Themify is a new theme shop brought to you by Nick La of webdesignerwall.com and Darcy Clarke. Themify has seven themes for sale and one for free at the time of this writing. They’re all very attractive themes, and include an advanced options panel: the Themify framework.
Themify’s description of the Bloggie theme:
“Bloggie features a beautiful slideshow on the homepage that makes your site stand out from the crowd. It has multiple widget areas for displaying banner ads. It is a clean theme that works well with any background images and content.”
So what stands out?
Bloggie theme review gallery
The backbone of every Themify theme is the Themify framework. This is a slick options panel that lets you control a lot of the theme’s elements without opening a code editor.
Visual CSS Editor
The most impressive part of this feature set is the visual styling editor. Every element can be customized from this panel. Think of it as a front-end to a CSS editor. The selectors are grouped together much like a well-organized style sheet, so everything is easy to find. The properties and values match the syntax of CSS. Very powerful and easy to use if you know even a little CSS.
If you want to go further and add some of your own CSS, just create a new style sheet named custom_style.css in that directory and hack away.
There a six custom widgets including one for Flickr and one for displaying your latest Tweets. There a six widget areas plus up to four extra footer widget areas.
The homepage feature box lets you display a slide show of featured images from a chosen category. No plugin needed, the theme has a built slider that uses the jQuery cycle plugin.
Other Useful Features
Bloggie includes an XML file that imports dummy content so you can get right to work on customizing the site before creating content. There are three page templates: a default with content + sidebar, a full width template and Site Map template that automatically populates all your categories, posts and pages. The code is well commented. There are comments that explain where you should and shouldn’t edit, and a few funny warnings.
I’ve used quit a few themes for various projects, mostly starting with plain and simple themes then adding layers of stuff and tweaking it until it’s done. Usually this involves creating a child theme and overwriting a lot of CSS, installing a slide show plugin, and adding a bunch of code snippets to functions.php. Lather rinse repeat.
Bloggie and the other Themify themes would reduce a lot of this because the options panel is so powerful and easy to use. I would still need to edit CSS to change layouts, use embedded fonts, or trick stuff out with CSS3. That’s all still possible with Bloggie, just drop your styles in a new CSS file named custom_style.css.
If you want an easy to customize WordPress theme, I would suggest checking out this theme. It would be best to know a little CSS for the options panel to make sense. Even if you were just starting out, this would be an easy way to learn some of the properties and values of CSS without having to wrangle with specificity and inheritance.
This review was completed using a review copy of Bloggie provided to WPCandy by Themify.
The Bloggie Theme page at Themify: http://themify.me/themes/bloggie