Theming is an essential part of the future OctoberCMS ecosystem. The theme marketplace was part of our vision from the very beginning. Authors may have seen the Add Theme button in their Account home page for a long time. Clicking the button would show the Coming soon alert message. Today we are happy to announce that the theming support is really coming soon! The majority of the work is done and now we're putting the finishing touches.
How it will work for authors
The theme management for the marketplace authors is very similar to plugin management. The same code deployment options - git, upload, HTTP. The same product dashboard and editing tools. Although there are some minor differences - themes don't have icons but have more specific requirements for their screenshots. The screenshots should use a specific aspect ratio and the theme editor forms will assist with checking the ratio automatically.
The quality terms will remain the same - themes should have a quality description, documentation and screenshots as a minimum requirement. Lately we gladly notice the growing level of quality for the plugins posted to the Marketplace, so we think we're going in the right direction and there won't be issues with the themes quality. Providing nice screenshots for themes is very important, as screenshots often is the primary defining factor for a theme download / purchase decision.
How it will work for users
Users can add themes to a project similarly to plugins - with the Add to Project button on the theme details page. Themes added to a project are displayed on the project page sidebar in the Account section. Project themes are installed automatically when OctoberCMS is installed for the first time, or when an installation is bound to a project and then updated. Once installed, themes will not be updated automatically of course, in order to prevent overriding changes made by the user. In the back-end users can choose a theme with the theme selector UI, that will be a part of the core system.
We have a number of ideas related to themes that we're going to implement in the near feature. Theme customization is one of those ideas. This feature will let the developers define a set of customizable theme parameters, for example the footer color. End users can manage the parameter value in the Customize Theme user interface. Plugin dependences is another idea. This will allow authors to specify which plugins a theme depends on.