In the last week or so there were two new WordPress site builders released which gathered quite a bit of attention. The first, by Obox, called Layers looks the most promising. It's free to download and use, I'm assuming they plan to make money from it by releasing premium addons at a later date - I love this business model, it works really well with WordPress - just look at WooCommerce and EasyDigitalDownloads, both release the core plugin for free and make money from the extensions. Brian wrote a pretty thorough roundup about Layers, so go and check that out. The other one released was by WPMU, named "Upfront", Im not too keen on them as a company so haven't looked too much into that one.
I'm still not convinced with page builders, I do think that WordPress needs to make it easier for end-users to build custom pages so they don't have to rely on hiring developers and people like Squarespace and Wix are killing it at the moment but I'm not sure if having all these competing products is the answer - I would rather see something built-in to WordPress itself, which is a huge undertaking and not something I'm sure we could pull off. I still prefer light-weight themes that serve one purpose without all the bloating and extra code that gets bundled with these types of themes and plugins.
I launched my own new theme last week, named "Stacker" this one is a simple, responsive grid theme for displaying images - perfect for portfolios, photographers and artists. You can view the details and see a demo on ThemeFurnace here.
WPLift readers can join ThemeFurnace for 50% discount which gives you access to all of my 16 themes from just $24.50 using code : STACKER ( expires monday 2nd March ).
Hope everyone has a good weekend, let's get on with the news!
WordPress News and Articles
- PixelKit Web UI Kits & Resources Competition: Win x3 Yearly Designer Memberships - Enter our competition to win some sweet designer resources.
- Twitter introduces an official plugin for WordPress - Brian shows off the new official Twitter plugin.
- WordPress Theme Directory Launches New Design - The new theme directory design goes live, theme uploading doesn't seem to work though currently.
- Envato's Insider Information on the WordPress Economy - Envato shared some interesting stats about their popular themes.
- Envato Continues to Rake in the Cash from WordPress Themes Packaged as Complete Website Solutions - Interesting discussion in the comments about the state of ThemeForest's themes.
- Why We’re Not Afraid of Envato - WordImpress are entering the theme marketplace, here they share their thoughts on Envato.
- WordPress vs. Wix – Which is Right for You? - ElegantThemes compares the two.
Tutorials and How-Tos
- The Complete Guide to Creating a Modern Forum using Discourse & Microsoft Azure - Discourse is lovely new forum software, take a look at my guide to installing it.
- A Freelancer’s Guide to Building Websites for Churches and Nonprofits - Some tips to consider when working with non-profits and churches.
- An 8-Step Checklist for Publishing a WordPress Theme on ThemeForest: Part 1 - Some tips for getting your theme on ThemeForest.
- 7 Creative Ways to Take Advantage of Your WordPress Site’s Footer - How to effectively use your website footer.
- WordPressium: Creating a Medium-like Experience - How to setup a WordPress site like Medium.com
- A Basic Guide To WordPress Theme Customization - Using a child theme to customize your WordPress theme.
Resources & Freebies
- How To: Create Beautiful & Free WordPress Coming Soon Pages in a Few Clicks - A free plugin for creating attractive coming soon pages.
- 22 of the Best Responsive Free Personal WordPress Themes for 2015 - Free personal blogging themes roundup post.
- Free Plugin: Display Social Media Streams from Twitter & Instagram in WordPress - Cool plugin to display streams of Instagram photos and Tweets within WordPress.