Hello all, I hope this post finds you well.
Have you noticed how this once moderately simple theme is getting more and more complicated? Has your Responsive Child Theme stopped working after the update? Have you tried to find information on the latest update and you keep getting bounced around from link to link and page to page? Me too! The Responsive Theme version 188.8.131.52 update has many people scratching their heads.
It reminds me of the old adage, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
Don’t get me wrong I love this theme, I understand progression and improvement, it is the natural order of things in our world, especially technology. The web is changing and so must the methods used to present content on the web. But really guy’s? The transition form ThemeID to CyberChimps was not a smooth one to begin with. And now the updates are getting very difficult and laborious for folks to understand let alone implement. I have been getting tons of request regarding errors after upgrading and a lack of simple to follow information on the changelog for this new update (184.108.40.206). There appears to be this assumption from the developers perspective, that everyone is an expert in WordPress, PHP, CSS and the use of child themes which is obviously not the case as reflected by the overwhelming request I and others are getting for help.
Upon checking the forum at the WordPress Theme Directory as of July 31st, 2013 , only 9 of 91 support request have been addressed for this theme! The new update is daunting for the beginner and even the moderately capable after they have just now finally got the hang of the previous update which changed specific key file names like home PHP to front-page PHP which threw a lot of people off. Now when you try to see what has changed for the new update by following the “get details” link provided, you get bounced around and have to actually explore the forums and support request to get any idea and the threads are confusing to say the least.
As I stated, I understand change and respect the knowledge and abilities these coders possess, but make that change something everybody can understand and implement, not just coders. When you click on the “220.127.116.11 details” link, it doesn’t take you to the normal simple update details window, instead you are taken to the WordPress Themes Directory page where you get an introduction to the Responsive Theme. Then you have to click on support and start looking for what changes have been made specific to the new update and how it will effect your site. The only thread that says anything about update 18.104.22.168 says something about “child theme not working after update“. When you click on that thread, the person is typically bounced to another forum thread and it states, “they don’t check these forums”. Eventually you find something about child themes and a reference to the CSS “@import used in child themes to call the parent theme CSS as a reference for the standard layout. They suggest changing to a <link> tag to call the external stylesheets.
When you click on that link, you are taken to yet another thread that has one post with a link to another page that finally has information about the update but don’t get exited yet, you get bounced again to GTMetrix for a quick lesson on CSS Rule summaries and page load times. Still no detailed information on the actual update and how it will impact your site with simple instructions on how to transition. As of July 31st, a link is provided for an example of the new updated child theme CSS rule’s use and that link takes you to a blank page. The link to the so-called changelog details at GitHub also takes you to a blank page.
In the beginning I got very little help out of the forums for the Responsive Theme (I won’t get in to the reasons I suspect) and noticed that only certain people received detailed, patient responses from the developers and forum moderators. Thusly I took matters in my own hands and dissected the theme, and started my site (http://www.mindvisionmedia.net) and and my corresponding YouTube channel filled with FREE specific Responsive Theme tutorials to help others get the simple and direct answers to many questions they sought in the forums. The response (no pun intended) has been amazing and I have had hundreds of people from all over the world contacting me for clear, unbiased assistance with the Responsive Theme. I have provided over 120,000 minutes of training and explanation for over 20,000 viewers worldwide since March of this year.
I am not boasting or bragging because those numbers are not that much in the scheme of things, but rather validating this post. Although this theme is still very popular, the developers have taken a lot for granted as it relates to the common man and woman who like this theme and they assume everybody is an expert in WordPress, PHP and CSS. A simple question about font size of changing color is often unanswered or the request is bounced around to many other forums and threads to no avail. Thats where I have come in to the picture, little old me, someone who came from static HTML with no formal WordPress, PHP or CSS coding experience yet I have helped so many people and get the most amazing comments and accolades from my viewers it is unbelievable.
All this to say, for those now faced with the daunting tasks of updating the Responsive Theme once again to version 22.214.171.124 from version 126.96.36.199, be cautious and take your time. The update is recommended, not mandatory. It is always a good idea to update to avoid hackers, security vulnerabilities as well as adding new features but be very careful with this update. Previously updating your theme didn’t effect your child theme modifications most of the time and this was the whole reason for using a child theme in the first place. But update 188.8.131.52 impacted child themes by changing the name of the home PHP file, this update apparently will directly impacts your child theme’s load time and may cause your child theme to stop working according to the support thread mentioned above.
I am currently working on a tutorial that will hopefully take the fear out of the update process for my viewers and those who have put in a lot of work and time on their sites already who may be worried. My time is limited but this update effects me as well so I am doing my best to complete a video addressing some of the update issues that are being discussed. I selected the Responsive Theme as my choice in the beginning and despite less than adequate support, I stayed with it, I have promoted its use hundreds if not thousands of times, given props to the developers and will continue to do so. But for those who need clear, patient, simple direction or answers, can they expect to get it at CyberChimps? Probably not if you are using any of the FREE themes. You’ll have to upgrade or get a support contract for that. But you can get free support and answers to a lot of your questions regarding the responsive theme at MindVisionMedia.net