More Than Just Another WordPress Theme

Catalyst Theme ExtrasIn this Feature of the Week post I’m going to take one of my occasional forays away from looking at a particular area of the core functionality provided by Catalyst Theme.

Instead I’m taking a look at some of the extras and other good things that help form the environment around Catalyst Theme and which help make the whole package such a force to be reckoned with.

With many themes, the theme is all you get.

But with Catalyst Theme you don’t just get an immensely powerful and customizable theme that provides you with a huge degree of flexibility to achieve almost any site design you desire (no matter what level of coding skills you have – including non at all!), you also get:

Child Themes

Catalyst Theme is a theme framework, meaning that Catalyst itself takes care of the site layout and structure, while a child theme takes care of the style and design aspects.

If you’re looking at Catalyst Theme then you’re probably aware that included in the Catalyst package is the Dynamik Child Theme that includes over 800 design options allowing you to style almost any element of your site – easily.

Also available in the Catalyst Theme Marketplace though are a number of other child themes (free and premium), providing ready made design solutions to suit specific site requirements.

Unlike typical ‘set and forget’ child themes for other frameworks though, in many cases these child themes provide additional features like built-in image uploaders and feature widget areas for that little bit of useful flexibility.

Dynamik Skins

For an off-the-shelf design that you can use as the basis for your site, a number of Dynamik Child Theme skins (free and premium) are available in the marketplace.

These provide a ready configured set of style and design options for the Dynamik Theme which you can then change and adapt as much as you like to take advantage of the full flexibility that Dynamik provides to get your own unique version for your site.

Free Plugins

Chances are that sooner or later you’ll want to display images on your site in a more effective way. That might mean displaying them in a slideshow or as a gallery.

The great news is that the superb Nivo Slider and Showcase plugins are available to meet just that need. These are normally premium (paid for) plugins but with Catalyst they are available at no cost to use on all your own Catalyst built sites!

Also included in the plugins section (and also free) is the Catalyst Excerpts (Plus) plugin which provides enhanced excerpt functionality.

Support Resources

The information resources that back up Catalyst Theme are extensive.

From introductory video tutorials to help you get started in Catalyst 101, to screencasts on how to do just about most things in Catalyst, to the 250 page Cheat Sheet for folk who prefer the written format, to the forum where any query you might have has probably already been answered!! The support resources have it covered.

Responsive Design for Mobile Devices

Finally, with Catalyst Theme, you don’t just get a great theme for designing sites to be viewed on desktop/laptop devices.

Because Catalyst Theme has Responsive Design Options built in!

This means your site can be designed to respond to the different browser widths of tablet and cell phone devices to display alternative customized layouts and design in each case.

Included! No need for a separate mobile site.

As the above shows, with Catalyst you get  more than “just another WordPress theme”!

Have fun!

David.

David Pritchard is the author of the Catalyst Theme Cheat Sheet – the 250+ page guide that helps users make the most of Catalyst Theme. Licenced Catalyst Theme users can get their FREE copy in the downloads section of the Catalyst Theme forum.

David also has a site that with guides to using Catalyst Theme, WordPress, SEO, internet marketing techniques and other topics at http://www.FastStepInternetMarketing.com