatibility

  • Posted on Jul 24, 2013

One of the toughest challenges of designing and building themes is the desire and ability to pretty much do whatever one can conceive — all while taking usability, scalability and customizability into consideration.

Code bloat can cause all sorts of problems down the road and we've worked really hard to avoid it.

There is such a thing as too many options. Often times, it's easy to just add a "clickable" option to the control panel, but it makes more sense to provide the means (and guidance) that allows the user to tailor that option to their own specific needs. It can be frustrating having to trace functions just to alter some simple markup.

We understand that our users consist of developers, designers, and people who simply want a website.

So for the past few months, we've been hard at work in the background simplifying, improving, tweaking and testing our themes. Today, we pushed out the first of many significant updates. Over the next couple of weeks we'll be pushing out to some other existing themes, including a new release.

With the most recent changes, we'll finally be able to deploy new products at a faster pace, and offer better stability and user familiarity across the board.

The most immediate update is to Impacto — which has been a top seller since we launched it nearly two years ago. We chose Impacto not because it was the easiest, but because it was the most difficult. We wanted to make sure the framework could handle the more intense customization while still maintaining as much backwards compatibility as possible. It was a real challenge, and it's available for download today.

Below is an incomplete list of some of the features and improvements — many of which you'll find standard in future themes to come.

  • Updated Options Panel (preview)
  • Responsive Design (320px to 1140px) with 5 breakpoints
  • Built on Compass/SASS
  • Support for style and script minification (wp-minify)
  • Child theme-able
  • Faster loading and lightweight (fewer images)
  • Responsive menu options: Dropdown (select field) or Pulldown style menu
  • Responsive fractional columns shortcodes
  • Responsive videos
  • 7 revised Content templates
  • Built-in PrettyPhoto (optional)
  • Several helper classes for improved typography element positioning
  • Slider widgets and sliders in content via shortcode
  • Slides custom post type
  • Better typography Options API
  • Responsive Gallery shortcode
  • Tabs and Accordion shortcodes
  • Child Pages shortcode
  • Latest Posts shortcode with column support
  • Additional Widget locations
  • Unique Widget styling
  • Page/Post 'wpautop' removal (automatic code formatting)
  • Landing Page support (removable menu, header, footer, and complete standalone content).
  • Redesigned Callout and Notification styles
  • Button shortcode
  • New WordPress color picker with support for custom palletes.
  • Support for custom font selectors with Google fonts (currently not part of the UI. See child theme functions.php for Open Sans example)
  • Multiple blog layout options.
  • Options panel now remembers your last accessed tab
  • 4 bold color styles

With updates this significant, it's not a perfect transition. If you plan on updating we strongly advise you perform a backup or even better, clone the site to a development environment.

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