Now that the Gutenberg project is live in WordPress, I decided to look into finding a theme for my blog to take advantage of the new editor. I didn’t want to move away from the Genesis Framework as it feels like a solid foundation.
A couple of weeks ago, StudioPress emailed me to say that they would be updating a number of their themes, although not the one I was using at the time. So I started researching the ones they were updating.
All of these themes include the functionality to add full width images, videos and galleries. They also add more consistent styling to the pull and block quote blocks.
After spending time looking at the demos for all the themes, I decided to invest in the Authority Pro theme. It was the closest fit to what I was looking for in terms of design, font, functionality and overall style.
StudioPress describe the theme as follows:
Authority Pro perfectly highlights your knowledge, years of experience, and acquired wisdom. Even if it’s early in your journey toward building expertise and trust, this carefully-constructed design will accelerate how quickly your audience grows.
Hopefully I can live up to the potential StudioPress have in the theme!
What I Like About My New WordPress Theme
With StudioPress themes I’ve had previously, the WordPress featured image doesn’t get used at the top of blog posts or pages. In order to use the featured image, I had to add a piece of code to the functions.php file. That’s okay but it always felt like a step I shouldn’t have to take.
Authority Pro gives you the option to add the featured image above the post through the Customize menu. It makes it a very prominent feature. If you’re using a sidebar, the image spans both the content and sidebar sections. The image it uses is long and thin, so I’ve had to experiment to get the right fit. You also need to consider that the same image is used on the blog page but at a smaller size.
When it comes to WordPress themes, I prefer lots of white space. It makes it easier for people to read and to get a sense of what they should be looking at. Authority Pro provides ample white space, coupled with a clear, easy to read font. The default cobalt blue primary colour is a touch too hard on the eyes though so I toned it down a little to a more subtle blue.
I like the fact that the thumbnails on the blog page move when you hover over them. It makes things a little bit more interesting. You can also set the intro paragraph on each blog post to italics to differentiate it from the rest of the post. It helps to make the opening paragraph stand out more.
All of StudioPress' themes are Gutenberg ready but as I mentioned earlier only six of them have so far been optimised for the new editor. What I particularly like about Authority Pro compared to some of the other optimised themes is that it is truly full width. You can have full width videos, images and galleries if you don't have a sidebar on your posts and pages. Not all of the optimised themes have this as they are fixed width.
At the moment I'm planning on keeping my sidebar. Previously I did remove it for a while. If I ever decide to do that again, this theme will be perfect for experimenting with storytelling posts including images and video.
There are three menu locations included in the Authority Pro theme:
- the header menu is shown to the right of the header;
- the footer menu appears to the right of the footer text;
- the social menu floats along the left hand side of the page vertically.
Ok, so the header and footer menus aren't anything different from what you'd expect. The social menu though is a nice addition and means I can get rid of another plugin to do the same job. It doesn't use social media icons but instead shows links to your social media accounts. That's useful if you don't want to use it for the purposes of social media because it can also be a more standard menu if you wanted.
Is It Time To Update Your Site To A New WordPress Theme?
It's always nice to refresh your WordPress theme every now and again. Things change quickly online and new innovations can make the case for updating quite appealing. Otherwise you could be left behind!
Have you changed your WordPress Theme recently and is it optimised for Gutenberg?
If you need some inspiration, you can access a demo of the Authority Pro theme here.