I am happy to announce that responsive WordPress theme WP-Forge has been updated with the latest version of Foundation, version 5.4.7. Plus I have made some other improvements as well.
One Caveat – Please Keep in Mind
By adding the ability to adjust the width of each section in the customizer, I had to remove the “wrapper” div that encapsulated the theme itself. I also had to add containers around each section. So when you update your theme to 5.4.7 you may notice it may look a little off. This may not happen but it could. All you will have to do (I believe) is go in and set the width of each section to your desired width. As with all updates, make sure you create a backup of your current theme before updating. If you have local environment set up on your computer, I suggest you install the updated theme there and see what happens first, make any corrections you need to, then upload to your site once you are confident everything is correct.
I Apologize for the delay
I know this has been a long time coming, three months as matter of fact but she is finally here. Unfortunately, the beta testing I had hoped for did not go as planned. Even though the beta version was downloaded over 300 times, only a few individuals provided very useful feedback. I honestly believe WP-Forge did not get the testing it deserved. Those of you who did provide feedback (you know who you are) a very big, heartfelt thank you, it helped tremendously.
So in the interim I decided to test her out myself as best I could. I tried to take notice of anything and everything I could and make any necessary changes. So there may still be things here and there and if you do notice anything, please let me know so I can get it corrected.
Improved New Customizer
With the release of WP 4.0, one of the main updates was focused on the customizer. You can read more on Customizer improvements in 4.0. One of the best features that was added were panels. Panels will allow developers to group different sections into one area, for example, in this new release I grouped all the sections pertaining to the Navigation portion of the theme into a panel called Navigation Section. If you look at the image above you will notice there are quite a few panels. From what I understand, WP released WP 4.1 for beta testing and it includes some changes to the customizer, which I can’t wait to get a hold of.
The biggest change to WP-Forge was sparked by a suggestion from a user in the support forums (I apologize but I can’t seem to find the actual topic) in which they suggested to include the ability to control the widths of all the areas in the theme: header, content and footer on an individual basis. Previously, there was a wrapper that controlled the width of the entire theme. Now each area of the theme, the header, content and footer sections are controlled individually.
For example, you can now set the width of the header to 100%, leave the content area at its default of 64rem (1024px) and set the footer to 100%. You can also change the background color of these areas along with the color of the font, links hover state and so on.
Registering and Enqueuing Scripts and Styles
I have also taken the time to modify the functions.php file and do some things the right way. For instance the way scripts and styles are called. The proper way scripts and styles are to be included is to first register them, then enqueue them. This should have been done from the very beginning and I apologize for that. All of the scripts and styles sheets are now properly registered and then properly queued. This will allow creators of child themes to properly deregister a default script or style and then add their own.
WP-Forge is now “Pluggalble”
According to the WordPress Codex:
The fact that a child theme’s functions.php is loaded first means that you can make the user functions of your theme pluggable – that is, replaceable by a child theme— by declaring them conditionally.
Basically what the above means is that all of the functions that are in WP-Forge’s functions.php file should be easily turned “off” via any child theme if the end user decides to. In order for this to happen the right way, all functions in the parent theme need to be wrapped in a conditional statement. So I identified each function and wrapped it in the proper “if function exists” statement. Users should now be able to easily turn those functions off so they can use their own.
You will also notice that, once you upgrade to 5.4.7, you will see quit a bit more styles added to the header portion of the theme. Don’t worry, these are the all of the new styles added by the customizer. I removed the php code that automatically made all of them display on a separate line. Before I did that, it looked huge. Now as you can see, it is still big just not like it was before. If you upload a logo or change the background color of the site or use an image, you will see additional styles declared above the WP-Forge styles. These are the custom header and custom background styles, which were added back to make the theme more compliant with WordPress coding standards.
Github For Issues
I have come to the conclusion that I want to move the support forums to Github. One of the reasons is because the current forums work fine, there are just a lot of plugins involved and some hacking here and there and I really do not want to maintain it anymore. The other reason is because I think that Github handles it much better. If you do not have a Github account you can easily sign up for one so you can post an issue. Its free. So from here on out, please refer to the Github project page if you have any issues or rquests. I will update the link in the menu accordingly. I will leave the Support forums up for now but I will eventually take it down in a few months. If you are looking for something in those forums, you can still access it.
So there you have it. I hope that these changes will improve WP-Forge for you. I do have a few other changes in mind, for instance the ability to use off-canvas as a normal menu instead of just in mobile view as well as giving the theme to ability to use a three column layout (thanks Mike Sneed for the idea). There are some others but I have to check them out before I release them. Until next time (I promise it wont be months) if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to email me or create a topic in the appropriate forum. Enjoy! 😉