What’s New ?
It’s important to me to invest in making sure each WordPress theme in the catalog runs smoothly. Many of last month’s updates include under the hood improvements across the entire theme collection. So here’s what happened last month at ThemeBeans.
To start, I published an article on context-aware previews within the WordPress Customizer, which is something I’ve figured out while working on Login Designer. Give it a read if you’re into WordPress Customizer development.
I plan on implementing these context-aware previews within my catalog, which will really level-up each theme’s Customizer experience.
For example, when you open up “Shop Settings” in Ava, the Customizer preview window will automagically pull up your WooCommerce shop page.
Minor UI/UX improvements on ThemeBeans.com
Having researched a lot on web accessibility standards lately, I started implementing quite a few improvements to the ThemeBeans website.
You’ll notice right off that fonts are bolder and colors have more contrast. I’m planning on rollin out extended accessibility enhancements across the entire theme catalogue starting in early 2018.
A Better Way to Activate Licenses
I recently introduced a new Customizer control which makes activating a theme license much quicker and intuitive.
Instead of adding, saving, refreshing, then activating a theme license key from the original WordPress dashboard widget, I’ve built a custom Customizer control which activates the license via AJAX — in just 1 step.
It’s super intuitive and so much cleaner. There’s also migration functionality built-in, so your license information will be automagically migrated to the new format when you update your theme.
My license activation dashboard widget was already a step above other themes and plugins with similar functionality, though I knew I could make it even better.
So I did.
All themes running the latest 2018 framework have received the update. Older themes running the 2017 build will have the control added when they’re moved to the latest framework.
As with most freshly minted software products, there tend more frequent updates right after launching. Tabor received a number updates over the month, both big and relatively minor.
The biggest improvements are sharing buttons for LinkedIn and Facebook on the post mini-bar, and a new global site search bar.
I also added support for Disqus, as I noticed a couple folks using the commenting system on their own sites.
Among other minor updates, I’ve tweaked a few post elements for improved styling and worked in a couple performance tweaks.
Oh, and there’s also “top-notch” support for the shiny new iPhone X now.
Ava received a few minor updates, most notably adding support for WordPress 4.9. The custom styling for the Customizer caused a few minor issues, though I’ve worked those out. I’ve also replaced all checkbox Customizer options with a new Gutenberg-inspired toggle control, to improve the UX a bit.
What’s your take on Ava’s Customizer/Site Editor custom styling? Do you prefer it over the standard Customizer?
What’s Upcoming ✨
Over the years of embracing the WordPress Customizer throughout my WordPress themes, I’ve learned the ins-and-outs to leveraging the Customizer to create a top-notch customizing experience.
I decided to take those skills and apply them to create a WordPress login customizer plugin, which I’m calling Login Designer.
While Login Designer is not the first WordPress plugin designed for login editing, it clearly offers an unparalleled live-editing experience. While developing the plugin, I’ve learned new methods and techniques which extend the customizing experience the best in class — by a long shot.
I’m slowly rolling these techniques out across my theme catalog, continuously improving the customizing functionality of each.
You can download Login Designer from the WordPress repository today.
I do plan on introducing a pro version of the plugin next year, though all ThemeBeans Club members will receive Login Designer Pro as part of their membership, when it launches.
I’m on the final lap with Liam; still on track for a mid-December launch (though possibly right after the holidays). I’m so excited to get Liam launched. It’s been in the works for a while now, but trust me — it’ll be worth it.
Want your artwork to be featured in our portfolio themes? Reply and let me know! I’ll include quality links to your portfolio. A win, win!
Portfolio Professional is still on track to launch early 2018. ?
In closing, 2018 has been a great year and November has been a solid month of finishing up outstanding projects and laying the framework for 2018. I’m excited about launching Login Designer, Liam and Portfolio Professional and getting more popular requests for theme updates out the door.
Have any questions, ideas, thoughts, theme ideas, or feature requests? I’d love to hear them! You can find me on Twitter.