As I sit alone in a large house with no furniture save a sleeping bag, a couple of suitcases and an internet modem, Suffusion is celebrating its third birthday. These have been 3 long years of toil and happiness, and I have all of you to thank for its success.
During this year Suffusion has crossed several milestones:
- Over 800,000 downloads – The default themes TwentyTen and TwentyEleven get the benefit of being bundled with all WP installations, but them apart, the only non-default theme with more downloads than Suffusion is Atahualpa, which has been around for about 2 years more than Suffusion.
- A 5-star rating – It is one thing to have one rating of 5 stars. Slight credibility is gained when you have 10 ratings averaging close to 5 stars. But doing it for over 270 ratings is, well, impressive. As things stand, Suffusion is second in the list of all-time number of ratings, and very few in the first page come close to Suffusion’s average rating. Thanks to all of you who have rated Suffusion so highly!
- Alexa-verified popularity – In a study done of the top 1 million visited websites in the world, the ones using WP were analyzed. And Suffusion featured very prominently among the top 20 WP themes used on these most popular websites.
During this year I took away some development focus from Suffusion and managed to release a bunch of plugins:
- Photonic – A year back I pulled out the planned photo-blogging features of Suffusion and released them as Photonic a few weeks later. By far my favourite plugin, this is an absolutely fantastic way of including photos from Flickr, Picasa, Smugmug and 500px.com on your site. More importantly, I am working on a few enhancements that will let you include from Facebook, Instagram and some other sources too!
- FontMeister – This was something I had promised in the second birthday announcement. It is a very simple yet fully functional plugin that lets you include fonts from various sources in your sites. More importantly, this integrates with Suffusion’s font drop-downs too.
- Suffusion Commerce Pack – This helps users use popular e-commerce plugins with Suffusion.
- Suffusion bbPress Pack – This lets users use bbPress with Suffusion.
- Suffusion Custom Post Types – This is more of a basic transitional plugin to help users use custom post types that they have formerly defined in Suffusion with new themes. The whole objective is to not make you feel shackled by Suffusion.
Of course, Suffusion received some nice additions too:
- New Skins – I added the “Photonique” and the “Scribbles” skins. The former is ideally suited for a photoblog.
- HTML5 Support and Semantic Markup – This was the big addition of the year, obviously, and the only one that could potentially break things. And I am happy to report that the transition was generally smooth, thanks to the extensive testing by Mark van Jaarsveld.
- More Framework-like Features – There are some things that you cannot customize via Suffusion’s options panels. For those rare situations I have been steadily adding framework-like features to Suffusion.
- Custom Post Types – I have added some good support for Custom Post Types, letting you define their layouts and take advantage of custom taxonomies associated with them.
- Custom Layouts & Mega Menus – These are features that are hard to find in commercial themes, and Suffusion gets them to you for free.
As for the future, obviously there is the whole aspect of responsive design. For once I will be coding something I don’t believe in. I have also been promising some interesting sidebar concepts for a while now. With all my work I never got around to delivering those.
To close, I reiterate something I said last year – very few big features will be added, apart from the ones committed. Of course, you will see responsive design. But apart from that you will mostly see new skins and support for new WP features.
Lastly, thanks are in order to all the ardent supporters of the theme:
- To Colin and Drake for the awesome job on the support forum
- To Mark for extensive testing during the beta releases
- To all the fine folks who donate to and / or vote for the theme
- To all of you who write to me in person thanking me for a release, or help me out with snippets of code that I can add to my theme or plugins (Bart, Marcel etc.).
If nothing else, Suffusion and my other projects showcase the power of community collaboration.