Today we are excited to announce the release of Upfront 1.3, which we’re dubbing “Upfront for Publishers.”
This version of our WordPress theme platform includes a huge update to the post and page writing experience. Want to display your featured images above the titles of your posts? Easy. Or show the publication date at the bottom of posts instead of at the top? Done.
We’ve also introduced layout templates, which allow you to create and reuse pages, along with new cropping options for featured images and even more Google fonts.
And that’s all on top of all the existing features you’ll find in Upfront, which lets you build beautiful WordPress themes like our starter themes in the image below – they’re all stunning, right?
Just to list what we’ve added to this version of Upfront:
Let’s walk through the changes in Upfront 1.3!
But before we do that, don’t forget you can try Upfront for free! Sign up for a free trial at WPMU DEV today and if you cancel in the first 14 days, you can actually keep Upfront (and all of our other plugins and themes!). That’s the beauty of the GPL!
For this release, our aim was to dramatically improve the post and page writing and editing experience, making it easier for bloggers and publishers to get on with crafting beautiful words. Let’s face it, while blogging was okay in previous versions of Upfront it wasn’t great. Thanks to feedback from users, we addressed the user experience full on and have made it a million times better.
“This is a seriously good release.” – Robert Setiadi, Project Manager
Not to mention huge improvements under the hood that make this release the most stable yet.
Of course, all of the new features in this release are on top of the existing features we’ve built into Upfront over the past three years with our dedicated team of a dozen talented developers and designers.
In designing how Upfront works we had a few goals: make it easy for anyone to create a website. Make it fun. Keep it simple.
With each release, Upfront gets bigger and better and this update makes it especially awesome for anyone who publishes content (which is pretty much everyone with a website!).
We’ve made it easier than ever to write posts and pages. Now you can include both ordinary and data elements in posts and pages.
What’s the difference between ordinary and data elements? Well, ordinary elements are things like images, text, contact forms, galleries, videos, sliders, and buttons. Data elements, on the other hand, contain dynamic data that comes from your site’s database, stuff like the title, date, categories, tags, author, featured images, and content of your posts.
Which means in Upfront 1.3, you can control, manipulate, position – hell, do whatever you like! – with ordinary and data elements in posts and pages.
For this release, we’ve also moved – and significantly improved – the publishing experience to the sidebar, making it easier to access so you can quickly save, schedule and publish posts, control visibility, update your blog or URL, and overall give you full control over the content you publish without having to leave the Upfront editor.
Publishing and blogging with Upfront has never been a more pleasureable experience!
We’re introducing layout templates in this release, allowing you to create and reuse different page templates without having to touch a line of code.
So what are layout templates, exactly?
Let’s say, for example, your client runs a business with offices in New York, Amsterdam, and Paris and wants a separate contact page for each office. With Upfront you could create a contact layout template with the layout, regions and elements exactly where and how you want them, and then apply that templates to each of the office pages, only having to update the addresses.
No more having to create different pages from scratch or waste time repositioning elements. Upfront does all the heavy lifting for you.
Why should featured images be treated any differently to regular ol’ images?
Now, featured image elements are just like every other image in Upfront so you can crop, resize and make any other changes you want to suit your site.
It might be a small change, but it’s one our designers love because it’s all about consistency and improved UX – and making it easier for you to achieve the look you want with your Upfront site.
As if there weren’t already enough fonts to choose from, we went and updated Upfront’s list of Google fonts.
So, yeah, good luck picking just one font!
We’ve published a full suite of documentation on how to use Upfront on the Manuals section of our site to help you make the most of the platform.
The documentation walks you through Upfront structure, using drag and drop, elements and presets, regions and how to use global theme settings and fun stuff like advanced CSS.
We’ve included lots of images and GIFs so you can see Upfront in action.
We’re constantly working to improve Upfront and we’ve got loads more features and stunning themes in development.