Customizing pro-site plugin (and other plugins) with upfront

What is the best way to customize a plugin (in this case Prosites, but we will need to do this for a lot of other plugins) with an upfront theme. The way we would usually handle this is by creating a child theme and using an custom.css file. As upfront works through child themes, creating a child of a child would add un-needed resource usage. But, our worry is that if we customize the plugin directly though the parrot add custom css button, if their is an update for the child theme it may delete our changes.

Also how is this effected by other child sites on the network? Will those site inherit the customizations for the plugin as well?

We have been through your tutorial on using upfront themes, but we did not see a exact solution to this. Only how to customize a widget which will not work as the plugin is added by way of template hooks and how to add custom css to the theme (the way we believe will work, but are worried about updates).

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Bryant,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    You're right about Upfront being child-theme based. However, the reason why creating "child child" themes wouldn't be a way to go here is a bit different: Upfront is unlike any "traditional" theme and wouldn't handle it well.

    Our developers are looking into this and there's a chance that Upfront will support custom templates in future but this is nothing that I could guarantee at the moment or give any ETA.

    That said, the best way here would be to use that custom CSS feature of Upfront that you've mentioned. Updates of Upfront itself and/or its child themes shouldn't break this so all those changes should be carried through future upgrades. Please note though that changes applied to "Spirit" child theme will not be applied to "Parrot" child theme etc.

    Also, none of these settings will be automatically distributed to any sub-sites on your MultiSite installation as Upfront works on "per site" basis and once its "network enabled" admins of sub-sites are free to create their own designs with it.

    However, there may be some ways to overcome this, I think.

    1) Our New Blog Template plugin:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/new-blog-template/

    You could create a completely customized site and then mark it as a "blog template" and new sites would be created as exact copies of this "reference" site. It's worth noting though that such a "reference site" would be "out of use" and should be used solely as blog (site) template.

    2. Export/Import tool

    There's an import/export tool for Upfront themes, written by one of our developers. It's not an official release therefore I cannot give you any guarantees on its stability or whether it will work as expected on your setup but it may be worth trying. Take a look at this post please:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/i-am-used-to-working-on-a-theme-owned-by-pagelines-called#post-977751

    Best regards,
    Adam

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