how-to

The Tools Behind A WordPress Theme Shop

When I started to build the Array site, I knew from the get-go that I was going to start from scratch. The only way to achieve the simplicity I wanted on the front-end, was to match it on the back-end. So I started with a blank style.scss file and it grew from there.

Keeping with that mindset, I knew that I wanted the inner workings of the site to be very lean and easily maintainable yet dangerously powerful and scalable. Having experimented with so many different WordPress products, tools and coding practices over the years, I was excited to pool all of these resources together and laser-beam-focus them onto Array. I knew which tools and plugins didn’t work, and I knew which ones worked incredibly well. This is a level you can only achieve by installing an astounding amount of poorly-crafted plugins. I’m still waiting on some sort of acknowledgement of this achievement, by the way.

So today, I thought I’d share with you some of the tools I used to build this new WordPress theme shop, Array.

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Free Notebook Photo Set

Several months ago, I ran into a Kickstarter page for Baron Fig notebooks. I was immediately struck by the aesthetic and simplicity that the notebook promised. Although I foolishly didn’t back Baron Fig at the time, I was delighted to see they recently started shipping.

Fast forward to today, when I finally received a few of these notebooks in the mail. The build quality and paper are top-notch, and provide a great writing experience. I couldn’t help but take a few photos of these beautiful notebooks.

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introducing-array

Introducing Array

I’m Mike McAlister. I’ve been involved with WordPress since 2009. For the past five years, I’ve been designing and developing quality WordPress themes under the moniker Okay Themes. With Okay, I was able to experiment with design and development as a theme provider on a massive scale at ThemeForest. I’m humbled to say I’ve since shared my WordPress theme collection with over 20,000 awesomely creative and supportive people.

Okay Themes has been a great vehicle to learn the ins-and-outs of the commercial theme space, as well as a great way to learn about my clientele and where I fit into the equation. Being a small-scale operation has provided me with the opportunity to connect with people who share the same ethos as myself and strive for simplicity.

Rather than focusing on the quantity of themes over the years, I’ve stayed fiercely dedicated to the quality of each and every theme in my collection. Spending hours nudging pixels around, reworking code to be as efficient and clean as possible, listening to feedback from users, keeping up with standards and adopting new technologies when they emerge. Details that can ultimately make a good product great.

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Meet George, Our New Support Wizard!

Please join me in welcoming George Gecewicz to the support team! George will be helping out in the support forum, answering inquiries about themes and providing insight into life’s most complex questions.

Hailing from the East coast, George is a support heavyweight. Having fulfilled several support roles in the past, we are mutually excited to bring his expertise to the Array collection of premium themes. When not on the clock, George spends even more time working with WordPress, reading and writing.

Stop by Twitter and say hi to George, or drop him a line in the forum if you run across him.

author-mobile

Author Gets A Massive Update

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today I have for you a huge update for Author WordPress Theme. Author was initially released on June 5th, 2012. Since then it had seen about 20 updates for bug fixes, new WordPress feature support and more. It’s our top priority to keep all of our themes up-to-date, functional and relevant.

The past two weeks have been dedicated to updating the entire collection, adding seamless, in-dash theme updates and extensive code cleanup across the board. Working with WordPress.com on Publisher, we learned a great deal about rigorous testing and code review. We’ve applied this same gauntlet to all themes.

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ampersand-laptop

Introducing Ampersand WordPress Theme

Howdy folks! It feels like a launch day today, doesn’t it? That’s because it IS a launch day! We’re happy to announce Ampersand today. Ampersand is a portfolio style theme with an emphasis on beautiful, legible typography and a graceful mobile experience.

Each theme we build here at Array is an improvement upon the last. Our themes get better with each release. With Publisher, we worked closely with the WordPress.com theme review team to refine every line of our code and improve the overall usability of Publisher. We’ve applied this same microscopic detail treatment to Ampersand, and it might just be our best theme yet.

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Rewrite Retired, Grab It For Free!

Happy Thursday, everybody! Today we’re officially retiring Rewrite from our premium theme collection and moving it into the retirement home where you can download it for free! Holy smokes! (Note: If you’ve purchased Rewrite in the past, theme support is still available for you in the support forum!)

We’re very fond of Rewrite, as it was the first responsive WordPress theme Okay ever released. Actually, it was the first time we had really experimented with responsive styles at all. It was very exciting to learn the power of elegant, responsive code, and we have Rewrite to thank for being the catalyst.

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New Feature: Grab Theme Updates On The Fly

Updating your WordPress theme can be a huge pain. You have to track down the latest files, download them, back up your current install (if you’re smart), upload the new theme files and hope that nothing broke in the process. Good luck, buddy.

As theme users ourselves, we know this can really turn users off to a theme and potentially it’s provider. Theme updates should be seamless and cause no friction to your workflow. And now it is with Array.

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publisher-tablet

Publisher Now Available For WordPress.org

Array recently joined the WordPress.com theme marketplace with Publisher, a masonry-style, infinite-loading, responsive WordPress theme. Publisher has received a very warm welcome and already over 100 WordPress.com sites are powered by Publisher! And now we’re happy to make Publisher available to self-hosted sites.

Head over to Publisher’s theme page to find out more and purchase. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of Publisher’s features.

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array-wp

Array Joins WordPress.com

We are ecstatic to announce that Array has joined the WordPress.com premium theme marketplace! This is a huge step towards providing our awesome themes to even more users, starting with WordPress’s hosted blogging platform, WordPress.com.

It was a very rewarding and enlightening experience working with Philip Arthur Moore over the last few months. There’s a ton of work that goes into the themes submitted to WordPress.com. Every theme has to be meticulously tested and reviewed many times, resulting in a robust, bulletproof theme fit for an audience as large as WordPress.com.

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