Fahrenheit Marketing only hires the best of the best — that’s why Ben Word, the creator of the WordPress theme Roots, is one of our Web developers. We interviewed Ben to learn more about his popular Roots WordPress theme that our clients’ sites are based on.
When did Roots come out?
Roots was released to the public and pushed to GitHub on March 28, 2011. I worked on it for a year and three months before the release.
Why should Web developers choose Roots over another theme?
Roots is constantly getting updated with both bug fixes and new features. The theme wrapper allows you to create themes with less code and makes your markup a lot easier to maintain. The included theme activation functionality allows you to activate Roots and immediately start theming, rather than spending time configuring some of your WordPress settings.
How did you come up with Roots?
Creating a WordPress theme from scratch can take a lot of time to implement your base markup and CSS. All of the starting themes out there didn’t fit my needs, so I decided to roll my own. It started out just based off HTML5 Boilerplate and the Blueprint CSS framework. After Twitter’s Bootstrap came out and ended up being a hit, it was made the default and only CSS framework included in Roots.
How many people have used Roots?
From what I know there’s about a dozen agencies that use Roots to start almost every project that they do. There’s about 500 users on the Roots Google Group that likely actively use the theme and there’s 2,500 people watching the repository on GitHub — but it’s hard to say how many people have created sites using Roots. Many people share new sites they’ve launched based on Roots on the Google Group and on Twitter, but I still randomly come across new sites every week that I’d never seen before that were created with Roots.
Why do you enjoy creating themes?
Before Roots it was kind of painful making themes because of how many times I’d have to copy/paste code and repeat myself from previous projects. But now that there’s a solid base with everything I need each time I start a new theme, it’s pretty easy and fun. Every theme I’ve done in the past year has been responsive, and it’s always fun to make everything work based off varying screen sizes. Using WordPress +Soil (how to) + Roots helps me rapidly create both basic and advanced sites that can do pretty much anything.
Are you thinking of creating any other themes?
I’ve got a lot of things on my to do list that are theme and plugin related, so hopefully you’ll see some new projects launched over the next few months.