Now that we’ve completed our “spring cleaning” with Flat Bootstrap v1.9, we’d like to get feedback from all of you as to what our priorities should be moving forward as well as specific requests for features and enhancements.
Of course, I have ideas and will share some here, but would like to understand what is most important to our community. Should we focus on releasing new themes, enhancing the ones we already have, making it easier to load up “demo site” content, or making it easier to add cool content? Of course we want to do all of those things, but am looking for help in prioritizing them and for specific suggestions that are important to you.
1. Release more themes?
This should be an obvious one and I have many ideas. There are more great theme designs from Blacktie.co, HTML5-Up.net, and more. These serve as inspiration for creating new child themes to Flat Bootstrap.
Should this be our top priority? What types of themes or even links to specific designs would you like to see?
Or are you interested in new themes that aren’t “child themes” of Flat Bootstrap, but instead a completely different look and feel? Perhaps one based on Google’s “Material Design” or some other design standards or “UI kit”?
2. Enhance the themes we already have?
This is also an obvious one, but should this be our top priority? What types of enhancements would you like to see?
Here are just a few of the things we are thinking about doing in Version 2.0 of Flat Bootstrap (Link, Pratt, and Spot will of course automatically get these enhancements as well).
- Site logo support (this may be coming in WordPress v4.5!)
- “Social Menu” for easily adding icons and links to your social networking sites
- Enhanced styling for Jetpack Portfolios
- Increase post thumbnail size to fill the width of the content area (750px) and/or add multiple sizes to choose from
- Post “format” support, such as videos, image galleries, etc.
- Changing the button colors to give you better color-matched and contrasting button choices
- Creating additional page templates, such as various “home page” layouts, landing pages, etc.
- Support for “breadcrumbs” to inform users of where they are in your site hierarchy and make it easier to navigate
- Overriding the pseudo-responsive built in WordPress galleries to take full advantage of Bootstrap
Of course we don’t want to duplicate functionality that already exists in plugins, but styling of plugins to fit the look and feel of our themes makes sense. We aren’t big on having a ton of “theme options”, but are happy to add features that “just work”.
3. Add more theme customization options
I definitely don’t want to load up the themes with a ton of customization options. I’d prefer that the themes “just work” like the way the themes automatically display a nice full-width content header with text overlay if the image is over 1170px wide.
But at the same time, I get a lot of requests for things like this that I have been addressing in the forums and the comments on this site, but it might be nice to make these things easier.
- Change the link color (and hover color)
- Change the button colors to an “accent” color to contrast to button-primary
- Add a custom logo to the header or replace out the site name with the logo altogether
- Change the color of the menu, page header, footer, and site credits sections
Or should some of these things be grouped together into a simple “theme style” option. This could be a simple list where we combine link and button colors from our color palette. For example, allow any of our themes to be “black and red” like Spot, but also to add many more choices.
Should this be a high priority for us? What types of things would you like to see easier to change in the theme?
4. Write a plugin with widgets (and shortcodes) to make it easier to build great-looking content
I will share with you that I’ve already been working on this, but again want to get input on what priority it should be. I think at the very least, I would like a widget (and shortcode) to easily create a colored section with proper padding. This should make it much easier to add “call-to-action” sections or other sections of content that stand out from the rest. This is hugely important to do with flat-style themes and right now its kind of hard to do (basically you need to use the recommended Simple CSS for Widgets and know what CSS classes to add, such as “section bg-lightgreen”).
Again, I don’t want to duplicate plugins that are already out there or go crazy with adding a special widget for every possible thing you can do with Bootstrap, but I would like to get feedback on what you all think is complex and needs to be simplified.
For example, should we go so far as to add some of these things?
- In addition to the colored section widget above, create one specifically for “call-to-action” sections that let you easily add one or two call-to-action buttons.
- Widget that let’s you choose large icons to create a “3-up” or “4-up” products or services section.
5. Make it easier to load “demo” site content?
We already supply a samples.xml file in each theme’s /samples folder which will load up the main home page demo content. The demo page from any of our themes can be loaded regardless of which theme you are using. For example, if you are using Spot, but are running a website for your mobile app, you can load Pratt’s demo page into it.
However, A lot of the cool stuff in our demos are actually in widgets, such as page bottom and footer widget areas. Should we recommend a plugin that will import widgets and provide a file for importing? Should this be a high priority for us or something that no one is using anyway?
Would you like to see even more demo pages built out so you have a wide selection to choose from or to even load up a full working website?
6. Any other suggestions?
I’m not trying to limit creativity here, just sharing some of my ideas. Please feel free to request anything that you think would be good to do with our themes.