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New Responsive WooCommerce theme Sooperstore released

Ok it's pretty embarrassing how long it's been since I posted a blog update here. My last update was early July saying that a new theme was on the way "within a week" if I recall correctly. Well fast forward a week or 8 and I'm happy to announce that Sooperstore has finally been released! We actually released another theme in...

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5 Stunning Responsive WordPress themes

While responsive web design is a relatively new phenomenon, the WordPress theme development ecosystem has exploded with a plethora of stunning responsive WordPress themes over the past few months. It's one of the things that I really love about the WordPress community - the speed at which theme developers themselves are so responsive :)...

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High Performance WordPress – Part 4

Alrighty folks, if you’ve been following along with the High Performance WordPress post series you will by now have experienced the awesomeness of a WordPress website running on nginx. If you’ve not been following along what are you waiting for? Go check out the following posts first: Part 1 - VPS Setup Part 2 -...

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High Performance WordPress Part 3

Hey folks I’m back with Part Three of the High Performance WordPress guide. If you’ve not done so already, be sure to check out Parts One and Part Two which will take you from a position of having no server to a fully configured VPS machine running the kickass nginx web server and mysql - or a LEMP environment as those in...

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Well Hello There!

Hey there thanks for stopping by! ThemesForge is all about WordPress Themes. We don’t make ’em - but we pretty much live ’em, breath ’em, review ’em, rant about ’em and hope to keep you the you the discerning reader fully up to date about what is going on in the WordPress themes ecosystem.

Latest ThemesForge News

Theme Tip 18 – Mobile WordPress themes

18 December 2010 comment icon1 | Categories: 24ways

Another chance to gaze into our crystal ball to predict one of the most game changers for 2011 – Mobile WordPress themes.

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Theme Tip 17 – Start using HTML5 and CSS in your themes

17 December 2010 comment icon2 | Categories: theme news

We’re looking forward to 2011 and the emergence of HTML5 and CSS3 as the backbone of modern WordPress themes.

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Theme Tip 16 – Testing WordPress Themes

16 December 2010 comment icon2 | Categories: 24ways

Testing, Testing, Testing – We touch on that most important of topics – the WordPress Theme review guidelines.

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Theme Tip 15 – It’s all about the sidebars

15 December 2010 comment icon1 | Categories: 24ways

Today we take a look at how we should be improving one of the most over looked areas of WordPress theme development – the humble sidebar.

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Theme Tip 14 – Using WordPress for Wireframing

14 December 2010 comment icon3 | Categories: 24ways

Day 14 brings us that bit nearer to Christmas and an early gift in the form of using WordPress for wireframing.

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Theme Tip 13 – Common pitfalls with theme design to avoid

13 December 2010 comment icon1 | Categories: 24ways

A short and sweet mini rant today about the pitfalls to avoid when designing your first WordPress themes.

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Theme Tip 12 – Featured Homepage Content Made Simple and Cool

12 December 2010 comment icon0 | Categories: 24ways

We reach the halfway mark in our 24 Theme Tips for December with a short but really sweet way to add featured content areas to your homepage.

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Theme Tip 11 – Must read Genesis Framework Tutorials

11 December 2010 comment icon3 | Categories: 24ways

Today we give you are comprehensive list of must read tutorials on the Genesis Theme Framework.

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Theme Tip 10 – Theme Frameworks – worth the hassle?

10 December 2010 comment icon0 | Categories: 24ways

WordPress Theme Frameworks are everywhere at the moment.  WPCandy produced an exhaustive comparison list of theme frameworks recently and Dan Cole also published a detailed framework comparison some time ago.

I’ll be straight with you. For a long time WordPress theme frameworks and me didn’t get along.

While the concept of child themes made sense, the way one builds them did not seem very intuitive – and in many ways it still isn’t. (Sidenote: For a good read about what theme frameworks and child themes are go here).

Let’s get one thing straight – if you’re just starting with WordPress themes don’t go near child theme development for a while. Hack and build your own themes from scratch first. Get comfortable with that process so you will quickly see the conceptual benefits of child themes later on.

When you first dabble with child theme development it’s going to feel strange. The world of hooks, filters and actions is quite different to plain old normal WordPress theme design.

It’s basically a completely different way of building WordPress themes so you should be prepared to invest quite a bit of time at the beginning if you are to master the process.

So is it worth the effort? I would say a very definite yes if you expect to be building lots of themes going forward. If you’re just building a WordPress theme as a one off I would say no – you won’t see the benefits.

So where do Theme Frameworks come in then?

Theme Frameworks are essentially well developed parent themes (in most cases) that allow you to spin out child themes relatively quickly and easily.

They usually have very well developed and extensible markup and core stylesheets. The more popular theme frameworks do a hell of a lot more than this too. Some frameworks are more suited to hardcore developers while others may be more suited to designers and people with little technical knowledge. Either way frameworks seem to be popping up all over the place.

Of all the frameworks out there, 2 in particular stand out for me:

Genesis

Genesis is pound for pound the best theme framework out the right now. Why?

  • It’s basic features are extremely powerful out of the box
  • It’s SEO features are fantastic
  • Wide selection of child themes
  • Excellent support
  • Continuous and frequent releases
  • Endorsed by WordPress community leaders
  • First rate support

Genesis is not free but is GPL. It’s worth every penny though. All these things together make Genesis the theme framework around.

Thematic

If you’re not willing just yet to splash out on Genesis then Thematic is a fantastic free, GPL alternative from Ian Stewart.

If Genesis didn’t exist, Thematic would be my favourite theme framework and it would seem many other people would agree – it’s currently the 11th most downloaded WordPress theme in the Themes directory . What impresses me most about Thematic is the wealth of documentation and tutorials available via the website. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of something like Genesis it does have plenty and will serve as an excellent foundation upon which to learn all about theme frameworks and child themes.

Theme Tip 9 – Be careful where you get your themes from

09 December 2010 comment icon0 | Categories: 24ways

Just a short theme tip today focusing on the importance of only using WordPress themes from a trusted source.

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