One of the long-standing issues faced by graphic designers is how to transform their static designs into dynamic WordPress websites their clients (and their client’s customers) will love. As code becomes ever more complex, learning to program websites on your own – and keeping abreast of the latest and greatest technology trends – is full-time job in itself; being a “jack of all trades” designer and coder is no longer feasible without detracting from one or the other and shortchanging your clients. To boot, many clients find the cost of custom design and custom coding too expensive for a single investment. Enter X Theme, a WordPress theme created exclusively for ease of customization. Let’s take a look at why X Theme might just be a designer’s dream.
X Theme features
Created by expert designers and coders, X Theme seeks to be the last theme you’ll ever need by incorporating unique features aimed at making customization super simple from the theme’s WordPress dashboard, including:
- four distinct “stacks,” which are essentially pre-defined web frameworks based on contemporary web design trends
- each stack can be customized in just a few clicks for general layout, logo, colors, navigation position, typography and other attributes
- page builder (Visual Composer) that lets you drag and drop to create unique layouts complete with widgets and more in the content area of each individual page
- elements included in every great WordPress theme: responsive design, retina-ready, Revolution Slider, typography options, styling options, search engine optimized-code and tons of shortcodes
- plenty of room to grow – for example, X Theme originally launched with three stacks, but added a fourth in May 2014
All of this makes it incredibly easy to transform your custom design into a rich WordPress website with minimal effort.
X Theme drawbacks
The only major issue I’ve taken with X Theme is lack of header customization, particularly for widgets. While the included stacks do contain header customization, it’s within the constrains of popular contemporary design layouts. It’s easy to create custom layouts in the content area of each page, but if you want a header layout that doesn’t fit the predefined options you’ll have to dig into the code.
Another issue I’ve had pertains to ads: while inserting ads in the content isn’t difficult, placing sitewide ad blocks can require custom coding – particularly if you want ads to display above the header. For in-content ads, you can use Visual Composer; however, those layouts can be lost on plugins that dynamically create pages. Thus, there is a need to incorporate additional site-wide sidebars and horizontal theme-tied widget areas to accommodate ads and similar media.
Is X Theme a designer’s dream?
If you want to build a (mostly) custom website based on your custom design, X Theme will get you 90 to 100 percent of the way there. If you do need help with the remaining 10 percent, it’s far cheaper to hire a programmer to do a small portion of the work than to program the entire website from scratch.
For graphic designers, X Theme allows you to:
- turn a custom design into a rich WordPress theme
- avoid hiring programmers, for the most part
- maintain contemporary styling
- charge clients less, yet make more money, because you won’t need as much programming
Most of these benefits are appealing to both designers and their clients; thus, as the first and only theme with such built-in customization, X Theme is as close to a designer’s dream as you’re going to get. And at $60, X Theme is priced right for experimentation.
What do you think? Have you tried X Theme? Love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments!