TheGem Theme Review – Multipurpose and Beautiful
Multipurpose WordPress themes are all about one thing:
With a good multipurpose theme, you should be able to create literally any type of website.
And after playing around with TheGem, I can definitely say it delivers on that promise.
TheGem is CodexThemes’ newest entry into the multipurpose theme world, and boy is it versatile. CodexThemes has put together demos for niches ranging from creative agencies, to gyms, to restaurants, and more.
It’s definitely a beautiful and functional theme. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the picture:
So, if you’re interested in learning more about TheGem, join me as I take a tour of this theme on my trust localhost…
TheGem Main Features
- 40+ premade homemade design concepts for a variety of niches
- 150+ page templates
- Emphasis on performance
- Helpful custom post types
- Truly beautiful designs (in my opinion!)
- Included Visual Composer and Revolution Slider
- Proper code markup for page speed
- Multi-page and one-page ready
- 2,500 + font icons (I love font icons!)
TheGem Design Concepts
One area where TheGem really excels is the huge number of design concepts included with the theme. They have over 40 unique design concepts and 150+ premade page templates. Here’s a sampling of the premade design concepts you’ll get access to…
If any of the 40+ homepage concepts catch your eye, you can easily import all or a specific selection through TheGem’s interface. All you need to do is go to TheGem Import in your admin panel and the wizard will guide you through everything:
As far as import processes go, it couldn’t be simpler. One thing to note is that, while it was simple, the import did take me a long time, but it’s quite possible that’s just a function of my poor Vietnamese Internet connection.
Let’s get into the rest of the theme…
Installing TheGem WordPress Theme
After you install TheGem, the first thing you’ll need to do is install all the required and recommended plugins:
Once you’ve done that, your admin panel is going to look a lot more full. In addition to all the new plugins, TheGem also gives you tons of custom post types:
As I mentioned above, you can always import one or more of the 40+ premade design concepts by going to TheGem Import.
But if you don’t want to use one of those design concepts, you’ll need to jump into the theme’s customization menu.
Customizing TheGem WordPress Theme
TheGem utilizes its own theme customization admin, not the WordPress Customizer.
I understand why themes do this, but I always find it a bit frustrating that I have to keep previewing changes instead of seeing them real time. I wish there were an easy way to move all the relevant options directly into the WordPress Customizer.
The admin panel is divided into ten categories…
In General, you set basic info like your blog’s layout and identity. There’s not a lot to customize beyond your logo and some functionality information:
Under Header, you can set up every detail of your site’s header. This includes layout, alignment, and styling:
You have a good number of header options thanks to the multiple styling dropdowns.
In Fonts, you can set up which fonts your site uses and their sizing. You can go through by each class to customize every aspect of your fonts. TheGem includes Google Fonts, so you have plenty of stylish options. And if you want more selection, you can always import new fonts through the included Fonts Manager:
The Colors section lets you set up colors for literally every single element on your site. To go through and customize everything would take some serious time, but all the options are there if you want them:
True to its name, Backgrounds lets you customize the backgrounds for different areas of your site. You can choose solid colors or upload images.
NivoSlider Options lets you set up the slider for your site. You can customize effects, animation speeds, and more:
I’m not sure Blog & News really needs its own category, as it only comprises two options. But in this section, you can set excerpt lengths and whether or not to display post authors:
Footer allows you to enable/disable your footer and set its custom text. Again, not a lot to this section. I feel like there could be some other worthwhile options here – like enabling/disabling social icons or links:
Contacts & Socials allows you to add address and contact information, as well as social icon links. These social icons can display in both the header and footer. I feel like this section could’ve been moved into the Header and Footer categories, but that’s a pretty insignificant criticism. Not a big deal!
Backup is a really nice tool to have. It lets you export a backup of all your theme settings. That way, if you ever mess any theme settings up, you can easily restore from this backup. Essentially, it makes experimenting with theme settings a low-risk endeavor, because you can always go to the backup if needed:
TheGem Custom Post Types
TheGem includes seven custom post types by default. These are:
The custom fields in these post types are definitely helpful.
For example, if I want to quickly add a testimonial, there are already custom fields for important details like name, company, position, etc:
And you can even set up different sets of testimonials:
To give you another example, here’s how easy it is to create a gallery using that custom post type:
Just give it a name, upload images, and you’re done!
I definitely like the inclusion of all these custom post types for ease of use.
Custom Fields for Posts and Pages
TheGem includes a massive amount of custom fields for creating posts or pages. When you add a new post or page, you’ll see tons of options at the bottom:
You can set everything from video backgrounds to custom excerpts to custom layouts. For example, if you wanted to move the sidebar for a single post, you can do that with custom fields. If you wanted to add custom widgets to a single post, that’s also possible.
These custom fields have a lot of versatility. You’ll have plenty of new ways to customize your individual posts and pages with TheGem.
Included Visual Composer for Page Building
As I mentioned in the feature list, you’ll also get included access to Visual Composer for page building. Visual Composer isn’t my absolute favorite page builder, but it’s definitely a solid option and includes both front-end and back-end editing.
Whenever you create a new page or post, you’ll have the option to enter your chosen Visual Composer editor view to create drag and drop designs:
TheGem Performance – Good PageSpeed Insights Score
I did my testing on a localhost, so obviously I couldn’t run my test site through Google PageSpeed Insights. I did give their demo site a whirl, though. It got an 85 desktop score without caching or optimized images. So if you fixed those problems, I imagine you would be up in the 90s for PageSpeed Insights, which I think is pretty dang solid:
The mobile site didn’t score quite as well on performance, but it did grab a 99 score for user experience.
Codex Themes have made performance a focus for TheGem, which is great for user experience and SEO.
TheGem Pricing and Documentation
TheGem is more than competitively priced. For all these pre-made design concepts, editing options, and custom post types, you’ll only need to pay $59 at Theme Forest.
I think $59 is a great price for all the functionality you get.
In addition, the theme has excellent documentation, which isn’t always the case for themes from Theme Forest. CodexThemes offers both detailed written documentation and tutorial videos. The documentation is a real highlight of this theme – very well done.
Like a lot of multipurpose themes, TheGem has an almost overwhelming amount of customization options.
But here’s what I really like:
They’ve mitigated the “design paralysis” by including so many beautiful design concepts. With 40+ concepts, you can probably find something you love. That means you don’t actually have to start from scratch – you just import the concept you love and customize from there.
This makes it quick and easy to get up and running.
With all the other customization options, TheGem is one powerful, yet functional, multipurpose them. Give it a look if you’re in the market for a new theme.