Introduction to the Elemental Theme Framework for WordPress

Elemental is the new theme framework for WordPress from Mimbo Pro designers, Pro Theme Design.

Today we're going to take a look at it in detail and highlight what makes it such a good choice. For those who are unaware, it is the very theme framework that is runs this website.

Some of the features that are included with this framework are:

  • Animated multi-level dropdown menus
  • 12 custom page templates for contact forms, sitemaps, image galleries, blogrolls, and much more
  • Breadcrumb options
  • Custom control panel options to control column size, typography, navigation, and more
  • Four widgetized regions for flexibility
  • Dashboard widget for upgrade reminders
  • Custom masthead image and logo controls
  • Image nail resizing
  • Support for gravatars, author comment highlighting, threaded comments, and paged comments
  • Full localization and translation support
  • Custom widgets for popular posts, social networking, Twitter updates, related posts, and more
  • Additional customizable content areas via action hooks
  • Custom admin bar for dashboard shortcuts

Elemental provides it's own Dashboard menus within WordPress that allow for a good chunk of configuration functions outlined above as well as a custom section that allows you to place HTML or other code within certain predefined locations within the theme using it's built in hooks.

There are a number of page templates that come with this screen. You can see most of them at work on this site. Take a look at our contact page here on CMS Critic. This is a custom page template that comes complete with the contact form and captcha authentication. All you have to do is create the page and select the template. There are also templates for a giant tag cloud which you can see in use on our tag page, a site map page template that you can see on our sitemap page as well as archives complete with a dropdown box and calendar embedded (see on our archives page).

We only make use of a fraction of the templates available, however.

Looking to create an image gallery? There's a template for that too:

Or perhaps you want a 3 or 4 column widgetized page? This template comes complete with 2, 3 or 4 column widgetized page templates so you can create that perfect look.

Where does Elemental really shine? From an SEO perspective, we're very pleased with the results.. it's a clean and lean theme framework that looks great. It really shines with child themes and if you choose, there is already one available. It's called ‘The Local' and is available from the Pro Theme Design website as well.

The Local for ElementalElemental may not be a free framework, but it's one of the best premium ones we've seen so far and it's priced fair with a single license available for less than $60.

We chose to put Elemental to the test on CMS Critic and our sister site, Linux Critic and we've been floored by the results.  Automatic nail images are pulled from the latest post for us with no effort, we can create any layout we want and it's fast.

Take it for a spin. There are demo's of it and The Local on the Pro Theme Design website, you'll be blown away by their features: Elemental Website