We have seen parallax effect and scrolling content in carousels embedded on different WordPress themes but today we are going to review a new WordPress themes which is having the complete design in parallax scrolling and overlapping content layout. Float, a latest addition in Themify WordPress theme club. With Float, the number of Themify themes has reached to 49 which means one more theme and it will reach half century. Well, what is so different in Float as compared to other WordPress themes in market as well as under Themify club itself. In this detailed article, I will talk explain the following things.
- What you get (package) when purchase Float WordPress Theme
- Design and UX
- Ease of Customization
- Theme Performance in terms of Google PageSpeed & YSlow Scores
- Quality of Code
- Search Engine Optimization
What you buy, What you get
Once you purchase Float theme, you get .zip file with the name themify-float.zip which is actually the main theme’s ZIP file. It means you can directly upload this .zip file using Theme Uploader on WordPress dashboard and install the theme. There is no offline documentation e.g. PDF available with the downloaded package but you can always go to the online documentation page of Float theme to get some help.
Well, the package comes with all the basic and advance theme template files along with one recommended plugin named ‘Themify Portfolio Post’ pre-packaged. Once installed and activated the theme, this is the first screen that I got on my dashboard.
After the activation, I imported demo content to check everything the complete power of this theme. Import process was very easy and didn’t take even 2 minutes to complete. Now I have content to test the theme out.
As I told earlier, there is a pre-packaged plugin named “Themify Portfolio Post” which creates a custom post type named Portfolio. The plugin appears inside Appearance ==> Install Plugin panel. Once installed and activated, you start seeing a custom port type named “Portfolio” in the dashboard menu with category option.
Installation was the easy part, now it’s time to check the design and the user experience of this theme’s elements.
Design and UX
The USP of Float theme is the parallax scrolling and floating images like the website of Apple (yes, the Apple). Here when you scroll the page, you will see a parallax effect in all the images. A very stylish and smooth transition looks very cool. If you are planning to showcase a device or an app on your website, nice implemented images will look brilliant with this theme.
There is another great option to keep the logo bar in left, right or fixed in top. I checked few pages with left panel logo bar and it looks cool even on smaller devices. The only problem is that you get lesser space for content on smaller devices when implemented left or right side logo bar. Themify team has done a great job in making this theme design rich and if you are looking to promote your product or app, this theme will make the product look even better.
With the fluid layout, the theme looks great on all devices including iPhone and iPad. The call to action buttons of the front page slider appears little out of place on smaller devices but that can be fixed. I checked the theme on iPhone, Nexus phone and iPad and found the content appearing great.
You can disable the responsiveness from Theme option panel that I will explain in “Ease of Customization” section.
Ease of Customization
Let’s talk about how easy it is to customize Float as per your own need and what options you get with the theme. Like all Themify themes, Float comes with a dedicated option panel named ‘Themify Float”. It appears on dashboard and you can customize most of the elements from this panel. Themify Float option panel is having 5 different sub-menus,
- Themify Setting
- Builder Layout
- Builder Layout Parts
As the name suggests, you get the dedicated setting panel under the “Themify Setting” page. This is how it looks
Themify Setting panel is having lot many options and features. Under the General setting, you can upload the Favicon for your site. Then there is option to add code in header area and footer area of the theme. You can select any page as 404 page of your site too using this panel.
Default Layout panel allows you to customize the Archive post layout, single post layout and page layout of the theme. Whether you want the sidebar in left side or right side or no sidebar altogether, you can choose on this panel. Whether to display full content or excerpt on the archive page, you can do that from this panel and many more other options.
Portfolio panel allows you to customize the Portfolio archive, Portfolio page and the permalink for the custom post type. The default permalink is ‘project’ that you can change to anything as per your requirement.
Theme Setting panel allows you to disable the responsiveness of customize the responsive layout for different screen sizes. It also allows you to change the lightbox effect, social sharing options, pagination option e.g. number, infinite scroll or load more button etc.
Image script option is to globally generate the feature images for the posts using the wp_image_editor class of WordPress. You can enable or disable the option from this panel.
Social Links panel allows you to implement and customize the icons for social media profile links.
Themify Builder option is to customize the looks and operations of Themify builder which is the in-built page builder of this theme. You can enable or disable the builder cache and builder itself from this panel. You can also optimize the builder’s operations for mobile devices by disabling the parallax effect of builder on smaller devices.
Twitter and Google Map settings are for the API keys or Consumer Key so that you can use these in Themify builder to add these elements.
Hook content panel is to add something to some pre-defined hooks in the theme template. If you are familiar with Thesis WordPress theme, you must know what these hooks are.
Role Access panel allows you to give access of Customizer, Themify Builder and Custom Panel to different access levels such as Editor, Contributor etc.
Builder Layout and Builder Layout Parts
These two panels in Themify Float are to create predefined template that you can use when creating a new page. So using this panel, you create your own template build with Themify Builder and use that while designing new pages.
This is the default Customizer of WordPress where you get an option as Themify Options. Here you can change the typography of almost all elements, upload the logo, set sidebar font, build a form, implement background image and more.
Documentation panel will take you to the Float documentation page hosted on Themify’s server.
Another tab on Themify Settings panel is “Skins” where you can select from some pre-designed skins such as Black, Orange, Pink, Blue etc. These are preset skins with different color schemes.
Export and Import setting options are available under this panel.
As the name suggests, you can directly import the demo and even delete the imported content once done with the testing or customization.
You can auto-update the Float theme of Themify using this panel.
Float comes with special widgets as below,
- Themify Featured Posts
- Themify Flickr
- Themify List Categories
- Themify List Pages
- Themify Most Commented
- Themify Recent Comments
- Themify Social Links
- Themify Twitter
You can use these widgets in the widget ready areas and get a specially designed widgets on your site. There are total 6 widget ready areas provided with Float – Sidebar, Social Widget, Footer Social Widget, Footer Widget 1, Footer Widget 2, Footer Widget 3.
You get Themify Page Builder along with this theme. It allows you to create a page with lot many elements placed properly. It comes with Maps, Accordion, Buttons, Callouts, Divider, Gallery, Icons, Image, Menu, Posts etc. to drag and drop on the page builder panel.
Speed and Performance
Whenever I see some great effects on a WordPress theme, the first question which comes in my mind is whether it performs well in terms of load time. To check that, I ran a single post and the homepage on GTMetrix and found the following results.
Google PageSpeed Score for the homepage and single post is around 60% and YSlow score of these pages are 70%. It means once you install the theme, you need to do some work to optimize it for better performance. The result may vary depending on the media images that you are using. Here are few plugins which will help you improve these scores and page load time.
- WP Super Cache – It will GZip the page and the cached pages will load much faster
- Better WP Minify – It will club the CSS and JS files to reduce the DNS requests
- Photon CDN in Jetpack – A free CDN service by Automattic
Quality of Code
I use a plugin named “Theme Check” which is being used by the official WordPress repository theme review team too. With this plugin, you can check whether the author has used any deprecated functions or having some critical security issue in the code. Here is the result for Float WordPress Theme.
It looks like so many errors appearing on screen but most of the errors are related to translation string. In some cases if you are using this theme on multilingual or non-English sites, you may see theme options in English. Few other errors like base64_encode may be coming from the framework that has been used to develop this theme. WordPress repository review team may not pass this theme but that is not a big problem. There is no known security issue with the theme and that I can assure you.
Search Engine Optimization
Float is having the basic SEO done but it is recommended to use Yoast SEO plugin for better SEO.
Float is a stylish, modern and rich WordPress theme to showcase products, app launch, product reviews in a mind blowing way. It requires good media images when designing a site and if implemented properly, it can change the mindset of your visitors. A really nice WordPress theme for parallax effect lovers and designers. Use this theme for photography website, eCommerce sites, App Launch sites, Corporate sites, Music and Album sites, Wedding sites and more.