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Every once in awhile, I stumble upon a theme or framework that I simply love. For about a year now I have been using uDesign and love it. If you’re not happy with the general themes GoDaddy or 1and1 gives you, you might want to consider checking out uDesign! Every webmaster should add it to their collection. For the modest price of $58 (from themeforest.net), you can grab it. I promise you will get your money back from it if you’re a web designer! Hell if your not that experienced you’ll love it too. No matter your experience level it’s worth having. uDesign is that theme that I love to use because it’s so insanely dynamic. It’s also very easy to make changes quickly without editing HTML, PHP, or CSS. Chances are anything you want to create you can do it with uDesign. In this article, I am going to give you an inside look at what uDesign can do on the backend for your website.
But, wait before I begin I am going show you a cool video I found on YouTube about uDesign:
Quick look at what you get:
- Easy to customize.
- Developers update framework frequently.
- SEO integration.
- Documentation & supoort.
- Woo Commerce integration.
- Multilingual site.
Once you decide to give uDesign a try, you’re going to be pretty overwhelmed with all the functionality it has. The first thing you should do is take a deep breath. Don’t worry you have documentation and support for everything. Unlike Genesis or Thesis, this theme is a lot easier to make changes on the fly. Oh please, Genesis and Thesis lovers don’t hate me for saying that! So if you find yourself stuck with either of those two, you might want to consider checking this one out. It has it’s own custom “control panel” that makes developing and designing websites a breeze.
Believe me when you’re dealing with that client that can’t ever make up their freaking mind about what color, style, etc. they want to use you will be thanking me!
In this section, you just upload your logo to the media directory and can place your logo on your sites header. Unlike a lot of other frameworks, you’re confined to whatever header area the theme settings are. But, not with uDesign; you can easily specify the:
- “header” dimensions.
- logo dimensions.
- slogan position.
- header font size.
- The slogan.
- page peel.
- feedback button.
- prettyPhoto scripts.
- main menu position.
- menu arrows.
- drop downs.
- border under the menu.
- post thumbnail.
- home columns.
- page title.
- 1-8 page sidebars.
- comment control.
- theme update notifier.
- CSS styles.
Rather than going in and messing with the custom CSS you can easily make changes to your site’s typography. Gone are the days when you toy with the CSS settings and forget one critical area and your typography is all messed up. It just got a lot easier now with uDesign. There are tons and tons of Google WebFonts you can use for your website (I believe over 500). It’s a simple as picking out the font you want, changing sizes, and saving your changes.
Another great thing I love about uDesign is the ability to change colors with ease. A lot of themes you will purchase only come with 3 or so color themes that you can use. Therefore you are limited to the colors you can use. With uDesign, it’s very easy to control every color on your site. Means you can change text, links, top colors, menus, sidebars, midsections, footers, etc.
Also, under the custom colors tab, you can use images for your backgrounds. For instance, you can have a custom image for the top background, homepage slider, page title, main content, bottom area, and footer. Then there are drop downs for your background properties. For instance, no repeat, horizontally, vertically, left, right, center, top or bottom.
Inserting sliders on your site are insanely easy with uDesign. There are currently many different sliders you can use; flashmo grid slider, peacemaker 1 & 2, cycle 1 2 and 3, or revolution slider. From the backend control settings you can adjust the timeout (in milliseconds), autostop, text sizes, line height, and text color. Along with that, you have full control over them allowing them to be a clickable link. Did I mention that you don’t need to know any CSS?
Next, is the portfolio section. Works great for image galleries. You can adjust the title position, side position, post-Metadata, portfolio post author, post tags, comment area, and even make your portfolio page full-width.
Just like the portfolio pages you have full control over your blog sections. You can adjust the sidebar position, show/hide excerpts, excerpt length (number of words to show), read more link, exclude portfolio from blog, show post author, post tags, category archive title, full-width blog archive, post, and image post.
Blog & Archive Section “Featured Image.”
This feature is used for feature images. You can adjust the width and height of the image. You can also enable “force image dimensions” to make sure that all featured images are the same size. Lastly, you can adjust the image alignment to either left, right, or centered.
Right out the box uDesign comes with a contact page. You can have it display your business contact information (below the description). You can then specify which email address the emails should go to (you can have more than one email address). The contact page is fully integrated with ReCAPCHA too.
Footer options are very easy to change the copyright text with uDesign. A lot of other themes you have to dig into the CSS to change the copyright and a link to the developer’s site. With uDesign, it’s insanely simple to edit this. Also, you have full control over entries/comments RSS.
The statistics field allows you to insert your Google Analytics or any other special code you would like before the </head> tag.
Obviously, since it’s now 2014 and more and more people are viewing websites on mobile devices it’s important to make your site responsive. It’s painfully easy to make your site responsive by clicking the “enable responsive” box. Then you can customize your logo size, removed the slider area, remove background images, and configure your responsive menu.
uDesign comes with 11 shortcodes. These come in very handy when customizing your website. Here are the shortcodes packaged with uDesign:
You can divide your columns into many layouts. Divide it into fourths, thirds, half, or a single column. Mix and match any way you see fit for your website.
Adding attractive content blocks are very easy with uDesign shortcodes. You have full control over background images, width, fixed, scrolling, background position, background repeat, parallax scroll, background color, font color, content padding, and advanced classes (using CSS).
Insert images on your site and have a custom image frame; either left, right, or centered.
Dress up your site with buttons. Instead of having to add in a plugin like Max Buttons or some other WordPress plugin you can create buttons for your site with ease. Unlimited styles, colors, and customization.
Message Box Styles
Message box styles are also easy thanks to uDesign’s shortcodes. You can create many different kinds of warning boxes; info, success, warning, erroneous, simple, pre-formatted, and custom message boxes.
Pullquote and Blockquote Styles
Complete customization of pull quotes and blockquotes.
Content Toggle, Tabs, & Accordion
One cool shortcode in uDesign is toggled content, tabs, and accordions. They look very slick and are easy to customize.
List Styles & Dropcaps
Customize your list instead of the same old boring blocks and dots you see on every other website. Also, insert drop caps with ease.
No need to install another plugin for tables because uDesign comes with tables shortcode. Quick and easy without having to know any HTML code.
Want to put your recent post anywhere you see fit on your site? It’s easy with uDesign. You can specify the number of posts, word limit, category, width, height, etc.
Easily insert a divider into your site. Quick and easy!
Here is a look at just some of the sites that were created with uDesign. To click on this link: https://dreamthemedesign.com/themes/u-design/showcase/
The Bottom Line
uDesign is one of the most dynamic themes I have seen for the money. It gets lots of positive feedback from webmasters on themeforest.com. A lot of themes people commonly get barebone and what you see is pretty much what you get. You can’t make a lot of customization. Not the case with uDesign. If you have a thing for buying themes like their crack, this is one you need to purchase. I promise that once you buy this theme, you will have a uDesign addiction.