At WordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe earlier this year, the new starter theme WP Rig (GitHub project) was introduced to the WordPress ecosystem. Since then, it has successfully transitioned into a community-driven effort, with several contributors of different backgrounds contributing back to it and improving the initial release significantly. Now that there is version 2.0 on the horizon, we want to ensure we can take it to the next level, streamlining development of progressive web experiences in WordPress while addressing the needs of the theme developer space.
WP Rig is a modern starter theme that focuses on accessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility), best practices, and performance. It puts progressive web technologies at the hands of theme developers, taking care of the heavy lifting so theme developers can focus on what’s most important – designing beautiful and user-friendly WordPress themes. At the same time, WP Rig is all about customizability: It works well out of the box, but you can dive in deeper and tweak its behavior if you prefer.
Among the features it provides are lazy-loading images, full touch, mouse and keyboard accessibility, a performance-optimized approach for enqueueing scripts and stylesheets, native support of PWA features and AMP via the respective plugins, and a modern and efficient development and production build workflow. And while WP Rig aims at modernizing the WordPress theme space, it does so in the WordPress way as much as possible. This makes for an easier transition from more traditional theme development. Furthermore, WP Rig is built in a way that allows you as a theme developer to keep your custom themes updated: You will always be able to pull in the latest improvements to the starter theme even as your theme diverges from it.
In order to make WP Rig a long-term success, it needs feedback, contributions and real-world usage from the wider WordPress community. That’s why at WordCamp US contributor day this weekend there will be a dedicated table to move this forward, as a subgroup of the Themes team. We plan to provide introductions to the starter theme’s features and workflow, and then we would like to discuss about its current status. Hopefully we can even get some code committed. If you are interested in learning more about WP Rig and shaping it for the future of WordPress theme development, please join the WP Rig table this weekend in Nashville.