WordPress 4.9 Has Arrived – The Major Update Before Gutenberg

WordPress 4.9 is here! It’s the last major update before Gutenberg. The new content editor will be implemented into the platform with version 5.0 early next year. However, WordPress 4.9 is all about the Customizer. That makes us happy.

Organic Themes was an early adopter of the WordPress Customizer. We have been implementing theme options into the Customizer for several years. More recently, we released the Organic Customizer Widgets plugin that transforms the Customizer into a page builder using custom widgets. As a result, the latest WordPress update will only enhance any Organic Theme. The improvements to the Customizer include the following features:

Scheduling and Collaboration Options

Now, you can schedule the release of a new website design within the Customizer similar to scheduling the release of a new blog post. Additionally, you can save drafts and share new designs before they go live. This can be accomplished by clicking the settings icon next to the blue “Publish” button.

Customizer scheduling options using the StartUp Theme and Organic Customizer Widgets.

This new feature is very useful when collaborating with clients or a team. Essentially, it eliminates the need to setup a staging domain in many cases. For instance, if your client is updating their old existing site to a new theme, you can simply setup their whole site within the Customizer, and send the draft to the client for approval. Once approved, there is no need to fiddle with domain and DNS changes. Simply publish the new design within the Customizer.

Customizer CSS Syntax Highlighting

We were thrilled when the option to add custom CSS was implemented into the Customizer. In many cases, it eliminated the need for child themes. As theme developers, this change made providing support to our users much easier. However, actually writing the CSS within the Customizer was a bit cumbersome. God forbid, we were forced to use spaces instead of tabs.

With the WordPress 4.9 updates to the Customizer writing CSS is now a glorious experience. It feels like writing CSS within Atom. Additionally, the autocomplete works beautifully for adding properties — saving valuable time when making quick customizations.

Choose From Thousands Of Free Themes

The entire WordPress.org free theme directory is now available within the Customizer. This means you can preview thousands of available WordPress themes for your website before activating the theme of your choosing. Currently, Organic Themes offers 6 free themes within the WordPress directory — and counting. Our free themes have many thousands of active users, and hundreds of thousands of downloads. Try them today within the Customizer!

Beyond The Customizer

WordPress 4.9 introduces the new Gallery Widget, as well as enhancements to the existing Text Widget. The new and improved widgets are great news for our Organic Customizer Widgets plugin. We have implemented basic styles for the Gallery Widget within the plugin. Additionally, the updates to the Text Widget provide more flexibility within the plugin.

Organic Themes is very encouraged by the release of WordPress 4.9. It’s another step in the right direction. A step towards the simplification of the platform. Ultimately, leading to an admin experience where content and design are managed by the Customizer and Gutenberg as predicted. If you’re using an Organic Theme, rest assured your theme is prepared for the future of WordPress. If you’re a designer or developer, now is the time to begin familiarizing yourself with the Gutenberg editor. More good things are on the way from WordPress.

Min – A New Minimal WordPress Theme

At Organic Themes we strive to keep our themes simple. As a result, the setup is easy and pages load quickly. Additionally, we avoid flashy effects that cheapen the website experience. The Min Theme is a new minimal WordPress theme that adheres to this philosophy.

Minimalism At Its Best

The Min Theme features an elegant and minimal design. We have purposefully left out sidebars within the theme. The result is a seamless experience between desktop and mobile devices. Additionally, we have kept page templates and options to a minimum so you can begin using the theme immediately upon activation

Gutenberg Ready

We have prepared the Min Theme for the release of Gutenberg — the new WordPress content editor. The theme contains styles for Gutenberg blocks, and we have tested the theme extensively with Gutenberg.

Gutenberg will significantly change content editing within WordPress pages and posts. It will provide much more flexibility for the types of content and layouts displayed on your website. As a result, we believe simple, minimal WordPress themes are the future of the platform. The Min Theme was created with this future in mind.

Options Where They Count

We believe WordPress themes should be intuitive. The Min Theme provides essential WordPress theme options for a custom logo, header image, blog category, header and background colors, and font pairings. All theme options are set within the WordPress customizer, so you can watch the changes take place on your site in real time.

Min is compatible with popular plugins such as WooCommerce, Jetpack and Gravity Forms. Additionally, the theme works beautifully with the free Organic Customizer Widgets plugin. The plugin provides the ability to add a variety of content sections on any page using widgets within the WordPress customizer. As a result, you can display testimonials, content slideshows, portfolios and more on any page.

If you have been searching for the ultimate minimal WordPress theme, look no further! The Min Theme is perfect for any blogger or designer that appreciates simplicity.

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