Elegant Themes owner Nick Roach has made a name for himself when it comes to putting together products that rely on soft color palettes and sleek design via a renewable yearly subscription plan. With 81 premium themes available from the company’s premium catalog, responsive design has been an important part of the firm’s success; as have the various niche templates that cover categories such as resumes, restaurants, corporations, bands, weddings, online retail, personal blogs and more. On Tuesday, Roach provided ET fans with a “sneak peek” of his upcoming 82nd theme – Explorable – which promises to be one of the CEO’s most unique offerings.
Explorable Theme Preview
The Explorable WordPress theme is expected to be officially released in late March, but the preview has given us a chance to evaluate how the newest themes will work. Elegant Themes’ preview page states, “For those who are interested in what our team is working on behind the scenes, here is a quick look at our upcoming theme Explorable. Built around location, Explorable will be great tool for creating local business directories or yelp-like review sites. It will also be an amazing way for people to blog about their travels, or to share a collection of their favorite places.”
From the sneak peek, we can tell that Explorable will display a map (or group of maps) on its homepage with “pinned” regions that are somewhat similar to what one would expect from Google Maps when conducting a search. The possibilities are numerous, with website owners able to designate certain cities on a worldwide map and provide detailed information (in the form of posts) on historical sites, famous places and more. There is even a Star Rating system included for creating a review site.
Roach alludes to the fact that Explorable will be a great tool for creating local business directories, which infers that zoom capabilities will be added once the theme is ready to be released to the public. Whether the homepage will include the ability to zoom in and out via Google Maps or Bing Maps integration remains to be seen, but we can at least draw the conclusion that website administrators will have the option to specify map types on separate pages.
The potential of such a theme could be enormous; and a game-changer for the Elegant Themes repertoire.
Over 50 Comments In 24 Hours
I personally went through all the comments listed on the blog entry to see how current ET members are reacting. As of 12:00 Noon Eastern Time on Wednesday, the replies were overwhelmingly positive. Rick Adlam said that Explorable is “just the theme I have been waiting for Nick. There are heaps of applications for this type of theme, and being visual will keep people on the site longer.” Travel WP Themes added that the product could be “one of best WordPress themes for travel in 2013 is coming up! :) Why do all of your recent themes have dark color scheme? But they look really cool! Love them!”
Another user asked whether custom markers will be enabled on the new download once its available; leading one to draw the conclusion that Google or Bing Maps functionality will indeed be an integral part of Explorable. The ability to place custom markers would allow webmasters to create directly listings for businesses and locations that are not yet registered on largely-used maps.
Elegant Themes offers its premium customers a yearly subscription plan that includes access to all themes for $39 per year. The Developer’s License includes all plugins along with layered PSD files for $89 each year, while Lifetime Access can be purchased for a one time fee of $249 without any recurring payments.
To find out more about the upcoming download from Elegant Themes, visit the Explorable Theme Preview page.