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iThemes Builder Turns 3

It’s hard to believe that over three years ago now we launched iThemes Builder, our powerful theme framework.

We originally built Builder to do what hardly any theme could do … make it easy to change layouts quickly and easily without having to know or change code.

Chris started work on it in April 2009 but the launch wasn’t until December of that year. And if you have counted the lines of code in Builder, you know why!

I’ve often reminded Chris that he built Builder for me.

I just wanted a theme easy yet powerful enough to launch great sites with the ability to quickly customize them for my needs without having to have a computer science degree.

And for the last three years consistently, that’s what we’ve done.

iThemes Builder makes web design fun and easy!

So I just wanted to celebrate Builder’s birthday by sharing some things we’ve rolled out this past year that we’re super proud of:

  •  Builder has grown with a family of child themes — we have over 80 now — and 25 were released in 2012 alone! (Yes, with one silently rolling out to Builder customers today as a thanks ahead of the release!)
  • In October we rolled out a huge innovation for Builder — support for responsive web design. So far 18 Builder child themes are responsive and all new child theme development will include responsive themes as well. This was an enormous task because Builder isn’t just any ordinary theme. So while other themes could claim responsive features really fast, they also can’t do what Builder’s layout engine does. Now, Builder stands apart even more as we add more responsive child themes to the lineup.
  • We also rolled out a number of themes specifically styled for one of the best ecommerce plugins on the market — Shopp. When combined with a great ecommerce plugin like Shopp, we think Builder is the ideal theme for those wanting to sell their products and services online because of how easily it is to set different layouts and to personalize through our vast selection of child themes. Not surprisingly the Depot ecommerce theme continues to be the most popular theme in the entire inventory. We’ve also got several more ecommerce styled themes in the making to release in the next month and you’ll see a lot more in 2013.
  • We started the new Builder Showcase on Pinterest to show off our customer’s sites. You can submit your Builder sites here to be included too!
  • And lastly, one of the proudest moments I’ve had this year was seeing our amazing design team show off what Builder can do … by redesigning the entire iThemes.com site to use Builder! It was long overdue, but it helped us see a different side of Builder along the way by drinking our own Kool-Aid. Now we can point to the iThemes.com site (as well as the revamped WebDesign.com) as the crown jewel showcases of the true power of iThemes Builder! (You should also check out the work our Creative Services team has done in Builder too.)

All of this could not have happened without the iThemes theme dev team which includes lead dev Chris Jean, designer Cody Smith and front-end dev Justin Kopepasah as well as the awesome theme support team of Ronald van Weerd and Sridhar Katakam. These team members are committed to taking what we’re doing with WordPress themes and Builder to the next level in 2013 as we’ve done for the past three years. (Thanks guys!)

I’m very excited about the next year — and how we’ll continue to innovate with Builder and responsive web design as well as roll out a fresh lineup of awesome niche-specific ecommerce themes — and ultimately what it means for our thousands of customers who are using iThemes Builder to launch great WordPress sites every week.

So Happy Birthday, iThemes Builder! And thank you to our customer community who makes it all possible by supporting our work through your purchases!

Let’s go eat some cake! (Sorry, no helium this year!)

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