When I first made the Graphene theme publicly available, there was little need for a demonstration site. Back then, the number of features were so small that the theme’s options page was just a normal HTML list of countable options.
Today, the theme’s options span three pages, each containing collapsible sections that categorise the options. At this time of writing, the theme is approaching its 500,000th download. Along with this growth – which is still ongoing – there was a need to set up a demonstration site so that theme hunters can preview the theme’s features without having to install the theme first.
I know only too well how many themes a new WordPress user typically install before settling on one. And I know it can be frustrating to have to spend so much time figuring out which theme to use, when all you want to do is start penning your thoughts and musings.
The first demonstration site was set up as a subdomain of my own blog, and it was poorly organised. Contents were created haphazardly without a clear structure of where things belong. The front page featured a notice saying that the demo site is in development – a notice that unfortunately never went away.
At the same time, my own blog became a pseudo-home of the Graphene theme. This in itself is not bad – the site gained quite a sizable increase in Google PageRank. However, with that status it became less and less suitable for me to pen my own thoughts and musings on my own blog – and that is a problem. I still want to write on issues other than the Graphene theme. I still want to share photos and experiences with friends and families. But with the Graphene theme’s users making up the majority of the blog’s audience, writing posts that don’t relate to the Graphene theme feels rather inappropriate. At least it does for me.
So it’s only appropriate that the theme gets its own home. The move also presents me an opportunity to build the demo site from the ground up, with proper structure and content. After much work, this demo site is the results, and I can say that I’m quite happy with it.
So go ahead and play around with it, and if you’re new to the theme, make sure you try out the admin interface testdrive. That was something I wanted to provide a long time ago, but wasn’t able to until now.
And you are all very much welcome to stick around on my blog. I would always appreciate your comments and thoughts on the issues that I brought up.
Here’s to a new chapter 🙂