Storefront 2.1 development begun last week. Whilst a major release, 2.1 won’t be anywhere near the scale of 2.0. Moving forwards we’d like to keep our major releases smaller, more focused and more regular. That means fewer (potentially) breaking changes per release and more predictability in terms of release dates.

This post outlines the areas we’re planning to work on and improve.

SEO enhancements

Originally, Storefront templates were based almost entirely on the Underscores equivalents which themselves were based on standards in and around the WordPress development community. Much of this is, and has been a good foundation. However, we’d already made many tweaks that should have a positive impact on Storefronts SEO performance. Here’s what we’re doing/have done for 2.1;

Structural outline

Ensure we’re using appropriate tags for content layout. This applies mainly to Storefront specific templates, posts and pages. As a part of this tag review we’ve majorly adjusted widget markup and content wrappers on single posts / pages.

Heading level outline

The headings in Storefront are a little messy to say the least. We’re of the opinion that most stores will want product titles / content to be the most heavily weighted for search so we’re working to ensure that’s the case!

Ergo, lots of content that is currently wrapped in headings such as navigation / widget titles are being wrapped in plain old divs and spans instead. We’ll also be making sure that all pages adhere to the expected heading structure.

By and by this will all make Storefront perform better from an SEO perspective and give Storefront shops a leg-up over the competitors!

New extension integrations

One of the best features of Storefront is the unique integrations with many WooCommerce extensions it provides. In 2.1 we’ll be adding integrations for;

Sass refinement

Finally we plan to tidy up our Sass. This will come in two parts;

Part 1; simplify

We have a lot of .scss files in Storefront. Arguably too many with one for each structural component. This also leads to confusion as each component stylesheet includes a media query providing styles to desktop browsers for that component. But we also have a layout stylesheet which is performing a similar role. To simplify, we’ll be rolling those component stylesheets (most of which are very small) into a single stylesheet and moving the desktop styles for those components into the main layout stylesheet.

Part 2; Dynamize the modular scale

Dynamize is a word, who knew? Anyway, all the values used in Storefront typography and layout are based on a Modular Scale. That’s all those seemingly random instances of 1.618em etc that you will have no doubt noticed if you’ve worked with Storefront before. We plan to introduce modularscale-sass which will allow the use of variables for our entire typographical scale and layout. It will also provide 100% accuracy in values and allow developers to quickly and easily try different scales without doing big find/replaces.

All-in-all these changes will make the Storefront sass much more intuitive to work with.

When will it be ready?

As we did with 2.0 we’ll likely run a short beta for 2.1. Overall we’re aiming for a Q3 release.

As always, if you’re keen to help out with Storefront dev, please get involved on github!