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Storefront turns one: how far it’s come, and where it’s going next

Written by Nicole Kohler on November 19, 2015 Blog, Product news, Storefront.

Since we launched Storefront one year ago, our flagship WooCommerce theme has come a long way. It’s seen hundreds of thousands of downloads, plenty of extensions, and even some new clothes in the form of child themes.

Today happens to Storefront’s first birthday. As we like to say, mighty oaks from little acorns grow, and we’ve seen this theme grow from an unassuming — yet sturdy — little nut into a mighty fine oak with plenty of strong branches, leaves, and strong roots in the WordPress community.

Here’s to you, Storefront! Blow out that candle and make a wish.

Storefront’s come a long way in its first year.

Let’s take a deeper dive in and explore Storefront’s impressive growth just a bit more. We’ll also have a closer look at its child themes and extensions (including the newly released Mega Menus!), just in case you missed anything, plus a selection of some amazing shops using Storefront in their own unique ways.

How far Storefront has come in a year

We launched Storefront as a free download on both WooThemes.com and WordPress.org on November 20, 2014. At the same time, we also released three paid extensions: Storefront Designer, Storefront WooCommerce Customizer, and Storefront Parallax Hero.

A glimpse into the past: we announced Storefront on our blog in November of 2014.
A glimpse into the past: we announced Storefront on our blog in November of 2014.

When we released Storefront, our goal was to have a theme with a strong focus on WooCommerce. We wanted it to have a very lightweight core, but at the same time be powerful through the flexibility it offers.

Our vision was for Storefront to be a theme where the extra features are optional, available as extensions, so you only run the code that you actually need. This is basically the same model used by WooCommerce.

One year later, we’ve seen this vision through. We now have:

  • Twelve Storefront Extensions — eight paid and four free
  • Six child themes — four paid and two free
  • 450,000+ total downloads
  • A 5/5 rating on WordPress.org
  • A spot on the WordPress.org Popular themes page

Storefront has come a long way indeed. We’re proud to see how widely it’s been accepted by WooCommerce store owners and developers alike. And — perhaps more importantly — we’re pleased by all the feedback we’ve received, as well as the great ideas you’ve contributed over the course of the last year.

Welcoming child themes to Storefront

Shortly after Storefront made its debut, it was followed up by the release of its first free child theme, Boutique, on January 15, 2015. Another free child theme, Deli, followed soon after.

Deli made its debut in March of this year.
Deli made its debut in March of this year.

We wrote about why child themes are important in the context of Storefront, but to recap:

Child themes inherit the features of Storefront core, including compatibility with each of our Storefront Extensions. But they adapt different styles and appearances, because child themes can make a parent theme look completely different. […] Child themes also enable folks to customize a parent theme themselves without touching any core files, a practice that safeguards those customization when performing updates to the parent theme.

Essentially, with a Storefront child theme, you get a no-cost “base” theme (Storefront core), a low-cost child theme tailored to your specific store or industry, and safeguarded, update-ready code. And all of it compatible with WooCommerce and the twelve Storefront Extensions. Win-win.

We’ve now introduced a total of six child themes for Storefront, and have more on the way. We believe these themes are a great way to customize Storefront in a flash without losing its adaptability.

Our newest creation: Storefront Mega Menus

Speaking of being flexible: we’ve always aimed for our catalogue of Storefront Extensions to enable you to do whatever you like in your shop. Want a different checkout layout? You got it. Need social sharing buttons for your products? Add them for free.

Our newest Storefront Extension, Storefront Mega Menus, continues this trend of maximum flexibility. As one of our most-requested features ever, we are excited to finally draw back the curtains and reveal this extension in all its mega-glory.

Introducing Mega Menus.
Introducing Mega Menus.

With Mega Menus, you can transform any top-level menu item into a full-width dropdown. The drag and drop interface allows you to add widgets, which can then be rearranged and resized to display any navigational content you wish. Been aiming to improve your store’s navigation? Now’s the time.

A sampling of Mega Menus on ProShop and Galleria.
A sampling of Mega Menus on ProShop and Galleria.

Storefront Mega Menus is available to purchase today, and is compatible with Storefront and all of its child themes.

What you’ve created with Storefront

We didn’t come here to talk about just what we’ve done in the first year of Storefront’s existence. Now we’d like to turn the spotlight around and shine it on you!

Here are a few standout stores that have done brilliant things with Storefront:

Pro4mance uses a highly customized version of Storefront.
Pro4mance uses a highly customized version of Storefront.

Pro4mance, an Australian brand delivering endurance products to athletes, uses a heavily customized version of Storefront to draw shoppers in. Combined with the large photos and bold colors, this is one effective theme!

You can get a closer look at how Storefront is used in Pro4mance’s Showcase listing here or in the Pro4mance case study.

Just Fashion relies on a child theme to customize Storefront to their liking.
Just Fashion relies on a child theme to customize Storefront to their liking.

The recently launched Just Fashion focuses on ethical practices in the design and production of its fashionable goods, aiming for better treatment of workers, high-quality and animal-friendly materials, and reduced water and waste.

The shop uses a custom-made child theme on top of Storefront — quite a looker! Have a peek here in the Showcase to see more details.

Marrygrams uses Storefront to make their shop delightful.
Marrygrams uses Storefront to make their shop delightful.

Finally there’s Marrygrams, a shop selling wedding-related cards — invitations, “will you be my bridesmaid?” cards, thank you notes, and so on. It’s also recently started selling holiday cards (we think the example above is hilarious).

This delightful shop has a lot of options, but it looks clean and clutter-free thanks to Storefront. You can see a bit more of Marrygrams here in the Showcase.

Have a shop of your own using Storefront? We’d love to see it — drop us a link in the comments (or submit it to our showcase) – and we might just give it some air.

What’s next for Storefront?

We’ve accomplished quite a lot in a year, surely. But our work isn’t done yet.

At the moment we’re working on a new Storefront Snapshots extension, and also reviewing all of your ideas to determine what we’ll work on next. On the child theme front, we’re working on two more premium themes called Pharmacy and Homestore.

We plan to keep adding value to Storefront by releasing more child themes and extensions. We’re also planning to modernize the designs on our current child themes where appropriate, and of course make bugfixes as they’re needed.

If you have any ideas for the future of Storefront, please do share them — it’s your thoughtful feedback and suggestions that lead us to each new extension and child theme! You can add them to the Storefront Ideas Board here.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little look back at Storefront’s first year, as well as a glimpse into its promising future. Have any comments to share about your experience with Storefront, or questions about what’s coming next? We’d be happy to hear from you — leave a comment and we’ll be sure to respond.

2 Responses

  1. allmyhoney
    November 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    Happy bday storefront. Has there been any progress on shortcodes inside storefront. Column based shortcodes are literally crucial to expanding what you can do on standard pages – one of the main reasons I have not moved to storefront fully is because of the lack of shortcodes. I know the wordpress repository has some restrictions on shortcodes here but is there any plugin in the works for shortcodes? May have to stick with Canvas for eCommerce until those come about.

    • James
      November 27, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

      We certainly won’t be adding shortcodes like that to Storefront core though.

      However, there are already dozens of plugins that would allow you to add column shortcodes. That’s pretty much the main reason we’ve not created a plugin to do this just yet.

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