Call for Testing: Theme Showcase Jetpack Integration

Hey everyone, this is Bernie. I’m a developer with the team working on the Theme Showcase, and today we’d like to invite you to test the latest feature we’ve been working on: Jetpack integration.

WHAT IS IT?

You may have already encountered the new Theme Showcase on WordPress.com (or even took part in our first testing round when we introduced it a month ago). The feature we’d like you to test this time will enable you to use the Showcase to manage themes on your self-hosted WordPress site, via the Jetpack plugin. In this first stage we are limiting the features to searching, previewing, and activating themes you’ve already installed, in a way similar to the Showcase’s functionality for sites hosted on WordPress.com. In the future we’ll expand these features, this is just the start.

What works:

  • Search for a theme by name.
  • Use the Customizer to preview and activate themes.
  • Activate a theme directly from the main list.
  • Details link in the “•••” menu.

What will work soon:

  • Search for a theme by description and features.

What isn’t part of this release:

  • Installing new themes.
  • Activating themes from the “All Sites” view.

WHAT TO TEST?

To test the Theme Showcase’s new Jetpack integration, you need a self-hosted WordPress site, on which you need to install the Jetpack plugin in its brand new 3.7 Beta version, which our colleagues from the Jetpack team released yesterday — just follow the installation instructions! Keep in mind this is a Beta, so:

Please only install the Beta Tester plugin on a test site. By their nature, Beta releases could be unstable and should not be used on a site where your data is important. If you decide to install this on a live site, please backup your WordPress database before installing the Beta plugin or upgrading to a new Beta release.

After connecting your Jetpack site to WordPress.com, you can jump right into testing! Here’s a list of suggested activities to try:

  1. Go to the Theme Showcase on Horizon. If you have multiple sites, use the site selector at the top of the sidebar to switch to the self-hosted site on which you just installed the Jetpack Beta.
  2. Try to preview a theme on that site.
  3. Try to activate a theme on that site.
  4. Try searching for a theme you know by name (if any).

As always, write any feedback you have as a comment to this post, even multiple comments if you find different things at different times. Specifically, we’re interested in the following:

  • Were you able to complete all the activities above (preview, activate, search)? Did you find any frustrating moment?
  • Your overall impression: does it feel fast? does it work well? can you find what you want, by name (especially relevant on a hosted site with lots of installed themes)?
  • Any bug you have found.

Of course, if you’re interested in testing other features that the new Jetpack Beta introduces, our colleagues will be happy to hear from you!

We are going to gather feedback about this specific sequence of tasks for the next 2 weeks, so until September 2nd.

Published by

Bernie Reiter

Bernie works as a Code Writer for Automattic Inc.

4 thoughts on “Call for Testing: Theme Showcase Jetpack Integration”

  1. Here’s my initial reaction rundown:

    When I click on the tile for a theme, it opens a new tab. However, if I click on any items from the … menu, they open in the same tab.
    The menu Preview link takes me to my test site’s Customizer and the Activate link brings up a confirmation dialog.

    I like the … animation when bringing up a menu. It’s a nice touch seeing it go sideways. Yes, I know it exists on the live site too, I just like it enough that it deserves a mention.

    I noticed that I can only search for themes already installed on my test site. The search would be much more useful if it included all themes in the .org repo.

    Overall the interface is fast and works well. I would be inclined to say that it is ready for production!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your feedback and your praise!

      When I click on the tile for a theme, it opens a new tab. However, if I click on any items from the … menu, they open in the same tab.

      Good spot, this is something that we’ll need to fix — it shouldn’t make a difference whether you click on the theme tile or select “Preview“ from the “•••” menu.

      The menu Preview link takes me to my test site’s Customizer and the Activate link brings up a confirmation dialog.

      This is actually expected. Would you rather see a different behavior here?

      I noticed that I can only search for themes already installed on my test site. The search would be much more useful if it included all themes in the .org repo.

      This is something we’re planning to address in a later iteration — we appreciate your feedback for helping us prioritize!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For opening the Customizer, I would rather it open in a new tab.

        I think the dialog box for Activate is great as is.

        Thanks for the opportunity to address specific beta concerns. I look forward to testing more issues in the future and to seeing my ideas in future iterations.

        Like

        1. I’ve just written the wrap-up post and would like to thank you again for your feedback! We appreciate your thorough testing and suggestions, and hope that you’re happy with the outcome. The fixes are already live on horizon.wordpress.com, and the feature will be enabled on WordPress.com soon.

          Liked by 1 person

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