Theme Hybrid version 3.0

Screenshot of the new Theme Hybrid front page
Theme Hybrid version 3.0

Just a little over a year ago, I made the decision to redesign Theme Hybrid. The site’s look was getting a little stale. Due to some successful and unsuccessful ventures in the past year, the new design never happened.

About three months ago, I made another decision to redesign Theme Hybrid.

But, I didn’t want to just redesign the site. I wanted to completely rebuild everything from the ground up. The site you see before you today is a result of the past three months of work and loads of great feedback from Theme Hybrid members.

Before getting into the details, I just want to say thank you to all the folks who have given feedback and helped out with issues I’ve run into during this process. I’m proud to have members like you.

The nitty-gritty

So, you want to know what’s changed about the site?

The following is just a quick overview of everything that has changed. I’ll probably have to write a few more posts just to cover a lot of the new stuff.

New design

Obviously, the design has been overhauled. I’m still working out a few kinks, but I’m pretty happy with it overall.

Right at 90% of this site’s users browse the site using Firefox or Chrome, which is just awesome. Ask any Web designer/developer and they’ll agree that this makes life much easier. It allowed me to design the site specifically with you guys and gals who are on the cutting edge in mind.

Another 8% of the site’s visitors are using IE8 and IE9. The site won’t look as great in IE8, but it’ll be functional. IE9 users should have it pretty good. I’ve got a few things to work out for those users.

You other 2%…Well, I hope you upgrade your browser at some point in the near future.

Revamped documentation sections

Previously, everything was a nightmare from a documentation management standpoint. I believe I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 different pages (WordPress “pages”) on this site, most of it being documentation. This had to be restructured completely.

The documentation section is now run by several post types and is broken down as shown in the following list.

  • Tutorials: WordPress, theme, plugin, and Hybrid Core tutorials.
  • Code Snippets: A community-run code snippets database.
  • Classes: Reference for available PHP classes.
  • Constants: Reference for available PHP constants.
  • Functions: Reference for available PHP functions.
  • Hooks: Reference for available hooks.
  • Shortcodes: Reference for available shortcodes.

At the time of writing, there are 35+ tutorials and 5 – 10 pages in each of the other sections. More documentation will definitely be coming soon. I plan to add at least one new page to each of the extra sections every day until everything is 100% documented.

Slightly new membership system

I’m currently in the process of putting together a membership system with the Gravity Forms plugin and a bit of dark magic. I didn’t want to move everything over at once though (the redesign has been tough enough on its own), so we’re running a partially new system.

Moving over to this new system might disable your access to the forums temporarily. If you run into this issue, just read this post for the details.

New plugins, themes, and books sections

Yes, all of my plugins now have a dedicated page here on the site. I know some of you have been waiting for this for a while. I’ve still got some work to do in this area, but at least you can actually find the plugins on the site now.

The themes section has been revamped, especially under the hood. This is in preparation for allowing theme authors to upload custom themes to this site. By the way, theme submissions will start opening by the end of the month. A blog post is coming soon with the details.

The books section is new. Right now, there’s just the lone Pro WP Plugin Development, but it should be getting a friend sometime this year.

Social Theme Hybrid

No, I really haven’t been living under a rock. I have heard of a few of those social networking sites. With that in mind, you can now connect with the Theme Hybrid community via:

Yes, finally.

Working out the kinks

As with any new redesign/restructure as large as this one, there’s bound to be a problem here and there. Please give me a few days to iron out some of the bugs. I encourage all feedback via the comments or support forums on the new site.

Design/development is process, not an end goal. So, nothing about the new site is completely set in stone. I’ll be making changes based on feedback and new ideas.

I hope you all enjoy the new Theme Hybrid. At the very least, it should be a nice refresh from the old, tired design.

30 Comments

  1. amosmos

    Great work!!!


  2. Ckangell

    You used to have an excellent hook reference page that listed all the available action hooks. I saw it mentioned but the link is dead. I used that frequently. I hope your bringing that back – really really soon


    1. Actually, the page was extremely outdated and was missing a lot of hooks and even had some wrong.

      I am in the process of developing a new hook reference page for each parent theme though that should be better. It’ll just take a little time to put them together.


  3. Looks great..
    I feel the shadow offset should be 0, its kind of disturbing now.
    How did you come up with this site width?


    1. Basically, I just made it wide enough to give everything enough breathing room.


      1. looks great on widescreens, what about people with low res screens?

        Any stats on resolution?


      2. Not enough people with low-res screens view the site for it to matter (less than 0.5%).

  4. marlonla

    I loved the improvements! Even more the documentation part (classes, functions etc). Congrats and my best regards!


  5. Perhaps now is the time I renew my subscription and finally upgrade from Options


  6. Looks nice … and I bet that documentation section should cut down on some of the repeat questions in the forums. I know I intend to look there first, before searching the forum questions, when I have future issues arise.


    1. The biggest thing for me is that documentation is easier to manage. So, if I start seeing common questions, I can easily create a new documentation page. It was a much bigger ordeal with the old structure.



  7. Do I have to register/pay for help in translation?!


    1. The translation section is open to free members too, but it requires that you be registered because you’d need a username to post new text strings. The translation section is currently in the early stages. I’m still working on moving all the themes and plugins over to it.

      Once it’s completely ready, I’ll post an update here on the blog.

  8. dhavaljani

    Looks Good. I like the white/light colors in this version. All the sections are nicely structured and makes it lot easy to quickly see things like theme features etc. Noticed that your download button looks lot like WordPress.org and I like that.


    1. Yeah, I wanted to duplicate how WordPress.org handles this because it makes it familiar to users.


  9. Clean, nice colors and it loads super fast. Pulled it out in iPad and it looks great even there, small screen or my 23″ monitor both display just as nice!

    Cheers,
    Emil


    1. The site is super fast compared to before. I’m not loading all the extra junk JavaScript from the previous version. I’ve still got some optimization to do, but I’m pretty happy with the results so far.


    1. There’s not a massively growing mobile audience here, so it’s a non-issue now. Eventually, I imagine this will start to change.


  10. With all the documentation, plugins, books and other stuff the new design looks great! and the cross-browser adaptability makes it even wonderful. Great progress i must say.

  11. Sara Tetreault

    Justin! Well done. It’s impressive what you’ve accomplished. You’ve got me thinking about a site re-do now….Oh, and don’t forget – I still need a good recipe plug-in. Great work!



  12. The new design looks clean and simple … as it should be … just one tiny note, there’s a bit to much shadow for the headings …

    Congrats to the new look!


    1. I’m currently using bbPress on the site now. I have no plans to incorporate BuddyPress.

  13. mp

    Grateful to see the upgrade – and the updating.

Comments are closed.