Theme Manager for Movable Type and Melody!


Published on April 13, 2010 at 10:20 PM EST
In the Discussions category.

Something exciting to play with!

theme-manager-dashboard-about.png
theme-manager-dashboard-apply.png
theme-manager-chooser.png
theme-manager-dashboard-customize.png

Yes, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything substantive here, and I apologize to my sole remaining reader for falling into this hole of no-updates.

But, there is something to share today: the Theme Manager plugin. As the name implies, Theme Manager helps developers, designers, and users to create, implement, and use a theme.

First, what’s a theme? A combination of templates, images, css, javascript, and any other parts necessary to make a site look and work the way it needs to. Theme Manager extends this idea by giving the theme designer an opportunity to include information with the theme, such as a description, documentation, and even some credit to themselves. (Side note: a work in progress is the Classic Blog Theme Pack, a complete reference example of how to build a theme.)

Theme Manager has a “chooser” component to let you select the theme you want to use and to ensure that the theme is applied correctly and in a way that is easily maintained and upgraded. This is a central idea to how working with themes through Theme Manager works: a theme should be easily upgraded. When a designer releases a new version of their theme you should be able to easily upgrade to it. When applying a theme you may notice that your templates are “linked” to the theme to ensure that they work just as the designer intended. (Of course, you can “unlink” the templates to edit them, though you are then missing out on the easy-upgrade feature.)

Lastly, on the Theme Dashboard you can find the text and links to all of that described above, as well as shortcuts to features of the theme installed: whether that be Widget Sets, Theme Options, Custom CSS, or any other feature that the theme designer has created!

Personally, one of the features I am most excited about in the Theme Manager is the ability to apply a single theme to many blogs at once. (Check out the “Apply Theme” list action in System Overview > Blogs.) Deploying an updated design for a client across many blogs just became a much less time consuming process!

Grab the Theme Manager plugin and give it a whirl! We’d love to hear some feedback on it!

This article is tagged as: Discussions, Plugins, Theme Manager, Themes