Last year saw the first time that one of our free themes, GK Portfolio – a minimalist theme with simple yet elegant animated post preview blocks and hover animations that introduced a new way to highlight your content – was posted to the WordPress.org repository. It’s lightweight design provided a great option for photographers, designers or bloggers to combine text and pictures to promote their work or posts without overloading the user with options or information.
New features for a powerful WordPress theme
Since then, we’ve been tinkering with the theme constantly to provide a wide-ranging set of changes and improvements; we’ve taken advantage of the new features provided by each WordPress update to further enhance the user-friendliness of the theme with sleek customization options guided by the valuable feedback of our users. In fact, we’ve made so many useful additions that it’s worth taking another look, even if you gave it a try back when the theme first released!
Improved functionality and instant customization options
The GK Portfolio theme was one of the first of our themes to step away from using the GavernWP framework to provide its options and settings, instead allowing for instant customization with real-time previews of changes via the Theme Customizer. One of the big focuses of our updates was to let users of all skill levels make the kind of changes that would usually require direct modification of the theme’s CSS to achieve; our last few updates have seen these great features added. Users can now:
- Change the type of animation and the animation speed of each post block in the post-highlighting frontpage
- Set the dimensions and padding of the post blocks for more direct layout control,
- Decide the content of the post blocks; image-focused sites can disable the tag display and preview on hover to keep your pictures at the center of attention,
- Swap out the text-based site title for their own graphical logo,
- Define image size and number of post blocks in the portfolio layout to set exactly how you want your content highlighted,
- Let your site visitors jump between posts instantly with forward and back buttons on the edge of each post’s page,
- Deliver a complete multilingual site thanks to support for the powerful and flexible WPML plugin.
Sublime design changes for a perfect responsive look
On the design side of things we’ve worked hard to make the theme perform better than ever on small screen devices like mobile phones and tablets, with full responsive design that will let visitors across the full range of device access all your content with no limitations and no frustratingly bare mobile-only site. What’s more, we’ve added some nice little visual tweaks to clean up the overall style and make sure every step of the journey through your site is a pleasant one, including visual improvements to the submenu animations of main menu and post-preview animations on the home page and of course in the subpages of the theme.
With all these new features and additions the latest version of the GK Portfolio theme is a very different beast to the one that first made its mark on the theme repository last year, and we’re not planning on slowing down any time soon; we’ll keep listening to feedback and implementing improvements and new features to make every Portfolio-based site as unique and personal as possible. That’s why we want to hear the valuable feedback our community has to offer on where Portfolio should head next; this is a theme built for you and it’s important to make your voice heard and help make it better, little-by-little.
Share, comment and contribute to our great free theme!
If you’re ready to jump in and give the latest version of our free Portfolio theme a try, whether you’re a newcomer or just testing out the new features, then you can head on over to the WordPress.org Theme Directory and get started right away. We’d be very grateful if you share your rating, opinion and ideas about our GK Portfolio theme as this will help us to create an even better version of the theme in the future. If you’re interested in staying at the cutting edge of the theme’s development drop in on our Github repo where you’ll often find the latest theme update a few days ahead of the theme repository, and can get more insight into the development cycle we’ve followed with Portfolio. We look forward to seeing you there, and we hope you enjoy this great free theme!