A lightweight, versatile multi-tool for WordPress theme developers

The Mindshare Theme API is a free, open source (GPL) WordPress plugin we developed in-house for our client projects at Mindshare Studios, Inc. The idea behind the Mindshare Theme API plugin is to put as much of the core “logic” for any custom WordPress theme into a separate, update-able plugin furthering the separation between functionality and presentation (design) that WordPress already offers. The Theme API is also built modularly, so you can “opt-in” or “opt-out” of nearly all of its features. This makes it compatible with virtually any WordPress theme without changing your existing code. Initially, this idea grew out of the TimThumb security scare back in 2011. We had numerous client sites that were using insecure version of the TimThumb script, and updating them was a chore. So we thought, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a plugin that included the latest version of TimThumb (and any other helper scripts or libraries) that we could update automatically without ever running the risk of screwing up custom changes to a theme? Using Child Themes is a step in the right direction of course, but they are not always the right choice and even with Child Themes, we’d still wind up maintaining tons of custom themes,each with their PHP and JavaScript logic  implementations. The plugin has been evolving for about 3 years now and we’ve put in over 500 hours developing the Mindshare Theme API so far.

The Mindshare Theme API has two settings pages sections: one for WordPress Administrators (manage_options capability), another for WordPress Editors ( edit_theme_options capability). The user interface is minimal and built to seamlessly integrate with WordPress – we hate it when plugin authors use obtrusive self-promotion and donation appeals – so the Mindshare Theme API is nearly invisible (from a client perspective). By default the API will add a credit as an HTML comment – but even this is easy to turn off.

Client (editor) Features

  • Simple input fields (and template tags) so clients can control contact info that might typically be in your theme’s footer or other typically non-editable areas
  • Social media integration settings
  • Geo-location settings
  • Google Analytics settings
  • Members-only shortcodes in the editor to show/hide page/post content based on user status (logged in/out or role/capability)
  • Insert other posts/queries into the editor using simple  shortcodes / TinyMCE Buttons

Developer (administrator) Features

  • Completely customizable, unbranded Maintenance Mode to temporarily take your site offline (with option to specify User Roles that can still access the site)
  • Google Analytics tracking code settings
  • PHP debugging options and logging control
  • Advanced performance tuning options (including JavaScript, CSS, and HTML minification and caching)
  • Controls to simply enqueue or dequeue CSS and JavaScript from WordPress
  • Configurable Internet Explorer update reminder for user’s running unsupported browsers
  • Configurable option to break out of HTML frames
  • Configurable option to automatically open external links in a new window/tab
  • Configurable option automatically delete full size images on upload
  • Edit the default WordPress excerpt “more” text (and link)
  • Option to disable the WordPress Toolbar sitewide and remove the setting from the Profile page
  • Option to reverse sort order for the wp_nav_menu function (useful only when CSS floated menu items appear in reverse order on certain themes)
  • Configurable option to remove inline recent comments CSS from your head tag (inserted by WordPress)
  • Miscellaneous wp_head cleanup and  security functions
  • Miscellaneous WordPress Dashboard cleanup (hiding some of the default Dashboard widgets)
  • Integrated System Information to help developers rapidly assess host environments (includes PHP, MySQL, WP, and user agent info, active themes, plugins and more)
  • Around 60 additional WordPress Template Tags you can use in your themes to speed up development, building on the existing WordPress API

Included Libraries & Plugins

Quickly and easily add the most common (and cool!) JavaScript and jQuery libraries and utilities. The Mindshare Theme API is updated regularly with the latest versions so you don’t need to worry about bundling old third-party code into your custom themes. Just turn a feature on and it will be automatically included in your theme.

Features

  • Automatic plugin updates
  • Options to completely uninstall and/or restore defaults settings
  • Configurable options for customizing the WP admin screens and login pages with your own logo and branding

  • Shortcodes to insert inline WP queries into other posts
  • Separate mailing / physical address fields

  • Credits page
  • Import and export all settings

Developer Documentation

Full API documentation for the available Filters, Actions, and Template Tags in the Mindshare Theme API is available here: API Function Reference