This release of X sees the addition of our first new Stack since launching at the beginning of the year: Ethos! Ethos is a content-driven, information oriented design that works great for websites where news is the central focus. We've included many exciting and beautiful features in this Stack that are unique to this design only, so make sure that you take some time to go through the new Ethos Customizer article in the Knowledge Base as it will walk through these in detail for you.
We've made countless performance enhancements, theme improvements, updates, and bug fixes with this release. They're too numerous to list here (over 2800 commits in our version control log), but we wanted to take some time to outline the biggest ones.
Script loading is one area that we have done a lot of testing with to see which ways of handling all that data work best. With v1.0.0 of X we would do some querying of the content for pages and posts and dynamically load scripts when needed (i.e. if the
[lightbox] shortcode was present, load the lightbox script). While on this surface this method appears to be better by only loading what you need when you need it, the fact of the matter was there were still many other scripts (mostly very small) that needed to be used all of the time. All of these scripts ultimately add up to more HTTP requests from the server, which is best to reduce as much as possible. With v2.0.0, we've made the move to minify and concatenate all theme scripts into two main files, one that enqueues all scripts that need to be in the
<head> element and another that enqueues all scripts that can be loaded near the closing
</body> tag. A couple other libraries have been left separate and are loaded dynamically when needed as mentioned earlier, but ultimately we reduced over 20 files down to 2, greatly improving response times in this area. Also, this means that all of your scripts are minified right out of the gate, so there's no need to worry about altering this via a plugin like W3 Total Cache, which can typically lead to issues if you're not familiar with how to utilize these features.
Similarly, we decided to make the move to minify all styles output by the theme as well and doing so saw as much as a 25% reduction in overall CSS size with certain files. Similarly to the scripts mentioned above, this also means that all CSS files for X are minified for you without any need to worry about this with an extra plugin on your site that can create issues when running these commands on your files. As always, any changes that you would like to make to the theme can easily be made in our child theme and you can now be assured that your CSS is being loaded as efficiently as possible on your website.
Another big feature of this release is the addition of megamenus! We know that many of our users have been asking for this feature for quite some time, and we're very excited to finally be able to bring it to you all with v2.0.0. If you haven't had a chance to do so yet, definitely take some time to run through the new megamenu article in the Knowledge Base as it goes into great detail on how to setup your menus and how you can expect this functionality to operate. Megamenus work across all Stacks and each one features their own unique set of styling.
As mentioned before, we've included countless additional updates and bug fixes that have greatly streamlined the way many processes are handled with the theme. Many of these have more to do with the backend, but they've gone a long way to improve upon the foundation we've already put forth with X. We look forward to seeing what you all create with Ethos!
Update: June 10, 2014
This release of X was geared entirely around addressing various bugs and improvements. Most of these updates were fairly minor and simply a matter of polishing up certain elements or the way that a function was handled throughout the theme.
The one notable exception to this is an update we made to the sidebar generator in the theme regarding how these new widget areas are created within the system. Previously, we were using an incremental numerical ID to keep track of sidebars as they were added to the system. Due to the way these sidebars were generated, this would occasionally create issues when old sidebars were deleted as it affected the numbering of further sidebars. To remedy this issue, moving forward we've begun using the Name of each sidebar as part of the sidebar's unique ID. This will ensure that no more sidebars will be lost through the deletion/creation process. Keep in mind that due to the fact that the sidebar's name is now used as part of a unique identifier, each sidebar created must have a unique name. It is highly likely that the vast majority of our users are already doing this, but we wanted to make sure to convey this in an effort to clarify matters.
Additionally, we've addressed a bug regarding bbPress index pages not displaying properly. Through our investigation this appears to be due to a strange quirk within bbPress itself. We have included the default bbpress.php files throughout the theme to bypass the standard output used in an effort to display the bbPress content properly. It should be noted that while these files are present, bbPress is not yet supported in X. We wanted to address this issue to ensure that core functionality was working as expected throughout the theme, but no further styling or support was added at this time.
- X 2.0.1 - June 10, 2014
- Updated: Altered background video script to remove unnecessary jQuery UI implementations, allowing us to avoid potential conflicts and reduce overall script size.
- Bugfix: Occasional errors with the creation and deletion of new sidebars in the sidebar generator.
- Bugfix: WooCommerce "Add to Cart" layout issue in Internet Explorer 9.
- Bugfix: Customizer background image not displaying in Ethos.
- Bugfix: Background video mobile poster image display.
- Bugfix: Fonts for the Customizer preloader not working when SSL is activated.
- Bugfix: Portfolio pagination not working properly if assigned to front page.
- Bugfix: Issues with the Custoimzer background image in Internet Explorer 11.
- Bugfix: Duplcated site title for RSS feed.
- Bugfix: bbPress index pages not displaying properly.
- Bugfix: Incorrect protocols being used at times for various Custoimzer assets when SSL is activated.
- Bugfix: Breadcrumb display for right to left language sites.
- Shortcodes 2.3.1 - June 10, 2014
- Bugfix: Fixed bug for the [accordion] shortcode that kept [accordion_item] shortcodes with the "parent_id" attribute set from functioning properly.
- Bugfix: Tooltips and popovers from being positioned correctly on certain linked images when using the [image] shortcode.
- X 2.0.0 - May 28, 2014
- Feature: New Stack: "Ethos"
- Feature: Megamenu functionality.
- Updated: Revolution Slider v4.3.8 support.
- Updated: Numerous improvements throughout the theme.
- Updated: Minified and concatenated all scripts into a couple files.
- Updated: Minified all styles output by the theme.
- Shortcodes 2.3.0 - May 28, 2014
- Updated: Improvements throughout the plugin.
- Bugfix: Fixed bug for [responsive_text] output by shortcode generator.