Theme Builders

First let me say that I am in love with WpMuDev, the dashboard, plugins and features are spectacular but the best part is the thriving community. I've learned so much about WordPress and BuddyPress just in the short time I've been a member and I can say that, without a doubt, it has been a great influence on my websites.

One of the biggest issues I've had has been the ability to customize my themes the way I want. I'm not a big fan of using other peoples themes because they will never fit my exact needs. I have purchased Carrington Build Unlimited ($999) and UltimatumTheme ($170) to build themes with a true "drag-and-drop" layout design but the problem with these are they don't really like to work seamlessly with things like MarketPress and Affiliates.

What I would like to see is the boys and girls at WpMuDev crank out their own seamlessly integrated drag and drop wordpress theme builder with the features and functions of UltimatumTheme and Carrington, but wrapped around the awesomeness that is CustomPress.

The biggest issue I have with CustomPress is that I can do the custom post types and pages types easily, but I can't layout the theme the way I want and the widgets and plugins that WpMuDev have.

I'm not sure if this has been discussed before or if it is even a blip on the radar, but I would love to see WpMuDev come out with a full featured drag-and-drop theme builder.

Thanks!

  • aecnu

    Greetings JustinTime,

    Thank you for the great content and perspective which is greatly appreciated.

    Obviously you are aware that we do not have a theme builder ourselves though I am more then willing to submit it as a request.

    However, the problem is and which you failed to mention about these "theme builders" is the reason why they are so hard to add outside integration - they are frame works.

    Frameworks offer a specific challenge of having to integrate almost every item within the frame work which varies from maker to maker.

    Needless to say that I am not a fan of framework themes because of this fact of which has no bearing on WPMU DEV developing one or not.

    The fact is frame works are exactly that and to integrate plugins that do anything but add links or simplistic stuff for the most part becomes a real bear integrating it into the framework itself.

    With that said it is definitely true that it would be great if WPMU DEV created one of these drag and drop framework themes that would allow our plugins to integrate into without much ado.

    You indeed have my support and +100 for this item!

    Any other +1's for this item to be developed?

    Thank you for being a WPMU DEV Community Member!

    Cheers, Joe

  • JustinTime

    Hi Aecnu,

    Yeah, I am aware that it is a rather monumental task to undertake and that the framework idea is one that (as of right now) is limited to a few really good designs. Like I mentioned the UltimatumTheme and Carrington Builds' drag-and-drop has been a real blessing when it comes to designing a whole new layout, I just think it would be a natural progression for WpMuDev to get into that bandwagon.

    Those two I mentioned both are very powerful editors but what I found that most of them lack is a "Blank canvas" to build up from the very basic. What I would like to be able to do is drop in the widgets I love from WpMuDev while stylizing a theme based around a foundation that the builders would allow.

    There are a lot of great themes and ideas out there but the problem arises when you want to take some from one, add a dash of another and tweak in an idea you found with still more themes. It becomes increasingly difficult and time consuming to hard-code these sites when the whole idea of these addons is to streamline the process and get these sites up and running, rather than spending months on hard coding and revisions.

    More than for just myself, I know a lot of people who will be able to use those type of frameworks and other drag-and-drop methods to build entire themes, applications and sites with the power of the WpMuDev plugins fueling their back end.

    I really hope we can get this thing to take some life of its own and see this feature added to the already amazing features that the Devs offer.

    Thanks for your great comment!

    Regards,
    Justin.

  • Aaron

    You'll be glad to know this is a top priority for us. We actually spent a month on this last spring building a decent drag-drop foundation, but took a break due to staffing changes. But now we have a crack team of 3 new designer/devs, and their top priority is getting out our new theme framework by early spring. Drag drop and advanced built in compatibility with our major plugins are the top goals.

  • JustinTime

    Aaron,

    That is awesome news! I am very glad to hear that and I look forward to seeing that up and running ASAP. I would be very happy to Beta-Test this for your developers if that is something they are interested in. I have a great deal of experience with these drag-and-drop editors and I know what shortcomings many of them have that are on the market today.

    Are there any current progress notes or information you may have on the project as it stands? I would be very interested in looking through any online data you have on this and see what is happening with it. As I said in my first post, I have three existing frameworks that I use that are less than idea with the functionality of WpMuDev plugins and I gladly sacrifice that theme customization for the ease of use and simplicity of the WpMuDev plugins that I use now.

    Please let me know or keep me in the loop as this progresses, I want to deploy this program / framework to my sites (51 of them) as soon as it is available.
    Thanks!

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