There is an abundance of WordPress themes available out there for all purposes imaginable, but there’s one type of theme that seems to be growing in popularity – the multipurpose WordPress theme.
That’s a theme that is designed and structured in such a way for it to be a good choice for as many purposes as possible. So the same single theme can be used for a personal blog, a business’ website, an e-commerce store, or any other purpose you might think of. It’s just a case of using the available tools and options in the right way.
These are usually themes that have WordPress plugins pre-packaged along with them, and offer some sort of general theme options dashboard from where you can modify the majority of their settings to manipulate the look and functionality depending on your requirements.
Monstroid: A Monster of a Theme
As the name implies, Monstroid offers a large abundance of features and possibilities that range far and wide. Here’s a quick look at the main features on offer when purchasing the theme.
There are three main areas you can focus on when it comes to Monstroid, and these are the design options on offer, the pre-designed pages that come with it, and the tech behind it.
As for the design of the site, Monstroid offers a number of child themes to choose from, adding more and more every month to give you more options to improve or enhance your site in the future. Besides those, you’re also provided with all the layered PSD files to be able to edit all the pages in Photoshop too.
The theme itself provides a number of layout options for each section, including boxed and full width, all with right, left and no sidebar options. All this is further backed up by the fact that it’s all responsive, including the text and images, meaning it will look right on all devices.
The other design features on offer include parallax scrolling, background video, a choice between multiple sliders that come bundled with theme, font icons, as well as a charts plugin to present your data in a number of visual ways.
One of the added perks of using such a theme is that you’re provided with a large number of pre-designed pages for all possible needs, and Monstroid is no exception. With this theme you’re given seven homepage designed to choose from, ranging from one-page to parallax, depending on the purpose of your site.
Through the e-commerce integration of WooCommerce you’re also provided with such pre-designed pages as the home shop, product pages, and much more, while also being given a choice between a number of Portfolio, Gallery and Contact Us pages.
Some of the other pre-designed options available are for your websites Blog, About page, Services page, FAQ section, Testimonials page and Team section, each one having its own set of options and characteristics.
Tech-wise there is quite a lot on offer from Monstroid. Primarily, it makes use of the Cherry Framework 4, offering you easy-to-install themes with solid Bootstrap options, a number of shortcodes and widgets, as well as a parent/child theme setup that aids a lot in the updating of your designs.
It provides an installation wizard that takes away the need for FTP or a file manager when installing a theme, it offers a theme settings backup in case you lose anything, it includes a Google Map API, has full social integration, is SEO, mobile and Google-friendly, WPML compatible, and most importantly it includes a number of packaged WordPress plugins.
These extensions come packaged with the theme, as do the support for other third party extensions such as BuddyPress and bbPress, the option of using Google Analytics, over 500 Google web fonts, a shortcode editor, a static area builder, dynamic CSS, independent modules, and finally the ability to compile and/or minify CSS files.
The packaged WordPress plugins that come with Monstroid are what really set it alight. The most important plugin is the MotoPress Content Editor plugin that provides such a simple drag-and-drop functionality when building or re-designing your pages.
The rest of the included plugins include the MotoPress Slider, Skin Switcher, and a number of Cherry framework plugins such as the Megamenu, Social, Portfolio and many more that are used to create the various section already mentioned above.
Using the Theme
Making use of the theme is made easy through Monstroid’s installation wizard and abundance of settings. Here’s a look through the process of setting up the Monstroid main theme with the provided sample data, which could in turn be edited by yourself to create the exact pages and sections needed for your particular project.
Installation and Setup
The first step is to install the Monstroid Wizard plugin. This is installed like any other WordPress plugin and is what will allow you to install the theme in the first place.
Once it’s installed and activated you must enter your activation key in the Monstroid Wizard, found in the Tools section of your Dashboard. This is provided to you when you purchase the theme and it will allow you to start installing the theme itself.
Your next step is to select which theme you want to install, whether it’s the main Monstroid theme that I’ve used in this case, or one of the child themes that I mentioned earlier. It’s simply a case of selecting the one you want and clicking on “Install”.
This will begin the install of the Cherry framework, the child theme, the plugin extensions and everything else that comes with Monstroid. It might take a couple of minutes till its all installed, and after that you can get straight to work.
Monstroid Dashboard and Data Manager
Once the installation is complete you will notice a Monstroid section in your WordPress dashboard. From here you can access your Monstroid Dashboard and Data Manager. The Dashboard provides some basic information about the theme, along with links to the documentation, quick start guide and video tutorials that we’ll be looking at further down.
The Data Manager is where you can check whether you’re running the latest version of your theme, check if updates are available, disable automatic updates for the theme, and download a zipped file of the latest version. These two pages will provide all the information needed while using Monstroid.
Starting with the Sample Data
As I mentioned earlier we’ll be using the provided sample data for this site, and installing it is as easy as it was to install the theme. In the Tools section you’ll find another two new sections called Cherry Import and Cherry Export. The Export feature is there to create a backup of your website content in one click.
Meanwhile, the Import feature is where you’ll select the sample data and upload it. You can do this directly from the cloud and once you’ve clicked the install button it will start importing all the sample data that you can see being used in the Monstroid demo.
Once the import is complete you will have a fully-fledged website up and running. From now on it’s time to look through the settings and pages, choose what you want, modify it according to your needs, and create your ideal site.
Choosing Your Settings
From the Cherry section in your Dashboard you’re able to access three new sections, the first being the Options for Monstroid. Here you can modify almost every little aspect of your site from a long list of settings. It’s all explained and laid out in such a way that makes it easy for all level of users to be able to play around with and select the ideal settings for their desired look.
You can change everything from a favicon image to displaying a cookie banner; it’s all right there. Whether it’s choosing the layout for each section of your site, selecting the navigation options, or changing the typography of certain sections, it’s all doable from within one dashboard.
Some of the other interesting options available here are the already mention cookie banner, optimisation options such as minifying CSS, the use of Olark live chat, as well as the ability to modify interface elements (aimed at UI developers) and a style switcher.
There are way too many options to go through them all here, but the screenshot above should give you somewhat of an idea of how many options are available for your customisation.
The Static Area Builder & Shortcodes Templater
The next section of the Cherry settings is the Static Area Builder. This is where you can customise the header and footer for the theme, incorporating any sliders, social media links, menus, logos and more. It’s all customisable using a simple drag-and-drop interface.
Then lastly, the final section is the Shortcodes Templater, an interesting feature that allows you to create, edit and remove shortcode templates for your website. It provides you the opportunity of changing up the default shortcode templates according to your needs.
The End Result
The end result when using the sample data, without any changes whatsoever, would be the same as that seen on the Monstroid demo site. As you can see from that demo, you can create anything you can think of using this theme, and its looks and functionality will rival any of the top websites out there with no coding necessary whatsoever.
Documentation & Support
The Quick Start Guide
Having so many features and options, you’d expect the documentation for Monstroid to be quite detailed, and you’d be correct.
However, the first and simplest form of documentation it offers is a Quick Start Guide. This offers step-by-step instructions on how to install the Monstroid theme files, how to choose and install a child theme, and how to install the sample data to get you on your way.
For a more detailed look at the theme and all its options you’d need to head to the Theme Documentation.
Theme Documentation, FAQs and Video Tutorials
The Theme Documentation is where you’ll find all the details you can possibly ask for about the Monstroid theme. The documentation ranges from a basic explanation of the theme’s template structure to what every single option in its settings is about.
It covers all general settings, all styling options, all areas of the Cherry options, the Static Area Builder, and much more, including some pretty detailed additional information on the included third party plugins.
There are even Video Tutorials covering all aspects of working with Monstroid, as well as an FAQ section to answer some of the most common questions.
The Support System
The support system is made up of two areas; the chat and the ticket system, both of which are available 24/7.
The Live Chat is a great place to get quick and to the point help from the folks at TemplateMonster, while the Ticket System allows you to ask anything from pre-sales to support questions and from billing queries to copyright and legal affairs.
The Monstroid theme is for sale from TemplateMonster for the price of $79 for a single-site license.
TemplateMonster then also offer additional services along with the purchasing of the theme, such as installation, hosting and others, each coming at their own additional cost.
A developer’s license will also cost you an additional $149 and will allow you to use the theme on 5 domains.
Conclusions and Recommendations
All in all Monstroid is an easy-to-use and easy-to-learn WordPress multipurpose theme that can be used to create any site you can imagine, from a simple blog to a full fledged e-commerce store.
If you’re looking for a multipurpose theme that will cater for your needs and provide all the necessary tools to build just the site you need, you should definitely give Monstroid a go.