If you follow WPExplorer then by now you’ve probably heard of our Total WordPress theme and may actually already be a buyer! And if you don’t it might be a good time to check it out and see what you’ve been missing 😉 This theme has been out since late last year and since it’s release I’ve pushed out many updates with not only fixes but new enhancements/features. In the last version 1.5 I’ve really revamped things and so I thought I’d write up a post so current customers can take a look at all what’s new (changelogs can be a bit lame) and of course for those of you considering buying the theme, hopefully I can convince you to finally make the plunge!
Probably the most anticipated update is the addition of support for the Visual Composer front editor. The front editor is awesome, but including support for it in your theme that has custom modules (Total includes over 20 custom modules for the Visual Composer – portfolio grid, staff grid, flexslider, skillbars, carousel, image grid…etc) can be a bit tricky and very time consuming. Some themes (such as the DT7 theme) have built-in modules but they simply render a little “square” on the front-end editor for their custom modules (nasty). If you are going to extend a front-end editor you must do it the correct way! All custom modules in the Total theme can be visible in the front-end composer exactly how they will appear on the live site so you can truly build your site via drag and drop.
Below is a quick video introduction to the front-end editing function in the Total theme provided by the Visual Composer plugin. It’s by no means an amazing video (I suck at making screencasts) but I do think it provides at least an understanding of how things work and shows you how easy it is to add content to your site.
In version 1.5 I added a new tab in the theme options panel so you can make some extra optimizations to your theme without having to add extra functions/plugins to your site. At the moment there aren’t a ton of options but I will be adding more options here from time to time.
Sure there are a ton of plugins out there for minifying your scripts in your theme, but sometimes these plugins break the code when doing it automatically. And sometimes your server is already fast enough that adding extra plugins isn’t necessary, but minifying your theme scripts can add a little boost in site speed and google insights page score. In the last update I added a style-min.css file which includes all the CSS (style.css, responsive.css and woocommerce.css) in minified format and a total-min.js file which includes all js plugins (flexslider, caroufredsel, isotope…etc) and the init functions for these scripts in minified format.
Having the built-in option allows you to easily toggle off the minified scripts and load up the standard scripts for testing purposes or if you rather use a 3rd party plugin.
Faster Admin Panel
The Total theme options panel is built using the Redux Framework, which is in my opinion the best framework out there for creating admin panels. It includes tons of different option types (colorpicker, text, select, radio, checkbox, image select…etc) but also it is very easy to extend and modify. And although the framework is awesome, it used to be extremely slow (5-7 second loading times). Working together with the developers of the framework they have managed to GREATLY increase the speed of the admin panel so it will load in under 3 seconds! Even with the tons of options available in the Total Theme. So now you can make edits to your theme much quicker!
If you haven’t heard of Redux before you should totally check them out (click the image below). It’s a very powerful framework and well supported by the developers. And don’t forget to donate if you are currently using or will be using the Framework in your projects!
Post Types Grid Composer Module
The Total theme includes many advanced custom modules that aren’t included with the Visual Composer such as carousels, sliders, grids, icon boxes, callouts, buttons..etc. In this last update I include a new Post Types Grid module which has been highly requested so that you can easily display a grid from any or multiple custom post types. This is very handy for people that want to combine their blog and portfolio posts or display a simply grid of WooCommerce products or display a grid of posts from a custom post type that has been added via a plugin or child theme.
What Would You Like To See In Future Updates?
I am always looking for ways to improve and expand the Total theme, it is my best selling and favorite theme to date. I actually keep a list of upcoming edits for the next version on the Total Changelog so users can see that I am always working on making it better and fixing bugs. If you have any suggestions for future updates I would love to hear them, just leave me a comment below!