If you’re looking at this site around the time this post was made, check the footer and you should see the name of the theme as “Extended Grid”. If you do, you’re looking at a new(ish) theme for WordPress that I just made!

New(ish)?

I say new(ish) because most of the good stuff in this theme comes from its parent theme, Minimal Grid by Thememattic. I love grid themes that mix and match content types and Minimal Grid was so close to being the perfect theme for me that I decided to extend it rather than building something new from the ground up.

If you haven’t experimented with child themes before they are a great way to extend an existing theme without losing out on future updates to the original. At their most basic level, child themes either add to or replace the functions of the parent. What they don’t replace they simply inherit and as the original theme is updated, so your own theme will be too. It’s obviously not impossible to get a few compatibility issues along the way and you have to remember that the functions you replace are then yours to maintain, but it sure beats hacking at someone else’s theme and then never getting any updates from the original ever again. Child Themes are very easy to create as well – especially when you use a tool like the excellent Child Theme Configurator Plugin.

What’s Different in Extended Grid?

The key differences at the moment are:

  1. The left fly out sidebar is now hidden by default.
  2. The left fly out sidebar can now contain widgets
  3. There is a new widget area above the page content that can be used for banners, sliders, or other top of page content
  4. Category descriptions now support shortcodes
  5. Numbered and bulleted lists are now have less indentation (a somewhat opinion driven change for me!)

Everything else, today, is “as is” from Minimal Grid.

Folks, is this cool?

Minimal Grid is covered by the good old GPL (the GNU Public License), which means the developers are happy for me to take the code and do with it what I will. (The joys of proper open source!) However, I will confess I’m not sure what the appropriate (n)etiquette is for releasing a child theme to someone else’s theme. So, I’ve shot off an email to Thememattic to see if they are happy for me to release the code for Extended Grid on WordPress.org…

Watch this space!