Let’s start with the most requested feature of all: Graphene 2.0 will be fully responsive. That means it will automatically adapt to the various screen sizes, from the biggest PC monitors to the smallest phones. Your content will be optimised and look great on all devices. And yes, Google will see your site as optimised for mobile too, so no more penalty for search rankings on mobile devices.
This feature requires that we shed away the old 960.gs grid system, and replace it with a responsive framework (we’ve gone with Bootstrap). That involves a major reworking of the theme’s code and image assets to ensure visuals stay sharp on high-resolution devices.
Graphene 2.0 will also include the most significant styling update since the theme’s first public release, seven years ago. This time, we’ve placed our focus on readability and improving the user interface so that your websites will look elegant, easy to navigate, and above all, easily readable and accessible.
The design updates also leverage on the features and capability of modern browsers that simply were not available previously, such as vector-based icon fonts and flexbox CSS layout.
A host of other features will also be available in Graphene 2.0, such as menu icons and description, author bio single posts, contextual page navigation, and much improved posts and comments navigation.
This new version will see revisions to the theme’s extensive list of existing features too, with removal of some of the obsolete features that are no longer appropriate in today’s web landscape.
What will this mean for existing websites?
More than 40,000 websites are currently using the Graphene theme. We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure minimal disruption to those existing websites. For the large majority of them, Graphene 2.0 will simply mean an instant upgrade.
However, due to the nature and requirement of the changes described above, sites with heavy customisation using a child theme will likely need to adapt their child theme to the new version.
We need your support
We’ve spent thousands of development and support hours for the users who rely on us to make the theme work and make it better. Yet being a free and open-source theme, Graphene generates minimal revenue for us. This means we can only spend the hours we can spare from our work and life responsibilities. That is not much at all, a major contribution to the reason why updates have been slow for the past couple of years.
We have now completed about 60% of Graphene 2.0 development. The more time we can dedicate to the theme’s development, the sooner we can get Graphene 2.0 in your hands. You can either help us test the theme, or you can support us financially. This is completely optional; we still love you if you do neither 😉
Pre-alpha version means that development of most features have been completed, but there are still substantial amount of development required, and major change may still be required. We DO NOT recommend running this version on live websites.