By Stephen Walker

You don’t realize how far ahead Avada users are until you start looking at all the supposed advantages of WP 5.9 and Gutenberg:

  • Full Site Editing – the ability to all aspects of the site. This is already available in Avada using the Layouts feature.
  • Global colors and typography. This has been available in a limited manner forever, but was dramatically enhanced in 7.6.
  • Pattern library – this is supposed to be such a breakthough, but the Avada library for elements, columns, and containers has existed for years.

Even Elementor users don’t have Flexbox layouts yet – coming in 2022 maybe.

Bricks, Oxygen, Cwicly, and Zion builders offer a more advanced experience in many ways but tend to be a little more (or a lot more) developer-centric.

Avada is far from perfect and I have a laundry list of items I wish Avada did better or at all, but when trying to find an equivalent solution, it’s not easy. Here are my top wishes for Avada in 2022:

Overall

  • Add support for system fonts. The default setting for fonts should be “font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, avenir next, avenir, segoe ui, helvetica neue, helvetica, Ubuntu, roboto, noto, arial, sans-serif;” – only change to Google if chosen. See https://systemfontstack.com/
  • With the reliance on custom CSS, improve the CSS editor. Needs to be updated to not mark modern CSS as an error.
  • Standardize new global styling options:
    • Jumping from –awb-color18 to –awb-custom_color_1 doesn’t make any sense — all my colors and fonts are custom to this website. 
    • Using the custom naming also makes it much easier to use this as a design system that can be used on multiple sites. They are not readable to begin with and custom naming needs to be available — if I name it Primary, the variable name should be –awb-pimary. Requiring us to do something like –awb-primary:var(–awb-color1) doesn’t make a lot of sense and is hard to manage. This also makes it very time-consuming to create originally and manage after the fact. 
    • Using the custom naming should allow us to reorder the list without breaking the site. If a client needs a new color that is associated with the primary I should be able to drag it to the correct position in the design system correctly.
  • If these changes are not an option, the naming needs to be standardized –awb-color-001 through –awb-color-999 should be sufficient.
  • Pseudo elements. Add ::before and ::after styling options.
  • Text size using clamp().
  • All flexbox features need to be available. Example: there is broad browser support for Gap
  • Embrace the block editor. Add element blocks for those using Gutenberg for content.
  • Minimize the divs generated.
    • Option to not use the traditional container, column, nested column, but just add containers. This would allow any saved item to be added to any other item – e.g., adding a complex layout to a tab panel without breaking the tab element.
    • Heading tags should not be wrapped in a div. Anything that already uses the box model should not need a div by default. Only generate another div if there are styles applied that need it
  • Add an option to create a designed item (container, column, element) and save the styling as global CSS that can be assigned to any element. This will make it easier for advanced shops to use CSS Grid
  •  Improve positioning options so that sticky can be used. Requires minimizing the divs generated.
  • Background image options should have all CSS-capable settings (cover, contain, height and width, etc.).

Elements

  • Fix menus. Especially complex menus on mobile. The behavior in the layout builder is completely different from the base headers. Would really like to be able to build the menu system found on state.gov 
  • Add a Table of Content element
  • Normalize the styling options.
  • More tab element options
  • Search overlay
  • Live search should mirror Jetpack search

Integration

  • Fix the Event Calendar integration or create your own event post type with all the basic functionality.
  • Font Awesome Pro integration. The legacy Font Awesome Pro CDN function has been deprecated for years. Integrate the Font Awesome plugin to work correctly or add a kit setting to do the same thing.
  • Meta Box integration. Basic functionality is there but needs to be expanded.

If you agree with any of these, please submit them as a feature request to the Theme Fusion team. They are fairly responsive to customer wishes, but they need to know what you want.

Originally published on February 5, 2022

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