iThemes Builder: Getting Past Shiny Stuff Syndrome


Can I start with a confession? It seems like a good place to start from, since it's how I've thought of my recent journey. I know, you don't know where I'm going. But trust me for just a few seconds and I bet you'll meet me in my sad state of shiny stuff syndrome. Ok, seriously, I don't know if that's what you call it. But what do you call that “I must have that next new cool thing” that happens to me every time Apple shows me some new gear – like that trashcan looking Mac Pro that must be mine?

Yes, I suffer from wanting the next new cool thing.

And you know what that often does? At least for me? Here's where I confess this technical reality to you:

In my haste to look for the next “new” thing, I skip out on the amazing things sitting there quietly.

It's horrible, I know. Because it causes me to do things like buy the new Airport Extreme because I know I need it, and then have it still unwrapped three or four weeks later, just sitting under my desk. Ugh. I hate that.

Maybe I'm the only one, but the idea of buying something that just sits there because I got attracted to the next shiny new thing, that idea, in general, bothers me.

Thankfully, this post isn't about my messy desk or what's under it.

Circling back to iThemes Builder

So this past week I was working on a site for a friend. And the more I worked on it, the more I started wondering how he'd go about making changes once I handed it off to him. And that started me thinking that maybe I needed to reconsider how I was going about building this particular site.

I love a lot of theme frameworks out there. I think many of them are awesome. And because of my shiny stuff syndrome, I started looking around to see what new things had appeared in the last few weeks that I might have missed. And that's when I realized what I was doing. I was skipping past lots of other things I owned and could use, just because I wanted to see what was new.

So I decided to circle back to iThemes Builder. And man I'm happy I did.

Five reasons you might want to check out Builder again

1. Did you know it's responsive now?

Builder was first developed before we ever talked about responsive design. And the way they built the framework back then didn't make it easy to move towards responsive. So maybe that was the last time you looked at it. If so, go look again, because these days it's responsive. Several new child themes exist that work on the latest version – and they're all responsive.

2. Pre-defined layouts ship with new child themes


Builder has always let you create your own layouts and views. That's not something new. But these days Builder ships with pre-defined layouts (or maybe they had done this before and I had missed it – I have this syndrome, see). So if you've wanted to have different pages laid out differently, it's easy to make that happen.

3. It's still one of the fastest loading themes ever

One thing that hasn't changed is how fast it loads. I've loved that before and I was glad to pull down the latest version and see that it's still true. After all, I want to make sure I'm not using some bloated solution that makes everything slow. That's a no-no.

4. I love their style manager


This was one of those reasons I came back to look at Builder this past week. I kept thinking about my friend and how they would likely want to make CSS changes later. How would he go about doing it? Would he feel comfortable with the other approach I had been taking? As I started working on new styles, I remembered what I loved so much about Builder. It's easy. It's friendly.

It makes hard things easy without making easy things hard.

5. Making layout changes is so simple

EditingLayoutsIf you remember the first time you checked out Builder, you remember this screen. It let's you make little tweaks to your site's layout in such an easy way. In this case I was working on the menu and all I had to do (and all my buddy would need to do), is step into the layout and click on the navigation module to see all the things they could change.

Within minutes it was like I was interacting with a new shiny thing all over again. And I was a happy camper.


Even if you're like me, and you love the next new shiny thing, trust me when I tell you that Builder, although it's been around for a long time, may still have some shiny new goodness that will delight you. I'm positive that the new site that launches here in the next week or two will have an owner that enjoys it!