Standard Theme 2.0 for WordPress stands out in the endless supply of themes in various ways. The developer 8bit.io is not a typical WordPress Theme vendor as they are not creating one or more themes every month to a club. Instead they are focused on developing and optimizing only two themes at the moment. Each theme has it own web site and is branded as separate products. This is a unusual approach, but to me it shows the dedication 8bit.io have to make quality themes and not quantity. Standard Theme is currently in version 2 and it shows in the features available and on the options page which is excellent. I strongly recommend that check out the Standard Theme introduction video on their site to find out how cool this theme is – or read on and I’ll give you a quick walkthrough. Before we go on let me summarize what is unique about Standard Theme – it has a clean and simple design, it easily adapts you your design needs, you can do a lot more than usually without any coding required, social media included integration rocks. This theme is great but using a WordPress simple theme is also worth considering.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you). I recommend that you do your own independent research before purchasing any product or service. This article is not a guideline, a recommendation or endorsement of specific products.
Standard Theme Showcase
On their site you can find a showcase of blogs using Standard Theme and it is a good idea to check it out to get an idea of what is possible and how it look when actually in use. You can use the Standard Theme Design Kit [download] create your own unique design. The zip contains a fully layered and descriptive PSD file representing the look, feel, and style of Standard Theme.
Theme Look and Feel
Out of the box when you purchase the Standard Theme it look like this. It is very popular these days to have a total subscriber/follower counter and this comes with the theme. There are up to 14 advertising slots to give your blog earning potential with a slick roll-over effect to maximize click through. There are customizable pagination and if enables Breadcrumbs.
The Post page have the really popular moveable social buttons panel I believe Mashable.com invented. This is very important for getting votes and likes form sites like twitter and facebook. The post page have what is needed and also a really nice threaded comments layout.
On the archive page you will notice that Standard Theme provides a custom and really nice page template. There is also a Full Width page template if you need to create posts or pages without the sidebar. Further there are page templates for redirect and a sitemap for SEO optimization.
Standard Theme Administration and Options Pages
The options page for Standard Theme is really exceptional and simple to use. It is actually more than a traditional WordPress options page and I consider it as a complete professionally designed administration system.
It gives you access to configure the elements most WordPress users want to change and without any need for coding. Even if you can code why spend a lot of time on maintaining code when you can do it with a few clicks.
The Framework Options page allows you to change the basic layout configuration – like location of sidebar, navigation etc.
The above example illustrate what happens if you choose you in the “Place Navigation Below The Header?” and “Use Large Social Icons”. Try to Compare it with the large screenshot of the theme above where the navigation is at the top.
When it comes to navigation this theme also makes it easy for you to take full control without jumping into the code. You can use WordPress 3.0 or the build in. If you use the build in Navigation it is very easy to exclude pages and categories – not too hard in code either, if you know how to do it, but it does not get smarter than this!
If you have multiple writers on your blog or use guest writers you probably want to use Author boxes to give authors credit for their posts. In Standard Theme it is pretty simple to set up.
Traffic is important for all bloggers and social network, bookmarking sites are critical sources. Good news is that Standard Theme is prepared to make it possible for you to take optimal advantage of sites like twitter, facebook etc. All you need to do is type in your user names and share buttons will show up on the site.
Here is an example where facebook, twitter and Vimeo has been enabled, but there are support for several other services like youtube, delicious, Posterous, Flickr, Digg, FriendFind etc.
Some bloggers want to make some money from providing useful free content. One model for this is adding ads to the blog and it is as simple as it gets with Standard Theme.
The location of the ads on the blog is easily controlled using Widgets.
While we are at the Widgets let’s take a look at Follower Count. A lot of bloggers use twitter and feedburner and as the follower count goes up the need for flashing it goes up too… With Standard Theme you just activate a widget, type in you user names and a great looking follower count box shows up.
This is how it looks. Ads have also been added.
You can of course add analytics scripts, rss links etc. as expected, but what is really unique for Standard Theme is the capability of exporting all setting made to a file. This file can be used at a later stage for importing settings you really like. Having this type of backup is also crucial in case you need to set up your blog from scratch – could be a scenario if you change hosting or something else unexpected happends.
The developer of Standard Theme have a clear strategy of creating the best coded WordPress Theme. I think it is hard to define and measure, but ask yourself how many WordPress Themes have you used that validate out of the box?
If you think this theme looks cool I recommend that you go to their site and watch the introduction video. It covers most of the features in a bit more detail.