Aug 032010
 

Suffusion is celebrating its first birthday today! I am glad that I managed to slug it out for a year and come up with a decent theme that people haven’t utterly and totally slammed!

Happy Birthday, Suffusion!

As is the case with most perspectives, I wanted to spend a few paragraphs explaining my plans for the next few months. I have already got the theme where I wanted in terms of most of the key features. Barring a dedicated photo-blog template there are very few noteworthy features lacking in the theme. Mind you, photo-blogging templates have been on my agenda since quite some time, but I had always planned to have those in the 4.x.x releases. Given that I am currently developing 3.6.0, there are still several weeks to go before I get there. Of course, when I had planned to do photo-blogging in 4.x.x I used to often jump releases, like go from 2.6.6 to 3.0.0 (that was actually a milestone release with a magazine template). But since the last few months my release strategy has changed and I have bundled several milestones with minor releases. For example you have had BuddyPress support, lots of new layouts, some new skins, advanced features like custom post types etc. So for all you know, I might actually provide photo-blogging earlier than expected.

To provide you with some insights, I maintain a “parking lot” list of items that I intend to deliver. This list already has more than 40 items with varying levels of complexity, and some of the items are feature requests and some are bugs. Whenever I think of something that would be nice to deliver, I go ahead and add it to the parking lot. Then, after submitting a particular version when I start off with a new version I go through the parking lot and pull out things that I think I can deliver in a particular release. Some of those make it to the next release and some others find their way back to the parking lot. The size of the parking lot has been around 40 for quite a few weeks now, so that means I am adding items at the same rate as implementing them. In general my focus has been to implement bug-fixes first, then tackle feature requests.

So what can you expect from now on? There will be new features delivered – small and big. I will also focus on theme aesthetics a lot more. As a kid I used to be good with art, but after I grew up I don’t do very well with making things look pretty online. So you will have:

  1. Better Typography
    I have been reading up a fair bit on typography the last few weeks. While I fail to spot the nuances of sites with so-called good typography, I do understand that a lot of people have a far more discerning eye. I am planning to overhaul the theme’s typography capabilities in the next few months.
  2. Prettier Designs
    In release 3.5.6 I made a release of a minimalistic skin. I am going to add quite a few others to the mix. Mind you, this is a singularly tough task for me as a developer, not a designer. My guess is that you will see 2-3 new skins come up.
  3. Better Theme Skinning
    A lot of people have complained about the fact that the navigation bar look and feel cannot be customized through options. Methinks thou doth ask too much, because the most extensive tutorial I have written so far deals with precisely the customization of the navigation bar. However, I do have plans to provide skinning capabilities to a handful of other places. It is just that this is an extremely tedious task that doesn’t teach me anything new.
  4. Some Stunning Widget Area Concepts
    Version 3.5.0 had natively tabbed sidebars, 3.5.4 came with 10 widget areas, the unreleased 3.5.8 had 12 and the release you are hopefully going to get, 3.5.9 has 17. I have already increased the number to 19 in 3.6.0 and I can assure you that the final number will be close to 30. I basically intend to provide users with the capability to have a widget area wherever they need one. In addition, just like the tabbed sidebar, you will see a bunch of other effects added to your sidebar rendering. That is all I am going to say at this moment – you will have to wait for the feature to actually see all of this in action.

And yes, I will be focusing on documentation of the theme along with a demo site. I have often started putting these together, but found it too boring a task to continue.

That’s it for now!

  27 Responses to “Happy Birthday to Suffusion!”

Comments (24) Pingbacks (3)
  1. my congratulations to you!

    Your energy seems to be never ending and your theme became an important task for me, as I am using it on several pages and I like to be in the forum and help out as well…

    Thank you for your work!

    Connie

     
  2. Congratulations Sayontan! And off course a lot of respect :-)

    I’m curious to the photo-blogging. Not that I mind the other improvements ;-)

    Greetings…
    Wim

     
  3. Congratulations and many more to come!

    All I can say is that you made a lot of people happy, including myself, by using your amazing work that you put together in creating Suffusion. Not to mention the great support that you provide.
    A big Thank you and a lot of respects.

    Regards.

    Radu

     
  4. Happy birthday! Suffusion is still an awesome theme and you put a lot of work into it.

    Elle

     
  5. Happy Birthday, Suffusion!

    You are one in a million!

    Here’s to many more!

    Cheers, Peter
    PS: Back in Croydon!

     
  6. Many thanks for releasing this theme, good ones are becoming real hard to fine these days and yours is definitely good :)

     
  7. Congratulations, Suffusion Rocks…!!!
    Discover your theme today, tried on my new blog and these are the results with the magazine style Entertainment news daily. Thanks for your work it is just great.
    Best regards.
    Gerardo

     
  8. Just great, look magazine style on http://entertainmentnews.cz.cc
    Thanks.

     
  9. I started with a different template (was a purchased one) and just didn’t have a few things, so I scrolled and found yours. Many kudos to you. Started exploring all the different possibilities and even for a WP newbie like me (have several regular websites on page one in SE’s, this is exciting new territory and I think I will have with your template even more opportunities.
    Will report back through your forum in some time.
    Congratulations….

     
  10. Glad to hear that a photoblog template is planned. Does it have a photoblog plugin (as YAPB) as a prerequisite as they already incorporate many functions?
    Regarding the features to offer, I have a lot of ideas (like the EXIF date taken as the date of the article), but you can also watch Pixelpost and its many extensions.
    Congratulations.

     
  11. I completely missed the anniversary. I just wanted to post my appreciation and the observation that it is amazing that Suffusion has only been out for one year. The feature set and extensive flexibility reflect software that has had an entire team of developers working away for several years.

    You’ve made a wonderful contribution to the community Sayontan — and I’m extremely happy to see that you are going to bring your commitment and your skills to Canada! If you are ever out Saskatoon way, fire me a note and I’ll treat you to the town.

     
    • Thanks, Glenn. I am actually going to be in Vancouver because that was the place I felt was closest to the moderate weather of California, based on my three choices – Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

       
  12. Dear Sayontan
    You have developed the best and simple easy to use theme. Be proud of yourself. I like youre Eastern hot temper with WP.
    I wish happy Birth day for suffusion. I have been using it from the its birth, off times I was deceived and an happy thinking that Suffusion was a motherless child with no father too when it crashed on me. But since version 3.0 all that become an old story. I was afraid when I read your last mail that Suffusion is going to die before her anniversary, I am happy it is till alive.
    Wishing you the best
    Once more congratulation and Happy Anniversary.

     
  13. You are a god! This theme is by far the best WordPress theme, and IMHO far more capable than any of the paid-for themes I have seen.

    I’ve recommended Suffusion to many of my friends, some of whom were still using HTML and Dreamweaver to build sites, not even WordPress. They cant believe how much time it saves them.

    Great work!

     

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