Evaluating Drag & Drop WordPress Themes?

chrislema-face

creating-something-from-nothing

Drag & Drop

The idea of it sounds awesome, doesn’t it? A simple way to design your blog or website. Just drag and drop. It sounds perfect. But if you read my review of drag & drop WordPress themes, you know that most of them don’t have you doing a lot of dragging or dropping. So let’s call it what it is.

The promise of Drag & Drop is a promise of ease.

That’s why I want to introduce you to another theme that isn’t drag & drop, but it’s incredibly easy to use. But before I do, let me recap my last review of drag & drop themes.

Three themes were in the top and the rest weren’t really worth talking about. Ultimatum, Headway, and Builder. Builder & Headway had tied for second, but were just barely behind Ultimatum. Additionally, Ultimatum (and it’s support) went a bit dark, leaving a lot of people hanging. So today, when you take into account support, features, and responsiveness, the two best drag & drop themes are:

As easy as Drag & Drop

But what if there was another theme that was just as easy to use but wasn’t drag & drop? I’m not suggesting that this one replaces the other two. I’m suggesting it should join the other two (each of the three have their benefits).

So let me give you three reasons you should check out Catalyst Theme.

1. Catalyst works the way WordPress does

One of the things you’ll notice, for example if you use Thesis, is that sometimes a theme (framework) developer likes to create new terms or new vocabulary to express what they’ve created. This creates it’s own level of cognitive dissonance for the rest of us, because we may not know exactly what they mean. Even Headway does this a bit by creating something they call a “block.”  But Catalyst doesn’t do that. Catalyst works with the frame of reference you already have – header, body, footer, content, excerpt, sidebar. These are the normal components in a theme and when you see them in the settings tabs, you know exactly what to expect. Additionally, when you change something, you know where to look – because it works exactly like the mental model you have in your head.

Header
Header

2. Beginners don’t need to know CSS to look good

You can adjust fonts, sizes, color, links and even spacing – without knowing anything at all.  That’s powerful for beginners who don’t want to read an article about code to place in a style.css file. These beginners get nervous about editing files and then we tell them not to use the inline editor and it means things get more complex right away. So while other themes out there are fantastic, if you want to tweak your site every now and then, and you don’t want to have to wait for a web developer to help you, then Catalyst is the way to go.

CSS Builder - so you can configure what you want without knowing css
CSS Builder – so you can configure what you want without knowing css
Content Settings
Content Settings

 

3. Advanced users get access to everything they want

Do you have to use the Dynamik child theme with all the option screens? No. If you’re an advanced user, you can skip Dynamic, create your own child theme, and set things up using your own style.css and functions.php files. But if you step into the Advanced section, you’ll see the ability to create custom widget areas and leverage custom hook boxes. Catalyst comes with so many hooks that you can do just about anything you ever wanted to do – making it a perfect choice for more advanced developers.

Hook Boxes
Hook Boxes

Did I mention it supports your responsive needs?

cat12So seriously, what are you waiting for – head over to check out the Catalyst Theme.

About Chris Lema

Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

Chris Lema

Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

Join more than 7,500 others

My posts. Your inbox. Beautiful.

Chris Lema Speaking

Do You Want To Pick My Brain?

Over the last few years, through private consulting, coaching, and using the pay-by-the-minute Clarity service, I've helped hundreds of folks like you solve their WordPress problems and overcome their technical challenges.

“In 18 minutes Chris was able to save me months of lost time and tens of thousands of dollars by directing me to the right technologies to create my course marketplace. The value was 100x what I paid.” — Josh

Have a question right now? Most of my Clarity calls last less than 20 minutes. Let's set up a call.