Brownie, a child theme of Twenty Sixteen is an in-house developed theme by PurposeThemes team and reviewing an in-house theme is a difficult task. Well, I will make sure to cover most of the features of Brownie as well as highlight few nice-to-have ones which may come in future releases. In the review of Twenty Sixteen, I have already discussed the features and where it stands as compared to other themes. As Brownie is the child theme of Twenty Sixteen, the base is that only but with more features and options.
Design and UX
Brownie comes with 6 extra color schemes so you get total 11 ready color schemes (5 came with Twenty Sixteen) to choose from. All 6 color schemes are designed for different people. For example, the Rainbow color scheme is having all the colors from Google Logo and it will do very well with Google Adsense Text Ads. Similarly, the Charcoal Pink is a nice fit for a beauty parlor landing page and so on. The color scheme named Sprout Green is great for Startups whereas Goldfish color scheme is impact-full.
Apart from that, Brownie is having Google Fonts option on Customizer to change the font in no time. Well, Fonts and typography can change the design and look of a site, so it is up to the webmaster to change as per requirement. I tried with few Google Fonts and the site looks amazing specially with Roboto and Open Sans.
Ease of Customization
This is the part which convinced me to use Brownie rather than Twenty Sixteen on my personal blog. To add or change CSS, no need to make changes in style.css file as there is a Custom CSS box available on Customizer to add extra CSS. In Brownie, Footer area is widgetized so I can put anything in Footer such as Subscription box, Menu, Search, Social Media Icons etc. without making any change in footer.php or other files. Basically, if you liked Twenty Sixteen, use Brownie for the better customization options.
Like Twenty Sixteen, Brownie is also 100% responsive. It comes with ready ad slots where you can put Google Adsense or any other ad code. In that slot option, there is a box to add special ad code for mobile devices as well. It means your site will remain responsive and will help you monetize with the ads as well.
Extra Footer Widget area is also responsive and works perfectly fine on all devices.
Brownie loads very fast as it is having a minimal look. Here is the Google PageSpeed score for Desktop and Mobile device.
With the help of Caching plugin like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache, one can improve the page load time even for content rich sites.
Full Width Page Template
For the about page as well as lot many other pages, I prefer to have a full width layout. Well, that template file was missing in Twenty Sixteen and I got it with Brownie. On edit page panel, you can select Full Width page template and apply that to a page.
PurposeThemes team is always ready help you with the issues or installation of the theme. So apart from community support, you will also get direct support from the developer as well as WordPress experts. One can find the documentation of Brownie here.
If you really likes Twenty Sixteen, use Brownie as that way you will avoid multiple plugins and will get more customization options. Brownie is a free child theme of Twenty Sixteen, so you can always keep Twenty Sixteen as well as Brownie updated.
- More features and ease of customization
- Ready Ad Slots
- Google Font Integration
- Widgetized Footer Area
- Logo Image Upload option
- Full Width Page Template