It has been a long time coming. The WordPress theme running this site, which I have named Frank, is now officially available to use. The theme has been available for some time now, but it was not up to snuff for public use. However, I made serious push in the last two weeks and I feel confident it’s ready to go. This release is a big milestone because it signifies making good on a promise I made over 3 years ago to release all work for this site as open source. That promise brought about projects like Iconic, Cue, Off Franklin and coordy. The biggest project however, and the one I am most happy to give away, is the actual site I use to publish my work.
This theme is interesting for a couple reasons. The first is that it fast. I wanted to design a theme that was spartan, focused on the reading experience and loaded virtually instantaneously. There is room for improvement, but the theme works to keep queries and requests to a minimum. It was this emphasis on speed which prompted me to shorten the theme’s name of Franklin Street to Frank. The second interesting idea for this theme is the home page’s customization features. The theme gives users 8 different templates to choose from (1-up, 2-up, 3-up, 4-up, right aside, etc.). Each template can be stacked on another, in any order or number of your choosing. Additionally, most templates allow you to choose the number of posts to display and filter by category. I have yet to see this approach in any WordPress theme and I believe it to be quite useful.
There still is a way to go before I am completely happy with this theme. My goal is to get the theme submitted to WordPress’ theme collection in the next couple weeks (all while ensuring that the theme stays lean and mean). The theme admin screens need some love, there is documentation to write and the CSS could sure use another optimization pass. There are also some small improvements/fixes I’d like to make to my own site—and from now on, any changes to my site will be committed to the Github project.
I have to give a big thank you to Jon Christopher for providing some invaluable help in this process. Jon was a huge help in making the home template options work—I honestly could not have done it without him. I want to encourage you to use this theme if you find it useful and contribute to making it better. I have put in countless hours releasing everything related to this site. If you have found any of it useful through the years and wish to give something back, I would urge you to fork Frank and make it better.