The GeoPlatform Theme is the standard template/layout that is included in the GeoPlatform Community Core Bundle (CCB). The theme provides the basic structure for the community, but allows for extensive curation and customization of the content and layout. Community Editors can edit the content and layout on the homepage, individual pages, menus, and plugins. To view step-by-step instructions on to edit a community space, use the Community Cookbook.
One of the breakout features of GeoPlatform Theme 4 is the massive expansion of widgetization in the structure and organization of the community. Previous versions of GeoPlatform Theme have been largely static, with front pages consisting always of a banner, featured pages, and a map gallery, in that order.
In GeoPlatform Theme 4, the front page is a drag-and-drop canvas. Site owners can drag and drop any number of these elements onto the page, in any order of their choosing, and with pinpoint control over their contents. A front page could have its banner removed, instead having multiple featured post sections, each with different content.
This widgetization expands as well to the sidebar, which provides the owner a whole array of ways to customize their supplemental information. Both front page and sidebar are supported by a large swath of GeoPlatform widgets right out of the box, and are compatible as well with the widgets provided as part of WordPress core.
Expanded Menu Controls
Menu controls have been expanded for GeoPlatform Theme 4. The user has full control over four separate menus as part of the drop-down mega-menu, and an additional four in the footer mega-menu. Additionally, the theme adds the new Header Bar and Footer Bar menus, which are always visible in the header and footer for easy one-click access.
To offer further customization, the Header Bar has several different display locations as determined under the settings in Customize => GeoPlatform Controls.
Expanded GeoPlatform Controls
GeoPlatform Controls is a new option under Customization that contains the grand bulk of GeoPlatform Theme 4’s custom control system. They include…
- Featured Card Appearance, allowing the user to control featured post styling.
- Breadcrumb Controls, toggles appearance of breadcrumbs above posts, pages, and categories.
- Header Bar Controls, controls the style and location of the Header Bar Menu.
- Search Bar Controls, toggles appearance and functionality of the header search bar.
- Mega-menu Controls, toggles visibility of the mega-menu in the header and footer.
- Page Banner Controls, toggles between a minimalistic header or banner for posts and pages.
- Blog Count Controls, sets the number of results on blog pages per page.
One of the most annoying things to handle in older versions of the GeoPlatform Theme was display order, particularly in category lists and featured post sections. As they were sorted by date, some communities resorted to manipulating last-modified settings to affect post order.
GeoPlatform Theme 4 rectifies this with the addition of Featured Sorting, toggelable under the customize menu. All posts and pages now have a Featured Display Priority value that can be set in the Edit Page interface, which can be set to any integer.
When Featured Sorting is enabled, any list of posts generated will check for the priority value of the posts it should contain and order them from least priority value to greatest, with any posts possessing a zero or negative value disregarded.
The result is the ability to curate the ordering of list of posts or pages, usually referenced by category, by the value of one number.
A custom post type, Category Links lack function but provide utility for any form of listed posts. Category Links possess titles, excerpts, and priority values like any post, but contain no content like a post or page, instead accepting a url as input. Then, when placed into a category or other lists of posts, clicking on it will redirect the user to the url input.
Through this methodology, Category Links permit the site’s composer to incorporate the connection of their users to external destinations, with the vehicle for doing so incorporated seamlessly into the community’s interface.
Numerous Bug Fixes
Previous versions of GeoPlatform Theme were not the most stable of environments, largely due to the recent transition from Drupal and reliance upon third-party dependencies. This led to bugs, instability, and conflicts with plugins on a too frequent basis.
One of the major goals of the GeoPlatform Theme redesign was to remedy as many of these issues as possible, and it has largely succeeded. Additionally, previously trouble-causing dependencies have been removed, replaced with reliable, built-in functionality.
The release of R15 unveiled the new style standards for the GeoPlatform with its revamped Portal. Alongside the new theme, existing plugins were updated to adopt the new style, and a slew of new plugins were introduced that utilize it. GeoPlatform Theme 4 brings all of those tools and styles to the fingertips of the communities in the form of an integrated, stable package with each piece able to function impeccable while independent yet excelling as a whole.