• New Forum 🎉

    We’re happy to announce that our Support Forum has been relaunched with a custom-built Theme based on our FSE Starter Block Theme (OpenSource, GPL2+).

    Why the change?

    When them.es/Support went live in 2015, we decided to set it up with the (now deprecated) P2 “Breathe” Theme and its companion, the o2 Plugin.

    All in all it worked very well for years and we even managed to extend it according to our needs by using a Child theme. But recently the efforts to ensure compatibility with the latest WordPress and PHP versions have become quite a burden. Monkey patches 🙈 had to be applied to work around issues — and this is bad practice for obvious reasons.

    Also, relying on code that is not maintained anymore was a no-go.

    While evaluating existing Forum plugins and similar solutions it soon turned out that they all lack important features and could not be customized in a way that was satisfying. Putting the code base again in a dependence on third-party software with an unclear future was another no-go.

    So we decided to go all-in and to develop our own tailored Support Theme. Thanks to the Gutenberg plugin and its new Interactivity API which currently is in active development, all requirements could be fulfilled without compromise.

    What changed?

    From a user-perspective not much changed at all, as all previous features like Search autocomplete, Frontend posting, File uploading and Marking requests as resolved, have been incorporated.

    Besides the new foundation which reduced the code footprint to an absolute minimum, we polished the design a bit and added a better UX with interactive elements.

    Furthermore users now can format their posts with basic Markdown syntax, if needed.

    As a nice side effect the overall page loading performance has improved a lot.

    Of course a re-release that makes use of a newish approach with bleeding-edge features may contain bugs and we kindly ask everyone to consider this site “Beta” for the time being. It’s quite possible that things get out of order or even break.

    If you notice some hiccups or errors, please let us know, by commenting below, so that we can fix it. And if you miss something essential, we always keep the door open for feature-requests. Please mention why you are requesting it and what problem it may solve.

    Hopefully you like the new Support Forum as much as we do.


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  • Starter Themes with a new build workflow

    We’ve received feedback from our community that the old build workflow (using Gulp and/or webpack to generate the CSS/JS assets) included several package vulnerabilities that have not been fixed for quite a while and obviously have become unmaintained by the creators.

    One could argue that this should not be problematic, as these dependencies only affect the local development system – and as long as the build process still works, there’s no need to change a running system.
    But using obsolete and unsupported software can be dangerous and can break things “overnight”. Not to mention potential security risks that may arise in the web development stack.

    So it was necessary to find a new simple, modern and future-proof build process for the frontend assets
    Fortunately the research did not take too long. The @wordpress/scripts package from the awesome Gutenberg community already comes with a proven and tested webpack configuration specific to WordPress development, which made it a perfect candidate to try out.

    After some trial-and-error the build process worked pretty well and that’s why all our Starter Themes (Full Site Editing, Bootstrap and Material Design) have been updated to include this “webpack only” workflow from WordPress. From now on Gulp (including its several internal dependencies that are outdated) is not needed anymore.

    Start the development process:
    $ npm run watch
    Build and minify the assets:
    $ npm run build

    👆 Breaking change: The build directories have been moved from /assets/css and /assets/js to /build which aligns with the @wordpress configuration. If you want to include the new workflow in an existing theme, please have a look at the source code in the Github repositories of the Starter Theme and adjust the paths of the JS/CSS assets in functions.php accordingly.


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  • WordPress Playground

    Would you like to play around with an instant WordPress installation that runs in your browser?

    Visit https://them.es/playground [🪄 powered by playground.wordpress.net] and give it a try.

    Quickly demonstrate the WordPress dashboard to interested people or temporarily test Themes and Plugins without the need of an entire web server:


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  • 20 years WordPress

    Today our favorite CMS celebrates its 20th anniversary 🎉. A special website dedicated to this event has been established by the WordPress team:

    What started as a way to make a better blogging experience has grown into a vibrant open source project that powers an ever-growing percentage of the world’s websites.


    Let’s commemorate some historic milestones the WordPress project passed within two decades:

    May 2003: WordPress 0.7 – The first release

    January 2004: WordPress 1.0

    May 2004: Support for plugins

    August 2006: The first WordCamp has been organized

    December 2008: Automatic upgrades with a single click

    June 2010: Multisite functionality

    October 2013: Automatic maintenance and security background updates

    December 2015: The WP-API has been integrated

    December 2018: A new block-based Editor

    July 2021: theme.json

    January 2022: Full Site Editing


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  • npm “global” packages

    If you manage multiple themes with similar npm dependencies you should install npm packages globally and link them in your theme directories. First of all this saves a lot of disk space. But it also disburdens the upgrade process of development frameworks and toolkits that are used across projects.

    1. Install packages globally by adding the “-g” flag:
    $ npm install -g package_1 package_2 package_3 package_4 etc.

    2. Link the packages in your local theme directory/directories:

    $ npm link bootstrap @popperjs/core ...

    $ npm link material-components-web ...

    $ npm link autoprefixer css-loader sass sass-loader ...

    Happy Coding!


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  • <i> Toolbar for WordPress

    Our latest WordPress Plugin Directory addition integrates the awesome Bootstrap Icons (MIT) library in the WordPress rich-text toolbar without requiring any coding experience. Just the way it should be.

    • 1300+ pixel perfect webfont icons
    • Small filesize
    • Easy WYSIWYG integration: No Shortcodes!
    • Privacy by design: No CDN hosted files!
    • Autofilter

    You can download it from the WordPress Plugin Directory:

    Of course <i> Toolbar makes a great addition to our Bootstrap Starter Theme but since the Bootstrap library is not required and the plugin has no dependencies it will work with any other theme like our Material Starter Theme and our Full Site Editing Starter Theme.


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  • Emoji Picker for WordPress

    A working and maintained Emoji Picker Plugin has been brought back to WordPress. Easily add Emojis from any rich-text block like Paragraphs, Headings, Lists, etc. without leaving the Editor.

    Emojis are pictograms used in instant messengers, forums and web pages to reflect emotions. They have become so popular that Oxford Dictionaries has named “😂” word of the year 2015.

    Nowadays all browsers and operating systems support the Emoji characters. When picking your Emojis from the Emoji Toolbar they will be added in raw format so no images are loaded on the frontend.


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  • them.es Full Site Editing Starter Theme released

    Block based Themes are coming to WordPress sooner or later and we just published the first “beta” release of our Full Site Editing Starter Theme.

    If you see yourself as an early adopter who likes to get his/her hands dirty feel free to generate a copy via the Theme Generator: https://them.es/starter-fse

    them.es Full Site Editing

    The source code is licensed under GPLv2 and has been published on GitHub.

    Full Site Editing is a collection of features that allow to fully customize a WordPress site via a new site editor. Overall the Full Site Editing experience using block based Themes looks promising and already works pretty well but you need to be aware that not all features are final and that bugs will appear during development.

    Now a 100% (!) PageSpeed score is achievable with WordPress. Even on Mobile.

    At the current state (WordPress version <5.9) this Starter Theme is not recommended for production sites. Please use it at your own risk and provide technical feedback to the Gutenberg team if possible!

    One more thing: Block based features are still in development and have not yet been fully integrated in WordPress core. In order to enable the Site editor you need to install the Gutenberg Plugin on your site.

    Update: In the meantime WordPress supports Block themes in Core and it’s safe to develop websites using the FSE Starter Theme.


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  • them.es main repositories on Github have been renamed

    Last year Github changed the name for newly created repositories: https://github.blog/changelog/2020-10-01-the-default-branch-for-newly-created-repositories-is-now-main

    To align with this change we’ve decided to rename all our existing Github repositories.

    If you run a local master branch of any of our repositories you need to update your local branch to main:

    1. $ git branch -m master main
    2. $ git fetch origin
    3. $ git branch -u origin/main main


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  • them.es Starter v3 released

    The Bootstrap Starter Theme has been updated to make use of Bootstrap 5 which has been released last week.


    • Bootstrap has been updated to the latest release v5.0.0
    • jQuery is optional
    • Support for older browsers has been dropped
    • WordPress Coding Standard improvements
    • Tested with WordPress v5.7

    Download the Theme

    Feel free to test out the new Starter Theme by downloading it using the Theme Generator:

    Heads up: If you still want to develop with the legacy Bootstrap 4 build just select the old version in the Generator!

    All sources can also be found on GitHub: https://github.com/them-es/themes-starter


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