New Website, Sage, and the Future

This is the 5th major update to the site since 2011. We’ve updated the design, re-branded the starter theme, and released a big update with version 8.0.0.

Re-introducing the starter theme as Sage

The Roots starter theme is now known as Sage. Ever since we launched Bedrock, things got a little weird with branding since Roots was no longer just a theme. Changing the name of the starter theme allows us to use the Roots name to refer to our organization, and also add more projects to the lineup.

Version 8.0.0 brings major changes and improvements for building WordPress themes.

New workflow with gulp and Bower

Grunt has been replaced with gulp and we’ve introduced a new workflow:

  • Write stylesheets with Sass or Less
  • Assets from Bower packages (CSS, JS, fonts) are automatically added to your theme assets
  • JSON file based asset pipeline that allows you to customize your compiled CSS and JS files
  • Replaced LiveReload with BrowserSync, making your workflow faster by synchronizing interactions across multiple devices

Read more about the new workflow in the Sage theme development documentation and get the screencast.

PHP 5.4, coding standards

PHP 5.4 is now required as the minimum version to use Sage. PHP 5.4 was released way back in March 2012 — we’re not going to let the WordPress minimum requirement of 5.2 hold us back from using:

  • Short array syntax
  • Short echo syntax
  • Namespaces

We’ve also created coding standards based on PSR-2, along with a PHPCS ruleset that is tested on all GitHub contributions with Travis CI.

Other changes

Upcoming changes

Now that the new website and Sage 8.0.0 are released, we’ll be focusing on making a Yeoman generator for Sage. By creating a Yeoman generator we’ll be able to make the starter theme framework agnostic.

Right now you can fairly easily use Bootstrap Sass instead of Less, swap out Bootstrap for another framework, or use no framework at all. With a Yeoman generator you’ll be able to select from options to have your starter theme built how you like it from the beginning.

Thank you

I’d like give a huge thank you to the newest member of the core Roots team, Austin Pray. Austin is responsible for the new workflow updates to Sage.

Thank you to everyone who helped out with Sage 8.0.0 by contributing code, feedback, and reporting issues.

Also, thank you to DigitalOcean who is now sponsoring us with cloud VPS servers, and Jens Windolf for the Sage and Bedrock logos.

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