There have been a number of WordPress theme clubs launched relatively recently, and I usually don’t blog about them (with one exception).
Well there’s more good news for those of you looking for another affordable source for paid WordPress themes. It’s called Elegant WordPress Themes. At the time of writing this post, there are 12 WordPress themes, all for one low price of $19.95 per year. By signing up, you get access to not only those 12 themes, but also any future themes the club produces.
In this post I’ll be reviewing just one of those 12 themes, their latest theme called Influx. The rest of the review will be after the jump.
Influx is not your ordinary WordPress theme. It actually comes with 4 different skins built in, which can be changed through a dropdown menu on a theme options page with your WordPress admin panel. Here’s what they look like:
Along with the ability to switch between different looks, I’m also expecting to have to use some custom fields to have thumbnail images set up next to the posts.
In addition to uploading the Influx theme files, there are also a couple of required plugins that need to be installed as well. These 2 plugins are both included in the download package, so you don’t have to go hunting for them.
The options page, which I mentioned above, is where you can control the “skin” of the theme. Along with this, you can also control the following aspects of the Influx theme:
- Hide/Display Share Button on single post pages
- Number of “Recent Posts” displayed on homepage
- Number of “Recent Entries” displayed in the sidebar tab
- Number of “Recent Comments” displayed in the sidebar tab
- Number of Featured Articles displayed in the homepage
- Number of Random Articles displayed in the homepage
- Pages to exclude from the navigation
- “About Us” text
As you can see in the screenshot, there is also a little blurb next to the input boxes explaining what each option does.
The Influx theme includes a very nifty script that will automatically resize your images. This way, you save time by not having to resize each image in a different size yourself, then reuploading. You set up the custom field like this:
You use “Thumbnail” (case sensitive) as the custom field key, with the full path to the image as the value. Influx takes care of the rest.
This theme also has a place for featured articles on the homepage. All you need to do is create a category named “Featured Articles” and place any posts you want to be featured in that category. You can configure how many featured articles are displayed on the theme options page.
As if 4 different skins weren’t enough, this theme also comes with all the PSD source files you’ll need to give the theme an entirely new look. Keep in mind some Photoshop designing skills may be necessary to do this. At the very least, you’ll be able to change the logo text to your own blog’s name.
What I Would Do Differently
All in all, this is a very high quality theme with plenty of options. One simple thing I noticed that was missing was native WordPress tag support. All it would take is the following line of code somewhere in single.php to add this.
<?php the_tags('<p>Tags: ', ', ', '</p>'); ?>
Also, instead of relying on a Gravatar plugin, I would probably make use of WordPress’ native get_avatar function (available in WP 2.5 and above) for the Gravatars. More information on adding Gravatar support to your comments is here.
Would I recommend signing up to the Elegant WPT club? Absolutely, if you’re looking for nicely designed themes for WordPress. It’s is very inexpensive relative to some of those other WordPress theme clubs out there at just $19.95 per year. By signing up you’re also entitled to use any future themes produced by Elegant WPT within your membership span.
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