After the initial release of Catalyst WordPress Theme came a few minor updates.
Although mainly focused on minor tweaks and bug fixes there were also some functionality enhancements to Catalyst too.
As this series of posts on updates to the Catalyst WordPress Theme is mainly focused on detailing the increasing functionality added to it since its initial release, only the main feature and functionality changes are included here.
Catalyst Theme Version 1.0.1
- added additional catalyst hooks in the header and footer areas (allowing for Catalyst Custom Widget Areas and Catalyst Custom Hook Boxes to be hooked into these areas)
- included a new text option for the Breadcrumbs trail on the Homepage (so the breadcrumb trail can be anything you like)
- added a meta description to Category Archive Pages based on the Category Description (the Archive Page options for Categories, Tags and Authors get much more functionality beneficial for SEO added in future releases of Catalyst too)
Catalyst WordPress Theme Version 1.0.4
While the next versions (1.0.2 and 1.0.3) included a couple of bug fixes, the next release of Catalyst WordPress Theme in Mid January 2011 was the biggest yet.
Version 1.0.4 saw the Catalyst Excerpts Widget totally rebuilt. This is a very useful widget for including specific Post and/or Page content in a given widget area (whether sidebar or Catalyst Custom Widget Area).
The Catalyst Excerpts Widget
With the Catalyst Excerpts Widget, you can set it display a featured Post or Page, or to display the last X-number of posts and whether that is just from a particular category or all posts. It also allows the display of the full content or excerpted content.
You can also specify the starting point in the list of posts. So if you want to miss out the first post, then using the Offset feature, you can do so. This could allow you for example to have one such widget displaying the most recent post, and another widget displaying the remaining posts excluding the most recent.
Using Multiple Catalyst Theme Excerpts Widgets
So this now allows control over excerpts widgets on an individual per-widget basis for total flexibility.
Also included in the new excerpts functionality was a custom thumbnail set, allowing for different thumbnail sizes on Blog Pages and the Excerpts Widget for example.
Catalyst Theme Core Excerpts Options
Other features added in Catalyst WordPress Theme version 1.0.4 included:
- a Homepage document title in the Core SEO options
- redesign of the Catalyst Theme Framework HTML to deliver up the content first (believed to be more SEO friendly)
- additional Google Fonts in the font selections
- direct links to the style.css stylesheet in the Core Options (Info) and the Dynamik stylesheet in the Dynamik (Body) options
- and a whole host of other stuff like the addition of classes for various elements
Catalyst Theme Cheat Sheet
Coinciding with the release of this update, the Catalyst Theme Cheat Sheet was also launched.
Providing a written guide to the theme’s functionality, the 160 page Cheat Sheet also included tips and advice on how to make the most of Catalyst Theme (with subsequent revisions covering new functionality etc, it has now grown to around 250 pages).
Overview of Catalyst WordPress Theme Version 1.0.4
So within a month or so of its launch, Catalyst had not just fixed its expected share of minor stuff etc, but had also seen it’s functionality added to significantly too.
The next version was just a few weeks away however and was to include the biggest changes yet to the Catalyst WordPress Theme!