What types of child themes would you like to see?

A couple of months ago, I opened a community forums topic asking about the types of child themes you wanted to see for the Hybrid theme framework. Since the topic has not gained much momentum, I thought I’d ask here on the blog.

What I have in mind involves two types of child themes: fully-designed themes and starter themes. I’ll explain what I mean by both of these below.

Fully-designed child themes

The child themes currently available here fall under this camp. These are themes that have a definite style, definite functionality, and are meant for a specific purpose. While these themes can be used to build from and can be completely changed, doing so is sometimes tough.

I see these types of themes as mostly being useful for users that simply want a finished design and not have to worry about it. They can also be useful for people with design skills that need a little inspiration from a preexisting design.

You all know what these child themes look like, and if you don’t, feel free to check out the demos for most of the currently available themes.

Starter child themes

What this post is really about is gauging how well this type of theme would be accepted.

A starter child theme would be something that has minimal style, a specific layout, and maybe some added functionality. The idea would be to keep it clean and allow you all to come up with some interesting designs.

I like this idea because:

  • I can release more child themes like this.
  • It allows users to have something that’s more personal.
  • Everyone’s site will not look the same.
  • Gives designers a chance to build client sites faster.
  • Allows people to release customized child themes back to the community more easily.

Many people have asked me to release the child theme I put together for the Pop Critics Movie Database. Of course, I don’t like releasing personal designs, but I thought it’d be a good time to test the starter-theme idea. So, here’s a preview of the next child theme and a great example of what I’m talking about when I mentioned a starter theme.

What do you think?

So, the real question is whether you’d like to see some starter child themes released.

No, I won’t be choosing one style of child theme over the other. I would still release fully-designed child themes. I just want to know if you’d like to see something different thrown in the mix.


  1. rzelvenschi

    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?

    1. The Options theme is long gone, and I’m glad of it. Yes, it was great if you didn’t want to change any PHP code, but it was horrible if you did.

      The Hybrid News child theme is nothing like Options, and I hope to never create anything like it again. πŸ˜‰

  2. 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.

    1. I suppose the plan could always backfire and we could get thousands of people with plain black and white themes around the Net. πŸ˜‰

      1. In reply to Justin Tadlock

        LOL. I have one of those.

  3. 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.

    1. If you’re looking for something vivid, Old School or Life Collage might be just right. There’s no such thing as a “Web 2.0” type design. Web 2.0 has nothing to do with design. Definitely check out the two themes I linked to though.

  4. Kumar

    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?

    1. Incorporating the new child theme is definitely possible. There are tons of ways to go about it; it just depends on your goals. The theme itself is being created as a standalone theme, serving the purpose of the image-based database/review site. What you do with it would be up to you.

  5. 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…

    1. Why would a ready-made child theme be better if you’re going to make it yourself? Did you mean a starter child theme? Or, could you elaborate?

  6. thinkjayant

    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.


    1. I’d like to give more options like this to you designers/developers. It allows you to more rapidly finish client work and put Hybrid on the map just a bit more.

  7. mp

    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

      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?

      1. In reply to naderby

        The 30+ tutorials is never enough documentation. πŸ˜‰

        I think the biggest thing we could use is a few people that would be willing to release some free child themes for Hybrid. That would help boost the reputation of their site and the theme.

    2. I agree. A well-written tutorial on building something (child theme, plugin) would be great. But, therein lies the problem — what would one build? There’s an infinite number of possibilities and usually no one way to do something.

      For example, I could easily write 10 different tutorials on how to add a header image using 10 different methods. That’s just one small piece of the whole and would take a long time to write. I can (I do) provide a visual aid that lays out the CSS classes and IDs that you can use.

      There’s always a thread open in the ideas forum though if you have ideas about new tutorials.

      1. thinkjayant In reply to Justin Tadlock

        At some places i feel the need for tutorials. But i agree with you that you cannot write tutorial on everything. However your support via forums is top notch and i never feel a need for tutorial. Not to mention those amazing post on your personal site. Man you sure are one busy person (incl pop critics..!!)

        As far as basic customization is concern, i have been tinkering with the idea of coming up with custom child themes as soon as i find free time from the current projects in hand. Will shoot you a mail as i need to clarify some things about it.

        take care buddy.. you rock..


      2. In reply to Justin Tadlock

        I’ll be awaiting your email. It’d be nice to get some more folks on the child-theme-building bandwagon.

      3. mp In reply to Justin Tadlock

        Without being flippant, it occurs to me that, in addition to the multiple constituencies that are represented in this discussion – It also largely depends on your objective with respect to the Hybrid framework.

        Certainly there are end-users, who want to have the collateral benefit of a well-heeled developer committed and attached to freely available, and largely supported child themes – and there are developer/designer/enthusiasts whom are looking to bridge the knowledge-gap between the WordPress codex, plugin author pages, and their knowledge of the undrlying technologies – But, is that why Hybrid exits?

        Ostensibly, in much the way that the fifty, individual states – provide a “working laboratory” of innovation – for the Federal government – One might argue that the concept of the famework itself, is to augment or evolve to some extent the feature-rich capabilities of WordPress itself – but to do it in perhaps a more focused, and arguably less democratic manner than the open-source collaborative situation as the underlying platform.

        So I put the question back to you – Is the purpose of the Hybrid framework to evolve the WordPress platform itself? – or is the intent merely todevelop a loyal constituency of individuals committed to yourself and your ideas>?

        In the last few years, the K2 theme developed quite the following – But as some of its “innovation” have been incorporated into the base platform of WordPress itself, there becomes a diminished value in utilizing its unique mechanisms.

        As I attempt to master building sites on the basis of Hybrid, I am more than willing to contribute my themes back to the community here – for their use, understanding, and edification – So you have my commitment to that. I’d even be willing to contribute tutorials of my own – based on my having overcome challenges or having participated in a dialog of “How best to do this with Hybrid” – by myself, or in conjunction with others.

        Arguably, with a little “tweaking” you can create separate areas in the forum for the different consituencies – But, from my perspective – THAT which makes a framework – a FRAMEWORK – is the fundamental question of HOW one SHOULD implement capabilities when operating consistent to its “philosophy” – and that “philosophy” – is invariably (and should be) tied to the fundamental concepts that brought forth its inception to begin with.

        Consequently, my interest in a dialog on this “framework” site – is to participate in – and delve into HOW the framework “translates” individual and “typical” end-user (all of them) into arguably “unique” well-structured mechanisms that are ONLY available within the Hybrid framework itself.

        My having been a programmer in excess of thirty years – it is clear to me – that as “clever” the underlying architecture is in WordPress – that its complexity is well-suited for framework development – from a programatic perspective – rather than an aesthetic one. I believe (IMHO) that the framework should bring a level of simplicity to implementation that cannot be found in the platform itself – But that’s my notion of the potential “value add” – and its not universal…

        I personally chose Hybrid over Thematic and Sandbox, because the former is largely focused on the appearnce of the resultant (rather than the way the source-code is organized) – and the latter is largely CSS-centric and has few contributions to developing under it – other than its initial brilliant insight.

        Some people may simply want a highly-skilled programmer to lean on – and others may want the benefits of socializing and collaborating with other, like-minded persons.

        So, my question to you Justin, is simply:

        “What is it that Hybrid should be?” – and “What is it about Hybrid that differentiates it from the other, currently active efforts out there?”

        …So I can attempt to answer for myself how best I can contribute to that objective – Assuming, of course, that it is in-line with my own intentions/objectives”.

      4. mp In reply to Justin Tadlock

        Arguably, I should have placed my comments IN (and READ!) your response to my other posting in the “Ideas” forum. My apologies.

    3. kingco

      I would second MP’s comments as well.

  8. hypyklrz

    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.

    1. No problem. The themes you can use out of the box will still be around. I’m just seeing how many people would be interested in the other kind too.

  9. 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.

    1. I’ll probably open up another discussion on the specific kinds of child themes sometime in the future. I’m still working through the last list we put together like that.

      I’m happy to hear you’re interested in the scaled back types of themes though.

  10. 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.

    1. That’s good to know. I first started this with the Skeleton child theme, but it was just blank. I like the idea of giving folks a better jumping off point.

  11. rzelvenschi

    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.

    1. Yep, there are some different ways to handle mobile-friendly designs. This can be done via themes, plugins, or separate mobile-friendly domains.

      What do you think of the actual discussion points brought up?

      1. rzelvenschi In reply to Justin Tadlock

        Well I think there are two type of people here. One group who wants to learn more and have great framework, place to start but develop their own unique child themes and a second group that doesn’t want to code and would love to use one of the many child themes developed by the first group.

        I think you might be able to cater to both of these groups, especially if some of the guys develop child themes and post them here.

  12. rgregory

    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.

    1. I’d like to see a child theme (or even a plugin) that dealt with layout and design. It’d be a neat concept. I’m just not sure if I’m ready to build it yet. It would be one long project.

      Right now, I want to focus on releasing a couple of themes, then come back with some more plugin offerings. And, I’m not even sure what the SHOPP plugin is, but I imagine it has something to do with building an online store.

  13. Supertyke

    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

    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. You’re kidding right?

      1. John Myrstad In reply to Al

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

  15. deadhippo

    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

    >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 πŸ˜‰

    1. 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.

      Agreed. The Widgets page template makes a lot of things possible, but good ol’ fashioned templates already laid out are easier to manage stylistically. And, it fits in much better with the “starter” idea. A widgetized template is a completely blank slate.

  17. 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.

    1. The great thing about my stylesheets is that they’re always structured basically the same way. So, if you’ve worked with one, you can work with any of them. I’ll consider writing more notes though, but one must limit that in order to keep page load times down.

  18. 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 πŸ˜€

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

    1. I’d rather work from more a blank canvas too. It lets you build something more personal and not be restricted by looking at the designer’s original design.

      Photo Album theme? I’m not really sure. It’s definitely on my to-do list though.

  19. 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 ?

    1. Yes, it would be more of a win thing. But, I wanted to know how many people would be interested in the concept before building more.

  20. sergiofores

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

    That is the way.

    1. Cool. I’ve got a few in mind, even a mag-/news-type starter theme, so there’ll definitely be some with more functionality built in.

  21. 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. πŸ™‚

    1. Could you link to the theme you’re referring to?

  22. Neal

    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.


    1. Yes, it’s a custom child theme running on top of the Hybrid framework. It’s all pretty much there in Hybrid. I just made a few page templates (for the front page, themes page, etc.), and the rest is pretty much all CSS.

  23. okpeery

    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.

    1. I’m not much for video tutorials when it comes to code. I like to have something I can read at my own pace and be able to copy and paste if need be.

      I’m glad to have you on board here, and you can definitely expect some more skeletal child themes in the future.

      1. okpeery In reply to Justin Tadlock

        Well I was thinking more along the lines of what they are doing at http://wordpress.tv

        It often includes the WP interface but also exactly how and where to place code in documents etc.

        I have made over 300 screencasts and have started to market myself as a screencast developer.

        In between projects to keep my skills up I’d be happy to do an occasional screencast demonstrating something, but I understand for heavy coding things video may not be the best format.

        If you have any ideas don’t hesitate to contact me, when I have some free time I’ll send you a few ideas.

  24. rgregory

    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.

    1. It’ll take time, but more child themes are coming. What the community at ThemeShaper.com has that we don’t is other developers/designers putting out child themes. I know there’s quite a few folks around here with the talent, but they just haven’t been releasing stuff.

  25. 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. πŸ™‚


    1. I’d like to see some child themes released by community members. It’s part of the reason I built Hybrid — to allow others to build upon. So, feel free to let me know if you want to release a theme. I’ll post about it here on the blog.

      1. andrei gheorghiu In reply to Justin Tadlock

        I’m building now upon critical a theme that would change color for every page (It’s for a print shop). I’ll put all colors and backgrounds in separate CSS files (style-red.css, style-blue.css and so on…). They’ll be loaded depending on page. After I’m done, there will practically be like 4 or 5 versions to critical, all in different colors. I’ll post that as “critical colors” or “critical chameleon” theme. People will have the option of using one or more colors, based on category or page.
        I’ll should be ready in less than a week.
        Thanks for the encouragement.

  26. Diane

    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.

    1. Just switching out a few colors here and a few images there isn’t how design works. Cut-n-paste doesn’t really work in the design world. It’s tough and takes time.

      That’s the reason I’m suggesting starter themes. If you really want to change a design by, for example, changing “the entire background by swapping out an image for a plain background without affecting the navigation,” then it’s a lot easier starting with something a little more blank rather than an existing design.

  27. Mike

    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.


    1. Hybrid is a development tool. If you want to edit those types of things via a menu in the admin, you should create a plugin or use an existing one. There’s more than a handful of menu plugins that I’m aware of. I do believe I’ve come across a couple that allow doing some things with style too.

      Nothing you’ve said would require you to edit the core Hybrid theme, so changes should be preserved when a theme is updated.

Comments are closed.