Theme Options Gallery: The Best (and the Worst) Theme Options Screens Around

Man, theme options. :) There aren’t many more topics in WordPress theme development that inspire more discussion these days than theme options. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Konstantin Kovshenin’s Theme Options Gallery. Konstantin reviews the best and worst theme options pages around there. It’s where the best discussion on theme options is happening right now.

WordPress Query Comprehensive Reference

There are a couple of spots that I always keep handy when looking for information about WordPress’ query handling. Consider this Gist an addition to my list:

WordPress Query Comprehensive Reference

Which helpful, recent resources do you use for information about WordPress’ query? I prefer to hit the Codex (WP_Query and query_posts) and also just dig directly into wp-includes/query.php.

Internationalization: You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

Fun fact of the day: about 37% of WordPress downloads are for non-English, localized versions.

So as a plugin or theme author, you should be thinking of localization and internationalization (L10N and I18N) as pretty much a fact of life by this point.

An excellent post from Otto on improvements to make and pitfalls to look out for when performing i18n on your WordPress theme.

Getting Started With the _s Theme

There are some simple instructions in the theme readme.txt on how to get started with our new starter theme, _s, but, to be honest, I’m not exactly the most reliable readme reader myself so here are those instructions with a bit more explanation. :)

The first thing you want to do is copy the _s directory and change the name to something else. Like, say, megatherium.

Then you’ll need to do a three-step find and replace with your favorite text editor on the _s name in all the templates.

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On Breaking and Fixing WordPress Themes at WordCamp Singapore 2011

My coworkers at Automattic and I frequently discuss the speed with which we’re able to onboard new themes into the WordPress.com theme directory.

Our top priority as the Theme Team is to make sure that all of our users feel like they have a theme that fits them perfectly; in order to meet that goal we’re focused on bringing a variety of themes into WordPress.com through a few primary channels: the WordPress.org theme directorypremium theme shops; and Automattic (in-house) themes.

It’s often the case that each conversion—that is, making a theme’s code WordPress.com-safe and ready—will take us anywhere between one week and one month, depending on the complexity and quality of the code. In a perfect world, though, we’d be able to snap our fingers and have every single awesome-looking theme available on WP.com right now.

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Twitter Bootstrap and WordPress Theme Frameworks

If you haven’t yet you should make some time to read Building Twitter Bootstrap at A List Apart. Especially if you’re interested in building a WordPress Theme Framework or WordPress Starter Theme.

Twitter Bootstrap is essentially a collection of HTML-CSS templates and some Javascript put together to “help designers and developers quickly and efficiently build awesome stuff online.” It sounds an awful lot like a lot of WordPress Theme Frameworks and Starter Themes, right? It looks like one too.

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What Do You Really Need in a WordPress Starter Theme?

I think it’s safe to say that I’m somewhat obsessed with themes that help you get your WordPress projects started quickly. Most likely because I’ve been there, staring at an empty project folder wondering where I should begin. Well, you shouldn’t have to stare at that empty folder for any project. Even when you’re starting from scratch you’re probably not really starting from scratch, right? You’re taking an existing WordPress theme, either your own or someone elses, and hacking at it until it’s something new. That theme is your Starter Theme.

But not all Starter Themes are created equal. If you’re using the same theme again and again and always adding the same code to it, well, shouldn’t that code always be in there in the first place? Or how about the reverse? If you’re always cleaning out the same code from your theme is that really a great starter theme? Should it have sample theme options? Or a CSS reset? Basic styles? How much style? A grid system? … The questions could go on for a while.

So, what are you using for your Starter Theme? And what do you think you really need in a WordPress Starter Theme?