It’s been a long time coming – an all-new free version of WPtouch. Today we’d like to tell you all about it, but first a little bit of backstory.
A Mobile WordPress Theme Is Born
It might be hard to believe, but we shipped the first version of WPtouch back in April 2008. Since that time, the plugin has been downloaded almost 4.6 million times.
It’s now used on millions of websites worldwide, and is hands-down the most popular way to make your WordPress website mobile friendly.
You might not know, but the project started out as a mobile theme for then client of ours Canadian musician, author, and activist Matthew Good. We realized many of Matthew’s visitors were coming to his website on the then just released iPhone— so we thought it might be fun to see what a mobile theme designed just for touch mobile devices could look like. Here’s what it looked like at the time in 2007:
After his visitors raved about how much they liked it, it dawned on us: wouldn’t every WordPress site owner want something like this?
So we set out to create a new version of the project, one that could be used on any WordPress website.
After a few months of development we shipped the first version of WPtouch into the WordPress plugin repository, and the rest as they say is history.
Going Big, Going Pro
In 2009, it quickly gained popularity and users began to request more and more of the product. It became clear to us that in order to fully develop the product and fulfill the vision of it we always had, we would need to release a premium version in order to pay for our development time and add good support for the product.
This wasn’t an easy transition— we were a successful design and development firm buried neck-deep in projects at the time. We believed in the project, and loved working on it, so we closed out our current projects, and devoted all our time and energy to creating a premium version.
We’ve had great success selling our premium version, and recently released an all-new version of the product, WPtouch Pro.
A Big Leap Forward
For quite some time, the free version has become stagnant, so we decided to use the all-new version 3 code base as the basis for a new free version of the product. It was a decision that allows us to do a lot more with it in the future, while also being a significant upgrade for free users today.
And to celebrate the launch, we’re also including a brand-new theme along with it (called Bauhaus) inspired by the design movement of Bauhaus. WPtouch Pro customers also have access to an enhanced version of this theme, as well as three others, in the 3.1 Pro version.
Based on the principles of the 19th-century English designer William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement, Bauhaus design philosophy believed that art should meet the needs of society and that no distinction should be made between fine arts and practical crafts.
The new theme is not just aesthetically based on Bauhaus design, but its architecture (along with the core of the plugin itself) has been engineered to meet the needs of modern WordPress websites in an elegant way.
No Longer One Size Fits All
WPtouch is now a multi-theme, flexible mobile solution for WordPress websites. It now has far more branding, color & style control than ever before.
Themes for it are designed completely image–free, using the latest HTML5 and CSS3 web technologies, and leverage icon fonts, Google fonts, and the latest in mobile web trends to deliver fast, crisp, beautiful mobile themes.
Many of our Pro users had tried some responsive themes, and had been left disappointed. Either they were too slow, cumbersome or difficult to use, or simply ended up being too difficult to manage and maintain. It’s been stated over and over again to us that there continues to be a demand for BraveNewCode & WPtouch to deliver excellent mobile experiences for WordPress websites – and nevermore has it been so exciting for us to develop this product— it’s finally what we always envisioned it should be.
Here at BraveNewCode we’ve spent countless hours refining this product over the last half a decade. It really is the culmination of thousands of hours of hard work, experience, dedication & commitment to being the best of breed for mobile solutions and WordPress websites.
We’ve released the new free version into the repository today, and hope you enjoy it.