The7 Review: A Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme
The7 theme was first released in September 2013 and just six months on it’s already sold 8,155 copies through the ThemeForest digital marketplace. However, despite being available for a while now, the developers haven’t sat on their laurels and have in fact added over 70 new features to the theme since its launch.
Today we are going to take a look at some of the best features of this theme, as well as seeing how easy it is to use in our review of The7 theme.
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The7 Theme Highlights
Although this multipurpose theme is very popular, the fact that you can customise almost every aspect of its appearance and layout means it unlikely you will run into another site using The7 that looks the same as yours, providing you put some effort into personalising it.
To help you make this theme your own, it includes the following features for customising the appearance:
- 4 header layouts for use on posts and pages
- 6 skins to change the appearance of the site
- Multiple homepage layouts
- Choice of over 600+ fonts
- Unlimited background and colour combinations
- Inclusion of the Visual Composer layout builder plugin
Together these plugins alone are worth $72 making this theme great value. The theme has also been designed to work closely with WooCommerce, making it a great choice for anyone building an online store with WordPress.
As you’d expect with a modern WordPress theme, The7 is fully responsive, and has been designed to use 100% of the available screen real estate on every device, as well as being retina-ready. For those creating multilingual sites, the theme is also fully compatible with the market leading WPML plugin.
Who Developed This Theme?
When looking for a theme for your WordPress site it can be a good idea to do a bit of research into who developed any of the templates that catch your eye. This can give you an indication of how experienced they are, and how well the product will be supported.
With new updates to the WordPress core coming out on a regular basis, as well as updates to the plugins that the themes rely on, it’s important that the product will be updated to continue functioning as it should as these changes are rolled out.
Dream-Theme Development Team
The7 theme was developed and released by Dream-Theme, a team of developers based in the Ukraine. They currently have 36 items listed on ThemeForest under their portfolio, with 14 of them WordPress themes.
Each of the themes has positive user ratings and healthy sales figures. Across their portfolio, they have achieved over 33,000 sales at the time of writing so they must be doing something right.
In fact, their products have sold so well that they were recently awarded Elite Power author status at the Theme Forest marketplace. This means they are now one of a select group of authors on the site who have sold over $1,000,000 worth of products via the marketplace.
The Dream-Theme team are a laid back bunch, who work out of a modern and cosy office in Kiev, Ukraine. They’ve been in the business of web design and development in some form, since late 2000. In a recent interview they attributed a good amount of their success in the theme business to the high levels of customer support they offer to their customers.
The Dream-Theme developers also put a lot of effort into testing their products on a range of devices before they are released. This helps ensure that their themes hit the ground running once they are made available, and hopefully won’t require additional tweaks to correct any device and platform compatibility issues.
You can view the full list of products available from Dream-Theme at their ThemeForest portfolio.
The7 Theme Review
So now we’ve covered some of the main features of this best-selling theme, as well as determining the credibility of the developers, it’s time to take a critical look at the theme, in terms of its appearance, features, and how easy it to use.
Installation and Setup
Once you’ve purchased this theme from Theme Forest, to get started simply upload zip file into WordPress and activate it. To do this, log into your admin dashboard and then go to Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload then select the file from your computer.
As mentioned earlier the theme comes with a few plugins which it relies on for some of its functionality. After activating the theme, you will be prompted to install and activate them, making it very easy to add them to your site.
Theme Options Control Panel
Once the theme is activated and the required plugins are installed, it’s time to setup the theme. This can be done from the Theme Options panel which has been built using the default WordPress UI. This means working with the theme’s setting is a seamless user experience as you don’t have to work with a custom built, highly stylised, clunky control panel, as is the case with some other themes.
The General Theme Options page is very long and contains lots of the settings for the theme, such as the logos, background images, layouts, titles and breadcrumbs. There is also the option to add any custom CSS to the site, as well as many others options and settings.
As the theme is retina-ready, where appropriate, such as the logo settings, you get the option to upload an additional high-dpi image for use on retina displays.
As well the general settings page, there are also a number of other settings pages under the Theme Options menu. These allow you to edit other areas of your site’s appearance such as:
- Social icons
- Contact information
- Setup the header and its menus
- Content area
- Image styling and hover effects
At any point while working with the settings, you can restore defaults to make the theme revert to its original settings. So if you make any big mistakes that you can’t seem to undo, you can refresh all the settings to start over again.
There are certainly plenty of settings to work through when setting up this theme, but this just demonstrates how configurable this theme is. You can do some really cool stuff with this theme, such as setting the image styling and hover effects, as well as easily choosing which social sharing buttons are displayed on which post types.
To make this theme truly multipurpose, there are many homepage layouts to choose from. These are divided into the following possible types of site purpose, such as:
- Landing page
- One-page website
Each of these homepage layout styles also have their own multiple variations, giving you plenty of options for setting up your site, and the type of information or content is can be suited to present.
The homepages all look really good and are packed with features and page elements such as:
- Pricing tables
- Feature lists
- Portfolio items
- Skill bars
- Recent posts
- Team members profiles
- Plus many more
However, all the features are optional and the homepages can be customised. This allows you to add or remove elements in order to best suit your site and its purpose.
How are Shortcodes Handled?
The7 makes use of shortcodes by including the popular Visual Composer plugin with the theme. Usually keeping shortcodes separate from the theme is a good idea as if the user changes theme, the shortcodes will still work.
However, as Visual Composer is integrated with the theme, if you switch themes, then you lose the ability to use Visual Composer and its shortcodes, as well as any content or elements you’ve added to your pages using these shortcodes.
This does mean that if you do switch themes, you could purchase Visual Composer separately to keep your content intact, so you do have an exit strategy from this theme when it comes to shortcodes and the content they provide. Although the developers state that you will ‘lose many of their proprietary shortcodes if you do switch to a “raw” version of composer’, so bear that in mind.
Some of the page elements which can be added to your site using the shortcodes include:
- Call to Action areas
- Benefits grids with icons and text
- And many more
Adding these shortcodes is very easy, as the Visual Composer plugin adds a button the post editor, from where they can be previewed, configured, and then inserted into the post.
You can find out more about the shortcodes and what pages elements they can add to your posts and pages on the Visual Composer page.
What about Custom Post Types?
The7 does make use of custom post types. These are used to create the content for the slideshows, photo albums, portfolios, team members, testimonials, partners and clients posts. These are built into the theme so if you do switch themes and have used any of these custom post types, you might have a big clean up job on your hands.
The7 is a feature packed theme. When using it to create a site, it’s easy to see why it has been so popular. It’s hard to think of a website feature or element that hasn’t been included here.
From sliders, to pricing tables, call to action boxes, and a range of buttons, not to mention all the other elements that can be added thanks to the included Visual Composer plugin, this is a very flexible theme.
However, even if you don’t need to build a highly feature rich site, you can still benefit from using The7. This is in part due to the easy to use theme options control panel which integrates seamlessly with the standard WordPress admin dashboard.
So if you don’t want to create action packed homepages, but just want a nice way to present your blog posts, you can still do that with this theme. As the theme options give you an easy way to make some basic changes to the site’s appearance, such as background colours and images, fonts, it’s also ideal for those who just want to make some small changes to how their site looks, through a user friendly interface.
However, this theme really comes into its own when it comes to creating sites making use of all the latest design elements, such as parallax scrolling, full width sliders, retina-ready images, and fully responsive layouts.
With the theme selling for $55 and including some genuinely useful premium plugins, it also represents great value. As its price is in line with other premium themes listed at ThemeForest, even if you don’t use half of its features, you won’t have ended up paying more than you would elsewhere, for features you didn’t use.
Overall The7 is an exciting multipurpose theme that can be setup to suit any type of website, while also being easy to use from both a backend and frontend perspective.