A look at the Underscores starter theme project with suggestions on how it could be improved.
Underscores is one of the best starter themes out there. I use it as a base for public themes, and very often for custom themes also. It’s that good for several reasons: Build accessibility in mind.
Well documented and modern templates.
Community effort building it better.
It does speed up your work.
I usually generate my new theme using underscores.me but did you know that there is also site called Components? In there you can get a jump start for business, portfolio, magazine, or traditional blog theme.
With all that said, I’m not perfectly happy about Underscores development.
Underscores (_s) Development Ideas
You often hear that you should fork _s. And there are many great forks out there, like wd_s and Air. But this article is not about forks.
It’s about how _s can continue being the greatest starter theme out there.
Remember that _s is Automattic product and some (or many) of the decision are not on community hands. But if you ask me it needs same kind attention than default themes like Twenty Seventeen.
Here is my short list how we can improve _s theme development.
After every default theme we should look what issues was inherited from _s theme and fix them.
An interesting and informative interview of Justin Tadlock on the history of ThemeHybrid, how he works and what direction he sees theming going.
Many WordPress Theme Shops say that they offer great support. But it’s nothing compares to Theme Hybrid support by Justin Tadlock. It’s the best place to get themes, plugins, support, ideas, and learn. I’m honoured and lucky that I’ve been part of Theme Hybrid community for several years. It’s the place where I learnt how to build WordPress themes. It’s still the place where I get help and can follow the latest things in WordPress.
Who is behind Theme Hybrid and what is the history about Theme Hybrid?
It’s just me, Justin Tadlock.
Theme Hybrid started as a response to the “premium” theme movement back in 2008. At that time, these premium themes were usually under proprietary, non-GPL licensing and completely locked users away from the freedoms that they would normally receive. Users were paying money for fewer freedoms. While I didn’t completely understand open source at the time, I felt like the direction that these theme shops were going was not in the best interest of users.
I was barely out of college and had no clue what I was doing in terms of business (still don’t). There was huge support for the project, so I
Super duper good article about coding good themes. If you can make it through the whole article saying, "yup, I do that," you're in great shape!
I wanted to compare theme review processes and let’s start what is your role in theme review. In my opinion you play the most important role in theme review. It’s your responsibility to build secure, well coded and beautiful themes. But where to start if you don’t even know how to build solid themes? Role model themes
There are lot’s of great themes out there. But how do we know which are good role model themes? Themes that follow best practices, uses latest WordPress functions and are up to date. I have had three main sources for learning how to code themes.
I started learning from Themehybrid themes by Justin Tadlock. At first I just tried to understand the code, then build some child themes, and finally have enough skills to build my own parent themes. I highly recommend Themehybrid for everybody. You can ask any questions in the Forums or Slack channel. And you will be answered!
WordPress default themes are also great source for latest possibilities in WordPress. Twenty Sixteen is good example and it only works with WP 4.4+. There are several new tips and trick like these ones:
In header.php file there is example how to enable responsive images in header image.
In comments.php there
Sami Keijonen hosted a vivid conversation about Gutenberg in a WordPress Helsinki Meetup
We had vivid conversation about Gutenberg in WordPress Helsinki Meetup. I was hosting the meetup and shared my opinions about Gutenberg. We also got our hands dirty and tested Gutenberg. In short people were worried about the Gutenberg. It’s such a huge change. Here are my slides about Gutenberg Meetup:
In the next chapters I share my opinions and summary of our conversations in Gutenberg Meetup.
What is the Gutenberg?
Gutenberg is the new editing experience which is based on blocks. Matt Mullenweg describes Gutenberg like this:
The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.
In other words it’s going to change how we write the content (blocks).
It’s also changing how developers interact with the content. With Gutenberg we could create stunning posts, landing pages, or product pages. Now we need ACF, CMB2, or similar custom fields solutions. Or Page builders.
Gutenberg development is happening in the Github. Frequently asked questions is a long list:
When is it
While submitting themes on WordPress.com is invite-only now-a-days, it's a interesting process to know about- nicely written by Sami Keijonen.
It’s been interesting to compare theme review processes. Now it’s time to take closer look at WordPress.com theme review process. I’m lucky enough to have couple of themes in there and therefore have some insight information. Let’s talk about how you can get your themes in WordPress.com and what is the theme review process.
How to get your themes on WordPress.com
WordPress.com staff can pick free themes from the WordPress.org repository. But I don’t think they even ask you if you want your theme in WordPress.com. They most likely pick themes that looks good and seems a good fit.
So all you have to do is create awesome themes, review them first and send them to WordPress.org and hope for the best!
What about commercial themes? There is submit your theme page but it was only open short time period, and the year was 2014. From my understanding new theme shops are only invited at the moment. They most likely check out theme shops from time to time and decide to invite new theme shops if they really really like your work.
Or you can always contact them directly and let them know you’re the best of the best!
By the way there are 181 commercial themes and 39 theme shops in WordPress.com. It
An alternate approach the wildly popular Tadlock Genericons menu technique recently added to Jetpack. This is the future!
Justin Tadlock have invented social nav menu system. Pretty much everybody is using it. It is great! But lately I’ve been thinking can we use SVG icons in Social Menu instead of icon fonts. There are several articles about SVG vs icon fonts:
This theme is showcasing that we can use SVG icons in Social Menu. Or can we? That’s where I need your help:
Is there a better way to handle SVG than using walker_nav_menu_start_el filter and PHP? Check functions.php file.
Is inlining SVG using get_template_part( 'svg-icons' ); best solution? Should we use reguire_once instead or just svg-icons.svg file. Check header.php file.
Is SVG social menu system accessible?
If you forget IE6-8 does it work in all browsers?
A list of theme shops trusted by Sami Keijonen. Features a number of smaller theme shops that you may not have heard of. I agree with all so worth a look if you want something a bit different.
I dislike lists from the bottom of my heart. I have “never” even made a shopping list. And here I am listing WordPress Theme Shops. You might wonder why? Well, from time to time people don’t like my themes (go figure why) and they ask where else they could find good and solid themes. That’s why I have started to gather WordPress Theme Shops list. You might wonder who can get to the list?
I know them from somewhere and I trust them.
I like their designs and code.
Most of the theme shops are also authors in WordPress.com which means that their theme has been been reviewed very closely.
Just because I can.
WordPress Theme Shops
I still don’t like lists. But here it is. There is one catch though. I want to interview other Theme Shop owners to have more info about them. Stay tuned because I’ll link the interviews in the list also. It’s interesting to see how many theme shops owners decline to answer just because I’m asking.
Don’t feel bad if you’re not on this list. I might remove or add new theme shops. But there is absolutely nothing you