Ever noticed how so many themes sort of look the same? Me too...
With so many themes and theme authors, it's hard to find a great looking theme that has a unique look but that has been coded properly at a good price.
But, thankfully, I just stumbled across a theme shop that delivers on just about every one of these marks and we wanted to share it with you guys today!
With well over 50+ themes in their shop, CSSIgniter delivers a new look to categories like Blogging, Hotel and Professional themes. And with a starting price point of $39 for a single theme, they give a really good deal for what you get out of their themes.
Thankfully, the team behind the scenes of CSSIgniter were kind enough to grant me access to their themes to give you a rounded view of what they have to offer.
Amazing Looking Themes by CSSIgniter
Not only does CSSIgniter have an impressive amount of themes to choose from, but the variety is also met by a refreshing uniqueness that is often missing in themes today.
Not just on the surface, but also on the backend of things. (more to come on this below.)
To give you an idea of the choices they have available, here are some of their themes.
Uberto is one of their newer blogging themes in their shop. It comes with 7 color schemes and a has an 'image first' approach which makes it perfect for travel bloggers.
Berlinger is perhaps one of the nicest looking Music themes I've come across. It has 6 color schemes and puts your music and brand as the focal point in a very Hipster inspired fashion. Also, it's WooCommerce ready. WooHoo! (pun intended)
Mozzy is a Portfolio/Business theme that mixes color and texture with a bold font near the top of the theme to really make things pop a bit. It has 5 color schemes and a variety of portfolio layouts including a full-width and fixed slider layout.
Hartee is a Tumblr inspired theme and comes packed with 5 different colors. The main navigation and sidebar are on the left and your content is displayed in the right column.
Features of CSSIgniter Themes
Besides a good layout and look, the more important side of a WordPress theme is the features that come with it. Though the features in each CSSIgniter theme vary, they have some impressive core features that come packed into all of their themes.
Below are the big ones that I wanted to highlight for you guys.
Coded With WordPress Best Practices
Just what does that mean? Well, to keep it simple, this means that the team has made sure that they built their themes make sure that they keep up with WordPress Core updates. You'd think this would be a given in all WordPress themes, but you'd be surprised how many fall short of this.
CSSIgniter has taken the time to keep things looking clean on the front-end as well as the back-end to keep their designs fast loading and to make updates easy. This is a bonus that is hard to explain, but just know... this is awesome!
Cross-Browser Ready (Yes, even Internet Explorer too!)
Have you ever looked at a website on Google Chrome and then looked at it later on Internet Explorer, only to find that too its lookin' a bit wonky?
As a designer, I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've ran into this. Many who find a theme that they like, forget to check on this small, but very crucial detail.
Though the percentage of users for IE has shrank dramatically in the past 4 years, many people still use it. As that is that case, you should make sure your theme is cross-browser read. And once again, CSSIgniter delivers on something that you likely didn't even know needed.
Great Support and Documentation
The themes are pretty easy to navigate, but on occasion, you'll run into issues- that's just how technology goes. When this happens, you have the option to access a support forum.
If you don't find the answer to your issue there, you can even contact the team and they work really quick to fix things. How do I know?
Because I recently ran into an issue accessing my themes, and it was fixed in a matter of minutes after I got in touch with them. Thus, I speak from experience. I'll pay for that kind of quick service any day!
And speaking of money, let's talk price.
So enough about the features, let's talk money.
How much should you expect to spend on the themes at CSSIgniter? Well, that depends really. If things work out for you, you may not have to pay a dime.
CSSIgniter currently has 3 free themes that are up for grabs to anyone and everyone. If one of those are what you're looking for, then you just scored big time.
With the other themes, you pretty much have 2 options. Buy one for $39 or get all of them for $49.
They do have an addition option for $79 which includes HTML5 files as well as the Photoshop files, but few of you will actually need that.
The prices as mentioned above are for 1 year of support and updates, so you'll need to renew your subscription every year, but that's really not that much when you break that up in terms of how much you'd pay a month.
Technically, you'll pay more for Netflix every month then you would for the subscription with CSSIgniter. (about $4 dollars a month with Standard Package)
For only $10 more, the Standard Package is probably the best bang for your buck in terms of price. Once you find the one you want, you can likely renew the next year for the single theme.
Exploring The Backend Of CSSIgniter Themes
But now the real question is, how easy are the themes to navigate and setup?
I took one Free theme and a Premium one for a test run to answer that question.
After looking over the backend options of a few of the themes, I noticed that things did vary from theme to theme, but the Setting navigation itself was similar all around.
Let's take a look at the free Magnifique theme .
The CSSIgniter Settings section is where you'll find a lot of your customization options for your theme.
The options that you can see listed inside the the CSSIgniter Settings area are all that come with this theme, but with that being said, it's still rather impressive.
The approach that the team decided to take with the back-end options was to give you what you needed, and to not overwhelm you with a ton of options.
Compared to what I've seen of other free themes out there, this one still topped the others when it came to simple options. Not only can you easily upload a logo, but you can also upload your favicon and a touch icon for when someone bookmarks your site on their iPhone.
Many themes, including Premium themes like Genesis don't always make adding something like this as simple as what CSSIgniter has done, and this theme is free. They also built in a Custom CSS area along with an easy way to add a Google Analytics code snippet.
If you've ever tried to add that code to a site that doesn't have a simple entry option like this, then you know how wonderful this feature is!
The features in the free theme keep things pretty simple, but that's sort of the point with a minimal looking theme like this one.
Minimal look, minimal options, but they didn't scrimp on the other features that I listed earlier.
Now let's look at the backend of a Premium theme like Berlinger.
As you can see, compared with the theme above, this theme certain has more features and options. This is largely because the theme has more design to it and a different purpose than the free theme mentioned above.
Not only do you have more options in the Settings area, but you'll find more tabs in the left column menu of your WP dashboard then you had before.
Also not to be forgotten are the widgets and sidebar options that come with many if not all the themes available at CSSIgniter.
This widgets make it easy to customize your homepage via the Front-end option that WordPress now has.
I picked this theme to showcase because I found that it had quite a lot of features to navigate, and if you want to set it up to look like the demo that they have on their site, you will need to take a bit of time to figure what each features is and then learn how to enable it.
This is where CSSIgniter really won me over.
Each theme comes with Documentation to help people get their theme up and running properly. The documents for Berlinger quickly helped me resolve some of the roadblocks I ran into due to not being familiar with the theme.
It was well written and easy for just about anyone to follow. I love this!
Think of it as the difference between the lousy IKEA instruction manuals versus the super cool instructions that came with your Legos as a kid.
Well written documentation is something that is hard to come by but I love it when I find it. And CSSIgniter delivered!
Final Thoughts On The CSSIgniter Theme Shop
I'd like to state that all my opinions on this are 100% my own, so that when I tell you I really love this shop, I ain't lyin'. (cross me heart)
The looks that these themes come with are pretty unique and give a nice change of pace from the other sort of cookie-cutter themes that are circulating the web these days.
The only downside that I could foresee is the amount of time it would take just about anyone to get a theme, such as Berlinger, setup and looking right; however this can be said with just about every theme on the market if you're not familiar with it so don't let that hinder you.
The themes don't come with a ton of unnecessary features, but you sort of have to get the hang of how things are setup in the back-end to get a good front end output.
Thankfully though, the documentation will walk your through most of how do most of this so if you read over that before trying to go at it alone, you'll definitely save yourself some time.
As soon as you get the hang of wear all your options are and how to use them, the rest of your design and set up will go normally.
Until recent months, I didn't know about CSSIgniter, but I'm happy to have found them! After taking a long in-depth look at what they have and offer, as well as personally speaking with the people behind the screen, I really like them.
They put a lot of work into their themes and deliver that with a seemingly strong work ethic coupled with some customer service that's hard to come by.
To put it plainly, they pretty much won me over as a customer.
Now I'd love to here from you guys. Is there any particular theme that you'd like an in-depth review on? Comment below and your suggestion may just be our next theme review.