Longview is a WordPress theme built from the ground up for developers. It is currently under heavy development and scheduled for release at the end of the month. Here’s what sets Longview apart from most other themes.

Documentation

Yes, documentation is a defining feature of this theme. Are the docs completed yet? No, unfortunately not. However, they are being expanded regularly. You can read the documentation here. Also, all the code has inline documentation.

Build Tools

Longview makes use of a host of tools that improves development efficiency. Here are a few:

  • Grunt
  • Sass
  • JSHint
  • JSCS

Libraries

Longview uses a number of libraries to improve theme quality and efficiency.

  • jQuery
  • Bourbon (A Sass toolset)
  • Neat (Responsive grid based on Bourbon and Sass)
  • mo.js (Mobile-first, progressively enhanced, keyboard and touch enabled menu system)

Page Layouts

Longview supports seven different page layouts. These can be used in any combination and can be controlled from the settings file. For example, the default page layout could be “Content/Sidebar”, but pages could be set to use the “Full Width” layout and single posts could use “Content Only”. It is even possible to set the page layout for an individual page, post, category, or tag. Layouts include:

  • Content Only (no sidebars, standard content width)
  • Full Width (no sidebars, full width content)
  • Content/Sidebar
  • Sidebar/Content
  • Content/Sidebar/Sidebar
  • Sidebar/Sidebar/Content
  • Sidebar/Content/Sidebar

Widget Areas

Longview comes with nine widget areas by default, all of which are optional (although if you’re using a page layout with sidebars, you probably want to use the sidebar widget areas).

  • Before header
  • Inside header (If this widget area is active, it replaces the default header menu)
  • After header
  • Sidebar (Used by single sidebar and double sidebar page layouts)
  • Additional sidebar (Used only by double sidebar page layouts)
  • Before footer
  • Inside footer (If this widget area is active, it replaces the default footer menu)
  • After footer
  • 404 (Displayed on the 404 page)

Page Templates

There is a page template for each of the page layouts described above, so that layouts can easily be set for individual pages without having to modify the settings file.

Content Formats

Longview also supports multiple content formats. A content format is the layout of the content area of the page. Let’s say our category pages are using the “Content/Sidebar” page layout. The “Content” column can be set up to use a number of different formats. For example, in a blog format, each post takes up the full width of the content column. In a grid format however, there may be multiple columns of posts within the content column. Here are the currently supported content formats:

  • Blog (1 column. Featured image followed by post meta and post content)
  • Grid (1-9 columns. Featured image followed by title and post meta)
  • Portfolio (1-9 columns. Featured image only. Basically a grid of images)

WordPress Features

Longview does things the WordPress way whenever possible. This keeps things consistent and lowers the learning curve. Here are some of the supported WordPress features:

  • Hooks and filters (All content between the body tags is added via hooks, so it can all be modified from within child themes and plugins)
  • HTML5 (WordPress supports outputting HTML5 in many different areas. Longview takes advantage of that)
  • Featured images
  • Editor styles (This means that content is styled consistently on both the front end and the back end)
  • Gallery styles (Longview provides default styling for the WordPress gallery shortcode output)
  • Attachment template (The often neglected attachment template comes with default styling and support for large images)
  • 404 template (There is a 404 page widget area that allows the 404 page to be customized)
  • Menus (Header and footer)
  • Welcome screen (Displays a welcome screen when theme is activated)
  • Template hierarchy (Longview strives to keep everything in it’s natural place. Are you looking to modify the single post template? The code will be in single.php)

Other handy features

  • Automatic footer widget columns (The number of widgets in each footer widget area is automatically detected and the widget area is split into columns accordingly. It even responsively handles small devices.
  • Touch to dial (Phone numbers can be wrapped in a special class that turns them into clickable links on touch devices. This allows touch dialing on mobile devices without broken links on desktop browsers).
  • Menu item descriptions (WordPress supports entering menu item descriptions on the back end. Longview allows them to be displayed on the front end).

For more information on both the history and future of the Longview theme, check out this blog post: A Month of Theme Development.

Unlimited licenses will be available soon on a first come, first serve basis. As more licenses are sold, the price will increase. At the end of the month, unlimited licenses will no longer be available.

View the Longview theme demo

I’ve just started to document the features of the Longview theme. Here’s a running list of feature articles:

Purchase

As mentioned, unlimited licenses are available for a limited time. Full price for the theme is $250, but the early bird discount is currently in place (60% off!).