Joomla business templates, September 2011

Joomla business templates, September 2011

Every month, each of the major Joomla template clubs release a new template.

In this post, I take another look at the premium business Joomla templates released. This time for the month of September 2011.

There are templates from Yootheme, RocketTheme, JoomlArt, Joomla Bamboo and JoomlaShack in this summary.

Yootheme: Streamline

Streamline1

This month's template from YooTheme is a modern looking theme. The look is such that it's perhaps best used for a musical artist, a restaurant or bar, or perhaps a concert hall. This theme introduces the new dropline menu which smoothly fades in the 2nd level navigation. The menu can be enhanced with icons and subtitles as well as 3rd level items which will appear as a dropdown. This is a new menu type compared to the ones found in previous YooTheme templates. A good choice if you want a sub menu which is a bit more toned down than the mega menu.

There are quite a few header styles, backgrounds and color variations to choose from to make create your own, unique site. And you can of course add your own style variations by adjusting CSS. As always, YooTheme provides clear instructions on how to modify their themes. The only thing I miss from YooTheme templates is K2 styling. Not surprisingly, YooTheme has included matching styling for their own CCK, Zoo. But it would be nice if they included styling for other solutions as well. Particularly K2, which is used to such an extent in the community.

Yootheme Streamline features

  • Available for Joomla and Wordpress
  • Choose from 6 color schemes, 11 header styles, 18 backgrounds and 12 fonts
  • Dropline Menu with 3rd level dropdown
  • 5 module styles combinable with 4 badges and 6 icons
  • Custom style for Widgetkit Slideshow and Slideset
  • Smooth CSS animations
  • Matching Mobile Theme
  • Flexible template and column widths
  • All Warp framework features are available

More info about Streamline

RocketTheme: Radiance

Radiance1

What can I say about the Radiance template? It is well done technically. But as for design, I think it's actually a bit tacky and too busy. The background images seem too "in your face" and disturbs the message a bit. I guess you will have to find some more subtle background images for this template to work well in a business setting. And I'm note entirely sure about the rounded boxes combined with the square ribbons. Well, style is very personal.

The positive thing about RocketTheme template is that you can very easily change the settings and give the template a different look. The Gantry framework gives you a lot of tools to do this. This video shows how to do that type of modification:

RocketTheme Radiance features

  • Joomla 1.5/1.7 versions
  • Color Chooser with Background Picker
  • RokGallery Extension Integration
  • Gantry Framework
  • 6 Preset Styles
  • RocketTheme Extensions Styling
  • Custom Content Typography
  • Fusion & Splitmenu
  • Load Transitions
  • 56 Module Positions
  • W3C XHTML 1.0 / CSS Valid

More info about Radiance

JoomlArt: Blazes

Blazes1

The Blazes template from JoomlArt is really nice, in my opinion. The use of typography is tasteful, using Google fonts to create elegant headlines. I also like the earthy colors they have picked.  The background is dark in all of the style variations. I thinkthey could have benefited from adding a lighter color variation as well. The template has incorporated K2 styling in a very good way, blending the K2 content nicely into the template. In particular, I like the way they have done the All categories page.

The T3 framework is not my favorite to work with, but I know a lot of people love it. Depends on what you are used to, I guess. All in all, Blazes is a stylish and beautiful template that I would consider for a blog or news/informational web site.

JoomlArt Blazes features

  • Running on T3 Framework Version 2
  • 5 color options
  • 4 Menu options: JA Split, JA Css, JA Dropline & JA Mega menu
  • inbuilt Google Fonts configuration
  • Inbuilt CSS and Javascript Compression
  • Joomla 1.5.x & Joomla 1.7.x (coming up soon) compatible
  • Cross Browser Support: IE7+, Firefox 2+, Safari 3+, Chrome 8+, Opera 9+ and other
  • Standards-Supporting Browsers.
  • XHTML 1.0 Transitional
  • CSS Validates
  • Valid 508 Accessibility
  • Well-commented template_css.css and index.php file for flexible customization

More info about Blazes

JoomlaShack: Travertine

Travertine1

Travertine is a nice enough template. But it seems a bit hurried and not as well designed as I have come to expect from JoomlaShack. The module styles are a bit limited, and the color variations are not as flexible as I would like them. Of course, you can change everything with CSS. There are 4 color themes provided. Two of them (theme 2 and 3) uses a not so elegant color in the drop down menu, so I would change that immediately if I were to use one of them in a project.

That said, the template is coded very efficiently. It uses less code than most other templates I've seen. That makes it fast-loading. The large background image slows it down a bit, so without that it would have been even faster. Fast loading of a web site is very important in terms of SEO. The template is simple, without a lot of the fancy JavaScript drop-downs and other effects that the other template developers tend to use. If you're looking for a fast-loading and simple template, this is a good choice.

JoomlaShack Travertine features

  • 4 template themes
  • 3 custom module styles
  • 13 collapsible module positions
  • One Zip file for 1.5/1.6/1.7
  • Progressive enhancements
  • Custom module chrome

More info about Travertine

JoomlaShack: Hyacinth

Hyacinth1

The second template JoomlaShack has released this month is Hyacinth. Although I think it looks quite nice, I'm not too fond of the use of boxes. It makes the content look a bit disconnected. Personally, I prefer designs that bring the elements of a site more together, and let you make some elements stand out in a more subtle way. Again, this comes down to your personal preference. However, as you can see from the above screenshot, using boxes creates the ever returning problem of module height. The three modules above have different amount of text in them, and thus have different height. To avoid this, you need to make sure the modules have equal amount of content, which can be hard to control in a live setting. When the modules are as defined as they are here, this effect becomes very visible.

Just as with the Travertine template, this template is very well coded. That makes it fast loading, perhaps apart from the current front page (which is probably because of all of the images they've used).

JoomlaShack Hyacinth features

  • 3 template themes
  • 3 custom module styles
  • 11 collapsible module positions
  • Elegant typography
  • One Zip file for 1.5/1.6/1.7
  • Progressive enhancements
  • Custom module chrome

More info about Hyacinth

JoomlaBamboo: Focus

Focus1

Focus is perhaps this month's most innovative template. The integrated full screen slideshow is something I have not seen in any other template before. It can be a bit confusing at first, but I find it is a great idea for a photographer's site, or a hotel or other venue that wants to feture high-quality images in an innovative way. The slideshow is made in such a way that the entire page background changes. It is powered by the Galleria full screen jQuery slideshow.

Another thing that is innovative about this template is the fact that it is responsive. That means it will adapt the design to the size of the screen on which it is displayed. Focus will render perfectly on all good desktop browsers and scale to suit the smaller iPad and iPhone screen sizes. You can try it out by resizing your browser window and see how the elements change around to accomodate the smaller screen width. Very nicely done!

The template also uses CSS sprites to reduce the http requests on the page. And it has built-in K2 styling.

Focus is perhaps not a mainstream design or useful for a regular business web site, but it sure is something that will get your site noticed.

JoomlaBamboo Focus features

  • Integrated background slideshow
  • Responsive layouts to suit any browser or mobile device
  • Unique K2 Joomla template
  • Built on the Zen Grid Framework
  • Joomla 1.5, Joomla 1.7 template and quickstart available
  • Source PSD and PNG included

More info about Focus

Read 7680 times Originally published on Thursday, 22 September 2011 23:00
Last modified on Friday, 17 February 2012 15:12
 
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