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Theme functionality brainstorming


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Hi everyone, 

I just wanted to disclose that I'm in the process of creating a new theme for thirtybees. And I would like to hear what features would you like to see there. Note that it will be paid theme.

At the moment I'm not focusing on design. This theme is based on niara/community theme, so it will have the same look and feel. What I'm focusing on is functionality. Here's a list of things that my theme/module will offer. I'm not sure how important these features are for you, so I'd like to hear your opinions

Page content editor

This is the core functionality - it's a drag and drop editor that you will be able to use to build your page templates. It will use basic blocks specific to each page, and you will be able to arrange them as you like. It will allow you to do things like this: (on product page)

  • drag price block and move it just below product name
  • add another column between product images and product basic info
  • add new section with product video right below main product description
  • create custom tab containing static html content 
  • reorder tabs
  • add widget / specific module hook / anywhere you want. For example review list
  • ...etc

Of course, you can do all this even now. But you need to have knowledge how smarty, html, and css works 

Different page versions for different entities

You will be able to use different page templates for different products, categories, etc. This is similar to native thirtybees Template Manager module, but for every record types there is. It will also be based on rules, so you will be able to say 'Every product which contains Gift in the title will be displayed using gift-product template'

This will allow you to have different layouts for different types of products. 

Different / customizable layouts

You will be able to design different layouts (2-columns, 3-columns, full-width, with menu, without menu,...) and use them with different pages/entities. For example, you you can use layout without top menu and with custom footer content on checkout page, so there are less distraction. 


So, my question is -- is this something you guys actually want and need?



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You're on the right track. In all honesty, as far as design goes, Panda and Warehouse have the vast majority of needs covered. Some of their stuff is getting out of date as far as demos go, but as you said, but if it can be easily adjusted with CSS or some basic HTML, it's not too big of an issue.

When it comes to design needs, I typically look to large online leaders in the same industry to determine an approach. As long as I can easily recreate a site that looks and functions similar to global product design leaders like Patagonia, Apple, Herman Miller, Nike, or a few others, then my needs are met. If you see their sites, you'll quickly notice some holes in availability from the above mentioned themes that you could easily close and make your theme very valuable.

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1 hour ago, datakick said:

Of course, you can do all this even now. But you need to have knowledge how smarty, html, and css works 

Having virtually no coding expertise we are very nervous to alter anything on our Warehouse themed sites.

Following the Forum here and seeing so many improvements in TB over the last year, we are now at ease running TB Bleeding Edge.  We have seen real benefits since migrating from PS 1.6 - especially site speed etc., and modules like Chex convince us that choosing Thirtybees continues to be the best way forward for our ecommerce platforms.

To prepare for re-theming our presentation for the future, we would love to be able to 'individualise' specific product pages and alter parts of the page  - a dynamic impression/interpretation and without us resorting to deep code.

We want to improve video presentation options - including display size, and user control eg: quick start/stop.

An increasing number of our users are moving off desktop to other devices, so our current 'Megamenu' is becoming an issue.

Lastly, if we could add relevant page content - in a CMS type of way........well our Google guys here would just faint.







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As I am running Warehouse today new theme functionality is interesting and also something I am willing to pay for.

What I would look at is as already told functionality in leading themes like Panda and Warehouse. What I like with Warehouse is for example the possibilities to change menu, basket, change color and font in a lot of different areas, content creator, mobile menu with custom links etc. 

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I would highly value the ability to create an optimized mobile experience for customers. Every year the percentage of traffic & sales from mobile phones increases but mobile site design still seems to take a back seat to desktop design in many cases. This is happening in the US now but in many places sales from mobile phones already exceed sales from desktops, and the gap is growing.

I would also really appreciate being able to quickly & easily set standards for item types that are used across the site. Standard button design, standard button border color, etc. Then have the ability to override those standards for specific key items.

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Thanks you all for your thoughts.

I'd like to show you what I'm building here, and explain a little bit more my vision, regarding the theme page editor.

What I did is I split the big template (like product.tpl) into many small blocks. Then I created a layout mechanism that allows to re-arrange these blocks as you like. There will be additional structures you can use, like section, tabs, columns etc where you can drop these blocks. Of course, dynamic blocks are supported as well (you can place any hook anywhere on the page) 

Here's a video. Note that this is work in progress, and very far from the final stage. So excuse the crude design 🙂


Is this something that your guys want / need, or is it completely useless? Any ideas?

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The page builder is nice. As a limited skillset dev, I look at it and think "That's a great foundational piece to offer nice base flexibility. I'll just modify the rest with some minimal code."

As a full-time software consultant I think "It's not out of the box and ready to go enough for standard non-technical business owners to use."

Not sure which group you're going after here as a primary focus; website developers or small/mid size business owners?

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