At WPMayor we love to get the inside view from developers working with WordPress. Following our last interview with Brad Trivers, this week we got in touch with another top WordPress developer, Felix Krusch from WordPress theme label RichWP.
In this interview, we discuss WordPress frameworks, with an emphasis on RichWP itself. Felix also talks about how his workflow has changed since he developed his framework, this should be interesting for other WordPress developers out there, in fact we look forward to hearing your views in the comments section below.
Finally, Felix is offering a RichWP FrameWork Child Theme Package to a lucky reader, more details on this towards the end of the interview. So let’s get cracking…
Hi Felix, thanks for your time. Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Thanks for having me here on WPMayor. I am Felix and I run the Premium WordPress Theme label RichWP. Before that I worked as a freelance web designer since 1997 (besides school, university and other jobs). I always had a knack for design but getting high quality Web sites out there was a struggle in those days. Good and easy-to-use content management solutions were not available or were in their infancy, the Internet was slow … but hey, the money was good, really good.
When I was first exposed to WordPress in 2004-2005, I jumped on it and designed and released my first theme. I kept on until today. I launched RichWP in early 2009. I mainly cater to small businesses that want a unique Web site out there quickly as well as to Web developers and designers who need a tool to streamline their WordPress-based Web development efforts. Let’s face it, it is not 2003 anymore. The Web design market is tough, prices decreased and as a Web developer you need to deliver quickly and without friction. My tools help you do exactly that.
It seems like every theme label is pushing their own WordPress framework right now. I know that RichWP was one of the first in the game together with the early versions of Genesis, Thesis and Headway. What sets RichWP apart?
Before I sat down to program the first big option panel for the first RichWP themes, I analysed hundreds of Web sites, what structures are they built on, how to choose the color schemes and set up the typography. From the results I created a design system that allowed the user to create their own theme designs without having to program one line of code. If you want to, you can use this system to recreate approximately 80 percent of the Web sites out there. I kept expanding the editor and the RichWP FrameWork to keep up with the latest trends in Web design and WordPress-based Web development. To sum it up, RichWP probably has the most complete WordPress design system out there. Check my showcase of the sites that my customers created and you will see how flexible this system is. If I tell you that you can create these kind of sites without coding, I have probably sold you on it. It cuts development time in half, at least, if it doesn’t save you even more. It is streamlined WordPress-based development as it should be.
Last month I wrote an article about how freelance Web design has changed over the years. I am sure that a lot of your readers can relate to this.
What new functions and features of the RichWP FrameWork can we expect in 2012?
I am hoping to release version 1.5 of the RichWP FrameWork this year, and it will be a major update. I am currently incorporating an options set to make the FrameWork fully responsive. The current version already works great on tablets, even the galleries, which you do not find in most other products, but v 1.5 takes it a step further and makes your creations fully accessible on smart phones, too.
With this approach you also can create your site layout to work on higher screen resolutions. Until now, most Web sites have been optimized for 1024px wide screens. With the new options you can create sites optimized for 1280px wide screens. I think it’s a logical development and my user statistics seem to prove that the time is right to offer this possibility. As far I know, this will be the first RichWp will be the first of the big WordPress FrameWorks that allows you to create sites for this resolution, and since it will be completely responsive, users with lower screen resolutions will also have a perfectly formatted experience.
I also worked a lot on the social media integration, the photo gallery options and other enhancements.
For the first quarter of 2012 I have planned the release of new child themes and more design presets.
Sounds great. I am familiar with the FrameWork/Child Theme Approach, but what are design presets?
As mentioned above, I have built an extensive design editor. You could use the bottom-up approach and create your design from scratch, but to make your life as a designer easier and to streamline the design process, I have included 15 design presets into the FrameWork that can be combined with the Child Themes. If you activate a design preset, it sets the design options to certain values. You can use this design as is or start customizing from there. That’s the top-down approach to Web design and I am not aware that any other WordPress FrameWork other than Rich WP offers this.
Here is a quick example.
In demo #1 I have activated the Minimal5 Design Preset with the RichCORP Child Theme. In demo #2 you see the Minimal5 Design Preset in combination with the RichMAGAZINE Child Theme.
If you buy one of my FrameWork/Child Theme packages, you basically buy 15 different themes at once. Check out the showcase page on RichWP.com—it is amazing to see what others have created with the Design Options of my FrameWork.
It seems like the perfect solution if you are doing a lot of client work. If the client is demanding color changes or the classic “The Logo needs to be bigger” you seem to be able to do it right in front of the client without having to spend time going through the code. I like this. Thank you very much for being available for this interview.
Thank you for the opportunity.
Since Christmas is coming, I have a special for the readers of WPMayor. You have the chance to win one RichWP FrameWork Child Theme Package. All you have to do is tweet about this article or link to it from your blog. Leave a comment with your twitter handle or the URL you mentioned this article below. In one week, we will randomly choose a winner out of all valid entries.
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