Today we will review Girlie, a well designed theme from SKTThemes. The theme’s lite version can be downloaded from the WordPress Theme directory here. Also there is a paid version with extra options that we will talk further down the page. But first lets see what the free version can offer us.
Like almost all of the free versions out there there is a limited amount of resource you can include in them, since the TRT will discard anything with custom widgets, share buttons or similar features that are in the so called “plugin territory”. Girlie isn’t an exception from the rule so much of the desired features you will get in the paid version.
From a design standpoint, Girlie is specially catered to a more feminine audience with a cursive font for the logo and warm colours. It’s perfect for a recipe blog or fashion store. It’s elegant and minimalistic feel make it one of the more speciality designed themes on the WordPress theme directory.
As usual we will look at the features, bugs, responsive, performance, documentation and pricing for the full version of the theme.
First thing we will have a look at the theme features, and what to expect in the free version and what to expect in the paid version.
In the free version we have some possibilities of altering the theme to our liking with a few options. The first thing that you can control besides the Site Identity is the color palette of the site. This will change the color for the widget headers and links. Altho this is not that groundbreaking it can be adition to some users who are not that tech savvy and want their own personal touch.
The next feature we will talk about is the Homepage 4 Box layout option. This will allow you to set up 4 content boxes on the homepage that will act as widgets. It’s quite common for theme developers to do this and it adds a nice touch making the site look rather professional.
I must say, this is fairly rare in the free theme world. Girlie adds a nice touch to the theme by providing a nice slider that you can configure right from the theme customizer. With the premium version you get multiple slider options.
The design is on point and you can configure titles and descriptions for each slide individually. Ow, and did I mention it is a full page slider 🙂
Social and footer options
Also, to control the social options, and footer info you don’t need to go and dig deep in the theme’s bowels, you can get it all done on the Theme’s customizer. You can change the social accounts and change the About Us info in the footer. A nice change all together.
Girlie also offers a paid version of the theme, that you can take advantage of. We will talk more about the price down below but at a first glance you get more punch for a few bucks than modifying the theme yourself. Here are some nice touch-ups that completes the actual theme:
You get a nice image selectbox in the customizer area to upload your own logo for the site. It’s fairly easy to do this even if you don’t pay but you will get it done faster.
With the paid version, the colorization is extensive and you get multiple color themes to choose from. Definitely a good option.
You get 650+ Google fonts and that is a lot to choose from.
Change your layout on the fly with this option right from the customizer settings. Modify and hack your theme with ease.
These are a few of the extra options that the paid version will offer you. Here is the complete list if you are interested on reading further. Some of the things that I don’t agree with this is that the authors say that with the paid version you get “More responsive”, well you can be more responsive than full responsive and in these times, this is not a feature it must be something built in and free.
Another aspect I don’t entirely agree is that there could be more diversity in the fonts like supplying 2-3 for the free version and having the full stack for the paid version. One more is the Logo upload, yep, that needs to go free from my point of view.
Bugs and fine touch
There are a few bugs present on the page that must be fixed in the upcoming updates for the theme. One of them I really don’t know if it’s a bug or a lack of design is the search on the sidebar. That’s is ugly and needs a style change.
Also, there are a few problems with the theme that appear only when you don’t save the customizer settings first time when you install it. The footer is messed up and cleans itself after the first save.
Widgets and Shortcodes
Since these options are in the paid version, I decided to look at them and see what are they like. Some of the shortcodes look good especially the multiple columns and sliders but the buttons and error styling look rushed and frankly speaking a bit cheap. These need a little bit of retouching to match the premium price customers are going to buy.
As I stated, the responsive option needs to be full even in the free versions, the customers don’t need to pay extra for this. But let’s see how the template hadles tablet and mobile for the responsive view.
Tablet – Apple Ipad Chome dev tools view 768×1024
This looks fairly decent with a nice mobile menu that appears and stacks all the pages together. Also, the images are reacting to the downsized resolution and also the font scales, pretty good so far. There is a small issue with the footer on tablet, you cannot see all of it if you scroll down.
Mobile – Apple Iphone 6 Chome dev tools view 375×627
Again, nothing out of the ordinary here, everything scales and nothing brakes which is good.
For the performance, we will measure Google Page Speed and see how it performs on an actual device.
On the desktop counterpart, things ran a little smoother with 86/100 but the same principles apply there also.
Documentation and Pricing
As I said in the begining the theme has a lite version that is available on the WordPress template directory and a PRO version that is paid. Currently the price is 39$ and you will get the features (look up) plus extra support for it. I think this is a decent price to get the pro version including it has support for life on everything you need done on the template.
The documentation, is extensive to say at least, and it covers everything from installation to configuring every nook and cranny for the PRO version.
I think this is a decent template to buy if you want to take advantage of the multitude of features the developers have to offter, but as a free theme, I think more things can be improved and offered to the enduser like the Logo upload, multiple color choices, a few fonts and fixing the bugs. On the pro side I want to see stuff more refined that can mirror the premium version.