Elemental is the upcoming theme framework for Pro Theme Design. It's been in development for absolutely ages, and the code is really showing it's maturity, and I am really pleased with the possibilities it opens up.
The focus when developing Elemental has been to keep things as straight forward and easy to use as possible. The code is simple and minimal, and the features have all been chosen to reduce the requirements of third party plugins incorporating many of the most common requests and changes you see mentioned across the web.
The development and features of Elemental have mostly been driven by my own needs and desires. I created a theme that I would want to use, and it is now the theme that I use to power this blog.
Currently Elemental has:
- Custom Widgets: 11 - there are a variety of widgets I would like to include in WordPress (by default) and these 11 are the ones I think people will be most interested in.
- Filter Hooks: 31 - to ease theme development and customisation through child themes, Elemental has a whole stack of hooks
- Action Hooks: 15+ - as above, there are a variety of action hooks inserted into Elemental, all used to ease integration of new functionality
- Custom page templates: 12 - I have tried to create all the page templates the average blogger would need
There are too many new features to mention but some of the highlights include:
- SEO optimized - this is a "feature" many themes tout, but that doesn't mean it's unimportant, and we've been very careful to make Elemental as friendly to the search engines as possible
- Automated post thumbnails - We started the automated thumbnail fashion with Mimbo Pro, and now we want to take it one step further. The new code was actually implemented in Mimbo Pro 2, and essentially it removes the need to use custom fields to save thumbnail image properties.
- Full WordPress mu support - Related to the above point, Elemental will be the first theme to support WordPress mu, and thumbnail resizing, out of the box. I should point out that I will happily share the code with everyone once it's been fully tested.
- Custom 404 responses - 404's have been taken to the next level. The page has
- Custom Body Class system - WordPress recently introduced the new body_class function, and Elemental uses this, but we have also added some more classes to add that extra level of style customisation.
- Single post templates - many themes have custom page templates, but none have custom post templates - until now. Elemental offers the chance to have different layouts for your blogs posts, as well as your stand alone pages.