Foxhound made its debut on WordPress.org yesterday. The React-based theme is the first in the directory to use the REST API endpoints included in WordPress 4.7. Foxhound sports a tasteful blog design with single-page app functionality that loads posts instantly. Check out the live demo to see how fast the content loads.
The theme was designed and developed by Kelly Dwan and Mel Choyce, who have collaborated on several free themes hosted on WordPress.org. They recommend installing the WP-API Menus plugin, as the REST API does not yet support menus. After installing Foxhound, there are only two things required to make it look like the demo: Set the front page to display the latest posts and set up a menu. There are no additional customization settings.
Kelly Dwan notes on Foxhound’s GitHub repository that the theme should be considered “experimental” and users can expect a few restrictions:
- The API cannot be blocked by a security plugin. Some plugins recommend blocking the users endpoint, but that is required to show the author archive. If you need to block the user endpoint, the rest of the theme should work but might be unstable if anyone tries to visit an author archive.
- Permalinks for pages and archives are changed by this theme. They will be reset if/when you deactivate the theme. You might want to set up redirects using something like Safe Redirect Manager.
- This theme does not support hierarchical category archives – only parent category archive pages can be displayed. This may be fixed in a later version of the theme.
- Plugins may not work as expected, especially if they add content to the front end of the site. Most Jetpack features do still work.
Because Foxhound is so different from traditional WordPress themes, it could not go through the usual theme review process. Themes that require the WP REST API are currently reviewed outside of WordPress.org when a theme author pings the Theme Review team. They apply a “Special Case” tag that allows the theme to bypass Theme Check. (The tag is also used for other themes that break the rules in innovative ways.)
“We don’t have a lot to go on yet with those types of themes,” Key Reviewer Justin Tadlock said. “Foxhound was the first. We’re supposed to be looking over another soon. As more of these types of themes come in, we’ll be able to figure out ways of making it easier to submit them.”