With all the changes in it, I have been accommodating Ultimatum Theme 2.7.2 (a bug fix version, with another expected in the next few days). First up was providing a ‘sticky’ top menu, courtesy of a plugin called Sticky Menu (or Anything!) on Scroll. The trouble is, it does not work nicely with the UberMenu plugin I was using. Ultimatum 2.7.2 has a Bootstrap menu option. Using this, in the default position, with search showing, works well. Goodbye UberMenu, its associated additional plugins, and the code to load its revised stylesheet.

Also, I noticed that the EU Cookie plugin, which gives new visitors a warning about cookie use (stupid EU legislation), does not work with Ultimatum Theme 2.7 onwards, so I replaced it with (the nicer) Cookie Notice plugin. A number of other plugins have gone too, plus quite a bit of the custom code in the child theme functions.php file. It’s looking good.

One part of Ultimatum Theme that does not appear to have been updated, nor does it look like it will be soon, is WooCommerce Connect. Here’s hoping for the future of that feature.

The guys from Ultimatum Theme have just released version 2.7.1 (from 2.6.2) and with that number sequence you wouldn’t expect much to have changed. How wrong you would be. Whilst some of the settings and admin pages have remained the same, a huge amount has obviously changed. Page loading is now very fast and assets (external javascript and css files) seem to have been properly managed. This means my code bloated functions.php file can now be slimmed down quite a bit. Heartbleed API continues to be a problem, so to manage this I have (again) removed the custom code in my functions.php file and replaced this with a new plugin called Heartbeat Control.

Another big step forward for Ultimatum Theme is far more extensive css tweaking options for the chosen base theme, and, for the first time, beta support for Bootstrap 3 and Bootswatch 3 Themes. As our site is based on Bootswatch 3 Darkly, this has helped remove a lot of custom code, and the theme works more smoothly. Page load can now be less than 1 second!!

… and other things.

Having paid for and installed UberMenu, I discovered it wouldn’t play nicely with the Bootswatch Flatly custom color theme that I had set in Ultimatum Theme. Back to the help pages to discover an UberMenu plugin called Flat Skin Pack (curiously, that page says it is $7, but when you go to pay it is only $6). I also installed the Conditionals extension. Given what I said in the last post about Envato, I figured that with a balance still on the account available to spend, I searched for other paid for WordPress plugins and came across a great one called Hide My WP, that now accompanies the other plugins I am using to help secure WordPress. These are Wordfence Premium (paid for), Updraft Plus Premium (paid for) and Rename wp-login.php (free).

Of course, I still have to style the sub menus of UberMenu, but first I now need to see about adding a login widget, hopefully to the menu, and maybe changing the ‘Home’ link on the menu to a small image (which means I have to make a small logo). To help with searching, I have added a plugin called Better Search. A busy weekend, but onwards and upwards.

I am very happy to admit that there are some far smarter minds than mine. My voyage of discovery with getting a theme (the ‘look’) of our website right led me to Ultimatum Theme. Believe me, this tool is AWESOME. Long before selecting even WordPress, let alone Ultimatum, I had realised the need for a responsive theme. Having gone down this route with Crosstec CleanLogic, and modified that to a blue theme (lots of work on my part), we junked that work and started again with Ultimatum. In Ultimatum, it didn’t take more than a few minutes to select the Bootstrap V2.3.2 themes, and the one I picked was flatly. But, how to make it blue and not green?

At first I thought that finding the variables.less and bootswatch.less files and editing these was the answer. But how to get the blue theming right? Then I wondered. Is there a theming tool for Bootstrap? And, the answer …. drum roll please … is yes. Thanks to Pikock Website Builder, there is a theme maker for both Bootstrap 3 and Bootstrap V2.3.3. all you do is import the current variables.less file (paste into a popup box) and it shows the theme as you have currently have yours. Then you change the colors and other variables to get it as you like, then export the finished file. Simples (joke probably only understood by UK viewers of comparethemarket TV ads, why not watch them on YouTube for a giggle?).

Right now, the best choice of site layout is responsive bootstrap. Bootstrap V3 is still settling in, so the Ultimatum Theme currently uses the older Bootstrap V2.3, if you want it to. Moreover, you can select any of the Bootswatch for Bootstrap V.23 themes. This makes designing quite easy.

A quick look at these themes shows that our site is using Flatly. But, instead of the dark green theme, I am making a dark blue theme. At first, the only way I could figure on doing this was to write Custom CSS in the Ultimatum child theme layout. But then I did some digging, and found the core files. If you browse to the WordPress folder, wp-content … themes … ultimatum … wonderfoundry … gridworks … less … flatly (or whichever theme you choose) you will find 2 files, called variables.less and bootswatch.less.

Edit these to change all the defaults. Each time you make a change, you have to regenerate the css files from the ultimatum layout page. Make sure you first back up the original files, and that after you are done, you keep a copy of the revised files somewhere safe. Any future updates might reset all your work!

Right now I am wrestling with server settings, because the mySQL database keeps crashing. I think it is a setting that I do not appear to have access to, so the support team over at BBGN are looking into it.