WordPress Commercial Theme Now Available: Lucidity 2.0

After a few long months of updates, tweaks, and new features, I am happy to announce Lucidity 2.0 is now available for purchase. You can see a demo of the theme by going to http://themes.sandboxdev.com/lucidity/.

Lucidity Commercial Theme 2.0

For those interested, Jappler.com is simply a child theme of Lucidity 2.0 and contains around 75 lines of CSS, and 2 modified template files. This is a great theme for developers and users alike.

Jappler.com: New Theme Using Lucidity 2.0

My company SDAC Inc. is preparing to release the next version of the commercial Lucidity WordPress theme. I decided that since I am selling a theme – it had to be something that I could easily use, and customize without making major changes or changing much code. With this in mind – I added a number of new features, redid a lot of the admin interface, and added in some of the great new functionality that comes along with WordPress 3.0+.

The theme that you see here is actually a child theme of Lucidity. I customized one theme template, added in a home.php template, added 8 image files, and added just around 50 lines of CSS to customize this theme.

I am hoping to have Lucidity completely finished (going through last bit of QA now) and ready for purchase next week. I am also hoping that now that I have a clean new theme – I will be more inspired to start blogging on a regular basis (one of my goals for 2011).

Interested in Lucidity? Check out the theme site for a demo: Lucidity WordPress theme.

WordPress Themes Over the Years…A Look Back and Then into the Future

After working with WordPress for over five years now, I have seen a lot of changes both front-end and backend – both for developers and for users. I work for the most part on WordPress themes for a few hours a day and have been doing so for the last 3+ years full time. As I wrap up the final changes for my company’s commercial WordPress theme Lucidity – I wanted to take a few minutes and point out some of the changes over the years and also talk about where I think themes are going.

I remember back in the day being excited about Alex King’s Theme Competition and wishing I had some spare time (I was working full time and doing consulting every other moment) to also participate. These early themes were generally simple and were something people would use on their simple blogs -using a hand full of WordPress functions. During this time, the functions.php was unheard of and there were not too many custom functions that were used (for most themes). The big difference between them were mostly in how the sites were laid out with HTML and CSS. Even though these themes were simple – they were great because it allowed you to easily modify the look and feel of your site by editing a few template files and modifying the CSS.

These themes were more about look and less about function.

If you think about themes then and themes now – the difference is often huge. Most themes now are packed with custom functions, have advanced admin options, and give the users greater control of their content, the site’s look and feel, and general options – all without having to modify any template files or know any CSS. Themes are more complex, are generally made up of more template files, and are much more flexible.

These themes are more about providing both users and other developers with a framework and tools to easily manage content.

Recently Alex King/Crowd Favorite released Carrington Build which is a perfect example of where themes are going. This theme offers an unbelievable amount of flexibility and customization and will make both users and developers eager to use this theme.

So as I wrap up development on Lucidity – I am trying to bridge the old (simple) with the new (framework/tools). I look forward to getting this out to the public so they can enjoy the ease of use, flexibility, and further control over their content.

All in all – WordPress themes have come a long way and will not only continue to improve user’s front end experience, but also improve the backend experience when using WordPress. Look for even greater things to come!

CSS Tuesdays: Keeping it Simple

I just released my fist two commercial WordPress themes: Lucidity and Lucidity Catalog with a focus on simplicity.

After creating over one hundred custom WordPress themes – I decided to take my most requested features, coupled with a slick admin interface, and some really simple XHTML and CSS and put it together to create a really easy to use and customize theme.

If you looking for something really easy and clean – take a look at the CSS used. You can see that a little goes a long way!

Just remember – keep it simple. When you overcomplicate – you will end up with sloppy code, hacks, and problems with old/new browsers alike.

Random Fridays: Happy Fourth of July!

I have had an insane week. Three big site launches (only one made it), a huge QA project (14 sites), my first released WordPress theme (not quite released – I still need to get the about pages together for my company site), major rush jobs from all fronts, babysitting two additional greyhounds, Michael Jackson’s death,and too many conference calls. Phew. Time to take a half day and trim the bushes in the front yard Disney style…or at least thinking about how cool it would be to have a dinosaur shaped bush in my yard 😉

Anyways – hopefully next week will be a little better with more posts!