After 1/2 year of development, testing and documentation, we’re proud to release the new Toolset-based themes. Toolset-based themes make it possible to build advanced WordPress themes, without writing PHP. They feature a complete demo-content, packaging and distribution system, which will make it easy to launch a successful theme business without becoming expert developers.

Build feature-rich themes without writing PHP

Toolset comes packed with tons of features and lets you build advanced sites. Now, besides building sites for clients, you can use this power to build themes.

Toolset-based themes should use Layouts, for the site’s structure. Then, add the functionality you need with Views and CRED. Your themes can feature custom searches, display on Google Maps, front-end submission forms and everything that Toolset offers.

On-demand installer and automatic updates for end-users

Toolset-based themes obviously rely on Toolset plugins, but they ship without any bundled plugins. Instead, the theme will include a small installer and a configuration file. The installer will automatically download the required Toolset plugins, install and activate them. It will apply all the configuration (set-up the elements that you designed) and connect them together.

When there are updates to Toolset plugins, your end-users (or clients) will receive them automatically.

This way, end users always run the most up-to-date, stable and secure versions of all plugins. You don’t need to release updates for your themes every time we release an update to a plugin. Your download file also remains light and fast.

Automatic documentation for your themes

Do you enjoy writing lengthy documentation? Probably nobody does. This is why when you create themes based on Toolset, you receive automatic documentation that you can use “as is”.

Toolset gives you a structured way for building sites. When you set up the theme, our system will know what layouts display what parts of the site, what content types, fields and taxonomy you created and how they’re used. We take all this information and produce from it detailed documentation for your theme. The documentation comes as plain HTML, so you can edit it freely and publish on your site.

Use Toolset-based themes as a streamlined deployment process for your client projects

Toolset-based themes come with a complete mechanism for packaging, delivering and deploying sample content. While sample content is important as a starting point for people buying your theme, you can also use it as a deployment mechanism. You can build entire client sites locally, wrap the site as a “theme” and send it as a single ZIP file to your client. When your clients install the theme, they will get your entire design set up.

You can even update your design locally and send a ZIP file with the updated theme. Our installer makes sure there are no conflicts with local edits and will deliver your update.

Pricing and license

There are two ways Toolset-based themes work:

  • Per-site – only one site can use the theme, which means you’re creating sites for clients
  • Unlimited distribution – any number of sites can run the theme

If you only need Toolset-based themes “per-site”, you don’t need to pay anything extra. Toolset-based themes are already active in all accounts (the account needs to be valid and for the complete Toolset package). You can go ahead right now, create your first Toolset-based theme and deliver it to your client.

If you want to distribute Toolset-based themes without limitations (meaning, you’re basing a theme business on Toolset), you will need to get an Author account. An Author account for one “unlimited distribution” theme costs $649. An Author account for unlimited “unlimited distribution” themes costs $899. As always, we offer account upgrades and you don’t need to pay the full price. Log in to your account and click on the link (on the top-right) to Upgrade your account.

Getting started building Toolset-based themes

The new Toolset-based themes page gives and overview and some useful links.

If you have a valid Toolset account (including Basic, Agency or Lifetime), you can start experimenting. Log in to your account and you’ll see a new Toolset-based themes section.

There’s a tutorial on how to build Toolset-based themes, which will help you get started.

And, if you’re interested in the fine print, see the license for Toolset-based themes.


What do you think? Leave your comments and we’ll get back to you.