I did something I never thought I would do

You might have noticed that the Shaped Pixels website looks a little different…OK, a lot different! Not only did I change the site visually, I also did something I never thought I would do which was to change from using the Joomla content management system (CMS) to WordPress! I am guessing most didn’t know I was running my site on Joomla, but that is a story for another time. 

New Website

I began the idea of changing to WordPress back in the summer of 2016 with the goal of launching the new version for January 1st, but time contraints prevented me from achieving that–among other things. At the time, my primary focus was to finish my Receptive theme before the end of December at which point there was no time left for me to rebuild the Shaped Pixels website. 

After I released Receptive, I began the redesign of Shaped Pixels with a new theme around mid-December. While I was working on this new concept, I realized that I could accomplish a couple things here:

  1. Come up with a new theme to release to the public
  2. Come up with a theme for the new Shaped Pixels website

The old saying “kill two birds with one stone” became a reality when I realized why not come up with a new theme for the site, but release it to the public as well–while naming the theme Shaped Pixels!

It seemed like a good idea at the time, so the project went into high gear and develpment began. I finished the Shaped Pixels theme and released it in record time. Once January arrived, the plan to convert this website from Joomla into WordPress was set in motion.

I won’t lie in saying I have always used Joomla, love Joomla, and worked with Joomla for over 10 years! It was hard to let go, but I realized this was the right move and right change for this website. Who ever heard of a WordPress theme developer designing and selling WordPress themes while running a Joomla website?

Frustration Lead to Excitement

One of the biggest learning experiences I had was to accept the fact when you start a new website, make sure you are absolutely sure of the content management system (CMS) you plan to use. Changing it when you’ve been running the site for almost 2 years is not a fun (or smart) thing to do because of what is involved when making this kind of change…trust me, it’s a nightmare!

Think about every function of your website that has to change to something completely different. I was using Joomla, so I had to find alternative methods to achieve similar functions, but on WordPress. This meant I had to find a whole new system for member sign-ups, purchases, and theme downloads. With the number of users and member accounts Shaped Pixels has, this was a huge undertaking. 

There were many long days and nights, often working up until 4am in the morning, 7 days a week, for the last 4 weeks! Normally this job should have taken a couple of months, but time was crucial, so a lot of coffee and pizza helped me get through it….and while still managing the daily activities of the existing live site.

The New Member/Purchase System

This should make everyone happy because the system I am using is the same kind that many of the top theme sites are using, so how can I go wrong by using what they are using! The one BIG benefit to everyone will be auto theme updates!

Yes, the days of using FTP to upload and overwriting theme files are over. This new system now makes it easier to get updates because it functions just like theme and plugin update notices you get in WordPress. Get an update notice? One click update!

License Keys

One of the features for setting up auto updates, involves assigning license keys to your theme. Although not required, it will give you the auto updates throughout your active theme membership (Single Themes and the Premium or Lifetime Memberships). This is probably one new feature that will take some time to get used to, but when you get a theme, you will get a unique license key that lets you get updates, access setup tutorials, and support. You will also need to add your websites to a setting when you go to your Purchase History >> View Licenses page and then clicking on the “Manage Websites” link.

It’s pretty much going to be similar to what existed on the site before; the difference is only the license key and adding your websites where the theme is being used.

Updating Your Theme

As mentioned, Shaped Pixels has a new system in place now. Theme files have been modified to accommodate the changes made, so I recommend that you do one last update of your theme using FTP (sorry). This will ensure that the theme gets updated with the new coding that allows auto updates to work.

IMPORTANT Before doing this, make sure you BACK-UP your website before overwriting the theme with the new one!

In Summary

The new Shaped Pixels website has several major changes. If you have any worries or questions before you do anything, you are welcome to contact me from the footer Contact Us link, or you can log into the site and visit the “Other Support” forum category to post your questions.

NOTE Because of the changes made, there may be some bugs to work out and possibly some adjustments along the way, so if you encounter anything not working, or something just seems odd, please let me know.

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