We would like to introduce to you a unique and brand new solution named Layers – an innovative WordPress site builder, from the awesome folks at Obox, that refreshingly makes creating themes and plugins such a quick, simple and painless experience.
Also, before you ask: yes, Layers is totally free and open source to use!
In simplest terms, Layers is a WordPress theme framework that extends the core functionality of WordPress by introducing layout building and management rights within the WordPress Theme Customizer. It offers an extensive set of options, widgets and templates to help you get started within minutes!
You activate Layers as a WordPress theme, and then work directly with it in the Theme Customizer. The beautiful interface, though, is purely point and click, so you need not worry about having to deal with heavy chunks of code. Plus, you can create child themes and a lot more using Layers.
If you’re looking for an in-depth setup guide, Obox have published a detailed tutorial here.
Layers has something for everyone, be it advanced users or just the newbie who is looking to get started with WordPress theme building.
But wait, there is a lot more! Here is a quick summary of what Layers brings to the table:
- An innovative and beautiful interface that features seamless editing and instant previews of your changes.
- Drag and drop interface to build pages from scratch.
- Fully responsive design, which means your website looks and behaves equally good on mobile phones and tablets as it does on laptops and desktops.
- It also comes with an innovative set of presets and layouts — just in case starting from a blank canvas is not your cup of tea.
- Need to implement eCommerce on your site? Well, Layers understands that, and offers full integration with WooCommerce out of the box.
So, the big question is: what makes Layers different from the many other theme frameworks out there, that claim to do everything for your WordPress website?
At the very basic level, Layers is built with just one thing in mind: simplicity. Unlike many other theme frameworks, Layers is nimble and agile, not bulky and overblown. It offers reactive design, such that there are no awkward spaces between your content, dynamic typography and a 1000 pixel flexible grid structure which means your content always remains in focus, irrespective of the screen resolution.
Layers has special considerations for the needs of WordPress developers. You can use it to create your own set of themes and extensions, including child themes. The Layers source code is also available on GitHub.
The expanding set of hooks and filters means you can take Layers to great heights, and the fact that it is built for only WordPress further ensures that your data is compatible with and portable to WordPress themes as and when needed.
Another point worth noting is that Layers, built with CSS and HTML5, uses jQuery, JSON and other libraries that are included within the WordPress platform by default. The only addition is Swiper, which is well documented for folks who might not be aware of it.
Also, Layers is ready for localization (as of now, it includes support for German, Turkish, Simplified Chinese and Spanish, in addition to English), and can also be white labelled if you intend to use it on your clients’ projects.
What about browser support? Well, Layers supports virtually all major versions of modern web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera. For IE, you will need version 10 and above.
Layers does not try to do things out of the ordinary; instead, the core underlying principle behind Layers is to enable users to build layouts and pages using functionality that is native to WordPress. It comes bundled with six basic page templates to that effect.
More importantly, unlike most other theme frameworks for WordPress, Layers itself is not meant for direct customization and tweaks. Instead, the ideal approach is to backup pages and widget data in order to create presets or Style Kits, which in turn can be used to seamlessly implement layouts and other tweaks to WordPress websites within minutes.
This approach ensures that your design is portable, and can be transferred to, copied from, or even shared and sold across different installations of WordPress.
As such, Layers looks amazing, and will more than likely become the next best method to customize and do more with your WordPress websites, all within the matter of a few minutes and mouse clicks.
If you have not yet done so, you should surely check out Layers right away!