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A theme for any designer

May 26, 2011 - 25 Comments

In February we worked with the design talent that is Cameron Moll on a portfolio/tumblog theme, similar to Elefolio given it’s popularity.

Cameron is a seasoned speaker, a graphic designer with proficiency in website interface, a letterpress & videography enthusiast, as well as the owner of Authentic Jobs – which only yesterday launched it’s new Authentic Jobs UK division. Quite a creative talent.

With the “Briefed“ theme that Cameron designed for us, it caters for creatives like himself – one’s that don’t fit into a box. The comment Cameron provided with the initial concept of Briefed sums up the design well:

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Re-applying the Canvas

May 23, 2011 - 18 Comments

We recently released Canvas V4 and asked Matty to write a post about the thoughts & ideas that went into the creation of this new version of Canvas.

As our flagship theme, Canvas has seen many enhancements and additions since it’s released early last year. The response to Canvas’ flexibility and ease of use from users at all levels has been incredible. With this in mind, it was time to give Canvas a bit of a tune up under the hood and overhaul the code for even more flexibility.

When approaching a task of this nature, which concerns users of all types and skill levels, it is important to take that into consideration as a primary pillar on the project- users of all skill levels need to be able to take advantage of the new features. Enter the Manager modules.

The Manager modules, “Layout”, “Hooks” and “Meta”, provide users with an easy-to-use interface for making use of advanced functionality in Canvas (such as it’s bundled hooks via the “Hook” Manager and filtering common areas via the “Meta” Manager). This means that, without understanding too much about what a hook or filter is, a user can make use of them. Therefore, at a basic level, these advanced functionalities no longer seem daunting and unapproachable. More advanced users can, of course, still make use of a standard coded filter in their child theme, once comfortable with the concepts of what hooks and filters are.

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The Butterfly Circus – a Case Study on Advanced Canvas Modification

May 20, 2011 - 13 Comments

Nick Daugherty

This guest post was written by Nick Daugherty of Skyrocket Websites who has an impressive portfolio of clients and extensive WooThemes modifications.

To go along with the release of Canvas v4, the WooThemes guys asked me to write up a case study for some of my recent Canvas-based projects, which I’m absolutely thrilled to do.

My name is Nick, and I’m a full-time web designer from Los Angeles, California, USA. I’ve been a WooThemes user (and fan) since they first released the Vibrant CMS theme back in the dark ages of WordPress (2008 to be exact).

This post is all about TheButterflyCircus.com, which has been my most ambitious Child Theme modification to date.

So buckle up, grab a pencil, and put on your thinking caps. It might get nerdy.

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An Evening of Beers, WordPress & Woo

May 19, 2011 - 23 Comments

At the end of last month, we mentioned the possibility of having a little London meetup on our upcoming trip to the UK. And now we can confirm that this is indeed happening… 🙂

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The Best Ways to Make WooUsers Happy

May 11, 2011 - 16 Comments

One of my favorite parts of working with the WooCommunity is hearing from a satisfied customer. We aren’t always able to make everyone happy, but for the most part I’d say we get the job done and have many happy WooThemes fans from it. 100% Satisfaction is always something we’re striving for, but for some people we just won’t ever be able to put a smile on their face. I do think I’ve developed a bit of a strategy though in my short time and experience working with Woo.

Here are the ways I’ve found to make and keep WooUsers happy…

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A Few Words on Child Themes

April 18, 2011 - 21 Comments

As with all industries, WordPress theming has it’s fair share of trends, flowing in and out of popularity as the WordPress product and community evolve. Through these trends, needs for supplementary resources evolve, where users aim to enhance trends via additional products or services. A trend that has been growing in popularity in recent years is that of “Theme Frameworks” or “Advanced Parent Themes”. These themes, while bundling in large amounts of valuable code, can become confusing to modify and upgrade for the end user. This, following the flow of trends, grew the awareness and need for the use of child themes.

Child theming has been around in WordPress for a considerable amount of time, allowing users to create a smaller theme that piggybacks off of a larger theme, with it’s own CSS and customised PHP functions. A perfect fit with “Advanced Parent Themes”, yes? So why are some users apprehensive about it? Fear of the unknown.

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Premiere

March 30, 2011 - 3 Comments

Unique Features


  • Featured slider

    Featured Video Slider

    A custom home page featured slider to showcase particular video posts, all powered by jQuery. Full control over what appears here and where the caption must be positioned.


  • Custom Homepage

    Custom Homepage

    Custom home page layout with video tabber and widgetized regions for blog and other content.


  • Video Page Template

    Video Page Template

    A neatly designed single video page template that has social links allowing you to share your video on Facebook, Twitter or even email a link to the post. Related videos show below the video content.


  • Recommend a Video Page Template

    Recommend a Video Page Template

    An optional page template that allows you to have a front end form that can capture video details submitted by your site visitors or WordPress users.


  • Video Archive Sorting

    Video Archive Sorting

    An optional integrated portfolio section driven by custom post types, which utilizies jQuery prettyPhoto script to display your work in a lightbox.


  • Custom Post Types

    Custom Post Types

    The theme takes full advantage of the new custom post types functionality that came with WordPress 3.0, so adding video posts is dead easy!



  • Custom Typography

    You can customize the typography in the theme to suit, and there is full support for Google Fonts in the font selector.


  • Custom Widgets

    The theme has 1 widgetized sidebar (homepage excluded) and 4 footer widgetized regions, and as always comes with 8 custom Woo Widgets (Ad Space, Blog Author, WooTabs, Subscribe, Feedback, Search, Flickr and Twitter).

  • Alternative Styles

    Alternative Styles

    The theme includes 11 alternative color styles which you can preview in the demo, and also has styling options for background color/image and setting link and button color.

WooThemes premieres

March 30, 2011 - 34 Comments

Don’t worry we aren’t going all Hollywood on you and creating “The WooThemes Network“… I think if we did it would probably be more a WooVille Manga animated film…

Instead, today we are announcing the release of a brand spanking new video-based theme – Premiere. Almost 2 years to the day since our last video theme – Groovy Video.

A sexy home page with featured slider and video tabber

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What is a Community Manager?

March 23, 2011 - 10 Comments

As you may know WooThemes hired their first Community Manager when they decided to hire me. Community Manager is a new term around here so what does it all mean?

Adii found this great infograph on GetSatisfaction that in my view of things does a great job of summing it up. Click here to see it full size.

This infograph takes a very broad view of what a Community Manager does, but it still makes good points in how the position applies to the WooCommunity.

Let’s take a look at a few things what they mean for us starting with Pinata, Sponge, and Gardener. My favorite description is under the Pinata, and a big part of what I aim to do with the WooCommunity.

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Theme Upgrades: Explained

March 22, 2011 - 8 Comments

With an ever-growing theme catalog, as well as continued improvements and new features being added to our themes and the WooFramework, it can sometimes become a task in and of itself to check your theme regularly and make sure you’re using the latest version (which is, ofcourse, preferred). What if there was an automated solution that notified you when an upgrade became available and easily upgraded your theme to the latest version?

Here in lies the conversation…

As I’m sure you’ve all seen, WordPress has a neat “Updates” screen which allows for the upgrading of your themes and plugins, as well as WordPress itself, through a neat and automated interface. Through our popular WooIdeas forum, we’ve received a thread regarding theme updates and would like to delve into this further. A quick warning, folks: This may get technical. 😉

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African Cartel – a Listings implementation case study

March 16, 2011 - 15 Comments

Early last week my wife, Xenia, and I launched an online project that we’d been working on behinds the scenes for a while. African Cartel is an online marketplace for African artists, with the first feature being on a group of disadvantaged, pre-dominantly Zimbabwean artists who’s livelihood and income revolves around selling their township paintings at a traffic light intersection in Cape Town, South Africa. These artists are known as the robot artists.

My involvement with African Cartel was developing a website to house the artist listings, short film, art pieces, and e-commerce facilities to sell the art, whilst Xenia wrapped her head around the logistics of it all. I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog post about how I went about building the site, based on products we’d developed at WooThemes. I am fully aware some will perceive this as a shameless self-promotion, but to those genuinely interested in how we built the site please grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the read.

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Working With Woo

March 14, 2011 - 9 Comments

I’m into my second week here with WooThemes, and I just wanted to say thank you for the warm welcome. It’s definitely a great feeling to be welcomed into the community by everyone here. For those who are confused on who I am and where I came from, then just refer back to this post. If you’re curious what a Community Manager does, I’ll try and explain in depth soon. 🙂

Lately I’ve been brainstorming ways that I can bridge between you guys, our wonderful WooThemes users, and the rest of the WooTeam. The other members of the team are working their butts off not only creating beautiful and functional themes, but they’re there when you guys happen to break the themes and need help with something. We encourage everyone to try and customize their theme and break it if you have to, but it keeps our team busy making sure the web is a beautiful and working place.

With that said, part of my job is to be able to interact with all of you on behalf of our team. Email has been a big part of that so far, and believe it or not it’s been fun interacting with everyone via email. This post and blog you’re reading right now is another part of that. I’ll be posting as much as I can on the blog. For me it’s a place where I can talk to you guys, hear your frustrations, and even gather ideas.

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Developer Tools

March 7, 2011 - 18 Comments

Developer Tools, the “batbelt” of developers everywhere, generally stirs up conversations telling you about what you should and shouldn’t use. However, I’ve always had a different take on it, I change my toolset based on the work that I’m doing. When I was a .NET developer I worked on Windows and in Visual Studio. With WordPress and PHP development, I’m not going to use those tools as I don’t have to.

So having said all that, I’m going to tell you what works for me and in general I try to use the bare minimum to get stuff done here at WooThemes. With so much code to write, I don’t want a million apps and settings to go by – I just want to login, write code, and deploy.

So here’s my setup…

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Building sites with the content builder

February 28, 2011 - 20 Comments

Shawn, our screencasting guru, has been hard at work creating the third video tutorial dedicated to Listings – our directory based theme with a powerful content builder.

In this tutorial, that we believe deserves it’s own blog post, Shawn takes us through the easy process of building a directory site of musical bands. All thanks to the power of the content builder, that makes it easy to create custom post types, taxonomies, and custom fields.

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WordPress.com launches premium themes and WooThemes gets involved

February 3, 2011 - 32 Comments

It is with great excitement that we can finally announce a MASSIVE achievement for us. A few minutes ago WordPress.com announced its plans to offer premium themes to users of it’s hosted solution. With WordPress.com having over 17 million blogs and recently publishing it’s impressive traffic stats of half a billion unique visitors a month, it makes perfect sense to further monetize their offering with premium services.

The Headlines theme listing page on WordPress.com

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Fresh News – The Return of a Classic

January 27, 2011 - 60 Comments

It’s been almost three years since we designed Fresh News, and since then it has been our most sold theme up until recently when Canvas finally passed it on our theme leaderboard. We have continually updated it to fix bugs and make it work with thelatest WordPress versions, as we do with all our themes, but time had come for a complete overhaul to bring it up to today standards.

We received some suggestions from one of our users on what was missing from the theme, which was a pity because the theme still had killer looks, but was let down by the seemingly outdated features. We listened to the suggestions and after almost a week of coding we can now present version 3.0 of Fresh News.

Fresh News 3.0

The theme has been re-coded so it isn’t bound by the strict 960 grid system it used before. It also has a more flexible header now which was restricted in height in the old version, which made it harder to customize. Here is a rundown of the major features, some that you will also see in our other new themes in the future.

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