I chose to create a WYSIWYG theme editor not only for its immediate use to WordPress, but its incredible potential. While creating a theme editor will likely prove to be quite the full plate, I have considered several additional functions that I hope will eventually come to fruition.

1. Include Preset Physical Elements, Layouts, and Themes

  • Allow users to add complex elements (e.g. SuperFooter, Sidebar-Main-Sidebar) in a single click
  • Allow users to apply preset layouts (e.g. Blog, CMS, etc.) to any theme, effectively preserving the style of the theme
  • Provide users with default theme(s) on which they can base their customizations

2. A Hybrid Wireframe/Live-Website View

  • A preview of the live website with the interactive wireframe superimposed on top of it.
  • Allow grids to be toggled on and off.

3. GUI based CSS Style Editor

  • Implementing an editor for stylistic CSS would directly complement the structurally based editor, allowing users to customize the entire visual representation of a theme without using a line of code
  • This style editor could also implement a typography management tool

4. Backwards Compatibility

  • Unfortunately, one caveat of an editor capable of altering theme structure is that the theme must have been compiled by the corresponding generator. Otherwise, the editor cannot make any assumptions regarding the construction of the theme or the effects that will ensue after editing its structure. That said, the theme editor could still act as a visual widget manager, and if the GUI based CSS style editor were implemented, that would remain compatible as well.

5. Markup Editor

  • A markup editor could be implemented in conjunction with the GUI, and could update and be updated by changes within the GUI.
  • A markup editor could also allow the user to edit the theme’s PHP files.