xScape Core Themes

A while back, we have introduced a concept of Core themes. In standard WordPress theme, Core theme is a child theme for a main theme called xScape Core. So far, we have 3 Core themes, and all the other old themes will be converted to Core version soon. Future themes will be Core only.

What is xScape Core?

Main theme you need to be able to use Core theme is xScape Core. This theme has xScape Theme Framework, standard set of template files, shared CSS styling, some shared images and JavaScript. Also, xScape Core contains shared content files and loop elements used by them. Framework loader is first trying to load template files, template content files and loop elements from the Core/Child theme that is active, and if the file is not there, it will try to load it from the xScape Core theme. This means that you can have less files in the child themes.

What are Core Themes?

In simplest terms, Core theme is a child theme for xScape Core theme. Install xScape Core, than install Core theme you want, activate it, and that’s all. Pretty basic stuff. Theme Serenity, our first HTML5 theme is made to use basic templates and content elements from xScape Core, so it is very slim on files. More themes in the future will use same method.

What are the benefits of using Core Themes?

For starters, bandwidth saving for downloads and upgrades. Core themes are typically much smaller. Main xScape Core theme contains the framework, and is about 1MB in size, so the Core themes can be under 300KB. But, most important thing is that theme is separated from the framework, and the re-usability of files bundled with xScape Core, making easier to modify and work with actual theme. Because of all that, all our future themes will be Core only.

Using normal theme with xScape framework, how to switch to Core version?

First make sure that theme you are using has a Core version. If it does, there are two ways to go about it: uninstall theme you are using and want to replace with Core version, install xScape Core and than Core version of the theme, activate it and that’s all. Once you uninstall the theme, you can install both xScape Core than Core theme using Dev4Press Updater plugin.

But, what to do if you made changes to theme files? This is not that easy for plugin to handle, so you must make changes manually before proceeding. Copy all changes you made from your version of the normal theme into the Core version. If you have added all these files into Theme Upgrade lists, even when you switch to Core version, later updates will use the list and will save your changes. Just, the initial conversion to Core theme must be done manually.

If you need help with converting from normal to core themes, please use the forums to explain the problem and I will help you making the transition easier.


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