What an super duper Catalyst upgrade!
Hot on the heels of the latest WordPress 3.1 upgrade, Catalyst rolled out their latest version 1.1. Not only the main Catalyst Framework got a makeover, the bundled child theme, Dynamik too got a major upgrade and I can tell you, the improvements made is going to send all other Premium Theme Frameworks back to the drawing boards.
The 3 major improvements consist of and not seen in any other frameworks are:
1. EZ Widget Area
I have been lurking within the Catalyst Forums daily and one thing that surprises me quite a bit is the sheer number of users who prefers to use a static homepage for their sites. Granted, many of them are Theme developers who wants to create different looking homepages for their clients but for bloggers, they too, somehow seemed inclined to use a static homepage for their blogs.
In creating the static homepage, many inexperienced new users came across many problems on the layout and in the Forums questions concerning this issue is quite common. The developers has been quick to identify this problem and with this new release, new options page called the EZ Widgets Area has been added to tackle all the issues faced by them.
With the EZ Widgets Area options, users will now be able to create a perfect looking layout that suits their needs with a few clicks of the mouse. There will be no codings involved whatsoever. The video below explains it all.
2. Create Your Own Catalyst Short Codes
One of the most requested features by users in the Catalyst Forum is Short Codes. In the previous version of Catalyst, only some pre-written short codes are available for use in the footer area. With Catalyst 1.1, users now can create their own short codes to their hearts content.
Any codes snippets that you use can be converted into short codes so when you need to use them in different locations, you can just insert the short code you have created instead of inserting the whole bunch of messy codes.
3. Many Other Cool Improvements In Catalyst 1.1
With the Catalyst 1.1, you can create and style your widgets individually without any effort. Even for those who has no knowledge of CSS will be able to literally “write” their own CSS codes with the new features included.
With all these improvements, I don’t think any other Premium Frameworks comes near to what you will be getting with the Catalyst Theme.
New Version of the Catalyst Theme Cheat Sheet
A new and upodated version of the Catalyst Chest Sheet is available for free download to all registered Catalyst users. The download link can be accessed via the Catalyst Forum.
David Pritchard has been hard at work keeping up during the development phase to ensure that the Catalyst Theme Cheat Sheet reflects these changes and he is pleased to announce that a new updated edition of the Cheat Sheet is now available from today to coincide with the release of Catalyst 1.1
The new Catalyst Theme Cheat Sheet (v1.1) includes additional content on the Custom CSS Builder (another 16 pages) and the new EZ Widget functionality (another 18 pages).
This is in addition to reflecting other functionality updates and enhancements in Catalyst 1.1 such as Shortcodes etc.
The Cheat Sheet is now more than 200 pages of superb information on the Catalyst Theme and how to use it effectively.
Catalyst Developer Edition Upgrade Lauching SALE
Catalyst also announced the opening of the all new Catalyst Developer Edition section in the forum. This is an exclusive section dedicated to helping the Catlayst Developer Edition users get the most out of this powerful combination of WordPress and the Catalyst Theme.
On occasion of this major upgrade, Catalyst is having a Developer Edition sale from now through Monday, February 28th at midnight.
So if you don’t already own a copy of Catalyst and would like all the benefits of the Developer Edition, now is the time to buy. Or, if you do own Catalyst, but not the Developer Edition, you can upgrade for only $47 (after Monday the upgrade price will go back to $77).
During this short offer period, new buyers will get the Developer Edition for $144 instead of the usual price of $174. Owners of the Developer Edition will gain special access to the invaluable Developer Edition Section which provides Exclusive Resources where you can gain access to more in-depth how-tos, support and downloads (eg. Skins, Child Themes, Import Files, etc…).
Lastly, when you buy, you will get 22 ready made skins for you to start out. So what are you guys waiting for?