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WordCamps are awesome for a number of reasons. First and foremost it’s a chance to connect with your like-minded WordPress loving junkies. Secondly, it provides a vast repository of insightful discussions by thought leaders in a number of areas all directly or indirectly related to our favorite CRM… For me, it provides yet one more reason to shower more than once a month… Shh! Let’s keep that last tidbit a secret. Okay?

This WordCamp saw the announcement of a new theme framework available for WordPress lovers to download. It’s free. You can download it right now. It’s called PressWork.

What is PressWork?

PressWork is a free, open-source theme framework built for WordPress 3.2 using HTML5 and CSS3. It was created out of a need for a  framework that catered to all types of users. As developers, we needed it to be powerful enough to allow for complete customization, which is why every element in PressWork can be hooked into. But we also didn’t want to scare away beginners and that’s why we came up with the PressWork front-end toolbox, which gives users the ability to change their site’s layout and design in a live preview environment while taking advantage of all the bells and whistles that WordPress already has to offer.

The project is the brainchild of Chris Bavota and Brendan Sera-Shriar, who are no strangers to the WordPress community.

Along the same lines as the Headway Theme Framework or Platform Pro (aka PageLines), PressWork allows for the creation of drag and drop WordPress templates. Certainly the differentiating aspect of the latter theme is the ability to edit your theme in a ‘live preview’ mode, something that Headway doesn’t presently do. That’s something that’s sure to build up a lot of excitement. Certainly for design-minded folks, it’s something that could be a great way to jump start the web design process.

I should probably take this opportunity to mention it’s HMTL 5 ready. Pretty cool, huh? While I’m at it, I suppose I should bullet point the goods.

  • As I mentioned, it’s HTML5 ready and able
  • Includes a social widget built-in
  • Drag and Drop theme building
  • Google Fonts are built-in as well
  • Ability to create child themes using PressWork
  • Coming Soon – Premium Child Themes

So, what do I think of PressWork?

I like to toy around with things like this. I haven’t gotten too deep into the details here, but I do have some initial thoughts and impressions of this framework. First off, the framework is very polished and I haven’t ran into anything I would call “buggy” yet. It’s very clean and easy to use, making the process of “jumping right in” very quick and painless.

In a word; using this framework is easy. If I were to, as my mother always says, “use my words,” it’s really easy to use.

PressWork is obviously a very, very new framework. Thus, it’s missing a some functionality as it’s older, more seasoned, cousins Headway and PageLines. For instance, it doesn’t have an easy way to add hooks. Which is fine, because you can add your own hooks to the functions.php file. On that note, one thing I really liked about PressWork is the ability to view the theme’s various hooks in the live preview mode. That makes is easier to not only identify the location of the hooks you want to write code for, but also to preview your changes quickly.

Another thing it’s missing, that is included in Headway and PageLines, is the ability to re-size theme elements by dragging and dropping. I imagine that’s something that will follow fairly quickly. Having that ability would make the prospect of dragging and dropping a whole lot more useful in my opinion. While it’s nice to drag the content area to the left, or to the right, that’s all you can do with that area… What if I’d rather drag it to be 300px wide, rather than enter the value?

Things coming down the pipe soon are premium child themes.

According to Chris Bavota, the team is working on developing a number of PressWork specific plugins to extend functionality of the theme framework.

I know it’s not a big deal and it sounds  like I’m being hard on the developers over at PressWork. I assure you, I’m not. I’m actually really excited about this Framework, as I see it has a ton of potential. Thus far, I feel it’s easy to use and to jump right in. Play with PressWork here:

I’ll be back again and hopefully with some words from the project leads of PressWork.


Author:

Alex Vasquez is a web designer, coder, artist and business owner. When he's not lost in his own to-do lists, he spends time taking a hike, or bike ride with his girlfriend and making snarky comments along the way; he's never too far from his favorite craft beer. You can find me on Twitter or check out my business site over at DigiSavvy

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review!

    -Brendan Sera-Shriar a.k.a. digibomb founder of PressWork and senior designer/evangelist

  2. Anonymous

    I’m starting to use this theme out and it’s awesome!

    Thanks Brendan!!!

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