Elegant Themes are certainly players in the theme marketplace, carving out a quality theme membership with over 70 excellent themes for less than $70 a year.
Serene is their first foray into providing free themes and is available on the WordPress theme directory. Whether they are doing it to spread the word about Elegant Themes or to give back to the community, it is welcome.
The theme itself is a blogging theme through and through, making great use of the rather underused Post Format feature.
Videos, galleries and audio files are fully accessible from the blog roll, so unless the user wants to read more about it they don’t even need to click through to the post itself.
While responsive themes are highly desired, there always seems to be a lack of good ones. Serene is responsive out of the box and looks beautiful big or small.
There are no options, which surprised me. While there are people who say themes shouldn’t have options I am not one of them. I am not looking for plugin functionality in a theme but some tweaking options (background colours, fonts, etc ) is always welcome, and save digging into code that will get over written on the next update or having to make a child theme for some minor changes.
As Elegant Themes have a pretty decent settings panel I was expecting a pared down version, but unfortunately not.
There isn’t even anything done with the Customize option, except the ability to add in social network links.
Serene come with one primary menu position and 3 widget areas, but the widgets are only in the footer.
I really like this theme! Even though it is simple, it is a beautifully clean and well-presented blogging theme, I would be happy using on my personal blogs.
You can get a copy of Serene here.