It’s been a while since we released anything significant– and with due reason. A few days ago we refreshed our CPO Shortcodes plugin to provide more flexibility when designing content, and we promptly followed with a small update to our CPO Widgets plugin.
But now it’s time for a new WordPress theme, especially since we skipped our January release. This time, though, its a bit different. Today, we are refreshing one of our older themes and bringing it to the forefront: Brilliance.
A Full Theme Refresh
Brilliance was one of our first multipurpose themes. It came with a fairly innovative homepage, and it was pretty flexible on its own. It also came bundled with the Revolution Slider plugin, as part of an experiment we wanted to try out.
Sadly, the theme has become stale in later years, and bundling plugins turned out to be a bad idea; having a bundled plugin meant we’d have to update said plugin whenever a new version came out, regardless of whether the theme actually needed an update.
Therefore, instead of releasing a completely new theme, we are fully revamping it and adding lots of useful new features that you’ll surely like.
This is also part of our roadmap for 2015: we will be focusing on better quality on each theme instead of producing many, so be prepared to see more updates and refreshes throughout the year.
[message type=”warning”]For those of you who had an older version of this theme, be aware that the new update is a complete rewrite. This means you should be very careful when updating your site, and if you choose to do so, check that every setting is properly configured.[/message]
Brilliance 2 – What’s New
Remember when we released our new framework core? Well, now it’s time for a new, major upgrade. Last time we added finer control over your content structure:
- Per-page layouts
- Control over header and footer
- Retina graphics
- Font management
This update added a lot of flexibility to our themes, making it easy to create just about any type of site with them. This time though, we’re focusing on better customization tools and options that you will surely love.
Here’s the rundown of all the major upgrades, included in the new Brilliance theme.
WordPress owes most of its flexibility to the action and filter hooks. These tools let you control the behavior and design of a theme or plugin, and are the ultimate tool for customizing your site.
Our themes now make use of a hook-based layout, meaning every piece can be customized with a bit of coding. The core now includes a long list of hooks that you can use to move things around and change them as you please, giving designers and developers a whole new array of customization options.
With this, you will be able to change and add modules to the homepage, insert content at various areas of your site, and execute custom code as you need to.
Menu Icons And Descriptions
The new core gives you the ability to control navigation menus like never before. Now, you can choose from a long list of icons to add to your menu elements, as well as a description field. Furthermore, you can also marke each individual element as highlighted, in order to create conversion-oriented links on your menus.
This way, you can create more exciting navigation schemes that will help you build a more interesting site.
It is worth noting that this applies to ALL navigation menus, not just the main one. This means you can add icons and descriptions to the top navigation barand the footer menu as well.
In addition to this, the Custom Menu widget has been revamped to include them as well, giving you the ability to create exciting side-menus that stand apart from normal widgets.
Unlimited Social Media Links
All our themes came with a set number of social media links, that you could use to advertise your social profiles. These links were placed in normally-unreachable areas such as the footer or header, making it easy to link your profiles. The list was limited to about 12 different social networks, though.
We’re taking it further. Instead of choosing from a set list of networks, you can now add as many links as you want, and choose from a long list of social media icons. This way, if you have a Vimeo or a Github profile you can still add them quite easily.
Better WooCommerce Integration
WooCommerce keeps growing as the number one ecommerce solution for WordPress. And while we already fully support the plugin, we’ve taken a few extra steps to better integrate with it.
Now, themes will include a small cart dropdown located in the header, which can be used once WooCommerce is activated. This cart will display all your items, and will help visitors buy more easily. This will save you plenty of time and effort when creating your store.
Better Customization Tools
Most of the time, you will want to start customizing your theme by adding some CSS tweaks. This is normally done in the Theme Options, where there’s a small area to put your changes in.
Now the Custom CSS and JS fields are proper code editors, complete with code highlighting and syntax validation. This will make it far easier to type in your desired changes, as well as reading your code.
This change also applies to customizable content areas such as taglines and hero text, and now they will highlight HTML code more clearly.
A New Generation of Themes
This update marks the start of our new roadmap for 2015: better themes with a focus of flexibility and simplicity. Instead of creating new themes every month, we will be updating existing ones and validating their design for specific use cases.
This means we will be shifting to a conversion-oriented design: focusing on results for your site instead of purely aesthetic design.
Brilliance is available starting now at the usual price of $49, and existing subscribers will be able to get it right away.