DOTW: Your Favourite Theme! and showcase (Participation = 3+ Hero Points)

I can’t believe that we’re on the 23rd DOTW already and I haven’t done one dedicated to Themes yet! Well, now I have :slight_smile:

1. What is your favourite theme or theme framework? And why?
2. Honorable Mentions. Your second, third, fourth, etc. fav themes (if applicable)
3. Showcase! Got a site you built that you can share? Include the theme used and any other details about the build you found interesting or unique if you want (Bonus +3 Hero Points)

#1 focuses more on the theme framework. ie. saying just Divi or Genesis(StudioPress) is fine. With that said, feel free to go into more detail with child themes and different use cases if you like!

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-At least one comment = 3 Hero Points(must participate within 7 days of thread post date)
-Question #3 = Additional 3 Hero Points (must participate within 7 days)
-DOTW = Discussion of the Week
-Last DOTW: CLIENT MANAGEMENT! WHAT DO YOU USE?

  • PTaubman

    Lately, I have become a really big fan of Beaver Builder!

    It seems really lightweight, flexible, had a few different "add-on" modules and is very customizable.

    As a Page Builder, I love that it does not use shortcodes, which pretty much render a site useless if the theme is swapped out.

    The support offered has not disappointed me once in a few cases when I needed to get assistance.

    We can get a prototype site within just a few minutes from scratch. They provide some nice starting pages that can be customized.

    A couple of quick easy sites include:
    https://AllAboutGratitude.com/
    https://blossomingintolight-chester.com/
    https://nancyorlenweber.com/
    https://mindyourownbusiness.tv/">https://mindyourownbusiness.tv/

  • gagabytes

    Ultra of Themify's is my favorite. Been using this for more than 3 years to my own websites and clients' because of its outstanding features that you cannot find on other builders. These are:

    a. Lots of templates for page and row.
    b. Very flexible. you can design almost anything.
    c. Save and export. You can save templates per row, column-row, column or even module for use later within the website or to other website.
    d. Copy and paste. You can copy and paste row, column, column row or module.
    e. CSS Class on everywhere you want it.
    f. True frontend design editing and drag and drop.
    g. Hook everywhere and can easily be customized. you can design outside the box.

    I have a lot more reasons to enjoy this theme as this is build for designers and developers alike and to newbie. The only drawback I have with this is you need to login before you can update, thus, auto update is not yet applicable.
    I also use other Themify theme depends on the design needs like Themify Shoppe for ecommerce website though you can have the same to Ultra. Overall, it is the Themify Framework and builder works the best for me.

    Some sample I build with this are: gagabyteswebsolutions.com, sub100.co.uk, mtlss.co.uk, wearyourbrand.co.uk, healthpsychologyacademy.org and many others.

  • Fabio Fava

    I've been here already talking about my favorite theme, here we go...

    1. What is your favourite theme or theme framework? And why?

    Since I've moved to WordPress I got hooked into the X-Theme from Themeco. It's very (very very) flexible, allowing you from a single page site, to a blog, to a WooCommerce shop, to virtually any kind of site you want. It also have the best Plugin Bundle on the market, with thousands of $ included in bundled software with it. It also comes with its own Page Builder, the Cornerstone, that is a bit heavy but works just fine on well-configured server/cache.

    2. Honorable Mentions. Your second, third, fourth, etc. fav themes (if applicable)

    I've been trying other Themes/Frameworks, but none can compare to the X-Theme. Themeco also offers the Pro version of this theme, that is definitely for Professional Web Designers (I still use the basic version since I'm not).

    3. Showcase! Got a site you built that you can share? Include the theme used and any other details about the build you found interesting or unique if you want (Bonus +3 Hero Points)

    I've used this thee on my personal website - https://fabiofava.com/ - but it's also the Default Theme for all clients on my Multi Network WordPress Managed Hosting Platform. I create and setup a basic Child-Theme for each customer, so they (or their web designers) can customize further.

    Cheers!

  • Jack

    Genesis Framework and whichever child theme is closest to my clients vision as a foundation.

    I've tried other theme frameworks but am really not a big fan of point and click designers. I find Genesis to be cleaner and the modular design with hooks makes it easy to create vastly different looking sites from the same base theme.

    The biggest advantage is that my clients generally don't mess with the design like the can with some other themes where most of the customization options are in the admin menus not the CSS and PHP files. If I get a client that wants to be able to tweak everything it Genesis plays nicely with Beaver Builder and WP Bakery plugins.

    http://jeremiahinn.com
    https://michellecromer.com
    https://michaelthompsonauthor.com

    • Tyler Postle

      Jack Nice sounds like similar strategy to what I do, I've been a Genesis fan for awhile now. Haven't built a non-Genesis based site in prob 5+ years. I haven't tried it with Beaver Builder though, I'll have to check that out. Been thinking about trying out a more page builder based theme for my next site, I haven't built a new one in awhile, Genesis + BB sounds promising.

      Divi and Elementor have been the others I'm considering.

      • Jack

        I just hope they honor my developers license and don't change the terms in the transition (I've been with them since before Genesis was launched - so it was a no brainer for me to learn Genesis).

        I don't know about advancements in design but they are keeping Nathan and Brian is still going to be an active participant in the StudioPress world so I'm hopeful.

        I was never a fan of StudioPress sites primarily because I don't like hosting solutions that are paired down too much (for example, no email) but it does seem to be a perfect match for WP-engine.

        I would love it if the StudioPress community forums grew back to the level they were before Copy Blogger - quality dropped greatly after the change.

        I guess only time will tell but I'm loyal for now.

        • Tyler Postle

          Yeah fair enough. I'm sure they will honor the developers license for everyone that already had it, or at least I'd sure hope so :smiley: feel like it would be a big mistake not to.

          Before CopyBlogger I was pretty active in their forums too, got a lot of good help there early on from the community. Sad to hear it dropped off after CopyBlogger, I think I had already migrated over to this community at that point haha as a member.

  • djohns

    I've been using Divi (with my own child theme) for image-heavy sites:
    http://www.gerrymorrisonphotography.com (yes I know that site loads slowly but the client wanted all high-resolution images).

    I'm much more an implementer than a developer, and found a number of cool effects posted with examples for Divi -- although I find the Divi documentation itself not always easy to navigate.

    I also like that I can mess with code from within Divi, although sometimes I've had trouble remembering which modules have custom code.

    I've also used the free version of Customizr, which has nice documentation and code snippets that allow one to tweak the basic theme.

    Oxygen V2 was just released, and I'm thinking of doing my next project with that:
    https://oxygenbuilder.com/
    I like the idea of being able to fiddle with things more easily than I can with a regular theme, but with more built-ins than with a stipped down framework. The lifetime license is nice, too.

  • Bernard

    Hi there,

    1. What is your favourite theme or theme framework? And why?
    My favorite theme at the moment is the Mylistings theme. I bought it on themeforest and it is really great the create a listing directory. The theme allows a lot of modifications, and both support and community are great.
    2. Honorable Mentions. Your second, third, fourth, etc. fav themes (if applicable)

    On second place, I believe Onelife Pregnancy theme is also great, with great support.
    3. Showcase! Got a site you built that you can share? I
    I used the Mylistings theme to create http://www.dogslife.be

  • David

    Hi,
    I'm a big fan of Total its adaptable, the support is fantastic and the theme is being constantly updated. Its great across all devices and infinitely the best theme to work with I know.

    I occasionally try others but always return to Total, a couple of examples:

    [staff edit: examples down here https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/dotw-your-favourite-theme-and-showcase-participation-3-hero-points?replies=26#post-1328693 ]

  • Filep Jozsefne

    In the last 2-3 years I became a fan of Themify.me.
    I love the Ultra theme and builder. It's very easy to work with her. Maximum customizable. I've worked with many themes, but I found this to be the best one.

    Some examples:
    https://landing-page.design
    https://honlapberles.com
    https://www.firmaxhungary.com
    https://karrier-boldogsag.hu
    https://www.marcsaneni.hu
    http://szarvasgombaegyesulet.hu

  • splaquet

    1. What is your favourite theme or theme framework? And why?
    Over the years, I've teetered back and forth with a few themes with my *primary* base.

    Genesis:
    The ElegantThemes unlimited license, then lifetime license was my base point. The price was super for what you got out of it. ...and then, as time went by, they made it clear that they weren't going to be investing nearly as much time into their 'other themes'. I realize that Divi is miles above and beyond their other themes, on so many levels... but, I really don't feel as though that's any excuse to not keep your other themes up to date.

    ElegantThemes stopped putting the effort into updating their theme packages. Namely, as mobile optimization became a 'thing', they only revamped a small handful of their themes for mobile optimization. Not only that, some of their other themes started having odd .js issues and other errors, as they had fallen so out of date.

    To top things off, I feel as though, unless you had an actual bug that you were reporting for Divi, that helped the masses, I felt like I was just slapped in the face when it came down to support for any other theme of theirs. I can usually resolve most of my own issues, but I kinda expect support or the community to help me when I can't.

    That's when I finally realized, "Whelp, I got what I paid for..." The final straw was when I started having some major complications on exporting/importing templates on a MultiSite install. All too often, "You are not allowed to view this screen." kept popping up and truly ruined my workflow.

    (* Worth noting, ElegantThemes has over a dozen themes. Theme.Co only has 2 now. With that, I do realize that supporting 2 themes is much different than supporting 12+ *)

    Exodus:
    Many years later, a friend brought a client to me who had their previous web developer vanish on them. Their website was built on X, The Theme: by Theme.Co. The previous developer didn't have the license keys set for automatic updates. It finally reached a point where there had been too many major theme updates, WordPress updates, and the theme's core was falling apart from outdated script references. We finally did an overhaul build for the client and purchased our very first X license. ...along comes... WOW!!!

    From the beginning, I was thrown back by the outpouring level of staff and community support that came with their license. Only comparable to the WPMU community, the social aspect of the community made it possible for any level developer to accomplish what they were looking for. In my eyes, that's priceless. If that's what I'm paying for, then sign me up!

    Although X had a few obvious drawbacks, it still felt as though there was much more power behind the theme than most that I had used. All of a sudden, starting from scratch (not loading a pre-built starter theme pack) didn't feel like such a burden. (...and so my story doesn't turn into a novella, I'm going to skip to the point :wink:

    And then, along came PRO!!! HOLY SMOKES!!! (I must note that many of the amazing features in Pro are now a part of X, sans the code cloud, header & footer builder, and a few other features) Those few drawbacks of X were gone. It was the first time that I felt I was given *a raw power builder*, straightforward and to the point!

    To summarize why I love this theme, let me line-item the Pro(s):
    Header & Footer Builder, Font Catalog, Color Pallet:
    -- easily build completely customized experiences for any sized screen (desktop -> mobile)
    -- insert custom CSS & JS right in the builder
    -- complete menu customizations, offscreen slideouts, modals, native shopping cart/WooCommerce functionality
    -- FINALLY a mobile header builder that I can feel confident about. i can create *exactly* what I want, rather than what I'm forced to work with (or around)
    -- easily export/import locally or into their cloud
    -- build blocks (similar to Divi's block builder) and apply them anywhere & everywhere... including, sharing them with the community
    -- independently apply any combination of headers/footers/page templates to any individual pages or globally
    -- create a color pallet from the get-go that I can easily reference in any color picker window
    -- create a font catalog that can be referenced from any font assignment window

    Plugins Included & Optimized to use with the theme:
    -- ACF Pro
    -- Content Dock
    -- Cornerstone &/or Visual Composer (you have the option to use their own builder or an optimized version of Visual Composer on any combination of pages. although, i typically turn off their VC overrides and use the default VC version)
    -- Envira Gallery
    -- Essential Grid
    -- Slider Revolution
    -- LayerSlider
    -- Olark (live chat)
    -- Modern Events Calendar
    -- Soliloquy
    -- Superfly (* an amazing menu builder, for all those who haven't used before. Pro removes the need for Superfly, but it's still an amazing menu builder)
    -- The Grid
    -- Adobe TypeKit
    -- UberMenu
    -- Video Lock (*pay per view)
    -- Woo Checkout Editor
    -- White Label
    -- AND MORE... linked here

    User Roles:
    -- Give customization tool access to specific user roles, across the board
    -- assign page editing access, to specific pages, to specific user roles

    Also Worth Noting:
    -- there's 4 base versions of Pro/X to start with
    -- there are roughly 60 prebuilt theme demo sets that you can install and start with
    -- a single license can be applied to 2 different sites for auto-updates (technically for a live site & development site)

    ...there are a ton more features that I love, but I think I'd best stop here :wink:

    2. Honorable Mentions
    -- Jupiter
    -- Publisher
    -- DynamiX
    -- TheFox

    3. Showcase!
    This is actually the part that I'm most proud of. The main reason why I've fallen in love with Pro/X is because of its flexibility. We develop on a MultiSite install for ecommerce clients. Using 1 flexible theme means that we can 'mimic' each of our client's sites when we build. We can also feel mostly confident that plugin & theme updates are safe across the board, instead of having to check through each and every sub-site's storefront after an upgrade.

    Here's our base install:
    https://hilinemerchandising.com

    Here's our Pro sub-site builds: (notice that each site is a mock of the clients' original site. so, this isn't necessarily our best work, but demonstrates the flexibility of Pro/X)

    -- https://campbisco.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://johnwarnerstudios.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://melvinsealsandjgb.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://headcount.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://cannabisvoter.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://southernavenueband.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://elementsfest.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://pigeonsplayingpingpong.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://spafford.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://tanzaniteproductions.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://organfreemanmusic.hilinemerchandising.com
    -- https://aqueousband.hilinemerchandising.com

    ...and if you've made it this far, I congratulate you :smiley:

  • Rhonda

    I'm a huge Genesis fan and use their themes almost exclusively!

    My current favorite child theme is Mai Lifestyle Pro, which is fairly new to their lineup. It's proven to be quite versatile and comes with some features I often look for built right in, including a grid archive layout, integration with FacetWP, and a plethora of options available in the customizer.

    It was a great choice for this site we recently completed:

    http://www.huntingtonestateproperties.com/

    In this case we chose the theme largely for the grid layout, which was ideal for the portfolio pages, but also because the client may eventually want to add faceted search, so quickly and easily being able to pull something together with FacetWP is a nice bonus!

    We also have several more sites using this theme in various stages of development, and each one looks entirely different because there are so many display options available right out of the box.

    Honorable mentions for other Genesis child themes that I really like:

    * Wellness Pro
    * Elegance
    * Divine

  • Jaxom

    I don't really have a favourite theme as I let the client make that decision. (which means sometimes I hate it, but hey, the client is always right)

    However my fallback theme is usually Salient from Theme Forest as it's a nice clean simple multi purpose theme that can generally take care of anything a client can throw at us.

    We are in the middle of a huge project for a client using Kentha to build a new music publishing platform which has definitely stretched us a bit as getting everything they want working correctly has been an experience.

    Jaxom

    • Tyler Postle

      Interesting! Jaxom do you let the client choose from only certain collection of themes like have them look through ThemeForest or say you'll start with any WP theme they can find.

      Theme setups can vary so much from one to another that I would be worried letting a client just choose any theme, especially since it sounds like you've found a theme(Salient) that you could base all your sites on. For example, when I was on the support team here I loved when a member was using Genesis and asked a question cause I'd probably already know the answer :smiley: but if it was a Divi issue then I'd be stumbling around in unfamiliar territory to try and quickly dig up the solution haha

      On the plus side you must get good experience with a variety of frameworks!

      • Jaxom

        Hi Tyler Postle
        I send the clients to ThemeForest with this link https://themeforest.net/popular_item/by_category?category=wordpress

        So i know it's a five star theme and find that most clients choose either Avada or Salient anyway.

        Sometimes they choose something ridiculous because they liked the demo and then I make suggestions to lead them were I want them to go :slight_smile:

        Working with multiple themes does have the advantage of learning new tricks and which themes are going to take longer to build so I don't undercut myself.

        Working with Kentha has been an experience and a half but the project has taken 10 months and counting as we changed themes half way through (Kentha was a new release and we both agreed the way to go) and still modifying things that didn't work the way the client thought they would and then the theme authors threw us a curve ball by integrating Woo Commerce when we had been using EDD. However it has been a lot of fun.
        https://openmicartists.com

  • Matthew

    Hey y'all,

    1. What is your favorite theme or theme framework? And why?

    For me it's all Divi or ET all the time. There was a point where I decided not to take contracts from clients who insisted that I work with tools where I would not be able to give them the absolute best solution. The first time I came across Divi I was not greatly impressed, within 60 days I had a lifetime license to develop with them.

    The reasoning behind this might not be what you think. The easy to use an powerful publishing tools found in Divi, are not for me, they are to empower the end-user to publish beautiful content themselves and with confidence once our relationship is complete. Though in the last 4 months or so I realized that I stopped considering clients whom I did not feel would be an extended relationship, I get dedicated to my clients goals far too much when developing web solutions.

    The massive layout library(child themes) that they offer are also a boon to empower the end-user and a great selling point.

    I create a unique child theme for every project, no two landing pages or category landing pages will ever look like any other that I have created. Since clients industries vary, so do their needs for unique themes and layouts, everything is built from the ground-up for conversion, I have never actually used a layout designed by anyone else, but! I often get inspiration and reminders about the functions available by default in the Divi Builder, usually things I already created with CSS :slight_smile:

    Most of my base work on pages and templates goes on in the back-end. I love finishing up though and activating the Visual Builder to tweak alignments and responsiveness, though Dive automatically adjusts pages for responsiveness, it's always better to beat it with a spoon at more screen sizes manually.

    I will admit that I am a little prejudice, Divi was only the 3rd theme I ever used, it'll probably be the last. It's a heavy theme, primary parent style.css is just over 17,000 lines, then you consider that the average child theme has another 800-1000, I've found that it is important to trim that down, the Divi style.css can be trimmed down to 4-5K on most builds.

    2. Honorable Mentions. Your second, third, fourth, etc. fav themes (if applicable)

    My second would UpFront, I used it to develop a solution for a news site and wow, it blew Extra into 3rd place for media/social sites.

    My 3rd, as mentioned would be Extra, also by Elegant Themes. The first time I used Extra, it was to build this absolutely awesome car accident news and social connecting site, it was great, so easy to customize, I loved that site, it would have been awesome if the client had added unique content instead off copy/paste from other news outlets. It could have competed, I still cry a little sometimes.

    My 4th - Oblivion, there aren't any others that I would list here, I have used many other themes over the years, before deciding to focus my offering, and nothing really had the power and dependability as the products built by ET and WPMUDEV, it's not a once off for them, it's a career, and they stand behind the tools they provide. That's important to me. Specially with support resources like the renowned James Morris , Nahid , Ash
    , Huberson , these guys deserve a paid vacation to the next WordPress US, just so I can buy em a beer.

    3. Showcase! Got a site you built that you can share? Include the theme used and any other details about the build you found interesting or unique if you want (Bonus +3 Hero Points)

    Here are a few of my landing pages with clients who do not mind the share, these are with custom Divi child themes and WPMUDEV plugins:
    The Law Firm of Matthew Pillado: This is a constant development project, currently we are completely redoing the delivery method for the site and you'll find that some of the links in the primary nav are dead, those pages are in 'waiting for lawyers to get annoyed enough by being asked to write content, and actually deliver said content'. We used to use a beta site to develop on and then migrate it over to the live site now and then. More recently we have discovered that live development keeps our page rank and gives us better indexing than doing whole category migrations at one time does.
    Cool landing pages worth mention:

    Criminal Law, Fort Worth Texas

    Top Personal Injury Attorney, Fort Worth Texas

    For Book Lovers Only: This is a newer project, most of the development has been in the back-end so far. The only pages that have been re-designed are the ones directly associated with the functions we are adding. Done with Divi and WPMUDEV tools, the tasks so far were, converting single site to multisite, developing custom templates for the sub-sites, all of the sub-sites content is populated by forms that the members complete.(have to thank Tony G for his suggestion on how to make that happen); integrating MP2. PS, and WC so that play monopoly the way we want them to :slight_smile:, currently developing a plugin that will scrape books and info from Amazon and populate WC product pages(cause we are all lazy)(for the Amazon Affiliates program)(cause the man with the money said so)(not that I would do an affiliate thing otherwise)(what? Hey! be buys the beer!), integrated an interactive map with front-end content entry for registered members. Annnd now starting to re-design the pages, the Home Page, is not, mine... I'm waiting on it, I "WANT" to have some kind of animated mascot thing that follows the user down the page offering information about whichever section is in focus... gonna happen, I'll just ask James Morris or Ash how to do it or where to go to learn :slight_smile:
    P.S. building the custom footer right now, you know, when not surfing WPMUDEV learning new stuff.

    For Book Lovers Only

    Berceau A Sac: This is also a new project, full coverage solution on a budget, most of the pay for this project will come from profit sharing. These gentlemen have designed a great tool for women who buy designer purses, it practically saves the life of the 5K bag...
    Just got started a couple weeks ago, on a budget, they launched their KickStarter campaign last Friday and just as soon as I stop playing around, I'll get to finishing up their pages and installing WPMUDEV tools to make it awesome, SEO is integrated into every element of the site. I hope they do well, if you happen to have any lady friends who have a fancy for fancy bags, point them here. This is one of the two sites that will be part of the solution:

    Berceau A Sac, The Handbag Cradle

    Matthew

  • Lawrence

    I know this is DOTW is over but I want to comment anyway as no one mentioned my favourite theme!

    GeneratePress!

    I've been primarily using Divi for some time (and still do like it) but I'm not a big fan of page builders. They're great and all but I prefer building my solutions because if there are any problems, I can trouble shoot my own stuff better than I can others.

    The only problem I have with GeneratePress is that I have to find new solutions for the stuff Divi has built in (like sliders etc).

    Now having said all of that, the developer of GeneratePress (a fellow Canadian) has accommodated people's desires to use page builders and makes it nice and easy to use them. If you take a look a the page library on the GeneratePress site you'll see that there are sites there using no site builder, Elementor, and Beaver Builder.

    The developer has also create a slick a free plugin called Lightweight Grid Columns, that I think is pretty slick, for those of use who would rather not use page builders to create nice, responsive columns.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any sites to showcase as I've yet to put a site into production using GeneratePress. Still hunting for a few plugins in to do some stuff that Divi does out of the box.

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