I’ve been neck-deep in this update for the past few weeks. There are so many awesome things that I want to continue building within the Exhale theme, but there’s only so much time. I’m happy to report that I managed to fit in some of the features that I really wanted for this release.
Version 1.2.0 requires either WordPress 5.2+ or Gutenberg 5.6+ for block editor styles to work correctly. So, make sure you’re updated. I strongly recommend running the Gutenberg plugin to stay on top of bug fixes and new features.
But, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of this update.
Layout Option + Custom Background
By default, Exhale has a wide layout that stretches the content area across the full screen. One of the things I wanted to do was allow users to add custom backgrounds if they wished. This meant I needed to add in some new layout options.
If you head to Theme Options > Layout from within the customizer, you should see three options for deciding which style layout you want:
- Wide – Stretches across the full screen.
- Boxed – Contains the header, content, and footer within a box.
- Boxed Content – Header and footer are full width with a boxed content area.
You’ll also have a new Background Image option under the Theme Options panel as well as a Background option under Theme Options > Colors.
Child Theme Manager
The Exhale theme has a new sub-page called “Themes” on the Appearance > Exhale Settings page. This page showcases the Exhale parent theme and any available child themes. Currently, there’s only a single child theme, Unravel, available. More will come in the future.
In version 1.2.0, this feature is scaled back to the basics. You can activate or run the themes in “live preview” mode (customizer). Or, if a particular child theme is not installed, it’ll link you to a page here on Theme Hybrid where you can download it if you want.
In the future, this feature will pull an updated child theme list directly from Theme Hybrid so that new child themes will appear as they become available.
Most of the work I done in this version was prepping the way the theme handles block containers. This was an effort to cut back on hacky code and better prepare us for a future where more aspects of WordPress become block ready. Most of this is under-the-hood technical work, so I won’t dive into the details here.
But, here’s a rundown of some other features:
One of my favorite new additions is an all new set of footer color options available via the Theme Options > Colors section in the customizer.
Note that I recommend checking your footer if updating from an earlier version to make sure your footer colors look good for your site. It’s possible they won’t match your design if you’ve made other color customizations.
The theme has been tested against and works with Gutenberg version 5.7 and its new features.
Heading Block Colors
I’ve added support for text and background colors for the Heading block. It’s not currently available in Gutenberg, but I expect it to be available in Gutenberg 5.7. I just wanted to get ahead on this because it’s an important feature.
Get the Exhale Theme
If you’re already a premium member, just hop over to your account page and grab the latest ZIP file. If updating directly via the WordPress admin, I recommend using the Easy Theme and Plugin Upgrades plugin.
Not a member yet? Head to the Exhale theme page and make a purchase.