Soledad Theme Review: This Popular WordPress Theme Just Got Better

Soledad Review

In this Soledad theme review, we’re going to be examining one of the best-selling blog and magazine style WordPress themes at the popular ThemeForest marketplace.

Thanks to a recent update that saw many new features and extra functionality added to the theme, Soledad can now be considered a true multi-purpose WordPress theme that can be used to create almost any type of website.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a powerful theme that will present you with an impressive amount of options and choices, be sure to read this Soledad theme review in full to find out if this is the right choice for your project.

Who Should Choose the Soledad WordPress Theme?

Soledad Theme Review Tech Demo

As mentioned, Soledad originated as a blogging and news WordPress theme. Therefore, if you’re in the process of creating a busy blog or content rich website, Soledad is definitely worth a closer look.

However, since version 3 of Soledad was released, this is now a much more well-rounded and fully featured theme. Thanks to the large number of demos, page templates, and layout options that have been added, Soledad should be considered by anyone building any type of website with WordPress – including ecommerce stores.

You can build any sort of website either using drag and drop page builder called Visual Composer or WordPress Customizer or combine together both of them. Visual Composer which is a premium plugin is included for free with your purhcase which means you get a great deal with Soledad theme.

Real World Soledad WordPress Theme Examples

Buying a theme with an amazing set of features and a stylish design is all well and good. However, if you can’t create a unique and individual WordPress website with your theme of your choice, you’re going to be disappointed.

As we’ll soon cover in this Soledad theme review, this theme has plenty of features that will help you create a custom website that’s right for your project. However, to prove that Soledad can be used for a range of different purposes, here are some examples of this theme in use out in the wild.

Origami Culinaire

Soledad Theme Review French Food Blog

The French www.origamiculinaire.fr website does a good job of using Soledad to create a stylish and interactive food blog. The blog post carousel feature is used to great effect, making it easy for new visitors to see some of the best content on the blog, right from the homepage.

The wide and spacious blog post layouts of Soledad give the content on this site plenty of room to breathe and stand out on the page. The social media features of the theme make it easy for visitors to see content from Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

My Next Gizmo

Soledad Theme Review My Next Gizmo

My Next Gizmo is a powerful example of the type of news or magazine style website you can create with Soledad. Again, the homepage post slider is used to make it easy for visitors to find the best content. However, thanks to the customization options, the slider has a completely different style and appearance to other websites powered by Soledad.

Juweeltjes

Soledad Theme Review Juewee

The Juweeltjes online magazine takes the traditional blog style layout and gives it a unique look and feel. The mega menu feature works really well on this theme, upgrading the standard WordPress navigation bar into something much more useful. The inner posts of this busy blog make good use of the image gallery layout, giving the photos on the page a more interesting appearance.

Universe 326

Soledad Theme Review Universe

The Universe 326 entertainment and news website is packed with content. However, thanks to the layout and navigation features of Soledad, finding your way around this website is very easy.

No matter where you are on the page, there’s almost always a link to click on that will take you to another article. If you want to create a website that keeps your visitors engaged and entertained for as long as possible, this Soledad-powered site is a good example.

Hopefully, these real world examples of websites powered by Soledad have given you a better idea of what’s possible with this theme, as well as some inspiration for your own projects.

Soledad WordPress Theme Features

As we’ve just seen in this Soledad theme review, this template can be used for a wide range of purposes. Now, let’s explore some of the features that make that versatility possible.

Library of Homepage Demos

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The Soledad marketing materials claim you can create over 900 homepages with this theme. To help you achieve this, there’s 20 demo content files included in the theme package that can be imported into your WordPress website.

Soledad Theme Review Fitness Demo

20 demos is a good amount and with options covering gaming, travel, music, fashion, cars, food, fitness, and a few other options, you should be able to find something that matches up with the focus of your site.

As we’ll see next in this Soledad theme review, if you mix and match aspects of the different layouts and options, it could well be possible to create 900 unique homepage combinations for your website.

Over 300 Layouts and Slider Combinations

Soledad Theme Review Slider Combination 1

When it comes to setting up your WordPress website with the Soledad theme, there are many possible layout combinations. It’s impossible to verify that there are in fact 300 layout and slider combinations as the marketing materials claim. However, thanks to the range of options on offer, the level of flexibility from Soledad is high.

Soledad Theme Review Slider Combination 2

Depending on which of the pre-defined content and slider configuration you choose – or create yourself – your content should be presented in a way that your readers will find easy to engage with.

Of course, with Soledad, using sliders is entirely optional. However, if you do wish to add this popular feature to your WordPress website, you’ll have plenty of layout and configuration options to choose from.

Multiple Portfolio Layouts

Soledad Theme Review Portfolio 3 Columns

As Soledad has become a true multi-purpose WordPress theme, it’s no surprise to see that it now has a good selection of portfolio options. No matter which of the 20 Soledad website demos you choose to install on your site, you can easily add a stylish and creative portfolio section.

Soledad Theme Review Portfolio 2 Columns

When setting up your online portfolio, Soledad gives you many options to choose from. Among the portfolio settings, you’ll find different layouts, a range of styles, and the ability to publish a wide range of content in your WordPress-powered portfolio.

WordPress Customizer Options

Soledad Theme Review Customizer 01

If you’re looking for a highly customizable WordPress theme, then Soledad could be just what you seek. As this is a fully modern theme, all of the customization and personalization work takes place through the impressive WordPress Customizer interface.

Soledad Theme Review Customizer 02

The use of the WordPress Customizer means you can make changes to the appearance of your website, with the ability to see the results of your choices in real time. There’s no need to switch tabs or refresh browser windows when personalizing your website with Soledad and the WordPress Customizer.

Soledad Theme Review Customizer 03

The Soledad marketing materials claim over 250 Customizer options and settings and while this isn’t easy to verify, almost every aspect of your website can be modified. Some examples of the Customizer settings and controls include:

  • Homepage and inner content layouts
  • Navigation content and settings
  • Logo and header options
  • Featured slider settings
  • Video and image background controls
  • Color settings for multiple site areas
  • Custom CSS modifications
  • Widget controls
  • Plus much more

The WordPress Customizer makes personalizing your website so much easier. Therefore, it’s great to see it being taken advantage of to this extent by Soledad.

Slider Revolution Slideshow Tool

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The Soledad theme includes the powerful Slider Revolution plugin. This popular premium plugin gives you the tools to create advanced animated slideshows for your WordPress website. These slideshows can be seen action on some of the Soledad website demos.

Soledad Theme Review Slider Revolution Edit

As Slider Revolution is one of the most feature-rich slideshow builders available for WordPress, you can add any type of content to your sliders, including videos, images, post content, ecommerce store products, and a whole lot more.

Depending on how much time you wish to invest in creating your sliders, it’s possible to build advanced slideshows that use attention grabbing animation effects and then publish them throughout your website.

Soledad Theme Review Penci Slider

The Soledad development team has also included their own custom-built slideshow tool plugin, Penci Slider, with the theme. This is a more simplified slideshow creation tool, making it easier to create basic sliders for WordPress.

Social Media Integration

Soledad Theme Review Social Media

Soledad makes it very easy to display content from your social media profiles on your WordPress website. Thanks to support for the leading social networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more, you’ll have no trouble sharing your Tweets, Pins, and other social media content on your WordPress website.

Ecommerce Ready

Soledad Theme Review Ecommerce 01

To demonstrate further the multi-purpose abilities of Soledad, this theme is fully compatible with the leading WooCommerce plugin. By installing and activating the free WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress website, you’ll instantly have the ability to start selling products and services online, and do a whole lot more.

Soledad Theme Review Ecommerce 02

Although WooCommerce should work with any good theme, choosing a theme that’s been built with WooCommerce in mind has many benefits. For starters, all of your products and store pages will have a look that’s consistent with the rest of your website.

Additionally, with the best WooCommerce WordPress themes, you should also find a good selection of ecommerce templates to help give your online shop the right look and feel.

Soledad is no exception and if you want to create an ecommerce store with WordPress, this theme is more than up to the task.

Other Soledad Theme Features

The Soledad feature list is long. However, while it would be difficult to cover them all, some more interesting highlights from this multi-purpose WordPress include:

  • 2 mega menu styles
  • 3 sidebar content layouts
  • 5 article layout styles
  • Recipe publishing tools
  • Review publisher
  • Image gallery layouts
  • 700+ Google Fonts to choose from
  • Google AdSense ready
  • 100% mobile responsive and retina ready
  • Support for video backgrounds

About the Soledad Theme Author

Soledad has been created by Penci Design, a ThemeForest Elite Author with two WordPress themes in their portfolio. Both of their products have received very positive feedback from customers, giving a good indication that Penci Design is an author you can trust.

Soledad WordPress Theme Pricing Options

The Soledad WordPress theme can be purchased from the Envato ThemeForest marketplace for $59. This price includes access to all future theme updates – of which there has already been a few – and six months of support from the developer.

By paying an extra $17.70, you can extend the six-month support period by an additional six months, increasing the period where you will be able to contact the developer for help with the Soledad WordPress theme to 12 months.

It is possible to extend the support period after it’s expired. However, by purchasing the extra six months of support in advance, you can save yourself $23.

Personally, I would recommend paying the extra $17.70 for 12 months of support as you never know when you might need it – especially if your website is vital to your business or serves some other important purpose.

Soledad Theme Review Final Thoughts

Soledad is a competitive option in the multi-purpose WordPress theme category. The big update from version 2 to 3 saw many new features added, helping to position Soledad as a genuine multi-purpose theme instead of one that’s focused solely on bloggers and news and magazine websites.

When it comes to comparing the best multi-purpose WordPress themes, Soledad has many of the features you’ll find in the best themes of this type. This includes multiple website demos, slider tools, a library of layouts and configuration options, ecommerce support, and a wealth of customization settings and controls.

Choosing a WordPress theme largely comes down to whether its appearance and design catches your eye. So, if the look and feel of Soledad appeals, then you’ll be happy to know that this is a great value theme with an impressive set of features, from a reputable development team.

Find out more about Soledad today

What do you think of Soledad? Did this Soledad theme review answer all of your questions? If not, please use the comments area below.

WP Engine Web Hosting Review & Performance Benchmarks December 2016

WP Engine Review Discount Codes Ft

Continuing our reviews of web hosting providers, we’re back today with a look at WP Engine – a dedicated WordPress hosting provider that promises premium, hassle-free services for website owners who won’t accept compromises.

If your website hasn’t been built with WordPress then WP Engine won’t be an option for you, of course. And, if you’re wondering why a hosting provider would limit itself to one type of customer, you can think of it as a firm that wants to focus on one niche and really get it right – an admirable business model in the ever-expanding world of tech.

That’s the philosophy anyway – and it’s a good one too if the firm can pull it off. So let’s take a closer look at what WP Engine has to offer, see if it can deliver on its promises, in order to help you decide if this is the best web host for your WordPress website.

Before we get into the finer details and the nitty-gritty, let’s take a quick high-level look at the pros and cons of WP Engine:

WP Engine Pros

  • Dedicated WordPress services
  • Very fast loading websites
  • Incredibly reliable uptime (as good as 100%)
  • Quick customer service response

WP Engine Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • No email support
  • Too many limitations at this price
  • Inconsistent customer support

Quick verdict: If you’re looking for budget WordPress hosting then this isn’t the choice for you. WP Engine promises a lot and it largely delivers, but you have to pay for the privilege and it’s not without its shortcomings.

WP Engine Plan Options

WP Engine offers a number of hosting options for blogs and businesses of all shapes and sizes. You’ll have to weigh up what your immediate needs are from a hosting plan, but also what you’ll need as your online brand grows. Here are the key differences between each plan:

Personal Plan Overview

WP Engine Review-personal

  • $29/mo
  • Shared server
  • One WordPress installation (website)
  • Up to 25K monthly visitors
  • 10GB local storage
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • CDN for $19/mo (faster content delivery)

Professional Plan Overview

WP Engine Review-professional

  • $99/mo
  • Shared server
  • Up to 10 WordPress installs (websites)
  • Up to 100K monthly visitors
  • 20GB local storage
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • CDN included (faster content delivery)
  • Dedicated IP address for $5/mo
  • 24/7 phone support

Business Plan Overview

WP Engine Review-business

  • $249/mo
  • Shared server
  • Up to 25 WordPress installs (websites)
  • Up to 400K monthly visitors
  • 30GB local storage
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • CDN included (faster content delivery)
  • Dedicated IP address included
  • 24/7 phone support
  • GeoIP enabled (faster content delivery, based on located)

Premium and Enterprise Plan Overviews

WP Engine Review-premium-enterprise

  • Price on request
  • Dedicated server
  • Up to 150 installs
  • Unlimited data
  • CDN, 1000GB free
  • Dedicated IP address included
  • 24/7 phone support
  • GeoIP enabled (faster content delivery, based on located)

Premium only: 1 million+ monthly visitors, 100-300GB local storage, strategic account management available.

Enterprise only: 5 million+ monthly visitors, 400GB-1TB local storage, strategic account management included.

Choosing the Right Plan for You

The first thing you’ll notice is those are some pricey plans – particularly a shared business plan for $249/mo. This would easily get you a dedicated server with more extensive features elsewhere. WP Engine plans are fairly restricted for this price range too – compare the cheapest WP Engine plan with SiteGround’s most expensive shared option:

WP Engine Personal Plan

  • $29/mo
  • Shared server
  • 25K monthly visitors
  • 10GB local storage
  • CDN for $19/mo

SiteGround GoGeek Plan

  • 11.95EUR/mo (approx $14/mo)
  • Shared server
  • Up to 100,000 monthly visitors
  • 30GB web space
  • Free CDN
  • 24/7 technical support

As you can see, SiteGround offers far more for less than half the price. But WP Engine isn’t positioning itself as a provider that offers budget price plans. What WP Engine promises is managed WordPress services that take the hassle out of hosting a website via the world’s favourite CMS platform.

You have to pay for this level of service, though, and you’ll want to carefully consider how many visitors you expect to cater for as your online business expands. If you find yourself settling for a restricted plan because of the cost, then maybe WP Engine isn’t for you.

WP Engine Coupon Code

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Unlike many host providers, WP Engine doesn’t get itself involved with discount prices or codes all too often. This doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but you may have to hunt that little bit harder to find them. At these kinds of prices, though, a nice little coupon could make all the difference as you weigh up your hosting providers.

So, in good spirit, we’ve crawled the web and found some WP Engine coupon codes to bring those premium services to your WordPress site for that little bit less. Simply click the link below and enter the coupon code provided before you pay on the WP Engine checkout page.

A Closer Look at the Key Features

WP Engine promises premium WordPress hosting services to give you peace of mind from the moment you sign up. Key features are easy setup, blazing speeds, air-tight security and access to its customer support team of WordPress experts – but does WP Engine live up to the hype?

Security

WP Engine’s security measures are pretty extensive and it soon becomes obvious this is a priority for the firm. You would expect that at these prices, though. However, the distinction with WP Engine (and other WordPress specialists) is these security measures are designed specifically to cater for the threats and vulnerabilities of WordPress.

WP Engine Review-security

It starts with daily backups, reinforced by automatic WordPress updates to make sure you’re always running the most up-to-date and secure version of the software. Better yet is WP Engine’s real-time security threat detection software. This feature extends WordPress’ already impressive security infrastructure. This protects you from malicious JavaScript/SQL and XML-RPC attacks while also blocking IP addresses known to belong to spammers and hackers.

Periodic security audits and code reviews come as standard too, meaning WP Engine is always looking for potential security threats to your website and its own servers. All in all this adds up to some beefy security features and the provider even promises to fix your site – free of charge – if your site gets compromised (small print will almost certainly apply).

If you are running an ecommerce site or any other website where user data and accounts are stored, making security a high priority is essential.

Verdict on security: As WP Engine points out, the core WordPress system is highly secure out of the box, but it’s reassuring to know you have WP specialists going the extra distance to protect your website. No hosting can be threat-free, but WP Engine certainly strives to get as close as possible.

Uptime and Site Speed

Another key selling point for WP Engine is its promise of 100% uptime and unrivalled speed. You’ll be glad to know the provider delivers on both points. However, you’ll have to buy into its CDN to get the best performance – which doesn’t come for free on the Personal plan.

What you do get in all plans is the provider’s own EverCache technology, which is designed to make WordPress sites faster for returning visitors. Data is automatically stored in the user’s browser to save them downloading the same files every time they pay a visit – and this combined with the CDN makes for some very fast WordPress performance.

What’s really impressive is that WP Engine delivers on its promise of 100% uptime speed. In fact, it’s hard to find reports of sites dropping for any reason other than hitting their monthly visitor limit. However, this is one of the main drawbacks to the provider in the first place and it’s a shame to see so many restrictions on these plans.

As a slow loading website can negatively affect your rank in the search engines and your site conversion rates, page speed is another metric you should always be aiming to improve.

Uptime and site speed verdict: Top marks to WP Engine on both counts. For these plan prices, you really expect the provider to deliver on performance, but the results are genuinely impressive.

WP Engine Performance Benchmarks

Here are some of the benchmarks we did using Pingdom:

On our test site we are using premium WordPress theme from Themeforest, WooCommerce, Revolution Slider, Visual Composer, Akismet, Contact Form 7, Jetpack, Yoast SEO. Also our images are not optimized for web and no CSS files and JavaScript files are combined and minified and you can see that in website size which is 2.3MB and it is a a lot for a simple landing page. However, WPEngine was able to handle that with ease and managed to loads our website in under one second in any US location we had a chance to test it. Below you can see more results from our WP Engine benchmarks.

wpengine-performance-test-new-york

WP Engine performance benchmark using Pingdom

As you can see from our test, our sample website loads 93% faster than other websites tested using Pingdom. All our test very very consistent.

wpengine-benchmarks-texas-dallas

WP Engine performance benchmark using Pingdom when testing from Dallas, Texas, USA.

Here you can see our test site when testing from different location and in this case it is Dallas, Texas. In this case website performed even better and it is likely something to do with WP Engine server and CDN locations.

wpengine-performance-test-california

WP Engine performance benchmark using Pingdom when testing from San Jose, California, USA

Similar results were achieved when testing from California. As you can see results are very consistent across US and that’s shows how well optimized their infrastructure are.

Why not Google PageSpeed Insights?

We aren’t using Google PageSpeed Insights because they show how well optimized is your website. It shows if your images are compressed, CSS minified and combined, JavaScript minified, combined and doesn’t block content rendering and other tweaks. That is accurate metric only for those using optimizations to get the maximum performance. We didn’t do any optimizations to our website and wanted to show how well WP Engine performs without any tweaks. It’s what any user will get once they move their website. No hosting provider will do these tweaks for you and you will have to do them on your own but as you can see from test above, there is no need for that and WP Engine is incredibly fast out of the box.

Customer Support

The other big claim from WP Engine is the unrivalled customer support it has to offer. Sadly, this is where the provider starts to let you down a little, as the quality of their support has dropped over the last year or so. It’s a real shame too because the firm was once renowned for it high-quality customer support team and level of support on offer.

Essentially, the firm is currently in a point of transition as it attempts to balance expansion with maintaining consistent standards. The truth is things haven’t gone all that well and public criticism of the provider (particularly its customer service) has grown. So much so, in fact, that founder Jason Cohen felt the need to write a public apology/explanation last year.

The good news is things are slowly improving, with the latest fix being the removal of bot traffic from its overage calculations – another scathing criticism that surfaced back in June. Unfortunately, there’s still plenty of work to be done before WP Engine can recover its reputation as a provider that puts its customers first. And this is where those expensive price tags start to look a touch unjustified.

Verdict on customer support: It’s a shame to see WP Engine let its customer care suffer at the expense of growing as a firm. In its defence, you can’t invent WordPress experts out of thin air and the scale up in staff looks to be a real challenge for the company. This won’t do much to comfort customers who feel let down by a drop in standards, though – although we should point out there are still plenty of happy WP Engine users enjoying its services.

Using WP Engine

Getting back to the good news, WP Engine makes setting up your WordPress site a breeze. Because it only deals with WordPress, you don’t have to go through the vast cPanel dashboards you get with most hosting providers – but let’s take a closer look at what you do have to work with.

Getting Started

Getting started with WP Engine is nice and easy, but you’ll want to check out the going live guide in its support section. There’s nothing complicated in there, but the setup process is a little different from what you will be used to with other web hosts.

All you have to do is click on the Installs tab and click Domains in the left-hand menu to enter the domain of your site.

WP Engine Review-domains

You may also need to add some redirects (www.yoursite.com if your true URL is “non-www” – yoursite.com, for example). This is simple enough, though, so you shouldn’t have any problems. If there’s a stumbling block in setting up WP Engine, it will be changing your DNS settings so you might want to take a look at this guide article before you get started.

WP Engine Administration Panel

WP Engine Review-dashboard

WP Engine doesn’t come with an admin panel in the same vein as your typical hosting provider – instead you have a much simpler offering that lets you spend more time in the WordPress dashboard.

Upgrading Your Plan

The quickest way to upgrade your plan is to click the drop-down arrow on the Plan usage panel to the top-right of the main dashboard. This brings up an overview of your account, some key information and a link to keep you no more than a click away from upgrading, should you ever need to.

WP Engine Review-upgrade

Domain Management

Domain management is split into four sections within the Installs tab: Domains, Redirect rules, SSL and Site migration. None of this will be new to you by the time you have your site up and running, but this is where you’ll need to return if you want to add further sites to your account (assuming your plan allows it).

Site Improvement Tools

WP Engine doesn’t come with any site specific improvement tools within its admin panel, with the exception of its CDN. Instead, it takes you right to the WordPress dashboard, where you have everything you need to improve your site (mostly through plugins).

File Management

File management is a little different on WP Engine too and you’ll find access to this under the Installs tab on the main dashboard. Scroll down to the SFTP logins panel and you’ll see login options for both Live and Staging environments.

WP Engine Review-files

Changes you make in the live environment will take effect immediately, but the staging environment gives you a place to experiment with changes before you migrate them over to the live site – a really great feature (although not exclusive to WP Engine).

Verdict on admin panel: If you’ve used other host providers before (particularly those that don’t specialise in WordPress) the WP Engine admin panel may seem limited at a first glance. But it’s actually a good effort of stripping out all the unnecessary features – things which you can already do within the WordPress dashboard.

User Interface

As for the user interface itself, WP Engine has made plenty of progress in this regard. Things were pretty messy until a couple of years ago, but you’re now looking at a much tidier interface – at least in terms of visual design.

Where there’s still room for improvement is the structure and navigation of the platform. It’s not particularly obvious what you can actually do within the admin panel – or where to find things – at first. Naturally, you’ve got the user guides to help you figure things out – and once you know your way around the place it’s simple – but it probably shouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

Verdict on the user interface: Progress has been made to improve the interface, but the whole platform could still do with an overhaul in terms of structure and navigation.

Overall WP Engine Verdict

WP Engine certainly isn’t a hosting provider for webmasters who want the best deal going. WP Engine is a provider for serious website owners, who rely on WordPress for a steady stream of income, and can’t afford anything less than the best in reliability.

And reliability is what WP Engine still does best. It’s fast, secure and about as flawless as you can get when it comes to server uptime. It’s just a shame there are so many restrictions on its plans, especially at these prices.

The real problem for WP Engine, though, is it’s declining customer care – something the firm was endlessly praised for until recently. High prices and restrictions were much easier to justify when the customer care was keeping the smiles on people’s faces. Unfortunately, too many of these smiles have disappeared over the last year or so. The firm is clearly trying to put things right, though, so hopefully this will only be a temporary situation – especially when WP Engine still gets so much right as a managed WordPress web host.

Find out more about the hosting plans from WP Engine today

Does WP Engine sound like the best web host for your WordPress website? What features are the most important to you in a hosting provider? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Bluehost Coupon Codes December 2016 – Bluehost Review – It Sucks?

Bluehost Review And Discount Codes

Today we have another hosting provider review for you and this time we’re looking at Bluehost. WordPress.org itself recommends them as “the best and brightest of the hosting world,” which certainly sounds promising.

Then again, WordPress gets a nice little “donation” from Bluehost every time someone clicks on their affiliate link. Which is fine of course, as long as Bluehost can live up to the glowing description WordPress gives us – so let’s see how it measures up.

Bluehost Pros

  • Cheap price plans
  • Packed full of features

Bluehost Cons

  • Reported slow performance
  • Accusations of too much downtime
  • Anecdotally poor support service

Quick verdict: Bluehost comes highly recommended by lots of a-list bloggers and top-tier online marketers. However, after reading user reviews and feedback from a wider cross section of customers, it appears that Bluehost is one of those hosting providers that has slipped down the ranks in recent years.

This could well be because they’ve stretched their resources to expand. Sadly, this is the reality of many shared hosting providers, though, and it seems that Bluehost isn’t the only firm struggling to deliver quality at low prices.

With these large shared hosting service providers, it seems to be a real mixed bag as to what level of service you will receive. Many are reportedly very happy with Bluehost while others not so much. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether the low price is worth taking a gamble on.

Bluehost Plan Options

Bluehost Review bluehost-shared

Like most providers you’ll find, Bluehost offers cloud and dedicated plans, but also VPS hosting. We’ll be focusing on its shared hosting for the purposes of this article, though. It’s also worth noting that Bluehost also offers some WordPress specific options.

Starter Plan Overview

  • $3.49/mo for the first term (then $5.99/mo)
  • 1 website
  • 100GB space
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • 5 parked domains
  • 25 sub domains
  • 100 email accounts, 500MB storage
  • $50 of marketing offers included

Plus Plan Overview

  • $5.95/mo for the first term (then $9.99/mo)
  • Unlimited websites
  • Unmetered space
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Unlimited parked domains
  • Unlimited sub domains
  • Unlimited email accounts, Unlimited storage
  • $200 of marketing offers included
  • Global CDN
  • 1 SpamExperts

Business Pro Plan Overview

  • $13.95/mo for the first term (then $19.99/mo)
  • Unlimited websites
  • Unmetered space
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Unlimited parked domains
  • Unlimited sub domains
  • Unlimited email accounts, Unlimited storage
  • $200 of marketing offers included
  • 2 SpamExperts
  • 1 SSL
  • 1 dedicated IP
  • 1 domain privacy
  • SiteBackup Pro
  • High performance

Bluehost WordPress Hosting Plans

Bluehost Review bluehost-wordpress

Bluehost offers plans designed specifically for WordPress websites, based on what it calls “revolutionary” VPS technology.

Blogger Plan for WordPress

  • $12.49/mo for first term (then $24.99/mo)
  • 100 million monthly visits
  • 30GB storage
  • 30GB backup
  • 2GB RAM
  • 5 ManageWP sites
  • 1 domain
  • 1 IP
  • 24/7 support
  • SiteLock CDN
  • SiteLock Pro security

Professional Plan for WordPress

  • $37.50/mo for first term (then $74.99/mo)
  • 300 million monthly visits
  • 60GB storage
  • 60GB backup
  • 4GB RAM
  • 10 ManageWP sites
  • 1 domain
  • 1 IP
  • 24/7 support
  • SiteLock CDN/WAF Pro
  • SiteLock Pro security

Business Plan for WordPress

  • $60.00/mo for first term (then $119.99/mo)
  • 600 million monthly visits
  • 120GB storage
  • 120GB backup
  • 6GB RAM
  • 20 ManageWP sites
  • 1 domain
  • 1 IP
  • 24/7 support
  • SiteLock CDN/WAF Pro
  • SiteLock Premium security
  • Positive SSL

Enterprise Plan for WordPress

  • $85.00/mo for first term (then $169.99/mo)
  • Unlimited monthly visits
  • 240GB storage
  • 240GB backup
  • 8GB RAM
  • 30 ManageWP sites
  • 1 domain
  • 1 IP
  • 24/7 support
  • SiteLock CDN/WAF Pro
  • SiteLock Enterprise security
  • Positive Wildcard SSL

Choosing the Right Plan for You

As you can see from the overviews above, Bluehost is trying to position itself as a WordPress specialist. You get more feature rich packages for the CMS platform (albeit more expensive) and a dedicated WordPress service.

If you decide to go with Bluehost on one of its standard shared hosting plans, you may want to forget all about the starter plan altogether. Site speed and downtime have reportedly become issues for Bluehost over the years, but at least the plus package comes with a CDN and the business pro plan promises “High Performance”. These two upgrades should help improve the loading times of your site and offer a more consistent user experience to your visitors.

The WordPress plan descriptions at least give you some idea of how much traffic you can expect to handle, making it easier to choose a plan that is right for your website. It’s also good to see a CDN included on each plan too, but the truth is performance still doesn’t cut it – even for most small businesses. This makes it hard to justify the higher prices on these WordPress plans.

Note: You can still host WordPress sites in the standard shared plans.

Bluehost Coupon Codes

Just when you think Bluehost’s shared plans couldn’t get any cheaper it turns out you can cut them down even further with some coupon codes. That may not sound like much help when the prices are already this low, so we went out and hunted for some coupon codes for the firm’s more expensive plans too!

That might make the prices of its premium WordPress and dedicated server plans more appealing. All you need to do is click the link below and enter the code we provide you with before you pay at the Bluehost checkout.

wp-engine-discount-code

Coupon Code: no code needed

Save 30% on all Bluehost hosting plans. This offer includes a FREE domain name in case you need it. Clicking on a button below will activate this Bluehost coupon code.

Click to copy the code and visit Bluehost.com

A Closer Look at the Key Features

If the major selling point of Bluehost is its prices, you really have to ask what you get for your money. The good news is you get plenty of features for your minimal investment, but that doesn’t tell you much about the quality – so let’s take a closer look now.

Security

Bluehost gets things off to a pretty good start with security and much of this comes down to its partnership with SiteLock. The downside is you’ll have to pay a yearly fee for SiteLock unless you go for the specialist WordPress plans. However, it’s a worthy investment ($14.99/yr at the time of writing).

Naturally, no hosting provider is 100% solid – especially on their shared plans – but Bluehost holds up nicely. Although reports of sites getting hacked on Bluehost are becoming more common – and that’s when you have to call the dreaded support team.

Verdict on security: The initial security on Bluehost is fairly typical for shared hosting providers, but compromises appear to be happening more often.

Uptime and Site Speed

If you sign up to a Bluehost plan uptime and site speed will almost certainly be the first disappointment you experience. Loading times are noticeably slower than its rivals and it’s certainly the slowest of the three we’ve reviewed so far – albeit the most affordable option.

Then we have the issue of uptime and the story isn’t much better on this front either. You’ll get plenty of notifications from Pingdom or other downtime alert platforms (always a good idea to use one) on a Bluehost plan.

Verdict on uptime and site speed: Not too great, but you get what you pay for with Bluehost.

Dedicated WordPress Features

If you pay up for the dedicated WordPress plans then you get a much richer collection of features for your money. SiteLock comes as standard and you get access to 24/7 support on all plans. A key difference on the WordPress plans is you have a CDN across the board, to make your site quicker.

This can help make up for the reportedly slow performance from Bluehost’s shared plans and it’s a step in the right direction. Another helping hand comes in the form of a 30-day money back guarantee on WordPress plans, so you can try them out before you commit.

Verdict on dedicated WordPress features: Much better plans, but the price hike hardly screams bargain. What would be nice to see is noticeable improvements on performance and customer service for the extra money.

Customer Support

Speaking of which, now we come to the headline section of our review. To sum it up quickly, Bluehost’s customer support has taken a nosedive over the last couple of years. You don’t have to go far to find horror stories from current or previous customers either. Before we go into any detail, though, let’s make a point to say there are still plenty of happy Bluehost customers who enjoy good experiences with the provider.

For those that don’t, it typically starts with contacting the support team because your website is either down, you’re fed up with the slow speeds or there’s a security concern. Customer support with any hosting provider is a mixed bag – especially on low cost shared plans. However, Bluehost has gotten itself into a nasty habit of shifting the blame onto customers.

This is frustrating when you know someone’s trying to fob you off with an excuse, but even worse if you’re not tech savvy enough to smell a rat. The majority of customers using shared hosting plans will trust a rep who blames the scripts on their site, or an external server problem that has nothing to do with Bluehost. And they should be able to, but sadly this isn’t always the case.

Verdict on customer support: A real let down if you’re unlucky enough to ever need them. It could be a case of Bluehost expanding too fast for its support team to cope. However, that’s hardly an excuse.

Using Bluehost

With customer support out of the way, things can only start to get better from here on in. And, if there’s one thing that can claw back some much-needed brownie points for Bluehost it will be strong usability rating.

Getting Started

Bluehost Review getting-started

Things get off to a good start too with an incredibly easy setup process – especially for WordPress users. The only downside is the support material on offer could be a little more extensive for first-time users.

Luckily there’s not too much to it though and, if you’re hosting a WordPress site, it’s an absolute breeze. Just log into the cPanel and click on Install WordPress in the website builders section.

Bluehost Review install-wordpress

From there you’ll be taken to an install page where you can either install a fresh copy or import an existing website – simple! Setting up your initial domain and email is easy too and the support material offers just enough, in case you get stuck.

Verdict on getting started: Everything gets off to a good start with Bluehost thanks to an easy setup process.

Bluehost Administration Panel

The Bluehost admin panel isn’t just unique in terms of features and the design stands out from the minute you log in. Not because it’s particularly pretty, but it’s certainly an upgrade on the tired old designs we typically see from cPanels and admins (but more on this later).

Upgrading Your Plan

One thing that’s really nice about Bluehost is you’re not bombarded with prompts to upgrade your account. There are no pop-ups or unmissable upgrade buttons at the top of your admin panel. Instead, you get a dedicated upgrades section half way down the cPanel dashboard and an upgrade button at the bottom of the admin home page – very soft sell.

Domain management

Bluehost Review domain-management

Domain management starts unusually far down the cPanel page with Bluehost, but you can always move this to a position that suits you better. All the usual suspects are there, including domain manager, domain transfer, and subdomains. Something that isn’t quite so typical though is the redirect many tools take you through, really slowing down navigation through the cPanel. It’s fair to say this gets boring pretty quickly.

Bluehost Statistics Tools

Something else that sets the Bluehost admin panel apart from its competitors is a collection of statistics tools which you don’t always get with other shared plans. Through this, you can keep track of your bandwidth usage, latest visitors and CPU throttling – just to name a few. That’s a good slice of data from a single cPanel interface, assuming you can trust the figures.

Site Improvement Tools

Bluehost doesn’t offer much in terms of site improvement tools – perhaps because of the heavy emphasis on WordPress. What you get instead is a slightly bulkier offering of marketing tools than many budget host providers.

If you opt for the standard shared hosting plans you also get anywhere between $50-$200 of marketing offers to spend on the likes of Google AdWords or Bing Ads. While this isn’t much of a paid advertising budget it’s still nice to see some incentive offered for new website owners who could probably do with the traffic to get them off the ground.

Mail Management

Bluehost Review Mail Management

Bluehost comes jam packed with email features and in this regard it puts WP Engine to shame (which offers no mail at all). You have dedicated tools to help you forward and import mail from other accounts and 50% off Google Apps for business. There’s also a generous option of spam tools and filtering systems for tighter control, plus the usual MX editor.

File Management

File management in Bluehost also comes with a couple of noteworthy features – namely Site Backup Pro, Disk Space Usage and Web Disk. Site Backup Pro simply directs you to a page where you can upgrade from the basic restore package to the pro version – nothing special there.

What will come in handy though (especially if you’re on a plan with limited disk space) is the disk space usage tool. This will give you a clearer idea of what you actually get before your site mysteriously goes down.

Finally, the web disk allows you to manage your site’s files as if they were stored on your computer and you also get the usual FTP access tools.

Verdict on admin panel: One of the standout things Bluehost has to offer is the sheer number of features crammed into its admin panel. You can pay a damn sight more for far less in this regard.

User Interface

Bluehost Review UI

We touched on the user interface design when we introduced the admin panel and it certainly stands out from your typical cPanel UI. Again, it’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but still a huge improvement on previous versions from Bluehost – not to mention the other cPanels on offer from its rivals.

There’s more to user interfaces than visuals, though, and there are a lot of features to navigate here. That said, the grid of flat icons Bluehost has opted for here makes it incredibly easy to scan the page and find what you’re looking for.

Better yet is having a horizontal navigation bar running across the top of the cPanel page to give you instant access to every set of tools on offer.

Verdict on the user interface: Bluehost certainly isn’t the only provider to offer extensive features on its plans, but it is one of the few who makes them this easy to navigate.

Overall Verdict

Sadly Bluehost doesn’t live up to WordPress.org’s recommendation as “the best and brightest of the hosting world”. Considering the tech firm proudly develops its own servers, it’s disappointing that speeds are allegedly so noticeably slow. Combine this with the commonly reported downtime issues and you’re likely to be feeling pretty disappointed as a customer fairly quickly.

And that’s before you have to get in touch with the customer support team. This is where Bluehost really needs to improve – especially if it can’t deliver on performance.

All this sounds pretty damning, but it’s worth remembering that this is about as budget as hosting providers come. And for these rock-bottom prices you get bundles of features. It’s just a shame Bluehost has so much work to do on the fundamentals.

All in all, it’s hard to recommend Bluehost to any serious business that needs reliable uptime and speedy performance. If you’re running a simple blog and the cheapest option is good enough for you, then it may be worth a look. Small businesses will probably want to look elsewhere and for serious performance you’ll need to invest in something more robust than shared hosting anyway.

Bluehost hosting is not the cheapest hosting around but our exclusive Bluehost coupon codes will help you to get the best possible deal.

Find out more about the hosting plans on offer from Bluehost today

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress Review

Easy Social Share Buttons For WordPress Plugin Review

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress is one of the most popular social sharing plugins available today. This plugin has over 17,000 sales and an impressive 4.66-star rating out of five at the leading Code Canyon marketplace. Therefore, it’s safe to say that Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress is a well-used and well-respected tool.

However, with so many social sharing plugins available for WordPress, how do you know if Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress is the right choice for your website?

That’s the question we’ll be helping you answer in this article. By the end of this Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress review, you’ll know everything needed to make an informed decision as to whether this is the right tool to help your website get more social shares, and in turn more visitors and increased goal conversions.

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress Review

In this Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress review, we’ll be exploring the best features of this plugin. After that, we’ll walk through the process of setting it up on a WordPress website. Hopefully, by the end of this Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress review, you’ll have enough information to decide whether this plugin is the best option for your website.

Why Use Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress?

Social Share Buttons Example

Before we dive into features of the Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress plugin, let’s quickly cover why you might want to use this tool on your website.

It’s fair to say that every website needs social sharing buttons. The primary goal of almost every website is to attract more visitors. The website can then convert those visitors towards its goals, whether that’s more subscribers, leads, or sales.

Social sharing buttons give your visitors an easy way to share your content with their followers. This increases the visibility of your website, improving the chances of it being found. However, social share buttons don’t just make it easy for your visitors to share your content. The buttons also serve as an effective reminder to your audience to consider sharing your content on social media.

There are many social sharing button plugins for WordPress. However, we’ll soon see in this Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress review that there are some very good reasons to consider this one over the competition.

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress Features

Let’s start this Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress review by looking at the best features of this plugin. After that, we’ll see how easy it makes it to add social sharing buttons to a WordPress website.

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress is now on version 4. Since its initial release, many new features have been added and improvements made to the plugin. If you’re new to this plugin or you’ve not used it recently, here are some of its best features.

Multiple Button Display Options

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress Review Icons

Nowadays it’s not enough to simply display a set of social sharing buttons alongside your content. Different types of websites and content require different approaches to get the best results. Most internet users are now used to seeing the standard social sharing buttons.

Big Share Buttons

Therefore, if you want to increase the chances of your audience promoting your content on social media, you need a flexible tool that can help you display the share buttons in a number of creative ways.

Text Buttons

Thankfully, Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress has over 48 templates for publishing the buttons. There are also over 25 animation effects that can be applied to your social share buttons. These animation effects don’t just look great. They also do a good job of drawing attention to your buttons and gently reminding your visitors to share your content.

Selection of Button Positions

Button Locations

To give you even more options, this plugin also includes over 27 display positions for your social share buttons. Some of the button display positions include:

  • Above Content
  • Below Content
  • Above and Below Content
  • On Media
  • Fixed Floating Buttons
  • Sidebar Locations
  • Fly Ins
  • Pop Ups
  • Share Bars
  • WooCommerce Product Buttons

If you really want to increase your chances of getting more social shares, then you have the option of displaying buttons in multiple locations at the same time.

Automatic Triggers

If you’d rather display your buttons after a specific event, Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress has some good options. Using this plugin’s triggers can help draw extra attention to your buttons, compared to having them always on display.

Timed Popup

Some of the triggers you can use to automatically display the buttons include:

  • Time Delay
  • Exit Intent
  • On Scroll
  • At the End of Content

As you can see, you can choose to have a set of buttons that are only displayed after a visitor has been on your site for a certain period. Once the trigger has been activated, a pop up panel is displayed, showing the social share buttons of your choice.

The exit intent trigger is a particularly useful option. If you choose this trigger, the plugin will detect when a visitor is about to leave your site and then display the buttons. The idea is that you won’t interrupt their user experience until the very last moment. Once the user’s mouse cursor leaves the browser window, perhaps to hit the back button or type in another URL, the buttons are displayed.

45+ Social Networks Supported

Supported Networks

Did you know that there are over 45 social networks? If your audience hangs out on networks other than Facebook and Twitter, it’s highly likely they’re covered by this plugin.

Display Social Media Profile Links and Follower Counts

This plugin isn’t just focused on helping your content and website get more shares on social media. It can also be used to grow your followers on the networks you’re active on. By displaying links to your social media profiles, you can give your visitors an easy way to start following you.

Follower Count

You can also use Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress to display your follower counts on each network. This feature can be a great way to add some social proof to your website. If you have high follower counts, you can display them to show your visitors that you already have a large audience and are widely followed on social media. By demonstrating you are someone other people think is worth following, others will want to follow you too.

More Follower Count Options

Like the other features of this plugin, there are multiple options to choose from when displaying your profile links. With over 16 profile link and follower count templates, you’ll able to find the right design for your site.

Email List Building Tools

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress isn’t just concerned with helping you get more exposure on social media. Thanks to the Easy Optin feature, you can use this plugin to grow your email subscriber list. If you want to keep in touch with your visitors after they’ve left your site, getting them to join your email list is essential.

Display Email Optin Forms

As you’d expect from what this plugin has delivered so far, all the best email marketing services are supported. This includes ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, MailChimp, and MailPoet among others. To help your email optin forms turn more visitors into subscribers, there are seven form designs to choose from.

More Optin Form Options

These email optin forms can be displayed in a range of locations throughout your site. Current options include below post and page content, in sidebars using a widget, and in your content using a shortcode. You can also trigger the email optin forms using the time delay, content scroll position, and exit intent triggers.

Other Optin Form Designs

You could pay for an additional premium email optin form plugin and burden your WordPress website with another tool. Instead, you can use Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress to grow your email list in style.

High-Level Mobile Support

Options for Displaying Mobile Buttons

With more and more internet users accessing websites on mobile devices, it’s vital that your social sharing buttons are smartphone-friendly. Simply displaying regular desktop-optimized social sharing buttons to your mobile using visitors isn’t going to work. Either the buttons won’t display properly or they’ll dominate the smaller screens and annoy your visitors.

Mobile Friendly Share Bar

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress gets around this potential problem by detecting the user’s device. Then, based on this information, the appropriate action is taken. Depending on your site configuration, this could include displaying a set of mobile-friendly buttons or not displaying them at all.

Mobile Optimized Buttons

Some of the mobile-optimized social share buttons you can deploy include a buttons bar, a share bar, a share point, and a share bar with a call to action.

Other Features of Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress

This plugin really is packed with features. For the sake of brevity, let’s cover the rest of what this plugin can do with a quick list:

  • Social Share Analytics
  • A/B Split Testing
  • Multiple Language Translations
  • Button Template Customizer
  • Media Sharing Buttons
  • After Share Actions
  • Library of Useful Add-on Modules

Thanks to these extra features, you can do a lot with this plugin that you can’t do with its competitors.

How to Use the Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress Plugin

Example Buttons

As we’ve seen so far in this Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress review, this plugin is packed with features. If you’re looking for a tool that will help you grow the audience of your website, this plugin looks great. However, one question remains: how easy is it to use? In this section of our Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress review, we’ll be looking at how difficult this plugin is to install and start using.

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress User Interface

After installing and activating Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress on your website, you can get started through the plugin’s control panel.

Plugin User Interface

As you can see, there is quite a lot going on in the Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress dashboard. This is understandable as it’s a powerful plugin. However, if you’re just looking for a quick and simple way to add social sharing buttons to your WordPress website, this might not be the best option. On the other hand, for those who really want to leverage social media to grow their audience, it’s worth investing a bit of time to understand this tool.

The Quick Setup Wizard

Getting Started

Thankfully, this plugin has a handy quick setup wizard to help you get started. This means you can simply walk through the basic set of steps to add social sharing buttons to your WordPress website.

Using the Wizard

As you walk through the setup wizard, you can choose the button style and which buttons you want to display. Another step covers which content on your site will include the buttons. From the options, this could include all posts, all pages, plus other options.

Setting up the plugin

Finally, you can choose the button positions and how they will be displayed on mobile devices. You can also choose to enable click statistics and analytics. This last feature gives you an easy way to see how your visitors are engaging with your choice of buttons. Once you’ve walked through those steps, you’ll have a set of custom social sharing buttons displayed on your site.

Advanced Settings

Of course, Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress has lots of other settings and options. The advanced settings give you the ability to really customize how this plugin works. But when it comes to getting started, the quick setup wizard should be more than enough for most users.

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress Pricing

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress is available from the CodeCanyon marketplace for just $19. This price includes six months of support from the plugin developers and lifetime access to updates. You can extend the support period to 12 months for an extra $5.63.

Conclusion

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress is probably the most powerful social sharing plugin for WordPress available today. It’s packed with features making it a great option for anyone who seriously wants to use social media to grow their audience.

As this tool can do so much, the user interface is a little confusing at first. However, thanks to the quick setup wizard, you can start displaying the social sharing buttons in just a few clicks. The more advanced features and settings can be ignored until you have more time to invest in exploring them.

Overall, Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress is a great plugin for both those new to managing websites and experienced webmasters alike.

Find out more about Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress now

Skylar Theme Review: The Pay What You Want Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

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Skylar is a multi-purpose WordPress theme that wants to help you build premium looking websites. Whether you’re creating a website for yourself or delivering new site projects for clients, Skylar and its multiple demos could be a great choice. In this Skylar theme review, we’ll explore the main features of this theme and find out whether it’s a good option for WordPress users.

Before we get started with this Skylar theme review, it’s worth mentioning that this theme is available on a very interesting pricing package. Be sure to keep reading to find out how you can buy this theme for a price that’s right for you.

Skylar WordPress Theme Features

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Skylar has been produced to help give you the creative freedom to build your own stylish website. All without having to learn any code or take a design course. This goal is accomplished through the distinct Skylar demos. These demos are suitable for a range of different projects.

Skylar also includes a good selection of theme options, settings, and tools to help new and experienced WordPress users create the website they want. So, whether you’re building sites for yourself or clients, let’s find out if this is the right choice for you in our hands-on Skylar theme review.

Multiple Website Demos

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To help you create as many different websites as possible with just one WordPress theme, Skylar includes six demos. These demos can all be considered standalone website designs with each one built for a different purpose.

The Default Skylar Demo

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If you can’t decide which demo to use for your website, the default option is a great choice. The design is modern and is suitable for many different projects, without being too generic and indistinct. The homepage features an animated slider. This element can be used to display your best content to your visitors, as soon as they arrive at your site.

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The default demo besides pre-made homepage comes with more different pages like About Us, Contact, Services, Portfolio pages, Shop and a few more pre-made elements.

Skylar Personal Demo

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The Skylar personal demo is perfect for anyone who needs to create a website to promote themselves online. Whether you’re a freelance consultant or you’re looking for your next employment opportunity, the Skylar personal demo gives you a stylish way to build a website to help you with your goals.

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The long form homepage design gives you plenty of opportunities to introduce yourself to your visitors. There are also some interesting animation effects used throughout this demo to make your website even more interactive.

If you want to start a blog or create a website to promote your personal brand, this Skylar demo could be just what you need.

Skylar Agency Demo

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If you need to give your agency website a refresh, then this Skylar demo is the obvious choice. The varied layout of this demo’s homepage makes it easy to share the most important aspects of your agency or other types of business. Creative companies will probably find this demo is the best choice for their website. However, as this theme is a flexible tool, it won’t take much to modify this demo for other types of projects.

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The default homepage layout of the Skylar agency demo has lots of great modules. As your visitors scroll down the page they can see your team members, view projects you’ve worked on, and find your contact details, all without having to click through to another page on your site.

The agency demo has the right look and feel to help your creative business get noticed online.

Skylar Corporate Demo

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As you’d expect from a corporate website demo, this option has a more serious design. By default, you won’t find the animated effects and interesting navigation styles used by some of the other Skylar demos. However, there is the opportunity to display a video as the background on your homepage, giving you the option of adding an interesting element to your corporate website.

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The corporate demo provides you with easy ways to publish testimonials from clients and display your services online. Your quick contact details are always on display, ensuring your visitors know how to get in touch no matter where they are on your site.

If you need to create a more serious and traditional website, the Skylar corporate demo has been made for you.

Skylar Machinery Demo

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The machinery demo has a futuristic design that will appeal to forward thinking businesses in the industrial and technology sectors. However, like the other demos that make up the Skylar theme, this one can be customized to better suit your business.

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The many different elements of the default homepage layout of the machinery demo make it easy to display the most important information about your business. This can include testimonials, client logos, highlights of your best features, and an outline of what you have to offer.

Skylar Ecommerce Demo

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The Skylar ecommerce demo will provide you with everything you need to build a fully functioning online store with WordPress. By harnessing the power of the popular WooCommerce online shop builder plugin for WordPress, your website will be able to manage products, create customer accounts, accept orders, and take payments.

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While WooCommerce takes care of the back-end ecommerce functionality, Skylar handles the front-end of your store. Thanks to a varied selection of templates for online shops, you’ll be sure that every aspect of your ecommerce website looks great.

Other Page Templates and Layouts

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As well as the purpose built website demos and layouts, Skylar includes a good selection of other useful page templates. These standalone page templates can be used regardless of which demo version you choose. They can be applied to your content at the individual page level, depending on your goals.

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Some of these page templates will help you add a professional and stylish online portfolio to your WordPress website. The portfolio layouts cover a range of styles, making them ideal for a varied selection of content types. If you need to display your work and completed projects, then it’s vital that your website has a well-presented portfolio. Thanks to the Skylar templates, setting one up is now easier than ever.

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Adding a blog to your website is also very straightforward with Skylar. While it’s easy to use this theme to build a blog, if you want to add a blog to your online portfolio, ecommerce store, agency website, or whatever other types of site you’re building, it’s not a problem.

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Depending on which demo you choose or what your preferences are, you’ll get a good selection of blog-related templates to work with. These templates cover the blog post homepage that displays your most recent posts, as well as layouts for your individual blog posts.

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You’ll also find templates to help you quickly publish a stylish services page, about us, and contact pages. Again, depending on which of the Skylar demos you choose, the other options could include a coming soon template, a team members section.

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In short, no matter what type of website you’re making and what type of content you’re publishing Skylar should have a pre-built demo or template to make things easier for you.

Highly Customizable

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However, even if there isn’t a demo or template that’s perfect for your project, Skylar could still be a good choice. Thanks to the customization options of this theme, slightly tweaking the demo content isn’t a problem. On the other hand, if you need to carry out more drastic changes to the appearance of your site, Skylar won’t get in your way either.

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Through the Skylar theme options control panel, you can personalize many aspects of your WordPress website. As the work takes place through a visual user interface, it’s clear what each setting or button does. This approach makes it very easy to customize your site.

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The Skylar theme control panel is very detailed. The settings cover many different elements of your site. The customization controls cover things like the typography settings, color selection, social media links, and much more. Another nice feature of the Skylar control panel is the facility it provides for searching the settings. This makes it much easier to quickly find the controls you’re looking for, instead of having to manually check through every subsection of the panel. If you want to check out all functions available, click here.

Visual Composer Drag-and-Drop Page Builder with Ultimate Addon for Visual Composer

Visual Composer Price

If you want more control over the appearance of your website, then the premium Visual Composer plugin is included. This commercial plugin adds a drag-and-drop page builder tool to your WordPress website. Through Visual Composer, you can customize any of the templates and pre-built content that ships with Skylar.

Visual Composer Page Builder

You can also use this drag-and-drop page builder to create your own custom web page designs. This work can take place through either the plugin’s front-end or back-end editors. Thanks to its WYSIWYG user interface, you can quickly create pages with advanced layouts, then drag and drop elements from a large library of options into your content.

To help make this page builder even more powerful, the Skylar theme includes the Ultimate Add-on extension for Visual Composer. This extension adds more features and functionality to Visual Composer, helping you get closer to building the perfect website for your project.

Library of Useful Shortcodes

Skylar Shortcodes

Another way that Skylar can help you create the website you need is through its library of shortcodes. Each shortcode represents an element that can be inserted into your content. In fact, there are over 75 different shortcodes in the Skylar package, covering everything from tables and content boxes to sliders and interactive banners.

Skylar Table Shortcode

Being able to quickly and easily insert a whole range of elements into your content makes it very easy to upgrade your website and make it more useful to your visitors. These elements can all be customized to some extent. This then helps them blend in with the rest of your website.

Other Features of Skylar

As you can see, most of the features of Skylar covered above are focused on helping you create a stylish and unique WordPress website. However, it has a few more features that you might be interested in:

  • Slider Revolution premium slideshow builder plugin
  • Easy import demo content process
  • Fully mobile responsive
  • Highly customizable header layout, buttons styling, its colors, design and typography
  • Control over whole page on load & unload page animations, as well as, particular parts like page heading, page content, dropdown menus, fixed header showing / hiding animations etc.
  • Lifetime free and automatic theme updates
  • Dedicated support (contribution $67 or more)
  • Full support for WPML multilingual WordPress plugin (+ translation files divided – separate for admin text and separate for user-end for easier translation)
  • Compatibility with Yoast SEO plugin
  • 60 days 100% money back guarantee

I’m sure you’ll agree, Skylar is a feature packed WordPress theme that really can be used to create almost any type of website. Now, let’s take a look at that interesting pricing plan we mentioned earlier.

Skylar WordPress Theme Pricing Options

Unlike most other WordPress themes, Skylar is available for purchase on a unique pricing plan. Instead of paying a fixed fee to obtain this theme, you can instead pay what you want.

Due to the way Skylar is being sold, you really can pay what you think this theme is worth. Typically, multi-purpose WordPress themes like Skylar sell for around $60 at the ThemeForest marketplace. However, you can buy Skylar direct from its creator at the price you want to pay.

When you take into account that this is a multi-purpose WordPress theme that can be used to create many different types of websites, plus the fact it includes three popular premium plugins that sell for a combined total of $71, this is a very interesting pricing strategy. Furthermore, 10% of your payment will be donated to charity.

You can find out more about the Skylar pay what you want pricing details here.

Skylar Theme Review Final Thoughts

Skylar is an attractive and well-presented WordPress theme. It does join a very competitive category of themes, but it also does have a different look and feel to most of the other creative multi-purpose WordPress themes already out there.

The pay what you want pricing strategy is very interesting. Whether you pay the going rate of around $60 for a multi-purpose WordPress theme or not, you’ll be getting a good value product that includes a number of premium tools at no extra cost.

If you like the sound of Skylar, be sure to check out the theme demos. There are some great designs and you might find one that’s perfect for your project. If not, the customization options and page builder tools are on hand to help you design a site that’s right.

Find out more about Skylar today

Brando WordPress Theme Review: A New Multi-purpose Theme

Brando WordPress Theme Review

Brando is a newly released multi-purpose WordPress theme that wants to help you build the perfect website. With over 10 pre-built demos to choose from, there’s a good chance that this theme could be the right choice for your project. In this hands-on Brando WordPress theme review, we’ll be finding out exactly what this theme has to offer, as well as how easy it is to use.

If you’re looking for a new and modern WordPress theme for your latest project, Brando could well be the theme you’re looking for.

Who Should Choose the Brando Theme?

who-should-choose-the-brando-theme


As we’ll soon see, one of the best features of the new Brando WordPress theme is its library of pre-built demos. At the time of writing, Brando has just over 10 different demos to choose from. Therefore, if you’re building a website that is covered by one of the demos this could be the theme for you.

We’ll explore the demos in more detail next in this Brando WordPress theme review. However, if there isn’t a suitable demo for your project, Brando has many other useful features that will help you modify this theme to ensure it meets your requirements.

Overall, Brando is a WordPress theme that will appeal to anyone looking for an innovative design for their new website. All the best web design trends and techniques are present in this theme, helping to give your website a professional look and feel.

Brando WordPress Theme Features

As mentioned earlier, one of the main highlights of the Brando WordPress theme is its selection of high-quality website demos. However, that’s not all this multi-purpose WordPress theme has to offer. So, let’s take a look behind the scenes of this theme’s promotional material and see what Brando really has to offer.

Multiple Website Demos

multiple-website-demos

The first release of the Brando WordPress theme gives you over 10 complete website demo to work with. Thanks to this library of modern pre-built websites, Brando can truly be considered a multi-purpose WordPress theme.

brando-agency-demo

Among the Brando demos, you’ll find a classy agency website demo. As the name suggests, this demo is perfect for building a website for your creative agency. This option includes an attention-grabbing text display above the fold, before displaying a stylishly formatted about us section, complete with icon headers.

latest-work


As your visitors scroll down the homepage of your agency website, they can view the latest item from your online portfolio, read client testimonials, and meet your team of creatives. Other optional homepage features include a contact form, news from your blog, and social media icons – essentially everything you’ll need to build a professional agency website with WordPress.

architecture-demo

The architecture demo is another great example of the type of website you can build with the Brando WordPress theme. Best of all, as this is a pre-built demo, it can quickly be imported into your WordPress website. In its default configuration, the homepage of this demo features a full-screen slider – however, you’re free to customize this layout in any way that you need.

architecture-demo-02

Depending on how you choose to organize your website’s homepage, as your visitors move down the page they could see your team member profiles, feedback from clients, information about your firm, plus a few more options.

personal-demo

The Brando personal demo is ideal for creating an online resume or even just a personal blog. This demo will definitely help you build a website that stands out from the competition. The animated effects that are used on the fixed sidebar navigation area are well worth taking for a test drive.

personal-demo-02

If you need to create a high-quality personal website to help you find employment opportunities and promote yourself online, Brando and this demo should be on your shortlist.

other-demos

Other demos include a design for a travel website, a spicy restaurant website, a wedding option, a spa demo, a photography portfolio layout, an events landing page, and a few more. With so many different demos to choose from, if you need a flexible tool to help you create a wide range of websites, Brando could be for you.

However, even with all of these impressive demos, there might not be an option that’s right for your project. If that is the case, read on to find out why Brando could still be a good choice for your website.

Theme Customization Options

As Brando is a multi-purpose WordPress theme, it has more to offer than just its selection of pre-built demos. When using this theme to create a custom website with WordPress, you’ll have plenty of creative freedom available to you.

brando-color-settings

One way you can customize your website is to mix and match the individual elements that make up the demos. Through the theme options, you can choose which header layout to use on your site. You can also select from a range of different footer designs. You can also customize the slider and hero sections to build the perfect website.

brando-headers

Through the theme options customization panel, you can quickly modify the default Brando settings. These controls cover site elements such as fonts, colors, layouts, background images. In most cases, you can use different configurations for the different types of content on your site.

brando-settings

Another feature of Brando is the ability to import and export your theme settings between different WordPress sites. If you’re managing multiple websites, including creating sites for clients, then this feature will help you save a lot of time and effort — something web developers will appreciate.

Drag-and-Drop Page Builder

visual-composer-brando

Another way that you can customize your website is through the Visual Composer page builder plugin. Visual Composer is a premium WordPress plugin that’s included in the Brando theme package. Thanks to this addition, you now have a way to edit any of the included page templates – all through an intuitive visual interface.

brando-vc-front-end

If you want to get even more creative, you can also use Visual Composer to design your own advanced page designs from scratch. One of the reasons why Visual Composer is so popular is the number of page elements it includes. These elements cover a wide range of functions and purposes and allow you to upgrade your pages with useful features.

brando-vc-back-end

When working on your page designs with Visual Composer, you can easily switch between the back and front end user interfaces. This gives you two different ways of working. Thanks to the addition of Visual Composer, Brando can also be considered a drag-and-drop WordPress theme.

Stylish Portfolio Templates

stylish-portfolio

No matter which of the Brando theme demos you choose, you’ll have the option of adding a stylish portfolio to your website. Whether you want to show off the photos you’ve taken, the projects you’ve completed, or some other accomplishments, the portfolio templates are the ideal way to do so.

stylish-portfolio-02

Depending on which Brando demo you choose, your portfolio can make use of some interesting effects. These effects range from eye-catching hover effects to popup styles and other options that will help your portfolio and image gallery content stand out from the crowd.

gallery-mode

The gallery mode is a particularly nice feature, especially if you’re using Brando to create a photography portfolio or another type of image-rich website. Adding content to the online portfolio section of your website is straightforward.

brando-portfolio-posts

The Brando theme uses a portfolio custom post type. This makes it easy to keep your portfolio content organized.

Blog Layouts and Templates

Brando does include a pre-built blog demo. This makes the theme ideal for creating a stylish and modern WordPress blog. However, no matter which demo you do choose, adding a blog to your website is very straightforward.

blog-layouts

Thanks to the different blog post layouts, you get a range of design options when publishing your blog posts.

blog-post-layouts

As well as the individual blog post layouts, there’s also a nice collection of post archive templates. Adding a latest blog posts slider is also very easy as well.

blog-post-layouts-02

Brando is much more than just a simple WordPress blogging theme. However, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to create a stylish blog or add one to their website.

Other Brando Theme Features

As you can see, Brando has some very impressive and useful theme features. However, the above features are just the main highlights of this theme. Brando has plenty of other little tools and functionalities that help make it a well-rounded multi-purpose theme.

Here are some more reasons why you might want to choose this theme:

  • Fully mobile responsive and retina ready
  • AJAX contact form
  • Coming soon template
  • Lightbox gallery
  • Code optimized for fast loading times as well as SEO
  • AJAX gallery popup
  • Pricing table builder
  • Straightforward online documentation
  • Over 500 Google Fonts
  • Optimized for the W3 Total Cache plugin

You can view the full feature list of Brando on the theme details page.

About the Brando Theme Author

Brando has been created by the ThemeZaa development team. ThemeZaa has created many successful WordPress themes, including the equally impressive H-Code theme, which we reviewed recently. The team also offers a theme customization service where they will modify your website for a fee.

You can also follow ThemeZaa and its parent company LinkSture on Facebook and Twitter.

Brando WordPress Theme User Experience

The Brando WordPress theme certainly has many impressive features. But how easy is it to use? Let’s find out by exploring the Brando user experience.

After purchasing Brando, the main theme files can be uploaded to your website through the WordPress admin panel. Once you’ve activated the theme, you can then install and enable the recommended plugins in just a few clicks. This includes the aforementioned premium Visual Composer page builder tool.

Import the Demo Content

Now that the theme is fully setup, it’s time to import one of the Brando website demos. Of course, you are free to start your website from scratch. However, as Brando has some very impressive website demos, you’ll probably want to begin by installing one of them.

brando-demo-importer

Some themes have confusing or unintuitive demo content importer interfaces. Thankfully, Brando doesn’t fall into that category. Through the Brando theme options control panel import section, you can actually view all the available demos. You can quickly preview them to see which one you want to use. Once you’ve made a decision, you can click the appropriate button to get started.

brando-demo-options

Another nice feature of the Brando importer is that you can choose which type of demo content you want to import. This is great as for some projects, you might not need to import everything and would rather pick and choose what to add to your site.

brando-imported-content

Once the importer has run, the foundation of your new website is ready for you to add your own content to. As mentioned earlier, you can use the bundled Visual Composer plugin to edit any of the demo content.

Brando WordPress Theme Review Final Thoughts

Brando is a very impressive addition to the multi-purpose WordPress theme category. While it might not have as many demos as some of the more well established multi-purpose themes, all the Brando demos are of a very high-quality. The demo content importer is also worth a mention due to its ease of use and effectiveness.

If you’re building a website that’s covered by one of the Brando demos, then you should definitely consider this theme. Even if there isn’t yet a demo that matches your project, this theme could still be a good choice. As you can mix and match the different elements and use the Visual Composer plugin, you should be able to tweak Brando for a wider range of projects.

Brando is an exciting new multi-purpose WordPress theme that’s ideal for many different types of websites.

For more information about Brando theme head here.

SONIK Theme Review: A Modern Music WordPress Theme

SONIK Theme Review

SONIK is a WordPress theme for creating music-related websites. Therefore, if you need to build a website for a singer, band, DJ, radio station, club, or music label, then be sure to read our SONIK theme review to find out if this the right tool for your project.

It has been created by QantumThemes, a company specialized in music wordpress themes, with a deep knowledge of the music market. It comes from a broad study of all the functions that a professional musician, label or radio station may have.

In this review, we’ll be exploring the features that make up this theme. After that, we’ll take a look at the user experience on offer from SONIK.

By the end of this review, you’ll know exactly what this theme is capable of, as well as how easy it is to use.

Who Should Choose the SONIK Theme?

Anyone building a website for a music-related project should consider SONIK. Some ideal candidates for this theme include singers, bands, DJs, producers, music labels, radio stations, clubs, event promoters, music magazines, online stores, and more.

SONIK WordPress Theme Features

SONIK Discography

As well as its music-focused design, SONIK has plenty of features to help make your website a success. Let’s explore the best features in more detail in this section of our SONIK theme review.

4 Music Website Demos

Demos

To help you get your new website online as quickly as possible, every good WordPress theme needs at least one stylish demo. SONIK actually has four website demos for you to choose from. While this is less than some of the other best-selling WordPress themes on the market, as this is a niche theme, built for creating music websites, four is a good amount.

The demos cover the majority of cases that you may encounter while building a music website, as music label or agency, a single musician (dj or singer), music bands or radio stations.

Demo One: music labels and artist agencies

SONIK Demo 01

The main SONIK theme demo has been built for creating a music label or agency website. Therefore, if you do want to build a website to help promote your music, this demo is a great choice. The default homepage layout features a stylish music player that’s ideal for showcasing your latest tracks.

SONIK Demo 01 Player

Your visitors can scroll through the different music your site hosts, all at the touch of a button. The rest of the default homepage layout gives you the ability to display video content, a discography, your choice of featured artists, upcoming events, and much more.

SONIK Featured Artists

The main demo of the SONIK theme is very impressive. It’s fair to consider it a multi-purpose demo for websites in the music industry. Whether you want to share your music, promote your artists, display event details, or any combination of those options, this demo is a great choice. This demo isn’t too tightly focused on a single purpose. Therefore, it’s a good choice for a wide range of different projects.

Demo Two: music bands

SONIK Demo 02

The second SONIK demo is described as a website for rock bands. This option certainly has the right look for that purpose. From the font choices to the background images, this demo is perfect for creating a WordPress rock band website. However, as you can customize most aspects of this theme, this demo can easily be adapted for other projects.

SONIK Demo 02 Shop

Again, like the main demo, as your visitors scroll down the homepage, they can view a range of content. This can include music players, tour information, and even products from your ecommerce store. These homepage modules are all optional. Therefore, if there are any that won’t be needed for your project, you’re free to disable or remove them.

Demo Three: dj producers and singers

SONIK Demo 03

The third SONIK demo is aimed at DJs and producers. Therefore, if you want to find an audience for your music, get more gigs, or simply connect with your followers, this could be the music website demo for you. This demo has a design and style that is well suited to its purpose.

For every musician the most important thing is showcasing his music, so the author had a special attention for providing an engaging and yet usable experience, tempting the visitor to explore the tracks through the animated player.

Each release in fact, have the possibility to display the player at the top of the pages, and you can easily embed the player for a particular album in every part of your website using a shortcode.

Every track of the album can be completed with Title, Artists, a purchase link and an optional preview from Soundcloud or youtube.

An automated function of the theme will link each artist of a release to the appropriate artist, and in each artist page will be automatically listed all the releases where his name appears, adding some extra interaction and SEO optimization to the site.

SONIK Demo 03 Charts

As well as the music player that takes center stage on your homepage, you can also display the latest charts, gig information, store products, and more, using the built-in “archives widget”.

Demo Four: radio stations

SONIK Demo 04

The fourth and final (so far) SONIK demo has been created for a radio station website. This demo uses background videos to great effect. As soon as your visitors arrive at your website, they will be drawn in by the auto-playing background video content.

SONIK Demo 04 News

Visitors can then either hit the large play button or scroll down the homepage of your site. On the default homepage layout, you’ll have the opportunity to display the radio station schedule, show content from your video and image galleries, and introduce the members of your team, plus a lot more.

In the picture below you can also have a preview of the innovative “TripleView” template, which is a special function of the Sonik theme allowing you to create a horizontal scrolling layout, useful showcase the latest entries of different contents as releases, events, podcasts, news and more.

SONIK Demo 04 V2

These four demos are quite specific in their purposes. However, it’s best to look at them as examples of what this theme can do, rather than how you should use it. Thanks to the flexibility of this theme, no matter what type of music-related website you want to create, you shouldn’t have a problem. Think of these demos as starting points for your website that can be customized to better meet your needs.

Theme Customization Options

Whether you use one of the four SONIK demos or create your site from scratch, you’ll be able to customize many aspects of this theme. All of the modification work takes place through the WordPress Customizer tool. This is great as it’s an intuitive way of working. Results are displayed in real time, with instant feedback on your choices.

SONIK Customization Options

Through the SONIK theme Customizer controls, you can modify the following areas of your WordPress website:

  • Color settings
  • Social networking profile links
  • Site menus
  • Header settings
  • Typography choices
  • Footer settings
  • Content layouts
  • Widgets
  • Google Maps settings
  • Plus more

We’ll cover how easy the Customizer is to use in the user experience section of this SONIK theme review. However, it’s fair to say that this theme gives you a straightforward way to personalize many of its different elements.

Unlike many other WordPress themes, SONIK doesn’t use a back-end control panel for its settings. This approach simplifies things considerably as you now only have one place to look for settings and options.

Music Player

SONIK Player

As this is a music WordPress theme, it’s no surprise to find a music player. However, the SONIK music player works really well. You can add playable content throughout your website. When a user hits the play button, it’s streamed in the background.

Each release can feature unlimited purchase links, and for WooCommerce you can simply put the product ID and the album or single song will go straight to the shopping cart.

SONIK Track

Adding audio content to your site is relatively straightforward. Whether it’s your latest audio tracks or a new podcast episode. You can either upload the files or link directly to a file hosted elsewhere.

SONIK Podcast File

The audio players are all well integrated into the theme design. They never look like additional features that have been added to your site. This is true even if they are hosted on services like SoundCloud or YouTube.

The theme is also compatible with the free Soundcloud importer plugin from QantumThemes, which allows you to easily import each Soundcloud set as single release, with an option to import the music sample directly into your WordPress media.

SONIK Soundcloud

Events Manager

SONIK Events

Whether you’re creating a website to promote a band, DJ, or club night, you’re probably going to want to share the details of upcoming events. Thankfully, SONIK includes a powerful events manager tool. Through the Events custom post type, you can add multiple events to your website.

SONIK Event Post Type

As well as simply listing the details of the events, you can also link to ticketing services. You can also add the event location on Google Maps to help your visitors.

The theme features as well the powerful “QT Places” plugin, which allows you to create maps from every post type. With this plugin, you can create beautiful maps of your next gigs, as the custom fields will automatically geocode your address, and the map is easily embeddable with a shortcode.

Music Charts Publisher

SONIK Charts

Thanks to the Charts feature of SONIK, creating and publishing your own charts is very straightforward. Through the Charts custom post type, you can create multiple charts.

SONIK Charts Posts

Each chart can contain multiple songs or tracks, complete with a link to where visitors can make a purchase. This could be through the ecommerce section of your site or an external vendor.

SONIK Charts Builder

Custom Post Types

SONIK Custom Post Types Feature Example

As mentioned, SONIK uses WordPress custom post types to organize and publish the different types of content. This covers the charts, artists, podcasts, events, galleries, and other types of content you can publish with SONIK.

As each custom post type can have its own post editor and options panels, they are each configured to make it easy to publish certain types of content. This could include the chart tracks, the podcast content, or the event listings, to name just a few.

Drag-and-Drop Page Builder

Visual Composer

To help you customize the page layouts that make up the SONIK music theme, the Visual Composer page builder tool is included in the package at no extra cost. As Visual Composer is a drag-and-drop page builder plugin, you should have no difficulty editing any of the demo content. Creating your own advanced page layouts is also an option with this tool.

Ecommerce Support

SONIK Shop

If you want to sell music directly from your website, then you’ll be pleased to learn that SONIK is fully ecommerce ready. Thanks to the full support for the leading WooCommerce plugin, you can easily list items for sale and collect payments from your customers.

SONIK Shop Product

Whether you want to sell physical items, such as band merchandise, or digital downloads like audio files, WooCommerce makes it possible.

Other Features of the SONIK Music Theme

As you can see, SONIK has all the features you’ll need to make a professional music website with WordPress. Some of the other features you get access to include:

  • Extensive documentation
  • Over 600 Google Fonts
  • Search engine optimized code
  • Fully mobile responsive and retina ready
  • Custom footer, header, and sidebar widgets
  • GridStacks content design solution

You can view the full list of features on the SONIK theme page.

About the SONIK Theme Author

SONIK has been created by QantumThemes, a ThemeForest author with Elite status. QantumThemes has created three music-related WordPress themes so far, including the SONIK theme. They’ve also produced three WordPress plugins, all of which have positive feedback ratings from users.

SONIK WordPress Theme User Experience

In this section of our SONIK theme review, we’ll walk through the process of setting up the theme. This will demonstrate how you can create your own music website with SONIK and WordPress.

Importing the Demo Content

As mentioned earlier, the SONIK theme includes four pre-built website demos. To import this demo content into your WordPress website, the developers of this theme have provided four separate plugins. Each plugin will help you import one of the pre-built demo websites, simplifying the process considerably

SONIK Importer

After deciding which of the demos you want to import, you can upload the corresponding plugin into your WordPress website. This adds a new menu item to the WordPress sidebar menu. From here, you can run the installer and start the import process.

SONIK Imported Demo

Once the demo content has been imported, you can begin replacing the stock content with your own material.

SONIK Demo Pages

To start editing the demo content, you can open the posts and pages in the standard WordPress editor. Alternatively, you can launch the Visual Composer page builder tool and edit the entire layout and design of the content.

Editing with Visual Composer

Once you’ve explored the demo content and started editing it, you might want to move onto the theme options.

Customizing the Theme Settings

SONIK uses the WordPress Customizer to allow you to modify the appearance and settings of your theme. Through the Customizer, you can change the color, typography, layout, and widgets settings, plus much more.

SONIK Customizer

Thanks to the intuitive user interface of the WordPress Customizer, you get a live preview of your changes as you make them. There’s no need to save your settings, switch browser tabs, and refresh windows. Instead, you can see instantly in real time, what effect your choices have had.

SONIK Customizer Typography

SONIK uses WordPress custom post types to organize the different types of content you can publish. This means the various forms of content your website contains is organized more efficiently on the back-end of your WordPress website.

SONIK Custom Post Types

Once you’ve added your own content and defined your theme settings your new music website should be ready for launch.

SONIK WordPress Theme Pricing Information

The SONIK music WordPress theme is available from the ThemeForest marketplace for $63. This price covers the premium plugins included in the SONIK theme package. You also get lifetime access to theme updates and improvements. This price also includes six months of access to the theme support team. You can extend this support period by a further six months for $19.13. This brings the total support period to 12 months.

SONIK Support service

Qantumthemes puts user satisfaction at first, providing a support forum updated on daily basis, where you can post your requests and receive help within few hours, to have the certainty that your project will work slick and smooth.

SONIK Theme Review Final Thoughts

SONIK has a unique and original design that helps it stand out from the completion. If you want to create a music-related website with WordPress then this theme definitely has the right look and feel.

However, this theme also has an impressive set of features that will help you build almost any type of music website with WordPress. From simple band sites to music magazines and even online stores and event promotions sites, there isn’t much you can’t do with SONIK.

Thanks to the inclusion of the Visual Composer plugin, you can easily modify this theme to ensure its perfect for your project. The detailed theme settings will help too.

If you’re looking for a modern WordPress music theme, SONIK should be at the top of your shopping list.

Find out more about SONIK today

Kameleon Theme Review: A Creative Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

Kameleon WordPress Theme Review

Kameleon is one of the newest options in the multi-purpose WordPress theme category. Therefore, if you’re looking for a flexible and creative design for your WordPress website Kameleon could be a great choice.

However, with so much competition in the busy multi-purpose WordPress theme space, how do you know if this is the best option for your project? By the end of this Kameleon theme review, you’ll have all the information needed to make an informed decision on whether this is the best choice for you.

In this Kameleon review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the features of this theme. After that, we’ll walk through the user experience. If you want to know exactly what this theme can do and how easy it is to use, keep reading to find out more.

Who Should Choose the Kameleon Theme?

Kameleon Vintage Demo

Kameleon is focused towards those who need a creative design for their website. Whether you’re making an online portfolio, an agency homepage, a personal resume website, or an online store, Kameleon aims to provide you with everything you need.

As well as the selection of website demos – which we’ll cover in detail in the next section – Kameleon also offers plenty of scope for customization. From using the theme options control panel to tweak your typography settings to firing up the included page builder tool to edit and create new page templates from scratch, Kameleon aims to cater to every type of website owner.

If you’re seeking a WordPress theme that includes plenty of pre-built content, but still lets you customize almost every aspect of your site’s design, Kameleon could be just what you’re looking for. Read on for our hands-on Kameleon theme review to find out if this is the right theme for you.

Kameleon WordPress Theme Features

Kameleon Theme Review Features

As mentioned, Kameleon is a multi-purpose WordPress theme. This means that it can be used for a wide-range of projects, from blogs and portfolio websites to business sites and online shops.

Thanks to the included premium plugins, you’ll get some extra tools to help upgrade your WordPress installation. Kameleon has also been built to work with all the best WordPress plugins. This compatibility gives you plenty of choice when it comes to deciding which tools to use.

So let’s take a look at the best features of Kameleon to see what this theme really has to offer.

25+ Website Demos and Page Templates

Kameleon Theme Demo 01

To help you create a stylish WordPress website as quickly as possible, the Kameleon theme includes an impressive selection of pre-built demos. These demos cover a good range of website projects. Divided into multiple categories, you’ll be able to effortlessly build a creative, business, portfolio, shop, or freelancer website using the Kameleon theme demos.

Kameleon Theme Demo 02

The main Landing Page demo has an interesting homepage design that’s packed with different elements. As your visitors scroll down the page, they can view all the important information about your project. To help save space, the horizontal menu bar reduces in size as you move down the page.

Kameleon Theme Demo 03

The Business Modern demo is another good option from the available pre-built website demos. The color palette is nice and neutral, helping you to create a professional design for your business website. However, as we’ll soon see in this Kameleon theme review, you can easily change the appearance of this theme to better meet your needs.

Kameleon Theme Demo 04

The personal demo is ideal for anyone who needs to create a website to promote themselves or their services online. Whether you’re seeking a new employment opportunity or hoping to land that big freelance client, creating a personal website with Kameleon is a great way to build a strong online presence.

Kameleon Theme Demo 05

There are also a few different coming soon and under maintenance demos to choose from. Thanks to these demos, when setting up your website with Kameleon, you can still engage with your visitors, even when your main website isn’t ready. By displaying links to your social media profiles, an email newsletter optin form, or a contact form, your visitors can still get in touch or follow you.

Kameleon Theme Demo 06

Thanks to the flexible nature of this theme, it doesn’t really matter if there isn’t a pre-built demo that’s perfect for your project. As we’ll soon see, you can easily tweak or completely overhaul any of the designs or templates that make up the Kameleon theme package.

10 Header Styles

Kameleon Header Styles 01

No matter which of the pre-built demos you choose – or whether you create your own website design from scratch – the Kameleon theme gives you 10 header styles to work with.

Kameleon Header Styles 2

Thanks to the different header designs, you can quickly choose the right layout for your project. Among the options, you’ll find layouts with different logo positions, different navigation elements, and a few other options.

Kameleon Header Styles 3

There’s also a compact menu option that is ideal for those who want to avoid obscuring their content. At the touch of a button, the menu is revealed or hidden. Changing the header style for your website is straightforward and takes place through the Kameleon theme options control panel.

Drag-and-Drop Page Builder

Visual Composer Page Builder Plugin

To give you as much creative freedom as possible, the Kameleon theme includes the premium Visual Composer plugin. This popular tool is a drag-and-drop page builder that upgrades the WordPress content editing experience.

Visual Composer

Now, through the Visual Composer user interface, you can create custom layouts for your pages. These layouts can include multiple rows and columns, each with their own design and appearance related properties. You can then populate these layouts with a range of useful page elements, including sliders, galleries, pricing tables, buttons, and much more. The Kameleon theme even includes some custom built Visual Composer elements that help make this tool even more powerful.

Visual Composer Editor

One of the best features of the Visual Composer page builder plugin is its front-end user interface. Now when creating your custom page designs, you can work through a WYSIWYG visual editor. You still have the option of using the original back-end editor. However, the new front-end user interface is hard to beat when it comes to efficiency and intuitiveness.

Custom Page Options

Kameleon Options Panel

To help you create pages with a custom design, Kameleon gives each piece of content on your WordPress its own set of page options. Through the Kameleon Options panel, you can now override the global theme settings and give a page a custom look.

Kameleon Options Panel Page Intro Settings

The Kameleon Options panel is displayed on the WordPress Editor screen for both posts and pages. These options cover aspects of your pages such as the header content, whether to display a page intro or not, video display options, choosing which sidebar to display, how the footer should be displayed, plus more.

Kameleon Options Panel Sidebar Settings

The Kameleon Options panel is a very useful feature of this theme. Now you can easily create content with it’s own layout, without changing any of the global settings for your website.

Slideshow Builder Tool

Another premium plugin that’s included with the Kameleon WordPress theme is the popular Slider Revolution plugin. This leading slideshow tool will help you create advanced sliders for your website. These sliders can be added to any of your posts or pages, including the homepage of your website.

Kameleon Slider Revolution

Slider Revolution includes an impressive library of pre-built slideshows. Each of these designs can be easily edited through the plugin’s user interface. However, you can also create your own animated slideshows relatively easily with this tool. These sliders can be used to display your featured content, showcase items from your portfolio, and share products from your store. They can even be used to deliver online presentations to help win over your audience and land new clients.

Slider Revolution

If you’re looking for the best slider WordPress plugin, then you can’t do much better than Slider Revolution.

Advanced Theme Options

The Visual Composer builder takes care of the design of the individual pages on your site. However, if you want to change the global settings of your website, the action takes place through the theme options control panel.

Kameleon Theme Options 01

Through the control panel, you can quickly customize many aspects of your WordPress website. This includes the logo, the typography settings, header layout, and much more.

Kameleon Customizer Support

There isn’t as much support for the WordPress Customizer as there is with some other themes. However, you can still customize many aspects of your site through the backend theme options control panel.

Contact Form 7 Designer

Kameleon Contact Form

Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular WordPress contact form plugins. It’s also the tool that the Kameleon theme uses to allow your visitors to send messages from your website direct to your inbox. While Contact Form 7 is a good tool, its main weakness is that it can be tricky to customize the appearance of the forms. If you’re not experienced with HTML and CSS, this is especially true.

Kameleon CF7 Designer

To overcome this potential issue, the Kameleon theme includes a Contact Form 7 Designer tool. As the name suggests, this feature aims to give you an easy way to customize the design of your Contact Form 7-powered contact forms.

Now your contact forms will integrate seamlessly with the rest of your website, rather than looking like tacked on extras.

Full Ecommerce Support

Kameleon Ecommerce Demo

As well as having two ecommerce demos to choose from, Kameleon also includes full support for the leading WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce is a powerful free tool that can be upgraded by installing any of the many add-ons available for it.

Kameleon Ecommerce Product

Whether you want to create an online shop or simply list a few items for sale on your blog or portfolio website, WooCommerce and the Kameleon theme are a great combination. Freelancers and other businesses can also sell services, take deposits, and carry out a wide range of other transactions directly from their website with WooCommerce.

Starting your online shop with WooCommerce is free and as your business grows, you can invest in premium upgrades to scale your store.

Online Portfolio Builder

Kameleon Portfolio Design

To help you showcase your work – whether that’s items that are for sale or display purposes only – the Kameleon theme includes some stylish portfolio templates. As well as the two purpose built portfolio demos, you can also add a portfolio to any of the other Kameleon website demos.

Kameleon Portfolio Masonry Layout

When setting up your online portfolio, you can choose from four main layout modes including masonry, hover, simple, and gallery. Each of the four main options has multiple variations. This gives you plenty of creative control over how your work is presented online.

Kameleon Portfolio Slider

There’s also a nice portfolio slider mode that makes it easy for your visitors to scroll through your work.

Other Kameleon WordPress Theme Features

Other reasons why you might want to choose the Kameleon theme include:

  • Positive rating from customers at ThemeForest
  • Mega menus
  • Fully mobile responsive and retina ready
  • One-click demo importer
  • Unlimited colors
  • Unlimited sidebars
  • Over 3,000 font icons
  • Search engine optimized code
  • Extensive online documentation

That’s an impressive feature list. But how easy is it to build a website with the Kameleon theme? Read on to find out.

Kameleon WordPress Theme User Experience

One of the key features of the multi-purpose Kameleon WordPress theme is its selection of high-quality website demos. But how easy is it to import this demo content into your WordPress website? Let’s put that to the test in the user experience section of this Kameleon theme review.

Importing the Demo Content

After you’ve uploaded the theme files to your WordPress website – either through the WordPress dashboard or via FTP – and activated Kameleon, you can access the theme options control panel. From the Demo Importer section of the Kameleon control panel, you can not only import the demo content but also preview the available designs.

Kameleon Portfolio Slider

Being able to preview the demos makes it easy to see what designs are available to you. It can also help ensure you select the right option. Once you’ve made a decision, you can hit the Import Demo button to start the process. In less than a few minutes, your fresh WordPress installation will be transformed into an attractive website.

Kameleon Theme Options 02

Once the importer has run, you can explore the rest of the theme options control panel to see how you can personalize your website further. Thanks to the inclusion of the Visual Composer plugin, you can also open up any of the demo content templates for editing.

Kameleon Visual Composer User Interface

As Slider Revolution is included in the package, you can also open up any of the demo sliders for editing. Creating your own sliders from scratch is an option too.

Kameleon WordPress Theme Pricing Options

The Kameleon multi-purpose WordPress theme is available from the ThemeForest marketplace for $59. This price includes lifetime access to theme updates and improvements. You also get six months of access to the support team. For an extra $17.63, you can extend this support period by an extra six months to 12.

Kameleon Theme Review Final Thoughts

Kameleon has a stylish and modern design that will appeal to website owners looking for a creative theme.

The website demos all look great. There’s also a useful set of page templates for the inner content of your site. Thanks to the inclusion of the Visual Composer plugin, you’ll have the tools to customize any of the demo content.

The best way to find out if Kameleon is the right choice for you is to check out the demos. If you like what you see, then Kameleon and its customization options and long feature list is a great choice.

Find out more about the Kameleon WordPress theme now

AMAX Review: An Impressive Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

AMAX WordPress Multi Purpose Theme Review

AMAX is a recently released multi-purpose WordPress theme. While this is one of the most popular genres of theme available today, AMAX aims to separate itself from the completion by providing some of the best quality page designs on the market.

That’s not all AMAX has going for it though. Thanks to the experience of the developers behind this project, the theme offers just the right mix of ease of use and flexibility. AMAX is also packed with plenty of features, which we will evaluate and cover in more detail in this review.

So if you are looking for a true multi-purpose theme for your next website project, then the AMAX WordPress theme could be just what you need. To find out if this is the theme for you, read on for our full AMAX review.

AMAX WordPress Theme Review

AMAX Theme Review: The Features

In order to be considered a true multi-purpose WordPress theme, a product must be ready for any eventually and highly adaptable for all uses. As you will see from the selection of features on offer, AMAX certainly lives up to this requirement and then some.

With a combination of easily importable demo content, multiple page layout options and pre-built page templates, not to mention a good selection of premium tools included in the package, with AMAX you should have no trouble building almost any type of website.

One-Click Demo Content Import

While an impressive demo version of a theme might inspire you to make a purchase, if you can’t recreate something similar for your own project, it’s going to be a disappointing experience. However, thanks to the one-click demo content import system of AMAX, getting your website up and running has been made as straightforward as possible.

By using the content import tool, you can either import the demo content without media files, or with them included. Whichever option you choose, the demo settings will also be applied to your site, ensuring it not only looks the same as the demo version, but also works in the same way.

After experimenting with the AMAX demo content import tool, I’m pleased to report that it worked very well. In just a few clicks, I had a working version of the demo site replicated to my local WordPress installation.

Detailed Theme Customization Options

AMAX Theme Options

To help you get your website looking the way that you want, AMAX includes a detailed set of theme customization options. These options cover everything from setting a favicon for your site, through to customizing the menu layout and positions, and much more.

The options also give you the ability to easily insert custom code blocks for use on your site. This removes the need to go and edit the theme files themselves, and instead gives you a safer way to make those underlying changes.

While the theme options panel is pretty vast, this is to be expected with a true WordPress multi-purpose theme such as AMAX. As almost every aspect of the theme can be modified to help you build any type of website, it should go without saying that the interface for making those changes is a little bit overwhelming at first. However, once you get familiar with the settings on offer, the theme options panel shouldn’t pose any problems.

A Premium Drag and Drop Visual Page Builder

AMAX Visual Composer

In order to deliver the impressive page layouts and pre-built templates that you get access to when choosing the AMAX theme, the developers turned to the premium Visual Composer drag and drop page builder tool.

This means that not only do you get a whole host of page layouts to choose from when using this theme, but they can all be easily edited to meet your needs. This editing takes place through the Visual Composer plugin interface. This gives you an easy way to make changes to those designs, without the need to even glance at any of the underlying code.

Furthermore, as the full version of this plugin is included in the theme package, you are free to use it to build your own custom page layouts, again without editing any code. Considering Visual Composer costs $33 on its own, purchasing AMAX could end up saving you money.

As Visual Composer is a tried and tested page builder tool, that is constantly being refined and upgraded, it’s pretty simple to pick up and start working with. It’s a tool that most users should find it relatively easy to use once they get accustomed to it.

Create Animated Slide Shows and Content Sliders

AMAX Slider

Both LayerSlider and Slider Revolution, the two best-selling slider plugins for WordPress, are included in the package. This gives you the ability to create some breathtaking animated slideshows for your content, without the need to write any code yourself.

These sliders are both packed with pre-built templates and animation effects, which can help you add some much needed movement to your website’s home page and its inner pages. Furthermore, as they are both premium plugins, you save a combined cost of over $30 thanks to their inclusion.

The only downsides of these two tools is that as they are so powerful and can be used to create pretty much any type of slideshow or slider, their user interfaces can take a little getting used to. However, if you are willing to invest some time in getting to grips with them, there really are no limits on what you can achieve.

Multiple Header and Page Title Layouts

AMAX Header 01

To really make your website your own, and avoid it looking like a standard WordPress website, AMAX lets you choose from a selection of header options and post and page title layouts.

AMAX Header 02

The header options can be selected from the theme option control panel, or through the front end WordPress Customizer tool. Once you make a selection, it is set globally for your website. With three layouts to choose from, each with their own positioning and alignment of the header content, you can quickly change the look and feel of your site in just a few clicks.

AMAX Header Options

Furthermore, on the individual post and page editor screens, you can customize the appearance of the header for each piece of content that you publish. This covers the background settings, such as the color or image, as well as the header logo and menu color. Making use of this feature can really help the individual posts and pages on your website stand out with a custom look.

AMAX Header Settings

Through the theme options you can also set a global page title style for your content, with the ability to override it on the individual settings for each page. Through the options you can choose to use the theme default settings, choose a custom background color, display a custom background image, apply a parallax effect, or hide the title area altogether.

AMAX Page Titles

Again, this helps you to get your website looking exactly how you want, while also giving your individual pieces of content a custom design. Thanks to the theme options control panel and support for the WordPress Customizer, making changes to the layouts of your website is very easy.

Make Changes with the WordPress Live Customizer

As is now the trend with modern WordPress themes, AMAX includes a decent level of support for the WordPress Customizer tool. This core feature of WordPress gives you a live, front end preview of your website as you make appearance-based changes to it.

AMAX WordPress Customizer

Through the WordPress Customizer tool, you can modify a pretty good selection of aspects of your website. This includes: layout options, background settings, header and footer layouts, and color choices. While many themes do now include support for the customizer, AMAX does let you change a fairly good portion of your site through it, with the rest of the work taking place through their custom theme options control panel on the back end.

While it would be nice to see things like font customization added to the Customizer controls, the overall selection of options is pretty good.

Multiple Page Templates and Layouts

If you do decide to import the demo content of this theme, then you will get access to a good selection of pre-built pages for use on your website.

AMAX About

This covers all the most common pages you would typically find on a website, including about, blog, contact, home, portfolio, and service pages.

AMAX Portfolio

Most of these pages come in a range of variations, giving you plenty of options to choose from.

AMAX Services

Many of these pre-built pages have been built using the included Visual Composer page builder plugin. This means that they can easily be modified to more precisely meet your needs – without the need to edit any code.

AMAX Gallery

Whatever type of website you are building, there should be a good selection of page template to suit your project included in the package.

AMAX Page Templates

As well as using the pre-built pages, you can also choose from the included templates when creating a new page. These templates make it very easy to create a new page that does not feature a header or footer for example, or one of the other layout options.

Overall the quality and selection of pre-built pages on offer is of a very high level and should be ready for use on most projects – once you’ve added your own custom content.

Fast Loading Times

Despite being packed with features and the ability to build some imaginative websites, complete with custom layouts and page elements, AMAX doesn’t offer up slow loading times. In fact, the developers of this theme have recorded Google Speed Test scores of 9/10 and many of their customers have reportedly mentioned that this theme has helped them build blazingly fast websites. Certainly when testing this theme I didn’t experience any notable slow down when loading large pages.

Other Features of the AMAX Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

As if all of the above wasn’t enough, AMAX contains even more useful features to help your website become a success. These include full retina support for all the latest high end displays, covering tablets, laptops, and desktop screens. You will also find Google Fonts integration for a choice of over 600 typefaces

AMAX Testimonials

Perhaps one of the most useful features of AMAX are the pre-built page elements which can be inserted into your content. Amongst the selection on offer, you will find a range of separators:

AMAX Separators

Plenty of tabbed layouts to choose from to make your content easier to organize:

AMAX Tabs

A good selection of content boxes to smarten up your content:

AMAX Boxes

A number of attractive and professional looking pricing tables to either enhance your reviews or better sell your products and services:

AMAX Pricing Table

Other elements that can be instantly inserted into your website content includes: team profiles, charts and graphs, progress bars, call to actions, icon boxes, buttons, custom text elements, and much more.

AMAX Author Information

In today’s age of fly by night theme developers and cowboy coders, the author of the theme you are interested in purchasing can be just as, if not more important, than the appearance and features of the product.

Attributes to look for in an author when selecting a theme include longevity, experience, previous products, and user ratings.

Thankfully, AMAX has been created by a WordPress developer with over 4 years’ experience of releasing and supporting products on the popular ThemeForest marketplace. With over $250,000 worth of sales in 4 years and Elite Author status, Olevmedia is a theme developer you can trust.

AMAX Pricing Information

AMAX is available from the ThemeForest marketplace for just $48. This includes use on one site, as well as all the premium plugins listed above.

AMAX Review: Final Thoughts

After taking AMAX for a test drive, I’m pleased to report that this is an impressive theme that lives up to its marketing materials. If you are looking for an affordable multi-purpose WordPress theme that can be used to quickly build almost any type of website, then this one should definitely be on your short list.

If you check out the demo version and like what you see in terms of design and appearance, then you can choose this theme safe in the knowledge that you should have no trouble importing the content to recreate the demo version. Then it’s simply a case of using the theme options control panel, the WordPress Customizer, and the included Visual Composer page builder plugin to make that foundation your own and build the website you’ve always wanted.

If you are looking for a versatile and easily adaptable modern WordPress theme that lends itself well to any project, AMAX could be just what you are looking for.
Find out more about AMAX today

How to Start a Food Blog Today with WordPress – Beginner’s Guide

How To Start Food Blog With WordPress

Do you have a succulently delicious recipe that you’d like to share with the world? Or perhaps, maybe you’d like to become a better cook and want to chronicle your journey online; either way building a website to share your culinary creativity with the a global audience has never been easier than it is now with WordPress.

WordPress is an incredibly diverse tool for building almost any type of website and food blogs are no exception. Equipped with a suitable theme and plugins, anybody with the right mindset (and a little bit of patience) can join the world of food blogging.

If you’re a technophobe and think developing a website requires a degree in geek then you will be relieved to know that WordPress offers a full graphical interface so you won’t have to touch a single line of code (but you can if you want to). Add to this an ecosystem full of purpose built templates and plugins designed specifically for food enthusiasts such as yourself, and you will find that designing and developing your dream food blog is actually quite easy.

Looking to make money out of your food blog or thinking of long-term financial benefits? If you do it well, and I mean really well, then yes it is possible. Don’t forget, though, that there are thousands of other food bloggers out there who are also thinking the same thing. However, if you are willing to dedicate the time to writing, maintaining and building it, there’s always a good chance that you will be able to carve out your own niche as a professional food blogger.

So, to help you get started on your dream of creating a popular and well-read food blog, here are 10 themes and plugins that will transform your humble WordPress site into a ready to go food blog.

Top Five WordPress Food Blogging Themes

We’ll begin with templates, or themes as they are known in the WordPress world, as this will dictate how your food blog will look, and to some extent function.

Themes are pre-built packages that allow you to quickly and beautifully overhaul the appearance of your site to match your vision.

When it comes to creating a successful food blog image is everything and being able to showcase high-quality photos of your kitchen creations is key. Therefore finding a theme that makes it easy to display your photographs in the best possible way should be a priority.

Other features you might want to look out for include the ability to publish nicely formatted recipes – although there are plugins that can take care of this if your theme doesn’t, a mobile-friendly layout, and an overall aesthetic that will appeal to your target audience.

To simplify this process, here is a shortlist of five suitable food blogging themes, from the countless options available today.

CookBook – Food Magazine Blog Theme

Start a Food Blog CookBook

If you want to publish a mixture of recipes, reviews, and general food-focused content, then CookBook could be just what you are looking for.

This theme follows the tried and tested magazine style layout to great effect. This type of layout is ideal for anyone who is publishing a regular stream of content on their site, making it a good choice for busy bloggers.

The design and layout are fully response so that your visitors can easily follow along with your recipes on their smartphones and tablets. If you are going to be publishing recipes on your food blog, the included recipe template makes it very easy to do so. This template also ensures your recipes are easy to follow and print out, as well as providing a uniform appearance for this type of content on your site.

The CookBook WordPress theme looks great out of the box. However, it has a number of customization options you can use to personalize your website. There is also a full set of online videos to help you get your website up and running as quickly as possible.

Talisa – Food Recipes WordPress Theme

Start a Food Blog Talisa

This theme has been perfectly optimized for creating a food blog with WordPress. As your visitors browse down through the recipes, they should hopefully become fully engaged with, and inspired by your content.

While your photos will help draw in your visitors, the attractive and eye-catching design of the Talisa food blog theme will keep them coming back for more. One nice feature of this theme is that it gives you the ability to allow your visitors to submit their own recipes. This can be a great way to build your community and add some essential interactivity to your website. Your visitors can also ‘favorite’ recipes that catch their eye, for future reference upon their return.

Talisa has a powerful design and appearance, combined with lots of little features that will help to build a following of loyal readers.

Bacon – User Generated Recipe Theme

Start a Food Blog Bacon

While some other themes give you the ability to accept recipe submissions from your readers, if you want to make this the key feature of your theme, then Bacon is well worth considering.

Through the tastefully designed front-end submission forms, your visitors will have no trouble creating an account and posting their favorite recipes to your site. This feature helps your blog to grow quickly and develop a strong community feeling amongst your readers

To ensure your food blog is as focused or general as you like, it’s easy to organize the content on your website with this theme. Some users of the Bacon theme only accept recipes on a certain topic, while others welcome submissions of all types, including cocktails and other drinks.

If you want to harness the power of crowdsourcing by enabling your audience to grow your food blog, Bacon could be the best option out there.

Divi – The Multipurpose Theme for Any Occasion

Start a Food Blog Divi

Divi isn’t specifically a food blogging theme, but it’s worth mentioning here thanks to how flexible it is.

Whatever type of website you are trying to build, Divi and its intuitive page builder tool can help you achieve your goals. One benefit of using this theme over a dedicated food blog theme is that you can really design your own custom website to ensure it won’t look like any other recipe website already out there. If originality and a good level of control over how your website looks are important to you, then Divi is well worth checking out.

Divi is available as part of a package of other themes and truly useful plugins for one low price, making it a great value option.

Daily Dish – Simplicity Personified

Start a Food Blog Daily Dish Genesis

If simplicity is more important to you than a wealth of features and all the latest bells and whistles, then the Daily Dish theme will appeal.

To help you build the website you want, this theme comes with six page layouts and a landing page template to choose from when publishing your food blog content. The whole design is also fully mobile responsive and the clean code will ensure your site loads as quickly as possible.

You shouldn’t have any trouble setting up your website with Daily Dish, and if you do need to add more features to your site further down the line, there’s a whole world of suitable plugins just a few clicks away.

Top WordPress Plugins for Creating a Food Blog

Once you’ve chosen a theme, it’s time to look at the additional features you will need to add to your WordPress website in order to build a truly useful food blog. These features are added to your site via one or more of the many plugins available for WordPress.

While some of these plugins are food blog-related, others are simply those that will add some essential features that no WordPress blog should be without.

There are many very well designed plugins just for the purposes of making a food blogger’s life easier and so much more fun. Some of these plugins will add a professional and consistent “recipe card” to your websites, this allows users to easily download and print the recipe and keep a piece of your website with them. It’s little details like this that makes users want to come back to your site for a second time, then maybe even a third time.

Furthermore, Google has recently started identifying appropriately structured recipes in their search engine results. This means that this type of content will now stand out in the search results and hopefully drive more visitors to your site. If you want to take advantage of this feature, be sure to look for an appropriate plugin.

Recipe Card

Start a Food Blog Recipe Card Plugin

This particular plugin is important for food blogging sites specifically because it helps optimize your recipes for search engines. This means Google will be able to identify your content as a recipe and list it in their results accordingly. The result is that your content will stand out in the search engines and send more traffic to your food blog.

Other features of the Recipe Card plugin include the ability to display nutritional data about your recipes, as well as giving your readers the option of easily printing and saving your dishes.

The free Recipe Card plugin not only makes it easier and faster for you to add recipes to your blog, but it also makes them easier to follow for your visitors.

BigOven Recipe SEO Plugin

Start a Food Blog Big Oven SEO

The BigOven Recipe SEO plugin is another option for optimizing your recipes posts for the search engines.

This free plugin can also be used to import your saved recipes from the now defunct Ziplist recipe repository. Other features include an easy to use print button for your recipes, and three different templates to choose from for formatting your content.

This is a newly released food blog plugin for WordPress, but it’s one that adds a few useful features to your website for free.

Simmer for Recipes

Start a Food Blog Simmer

Slimmer is another recipe publishing tool for WordPress. This plugin adds a new custom post type to your website, complete with a form for adding recipe specific content. This includes ingredients, cooking instructions, and other information about the dish being discussed.

By using this plugin, the recipes on your blog will have a more straightforward and uniform appearance, helping to make them more easily digestible by your readers.

Visual Recipe Index

Start a Food Blog Visual Index

As the name suggests, this free plugin creates a visual index of all your recipe content, making it easy for your visitors to browse all the recipes you’ve published on your blog, all in one central location. The index can be divided into groups, with the plugin simplifying the process of adding and managing the thumbnail images for each recipe.

Visual Recipe Index adds a useful feature to your website that will help your visitors find more of your great content.

Other WordPress Plugins to Consider

While the following plugins aren’t food blog-specific, they can and will help grow your blog and make it a success. So, here is a quick run-down of some essential blog plugins to consider:

  • Optin Forms: add email signup forms to your site for free
  • Bloom: display premium pop-up forms to grow your email newsletter
  • NextScripts Social Networks Auto-Poster: share your blog posts socially
  • WP Smush: optimize your photos for fast loading pages

Also, don’t forget to check out this collection of essential free WordPress plugins for websites of all types.

Conclusion

Starting a food blog is a fun project, and who knows where it might lead? From growing a huge following, earning money from advertising, or launching your own cookery book, there really is no limit to where your humble food blog can take you.

Thanks to WordPress and its vast library of themes and plugins, starting your own blog has never been easier of more affordable. So what are you waiting for?

Which food bloggers do you follow? What’s stopping you from starting your own food blog? Please share your thoughts in the comments.