Blocksy Surprised Me
I've told you before that this site is powered by the Blocksy Theme. I even showed you one of the coolest features (dynamic blocks) before showing you how to do it with other plugins. But today I was surprised by Blocksy (again). I am moving my online courses to a sub-domain of this site, and was using the Blocksy theme with LearnDash when I discovered something delightful.
Before I explain, let me back up a second.
What I Want in a Theme
In the old days, you bought a theme because you liked how it looked. Today I make my choices differently. I regularly recommend Astra, Kadence and Blocksy because they can make sites that look great, but they approach things differently.
Today what I want from a theme is the following, in this order:
- Small footprint (which leads to faster load times)
- Flexibility (different kinds of layouts, etc.)
- Support for Gutenberg
- The ease of changing anything I want
Now, when you get to that last one, it's tough to recommend a lot of other themes. They don't do nearly the same things that the three above do. And that's where we circle back to my surprise and delight today.
Using Blocksy with LearnDash
Like I said, I was in the process of setting up my subdomain and I added Blocksy to the site. Then I added LearnDash. Now if you've used LearnDash before, you know how powerful it is. That wasn't surprising. What was surprising was what happened when I clicked on “Customize” which gives me access to change things with my theme.
I clicked on that Customize link because I was getting ready to set my color selections, how I wanted the header to look, and all that good stuff.
But two-thirds down the menu, I saw “LearnDash.”
I thought, “I wonder what is in there,” so I clicked on it. And to my delight, I discovered another reason why I like using Blocksy with LearnDash. Direct and integrated support to make tweaks without writing any code.
What you see is Blocksy showing you options for tweaking the Courses page, the individual Course pages, and even Lessons and Topics.
Now, at LearnDash we're working on our Course Grid 2.0 features that you'll see shortly (so you can do cool things with any theme you use). But imagine my joy when I saw that I could tweak my course display using Blocksy.
I could change the number of courses displayed in a row, how many to show on the page, what kind of layout I wanted, and more.
Turning on or off a sidebar or pagination was also available to me.
And when you get into the specific course, I can tweak what I want to show and how I want it to show up.
In the image above, I was tweaking how I wanted the title to show up. In a colored bar at the top, separate from the course content. If I click on the design tab, I can also tweak fonts, colors, and font sizes.
I Love Being Delighted
None of this is Earth-shattering. I know that. I know tons of themes have worked on complete themes and starter templates for online courses. Those are all great. I'm not taking away anything from all of that.
What I loved was being delighted by being surprised. I didn't expect using Blocksy with LearnDash would suddenly give me all these quick options to make something look half-decent without doing any work.
What's the future of themes? I think it's this – making it incredibly easy to make your plugins look good without having to do a lot of extra work.
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