As someone who has been blogging for years, I get asked by newbies for recommendations on the best themes to use.
My answer is usually along the lines of:
- use a theme that isn’t over-designed (something minimalist)
- a theme with lots of white space
- a theme that doesn’t have huge picture backgrounds
- a theme that you can modify to suit whatever niche you’re targeting.
One of my favorite theme providers, MyThemeShop, just released the perfect theme that would satisfy all the above conditions which means it’s perfect for someone who is choosing their first theme as well as anyone looking for a clean, minimalist theme they could modify to fit their needs.
Say hello to the Clean Theme which was released this week and I just had to get it. I spent most of last night playing around with it and I love it so much I just had to use it on one of my existing websites.
In this article, I’m going to review the Clean Theme, what I liked about it and what I didn’t like or thought could be better and why I think you should use this theme on your next website.
My Review of the Clean Theme
It gets it’s name from the different aesthetically pleasing elements that come together as a whole to create a theme your visitors will love. Trying it out for the first time on one of my blogs made me want to use the Clean theme for everything.
Fonts, white space, neat grid layouts and theme options that lets you control and modify the theme to your liking is everything you need in a theme.
When you scroll the front page and see the parallax settings at play as the grids fluidly floats up the screen, you’ll probably want to switch out your old theme for this one.
Because it’s close to being a blank canvas, there is so much you can do with this minimalist theme in terms of modification. You can use it for almost any type of website.
The theme options and compatible plugins can turn the Clean theme into whatever you may need whether it’s a shopping site (it’s compatible with WooCommerce), an Amazon review site (works with WP Review Plugin) or a magazine site (supposes mega menus too).
Not only is it packed with theme options but if you’re a developer or advanced WordPress user, you can add Custom CSS through the options panel and do even more.
It’s a sweet little theme right out the box but with all the theme options available, you’ll have fun, like I did, molding it into whatever you want.
Your visitors will love browsing your site with the interactive features that convey social proof such as view counts and like buttons on post as well as optional Facebook comments. They can connect with your social media accounts via the various buttons if you choose to display them and your contents gets a huge chance of getting shared with the huge floating share buttons on each post.
Below are some of the features that I personally really like about having this theme.
Like Getting Four New Themes
Just like any other theme from MyThemeShop, when you get the Clean Theme, it’s like getting multiple themes. In this case, it’s like getting four brand new themes.
The default layout is the one pictured above and then there are three other preset designs you can choose from to make your site even more unique.
There’s the Portfolio design which looks close to the default layout but has different font styles and background colours.
There’s the Journal design which looks like a whole new theme. I liked this one and kept this setup for my personal blog.
Then there’s a Landing Page design which gives you a one paged website for if you’re selling a product or collecting emails and don’t need the distractions of a sidebar or menus.
It’s great having 4 themes in 1. The truth is that if you know how to play around with the theme options and settings, these are just examples of what you can create with the default Clean Theme to make your site look a bit different.
One Click Child Themes
If you’re going to modify your theme, you will need to create a child theme. This is easily done with the Clean Theme.
In the theme options, you’ll find a setting where you can just name your new child theme and click a button to create it. And voila, you have your original parent theme (Clean Theme) and your new child theme which you can modify without the fear of losing your customization.
This is one of reasons why I like MyThemeShop’s themes. You don’t need a framework theme because each theme can easily become it’s own parent theme.
Further customization of your blogs look can be achieved by choosing from three homepage layouts.
You can have a three column layout with no sidebar, a two column layout with sidebar or one column similar to a regular blog feed page with a sidebar.
Furthermore, you can add a slider at the top and choose from four slider styles.
All of this is controlled through the themes robust theme options page where there are so many settings, you can just mix things up whichever way you want. There are endless customization possibilities for your blogs homepage.
Use Facebook Comments
I’ve always had a preference for WordPress’ native commenting system but I know that some people prefer using third party ones like Disqus and Facebook comments.
Facebook comments are easy to use from a visitor standpoint but I’ve never tried using in on any of my websites because I thought it would be hard to setup.
Clean Theme allows you to easily implement Facebook’s commenting system into your blog by toggling a button in the theme options. You still have to enter your Facebook App Id though. Instructions are included.
Remove Featured Images
People use featured images differently. In this theme, when you add a featured image, it is usually placed at the top of your content as the first image.
Personally, I would upload an image through the media library and place it at the top of the content. I would then add a featured image so that it’s set as the thumbnail image. It could be the same image or a different image from the first one in the post.
With a lot of themes, I would end up with two images at the top of the post. My current theme somehow doesn’t create this problem.
With a previous theme from MyThemeShop, I almost didn’t use the theme because I couldn’t find a way to fix this so I ended up contacting support. The fix was to add a piece of custom CSS code to the theme options to remove the featured images.
With Clean Theme, I noticed they added in the option to remove featured images with one click if you don’t want to use them. This is a welcomed setting for me otherwise I would have had to go looking for the CSS code to remove featured images again.
I Wish They Had This Feature
So those options are what I personally loved about this theme. You can find out more about the Clean Theme and all it has to offer by visiting the theme page on MyThemeShop.
There is one thing that I wish this theme had though. This feature alone could increase the value of the theme.
When I saw that there was a Landing Page preset design, I secretly wished it wasn’t just a separate option. I wished that it would be a custom page template under page attributes when creating a page.
This way if you wanted to use the Clean Theme and create landing pages, you could just select the custom page template from the drop down options. Currently with all MyThemeShop themes I know about, there are only two template options, the default and a contact page template.
Honestly, I think custom page templates is an underused resource and theme developers could make their themes so much more useful by adding a couple. I really wished this theme had the landing page design as a template.
Who Can Use Clean Theme?
I’m pretty sure the Clean Theme can adapt to any style of website. As I stated before, it’s almost like a blank canvas and the theme options let you do a wide range of things to it – change colors, layouts and fonts.
So you can use the theme for:
- Amazon niche sites
- viral content sites
- magazine sites
- niche affiliate marketing
- corporate blogs
- small business website
- collecting leads or sales pages
Clean Theme is compatible with a variety of different plugins, for example, review plugins that let you add star ratings and allow users to leave their own reviews can allow you to build Amazon niche sites. Mega menu plugins for magazine sites and WooCommerce plugins for store sites.
It’s a very versatile theme and from my own experience testing it, you’ll be very pleased using this on one of your sites.
Check out the Clean Theme and demos at MyThemeshop and tell me what you think in the comments below.