How To Make Your Theme WordPress 3.0 Compatible

WordPress 3.0 is just around the corner. This time its going to be big, some cool features are in the box.

Time to patch up your WordPress theme. Here is all you need.

What’s new in WordPress 3.0?

WordPress 3.0See all the new features if WordPress 3.0 here or if you are in a hurry, here is a list of 8 cool features that’s gonna affect most of us.

I tried out the Beta1 release, its impressive! Try it out (at your risk, take backups, take backups, take backups).

To accommodate all the new features, your theme needs to undergo some changes. Get the most of WordPress 3.0 with the following tweaks.

If you enjoy the post, don’t forget to share it or bookmark it. Thanks.

Enable Navigation Menu Editor for Easy Menu Management

Many users are gonna love this feature. If the theme supports this, users will be able to manage the navigation menu from Dashboard, right under the Appearance settings. There will be a new item Menus.

To enable this, add the following to the functions.php of your theme:

add_theme_support( 'menus' );

To call the menu into the theme, add the following to the header.php:

<?php wp_nav_menu( array( 'sort_column' => 'menu_order', 'container_class' => 'menu-header' ) ); ?>

where menu-order is the css class for the menu. You will have to change this according to your style-sheet.

Source: For more details – How to Add Custom Navigation Menus in WordPress 3.0 Themes

Best WordPress 3.0 compatible Themes

Enable Custom Header Management to Change Header Images Easily

Once you enable this feature, you will see a new menu item Header under Appearance and will be able to change your header image from there.

Custom Headers in WordPress 3.0

Custom Headers in WordPress 3.0 - Click for Full View

Add this to your functions.php:

define( 'HEADER_IMAGE', '%s/images/logo.png' ); // The default logo located in themes folder
define( 'HEADER_IMAGE_WIDTH', apply_filters( '', 770 ) ); // Width of Logo
define( 'HEADER_IMAGE_HEIGHT', apply_filters( '', 153 ) ); // Height of Logo
define( 'NO_HEADER_TEXT', true );
add_custom_image_header( '', 'admin_header_style' ); // This Enables the Appearance > Header
// Following Code is for Styling the Admin Side
if ( ! function_exists( 'admin_header_style' ) ) :
function admin_header_style() {
?>
<style type="text/css">
#headimg {
height: <?php echo HEADER_IMAGE_HEIGHT; ?>px;
width: <?php echo HEADER_IMAGE_WIDTH; ?>px;
}
#headimg h1, #headimg #desc {
display: none;
}
</style>
<?php
}
endif;

Use the Following hook in header.php to link to the header image:

<?php header_image(); ?>

Example –

<img src="<?php header_image(); ?>" width="<?php echo HEADER_IMAGE_WIDTH; ?>" height="<?php echo HEADER_IMAGE_HEIGHT; ?>" alt="Header Image" />

Automatically Add Feed Links into Your Theme

No longer do you need to add those multiple feed links to your theme header. Add this to your functions.php and the job is pretty much done.

add_theme_support( 'automatic-feed-links' );

Source: WordPress 3.0 Theme Tip: Feed Links

Add Support For Post Thumbnail Images

This feature was originally out with WordPress 2.9, thought I would include it here, in case someone missed.

Many Magazine style and News paper style WordPress themes uses a Thumbnail image on the homepage. Older themes used custom fields to get this done. Starting with 2.9, WordPress lets you upload an image and set it as the post thumbnail, only if the theme supports it.

To enable this, add the following to the functions.php of your theme:

add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );

The image uploaded as Featured Image can be called using:

<?php the_post_thumbnail(); ?>

Once you enable this, you can set the Featured Image or the Thumbnail image for the post using a widget (that will then appear) in the post editor right sidebar, below categories and post tags.

Source: For more details and options on Enabling Post Thumbnail Images, check here.

Enable Custom Backgrounds for your Theme

Just add the following code to functions.php and under Appearance you will see a new item: Background.

add_custom_background();

Now you can change the theme background (by changing its color or uploading a background image or both) within WordPress admin, without having to touch a single line of code. Cool, huh?

Useful Code Snippets

Here is a collection of 8 useful code snippets that would come handy once you install WordPress 3.0. There are many hidden features which cannot be accessed via the Dashboard. So make sure you read them all.

8 useful code snippets to get started with WordPress 3.0. Covers:

  • How to create a custom post type
  • Custom post types with custom taxonomies
  • Query custom post types
  • Enable multisite feature
  • Custom author profiles
  • Add custom backgrounds
  • Style WordPress editor using CSS
  • Make your theme compatible with WordPress 3.0 menus

If you get stuck somewhere, let me know. Just leave a comment or drop a line.

Style WordPress editor using CSS

Hey! Thanks for reading. If you found it useful, please share it with your friends as well. They will thank you for it.

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Divi WordPress Theme
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Divi is every WordPress developer's wet dream. Surprise your clients with neat responsive websites and have fun building them.

Divi comes from Elegant Themes. If you enjoy building websites, you *need* an Elegant Themes membership. 87 beautiful themes and 5 plugins for the cost of less than a candy-bar each!


Note: I am an avid user of Divi myself and this is a honest review. I wouldn't recommend something that I do not personally find amazing.

56 Comments.

  1. This is one of the things I hate doing – tweaking the theme 🙂 I don’t know if WordPress will ever get to a stable state that bloggers can focus on content rather than the technical aspects.

    Probably many technical people dont’ understand what I am talking about… It’s like you are doing 20% blogging and 80% on SEO, Technical Upgrades, Tweaking etc.

    • Its a little weird to hear that from a programmer. I love doing all that myself and to be honest, if I had a choice, I would prefer doing the back-end jobs than create content. But then again, content is what that helps meet other people, so it wins anyway.

      Btw, with each upgrade, WP is getting easier and easier. It might be little work when we shift, but for the newbies who start with WP 3.0 its going to be much easier.

      • Sriraj says:

        I get a doubt, is thesis built for WordPress or is WordPress learning from Thesis?
        All these features exist in Thesis in one way or the other except the MU thing, which you didn’t cover here anyway.

      • Anish K.S says:

        i like wp customization 🙂

      • Well, the problem is that there’re 90% other bloggers who would want to concentrate on writing rather than doing all those redundant stuff 🙂 I wouldn’t mind doing it as well, given a lot of free time. The question also is about how frequently such changes should be effected

        • Yeah, Time is always a villan. Wish I could just open a file, do some edits, save it and go. Time is wasted in Opening FTP, finding the file, downloading it, and the chores. At least the choice of upgrade is our own. I hear that in Drupal you are forced to upgrade your themes when they change versions. WP is better 🙂

      • jess says:

        Sir:

        I am just starting with WordPress. I have a theme that says “WordPress 2.9 Compatible”. Can I use it with WordPress 3.0?

        Actually I tried. I installed Wp 3.0 locally with XAMPP. But when I followed the procedures to install a theme like putting the entire theme folder into /wp-content/themes, I got an error:

        Broken Theme
        Message: CSS files missing

        Then I noticed that the theme that I have has a different directory structures compared to the default theme of WP 3.0.

        Is there a workaround to make my old theme work with 3.0?

        Jess

    • I have the same idea. If WordPress automatically enable these feature (like thumbnail support, custom menu, …) then our work just make them work correctly with our theme and that’s much better.

  2. This article is so much helpful as I’m planning to build a theme and publish it for free.

  3. Gerri says:

    I think I can see myself coming back to this post to make any necessary changes when WordPress 3.0 is out. Thanks for the info.

  4. Pavan Somu says:

    The features of the new version are good and possess more stability in seo point of view. Waiting for the release.

  5. Nihar says:

    Arun,

    Thanks for the list of things to do to make the theme compatible with wordpress 3.0

  6. Ian says:

    When I take a break from working on client sites, I build sites for friends and family. Even when user-friendly themes (i.e., Woo, Templatic, et. al.), I still have a hard time teaching non-techies how to do the things they want to (like swap the header image out from time to time and create post-thumbs.) They usually don’t know how to resize images, much less have a clue what FTP is.

    Your write up helped me integrate some of WP’s built-in core features to allow easy changes. Thanks for taking your time to write it up!

  7. Sebin says:

    Since thesis kinda have most of the functions mentioned here, wouldn’t it create a problem as of which would take effect ? the thesis options or wordpress ones ? .

  8. ags says:

    how do you apply this new navigation thing to thesis? care to give an example?

    thank u.. 🙂

  9. Balaji J H says:

    Hi,
    Dude you won Windows 7 ultimate at Nirmal TV Congrats
    Thanks

  10. Carlos says:

    I can’t make the custom header managment works ok. I just get a “Header Image and Color” option in the appearance panel.

    • You have to replace the link to your header image in header.php with <?php header_image(); ?>

      If the header image is displayed via style.css (some themes do), you will have to make it work via header.php and use the above call.

  11. WordPress 3.0 works perfectly, but I am still missing the way to save different sets of plugins and only having to turn on or off the set, I am missing the ability to quick select the categories, just start typing the name of the category and this is filter for easier selection, I am missing a better image resizing or editing, anyway, I love wordpress.

  12. Raleigh Lee says:

    Thank you sir. This is a very valuable post for me. I have my eye on a theme that is compatible with 2.8, and they don’t intend to update it. Can you point me to a source for the code that will upgrade this theme from 2.8 to 2.9? Then I assume that your code here would bring it up-to-date for 3.0.

    • No update is necessary for WordPress 2.9, the theme would just work fine.

      • Raleigh Lee says:

        So, all I need to do is add the code you supplied for the 3.0 upgrade?

        • Raleigh, Your theme should work fine in most cases even without the codes, but you wont be able to use 3.0 features. These code snippets would help you to activate and use all those features.

          If possible test your theme on a demo installation of wp 3.0 to see if it is showing any errors.

  13. Joynal Abedin says:

    Thanks for you great post. I am going to make my theme compatible to wp 3.

    Joynal’s latest blog:

    Download WordPress 3.0

  14. Kevin says:

    I’m a WordPress newbie, and upgraded to V3 not knowing that my theme would not be compatible. I use Liteword. My main problem is that it no longer reads my header image, and worse yet, doesn’t even read my blog name – so my title reads: Liteword. Lame!!! It also ditched the categories on the menu.

    I tried adding the code you provided to the functions.php file, but having no idea where to put it exactly, it simply screwed up my page entirely, providing only an error message. I got that code deleted, and am back to my previous crappy state.

    Can you help?!? Where do I insert that code in the functions.php file?
    Thanks in advance

  15. Sophie says:

    Arun, thank you for this information. I’m wondering if you can shed some light on an issue I’ve run into with my pre 3.0 WP templates. On these sites, once WP is upgraded to 3.0, the text editor menu disappears on the visual tab.

    Have you run into this? Do you know how I can get my templates showing the full editor again?

    Thanks!
    Sophie

    • I think the visual style editor is disabled. Go to Users > Your Profile and un-check the Tick box that reads “Disable the visual editor when writing”

      Did it fix the problem?

      • Sophie says:

        I should have mentioned that I’d already check that. Just for kicks and grins, I disabled the the visual editing, saved and when back to a post. Then I revisited my profile, enabled it again and when I returned to a post the visual editor was there.

        Go figure. Thanks for your reply!

        Sophie

  16. Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

    I ain’t tweaking my theme’s file to support these features of WordPress 3.0 cos I really don’t need them. I’m quite comfy with the features of 2.9.2.
    Very simple.

  17. CB says:

    Thanks for the tips! The post-thumbnails is especially useful in increasing clicks from the homepage.

  18. Andre says:

    Nice overview,

  19. Lic says:

    Thanks for the valuable info

  20. Laurie says:

    I used your instructions to make my WP theme compatible with the new 3.0 menu manager and it worked like a charm! Thanks so much for the info!

  21. Bas says:

    Hi,

    i can get the header img (see http://www.ruunerwold.nl/bas/vissen) but its an image, not a background.

    How to get it work as a background? So the menu and title will go over it.

    Thanks in advance

  22. Victoria says:

    This tutorial has been extremely helpful. Thank you so much for posting.

  23. Ella V. says:

    I used “Enable Navigation Menu Editor for Easy Menu Management” as my theme wasn’t coded for the menu option. Worked like a charm and was pretty easy to follow instructions. I do tweak all my blogs and my friends blogs as I’m programmer and fount it quite fun re-do themes and customize them. Well, I also writing a content for my blog. I just started a new one, that’s where I enabled custom menu. Please see it live at http://kineticgames.biz. I think you will be proud to find out that ppl actually using your suggestions. Great job and thanks again.

  24. vivek says:

    awesome wordpress trick dude…i am looking for this stuff to customize my website

  25. Nainar says:

    useful informative site

  26. Jaki Levy says:

    These are great WordPress resources – I actually just started digging into a really really solid book on WordPress 3.0. It’s got some really nice code samples, and is written by a few pro WordPress developers (including some from Envato). I’m actually giving away 2 copies of the e-book on my site – check out the details about the e-book and the giveaway here – I think you’ll dig it : http://bit.ly/lq20Ff

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