Recently, I joined a WordPress theme club which only costs $49 for a lifetime membership. For $49, you get more than 70 themes; such a deal is so tempting. However, the old saying is always right; if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. So, I made a mistake; most of the themes are outdated. Red error entries start showing up in my log file and complaining this and that. Unless you plan to edit the code and update the theme by yourself, otherwise, you don’t want it no matter how affordable it is.
I ended up getting a theme from ThemeForest. ThemeForest is one massive place that once you start browsing, it takes quite a while to decide which one to choose. There are too many items around. Most demos are pretty with good looking images and stuff. Still, a demo is a demo; your content doesn’t usually come with beautiful photos and such. What looks good on a demo might not work for your content. Finally, I picked this one – Times WordPress Theme.
Usually for a great looking front page with grids and columns, most of the time when you first activate such kind of theme, you only get an empty front page. That’s because most would require a visual tool to set up a static page with shortcodes here and there. Most authors would equip the theme with a demo import. With some demo content, you get to know how the theme would look, but it’s always up to you to modify and implement your content into the theme.
The most impressive feature of this theme is the Drag & Drop Homepage function. It is designed to be intuitive and easy to use. Anyone can start customizing the front page without going through any documentation. There are five pre-made modules you can use: Article Slider, Full-Width Posts, Category Large, Category Twin, and Category Grid. The default front page has every module active, so you would get an idea of what your content will look like in the default setting. To modify your front page, point and select your desired modules in the customizer, and you can tell what your content will look like on the front page. For example, this blog’s front page is using two Category Twin boxes.
Another interesting feature is the Footer Layout. I find four footer widgets. How come only the first and second widgets show up on my page, and not the rest? Later, I play with every footer options, and notice that if you don’t want any footer, use “Mini”. If you want all four widgets, select “Custom”. Or you can have the “Basic” one which only shows the first and second widgets with five columns.
On the sales page, the author announced that they would no longer support the theme, but they will try to get the theme up to date with the latest WordPress version. I suppose that would work well for many users.