I have been meaning to write this post for a while now. The original ApinaPress theme was one I custom coded, but recently when I decided that the site needed a facelift, I didn’t have time (and I’ll admit it, or inclination) to custom code something new.
I needed a theme that looked great out of the box, had enough options to modify it without digging too much into code and yet still allowed me to dive into the code when necessary to make it really unique.
I had stumbled across a deal from Mighty Deals (the deal ended a while ago) and purchased a bundle of WordPress goodies from them, so it meant I had the a few themes from Themify tucked away on my computer.
It’s always good to revisit purchased themes before spending more money, so I checked them out in detail as I hadn’t used them before.
I was really surprised with the themes they offer, the quality is excellent, so I thought I would make you a ll a little Themify review!
Due to their excellence, I am now using the Responz theme on ApinaPress, though admittedly I have a child theme running in order to customise it further to my personal design.
Responz is a great example of the work Themify do, so I thought I would give you some details on what makes it so great and not so great (everything has a downside right?).
Out of the box it looks pretty good, though the image below is showing a slightly tweaked site – I added a custom menu.
The Inside Bits
The settings page is literally littered with options, which is great; you can change so many aspects of the theme without touching CSS.
There are four main sections:
This mainly covers the structural layout of the theme, so you can define whether you want posts to have the sidebar on the left, right, not at all, or even double sidebars. Pages and archive pages (think tags, categories) can be structured differently.
On top of that an individual post can also have its layout modified, which gives you plenty of flexibility as to how every single page of your site looks.
One thing I found really handy was it also allows you to style to post format, so you could have the generic list of posts displaying the full content, or excerpts or how about a grid structure of the featured images? All at the click of a button!
These sorts of options have had me coming back to Themify themes for several projects recently as the same theme can create totally different looking sites.
There are plenty more options in this section, here’s a few choice ones:
- Hide post meta
- Hide and unlink the featured images
- Enable/disable built in slider (header and footer)
- Built in search box
- Built in social media links
Similar to the Settings section, there are choices galore. You can pretty much style every aspect of the theme, down to a reasonable macro level: styling the link’s hover colours in the body text for example.
Being able to change the background for the main site and the header area isn’t world shaking, but it comes with some built in patterns as well as the ability to upload a custom image. Once more it allows for quick changes to alter the look and feel of the site – well quick after you have spent half an hour or so testing out all the different styles!
Want even quicker styles? Then you need the skins. These are pre-set styles, one click for a colour change. Personally I don’t use these, I like the finer control the rest of the settings provide, but if you need a pink or green themed site in a hurry these are good starting points.
You might be wondering why I am even bothering mentioning a transfer section. Have you ever wanted to duplicate a theme on another site or my personal foible, test some changes and then realise you forgot what the original settings were?
That’s where a theme with an import and export of the settings is invaluable. Not every theme out there has it, though every theme should!
I actually didn’t realise for a while, but Themify themes also add a bunch of shortcodes into the Post editor, allowing you to quickly and easily add buttons, columns, conditional logic, Flickr galleries, sliders, author boxes. I didn’t even list them all.
Ok, so it isn’t all rosy, there are a couple of issue I found, though to be fair they aren’t noticeable at first.
First off I moved some posts from one site to another and found that the featured image system didn’t quite live up to expectations I had to redo them manually, though to be fair it may have just been me messing up the file transfers.
The other thing is still about the images; by default there is an imaging script running and whilst it’s on I had major issues getting basic images to show. Maybe others out there have had more success with it than me, but turning it off made the world right again, so it was just a small time sink til I found the Option (Settings > Image Script in case you need to know).
Recently Themify introduced a drag and drop system for creating posts and pages. I am not a fan of drag and drop systems, having tried Headway and Builder themes.
Themify though have done a pretty slick job, and apart from spending 20 minutes trying to figure out how to save it (you can’t in the front end system, need to do it in the post/page editor) I had a page created in minutes. It has, as you would expect by now, a ton of options for each “module” and you can add a variety of modules:
- Tabbed sections.
What this means is that you can go beyond changing basic things like the sidebar position and easily create a newspaper or magazine style layout with precisely placed content. See for yourself, check out the video on the Themify website and the page I made in about 10 minutes (though I think several of that was bopping along to Bob Marley…), you can check out my amazing work here.
I’m in Love
You might be able to tell by now but I really love the themes from Themify, they met, and continue to meet my needs for a decent out of the box theme, with plenty of options and easy to customise.
I haven’t needed to use their support forums to pose questions, I found the answers I needed in there, though the forums themselves look active and the staff responsive.
You may wonder whether having an active support forum is a good thing, and I would say yes! Even though it means there might be some issues (there always will be) the fact that the community is vocal and the staff responsive means they are continually pushing and improving the product.
They are not overly expensive with individual themes being $49 each, they also come with a lifetime amount of updates.
They have a “club” with a cracking price, just $79 per year, but you only get the one year’s support and updates. Either way, it’s a bargain.
Themify September sale!
Use the code FALLSALE to get a whopping 20% discount on everything.
The code is valid all of September 2014