Today we are excited to announce the release of version 2.0 of the PressForward Turnkey Theme. Designed to complement the workflow of PressForward, our Turnkey theme aids scholars in quickly creating easily customizable PressForward publications.
While the theme has been available for download on GitHub since last summer, revisions to the WordPress Theme Submission Requirements prevented us from submitting it to the theme directory. Over the last six months we’ve completely re-coded the theme with an eye toward accessibility, cleaner code standards, and up to date metadata standards. However, the most significant change to version 2.0 is that we’ve moved all theme options over to the WordPress Customizer, making it easier for users to make changes to the site design and layout in real time, and allowing the theme to comply with the requirements for submission to the WordPress theme directory. In the next few months we’ll work through the WordPress Theme Review process in order to add our theme to the directory but, in the meantime, the theme is available on the GitHub repository.
Our Turnkey theme offers a suite of options that allow users to segment content on the homepage by category. The homepage, which is made up of five “blocks” of content, is fully customizable and users have the ability to turn blocks on or off, customize all colors, icons, links, and text, and to control what content appears in each section at the category level. The options and layout for the homepage have been entirely recoded in version 2.0 to ensure that it is compatible with a range of devices and screen sizes and that it makes use of the most up to date web standards. Building on Zurb’s Foundation Framework, the theme utilizes CSS media queries and a mobile first approach.
Version 2.0 also transitions all theme options from the Redux Framework to the WordPress Customizer. This allows us not only to maintain compatibility with the WordPress theme directory requirements but also to provide the user with easy and standardized theme options that reload live. In addition to options that allow users to edit the layout of the homepage, the theme contains several content options that fit with the PressForward Workflow. For example, users can opt to display the number of nominations a featured post received in the Content Options panel of the Customizer.
Other options, such as the Author Display Options are specific to the PressForward Publication workflow. This option, which is modeled after our experience on Digital Humanities Now, allows users to modify the byline on individual posts by category. A post that is drafted with PressForward attempts to bring in the item author from the original post and published posts with the item_author custom field will display the item_author rather than the WordPress user. This is useful for publications seeking to attribute credit to the original author, however, many themes will display this name as a link which will direct users to the author archives for the user who published the post. We’ve found that this is often problematic and confusing so we’ve designed a suite of options that allow sites to customize how the author information in the byline is displayed based on the category of the post.
On Digital Humanities Now, we use this option to remove the user link from the byline on our Editor’s Choice pieces and to remove the author completely from news items. Rather than displaying an author on these posts, we simply use the option to display text rather than an author. In our case, we print “the Editors” in the byline for every News item. However on blog posts, we want to attribute credit to the author who is always a user of the site and has an account, so for these posts we use the default WordPress byline settings.
In future versions we’ll be adding even more flexibility to customize the blocks on the homepage, further options that allow users to expose PressForward data such as a list of subscribed feeds, and a new image heavy homepage layout. Stay tuned in the coming months for these updates!