Sneak Peeks21 Oct, 2015

Voyager sneak peek

Now that the new ThemeButler site is up, I've moved on to the next project, which is a new child-theme called Voyager. While it's still a way off, I couldn't resist sharing a preview of the WIP design.

My goal for Voyager was to come up with a concept that fully utilized the available real-estate, while including support for two popular WordPress plugins - Jetpack and WooCommerce.Being the perfectionist that I am, I didn't want to just layer on a couple cosmetic tweaks, but rather go for full integration with both plugins.

This includes:

  • Creating a custom plugin to bridge WooCommerce with Beans (more on that later)
  • Creating another plugin to layer on additional fields and layout templates to Jetpacks Portfolio component
  • Creating another plugin to layer on additional fields and layout templates to Jetpacks Testimonials component
  • Replacing WooCommerce's front-end CSS with a UIkit optimized (LESS) version (compliments of the Master Theme from Yootheme)
  • Styling Jetpacks widgets and optimizing them where possible
  • Creating page templates for the various WooCommerce layouts, specific to the theme
  • Creating page templates for Jetpacks contact form
  • Creating a Sketch kit for UIkit

Without further delay

Enough rambling and on with the show! It's important to note that the previews below are only meant as an indication of what I'm working towards. Not everything will necessarily make it to the finished theme and I'm sure I'll do a number of design tweaks before the actual release. Just saying 😉
Voyager Child-Theme for the Beans WordPress Theme
View Screenshots
 
So far, I've implemented the base of the WooCommerce / Beans plugin and have a working prototype of the Jetpack Portfolio extender plugin (names subject to change, of course). These both still need quite a bit of work to get production ready and a round of beta testing, so it'll likely be a good couple of weeks before Voyager is ready for release ready.Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments 🙂

Download the Sketch source

If you use Sketch and want a copy of the Voyager Sketch source so long:
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10 Comments

  1. Amazing! I ♥ the interface dude.

    • Thanks Exnius! Glad to hear you like it 😀

    • Hi Alvaro! It's getting there 😉 The main hold up at the moment is the WooCommerce Overrides for Beans plugin, which is needed to implement the shop layouts as per the design. The plugin itself is ready for alpha testing, but it really needs a fresh set of eyes from a seasoned dev, as one bug could result in the loss of sales and so far I haven't had any takers. I have been thinking about releasing the theme without the WooCommerce support, then push an update later once the WooCommerce side is extensively tested and confirmed stable. If you know of any WordPress dev's that would be willing to review the code, I'm all ears 😛 The sooner the plugin is stable, the sooner we'll have the awesomeness of Beans available in our WooCommerce themes! 😀

  2. Hey Chris,

    I've just recently stumbled upon the Beans WP framework, and your Theme Butler site.

    I'm learning how it all works, and even though I have some experience in developing WP themes, I find it a bit of a challenge.

    Your instructional videos have really helped - without them I think I'd still be scratching my head, trying to find a 'way in', so to speak.

    I think I will persevere with learning about the Beans framework, because it seems exactly what is lacking on the whole WP theme market.

    After 'grappling' with it for a few days, I'm starting to see how it all works, and I see it as a much more mature and up-to-date framework than Genesis, for example. I certainly hope that I could start using the Beans framework as a starting point for my WP-based themes and sites.

    I think you hit the nail right on the head, with your new Voyager child theme for Beans. I looked at the screenshots, and I really like what you've done.

    I think that put together, the Beans framework and a WooCommerce-ready theme, like your Voyager theme ( if integrated properly ) would make an incredibly powerful premium product.

    I understand that you're experimenting with ads as a source of monetization for your themes.

    Personally, I should tell you - I would never even consider to use a free theme that is based on an advanced WP framework, such as Beans, that has a portion of its 'real-estate' dedicated to some third-party ads, and neither would my clients - the small business owners who need a new or an updated website.

    I thought that you might like to hear some feedback. If you'd like to hear some more of my observations, please let me know :-).

    I am not a seasoned php developer, so I couldn't offer you much help there, but I'd be glad to give you a feedback and test your new theme and plugins, if that's what you need at this point.

    Overall, I very much hope that you will continue with the development of your new theme.

    My opinion is that you should aim at the higher, rather than the low-end of the WP theme market.

    Best Regards,

    Zoran P.

    • Hi Zoran,

      Thanks for stopping by! I'm really glad to hear that the videos have helped - that's definitely motivation to keep making them 😉

      As for the ads, I'm not sure we're on the same page. I guess the phrase ad-supported themes might be confusing. The themes themselves have no ads in theme anywhere, whatsoever. The ads I'm referring to are the two slots at the top of the ThemeButler site, along with theme sponsorships (as outlaid the advertising page).

      It's not to say I definitely won't be selling premium themes in the future, but I want to give this approach a solid try before falling back to traditional monetization 😉

      As for how you can help out, the best way right now would be to help with testing the WooCommerce Overrides plugin for Beans, as that is what is holding up Voyager's release. You find out more about it here -> https://www.themebutler.com/2016/04/harness-the-power-of-beans-in-your-woocommerce-themes/.

      Cheers!

  3. Hi Chris, How is Voyager theme now.
    I found Beans framework a month ago and look around all available information. Thanks for all your help. I love the way that Voyager will be.
    Cheers!

    • Thanks Dinh! I'm hoping Voyager won't be too much longer 😛

  4. I'm a fledgling WP developer and Beans is my framework of choice. A WP page which isn't 90% inline script - yes please! So I hope beyond hope that Voyager is still somewhere in development, because WooCommerce + Beans opens up so many opportunities.

    Is this theme still in the works? Need a hand with anything?

    • Hey Kevin,

      Glad to hear you feel that way! As for Voyager, it's still on the cards, but development has been put on hold until I'm in a more stable financial position. Also, I've been reaching out to the Beans community for a developer to review the WooCommerce for Beans plugin I created, but so far no takers. Being the nature of WC, I wouldn't feel releasing it in the wild until it's had a few more developers eyes on it.

      Cheers,
      Chris


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