Today we are looking at the Tower theme created by Codeless, we have reviewed one of their themes before on WPLift called Specular which I found to be a giant but well coded theme. Tower is in a similar style, its another large multi-purpose theme for businesses which aims to let you create many different types of website layout using it as the framework.
As with Specular, the Tower theme comes pre-loaded with 18 different demo layouts which you can use as a starting point for creating your own site. You can check out all the theme demos on their website here. Here are some of the looks you can achieve with this theme :
Portfolio Left Navigation
The Tower theme is jam-packed full of an impressive array of features, here is a run-down of what you get included:
- 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 Tower. Use Masonry, Grid, Fullwidth or Boxed Layout and all of them with 3 styles and 2-5 columns
- Eye Catching Blog Design - Tower 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 Sections - Create parallax sections with animations. Use parallax on inner page sections or in slider
- Multimedia Sliders - Create awesome slides with mixed multimedia content: video, photos with content, parallax, fullscreen.
- Extra 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 - Tower is optimized for high resolution displays. All icons are font icons and is used the latest guidelines for css.
- Page Builder - Tower 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 Tower 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 Tower Megamenu to display 2-3-4-5 columns of megamenu, also you can add background image
- Contact Form 7 - Tower WordPress Theme is fully compatible with Contact Form 7
- 8 Blog Styles and 2 Single Post Styles - You want to display a lot of content in your menu? Use Tower 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
- Translations - Translate and make your website multi-language, with WPML Compatibility and .po/.mo files.
- Revolution and Layer Slider - $35 premium sliders are included in package. Flexslider and Codeless Slider are also included.
- 4 Icon Fonts - Steadysets, font awesome, icomoon, linecon. All of them with custom sizes and colors
- Site Width Control - Tower provides unlimited layout customizations. With easy to use theme options you can create an unique and perfect page for any purpose.
- Dedicated Support Center - With a staff of 12 members, Codeless will provide the most powerful and real-time support you have ever tried.
- CSS3 Animations - Select the animation type, the delay and other option to make your page looks amazing
- Custom Widgets - We have included custom widgets that you can easily add them with drag & drop facilities to footer, top navgation, sidebar and other widgets areas.
- Boxed and Wide Layout - Select for posts and pages if you want boxed or wide page layout. Also you can add background color and resize the boxed container as much as you want.
As with most themes like this now, when you activate the theme you will be presented with a list of plugins to also install - you can do this in bulk directly after activating the theme.
Once your plugins are activated, you can now head to the theme options panel located in your WordPress admin menu under the "Tower" link. If you wish to start off with one of the pre-configured demo sites, you can choose the "Import / Export" link where you will see all 18 demos listed and you can choose to import the content and images. You have the choice to import "All" content or just Content, Theme Options, Widgets or paste in code from their online builder.
I chose to import the default theme on localhost which took around 3 minutes, it should be noted that this process could take longer on different hosts.
Once your demo content is imported, you need to visit "Settings" > "Reading" and choose which page you would like for your homepage and which is to be used for the blog. If you imported the default content like I did, you will have all the available options to choose from.
You can now visit your live site and see your chosen theme in action. To begin customizing it for your needs, you should head back to the "Tower" options panel where its possible to change your sitewide options. A better way though is to visit "Appearance" > "Customize" and load up the Customizer where you will see the same options, but you can change them and see the results in the preview frame - I much prefer themes that allow this method, it saves you having to save your change and then refresh the site, making the process a lot quicker.
The Tower theme includes 3 methods for placing sliders on your site - The Layer Slider and Revolution slider plugins are bundled with it, there is also a Slider created by Codeless which is very good so I would recommend checking that out.
It allows you to set background images for your sliders along with an over color or you can choose to use a video for the background.
The content section of the Slider setup is very extensive, allowing you to add title and content and style these with fonts, colors, animations, images and buttons.
The Visual Composer plugin has basically become the standard page editing plugin for types of this type, Im not a great fan of this plugin as it feels slow to use and layouts are created using a mass of shortcodes which are inserted into the page content. The plugin works though and allows people who are not coders to create customized page layouts which would otherwise require hiring someone to create custom code for their site.
The theme does work nicely with the plugin, you can simply click the "Edit with Visual Composer" button on any page which will load it up and allow you to make changes in real-time.
It would be nice to see something like this added to a plugin which makes use of the native Customizer in WordPress to make it part of that process.
This is another extremely well designed theme from Codeless - everything works flawlessly and I was happy to see them now making use of the Customizer as an option for styling your site, it really makes the process a lot easier.
As with all of these types of Multi-Purpose themes sold via ThemeForest it comes bundled with lots of additional plugins which are optional to use, it does make me question if it is necessary to include 3 types of slider when their own custom slider works really well and has most options you will need when building sliders.
The demo importer worked nicely, making it very easy to set your website up exactly the same as the many demo sites - this is a big pain for a lot of ThemeForest customers who install a theme which then looks nothing like the demo site. All the images and options were installed correctly so it was very easy to make my site the same as a demo in a few minutes and then begin the customization process from there.
Additional features like Testimonials, FAQs, Portfolios and so on were added with custom post types but were built-in to the theme itself rather than plugins so you have to take into account the "theme lock-in" effect, I would rather see these added as plugins so you can keep the content added if you choose to change themes in future.