Whether you’re new to WordPress or you’ve been around since the days of the Kubrick theme, it’s likely you’ve found yourself overwhelmed at times with the vast array of available themes. In this post I’ll be reviewing the Jupiter – Multi-Purpose Responsive Theme by the team at Artbees.
I’ve been utilizing WordPress for 10 years (since it became WordPress) and I’ve seen the theme market follow the latest fads and then recover. One of the recurring “themes” has been the proliferation of “multi-purpose” themes. Themes that claim to give end users the ultimate set of customization options.
Over the past few years end users and developers alike have been complaining about bloated code and slow speeds of themes that are trying to do it all, but the team at Artbees has solved both of those issues with Jupiter 5.
I started my testing expecting the worst but was pleasantly surprised with the results. Scratch that. I was amazed with what I discovered behind the scenes of Jupiter.
Jupiter 5 Features
In short, this all comes down to better optimized code, less CPU usage and lightning fast page load times. I would argue that these three things are the most important things to consider when choosing a theme for your blog or WordPress-powered business.
Ok, so technically speaking, this theme is as optimized as I’ve ever seen in a premium theme but what about features and customization options? Can someone really create a site as beautiful as their demos suggest?
The answer is yes.
Here’s a summary of the built-in features of Jupiter.
- Incredibly fast
- 50+ pre-designed templates
- Innovative Admin panel
- Header style customizer
- Background customizer
- Edge slideshow
- 100+ elements
- 230+ styles
- 18 Header styles
- Almost 29,000 sales so far and counting!
User Experience – Setting Up Jupiter
Jupiter gets installed like any other WordPress theme via Appearance > Themes > Add New but also comes with a few welcome differences for a better overall user experience.
Jupiter Child Theme
A child theme is included in the Jupiter theme download, and you’ll want to install this too. Installing a child theme is the exact same process as installing any other theme.
Then, you’ll want to activate this child theme rather than the Jupiter parent theme.
The benefit of installing and activating a child theme is that it makes use of all the features of the parent theme, but also allows you to make code edits and additions to that theme if you so chose without being affected by updates to the parent theme.
You can learn more about the relationship between parent and child themes (and frameworks) here if you’re interested.
Jupiter requires the installation of the Visual Composer and the Envato WordPress Toolkit plugins.
Once you’ve activated the Jupiter child theme, you’re taken to the Jupiter Control Panel. There you’ll be prompted to install two required plugins, Visual Composer and Envato WordPress Toolkit.
The Visual Composer plugin comes packaged with Jupiter and the Envato WordPress Toolkit plugin is pulled from an external source automatically.
Installing and activating both plugins requires just a couple clicks. It’s fast and easy.
The next step to getting started is to register your copy of Jupiter. Registering gives you access to support, theme software updates and also the easy installation of the 50+ pre-built templates I mentioned in the features list above.
The first thing to do is Sign up to the Help Desk at Artbees.com. (you’ll need your Envato purchase code)
After you’ve created an account, click the Register Product tab and you’ll be able to copy your new Artbees API Key.
Head back to the Jupiter Control Panel, enter your API Key, and click Register.
That’s it. In three simple steps you now have everything you need to get started building your site with Jupiter.
Where to Next?
You now have two choices on how to start building your Jupiter powered site. You can jump right to the theme options or search for, and install, any of the beautiful pre-built templates.
The choice is yours but I’ll start with the theme options because many of these settings involve the overall structure and layout of your content and can apply to any template you choose.
There are 7 main areas in the theme options panel with each including their own submenu items and individual settings.
You’ll find everything you need to customize your site logo, social network icons, MailChimp connection, Google Analytics, blog post layouts, custom sidebars, and even some additional speed optimization options under the following settings areas.
Once you’ve explored and configured any (or all) of these available options, it’s time to get into the really fun part. The visual look of your site.
Choosing and Installing Templates
I’ve seen themes offer template selections before but none as varied as Jupiter. The way Jupiter offers the choice and installation of templates is a bit unique too.
The first thing you need to do is click the Download link in step one. This will open a new tab/window and load the template area of the Artbees site where you can scroll through all the available templates and download them to your local machine.
When viewing the templates page, you click on any one you like and you’ll see a Download button.
Once you’ve downloaded your chosen template, you then need to upload it. After you’ve uploaded a template (or several), you’ll see them listed in your Templates area.
When I first saw this process I was a bit disappointed that I had to go to their site, download the template, then upload it. I was hoping to see the template previews right from within my site and simply click on an install button.
However, after uploading the template I chose (named Dia) I quickly understood why it had to be this way.
After installing a template you have the choice to also include its demo content and images, Widget configuration and apply the settings specific to that template. That is powerful stuff to get a site up and running quickly with very minimal work!
I chose to include all the extra content, configuration and settings and in minutes I had a fully functional and beautiful looking site!
Imagine how much time that saves me when I’m creating a proof of concept to show to a client. I can show them a fully loaded site in minutes and then work backwards including their specific business details rather than spending days gathering stock images and tweaking the layout of each page.
After clicking the Activate button, I was greeted with this success message.
I then loaded the front end of my site and everything I needed was there. Images, pages, menu, widgets…everything I needed.
Documentation & Support
The documentation included in the theme file download was adequate enough and easy to follow. Enough so, that I didn’t need to view any of the support or documentation areas on the Artbees website.
I did visit these areas of course, in order to get a full view of their business from a customer’s standpoint and I was again, pleasantly surprised at what I found.
Their documentation and support areas are well-rounded and full of great information. It’s easy to find what you need with a simple search or dig deeper with access to community forums.
I have to say that this is one of the best implementations of documentation and support resources I’ve seen for a premium theme in a long time.
The Jupiter theme is for sale on Themeforest for $59. It comes with 6 months access to support which can be extended to 1 year for an additional $17.70.
Conclusions & Recommendations
Overall, I found the Jupiter theme to be very easy to use. There were a few more steps than I expected in the initial setup but I also quickly learned those steps set me up for faster deployment of templates and the easy creation of example content.
If you’ve been looking for a true multi-purpose theme with all the bells and whistles while still providing high quality code and design options, Jupiter is a solid choice.