The latest version of WP-Drudge is complete and ready for installation. The usual caveats apply:
This was a much smaller set of changes than 2.5, primarily because 2.5 was such a major overhaul of the underlying code that powers this theme. As such, you’ll see a number of new features for site admins but less changes for site developers (this will be the trend going forward).
You can see the complete list of changes on the release page here but I wanted to highlight a few of the new additions that I’m excited for everyone to try out.
One of my own pet peeves with the theme was the lack of a focused way to add the most important content on the site: Posted Links. Up until now, the main WordPress post interface was used along with a few custom fields to control how your site is displayed.
In 2.6, I’m still using the standard page but changed around some of the elements to make it much simpler to post links. You can remove controls that aren’t used so you don’t have to scroll past elements that aren’t used and hunt for the ones you want.
Once you’ve created a new post, the UI will change based on whether or not there is an Outbound Link associated with the post. If there is, you’ll see the modified UI like above. If not, you’ll see the regular post interface with all the WP-Drudge fields in-tact.
Along these lines, the styling settings for individual links have changed in layout and an italics option has been added, based on user feedback. The documentation page and accompanying video have both been updated.
The main styling of the site was beginning to show it’s age and I realized, after answering a number of support requests about various elements, that it was difficult to work with. So I went through all of the styling of the site for all spacing types and created a much more unified, complete system. You might see a few minor changes in the styling of your site but everything should be an improvement. If you’re using custom CSS anywhere, you’ll want to make sure that everything looks as it should.
If you’re not happy with the changes, there is an option at wp-admin > Appearance > WP-Drudge Options > Advanced tab that lets you revert to the earlier version. This option will be removed in the next major update so if you do find any problems or changes that need to be made, please report them so I can make sure they are addressed.
Based on user feedback, I’ve added a way to change the number of columns the site uses by default: either 1, 2, 3, or 4. This will change the homepage as well as any WP-Drudge page templates. This does not affect the archive pages yet, though, that will change in the next version. I’ll also add an override on the WP-Drudge templates so you can choose a different number of columns on different pages.
The theme now supports 2 levels of navigation menus, creating a drop-down for the second level.
In keeping with my recommendation to create on-site content for more traffic and better SEO, I revised the blog page template to allow for a few options:
These can be used on several different pages to create content landing pages controlled by categories. You can list both regular posts without a link as well as Posted Links with an Outbound Link attached.
The theme right now is in really good shape and new features have been easier and easier to add after 2.5. All upcoming features for 2.7 are listed here but this list is not final so your feedback, as always, is appreciated.
There are a few files that still need to be refactored/improved and a few features that were suggested in the last user survey. The main thing I’d like to have complete is a licensing system that will allow me to push new updates to your site (with your permission, of course) but I think you’ll find a few other items that you’ll be excited about. Suggestions always welcome!
As always, thank you for your support and suggestions! I’m always amazed by what this once-humble theme has become and have enjoyed this journey with you greatly.