Support » Networking WordPress » New Theme Development for Multisite – Do's & Dont's?

  • Resolved gmurray96


    I have a new theme I’ve designed (as a PSD) that needs to be developed as a Multisite theme, which will be used for 50 client sites (very basic, brochure-style sites…nothing complex). My biggest concern is to have the most stable and secure theme as possible. One that can be the best it can be to withstand the potential pitfalls of breaking during WP and plugin updates.

    I won’t shortcut quality when hiring a developer, so I’m making the assumption that code will be well written. I also plan on hiring someone who knows Multisite well, to do updates, in case something eventually breaks. Since I’m not a developer, I hope I expressed these question well enough so I don’t embarrass myself too much.

    A) Should I have a preference if the site is developed with a framework (Genesis, Bootstrap, etc…) or if it’s written without a framework (just HTML5/CSS3/media-queries, etc…)? On one hand, I think a framework will present another layer or potential update issues, but on the other hand, I wonder if a well established framework (like Genesis) produces a more stable theme.

    B) If a feature can be hard-coded vs using a plugin, is that a better option for long-term stability and security?

    C) If you were to give me a few important tips that I should articulate to my developer, to create the most stable and secure theme for Multisite, what would you suggest?

    Thank you.

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  • Photoshop? It doesn’t work too well for theme development because modern themes are dynamic. It’s OK as a conceptual starting point, but I’d suggest that you move on from it early in the development process.

    The “potential pitfalls of breaking during WP and plugin updates”. I’ve never seen that happen. Can you give some examples that justify your fears?

    A) I suppose the established frameworks and your high-quality developer will test extensively against betas and version releases long before going live with any update, so I can’t see what difference it makes. For the “very basic” sites that you plan, a framework might not be worthwhile.

    B) I don’t understand the distinction between “hard-coded” and “plugin”. Your high-quality developer will know not to mess with WordPress or framework code, if that’s what you mean.

    C) Your high-quality developer might not appreciate “tips” from a forum. It might be better to give real examples of unstable or insecure themes and make it clear that you do not want that kind of trouble.

    Thanks, Rod. I agree Photoshop is not a development tool. But, I’m just an online marketer, small business owner and graphic designer. I have to count on developers to turn my design into code.

    I’ve been able to ease my (WP and plugin) update fears through more research. I have also come to understand that using popular (well documented and reviewed) plugins is a better option than hard-coding into the theme code, because of potential problems when the theme gets updated every couple years.

    My only question that still remains (after additional research) is should I have the site built using the Genesis framework or without (bare-bones roll your own with HTML/CSS/jQuery). Even though my sites are really simple and straight-forward, the majority of the opinions I’m getting recommend Genesis, because stability and security is so important to me.

Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
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