As some of you may know, I’m a keen gamer. I have been for most of my life – certainly for as long as I’ve had access to a PC at any rate – and I was pretty much hooked for life once I got a SNES (Zelda 4EVA).
What you may not know is that I’m also the co-founder of a gaming clan/guild called Fight Club Monkey.
Fight Club Monkey?
What started as a semi-serious attempt at competing in an Urban Terror gaming league with some friends, resulted in us all realising that we’re were not actually very good at the game, and that we had far more fun messing about than trying to win.
(Most of our clan nights ended with the in-game gravity on the server being turned down, allowing us to pretend as if we were shooting terrorists on the moon.)
Although the clan lasted for a couple of years, and we ventured into new games as they were released, eventually it become less and less important as we grew up, got jobs and/or went to university.
Since late last year, however, FCM has made a return, not as a clan or guild per se, but rather as a group of friends who like to get together to play games once in a while.
Getting to the point
I’m often quite fussy about the themes I use in my WordPress projects – most of the time I prefer to build a theme using something like Roots Theme (although, not so much now it’s gone Bootstrap exclusive) or the newly discovered _s base theme.
On this occasion, however, I had limited time to work on the project, so was more interested in finding something that worked out the box, which I could then expand using child themes. Being responsive was never crucial to the project, but would have been a nice perk.
What makes it good then?
We’re moving into an age where more and more people are using mobile and tablet devices to access the web, and any sites that don’t keep up with the changing face of technology will get left behind.
There are some features that don’t work quite as well responsivly as I would like (such as the very top and very bottom navigation bars being far too small on phones), but these issues should fixable with a few CSS tweaks.
Child theme support
Unlike some free themes I’ve used in the past, the development and improvement of Responsive seems quite active (just a day after launching the site I saw there was a theme update waiting for me), so by having good child theme support, you’re free to go in and make your own customisations and enhancements, while retaining the ability to easily upgrade to the latest release.
Baked into the theme are a number of settings which can be controlled within the WordPress administration area. These include being able to set-up links to popular social networking sites (such as Twitter, Facebook and even Pinterest & Instagram), adding your Google/Bing/Yahoo webmaster verification strings, as well as whatever statical tracking code you use, and an area for a small amount of custom CSS.
Also impressive is the easy way in which you can customise the elements which exist on the homepage, with the main call to action area being controlled via its own interface, and the three areas below that being widgetized (is that even a word?) allowing you to put in whatever widgets you want.
The theme also supports ten page templates, allowing you quite a lot of flexibility in how you want to display your content of your site.
All in all, I’m very impressed by the Responsive theme. It has ticked all the boxes I needed for the FCM site, and am looking forward to using its child theme support to enhance it further. Visit the Responsive theme website.