What’s New ?


The highlight of July was most definitely the release of Ava 1.3, which added a wide array of new customization options, gallery functions, layout controls and more. If you missed the launch, or are simply a curious cat, you may read more about the launch.

Apart from that, I published a new post previewing Merlin WP (an upcoming WordPress theme setup wizard), pushed quite a few updates across the catalog, and made a lot of progress on Liam (an upcoming theme for agencies and creatives).

Busy times! So let’s get right to it.

Trim 1.5.5

Trim received a substantial update this month, most notably taking the FancyBox jQuery lightbox script to v3.1, which dramatically improves the light-box components of the theme, especially concerning video. There were a number of minor maintenance and performance updates as well.

Ava 1.3

Are you ready to take your eCommerce shop to the next level? Ava 1.3 was a massive undertaking to take the most customizable WooCommerce theme to  a whole different level.

Explore Ava 1.3 for yourself and see first-hand why folks are loving it.

York Pro 2.0.3 & Charmed Pro 2.2.2

I added an inline-dashboard guide functionality to both York Pro and Charmed Pro, which means your theme’s help guide is accessible from within your WordPress dashboard. I hope to roll this feature across my entire theme catalogue within a few months.

What’s Upcoming ✨

More progress on Liam

Most themes that I build are “leveled-up” during the build phase; you’ll see in the short video below that is definitely the case with Liam.

Over the month, I enhanced the portfolio views by adding responsive image attributes, optional infinite loading, and a sticky category filter — all of which turned out pretty slick! I also started working on Beaver Builder modules, specially designed for Liam’s portfolio and single portfolio views.

The general idea is that when Beaver Builder is active on a portfolio post, you’ll be able to replace the standard single portfolio layout with custom modules that I’ve built. This will give you the ability to make individual case studies, galleries, and stories for each project — if you want to.

And if you’re not a fan of Beaver Builder, or simply don’t want to work with a builder in any capacity, Liam will function no differently than my previous portfolio themes. Add your images, publish, and your gallery is live.

More details about Merlin WP

I published a piece last week about Merlin WP, detailing the upcoming wizard and how I’m planning on improving the onboarding experience for WordPress themes. The feedback I’ve received so far is overwhelmingly positive and quite a few fellow developers asked to partake in the beta — so that’s exciting!

Here’s what a few folks think:

I’m releasing the public beta on GitHub soon, so follow @merlinwpdotcom on Twitter and subscribe here to stay informed.

In closing, I’m overwhelmed at the positive feedback I’ve received from the community concerning Merlin WP. I’m so exited for how the project will level-up WordPress theme onboarding for themes throughout the market.

I’m also stoked on the progress of Liam and how it’s evolved over the course of the last few months. I’m aiming for a launch in early September, maybe sooner — so stay tuned.

Have any questions, ideas, thoughts, theme ideas, or feature requests? I’d love to hear them! You can find me on Twitter.