Back in November I announced that I was going to re-design my blog and add a shop where I could sell my handmade items etc., and I really intended to do just that.
Except, I didn't account for December, and all of a sudden, I didn't have the time to do much else than crochet. I had people wanting me to crochet stuff for them and others and I had some presents and such I needed to do myself. I did however have a lot of time to THINK about what I wanted to do with my blog.
Now..this post isn't about all my plans , nope, going to save that for a later post. Instead, I'm going to talk to you about WHY I chose to go with CyberChimps Responsive Theme .
Before I decided to change my blog , I'd been using the same theme for like, what seems forever. Don't get me wrong , it was (and probably still is ) a great theme, with lots of features etc. BUT, it took me forever to set it up and make it look like I wanted it to look. And when I was "done" , (you're not really ever going to be done with the back-end are you ?) , it didn't quite feel right and so I stopped blogging.
After a long time of doing nothing with my blog, I decided to start again and decided to start looking for a new theme at the same time. It took me a long time and a lot of browsing themes and then...all of a sudden it was there. The Responsive Theme by CyberChimps.
And no matter how many other themes I looked at, I kept coming back to that one theme. So I decided to take a closer look at the features and compare them to some of the things I wanted in a theme. I also wanted to make sure it was mobile and tablet friendly, without me having to find a plugin, aka it had to be Responsive and recognize if my blog was being visited from a computer, a mobile device or a tablet.
And it DOES just that, and it looks great...It adapts perfect to what ever device your viewing from, without you even noticing it. That is what a Responsive Theme is all about, being able to adjust the visitor's view on whatever device they're visiting from, so the important stuff stays in focus and the less important stuff moves out-of-the-way. Of course, the exception, being a computer where you see everything.
Now that wasn't the only thing I wanted from a theme.
Main Features I wanted.
Easy to use at the back-end and a clean, but still somewhat colourful front-end.
Child theme friendly, 'cause I learned the hard way (loosing hours of work) , that by using a Child theme, you can change what ever you want and it will be intact even after the Theme's updated. There's a Child Theme for Responsive here.
Easy to integrate with either jigoshop or woocommerce. Haven't yet decided which shop to use. Feel free to give me your thoughts/advice in the comments section. Thank you :)
Multilingual ready (WPML ready). I'm from Denmark and I want Danish readers who are not very good at English, to be able to understand what I talk about.
An easy to find Guide. I'm still fairly new to everything that has to do with changing a theme, so an easy to find guide would be very handy. CyberChimps has one here for both the free and the Pro version of Responsive.
Now when reading about the Responsive Theme it all sounded and looked so awesome, so I decided to take a look at their Pro version as well. It often happens that when I look at great stuff, if possible and affordable I will support it somehow, so I decided to go with the Pro version which you can find here. It did help a lot though , that I wanted the extra options that comes with Pro, but you can easily get an awesome looking website/blog with the free version. But decide for yourself, by comparing the two. Features for both listed next.
Key features for The Responsive Theme. Free Version.
- Responsive Web Design
- Fluid Stackable Grid System
- Widgetized (11 Widget areas)
- Custom Templates (9 Templates, different layouts)
- Custom Background
- Custom Header (used for logo upload)
- Custom Menus (4 Menus)
- Threaded Comments
- Theme Options
- WooCommerce Compatible
- Jigoshop Compatible
Key Features for The Responsive Theme. Pro Version.
- 12 beautiful coloured skins to select from including grey, aqua blue, dark blue, black, green, orange, pink, red, purple, yellow, brown, and teal.
- Out-of-the-box plugin support for bbPress, WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Jigoshop, and The Events Calendar. More plugins to be added soon.
- Typography options with support for Google Fonts, and web safe font families. As well as color pickers for different text types.
- Dedicated Pro customer support with priority over free users.
- New easier to navigate theme options panel designed to match the look and feel of WordPress 3.6 (Don’t worry, the theme is still compatible with 3.5).
- Customization options including custom background, logo / header, custom favicons, and Apple touch icons.
- Responsive Theme is a flexible foundation with fluid grid system that adapts your website to mobile devices and the desktop or any other viewing environment.
- Theme features 9 Page Templates, 11 Widget Areas, 6 Template Layouts, threaded comments, and 4 Menu Positions.
- Powerful but simple Theme Options for full CMS control with easy Logo Upload, Social Network icons, and Webmaster Tools.
- Multilingual Ready (WPML), RTL-Language Support, Retina-Ready, Search Engine Friendly (SEO Optimized).
- Cross-Browser compatible.
- Child Theme Friendly.
I still have a long way to go , before my blog is completely up and running, but Responsive's easy backend interface has sure helped a lot and it has made me find joy in redesigning my blog.
To wrap this post up, I have 2 more pictures to show you. Since I'm using a child theme and the pro version of Responsive I'm not sure if the back-end looks the same when using the free version, but I thought I would show you how easy it is to find everything.
First . A picture of the WordPress Dashboard. As you can see (marked and written in red), you have easy access to your Theme options.
And last but not least. A picture of what it looks like when you have the child theme installed. All options right there and ready to be expanded as you need them.
In case you don't feel like The Responsive Theme is for you, go check out CyberChimps Website. They have a lot of great Themes there and they always make sure to update their Themes when necessary.
Have a fabulous day and thanks for reading (and commenting if you feel like it) :)
Have a Happy New Year!