This is just a quick post to let you know WooThemes have released a new theme today… and it might just be a game-changer!
Called Storefront, this new theme is all about WooCommerce. WooThemes product manager Matty Cohen put it this way:
Canvas is for a website that might be a store. Storefront is for a store that might need a blog.
When WooThemes released their previous two themes: Uno and Duo, I felt sure they were realigning their theme model with the likes of the Genesis Framework from StudioPress.
Uno and Duo are child themes of Canvas. Canvas is the framework with minimal design and Uno and Duo are child themes that apply styling to the framework.
This is precisely how Studiopress operates: The parent theme Genesis is the framework and the various other Studiopress child themes apply styling to that framework.
It’s very developer friendly.
Is Storefront really Canvas for WooCommerce?
Now it could be that Storefront is Canvas for WooCommerce. ie. Storefront is the theme framework for a WooCommerce store, installed on your site as a parent theme. If that’s the case you can expect a raft of themes in the future that are designed as child themes of Storefront and apply more styling to it.
But I’m not sure that’s what’s happening…
There’s an immediate, glaring difference between Canvas and Storefront. Storefront is free. Currently Canvas costs a minimum of $99.
There are some other differences:
- Canvas is full of hooks for developers, Storefront only has minimal hooks for developers
- Canvas is designed to be styled by a developer / designer, Storefront is designed to be styled by the end-used via the WordPress customiser
- Canvas uses the WooThemes framework, Storefront uses the _S (Underscores) framework built by Automattic.
That last one is a biggie. As far as I’m aware this will be the first time WooThemes have launched a theme that doesn’t use their own framework…
There’s one other point. WooCommerce itself is getting a visual overhaul in its next release. The default styling will reflect the modern “flat” design trend. I’m guessing this will make the default styles pretty similar to Storefront…
So what’s next from WooThemes?
Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe the WooThemes framework is being retired, to be replaced with a version of _S that has some extra code to cater for WooCommerce (in which case, what’s going to happen to Canvas?).
If Storefront is the new parent theme that we’re all expected to work with to build custom child themes for WooCommerce then us developers will sorely miss the developer friendly hooks we’re used to with the likes of Canvas and Genesis.
Or maybe they have something else up their sleeve that we’re yet to find out?