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Today we are going to be taking a look at the Specular theme from Codeless - this is a theme in the current trend of packing a huge amount of features and layouts into one theme which will allow you to create many different types of website. Out of the box it includes 24 demo layouts for different uses such as Business, One Page, Medicine, Minimal, Portfolio, Photography, Online Shop, Real Estate, Church, Restaurant and so on. It then includes a template builder so you can customize one of the demo sites or build your own from scratch.

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Theme Features

The Specular theme packs an impressive amount of features into one theme, here is a rundown of the main theme features.

  • Fully Responsive - Try to resize your browsed and look the perfection of any portion of the page. No matter if you are in tablet, mobile or desktop, it looks awesome everywhere
  • 30+ Portfolio Layouts - Showcasing your projects is easy with Specular. Use Masonry, Grid, Fullwidth or Boxed Layout and all of them with 3 styles and 2-5 columns
  • Innovative Blog - Specular comes with a new blog style. Fullscreen blog style is easy to configure and awesome for the client to read the new posts.
  • Multi-Purpose - Unlimited possibilities to create outstanding websites. Unique and useful demos for your next project. Get the best from a $55 theme.
  • Custom Slider - Custom slider from our team, with the possibility to create a slider with parallax effects animation and theme styled buttons.
  • Video Backgrounds - Add video background in slider, sections and page headers. Create fantastic creative pages, and all of this in simple manner
  • WooCommerce - Create your online shop and sell your products now. Woocommerce is fully styled and ready to use from our users.
  • One Click Demo Data - With only one click create your site with your preferred demo from our list of demos.Select one template and fully install in seconds.
  • Parallax - Create parallax sections with animations. Use parallax on inner page sections or in slider
  • Multimedia Slides - Create awesome slides with mixed multimedia content: video, photos with content, parallax, fullscreen.
  • Side Navigation - Add new widgetized area expandable with a button for your clients to fulfill their requests.
  • Live Customizer - Easy change colors and styles from wordpress theme customizer. Make your work easier.
  • Retina - Specular is optimized for high resolution displays. All icons are font icons and is used the latest guidelines for css.
  • Page Builder - Specular has built with drag & drop page builder. Visual composer is our page builder. It’s front-end and back-end version. See our videos.
  • One Page - With Specular you can create easly your online one page. It’s so simple and beautiful.
  • Mega Menu - You want to display a lot of content in your menu? Use Specular Megamenu to display 2-3-4-5 columns of megamenu, also you can add background image
  • Contact Form 7 - Specular WordPress Theme is fully compatible with Contact Form 7
  • 8 Blog Styles and 2 Single Posts - You want to display a lot of content in your menu? Use Specular Megamenu to display 2-3-4-5 columns of megamenu, also you can add background image
  • Post Formats - Create Quote, Video, Audio, Standard or Gallery posts with only one selection

Theme Setup

Once you activate the theme you will be presented with the option to install and activate a number of plugins which will add functionality to the site - it is recommended to add all of these and you can always deactivate any unneeded ones later on.

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Once you are done adding plugins, you will see a number of new admin menu items added. The main one for setting up your theme is the "Specular" link which brings you to the theme options panel. From there, if you visit the "Import / Export Demo Data" tab you can then choose a demo layout to import from the 24 available.

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Once you have chosen which type of demo you would like to import, tick the "import attachments" box, click the demo you would like imported and then choose "import" and agree with the popup prompt and the theme will begin adding the demo content.

"General Options" contains the usual things like logo upload, turn responsive on / off, favicon, tracking codes and the ability to choose which template to use for your homepage and blog pages from all the predesigned layouts.

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The Header options tab provides you with a number of different header layouts to choose from, menu options, dropdowns and lets you customise the values to get it looking how you require.

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"Styling Options" provides a huge number of available options so you can tweak the theme to get it looking how you want - change colors, fonts and borders for every element in the theme.

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The options panel also has tabs for :

  • Typography Options
  • Footer Options
  • Blog Config
  • Portfolio Config
  • Layout
  • Clients
  • Social Media
  • Side Bars

Once you have setup your theme options, you can then choose between 3 different sliders - Layer Slider, Revolution Slider and the Codeless Slider, these also have demo content you can choose to import if needed.

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Building Custom Pages

The Specular theme also includes the Visual Composer plugin which allows you to create custom pages using a drag and drop interface, to access this you visit "Pages" > "Add New" and click the "Frontend Editor Button"

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This will load up the editor where you can add custom elements and drag them to the desired position - a great way to build pages with different layouts with no need for any coding.

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Some of the available elements are :

  • Row
  • Text Block
  • Widgetized Sidebar
  • Video Player
  • Facebook Like
  • Testimonial
  • Staff
  • Skills
  • Charts

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Conclusion

This is a huge theme and I have not touched on all the available features in this review - These types of multipurpose themes are more like web apps or frameworks as they go way beyond the scope of regular WordPress themes, they are aiming to be one solution to all your website building needs. Whether you like this type of theme or prefer a simpler one-use type of theme you have to admire the sheer amount of work that has gone into building this. These types of theme are also undeniably popular with them holding all the top spots for theme sales on ThemeForest with some generating millions of dollars in sales.

The Specular theme is very well designed - the 24 available demo templates is great for someone who needs to build a specific type of website, you can pick one and use that as a starting point and then tweak it further to customize and match your needs exactly. The backend is well put togther but be prepared for a learning curve as the sheer amount of customization options could be overwhelming to people just learning how to use WordPress - I would say this theme is best suited to developers or people using to build custom sites for clients.

The theme costs $58 for usage on one website, check it out if your are in the market for a very comprehensive WordPress theme solution.

View Theme & Purchase &raquo Get Hosting »

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Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, An Internet Company based in Manchester, UK. I founded WPLift and ThemeFurnace, find out more on my Personal Blog. Thanks!

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