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Coming of age

By Andy Adams on February 29, 2012

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.

Behind every good website there’s a person (or people) and, in many cases, a business. And behind every rework and redesign, there is a reason – a “why” before the “how”, if you will. I wanted to touch on that a little bit. Don’t worry – we’ll get to the custom post types, bleeding edge this-and-that and JavaScript whizbangs for you propeller heads before long!

But first, let’s review the story up to this point.

Back in 2008, Drew and Jennifer started what would eventually become The Theme Foundry with plenty of blood, sweat and tears to mark the trail.

Since then, the business has grown and moved from

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  1. Drew and Jennifer going it alone, to…
  2. Working with a handful of contractors, to…
  3. Hiring two full-time employees (Scott and myself) and looking for another

We’ve also expanded our themes to the WordPress.com marketplace and moved into a totally new and foreign (and exciting!) realm with Memberful, our still in development SaaS offering for selling digital products.

2012 is an exciting year for this company. And with all the growth going on, it was time to not only add a fresh coat of paint, but completely rework the website that powered the business.

The old website grew organically out of need – a handful of static pages, WordPress powering the blog, bbPress 1.0 Alpha powering the forums, and aMember (*shudder*) managing the selling of themes.

If our old website were a bicycle, it might look something like this (with Drew supplying the Fred-Flinstone-esque leg power).

As of February 18th, 2012, we’ve officially “switched over” to a more powerful and elegant solution, featuring:

I hope you’ll join me in the coming days as I do my best to chronicle some of the decisions we made and discussions we had along the way.

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5 Comments

  1. Tim W

    This post made me dig out my old Jestro Themes welcome email for old times sake. ;-)

  2. Erlend Sogge Heggen

    I’d love to hear more about your move to bbPress 2.1 (particularly the “2.1” puzzles me – are you guys using the nightlies/trunk?).

    – Did you evaluate other forum solutions, such as Vanilla Forums?
    – To what extent will you be getting involved with bbPress’ development? (I hope very – between bbPress and BuddyPress, JJJ appears a bit overloaded.)

  3. Andy Adams

    @Erlend:

    Yep, we’re using the trunk. Mainly because of the updates to how theming is done – 2.1 allows easy integration with our existing theme.

    We didn’t do much evaluation of other platforms, and we probably could have…but bbPress has served us pretty well in the past, and integrating it with Memberful was straightforward since we had to integrate with WordPress, anyways.

    As for development – that is yet to be seen! I’ve gotten to a point of comfort with the bbPress codebase by doing our integration, so who knows :).

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