HowTo is a modern and stylish blogging WordPress theme which is responsive, SEO optimized, loads fast and is absolutely suitable for heavy content blogging. This theme contains powerful set of Theme Options using which you can customize every minute element of this theme.
It provides you with 2 unique homepage layouts that are extremely different from each other, 2 slider options to feature important posts and other content easily on front page. It allows you to feature your articles on priority basis and that too in grid views like 1 grid, 2 grid, 4 grid and also you can show your posts sorted according to categories.
This theme is well documented and provides video tutorials, hence it becomes easy for you to develop site with this theme. This theme is AdSense optimized so you can easily add ad banners without affecting entire design of theme. It also gives you option to choose to have Parallax scrolling site or multi-page site.
Other important features included in this theme are:
Supports 590 font awesome icons
Social Media buttons are integrated
Shortcodes are supported
Breadcrumbs on pages which helps SEO and makes site user freindly
WP Mega Menu compatible
Compatible with 630+ Google fonts
Child theme support
Advanced typography options
10 powerful widgets
Supports Multi Network or MU sites
Unlimited Sidebars, etc
The look and layout of the website plays a very important role if you want to divert the attention of the visitors to your site. More than the content the look of the website speaks for you. I was looking for a WordPress blogging Theme with some unique features to give a professional look to the site. I came across different themes both Free and Premium but they did not provide with the features I was looking in a blogging theme. And finally I got the theme that provided with all the features that supported the best SEO and also provided with the different layout for the site. This was HowTo theme from MythemeShop, with rigorous testing of the theme based on certain points I will share my experience and review on the same.
Design and UX:
This theme gives you the full control on all the theme options from the admin panel. In order to give a different look and feel to your site and make it appealing for the visitors there are different options to apply the color schemes and select different layouts. It gives you the freedom to select the layout style for the website and also select the color scheme from the color picker which provides with the unlimited color schemes. There are about 63 background patterns that are available and the choice can be made for it. To make your website more attractive it also supports the Lightbox effects to give a good experience to the visitors. This theme also provides with many Google fonts to enhance the beauty of the site. This theme provides with the very good user experience and also one is really impressed with its looks.
It is a very responsive theme that works great on all the devices and displays the content beautifully to the visitors from any devices. This theme provides with fluid responsiveness that allows the visitors to view it as per the guidelines provided by Google. There are also various options that are available related to it:
Appearance >> Theme Options >> General Settings >> Responsiveness
This theme provides you the option to enable or disable it from the devices. It also consists of the option to upload an image for the touch icon for the android and iOS devices.
Ease of Customization:
The best thing about this theme is that it provides you with all the options to customize it as per the requirements. One will also feel that he has all the control on all the options. This theme also provides with many widgetized area and that you will find under:
Appearance >> Widgets
1) There are different widgets that are provided to display the advertisements with different dimensions either with a single banner or the limit is up to maximum 6 ads. They are MyThemeShop: 125X125 Ads, MyThemeShop: 300X250 Ad and MyThemeShop: 728X90 Ad.
2) It also provides with different widgets related to posts such as MyThemeShop: Author Posts, MyThemeShop: Category Posts, MyThemeShop: Popular Posts, MyThemeShop: Post Slider, MyThemeShop: Recent Posts and MyThemeShop: Related Posts.
3) There are different widgets that are also provided for the Social Media platforms such as MyThemeShop: FB Like Box, MyThemeShop: Latest Tweet and MyThemeShop: Social Profiles.
All the options related to the customization of the theme can be found in:
Appearance >> Customize
Some of the options that are present to customize the theme are:
It allows to give a branding to your site by adding the title as well as favicon for the site.
Provides with the template for the Contact page.
There are different options that are present to use different color and fonts for the site.
This theme is compatible with MyThemeShop Connect, WP Mega Menu, WP Review, WP Shortcode, WP Subscribe and WP Tab Widget.
Some of the advanced options that are present to give a new look and feel to the site are as stated below:
1) General Settings:
Appearance >> Theme Options >> General Settings
One can fully customize and brand the site by uploading the logo and favicon for it. The copyright text and pagination type can be directly selected from here. There are multiple options available such as whether to enable lazy load and to provide RTL support or not. As FeedBurner is not functional any longer so the URL of any other service providing with the same feature can be entered here.
2) Styling Options:
Appearance >> Theme Options >> Styling Options
The color scheme and the background pattern and color can be selected from here. It also allows to select the image for it. One can also select the Footer widgets from here, there are maximum 4 widgets that are provided by this option.
Appearance >> Theme Options >> Header
All the elements of the header section can be controlled by this option. One can also select the color schemes for the menus and the logo can also be selected from here.
Appearance >> Theme Options >> Homepage
The settings related to the slider on the homepage and the number of posts that are to be displayed for the slider can be done from here. It also consists of the meta information on the home page for the fields that are to be enabled and disabled.
5) Single Posts:
Appearance >> Theme Options >> Single Posts
All the settings related to the single posts can be done from here. You can highlight the fields that are to be displayed for the posts and whether to show the breadcrumbs and author comments.
6) Social Buttons:
Appearance >> Theme Options >> Social Buttons
The place where the social media buttons are to placed and the icons that are to be displayed in the footer can be selected from here.
7) Ad Management:
Appearance >> Theme Options >> Ad Management
The settings related to the ads that are to be displayed for the particular site can be done from here. The code for it can be pasted here along with the days of validation for the particular ad.
Appearance >> Theme Options >> Sidebars
There are different options that are present to manage all the sidebars easily and select the custom sidebar for the option that is provided.
Appearance >> Theme Options >> Typography
This theme provides with 630+ Google fonts and different character sets for the different fields can be selected from here. There are 17 standard font sets that are provided and the choice can be made accordingly for it.
Appearance >> Theme Options >>Translate
This is the best option that is provided in order to translate the theme without going through the .po and .mo files. One can directly enter the text and it can displayed for the site.
Appearance >> Theme Options >> Import/Export
It is indeed very easy to import as well as export the demo with the single click. It also allows to create child theme for the particular theme.
Speed and Load Order:
One of the main thing of concern for any website is its speed and time taken to load it. So I decided to check its GooglePage Speed for this theme. The page speed for mobile devices was 67/100 and for the desktop it was 89/100.
In order to scan all its files to know about any malicious and unwanted code and whether this theme followed the standards and practices of WordPress, I checked it by activating 2 plugins Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) and Theme Check.
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 will say that I was totally convinced and satisfied after using this theme that provided the full control on all the settings. This is a good theme for the blogging sites the code is well designed by keeping SEO in mind. Also there are some of the unique features that are provided by this theme that will avoid you to install any plugins. I would surely recommend this theme for the bloggers. As the speed and performance of any site plays a very vital role so the performance of this theme is optimized by W3 Total Cache.
Allows to use slider for your site to make it appealing for the visitors.
There are different options and background pattern that can be applied to the site.
This theme is translation ready without any need to change the .po and .mo files
This theme also provides with the plenty of widgets.
Very easy to manage all the adds through the Ad management settings.