It just came to my mind that I only wrote the Maker overview on my personal blog even before the theme was released in the official theme repository. So I decided to fix it right away and also write an introductory post about our first theme here.
Who Is Maker For?
Maker is a portfolio theme that is equally great for web and graphic designers, photographers, illustrators and everybody in-between.
My main goal was to keep the design as minimalistic as possible to draw user’s attention to portfolio projects and not the theme itself.
Maker follows the best typography and design principles to create the best browsing experience. For instance, the main text column width is limited to 66 characters per line on all pages except fullwidth template. This allows the reader to easily find the beginning of the next line while reading the text.
Grid-based layout shapes the solid structure for the content and creates the sense of order. Carefully picked font sizes and margins form the sustainable vertical rhythm. All that brings harmony to the website and makes it look clean and professional.
Of course, the theme is responsive and works equally great on mobile devices and Retina screens.
The homepage is created with a special template that displays the grid of latest works. It is also possible to hide an intro message before the grid if you don’t like it.
By default, the homepage uses the three-column grid to display thumbnails, but with Maker Pro, it is possible to choose from two, three or four columns.
Portfolio functionality is powered by the Portfolio Toolkit, a free plugin that I created with this theme (and future portfolio themes) in mind.
It registers Portfolio post type and adds three custom meta fields Client, Date, and URL. These fields are optional. There is an option in the customizer to disable them completely.
This data is neatly displayed at the top of the single portfolio project. It is also possible to add a short intro using the manual excerpt.
To make single project page look more interesting, you can use Jetpack’s Tiled Gallery and Carousel modules to display the content.
Speaking about Jetpack, Maker also supports portfolio post type that is registered with the Custom Content Types module. But if you choose to use it, you won’t be able to set client, date and URL for the project. Also, be advised that Portfolio Toolkit and Jetpack-powered portfolio won’t work together. Maker supports both, but not at the same time.
Maker can also be used as a blogging theme. Posts and pages follow the same minimal design style. Nothing distracts the user from reading.
The default page template has a sidebar on the right. But it is only displayed if it has widgets associated with it. Combined with the Jetpack’s widget visibility module, this allows you to set different widgets for different pages, leaving some pages without widgets at all.
Maker also has two additional page templates that don’t have a sidebar: Centered and Fullwidth. Fullwidth page template can be used as a foundation for creating custom layouts with shortcodes and page- builder plugins. In fact, the multi-column layout that you see in the demo is built with Site Origin’s Page Builder.
Maker Pro also provides an archive page template that displays ten latest posts, archives by month, year and subject.
Footer Social Menu
You can optionally display social icons next to the menu items in the footer menu. To do that just call the menu “Social” and provide links to your social profiles. Icons will appear automatically.
Color customizations are also available with Maker Pro. You can adjust background and site color, color of text and links.
This allows you to create unlimited color schemes, with light and dark backgrounds and any accent color that will fit the style of your content.
Why Maker Is Free
I admit, being a new guy on a block is tough. So to gain trust among WordPress community, I decided to share this theme for free. This way it could get more exposure, and improve the theme based on the feedback from the real users, and not on my own thoughts and assumptions.
I gotta say that it worked pretty well because Maker now has more than 800 active installs, and I did get the feedback I wanted. So you can expect an update really soon.
The fact that theme is now in official theme repository also means that it was reviewed and tested, and matches all the community standards.
Although Maker is free, there is also a Pro child theme that comes with a year of updates and friendly support.
I am very excited about our first theme and invite you to download it test it and share what you think in the comments or Twitter.