One of our goals at UpThemes is to make it ridiculously easy for users to obtain and use great WordPress themes. That’s why we sell themes on WordPress.com and through Mojo Marketplace, which allows users of many hosting companies to purchase and install our themes in just a few short steps. With all the buzz surrounding Bitcoin and the fact that UpThemes really is an Internet company, we thought it would be a great addition to our checkout process for customers to be able to pay for themes in the currency of the Internet, Bitcoin. You may now purchase all our themes through BitPay, our third-party merchant service that accepts and converts Bitcoin to various local currencies.
To celebrate, we’re offering 30% off any theme purchase. Buy one theme or buy a whole bunch and the discount will be applied across the board to every purchase until March 12th. Simply use the coupon code BITCOIN at checkout to receive the discount.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to show someone you love them.
Even if you give them something you got for free.
Giving the gift of WordPress is extremely awesome and getting your hands on a free premium theme from UpThemes with a full year of theme support and automatic updates is quite lovely. One could say it is a “sweet deal.”
Go ahead and pick out two or more themes. We’ll give you 50% off two or more themes for one week. Use the following coupon code at checkout:
The following post was originally published on the blog of Caleb Sylvest, and because he is such a cool dude we are syndicating the article because it is awesome!
Finding out there is something wrong with the work you did on a project is bad enough, but when reading through issues is like deciphering Latin, well it’s no wonder so many developers go postal. Writing detailed, thorough, and transparent issues should be the goal of everyone on your team, because we most often write issue request for someone other than ourselves. So let’s follow the Golden Rule of issue request, “Write issue request for others as you would like them written for you (or better).”
Writing good issue request, and teaching a team the same, will save everyone time, money, and confusion in the long run. It’s really a no-brainer. I’m talking specifically about Github, because I use it most of the time for code management and I know many other developers do as well, but what I cover can be applied to any issue management tool.
What An Issue Should Accomplish
When a person reviews an Issue Request there should be enough information that they have a good handle of what is being discussed, they don’t need to know or come up with a solution instantly, but nothing about the issue should be mystery meat.
The Perfect Problem
Writing the perfect issue probably isn’t possible, because we are all different and have subjective views on what makes sense or how a task should be handled. But we can create a general “good faith” guideline that if we all attempt to follow will make projects run smoothly, better our relationship with coworkers, and put a smile on your grumpy boss’s face. Let’s cover the basic anatomy of an Issue Request and how we can be awesome:
URL. Please, please, please, I’m begging you. If you make me wonder which page of a 1500 page website an issue is related to, I swear I will hunt you down and kick your puppy.
Full Description. The meat of an issue should describe in detail the specifics of a problem. Better to over-communicate than be vague. Be clear in your writing and re-read the content from someone else’s perspective, coming at it knowing nothing about the situation.
Bug reports require a more specialized attention to detail and procedure, I’m not going to cover that in detail here but do suggest reading Writing Bug Reports.
Screenshots. Screenshots are a developers best friend. If you can add a screenshot, do. It can’t hurt and may actually clarify. One thing, if there is an issue with a button at the bottom of the screen, take a shot of that one button and its surrounding area. Please don’t send a full desktop screenshot on your 27” iMac. P.S. Screenshots with annotated drawings and notes are awesome!
More. There are always more things you can do, such as tags. Each situation is unique and has its own challenges. Do what is best to fully and clearly describe an issue.
Shake Things Up
Let’s face it, capturing peoples attention is tough. And since we can’t hire a marketing firm to make our issue request more appealing we need to do the best we can with the tools at our disposal. Using simple styles highlights the most important aspects of an issue. Github makes this super simple to achieve with Github Flavored Markdown, and dang, they have a cheat-sheet button available! Thanks Github!
Lists Are Awesome. List are easy for humans to parse through and organize information.
Style Key Words. Don’t be afraid to italicize or bold words if it helps point out important aspects to note.
Link the friggin’ URLs. If URLs are not automatically linked and I find out you didn’t link a URL, I swear I will hunt you down and kick your puppy!
What Not To Do
Well heck, this is the easy part.
Assume the Solution. Unless you really know what the solution is, and you are expertly familiar with the situation, do not assume you know how to fix something and tell the Assignee what the problem is and how to fix it.
Don’t Be Vague. “Something is wrong with the slider” is not a good description of the problem. Don’t assume someone can go look at something and automatically figure out exactly what was meant.
Don’t Be A Puppy Kicker. Be Courteous. We can all be emotional beings, and being told we did something wrong can really stir the pot. So be kind and courteous, please. Remember the other Golden Rule, “Treat others the way that you want to be treated.”
A Little Bit More
While writing my thoughts I did a bit of research as well to see what others say about writing Issues. Two articles I found useful are How We Write Github Issues by Wiredcraft, and Github Issue Etiquette by Slava Akhmechet. Both make good points, some I agree with and some I don’t, but it’s up to each person individually (or team) to determine a method that makes sense and is helpful.
If you have questions or comments feel free to leave a note in the comment area below, or find me on Twitter at @calebsylvest.
The Gallery theme has been our most popular theme ever since it’s release before UpThemes was even a company. That’s why we’ve spent a ton of time on reinventing our most popular grid-style theme into a media-sharing monster! Tim Smith, from The East Wing Podcast, walks you through the new and redesigned Gallery theme in this quick video:
Say hello to the Amplify Theme, a powerful and responsive theme that utilizes the incredible AudioTheme plugin to provide a band or musician with all the tools needed to connect with and build a fanbase.
With the impending launch of the Amplify Theme, we are announcing the retirement of many of our older themes, effective immediately. These themes will be replaced over the next few months with brand new themes that contain similar but much improved functionality, aesthetics, documentation, automatic theme updates, and usability.
The reason we chose to retire these themes rather than simply update them was that they were built upon an older, bulkier version of the UpThemes Framework and were not built as mobile-first responsive themes. One of our goals moving forward is to build themes that are fast, lightweight, responsive, easy-to-use, and look amazing on any device. The themes we are retiring no longer meet those requirements and that’s why we have chosen to end of life the following products:
Garage Band Theme
For all our current customers, we will continue to offer these theme files for download, but will not be offering support, effective immediately. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
At UpThemes, we care about making our products the best they can be and are committed to ensuring the themes we create are kept up to date with the ever-changing standards in web development. Responsive web design involves an approach to development that ultimately delivers a website that adapts to any medium you may be viewing it on, whether that be your phone, tablet, or desktop computer.
While most themes sell responsive web design as a premium feature, we believe it to be not a feature at all, but a standard practice for every product we put out.
Personality is a simple, beautiful blogging theme that combines clean typography and a flexible layout, making it easy to blog about anything with great clarity. Our goal was to deliver a clean, crisp, elegant typography-based theme for bloggers. I think we succeeded.
Offering multiple page layouts, Sass/Compass-powered styles, and integration with the WordPress Theme Customizer, Personality makes it easy to get a custom look for your blog in just a couple minutes. If you’re looking for an easy to customize yet simple and elegant theme, Personality is for you.
Personality is a responsive, fluid-width theme that looks great on any modern smartphone or tablet and makes it easy to share different types of content with your readers.
If you’ve ever used a free WordPress form plugin like Contact Form 7 – you understand my pain. There have been many advances in the free theme world, but for the most part, full-featured plugins have really lagged behind. In my opinion, they always will.
Remember me telling you about the upcoming themes for January? I know, it’s probably been the longest week of your life. Well, as promised, we are excited to release Gallery into your capable hands today.
As I said before, this is not the Gallery theme of old. We improved the codebase from the ground up. We made it responsive. Content types get their own unique touches like custom styling for all the new post types like “Status” and “Video” and a slick slider for the photo “Gallery” posts. We also put serious thought towards making theme customization easy. Incorporating SASS and Compass makes a completely different look only few color value changes away. And the list goes on.
I’m extremely excited to announce that the UpThemes Framework, our tiny little theme options framework, now uses the new WordPress 3.5 Iris colorpicker as well as the new media uploader.
What Does This Mean for Users?
Well, for one, it means you must upgrade to WordPress 3.5 before using the latest version of our themes. The framework is no longer backwards-compatible with old versions of WordPress. Sorry, but we want you to be as secure and up-to-date as possible.
For two, it means easy usage of the Live Theme Customizer to preview your theme modifications without tinkering with your live site until the changes are loaded in and ready for launch.
What Does It Mean for Developers?
Same stuff as above. No changes are required to the way you instantiate your theme options. Simply create your option arrays just like before and the new colorpicker and image uploader will work seamlessly out of the box.
I want to recognize two developers that helped (unknowingly) contribute to this update. Rachel Baker, wrote a lovely post on how to use the new WordPress color picker in a plugin, which helped me out tremendously when implementing this new functionality for the UpThemes Framework. Also, Thomas Griffin, developer of the incredible Soliloquy plugin, who wrote a well-documented and extremely simple plugin to help folks like me integrate the new WP media utility. Thanks Rachel and Thomas!
Questions? Let Us Know!
If you come across any issues, feel free to help us out on Github, where the UpThemes Framework is currently hosted and being actively developed.
We’re releasing a new theme for both WordPress and Statamic (an awesome new CMS requiring no database). The theme was designed by Galen Gidman and is called “Understated” and focuses on beautiful typography with a pop of color. We decided to put together a short 30-second clip to share it with you all:
The theme will be released in the upcoming Statamic Add-On Marketplace and will also be available in our Club Membership which is an amazing value at just $39 or $99/year. Learn more about our membership options here.
Things are different in 2013. Can you feel it? If you so, it’s probably has something to do with the new things happening at UpThemes. Let’s start with a sneak peek at the new themes coming at you in January.
While browsing through the archives of the UpThemes blog, I noticed something interesting. There is a ton of good information there for people serious about getting the most out of WordPress. And you know what else? The people that write it know what they are talking about. They live and breathe (a very advanced technique) WordPress and want to share what they’ve learned.
In this crazy, mixed-up world of web this and mobile that, wouldn’t it be nice for a few pixels of the world to be all about you? That’s what we thought. And that’s why we created Mi, a beautifully uncluttered microblog WordPress theme that removes the distractions and puts the focus on your content.