64 Responses

  1. rzelvenschi rzelvenschi July 2, 2009 at 10:58 pm |

    Options theme was great as it gave a lot of control for users who don’t know how to use PHP, but you could change CSS and customize it. I know that News child theme is kind of like Options, but does it have all the controls options had?

  2. Al Al July 3, 2009 at 12:12 am |

    I like the starter child theme option. It is great for people who want to play around with the style.
    Your fully-designed themes are great but it will mean that more and more websites will look the same.

  3. Hamid Hamid July 3, 2009 at 1:11 am |

    Hello Justin…

    I am not a website designer and I use Hybrid for my personal blog, so for people like me the fully designed themes in which we can just throw in some basic css customizations should be the better option.

    Also, since you are a very experienced web designer, I do hope that you release some more vivid fully designed child themes. By this I mean the themes like woo themes. The design of the woo themes is very vivid and very web 2.0 type. I hope you are getting my point.

  4. Kumar Kumar July 3, 2009 at 2:17 am |

    Hi Justin,

    As always, you are a maverick when it comes to WordPress. I think both the ideas of… fully developed and starter themes… serve their own set of targeted users. Choosing one over the other would disappoint at least some of them and hence your decision to continue with both is commendable.

    Now, coming to the next child theme of Movie Database ala Pop Critics, I think it is a great idea. But I have a doubt here… Suppose, a site is already based on Hybrid framework and wants to incorporate the movie database child theme as a part of the larger site (as in Pop Critics)… is it possible? I understand that movie database is possible with your wonderful post on creating our own. But is it possible to merge the child theme to make things easier?

  5. Craikey Craikey July 3, 2009 at 2:34 am |

    For me the ready made child theme would be better, as I know what I want my site to look like and that I will have to make it myself, however that isn’t too different from starting from scratch anyway…

  6. thinkjayant thinkjayant July 3, 2009 at 6:19 am |

    hello Justin,

    I personally like the starter child theme. it gives me more option to modify and customize according to client’s needs.

    But courtsey all those people who cannot afford design service but yet want a fully functional theme for themselves, i think fully designed theme serves best.

    So from me its mixed bag. starter for myself, fully designed for general public.

    On a more serious note, I think hybrid as a wordpress theme framework is underrated especially when you some popular wordpress themes (do not want to anme them). After using them, i personally liked hybrid only. It is very powerful. However more child themes with options are necessary to increase the base rapidly. Let me see how i can give back to the community.


  7. mp mp July 3, 2009 at 10:19 am |

    Boy – Your timing could be any more perfect.

    First, let me state that I am a new member – and the reason that I joined was – that after a careful assessment, and lengthy analysis – I came to the conclusion that the Hybrid framework, is simply the most carefully designed, and most complete such environment that is “out there”.

    It is structurally very well thought out, IMHO – and although I have yet to master many of the underlying technologies, such as CSS, Javascript, JQuery, PHP, and even the WordPress API itself – I can recognize some of its unique methods – For example using filters and action hooks to “push” the modifications “up” – away from core WP files and into a child theme’s functions.php and style.css – Brlliant!

    That having been said – I think the promotion of the framework would be well served by one or more elaborated tutorials that deal with the fundamentals on which the framework is based. Perhaps a new “series” that is constituted from a comparative approach as to HOW one does things DIFFERENTLY using the Hybrid framework than the typical WP approach – For example – the way that customizing a Hybrid-based child theme is likely to include the “hooking” and “un-hooking” of callbacks from within the functions.php.

    Also, I find the despite the exsiting Skeleton example, and the various included CSS – I find the task of writing (or modifying) the child theme’s CSS daunting – As it is “disassociated” from knowing where it is used in the exiting templates without examination…

    Of course, I readily accept that my mastery is lacking – But understanding the power of the framework doesn’t necessarily make it a straight foward task to layer something over it. The reality is that the Hybrid framework and the associated widget plug-ins are SO GOOD, that it would certainly be possible to layer an entire WYSIWYG environment over it – If you include embedding “executable” code from within the widgets themselves. Then it seems the only thing lacking would be to find a way to illustrate to the end-user where exactly, in one or more templates – the content would appear BASED on the active/associated CSS.

    Anyway, I digress – in that these are probably framework questions – But it is true that the rapid adoption of the framework would be well-served by showing people HOW to extend the provided “stuff” to “move things around”… I think that end-users and prospective designers would be well-served if there was a start-to-finish tutorial – (and resultant child themes) for an emulation of other layouts/themes UNDER the framework – which would show them WHAT to modify, and WHY those modifications perform the objective…. I find now that I have to have EVERYTHING opened in the editor to understand WHAT is related…

    Finally, there is a learning curve, no doubt, and I wouldn’t want to take away my accolades for the brilliance that underlies the basic architecture – AND I am sure that over time, they’ll be enough examples that one will be able to derive a sufficiency of information – But I’d still like to see a child theme for Hybrid BEING DEVELOPED in full view – from a diagram on a piece of paper – to a working site….

    Such an approach (without Hybrid, of course) was undertaken in Tessa Blakeley Silver’s book (WordPress Theme Design: A complete guide to creating professional WordPress themes) – Which I think was very instructive – However – I’d like to see how Hybrid’s superior archecture “upgrades” the approach… and reduces the number of modified files to a minimum…

    At the moment, I’m knee-deep in trying to use the framework to replace a non-Hybrid left-sidebar oriented site – and haven’t a clue how to attack the CSS substantively – But I am committed to learning how… I’m less interested in my immediate problem, than mastering the capabilities of the framework and its unique approach – which, I believe, is the best utilization of the MANY rich capabilities that exist in the current release of WordPress.

    1. naderby naderby July 3, 2009 at 3:43 pm |

      I was going to comment on this post, having become a member the other day and currently focusing down where exactly I’m going.

      But, to be honest ‘mp’ has said everything that I would have said.

      I am a web designer, I understand CSS and PHP, but I don’t want to spend hours reinventing what I need. After my quality research I have come to the conclusion that the WP community is in chaos! It was a breath of fresh air to come across this framework.

      I would reinforce the need for themehybrid to promote itself more, build more templates for different uses of WP and document as much as possible.

      It’s a solid root to quality development at speed. Keep it up. Hmm, maybe we could comtribute?

    2. kingco kingco July 11, 2009 at 8:37 am |

      I would second MP’s comments as well.

  8. hypyklrz hypyklrz July 3, 2009 at 11:24 am |

    We (hypyklrz.net) realize that a majority of the members of this community are of the ‘hands on’ variety when it comes to the WordPress religion. We have learned a great deal from all of you just by cruising the forums. (In fact, this is our first time stepping into the ring to actually post) As we are in the process of building our network we have come to realize how lucky we were to find Justin and this community. So, our two cents are this: hypyklrz loves what you all do, but please keep in mind that themes that we can use ‘out of the box’ allows us non-Wordpress mechanics to do what we love to do with-out the worry and hassle of dealing with the tech stuff. ‘Nuff said. Thanks to all in the Hybrid communtiy – and Justin, you’re our Top Gun. hypyklrz has been Hybridnized.

  9. Hayley Hayley July 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm |

    I think the scaled back Pop Critics child theme is a great idea. What I would say is, as someone has mentioned, I’d personally be looking to use that as part of a larger site.

    I’d love to see a child theme offering multiple page templates – very basic and scaled back – but with a lot of variety in actual layout terms.

  10. Spigot Spigot July 3, 2009 at 6:04 pm |

    Here’s a vote for starter themes. I’ve been building WP sites the wrong for quite a while now (editing the header.php file directly, for example) and would love a couple of base child themes that I could extend.

    Nice work on Hybrid. It’s expanding my WP knowledge exponentially.

  11. rzelvenschi rzelvenschi July 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm |

    How do themes deal with being displayed on mobile phones? Any publisher event you go to now all people talk about is mobile content and video two next big things. Is there a way to create a theme that is mobile friendly? Or have a version for cellphone viewing?

    I am obviously not a tech person, but just throwing it out there as I am sure more and more clients would want that sort of a website.

  12. rgregory rgregory July 3, 2009 at 10:39 pm |

    I think a great thing to do for a child theme would be to add a few differently styled menu options (ie one with tab images, one with round buttons, one with square buttons) allowing people to uncomment the one they want. You could also replace the image (if it used one) with a personally designed one.

    Along these lines would be all of the color codes in a few lines of code. Sort of a color reset that you could change for your theme. You could write the original CSS with every selector that used #333333 in one line, so I could change that to #778866 and it would change it for everything in one go. I know I personally spend quite a bit of time hunting down colors in the CSS. The new dropdown menu is a b*%^h to hunt down the colors with firebug and make it look like you like (but I love the functionality it gives).

    I’m really for the idea of more unique child themes. I’m not sure about most of your users, but I know my way around CSS, but not PHP. So the more variety you offer in layout and functionality the better.

    I really like the way you are putting out the plugins at the moment as it REALLY is adding a lot to the community. It gives those of use with no knowledge of the inner workings so much more control of our sites. Keep up the great work.

    Along these lines, why not a child theme that is designed to work with something like the SHOPP plugin? It could only be a good thing to give people an option like this, might give your theme some notoriety and press.

  13. Supertyke Supertyke July 5, 2009 at 6:20 am |

    well I know its not quite the subject, but I’ve been waiting for I, Reviewer for quite a while. any news on this theme?


  14. John Myrstad John Myrstad July 7, 2009 at 2:50 am |

    I`d like to see a CMS/Small Bsiness starter theme ( yeah – I know WP is a CMS ) theme focusing more on Pages than posts. Its the obvious niche theme missing in your theme portefolio, and today many use Hybrid News for small business sites, but its really not intended for Pages centric sites.

    I`d like to see flexibility in navigation, with the option to use Superfish dropdown, Superfish navbar-style, and horizontal menu with vertical sub-pages menu, and a upper left corner features menu.

    I`d also like to see some different frontpage templates including a slider/carousel option, and different Pages templates including sections templates, and templates supporting image attatchments in different ways. Flexible frontpage templates are a must for CMS/Small Business themes.

    Maybe Scribu`s Front-end-editor may be supported or included as well together with Stephan Reiter`s Scissors ?


    Having a CMS/Small Business starter theme for a FrameWork may be a success because of the continuous development of the framework, gives the opportunity to add more Pages and frontpage templates with time, expanding the features of the theme. It may also open for user contributed templates.

    A CMS/Small Business Pages centric starter theme may also fit well in with your plan to write more Pages template tutorials, and your SEO and menu plugin plans. http://justintadlock.com/archives/2009/03/13/page-templates-the-untapped-potential-of-wordpress

    Levithan seems like a good starting point for the starter themes css.

    Maybe I`ll post more about the need for a CMS/Small Business starter theme in the ideas section in the forum.

    John Myrstad

    1. Al Al July 7, 2009 at 7:12 am |

      You’re kidding right?

      1. John Myrstad John Myrstad July 7, 2009 at 8:23 am |

        I`m NOT kidding Al, and may put some arguments behind my thoughts. Which idea did you have problems with ?

  15. deadhippo deadhippo July 7, 2009 at 8:43 am |

    Sorry, genuinely thought it might be a joke because I think that a lot of the things that you have requested are already available in Hybrid. And if you’d like a carousel/slider option you could just use a plugin like Featured Content Gallery.

    Regarding the page templates Justin has made it possible to make as many as you want on the fly with widgets. They can be placed almost anywhere. Combine this fact with a few plugins like widget logic/widget context and Hybrid Hook and Hybrid Tabs and the options are limitless. These also allow you to customize the front page to your hearts content.

    Regarding the plugins I’m not quite sure what you are trying to say but can’t you just install them?


    And a quote: “Hybrid also includes the Superfish drop-down JavaScript, which you may select from the Hybrid Settings page. It is not required but will make your drop-downs pretty awesome.”

  16. John Myrstad John Myrstad July 7, 2009 at 1:55 pm |

    >And if you’d like a carousel/slider option you could just use a plugin like >Featured Content Gallery.

    No, we dont want that. Too may problems with jQuery. S3 maybe..

    >Regarding the page templates Justin has made it possible to make as many as you want on the fly with widgets.

    There is still more to investigate with Page templates especially for CMS/Small business themes. The good CMS/Small business themes have lots of different Page templates. Have a look here for the extreme example: http://wpremix.com/demo/

    >These also allow you to customize the front page to your hearts content.

    There`s a lot of options and possible choices for good homepages, more than should be done with widgets, even though you may do almost anything with enough css positioned widgets.

    >Regarding the plugins I’m not quite sure what you are trying to say but >can’t you just install them?

    100% Compability.


    My point is to have a starter theme which supports these 3 global navigation menu choices. Then the starter theme will be suitable for lots of projects, quick and easy. Its all about having a starter theme with flexibility to quickly make styled niche child themes. I have yet not seen Superfish nav-bar style applied to Hybrid.

    100% serious ;)

  17. curtispenner curtispenner July 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm |

    Hi Justin,

    I love the idea of a child starter theme. I really wanted to use Old School for a site, but wanted to restyle it. After I started digging in, I realized that re-styling it would take forever so I abandoned the attempt. If I had the layout and was left to style the sections myself, it would be great.

    Also, I’d like to see a little more in the way of notes in the style sheets. It can be difficult to find the section I need to change without looking at the source code, although your style sheets are much easier to follow than most.

  18. Bogdan P. Bogdan P. July 8, 2009 at 6:08 am |

    Hi Justin! I really like both ideas, but personally, I will use more the “Starter child themes” ‘cuz I like more to play with the colors on a white screen and it’s more easy to design your own theme, rather than re-design a released design.
    And by the way, when you will release an photo album theme for photographers? I don’t know PHP so much to write the functions on a child theme based on Hybrid so, I’m checking this site almost everyday to see if you plan to release a photo album child theme… I hope you will do this soon :D

    You did an amazing job with themehybrid.com and I’m shure that this is just the beginning :)

  19. Many Many July 10, 2009 at 9:11 am |

    Hi Justin !

    I’m not that a blogger. What I really love is playing around things, trying out every thing I can so if I’m asked I’d say I’d love to see more of a starter theme.

    You said you’d always release fully designed theme so releasing more of starter theme would be nothing else than a win thing, don’t you think so ?

  20. sergiofores sergiofores July 10, 2009 at 2:31 pm |

    Here’s another vote for starter themes.
    Some added functionality would be appreciate.

    That is the way.

  21. Jamie at doggypedia.info Jamie at doggypedia.info July 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |

    bavotasan.com’s Feed Me Seymour is great inspiration for a child theme. It’s a very similar design to the Design Critical png you posted, but it’s built for short RSS posts (and it’s VERY buggy). Having a theme built with side by side (3×9, 4×12, etc) excerpts of posts rather than images (similar to the theme Vladomir Prelovac is currently using on his site but more user friendly and less… HUGE) would be great to use as a product showcase, RSS blog or as a Twitter Archive. Built in default post images per catagory, thumbnail generation… a child framework based on something like this would probably drive developers into a joyous frenzy. :)

  22. Neal Neal July 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm |

    I just found your Hybrid theme and must admit I really like. What kind of mods would one need to make to get the site looking like ThemeHybrid.com ; Is this a custom child theme you use for yourself?

    Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.


  23. okpeery okpeery July 15, 2009 at 8:51 am |

    I have been using WP for over 3 years and have almost abandoned all efforts to create sites from scratch. I could even see myself using something like Hybrid exclusively with clients with a more robust child themes and “skeletal” themes community. In fact it would make my life easier too.

    I tend to work with small businesses without a lot of money so I don’t make huge adjustments to the themes. I haven’t really developed a child theme yet so I guess I am to blame too for not contributing.

    I make video screencasts for companies as well. I am going to start posting a few on my site as examples. I’d be willing to contribute to this community by making a few video tutorials on some popular topics. The tutorials are excellent Justin but I find it so much easier to watch a video tutorial than to read one.

    Basially I love the idea behind the framework, would just like to see both more child themes and starter themes.

  24. rgregory rgregory July 25, 2009 at 9:14 am |

    I was just thinking the other day that I’d like to see more child themes of any type. Just some different types of designs in general.

    I started with the Thematic framework as it’s the first I came across and learned how to child theme. Then found Hybrid, and fell in love with it. It has the functionality that I wish Thematic had at the time, so I began using your theme exclusively. As I keep up with a great deal of WP news, I still keep up with thematic.

    I have found that on 3 of my last 4 projects, I have used Thematic for the simple reason that I was able to find a high quality child theme that required less time for development than what is available for Hybrid. The child themes you produce yourself are EXCEPTIONAL, but not that easily customized (except hybrid-original). I’m not saying they can’t be customized, but it’s just easier with what’s available from Thematic. I’d love more child themes of any sort, as I’d like to use Hybrid as much as possible.

  25. Andrei Gheorghiu Andrei Gheorghiu July 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm |

    I personally don’t consider myself a web-designer.
    Not a professional one, anyways.
    I’m an architect, and I humbly believe that’s what I do best.
    But, just as most self-employed architects in these harsh times, I’m work-less.
    So, lacking houses, I started building… websites. First for myself, than for some friends. I now make some money out of it.
    A lot less than I was making doing my job, but I have to do it, I have two wonderful boys to raise.
    I thank you for your work and, just as it says, my website (http://acub.ro) is based on Options theme, with minor modifications.
    I have learned quite a bit about web-design and programming since I made it (last year) and most of the websites I build are based on Hybrid. Sometimes I don’t finish them (I had a couple of clients who lost their interest in their websites along the way) other times one of the Hybrid child themes is more than they would have asked for and they don’t want it modified, so all I have to do is put some text in and I’m done (a good example is http://lithera.ro – it’s a website for a Romanian literary community, I’m not exactly getting payed for it, but I do get a lot of people to know I built it, so I’m not doing it for nothing). However, starting from Hybrid News, the modifications are minor (I worked more on their logo and on functionality (they wanted some of the admin functions inside the site – I’m still working on it, but I’m almost done).

    I’d love to give back to your community and to put my slightly modified themes somewhere, if you think they’re worth anything.
    The reason I didn’t do it so far is because I never think of myself as a web-designer (and perhaps never will) and also because my code is probably not so clean as it should be.

    But I have more webistes coming and for some of them I have to make some serious modifications to Hybrid child themes (of course, I always chose the closest to the purpose).

    I very much welcome the starter child themes. I almost believe I had this idea from before and I wished it so much I passed it on to you, even tho’ you’re thousands of miles away.
    Kidding, of course.
    You’re always one step ahead.

    Sorry for the lengthy comment, I had to do it.

    Other sites I’ve built are:
    They’re not much, but they got me going and learning.
    I just bought myself a different domain (websiter.ro) and I plan to use it for the online works but I didn’t have time for it yet. I never found a theme simple enough for my taste. Until you came up with critical. I might minimize it some more. Yes, I think it can be done. :)


  26. Diane Diane July 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm |

    I’d like to see a couple of cut and paste themes for those of us that aren’t full fledged designers. I’d like to be able to change the entire background by swapping out an image for a plain background without affecting the navigation.

    This could also be true for the header only.

    Simple styling classes making it easy to change colors. While the use of many colors makes for an interesting theme it also takes a lot of time to find them in the CSS and change them all.

    So, you have a green theme and I want it purple and all I have to do is hunt down 3 or 4 greens and change them to my purples.

    Also, I have widescreen monitors and I’d like to see themes that expand the width rather than fixed. This gives me more real estate especially with a multi column theme.

    As an example, I really love http://csstinderbox.com and while I realize this is a hand built theme (not cut and paste for sure!) I like the artfulness of it. So, I’d really love a basic theme that I can turn into an arty site that would take hours and not days to build just by switching out colors, backgrounds and/or headers.

  27. Mike Mike August 26, 2009 at 8:51 am |

    I use the Hybrid News theme. While I like it a lot, here are what I see as its deficiencies, which may be addressed either by HN or through a new child theme.

    * I would like to completely replace the image between the page navbar and categories with either (a) a centered single image or (b) a repeating image, in either case of user specified height/width–via a menu, without having to edit HTML (thus, preserving changes across theme updates)
    * Additionally, I would like to specify a site logo via an admin menu, rather than having to edit CSS (thus, preserving changes across theme updates)
    * I have manually specified page navbar names and added small images to the navbar to give it some visual variety. It should be possible to specify navigation names and image filenames via a menu. No editing of functions.php.
    * Similarly, it should be possible to specify names, order, and images within the category bar from an admin menu. And lower case category names, please. No editing of functions.php.


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