Crafty Cart Theme Review

18 Comments

Overview:

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).

Various Screenshots of Crafty Cart

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.

Century Schoolbook for Headers

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:

Page Links Stylings on Crafty Cart

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.

Comments area

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:

Crafty Cart Blog Title Issue

Having too many pages will ruin the top nav, although to be fair this is a common problem for most themes:

Crafty Cart Nav too long issue

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:

Crafty Cart Jumpy Hover Effect

Conclusion:

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!

18 thoughts on “Crafty Cart Theme Review

  1. I actually really like it, it looks great, also I have never used the WP E-commerce plugin before, what is it like? is it better than using some shopping software such as oscommerce?

  2. I use this theme for my recipes blog, I’ve customised it a bit and I don’t use it as a shop site. I created a thumbnail custom field, I have custom info in the sidebar and I use the tabs for subscribing, rather than pages. My blog title being 2 words, fits really well in the header image.

    I love the graphics and the colours, I think it’s great as a foodie blog and I can’t imagine another theme that will be as appropriate as this one.

    http://recipes.flyingkiwis.co.nz

  3. @Dan – Cheers, I’ve got a project just started up for a helicopter parts manufacturer and I’ve stared with wordpress, already using your plugin for the catalogue, will send you a link when I get it fully up and running.

    sorry to stray off topic.

  4. Pingback: Most Popular Blog Posts of 2008

  5. hello everybody,
    is there anyone who knows how to change the main titles in the sidebar with images? i mean archives, category, blogroll, etc.?
    Thanxs a lot!

  6. In the demo, on the products page, whenever you add a product to the cart, text is displayed below saying that specific product is added to the cart. And then two links are given, “Go to Cart” and “Continue Shopping”

    But when I install the theme, this doesn’t happen.

    Any thoughts?

  7. Hello,

    I am owner of rajneesh.me website and looking for attractive premium theme with mutiple shades for different pages and fully customizable.
    Every suggestion is welcomed.

    Thanks
    Rajneesh kumar saini

  8. This is a really nice theme but I can’t quite figure out how to set it up identical to the demo. Does anybody know how to setup multiple product pages and the checkout/cart on the left sidebar?

  9. very nice theme overall, lacking few seo features but it can be easily fixed with plug ins and little meta work. I do not like the boldening of hovered links, thou. Still working out few tweeks and customization but , again, overall very nicely done.

  10. Hi, WP Candy:

    I have uploaded this awesome theme to my latest web project and it looks fantastic. I only sell one product, so the set up wasn’t difficult or labor intensive, however I do have a long site name which did not look good on the header. But after your sweet tip above, it looks much better. I plan to get a logo done, so it’s temporary but good tip to know anyway.

    Cheers,
    Missy
    iWannaBeSurprised.com

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