Suffusion – Quite Simply the Most Feature Rich WordPress Theme I’ve Ever Seen

When I first came across the Suffusion WordPress theme I thought it was a dull looking generic style design. However if you scratch beneath the surface you will find one of the biggest, most versatile, and most feature rich WordPress themes ever released. And the good news is….it’s free!

Suffusion developer Sayontan Sinha really should be commended for this theme. My only criticism is that he isn’t marketing it better. I’m shocked that most WordPress users, including myself, haven’t heard about this design sooner (It was originally released August 2009).

First off, please have a look at the default layout for Suffusion, which is displayed at the WordPress.org directory, in the screenshot below.

Suffusion WordPress Theme

As you can see from the above screenshot, the default layout for Suffusion is quite dull and uninspiring. Though you need to realise that the screenshot above doesn’t represent the theme, merely the starting point for building the theme you want.

What is Suffusion?

Although it isn’t marketed as one, I would consider Suffusion as a framework. It has more customisation options than any other theme I have ever used.

Similar to the 2010 Weaver theme, Suffusion comes with a wide range of custom colour schemes to choose from. In total there are 17 colour schemes to choose from. You can also change the the colour of any section you want from the settings area.

Suffusion Colour Schemes

In total there are 19 different widget areas available to you. This allows you to easily create one, two or three column designs very easily. Suffusion also features tabbed sidebar menus, a cool featured post option and support for WordPress 3.0 features like custom menus.

Thankfully, there is an import and export feature which allows you to back up and restore your favourite customisations. BuddyPress users will be happy to know that there is an official BuddyPress pack available for Suffusion too.

Customisation Options

The Suffusion settings area has 6 sections. The first section is the introduction area. Here you can update the theme and import and export your saved designs and tweaks.

To give you a better understanding of how big this theme is and how it lets you create the design you want, let’s look at the 5 main sections.

Suffusion Visual Effects

The visual effects section is where you choose the colour and shape of your design. In the theme selection page you can choose from 17 different pre set skins. These are nothing to shout home about to be honest; there’s 9 skins with a white/grey background and a different foreground color and 8 skins with a black background and a different foreground colour.

Thankfully, you don’t need to settle for one of the default skins as you can customise everything in this section. The favicon can be changed, the fonts can be changed and the footer can be customised too. Margins can also be changed in this area.

You can change how the header is displayed and set the header background image, colour and gradient. The title and description can also be switched on and off here.

The theme skinning area is huge! You can change the colour, transparency level and positioning of every menu, wrapper and background. Essentially, this is where you choose the colour scheme of your design.

Suffusion Visual Effects

Suffusion Sidebars and Widgets

The sidebar and widget section is where you determine the internal shape of your design. As previously mentioned, you can choose from 19 different widget zones and choose either a 1, 2 or 3 column design (i.e. 0, 1 or 2 sidebars).

Each widget can have it’s position (and sometimes colour) changed to suit your needs. It’s a different approach to how other framework themes deal with structuring a site but it works well.

Suffusion Sidebars and Widgets

Suffusion Blog Features

The blog features section has 15 different pages to configure. This section is where the little details are set. For example, in the posts and pages area you can set where comments, categories, tags and the ‘posted by’ link is positioned.

SEO settings, comment settings, page navigation, Google Analytics integration and much much more can be set in this section.

Suffusion Blog Features

Suffusion Templates

The templates section gives you control over all the templates in the theme including the sidebars, author and 404 pages. All templates can be edited just like any other WordPress theme in the Appearance editor in your WordPress admin area however in the Suffusion templates section you enable and disable specific sections and change certain aspects of them like the width, colour or title.

Suffusion Templates

Suffusion Custom Post Types

A nice additional feature is the ability to add custom post types. New post types can have their styles inherited from posts, pages or another custom post type you have added before.

Suffusion Custom Post Types

Overview

I’m sure you can tell by now that I am a big fan of Suffusion. I have barely touched upon the number of features this great theme has. The Suffusion design is clearly not as attractive as other frameworks out there like Thesis, Headway or Genesis; but what it lacks in style it more than makes up for in features.

If you are looking for a theme which gives you complete control over how your website or blog is designed then you need to download Suffusion and try it out. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for reading :)

Kevin

Suffusion Theme: Download | Info

This article was authored by:

Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity, Internet Marketing and Social Media on his personal blog and and provides technical support at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter: @KevinMuldoon and Google+.

Kevin Muldoon has authored 830 posts.Visit Website

Showing 10 Comments

  • Thanks for the review of the theme – this is very much appreciated.

    The theme does satisfy most criteria of a framework, though the abundance of options obviates the needs for making a child theme. I personally encourage users to create child themes, though, and I have been adding capabilities to keep it competitive with full-blown frameworks like Thematic or Hybrid.

    Regarding marketing it, I deliberately kept it low profile because it is a hobby as opposed to a profession for me and I want to stay away from having to do custom implementations and full-time support. Plus it had been on the top 15 list of popular themes at WordPress.org for a really long time, just dropping off it around a week earlier. That served the purpose of marketing by itself.

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  • Kevin (Admin)

    Hi Sayontan,

    Many thanks for dropping by (I really should have contacted you before hand to ask a few questions). No need to thank me – as you can tell from my review, I am a huge fan of Suffusion and what it allows users to do.

    If you plan on making any major changes to the theme in future then please let me know as I’m sure WP Mods readers would like to know about any additional functionality :)

    Kevin

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  • Hey Kevin, if you like to try out another WordPress Framework, we just released the WordPress Framework Xtreme One with the complete flexibility to create your layout with just some clicks and drag and drop, no coding required. Highly customizable, SEO friendly, great performance and much more.

    It also includes many features like 12 unique widgets, including 6 different sliders easy to implement. Able to add teaser and footer with dynamical created widget areas in 28 layout variations and up to 5 columns. More details and a complete list of the features can be found on

    http://xtreme-theme.com

    It would be great if you could check it out!

    I hope you and your readers going to enjoy Xtreme One!

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  • Kevin (Admin)

    Hi Alex,

    I have literally just finished writing an announcement/preview post about Xtreme and set it to publish on Friday :)

    I’d be happy to review it in more detail if you can provide a test copy or access to a test site.

    Kevin

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  • How do I hide “posted by___” on the bottom of posts? I have pages that aren’t meant to be “blog” pages/entries and would like to avoid that affect. I attempted to hide it on the Post and Page Bylines control page, but it does not work. Any suggestions?

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  • Kevin (Admin)

    I’m not used Suffusion for a site yet so I don’t know the backend that well.I recommend posting your question in the Suffusion Forum.

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  • I’ve tried out quite a few themes now in word press and I always have issues after a while that a theme doesn’t do quite what I want it to do. Until I found the suffusion theme that is. It’s so easy to customise and there are so many different options to play around with. Plus if you can’t work out how to do something you can normally find the answers online on the aquoid forum. Brilliant and I would recommend it to anyone.

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  • KC

    Need to have someone assist with design work, mods, etc. Any suggestions?
     zionroaster 

    REPLY
  • Hi KC-
    I am looking for freelance WP development work. I would be happy to help you work on your sites. A recent project can be seen at decapower.org. I only implemented that,  as oposed to designing it, but I can do design work as well which you can see at brad.bordine.net.

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  • I love Suffusion. It’s an awesome framework. I just wish I’d known about it sooner. Instead I wasted some $200 buying premium builders like Thesis and another theme I’m too embarrassed to even admit I bought it. Suffusion has let me do 99% of the things I’ve always wanted to do with a site. It’s renewed my desire to create quality blogs.

    Sayontan deserves an award for his work. But as far as promoting goes, I suggest that the bloggers who use Suffusion do the promotion themselves. The author has already done his work programming it; now let’s tell the world about it. Like WordPress, I believe Suffusion is as priceless as it is free.

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