Crafty Cart is a sweet-looking, 2-columns theme from King Cart. While it is intended to be used as a WordPress e-commerce theme in conjunction with the WP e-commerce plugin, it works without a hitch for your regular blog without requiring you to install the plugin. In fact, this review is aimed toward its usage for regular blog instead of for e-commerce.
What I think is nice about this theme:
Crafty Cart has a soft, friendly visual style with pastel colors and cute imageries. This might not fit with the general content of your blog, but you can’t deny that there’s a polished feel about the look: the elements fit together and it doesn’t feel cheaply designed like most WordPress themes out there. The details are there: the various icons looks great together, the search form is nice, and the top nav actually gives you a dropdown menu displaying sub-pages (something I’d like to point out since the theme’s release article doesn’t even mention about it).
Also, the typeface choice for the headers is nice. You might not think this is important, but you’d agree with me that most of the stuffs you see on the Web are done in the usual limited choices of Helvetica, Georgia, Lucida Grande, Verdana, and the like. Crafty Cart uses Century Schoolbook, giving it a unique look, a kind of lightness feel that works well with the rest of the theme’s visual style.
Now, I am using the Sandbox Design Competition‘s dummy content (links to zip file) to test this theme, and this dummy content isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to having obscure HTML and WordPress elements that need to be supported by a theme. Fortunately, Crafty Cart does very well here. Post paging (a.k.a Page-Links), one of the most frequently neglected features, gets styled:
Upon testing, various HTML elements like <dt>, <cite>, <abbr>, <del>, <ins>, and nested <blockquotes> are styled accordingly as well. Very nice.
The Comments area is well done too. You have different stylings for odd/even comments and another one for admin comments. The theme is also smart enough to separate between trackbacks and comments, displaying the entire comments first before listing the trackbacks for the post.
Edge Cases / Minor Gripes:
As it turns out the blog title area looks best when your title is long enough to form two lines of it. One line or three lines and above kind of disrupts the visual:
Having too many pages will ruin the top nav, although to be fair this is a common problem for most themes:
Lastly, hovered anchor texts on the sidebar gets a bold styling. This means a particularly long text might create a new line when hovered, creating a jumpy effect that can affect the rest of the sidebar:
The various nit-picking I did to find this theme’s flaws actually shows that it doesn’t really have any major issue. It has a lot of attention to details put into it, with a profesionally-designed visual look that’s friendly and pleasing to the eye. To top it all, this theme is released for free. So just go here to grab your copy, and poke around the demo site to learn more about this great theme. We don’t get a unique, pleasant-looking GPL WordPress themes like this too often, so don’t forget give it a try!