Today we're going to talk about some really exciting functionality that's part of Miva Merchant version 9. It's called ReadyThemes. Now at its core, ReadyThemes give it's store owner the ability to customize their Miva Merchant store in terms of the look and feel, the navigation, content, images - all from the Miva Merchant Admin and all without having to edit code. In this video and the videos that follow we're going to dive into ReadyThemes and talk about how ReadyThemes work, how to build ReadyThemes and how to create your own ReadyTheme to sell in our Marketplace.
How ReadyThemes Work
First, let's take a high level look at how ReadyThemes work. ReadyThemes is part of version 9, so if you're on version 9 all you have to do is turn it on in order to use it. That's done under Utilities. Click on Utilities, click on Add/Remove Modules, and then underneath Available Modules here you'll find ReadyThemes and you'll click the Install button. Now I've already installed the ReadyThemes module in my store, so it shows up under installed modules here. Now, it's worth noting that if you install a Theme that uses ReadyThemes it will automatically install the ReadyTheme Module for you. So once I have it installed, I access ReadyThemes by clicking on the Menu, and then scrolling down to ReadyThemes. ReadyThemes have six main areas of functionality separated by these tabs; Settings, Images, Banners, Content Sections, Product Listings and Navigation Sets. Now we'll dive into each one of those individually in their own video. ReadyThemes gives you a ton of Admin functionality to be able to control the look and feel. Things like the logo, background color, social media icons, your SSL Trust Symbol is all controllable through an Admin Interface in your ReadyThemes.
You can also control images, things like home page images and slideshows. Promotional images, category header images, they can all be controlled through ReadyThemes Interface.
Banners are text banners which are used for promotions like Free Shipping or any promotional messages you want to put on your site can be done through these text banners.
Content Sections gives you control over all your content pages without having to go in and edit your code. You can go in and change the About Us page. I can double click on this and it will bring up our About Us page content.
Product Listings are a great way to add featured products to any page of the site. The most common use case would probably be the Homepage Featured Products, but you can add it anywhere you need in Miva Merchant. it allows you to pull featured products from a particular category that you specify or from all the products in the store.
Navigation Sets are a very powerful navigational component that allows you to control all of the navigation right from the Miva Merchant Admin.
Now lets talk a little bit about how ReadyThemes work. ReadyThemes are all tied to entities, which are just variables, and item tags which control different aspects of the theme. For example, here I have a hero image. This hero image is what controls the main image on my homepage. I can double click on this and it will allow me to change this image. I can upload a new image, I can change the alt text and resize the image automatically, add a link and ReadyThemes will automatically print that code to the page. Well behind the scenes of how it works is there's an item tag for ReadyThemes. Anytime you create a new image, a new banner, a new content section, a new product listing or navigational set it will automatically generate this item tag for you and display it so you can just copy and paste it where you want this image to display. So you, the theme developer, are in full control of what image and what content are displayed where. They all have the same syntax. It looks like a function call. The function here is Image, and it's passing in the code of the image that we want to display. Because the code is a string, it needs to be in single quotes. So if I wanted to display this image on the homepage, I would take this item tag, I would go to the storefront page and insert it where I want this image to display.
Now the storeowner can change that image, resize that image, change the link and have a lot of control right from the Miva Merchant Admin without ever having to edit code which is a very powerful part of Miva Merchant ReadyThemes.
Miva Merchant ReadyThemes come with a base developer framework which looks like this. It's very bare bones but it's a fully responsive framework, a soft bootstrap. We're going to go into a lot more depth on this framework in another video. The idea behind this framework is to give developers a starting point who want to create and sell new ReadyThemes. In addition to this base developer framework, there are also going to be free high quality ReadyThemes that we produce and give away to the community. Here's what a couple of them look like...
This is called our Retro ReadyTheme. This is geared towards small stores that have between one and ten products. Again, because it's powered by ReadyThemes, all of these ReadyThemes are all controllable from the Admin.
Here's a second one. This is our Optics ReadyTheme. This has some really nice drop down menus which are built in and all controllable via the navigation set component. All of these images are controllable, this text is controllable via the text banner, and featured products on the home page. Here we're displaying most popular and on sale.
So these are just two of the themes that are going to be available for free. They serve two purposes; one is for store owners. A store owner can download these themes, install them on their store, customize them and use them as their own theme.
The second purpose is for developers. We're seeding the market for developers to use our base developer framework or any of the free themes that we produce to be able to take them and re-theme them, modify them with their own theme; change the user interface, change the functionality, repackage them and sell them as their own them on our Themes Marketplace.
Miva Merchant's ReadyThemes is a core component of version 9 and we're very excited for what this means for both store owners and developers.