It’s that time again! Every so often we take a look at our accumulated bug lists, feature requests and bag o’ tricks and make a round of updates to our themes. Our goal is to always be improving and cleaning up our themes to make sure everything is working just wonderfully. At The Theme Foundry our themes only get better with age – no rusty and dusty old themes lying around here!
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At a small company, the “Jack of all trades” is often more valuable than the “Master of one”. Each team member must wear a number of hats at any given time. When I’m helping our awesome customers I wear my support cap, and when I’m working on themes I put on my coder helmet. Previously, my least favorite hat was the documentation ushanka – the “docushanka”. Bulky, uncomfortable, and when you wear it, you know you’re going somewhere unpleasant. But, that all changed when we rolled over to our new site.
I’d like to tell you a quick story. A story about a website, actually. You might even call it a “coming of age” tale.
But first, let’s review the story up to this point.
Happy 2012, everyone!
We try to keep our themes current by responding to customer requests and bugs every so often.
This time is no different – over the last couple of weeks we’ve gone through and made a round of updates to all of our WordPress themes, with mostly minor bug cleanup for many of the themes.
One major addition – we’ve added Google Plus icons to all of our themes that have “social site” support – that means Anthem, Linen, Paperpunch, Photography, React, Shelf, Titan and Traction all now feature a hand-crafted Google Plus icon, configurable on your Theme Options page.
2011 was a big year for The Theme Foundry. Some highlights:
- Hired our first two full-time employees, Andy and Scott.
- Released 4 new themes: Linen, React, Anthem, and Duet.
- Helped WordPress.com launch their premium theme service and released 6 themes on the platform.
- Released Forge, an open source tool for building themes using Ruby and Sass / LESS / CoffeeScript.
- Welcomed thousands of new customers to The Theme Foundry community.
- Over 15,000 new posts in our theme support forums.
- Handled over 6,000 emails from customers and potential customers.
- Closed over 1,000 tickets on our internal bug tracking software and released free updates to our themes in January, March, July, September, and November.
- Attended WordCamp San Francisco in August (Andy, Drew, and Jennifer) and WordCamp Lisbon in September (Drew and Jennifer). Drew spoke at both events.
- Made lots of progress on our up-and-coming Memberful product.
Needless to say, it was an awesome year for our small company, and we couldn’t have done any of it without you. Your purchases, your trust, your great ideas, your words of encouragement, and your recommendations to friends and colleagues — you made everything that happened this year possible. Thanks so much for the support, it means the world to us.
Here at The Theme Foundry we take the craft of WordPress theming seriously. We’re constantly scrutinizing everything: how we code the themes, what features we want to add, and ultimately what features we need to leave out. While developing our latest theme Duet, we had some passionate discussion about WordPress theme options.
There are some themes that are designed to serve nearly any purpose under the sun – and they contain a vast amount of configurable options on the backend to help you get your site “just like you want it”.
On the other hand, there are those who say themes should have zero (or as close to it as possible) options – the idea being that a theme should “just work”.
At The Theme Foundry, we tend to lean toward the “zero configuration” side. We think requiring extensive backend setup is a turn-off for the average user, so we gear our themes to work “out of the zip”.
With that in mind, I’d like to share a story with you about some lessons I learned while building Duet.
On most themes we’ve added a bit of styling to fix an issue with image stretching in older versions of Internet Explorer – not exactly groundbreaking, but hopefully your sites will look a little nicer in old browsers! A few of our themes also got some small stylistic updates to tables and definition lists.
We’re proud to announce our latest production: Anthem, a beautiful responsive tumblog-style theme that features a stunning display of various types of media and a clean, minimal design. Anthem is designed to look great on all devices including phones, tablets, and regular displays.
We’ve added an attachment template for viewing media items associated with a post.
Another new feature: Linen now has support for excerpts! If you specify an excerpt it will be used as the summary of your post.
We’ve also made modifications to the featured slider for both Linen and Traction – you no longer need to have 2 sticky posts to activate the slider – 1 will work just fine! We’ve also added the option to display sticky posts both in the featured slider and in the standard post list – something we’ve gotten several requests for.
In addition, there are several bug fixes applied to all of our themes. Check the change log for your theme to see the changes in the update.
If you run into any trouble please post in our forums and we’ll help you out!
Hey there! My name is Andy Adams, and I’m the newest employee of The Theme Foundry. Yes, I’m the one that has been causing all the delays – sorry about that!
Drew wanted me to tell you a little bit about myself. You’ll probably start seeing me more often in the months to come – working on theme updates, the support forums, the blog, and more.
I have a beautiful wife (Natalie) and daughter (Marie), who are my pride and joy.
I’ve been a professional web developer for a little over 2 years. I started my career at Experts-Exchange doing Java development, and spent a year at Chief Architect in Coeur d’Alene, ID doing PHP work before starting with The Theme Foundry. I’m relatively new to WordPress development, but I have used WordPress off and on for the last several years.