Concept

How We Hope You’ll Use the Code We Release

There are a lot of great theme companies out there, but they’re all competing for the same thing, to have the most features and settings they can possibly pack into one theme. This is great for beginners and those that aren’t interested in getting their hands dirty and really learning the right way to build a website.

However, these themes become very bloated and slow-loading over time. Not to mention that the more features they pack in, the more third party scripts they’re likely using. Which on top of their own restrictive licensing adds a mountain more. Also, their themes are so CSS and graphic heavy that most of their user’s websites end up looking the exact same (cookie-cutter).

Instead of jumping in the features game with everyone else we’re looking at the opposite spectrum where there are people that have experience or even beginners that are sick of paying big dollars for something unoriginal and that are ready to take their website’s performance and look more seriously.

We want users to stop relying on settings and upgrading to the latest version and so forth. We want you to actually get in there. Instead of writing CSS that overrides the default theme CSS with a child theme (which makes for a slower load and can even cause FOUC or worse; the default styles of your theme are shown) or hooks that inject code we want you to actually edit your style.css and header.php files etc and really build your theme naturally and professionally like a normal website.

You don’t need to rely on upgrades to make sure your site is up-to-date and working. As you work on your site you’ll be the one making it better, “upgrading” it and keeping it up-to-date and we’ll be here to help you as best we can to learn the different aspects of managing your website the right way.

We don’t want you to use BlankSlate, as in someone else’ theme or OUR theme. We want you to take that theme (or any of the themes), change it to the name of the project that you’re working on and build something custom, actually create your very own themes and unique websites. Themes are merely tools to help you on your web design projects, they shouldn’t be part of the project.

Put Your Name on It

When you download your theme, unzip it and open all files in TextWrangler (Mac) or Notepad++ (Win) or a similar advanced text editor and do a find and replace all in all files on the prefix blankslate or supersimple and replace with the name of your theme or client’s project. Then edit style.css and swap out all the info here for your own. Also, change out the credit in footer.php.

The Formatting of the Code is Just Awful

No it isn’t, because there is no formatting. The theme code is semi-minified (as apposed to fully minified where all code would be on just one line) and void of programmer comments very purposefully.

Besides speeding things up where it applies it’s also about truly giving you a blank slate boilerplate as much as possible to work with. Using the aforementioned text editors above you can open up the files to view syntax highlighting and auto-format the code, then adjust to your preferences however you like, but we’re not going to impose that onto you.

We want you to get in there and do something from scratch without too much influence from us. BlankSlate really is just a learning tool.

In Case You Want to Go the More Common Route

Changelog

If you want to simply worry about styling your website and don’t actually want to worry about the mechanics and editing actual theme files. If you intend on updating to the latest versions of themes whenever available then please be aware:

Whether upgrading your theme manually via FTP or through the WordPress automated update API in your admin, Dashboard > Updates, pay close attention…

THIS WILL OVERWRITE ALL YOUR FILES AND ANY EDITS/ADDITIONS YOU’VE MADE.

So, what’s the solution if you want to go this route?…
(which we do not recommend, but also do not believe in limiting your options)

Child Themes

/*
Theme Name: BlankSlate Child
Template: blankslate
*/

@import url("../blankslate/style.css");

Child themes are installed just like normal themes and are used to style and customize the look and function of your site while still being able to upgrade to the latest theme version and not losing your work. Both the main theme and child theme need to be installed in the wp-content/themes folder, but you only want to activate the child theme. You can then copy any file from the main theme to the child theme and hack it up.

Learn more about child themes. Learn more about CSS.

Download your child theme:

BlankSlate Child Theme
SuperSimple Child Theme

Back Your Work Up

Regardless of your method or concept of building websites you should always back all your work up.

Learn how to backup your work…


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