This theme isn’t for everyone. I know this and knew it when I was building it. You will either love it or hate it. I don’t mean how you may feel about the styling, but rather the theme’s functionality versus its limitations. It’s these limitations that have the most impact. A lot of functionality was added — and there will be no affect to the core WordPress; you’ll be able to upgrade your system as you wish — but all this functionality comes at a price if you’re a tinkerer.
Monitoring how others are dealing with the theme, I have learned some things. Based on what I’ve learned, there are some things you need to know and give due consideration to, before bothering to download and install this theme. I have watched a couple of installations in progress where the first thing the new owner did was modify just about everything. They didn’t keep the theme long because things quickly went awry. They probably blamed the theme, or me, but in all likelihood they liked its general feel and never really investigated what’s involved and what its limitations are.
The theme’s layout is fairly static. By using the configuration files you can turn all sorts of stuff on and off. Don’t want the Blog Author box? No problem, you can turn if off with ease. If you want to move this box to the Farbar, though, you’re probably going to have problems unless you’re quite familiar with PHP and XHTML. Thus, if you want to download this theme to use as a starting point for your own creation, be prepared that it won’t be a simple affair at all, even if you do know PHP and XHTML. The theme wasn’t designed with this flexibility in mind.
Now if you’re a person who likes this theme’s layout as is and sees no need to “juggle the boxes,” this theme will likely be perfect for you. Based on feedback I’ve gotten, configuration is rather simple. I’ve gotten feedback from compete novices who thought it was easy as pie. You still have complete access to images, colors and all sorts of modifications (adjust colors using the USERS_MODS file) so it’s not like you have to go with the fish look.
In other words, this theme allows you to do all sorts of things, but what it allows is it (it’s impossible to satisfy everyone). By its very nature, it doesn’t allow you to do several things as well, not easily anyway. It had to be this way. If you look in the Sidebar and Farbar files, you’re going to see a lot of PHP and a lot of complexity. My warning to you: Don’t mess with this stuff. Going into it with this knowledge and you should come out the other side smiling. If you don’t, you’ll likely embrace frustration quickly.
The middle ground is what’s missing (again, it’s impossible to satisfy everyone). If you’re happy with the theme’s layout, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never done this before, you should have no problem making it work for you. This theme is made for the novice. But that’s not all. If you’re a expert coder and like the theme’s layout and features, like the novice, you’ll likely be quite pleased with it. But, if you’re a novice who likes to tinker, this theme’s not for you, you’re part of the middle ground (or maybe I should call it no-man’s land).
If you want a highly professional, strictly coded theme, that’s bursting at the seams with features that remove barriers to accessibility, this theme’s for you. But if you don’t care about that sort of thing and want this theme for its three columns only, you’ll be better off checking out the other three-column themes in the WordPress Codex Three-Column Themes List. And if you want the quality coding and accessibility and aren’t so much concerned with the number of columns, then maybe the Beast-Blog Theme might be better. The Beast-Blog theme allows a lot more flexibility but far less functionality. Perfect for the tinkerer.
Have questions or wish to provide some feedback of your own? Since comments are closed on this entry, you have a couple of choices: First you can proceed to the Feedback Category to select the right post to comment in, or you can use the form to Contact me directly.
If you demand this theme anyway, and you want it tinkered with to the hilt despite my warnings, but you don’t want to do it yourself, you do have an option: Hire me to do it for you. I try to be reasonable and if anyone is capable of getting into the guts of this thing, it would be me.