Gutenberg and The Customizer Are The Future Of WordPress

WordPress has become old, bloated and overwhelming. For nearly 15 years, the interface has remained roughly the same. That’s about to change, at some cost.

Not long ago, customers understood that WordPress was a DIY website solution. Some effort is required to educate yourself, build and manage a website. Companies like ours became more than WordPress product providers. We also became educators of the platform.

However, with newer solutions like Squarespace and Wix, users have become accustomed to intuitive interfaces and instant gratification when building a website. WordPress needs to evolve. Read More

Music 2.0 – A Better WordPress Theme For Musicians

The latest version of the Music Theme has launched with a sonic boom! We have rebuilt it from scratch to be the ultimate WordPress theme for musicians.

The Home Page Template

The Music Theme features a beautifully simple home page. The design of the home page template molds to the size of the browser window. Upcoming tour dates are anchored at the bottom. A full screen background image or video displays behind the custom logo. The header features a custom navigation menu, and a social media menu for displaying links to musical profiles on sites like SpotifySoundcloud or Last.fm. Additionally, you can display an email and phone number for clients to contact you directly about booking gigs.

A full browser home page with a background video.

Theme Features and Options

All theme options have moved to the WordPress customizer. So setup and customization changes can be made in real-time with ultimate ease. Additionally, several new options have been added for managing the design, fonts and colors. The theme features a dark color scheme by default. However, changing to a lighter color scheme will result in the content automatically adapting to always be visible.

The Music Theme features a custom post type for displaying tour dates on the tour and home page templates. Additionally, Jetpack custom post types can be used to create a discography with the portfolio page template.

Use the tour dates CPT and page template to display upcoming gigs.

Audio files and playlists are easily be added to any page, post or widget area. The theme has also been tested with several third-party audio plugins, and it’s fully compatible with WooCommerce for creating a shop with your band merchandise. Additionally, the theme utilizes the powerful Organic Customizer Widgets plugin for creating pages with dynamic content and layouts.

Please Note: Upgrading from the older version of the Music Theme will drastically change the appearance of your website. This new theme version is an entirely new theme. When upgrading options will need to be rest in the WordPress customizer.

Overall, the Music Theme rocks! It’s a perfect website solution for any musician looking to promote their work.

StartUp Is A New WordPress Multipurpose Theme That Uses The Customizer As A Page Builder

StartUp is the latest addition to our WordPress theme collection. The theme is designed to work seamlessly with the free Organic Customizer Widgets plugin for a highly customizable experience within the WordPress customizer. We believe the Customizer (and Gutenberg) are the future of WordPress and theme management. StartUp is a multipurpose theme designed to evolve with the future of the platform.

Highly Customizable Layouts

The layout of any page can be customized using custom widgets as content sections. For instance, if you want a hero image with content at the top of your home page, simply add the hero widget to the page. Do you want a content slideshow instead? Add the content slideshow widget. Want a background video, featured product or pricing tables? Just add the appropriate widgets to the page, and drag and drop them into the desired order. As a result, multiple pages and entire websites can be rapidly created — all of which vary in appearance. Read More

The Organic Customizer Widgets Plugin Transforms The WordPress Customizer Into A Page Builder!

We believe most WordPress page builders are fundamentally flawed.

A page builder extends the functionality of WordPress. It allows a user to display and arrange a variety of content types on any page of their website. However, most page builders are highly reliant on shortcodes, custom foreign interfaces and bulky proprietary code that heavily impacts the performance of a website. They often require an extensive learning curve beyond that of basic WordPress usage. Additionally, they are a massive departure from WordPress core and the evolution of the platform. Instead, page builders should be utilizing the Customizer and core features of WordPress.

The Organic Customizer Widgets plugin solves these problems. It provides a collection of custom widgets that can be used as content sections on any page within the WordPress Customizer. Best of all, it’s FREE, and designed to work with ANY theme! The result is a fast, easy and free WordPress page builder!

The WordPress Customizer provides users with an intuitive interface for making visual changes to their website in real-time. The creators of WordPress are placing a huge emphasis on the Customizer. It’s the future of designing WordPress websites.

We created the Organic Customizer Widgets plugin to evolve with WordPress and the Customizer. It uses a custom page template that registers new widget areas, and custom widgets that can be added as unique content sections on any page. Additionally, it’s available in the official WordPress plugin directory. So you can install the plugin directly from your WordPress dashboard and receive automatic updates.

An example of the Organic Hero widget added to a page in the Customizer.

After installing and activating the plugin, you will be provided with a collection of custom widgets. The widgets are used to display various content sections on any page. Currently, the following widgets are included with the plugin:

  • Hero – A full browser height section with featured text, background images and a call to action.
  • Blog – Display a section of blog posts from any category in a chosen layout.
  • Content Slideshow – A full width slideshow of featured posts with background images.
  • Feature List – A list of features with icons displayed in multiple column layouts.
  • Portfolio – A section of posts displayed as portfolio images in a masonry layout.
  • Subpage – Display any page content as a section within another page or use custom content.
  • Team – A section of team members from a selected post category.
  • Testimonials – A slideshow of testimonials from a selected category or custom post type.
  • Profile – A personal profile with an image, bio and social media links.
  • Pricing Table – A section of pricing tables with a featured list and link to purchase.
  • Featured Content – Custom content that can be grouped together with other featured content widgets.

Widgets are a core functionality of WordPress. Selecting, moving and manipulating widgets in the WordPress customizer is simple, fast and intuitive. Users can see exactly what their website will look like as changes display in real-time. The Organic Customizer Widgets allow for the creation of highly dynamic website pages with ultimate ease!

While other WordPress page builder solutions may offer a huge degree of control over the design, we feel that is often a hindrance rather than a benefit. Endless design options and control can be overwhelming, leaving users paralyzed. As a result, we designed each widget to be pixel perfect with simple customization options. So you can have better looking pages faster!

To showcase the power of our new plugin, we have released the StartUp Theme! It’s designed to work flawlessly with the WordPress Customizer and Organic Customizer Widgets plugin.

In addition to the StartUp Theme, the plugin is compatible with virtually ANY theme in the WordPress directory. Of course, it would make us happy if you used an Organic Theme with the plugin, but it’s not a requirement.

Naturally, we hope to sell more themes that are highly compatible with the plugin. Additionally, we may sell additional custom widgets and style packs in the future. However, the core pack of widgets will always be maintained and freely available. We hope you’ll give the StartUp Theme and Organic Customizer Widgets a chance for your next website!

For further instructions on plugin usage, please refer to our tutorial.

If you would like to leave a positive review of the plugin here, it would be greatly appreciated!

Basic free support for the plugin is provided through the WordPress support forums. If you would like to receive faster support, please refer to our Priority Support.

We’re Just Getting Started

This is just the beginning, so please let us know in the comments if you have any questions or requests for additional customizer widgets.

The Free WordPress Portfolio Lite Theme

Calling all starving artists. We’ve got a free WordPress theme for you!

I know what it’s like to pinch pennies after graduating with a BFA. Beginning a career as a freelance artist isn’t easy — or cheap. In order to secure clients, your work really needs to stand out. However, sending potential clients a link to a Deviant Art gallery or Facebook Page doesn’t exactly give a professional impression. That’s why we created the WordPress Portfolio Lite theme. Now you can create that personal portfolio website you’ve been putting off — for free!

Portfolio Lite features a minimal and professional design with the central focus where it needs to be — on the artwork. The theme is responsive, so your artwork will display beautifully on any mobile device. It’s the perfect free website solution for artists, designers, photographers and creatives. If you’re looking for a little more flexibility, options and support, check out our Portfolio Theme.

Within the Portfolio Lite theme, portfolio pages and slideshow galleries can be created with ease. There is no need for any additional plugins or custom post types. Portfolios are simply created using categories, and endless slideshows can be created using the “Gallery Slideshow” page template. Here’s how it works:

Creating Portfolios

Categories display in a portfolio layout.

  1. Navigate to Posts > Add New.
  2. Enter a Post Title.
  3. Apply a Featured Image.
  4. Add Content or an Excerpt describing the work. (optional)
  5. Add or Apply a Category. (i.e. Design)
  6. Publish the post.
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 for each portfolio item.
  8. Navigate to Appearance > Menus.
  9. Create a menu and apply it to the Main Menu location, if you haven’t already done so.
  10. Add the Category to the Custom Menu.
  11. Click the Save Menu button.

When clicking the category within your menu, it will take you to a page with all posts of that category displayed in a 3-column portfolio layout.

Creating Slideshows

A page using the Gallery Slideshow page template will display the first WordPress image gallery as a slideshow.

  1. Navigate to Pages > Add New.
  2. Enter a Page Title.
  3. Under Page Attributes on the right, choose the Gallery Slideshow template.
  4. Click the Add Media button.
  5. Click the Create Gallery link on the left.
  6. Upload and/or select the images for your slideshow.
  7. Click the blue Create a new gallery button.
  8. Click the blue Insert gallery button.
  9. Publish the page.

Portfolio Lite is available through Organic Themes or within the WordPress theme directory. The theme has undergone the rigorous review process from the WordPress foundation in order to be accepted into the theme directory. So you can rest assured the code is solid and secure. Additionally, you will receive access to ongoing theme updates. Not bad for a free theme, eh?

There’s no catch. We just want to help feed the starving artists. I was one of them, and I know artists don’t catch many breaks when it comes to the cost of education, student loans and software. If you appreciate the theme, please take a moment to leave us a good theme review here in the WordPress directory.

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