June 2, 2020

We took a brief hiatus with Status Reports due to the launch of our new site, but I'm excited to get back in the swing of things! Every month I'll be posting an update on the goings on at Themeco HQ, and we have a LOT to cover this month.

The primary focus is our next development cycle, and it can be broken down into four main partsWorkflow Improvements, New Responsive Styling, Element Transforms, and the Layout Builder. Let's start from the top.

Workflow Improvements

We've had our eye on several enhancements to the admin interface, and our goal, as always, is to provide as predictable an experience as possible while moving the tool forward. All changes are well thought out, discussed, and debated both internally and with our customers. There are several we will be bringing including:

  • Streamlined bars and menus.
  • On/Off setting for controls.
  • The ability to inspect and update multiple Elements of the same type at once.
  • The ability to lock an Element to prevent it from being updated via bulk selection or copy/paste to all actions.
  • Customize your workspace by snapping UI elements to different edges of the screen.
  • Preview headers, footers, and layouts on different URLs in real time.
  • Make the contents of an entire column a clickable link.

In addition to the above improvements, we are also looking to reduce unnecessary clicks while bringing new contexts for new features (more on that in a minute). We have a great conversation going in the beta forum with many of our power users, and we look forward to sharing more screenshots this month of what you can expect.

New Responsive Styling

While our products have always been responsive, there is nuance with respect to how certain responsive styling is managed. As such, there are several new enhancements we are introducing this cycle all aimed at helping you build and mange responsive styles in a more end-to-end fashion. This includes:

  • Full flexibility over every breakpoint.
  • Reduced need for custom CSS.
  • Leaning into native building within the tools.

The priority here is to give maximum control over the layout of your page and how the various Elements respond. We know you are going to like what you see here!

Element Transforms

Done right, well placed animations can be the perfect touch to a page, however it's so much more than just giving you animation options (that's the easy part). Instead, we've taken a more holistic approach to the entire process in building a feature set that is both powerful and extensible. Here's a sample of what you'll be able to do:

  • Static Transforms - Define an Element's initial translation, scale and rotation.
  • Interactive Transforms - Change an Element's transform (move, rotate, etc.) on hover.
  • Event Triggers - Cause an Element to take a new transformation when it enters the viewport.

These animation options will help you build highly engaging and beautiful experiences, and we're excited to see how you put them to use.

Layout Builder

If all of the above wasn't exciting enough, we've saved the biggest feature for last!

For quite sometime, we've known how we wanted to tackle this important piece to our family of builders, and we are most excited to finally bring it to life. In a nutshell, the Layout Builder will allow you to do to your index pages, blog pages, blog posts, and archive pages what you can currently do with our page builder.

Without a doubt, our family of builders are the most advanced in WordPress, and the Layout Builder will take things to the next level. Here are the highlights:

  • Full control over blog layouts, posts, and index pages
  • Powerful new dynamic Elements
  • A new Post Element
  • A new Post Grid Element
  • And much more

We have a lot to show you here throughout the month, so stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for sneak peeks along the way. If you're interested to help us test and provide feedback, we'd love to have you in the beta forum (how to join).

With respect to timeline, I'll have more concrete info to share next month. We also have a few other smaller features and improvements in the pipeline, so you'll be hearing about those as well.

All my best,