Justin Tadlock

Options WordPress theme version 1.2 release

Options WordPress theme: A CMS theme that works

This theme has now been moved to the new site: ThemeHybrid.com.

What’s new in this version?

I think the real question is, “What isn’t?”

I’ve completely revamped the theme from the ground up while keeping most CSS classes and IDs intact. I’ve made it so that future upgrades won’t necessarily require you to overwrite all of your template changes (this refers to default WordPress templates). Yes, you can play around in the template files a bit this time. The code is a bit more like normal WordPress themes.

If I had thought about it earlier, I would’ve kept a bug report of every bug I’ve fixed since the last release. Somewhere near a gazillion, I’d wager.

New image script

Not only do users of this theme have a new image script, they get it after it’s been tested and debugified for over a week with the Structure theme.

Basically, you’ll never have to use custom fields again for images. I say “basically” because there are some situations where it might be better to do so. These images are now turned off by default in your single posts and pages.

Just upload an image, and it’s added as a thumbnail or feature image automatically using WordPress’ built-in image sizing. I would suggest cropping the original image before uploading, especially if you’re using the Features Gallery.

New home page sections

Of course, I had to add some nifty new options for the home page. You can now display an author cloud, category cloud, or a stream of your latest gallery images in addition to the options you had before.

With the gallery stream, you just add a tag of “gallery” and upload some images to your post. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a gallery of images on your post, just so long as you have images attached. This is currently on the live demo.

New widget stuff

I only added one additional widget this time around — the gallery stream widget, which is the same as the home section gallery stream.

There are some new additions to the other widgets, such as an “order by” option for the Recent widget and a random posts option for the tabs widget.

New page templates

I even added a couple of new page templates, which I hope some of you like.

There’s a Blog template. This page template just shows the recent posts. It would be a nice addition to your site if you wanted to give visitors an option to view your site in a basic blog view.

Then, there’s the Archives template. This lets you show an archive of your posts. By default, it just shows your monthly archives. Download either the Smart Archives or Clean Archives plugin to have more advanced functionality. You only have to upload and activate one of the plugins; the functionality is already built in.

More changes

The biggest thing I wanted to do with this release was more code cleanup and make the files lighter. I think I’ve accomplished this. The download size of this version is 194 kb zipped. I don’t think that’s too bad considering how much more I’ve packed into this release.

The major difference here is that you can dive into the template files and tear them apart if you want. I still don’t think it’s a good idea, especially to edit anything within the app, includes, js, and widgets folders. The config file is still present, but there’s only one configuration option within it. The main reason for this change is that I’ve decided that users simply like to change things. So, things should be much simpler to change now.

Gravatars for everything. Along with comment gravatars, which we’ve already had, your author images are now controlled by gravatars. This will help for those of you that had problems getting author images working before.

I revamped both the Light and Dark stylesheets with new comments for users that like to tweak their styles.

“Post Thumbnail Tabs” is now “Post Tabs,” and “Post Tabs” is now “Post Block Tabs.” It was just a decision I had to make as far as meaning goes.

To sum up this last week of finishing touches

Yes, I’ve been putting the “finishing touches” on this thing for a week now. The theme’s been ready to go since about the same time of the Structure release, but I keep finding little (tiny is more like it) bugs.

I hope there’s nothing terribly wrong with this version, at least not as bad as the debacle with the 1.1 release. Of course, I don’t have to worry about the transition between WordPress 2.3 and 2.5 this time around.

Upgrade your theme already!

To upgrade, delete ALL of your old theme files. Delete the entire “options” folder in your theme directory. I can’t stress this enough. Then, upload the new version of the Options theme.

If something does go wrong with the new version, you can always find older versions in the release archive. Make sure to make backup copies of your old theme on your computer.

What’s next for the Options theme?

Well, only time will tell. But, since I’ve finally finished this update, I’d like to start adding more styles to the theme. I’m a bit tired of looking at the three we have now. So, that’s the next thing I have in mind.

Of course, the next thing I’ll probably end up doing is releasing version 1.2.1 when you all let me know about the bugs you find in the forums.

I’ll be updating the documentation to better reflect the changes since it was first written in the coming days.

Enjoy!