Gleam is one of the best WordPress theme by Elegant Themes used for making Business related Portfolios. It is a creative theme and suitable for creative professionals and agencies specializing in art, photography, graphics, craft, interior design etc.
On activating this theme, you get a e-panel theme options panel that comes packed with all theme settings, allowing you to easily customize your website without touching a single line of code. This panel allows you to toggle on and off features, adjust site layout, manage advertisements, control colors, etc. There is a content box placed at the center of the homepage and number of pages/post are displayed in a very attractive manner to show off fullscreen background image.
Gleam comes with a beautiful full-screen portfolio page template, allowing you to showcase your images full screen and un-interrupted by your content. It loads the page using ajax. Blog pagelayouts: It has classic blog layout i.e. it comes with excerpt, featured image and widgetized sidebar. Theme is compatible with almost all the browsers. Lot of other features are also offered like shortcodes, Multi-media gallery with Ajax filter and several page templates like Blog page, contact page, fullwidth page, gallery page, login page, search page, sitemap page.
For a photographer to showcase his portfolio or photography on WordPress website, it is important that a theme should have fullscreen and fullwidth layout that will show his photography on fullscreen background. As I have keen interest in finding & using different WordPress themes, I used a theme by Elegant Themes called Gleam. This theme is built specially for photography websites. After using this theme for couple of days, I have following point of view for this theme.
Design & UX:
Gleam has fullwidth fullscreen layout to showcase portfolio. The layout is built such that the website title, tagline and navigation menus appears in the center with fullscreen background images. When you select a menu it will show your page/post in a fancy light box which means it has more focus on media rather than on content which is required in photography themes. A slider navigation will appear to navigate along pages. It has breadcrumbs inbuilt. So over all this theme is good enough in both design and user experience.
Ease of Customization:
On activating this theme you will get its customizing settings in Appearance => Customize and Appearance => Gleam Theme Options. Here is a brief description of the theme options with screenshots of dashboard.
Colors – From here you can choose Background Color.
Background Image: From here you can upload background image.
Menus – It has one menu location i.e. primary menu location.
General – You can upload logo image, favicon image. Manage number f posts for category page, archive page, search page and tag pages. You can add Custom CSS from here, etc.
Homepage – Upload background image for homepage.
Pages – Here you can choose to remove certain pages from the navigation menu, enable/disable home link, sort your pages links, order pages links by ascending/descending, number of dropdown tiers to be shown.
Categories – Here you can choose to remove certain categories from the navigation menu, enable/disable empty categories, sort your categories links-Name/ID/Slug/Count/Term Group, order Category Links by ascending/descending.
General settings – Disable top tier dropdown menu links.
Single Post Layout – Here you can choose which items appear in the postinfo section on single post pages, show/hide comments on posts and post thumbnails.
Single page layout – show/hide comments on pages and thumbnails.
General settings – Here you can choose which items appear in the postinfo section on pages, show/hide thumbnails on index page.
Un-widgetized Ads – Enable/disable Single Post 468×60 banner from here. Enabling this option will display a 468×60 banner ad on the bottom of your post pages below the single post content. It accepts banner image, destination url, adsense code.
This is a tool that can be used to find hexadecimal color values. These values can be used to customize the colors of the various elements like main fonts, menu links, footer text, header links, footer links, etc.
Homepage SEO – Enable/disable and add custom title, meta description, meta keywords, canonical URL’s. If custom titles are disabled, choose autogeneration method. Define a character to separate BlogName and Post title.
Single Post Page SEO – Enable/disable and add custom title, meta description, meta keywords, canonical URL’s. If custom titles are disabled, choose autogeneration method. Define a character to separate BlogName and Post title.
Index Page SEO – Enable/disable meta description, canonical URL’s. Choose title autogeneration method. Define a character to separate BlogName and Post title.
Code integration – Enable/disable and add header code, body code, code to the top of your posts, code to the bottom of your posts, before the comments.
Page, Post, Page templates options of this theme:
Page templates – Blog, Contact, Gallery, Portfolio, login, sitemap. Page templates have some advanced setting options when that particular template is selected. See above screenshots.
Quick Tags – Add ET learn more block, ET box, ET button, ET tabs and ET author bio directly into page and posts.
ET Settings Meta Box – Enable/disable fullscreen mode and upload images for pages.
Page load speed:
I checked the Google PageSpeed of Gleam official demo on Mobile and Desktop mode. The Performance is quiet impressive on both the devices as W3 Total Cache plugin is used for speeding up site.
Search Engine Optimization:
Basic search engine optimization is done such as,
Post Title on Blog Archive is in <H2> tag
On Single Post, the title is in <H1> tag
In-built Breadcrumb available for better navigation for Search bot
It is advised to use Yoast SEO WordPress plugin for even better SEO for the site.
I have scanned this theme with TAC plugin for authenticity and with Theme Check plugin for WordPress standards of theme code, the result is as shown below:
This theme has passed TAC plugin test but theme checker has given lot of warnings which needs to be resolved.
Support and help:
This theme is built by Elegant Themes club which provides good support to customers in case of any queries. They provide support forum, email support and ticket support for their member customers.
Multiple page templates.
Quick tags to insert tabs, box, learn more box, button for both posts and pages.
Fullscreen mode for images on pages.
Lightbox effect for pages.
Custom CSS box.
Custom code boxes to add code in header, footer, body.
Multiple ad banner slots.
Multiple layouts for portfolio page.
Page builder is not included.
No Custom Post Type included.
It is not a responsive theme
This theme is really best for people who want to showcase their portfolio of photography.