I´m very proud to announce the brand new version of our site. As our most regular users must have noticed, we´ve changed everything: our theme, our logo, the way we display the detection results, our statistical Top reports… Everything.
It was clear that WPThemeDetector was needing a new look, and that is something I intended to do long time ago. But then I thought it better and, since we´re always improving our tool and developing new features, I decided to wait a little bit and release a whole bundle of new features along with the new design. The problem was that a lot of new features were already under development and that some new others joined them in the process, and then I decided to improve the detection software as well. So the whole thing took much longer than I thought at the beginning. But anyway, here you have it now!
We started developing a child theme of Nimble by Elegant Themes, but ended up with such a level of customization that it finally became a stand-alone theme. The final result still has some resemblance to the original Nimble theme, like for example its breadcrumbs band, which we used to place the “Site to check” input on the homepage.
I decided to use a sticky menu that would always be handy on top of the screen, and to get rid of the sidebar for the detection tool and stats reports, so that now there is much more real state for the information you´re interested in (the sidebar is shown only on the blog and on some specific pages).
The Detection Tool Output
From now on you won´t just get a tabled version of the information retrieved from the theme stylesheet of the analysed site plus a list of plugin names with uncertain links, but you´ll be getting a full report with a wealth of information, including updated real time information, popularity of themes, plugins and providers, and stats in many cases. You will also know in most cases whether a theme or plugin is free, premium or freemium, and will be supplied with some other pieces of information that you will be discovering by using our tool.
In fact, all that information had to be arranged in several collapsible sections, so the page is easier to handle and more user friendly. By clicking on each section title (child theme, parent theme, theme providers, plugins, etc.) you can open or close that section, so you can concentrate on whatever interests you most.
You will find that we´ve added a section about the analysed site itself where, rather than theme and plugins details, we give you some information extracted from historical data coming from previous analysis of that website, along with other info indicative of their popularity. At the end of this section, you will be told if the site uses CDN services or if it is hosted by a specific service specialized in WordPress hosting in order to improve speed and performance of the site.
The “Top” Statistical Reports
All our Top Themes, Top Plugins and Top Providers reports will now show you the evolution of the rank positions (they are currently comparing data with the results from a week ago, but more evolution comparison options will be added soon).
Images and screenshots are also included in each of these reports, as well as descriptions, basic pricing information (free-freemium-premium), statistical data and some other features (for example, if a theme providers offers frameworks or if they have a theme club pricing scheme).
The Detection Software
Most of our detection code has been improved as we added new detection features to our tool. Some of the changes account for a more reliable detection process and double checking, therefore avoiding as many fake results as possible, while other added programs have been developed to serve our new features or even to make our tool wiser.
Our tool now also takes advantage of some APIs and uses some specially developed scripts to get real time information about themes, plugins or website popularity.
You would be surprise to know the real amount of under-the-hook work that has been necessary for this release.
The Behind-The-Scenes Data Processing
But not everything you´ll get now from our tool is the result of automated code. As you can easily realize, some of the information you see can´t be automated.
For example, in most cases there is no way of automatically knowing whether a particular theme is free or premium, and what about descriptions or even plugin images?
That means that we have a lot of homework to do as our tool gets more used by our visitors, and that many behind the scenes manual data checking and data entering operations need to be done in order to offer you the information you deserve. Hours and hours and more hours. That and tons of coffee.
There´s one drawback though: Our tool now searches, waits for and processes so much information for each website analysis that you will notice it takes longer to display the results.
We´re talking seconds anyway, so I thought it would be worth to wait a little bit and to get better and more juicy information. I hope you´ll agree.
We will do whatever is in our hands to reduce the time involved in each analysis. As a matter of fact, earlier this week and prior to this release our cloud server has been upgraded and its resources improved by a fourfold memory and number of cores increase. We will also soon start using a CDN service (as soon as we finish with some minor final changes) and I will post about the results achieved with it.
But there is a lot of time involved in the whole process that we can´t control ourselves, as many delays caused by third party servers from which our tool has to receive data it requests (or even by the analysed site´s server itself), so even if we greatly improve the time spent on our side, there will be many seconds left that can´t be avoided.
What Is Next?
The goods news is that some other new features are already under development. Actually some of them are almost ready, although they were not included in this release because I didn´t want to delay it further.
And finally… A Word of Apology
As you can imagine I´ve been very busy during the last months, and that is why I didn´t have too much time for blogging.
I apologize about it and I promise I´ll publish more regularly on our blog, now that the main update has been released.
I hope you all enjoy our renewed site!