The Fable Home page is quite striking, and unlike some themes in the collection does not waste large amounts of screen real estate
There are some great designs in the ElegantThemes collection that combine style with a wealth of features designed to make a website both functional and come alive in a user friendly way. Unfortunately Fable is not one of them. Recycling template elements from the rest of the collection but with a fairly drab design, with extremely limited functionality, and nothing to make it stand out, Fable really feels like its there for the numbers, and given that the ElegantThemes pack comes with a host of better themes to choose from, we think it unlikely this one will ever see much use.
Resident Designer’s Opinion
I think the reviewer is being a little hard on the design elements, as although they are on the sober and unflashy side, they are cleanly laid out, and may suit a company looking for an unassuming corporate look. Given this however, one might assume a greater amount of effort would be put into providing commercial functionality, such as advertising space or shopping cart facilities. The criticism therefore that this is a very bare-bones theme is valid, as is the accusation that it looks and feels like an only slightly tweaked version of the standard ElegantThemes template. Nevertheless, I can see an accountancy firm or other discrete business finding the simplicity (which for all its problems is still quite elegant) appealing, and ideal for the public image they want to project.
Like many in the ElegantThemes collection, Fable is at its best when displaying Blog pages, and provides a number of in-page templates that can be combined to make an interesting and varied multimedia experience.
The sample Blog page provided as part of the theme’s Live Demo is an excellent example, displaying the many different elements that can be used.
Image Gallery and Portfolio layout
To be honest, the differences between the Image Gallery and the Portfolios are minimal, except that the portfolios (Medium, Large, Small) have accompanying text (and the point of the Portfolio No Text eludes us).
Hovering over an image gives you the option to view it (above) or jump to a related Blog article. Unlike in the Portfolios, there is a subtle but pleasing ‘focus animation’ when you mouse over an image. As with the other Galleries and Portfolio in the ElegantThemes range, you get a nice ‘bounce’ animation when images are expanded and clicked away from
Here is the Medium Portfolio. As you can see, it is very similar to the Image Gallery except that each image has some text associated with it. What you can’t see is that it lacks the nice rollover effect seen in the Image Gallery. Disappointingly, clicking on a video image only brings up a view of the image, and does not play the video (for which you need to go to its associated Blog page)
Centered around the Blog, Image Gallery / Portfolio pages, Fable is a little short on highlights outside these areas. What is left are functional pages that support basic things a professional website might need. A notable feature (or perhaps lack of features is a better way of saying it) is how unadorned (read plain) they look.
The About Us page gets the job of presenting a large body of text done just fine, but the lack of a banner image at the top, a common feature in the ElegantThemes series, means there is little of visual interest.
Similarity there is not much to see on the Contact Form page…
… or Sitemap page.
We know that function is more important than form on such pages, but really do feel there is no excuse for these to be quite as dowdy and lacking in interest as these are. Fortunately, by clicking on the little gear icon to the left of the screen you can play around with the Theme Customizer, adjusting the color scheme (Blue, Green, Purple or Red), element colors, and fonts (Header and Body), which is nice, but hardly goes far enough to rescue the plainness of the ‘utility screens’.
- Perpetual Updates
- Responsive Design
- Theme Options
- Secure and Valid Code
- Page Template
- Complete Localization
- Browser Compatibility
- Theme Options
- Page Templates
It is difficult assessing price when the theme is part of a pack 86 themes, and the whole pack is just $39 (so you could view the theme as costing 49 cents). However, this theme is far from the best in the ElegantThemes collection, which range in quality from excellent and worth the price of admission just on their own, to nice to have if not essential, to filler fluff. Fable unfortunately falls into the last category. It is not awful, it just isn’t very visually inspiring, and suffers from a serious lack of features (most notably there are no commercial features at all), making it unlikely you will ever actually use it.
As you may have gathered by now, we are less than enthusiastic about Fable. Everything works well and is responsive enough (although as with other ElegantThemes themes it struggled badly when used on a high end mobile phone), but there is little here that really stands out, and those bits that do, such as the image expand and collapse effect in the Gallery, are often elements shared in common across the whole ElegantThemes collection. Basically this theme feels very rushed: a basic, and not particularly stylish design added to the default ElegantThemes template. This on its own may not have been an insurmountable problem if lots of useful templates, widgets and functionality had been included, but this is not the case as Fable is a very bare bones theme in these terms.