Elemental Development (aka what I’m doing at the moment)


Web Design, WordPress

Earlier this year I said I was ‘back in the swing‘, posted a few times, and then vanished.

The reason isn’t that I have nothing to say (although I have less than I used too) but that I am in the middle of redesigning this website… which will also include a server move. I moved over all the files and databases about 2 or 3 weeks ago, and now I don’t want to have to update everything again.

Unfortunately I can’t leave Binary Moon empty for this long without posting something so I thought I’d talk a bit about what I am working on and the development of the new version Binary Moon.


To cut a long story short the new design is actually going to be a ‘child theme’ of my own WordPress framework – and it’s a bit of a beast.

Named Elemental, I started development about 6 months ago. I wanted to make something incredibly flexible that would give me, and anyone else using it, the ability to do more out of the box than they can with any other WordPress theme.

As such I incorporated all sorts of cool features that I thought would make a bloggers life easier. The result has been me learning a heck of a lot about both web development and WordPress in particular.

About three months ago I downloaded Thematic and discovered that many of the ideas I had ‘invented’ were also in Thematic. The code was different but the concepts were there, and that encouraged me since it showed I wasn’t the only person thinking in these ways.


Now that Elemental is nearing completion I am working once again with Darren Hoyt on a visual design for it to – making it both functional and gorgeous.

I did have a design of my own but it was becoming big and clumpy. Somewhere in the middle I lost my way so it’s been put to one side and will hopefully live on as a child theme some time after release.


As I mentioned above there are some great new features in Elemental. Without getting into specifics (there needs to be some surprises) the features include:

  • Awesome SEO (including features not found in Thesis!)
  • 11 custom widgets
  • 7 custom page templates
  • Proper built in breadcrumbs
  • The possibility of an infinite number of widget bars.
  • Fully hooked and filtered up (12 actions and 27 filters), for maximum child theme/ plugin customisation potential.
  • A custom CSS framework

Take a look

I’m not going to show Elemental – but here’s a sneak peak at the new Binary Moon layout (and there’s plenty of content missing, hence the empty widget in the sidebar).




Currently the plan is to release Elemental as a premium GPL theme on Pro Theme Design, however I also plan to freely release a lot of the brand new code (ie stuff you can’t already get as plugins elsewhere) in the form of GPL plugins. I must admit I am not sure what this will incorporate, but I like to share so I’ll work something out.

Where now

The redesign of Binary Moon is the first time I have used Elemental to build a site so I am finding various things I can change and improve as I go. As such development is taking longer than planned… so I am going to start posting here again – at least a little more regularly. Don’t forget though, that you can follow me on Twitter if you want to find out what I am up to.

Was it good/ useful/ a load of old rubbish? Let me know on Mastodon, or BlueSky (or Twitter X if you must).

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