WordPress.com Theme Review Team member Konstantin Obenland announced Tuesday that the Academica theme has now been added to the site’s official catalog. Created by WPZoom, Academica is billed as a “non-profit/education CMS theme with a modern layout and elegant design.”
The non-profit concept is not new to WordPress themes, and this free download has an attractive layout that contains all the goodies one would expect from an education niche theme. Beginning with its logo and top navigation area, the Content Management System is laid out via separate pages that can be clicked on and accessed with ease.
From there, the programmable featured content slider displays large, wide images that can be configured to rotate automatically and/or manipulated by the front-end user through arrow icons on either side. Clicking anywhere on a featured image within the slider will take users to the full page or post.
“Academica is a great choice for educational and school websites,” notes Obenland in his official blog post. “Designed by WPZOOM, it sports a classy, modern design and comes with a one-, two-, or three-column layout, nine widget areas, three page templates, and a featured content slider. With all of these customization options, Academica makes it easy to create a unique look for your school or organization.”
The Academica homepage offers quite a bit in terms of functionality and content modules. There is a Side Navigation region that can be used as a guide for visitors to quickly go to the section they’re most interested in, plus a full “Welcome” greeting message near the top that is optional.
The website gallery can be added to the homepage and offers tiny, rectangular thumbnail images that are derives straight from your own gallery page, and there are a number of custom widgets to place within the sidebar (which can be placed on the right, left, or removed altogether) if you choose to do so.
Gallery, News And Blog Feeds
If you’ve got a large amount of content to share with your audience, Academica can definitely handle the load thanks to its Gallery, News and Blog Feed pages. It is worth noting that all three use the same template, so any customization will require some back-end work.
Feed post excerpts include a small thumbnail, title, publication date and excerpt.
Clicking on the title or picture will take front-end users directly to the full post, which can be altered by using shortcodes to input pictures, headers, etc.
WordPress Customer Feedback
Another free theme means an additional opportunity for current WordPress.com subscribers to chime in with their thoughts. “I’m always a fan of themes that have the search bar and social favicons at the top. I’m putting this in my ‘lightbox’ of favorites. Darnit I just changed my theme and now… you are so good to me wordpress. LOL. I’m also loving the many widget areas and also you know you had me at the three column thingy. Awesome upon awesome! I might be changing yet again,” said “SylviaHubbard1″ on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, “John Hayden” replied, “Very interesting. This theme is almost too complex for most blogs, I think. But it would be great for an organization, like a university or major govt. agency or major corporation that wants a comprehensive and authoritative web page with lots of entry points to different types of information.”
WordPress Usage Worldwide
According to the counter published on WordPress.com, the amount of websites using WordPress worldwide has surpassed 58 million. Most activity revolves around Europe and the United States.
WordPress.com has free themes available for just about any niche and need that users can think of. The complete catalog can be found at the official WordPress.com website.