Introducing Gillie, Our Hip New Upfront Theme – and That’s Not Even the Best Part!

Introducing Gillie, Our Hip New Upfront Theme – and That’s Not Even the Best Part!

Don’t panic people, that noise you hear is the sound of awesomeness dropping. Our hip new Upfront starter theme Gillie is live… And that’s not even the best part.

You may have noticed our Upfront theme framework got a huge upgrade this week, and with it comes Gillie, a welcoming new design that balances contemporary and vintage. It’s like peeking into a fashion magazine layout or being handed a really nice promotional flyer from a trendy local business.

Since Gillie launched, we’ve added a bunch of extra styles! Check out all the new features and try out Gillie for FREE!FIND OUT MORE

Designer themes inspire me and always get me thinking of new ideas. Gillie had me daydreaming my content in place the minute I laid eyes it.

Gillie will have you daydreaming when you see it.
Gillie will have you daydreaming when you see it.

I shot some photos downtown this week and was looking for a stand-out way to share them with a potential client. Obviously, Gillie was the perfect solution!

So I put together a quick website. Literally, super quick.

Let Me Show You What I Did (And It’s Still Not the Best Part)

The clean lines on Gillie’s gallery page were perfect for the urban texture shoot I wanted to share. I opened the Upfront editor, selected the gallery element, and dropped in my images.

It created perfectly spaced and clickable thumbnails that open my images in a high-quality lightbox display. Perfect for showing off my photography. I didn’t have to do anything special, it looked beautiful first time.

And because I also use Smush Pro, my images were optimized as I added them to my site so I know it isn’t being bogged down by unnecessarily huge images.

Click the gallery and drag in your images.
Click the gallery and drag in your images.

To trick out the feature image, I moved one of my favorite images into the background using the Upfront editor. I never had to leave the front-end of my site and I could see every edit as it was being made in real-time.

What About that Header, Though?

By this point, I was saying to myself, “That was far too easy.” Upfront has a little learning curve, but I wasn’t even 5 minutes in and my gallery page was looking exactly how I wanted… Except for the header.

This is usually where it gets a little more complicated, right? Because of how the header is laid out I thought the logo was definitely an image. Nope?! Just sexy Lato Thin cropped avant-garde.

Lato Thin is one of my favorite fonts, but for this project I wasn’t a huge fan of the trimmed letters. I double-clicked to add my title, opened the region settings and changed the padding from 0px to 80px and it was exactly where I wanted it. And by this stage I still hadn’t clicked out of the Upfront editor to go to the backend of my site. Whaaatttt?

To change the position of the header adjust the padding.
To change the position of the header adjust the padding.

I love the vintage typewriter look of Special Elite, but I wanted to use it more as an accent so I changed the menu font to Lato. Here’s the kicker: Because Gillie’s header is pre-configured as a global region, every page across my entire site was automatically updated with the new look. So easy.

3-downtown-gallery
The final product was super clean and exactly what I wanted.

It Can’t All Be This Easy, Surely?

I admit, I was skeptical. This whole process was going entirely too smoothly. So I switched to the contact page for another mini makeover. The hardest part was choosing new images from my collection and coming up with copy. All the text edits were click and type, and the contact form just needed me to plug in the email address I wanted the form to send to.

A little copy adjustment, a few pictures and an email address and my contact page was ready.
A little copy adjustment, a few pictures and an email address and my contact page was ready.

If I could find one limitation with the new version of Upfront, it was that I still had to write my own copy and produce my own images. Lame! ;)

I noticed that my footer had the default Gillie copyright information so I customized that. Of course, that was a global region as well so it updated my whole site. Brilliant.

But I still haven’t told you what impressed me most…

So What’s the Best Part!?

Drum roll, please…

You can download Gillie and Upfront right now for freeeeee!

When you sign up to our 14-day trial you get unlimited access to Gillie, and because our themes are 100% GPL you get to keep it forever.

Our Starter themes are super rad and easy to work with, but with all the available elements at your fingertips and the visual editor, you can transform any theme into a completely custom theme.

I love that I was able to use global regions to style my blog so my posts don’t have a bunch of shortcodes injected into them like page builders do. If I want to move to a new theme later, my blog will hold its classic WordPress styles with no mess to clean up!

It’s all available now and Upfront just keeps getting better.

Since Gillie launched, we’ve added a bunch of extra styles! Check out all the new features and try out Gillie for FREE!FIND OUT MORE
Joshua Dailey
I would love to see what you are building with Gillie. Please share your Upfront creations in the comments and let us know what you think.