I’m posting to let you know that you’re all free to download the Jump Start 2.0 beta from your My Account > Downloads page here on the support site, if you’re wanting to play around with it.
I’ve still got a lot of boring sort of details ahead before I can officially release it; so I wanted to make sure it’s out there for you guys to play with. The good news is a lot has changed and there are some very cool new things. The bad news is… well, a lot has changed, and this will inevitably effect your child themes, which is why I wanted to make sure it’s available early.
See the working 2.0 change log:
Layout Builder 2.0
Once you’ve got the Jump Start v2.0 beta and the Layout Builder plugin v2.0 paired together, you’ll notice that things with the Builder work a bit different than before. Custom layouts are now built and saved into pages. Additionally, there is now a separation between “Layouts” and “Templates”.
The following new, quick videos I made today will give you the gist of how the overall system now works.
- Overview: https://vimeo.com/70256816
- Homepage: https://vimeo.com/70256799
- Sample Layouts: https://vimeo.com/112117385
- Templates: https://vimeo.com/112117384
Here’s the full change log for the Layout Builder:
Cool things you should know
- There is now a feature where you can select a “Theme Base” — Check it out at Appearance > Theme Base. For the non-developers, checkout the new “Super User” theme base.
- Theme options are very different. Make sure to go through those after you’ve selected a theme base.
- Experiment with mega menus. This’ll be more clear after I make a video tutorial, but this screenshot shows an example of a 4-column mega menu under Appearance > Menus.
- When editing a page, checkout the new “Banner” meta box.
- Also with editing a page, checkout the “Theme Layout” meta box. Try the “suck up” feature here, which will suck the content of your banner up into the header of the page, and display the “Transparent Header” logo from your theme options.
- There are new options for you blog authors to show your info on your blog posts. Configure this from the Edit Profile page in your WP admin, along with how posts are displayed on your author archive.
- Post formats are now fully supported by default. So play around with those. If you’re curious about how to utilize any formats, just ask.
- How posts are displayed has gotten a bit of a revamp. The new default way of displaying posts is called “Blog.” Then, your Post List and Post Grid have been re-tooled. And there’s now a new display called Post Showcase.
- If you edit a category or tag in your WP Admin, you’ll see we’ve added some options here. You can actually assign a specific post display for an individual category or tag archive.
- A small detail, that might go unnoticed — check out the new search results page when you do a search on your site.
- Any bbPress fans out there? Give bbPress a go with the theme!
Important things you NEED to know
- Make sure all of your Theme Blvd plugins are up-to-date.
- The frontend styling and CSS has been completely redesigned. Make sure to take that into account in regards to any current child themes.
- All main template files like header.php, footer.php, single.php, etc, have been changed. All template part files like content.php, content-list.php, etc, have been changed. So, make sure to account for this if you have copies of these files in your child theme.
- Image crop sizes have very much changed. So make sure to run Regenerate Thumbnails plugin for images that are already uploaded to your site.
- There is no more option on your Theme Options page for assigning a homepage layout. You must add your layout to a static page and set that as your front page from WP Admin > Settings > Reading > Front page displays.
- DO use the current default “Blank Child Theme” from your Downloads; nothing has changed there in the basic setup of a child theme. DON’T use the other “Starter Child Themes”; these will no longer work right.
My to-do list before the 2.0 release
- I still need to setup a live online demo. I know it’s extremely difficult to show you all of the new features without this up. Setting these up are always very time consuming for me.
- There’s currently a cool, new system that extends WP’s import tool to bring in all widgets and settings from the theme’s live demo with the standard import process. However, the data for this to operate still needs to be added to the theme after I’ve setup the live demo.
- I’m planning to add another “theme base” (or maybe two) before the 2.0 release that change the structure of the default design.
- I’m sure there are little Theme Blvd plugins out there that no longer work perfectly. If you find any, speak up! 😉 — For example, Portfolios and Image Sizes are ones that need to be addressed.
- User docs, user docs, user docs — A lot of new video tutorials need to be made.
Please do not update to Jump Start 2.0 beta on your live site.
Aside from the obvious of this not being a stable release, the way data is handled in custom layouts is different and there is a process that happens when you update which updates the data in your database. So, if you decide to switch back to the older version of the theme, you may have issues.
If you have any questions or comments about the new 2.0 beta, feel free to post here or start a new topic about it. 🙂
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