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Teaser alert

Written by Mark Forrester on March 26, 2012 Product News.

Behind the scenes at WooHQ there is lot’s of activity across many exciting projects that we’re dying to share with you. Unfortunately, we can’t share all of them at once… what would you have to look forward to then!?

We will give you a glimpse of two of the feature-rich new themes we are working on though. Both designed in-house by Cobus Bester and Jay Koster.

Merchant is a responsive gem with portfolio, mini-features, JS Masonry, sliders and blog modules. I like it so much I might be using it for my personal site re-design.

Expect them both within the next month.

SMPL will be a WooCommerce theme WITH all the features of our business themes. Making it a truly flexible theme!

61 Responses

  1. pedro67
    March 26, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    merchant sounds interesting. I am not really interested to see again a WooCommerce theme as they all look the same – more or less.

    I guess at Woo you did see from the last comments of Drawar, that your clients are hardly waiting for a real flexible theme – not a blog.
    If you include JS Mansory this could be really exiting. Please do not wait to start with this one. The earlier the better.

    • Mark Forrester
      March 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

      Hi Pedro, I understand your frustrations, but hopefully you understand our customers are a diverse bunch and sometimes sales stats differ to community feedback. It’s a fine balance of these two factors when it comes to our theme development decisions.

      I’m sure you’ll love both the upcoming themes though.

      • pedro67
        March 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

        thanks Mark. Merchant next week possible?

    • Ryan Ray
      March 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      This comment highlights our approach to most our newer themes. –

      Making each theme as flexible as possible. Meaning it can be a store, a business site, blog, etc… The use is up to the user. 🙂

  2. Deep Titanic
    March 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    I’m very excited to use Merchant also for my personal site. Nice to see the Masonry on a non WC site.

    I have a polite request/suggestion … would it be possible to have some mode where all css and background images were disabled?

    If I was to use this as a starting point for my portfolio, then I would want to change everything!

    Looking good, great work guys!

    • Mark Forrester
      March 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

      Very simple to remove the reference to the stylesheet in the template files if you wish to style it completely from scratch yourself. It is quite an uncommon request to disable all css and background images though, so we’ll have to assess how many people would want this feature.

    • Ryan Ray
      March 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      Or even better to create a child theme and override the default styles with your own. 😉

      • Deep Titanic
        March 27, 2012 at 12:20 am #

        Yeah your probably right … It sounds stupid now that I read it again :-p

        Still looking forward to merchant though!

        • Deep Titanic
          March 27, 2012 at 12:38 am #

          I just seem to spend a lot time on some child themes overriding the existing css.

          Especially if I’m after a flat/geometric look.

          That’s why I love canvas :^)

          anyway not complaining … I’ll put it in user voice as an idea.


          • Ryan Ray
            March 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

            I hear ya. 😉

            Appreciate the input on WooIdeas!

  3. Sarah
    March 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    The new sites look interesting – with perhaps a little more ‘design’ in them.

    I agree with Pedro on yet another WooCommerce theme, it doesn’t seem necessary to have some many!

    • Ryan Ray
      March 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      It’s being touted as a WooCommerce theme mainly, but packs much more then simply integrating WooCommerce. See the comment here. –

      We have 70+ “other” themes so WooCommerce integration has a lot of catching up to do in our new themes.

  4. darren
    March 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Look good, I assume we will see one of them by the end of this month as there has only been one theme so far this month?

    • Mark Forrester
      March 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

      That’s a pretty safe assumption 😉

  5. Miks
    March 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Merchant looks really promising, can’t wait to see it in action.

  6. YenNhi
    March 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Look great. Cant wait…

  7. Bjørn-Tore
    March 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    It looks nice as always, but yet another WooCommerce theme?

    What I realy miss, is a responsive version of Canvas …

    • Mark Forrester
      March 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

      WooCommerce support and styling in themes will become more and more common in most our upcoming releases. That said it won’t be the main feature and they will function completely without it as a business/magazine/etc layout. Meaning more powerful and flexible bases for client sites and personal projects!

    • Ryan Ray
      March 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      Responsive Canvas is coming, it’ll be here as soon as we can make it!

  8. Ronny
    March 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    I do not now, yet another business / Woocommerce theme. I’m really disappointed of you

    • Ryan Ray
      March 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

      What’s disappointing in these upcoming releases, or should I also ask what’s your ideal theme? 😛

      • Ronny
        March 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

        Click on my name then you know what I’m looking for I seek. Your magazine themes appear among you to not enjoy much attention, not for nothing that they do not look professional.

        Over a Tumblog theme I would be happy for once, but the themes you would probably not bring in enough money, so a Bussines / Woocmmerce after the next published.

        You should try to keep Ballacne. When I look at the number of business themes in recent Monten watch you, probably in the next six months are no other customers sometimes to the other to operate.

  9. Josse Ford
    March 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    These new themes look great. I look forward to using them on some of my projects.

    • Ryan Ray
      March 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      Thanks Josse, which one are you after first? 🙂

  10. Daniel
    March 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Keep up the great work everything looks awesome! I have one question about extensions. One of my sites will need an affiliate system should I go with a third party plugin or wait a couple of weeks and see what you come up with.

  11. Daniel
    March 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Also, I might need some custom work is Mr. Forrester still a freelancer?

    • Mark Forrester
      March 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

      Unfortunately not Daniel! Try our affiliated woo workers –

      • Daniel
        March 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

        Thanks Mr.Forrester! I will check with one of them but before I do are there any Wooteam members that might be interested in some freelance work?

  12. Alan
    March 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Any ETA on the update that makes Canvas responsive?

    • Steve
      March 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

      I’ll thumbs up this comment.

      • Ryan Ray
        March 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

        Soon! 😉

  13. Una Patmore
    March 26, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    Just a reminder to keep the comments on-topic, folks.

    • Deep Titanic
      March 27, 2012 at 12:44 am #

      What’s your favourite colour? Discuss.

      • Ryan Ray
        March 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm #


  14. Nathan Tyler
    March 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    I remember seeing something about a WooCommerce theme in development specifically geared towards digital products. Is that still in the works?

    • James Koster
      March 27, 2012 at 12:49 am #

      Certainly is. We’re working on some complimentary extensions to go with it too.

      • Chris
        March 27, 2012 at 11:33 am #

        Any *rough* dates? Weeks or Months away – Wanting to open a digital store before the summer. Thanks

  15. John
    March 27, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    I disagree with some of the comments about releasing more Woocommerce themes – i personally think all releases should be woocommerce themes (provided they also function well for people who don’t need the ecommerce functionality) – it makes perfect sense to have that option.

    What i would like to see is “events” functionality in more themes, or as a stand-alone plugin maybe…there are many websites which could benefit from this (sports blogs, concert blogs etc)

    ..and how about a Church theme (with events function for service times etc)

    • pedro67
      March 27, 2012 at 2:57 am #

      a church theme??? You can put any content in any theme but we don´t need a design for the holy page… comon.
      And no… we also do not need a “cute cats” theme. Even if there are hundred of millions views on Youtube.

      We need themes for our clients.

      • James Koster
        March 27, 2012 at 10:55 am #

        Please don’t be so dismissive of other users suggestions. They’re just as valid as yours.

      • John
        March 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

        I know any content can go on any theme – i’ve personally made huge changes to themes i’ve built for clients.

        Websites for Churches is quite a big niche – which is why i mentioned it.

    • Chris
      March 27, 2012 at 11:35 am #

      @John take a look at

      • John
        March 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

        Thanks for the link Chris.

      • Deep Titanic
        April 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

        Cheers man just tried it … It kicks the crap out of all of the other events plug-ins out there!

    • Ryan Ray
      March 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      We definitely like the idea to make each upcoming theme as flexible as possible, thus trying to please everyone.

      This is why I think “Business” themes do so well, they include most features that any site could use. Especially with a little imagination and some WordPress knowledge a very flexible theme can go far, AKA Canvas.

      Custom Post Types, Meta Boxes, and Page Templates are a very powerful set of tools when used with some creativity. 😉

      • J Wilson
        March 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm #


        Imagination is fine, but sometimes you just want to knock out some sites with very simple config options.

        Canvas is just like the dreaded Thesis, but with less options.

        The whole point of a company like Woo is that I rely on YOU to DESIGN and leave the content to me.

        • Ryan Ray
          March 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

          We’re trying to do both and please both crowds here. A very flexible theme with a great and customizable design.

          I think that lends them to not be over designed in ways, as it needs to be kept simple. But as you say not too simple, you want a design still.

          As you can imagine it’s a hard balance to find. Our theme leaderboard helps show us what works though honestly. Whitelight has been a hit for us in this area it seems. 🙂

          • John
            March 29, 2012 at 12:29 am #

            I have to say that so far, Whitelight is my favourite. It has all the options i need for most website builds, and changing the look entirely is a breeze – so thumbs up for Whitelight!

  16. Chipp Walters
    March 27, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    Hey guys. Months ago you mentioned a single page theme heading our way. Any word on it’s arrival date?

  17. Chris
    March 28, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Just checked out both themes and I must say they are really good! My favourite is SMPL – Going to be very versatile theme! (The regulars should know how to access a preview 😉 )

    • Ryan Ray
      March 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

      Hey now, keep that secret a secret!

      • Chris
        March 29, 2012 at 11:03 am #

        😀 sorry – was just planning for a project needed to get hands on quick quick

        • Ethan
          March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

          Doh, I’m a newb and don’t know the secret but I am anxious to see these come out. Is there any chance there will be a new deal on either of these themes/WC plugins?

          I didn’t realize when the 100K deal will expire and missed it. I wasn’t 100% on using WC because I require a certain payment gateway (Clover, done now and submitted).

          What exactly is a “business theme” too? I was looking at one of the responsive themes sold elsewhere in part because they claim it is buddypress/bbpress compatible, but maybe that isn’t too hard.

          I’m thinking there might be an advantage to use a theme with masonry.js too. I’ve always thought that isotope.js (uses masonry) was really neat and might work well on my shop for sorting/filtering, but it is kind of intimidating to set up.

  18. John
    April 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Love the new themes although you’ve got to get rid of the Quicksand font on Merchant – it’s unreadable! Also is the portfolio designed to work that way, or is it just while you’re developing?

    The only gripe i would have with Merchant is the apparent lack of bringing-in some content from another page. I know i could add it into the code, it’s really nice to have it as an option.

  19. River Girl
    April 9, 2012 at 5:10 am #

    Can’t wait for Merchant; after all this time, I still get excited to see each new Woo theme and put it through it’s paces.

  20. pedro67
    April 9, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    merchant – when? tomorrow? Thuesday? I really would need fresh wind for a page. thanks

    • Ryan Ray
      April 12, 2012 at 4:15 am #

      Merchant will be here tomorrow!


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