On Friday, October 5th, Elegant Themes founder and head of development Nick Roach announced the commercial release of the Nimble premium WordPress theme. Officially listed as the company’s 77th theme, Nimble is billed as a “Bold & Beautiful” download that can serve a number of business and personal blogging purposes due to its flexible, responsive design and easy to adjust controls.
For those who have kept a close watch on our industry over the last few years, you’ll remember a time not too long ago when the words “flexible” and “responsive” would have been more suited for describing maneuverability of an automatic transmission vehicle instead of acting as keywords for a premium theme download.
Fast-forward less than 50 months from the time Elegant Themes began publishing theme releases in its blog feed and you get a versatile product that, in 2008, would have required a handful of additional plugins and extra software to come anywhere close to achieving the functionality that Nimble offers.
Responsive Above All Else
Current Elegant Themes premium subscribers will be happy to learn that Nimble comes with a fully responsive design that will automatically adjust the appearance of your content to fit the screen size of each front-end user. The Elegant Themes development team has made a concerted effort during the 2012 calendar year to make this consideration an afterthought; yet it is undoubtedly one of the most valuable features that any premium theme can currently boast.
The fact that Nimble provides webmasters with the luxury of adapting to tablet computers and mobile device screens effortlessly means there will be more time to spend on content generation.
A Quick Look At Nimble
Nimble uses a large content slider to showcase its featured content. The slider itself will take up the full width of your homepage in many cases and will probably (provided you have the high quality, high resolution photographic material to insert) attract visitors’ attention immediately.
There are several slots that can be configured to appear within the homepage, plus plenty of room for placing widgets within the sidebar and footer regions. The news feed on the homepage has small circular images at the top that coordinate well with the entry’s title, description and other information such as author name, category and number of comments.
There are custom templates that give you a choice on how you wish to lay out important pages such as the Portfolio section, which can be customized into a “small,” “medium,” or “large” format.
Design Over Functionality
In a May 2012 interview published by GraphicDesign.com, Elegant Themes Founder Nick Roach made it clear that he believes design is more important than functionality. “I feel it’s more about design as opposed to functionality,” Roach stated in the interview. “Trying to reduce the functionality down to the minimum and focusing on an elegant design are important.”
Part of the promotional text attached to the Nimble gallery page informs readers that the theme’s colors are “toned down,” which aligns with the ET founder’s thoughts from the interview. When asked what makes a theme graphically appealing, Roach replied, “First of all, color. I’ve been interested in color my whole life. When I took my first color theory design, it changed the way I think. I focus on using color palates. Second, subtlety – you’ll see designs where certain elements are too strong. Breaking it down to be subtle is important.”
Heavy Emphasis On Mobile Device Market
On June 1st, I had an opportunity to personally interview Nick (read our exclusive interview here) and inquired about what the 120,000+ Elegant Themes subscribers can expect to see from his company in the future. He told our readers “We’re focused on mobile devices and making new things.” That makes a lot of sense when considering the exponential growth in the amount of people browsing the internet via smart phones.
How Does Nimble Rank Compared To Competing Themes?
The premium WP theme industry is evolving daily due to the involvement of a massive community that can easily communicate in real time via forums and product reviews. Although a weekend is insufficient time to analyze the full spectrum of customer feedback, chances are that current Elegant Themes customers will appreciate the release of yet another well designed and polished download that is included in the firm’s $39 yearly subscription plan. Those who prefer a more feature-rich feel for websites will likely opt for themes offered by any number of competitors.
Due to the unique customer service and popular design of Elegant Themes’ packages, Nimble’s overall success is likely to be gauged by how it performs against the six dozen themes that already exist within the ET portfolio.