The pixelgrade team is all about high quality WordPress themes with great care in mind, and one of their best is the Fuse WordPress theme. Fuse is an incredibly customizable WordPress theme keyed towards the creative; whether they are graphic designers, photographers, or bloggers. Just like other themes designed by pixelgrade, Fuse fully exploits the entire space of your browser with a uniquely built three column grid. It comes with a full assortment of features, more than you could ever need, all controlled through a custom built admin panel to aid in building the best result in your own personal taste.
Fuse is very interesting and at first glance a little disorienting. I absolutely love the layout and contrasting color design of the theme. At the same time I feel a sense of claustrophobia, not because the entire browser is filled but because the entire browser is filled with large elements. I would say the guilty party in that respect is the font because it is so large and spaced in the lettering. Combined with the images sticking to the wall of the browser it gives me the sense that I am zoomed in. It felt like I was actually being compelled to look for a magnifying glass icon to zoom out or lean back. That being said, it doesn’t take anything away from the Fuse’s wonderful design.
The three column grid technique pixelgrade is using was a great decision. Despite the odd disorientation the larger font choice works just fine with the grid. It all just produces so much space between elements that you just have to make every element larger as a result.
Blog Option with Parallax
Fuse comes with many features, some of which can be applied to the blog layout in particular. One of these options is the parallax background scrolling effect that slows down background scrolling compared to the rest of the browser. It’s a small but nice touch to the already awesome Fuse theme.
Blog Option with Slideshow
Another blog option in the Fuse theme is the slideshow header. A simple straightforward slideshow option replaces the visual header of a blog post or a column of blogs on preference. Keep in mind of the quality of your pictures because the Fuse theme scales all images to fit the full width and height of the header. This can result in image artifacts being scene if the image is not large enough.
Blog Option with Video
This blog option of the Fuse theme is similar to the slideshow but replaces the header with video. The video feature support third-parties like Vimeo. And just like the slideshow the video can suffer from artifacts if is too small for the larger scale of the browser.
Blog Option with Audio
Lastly, as a final blog option for Fuse we have audio streaming support. This apparently does not have its own blog post like other option, but still works just fine on the blog column. This feature support self-hosted and third-parties like SoundCloud.
Multi-size Image Layout Portfolio
Portfolio Three Column Exploitation
Fuse’s portfolio section fully exploits the three column grid. Pictures can take up 1/3rd, 2/3rd, or even the whole width of the three column grid. And because of the smaller grid there is room to show more of the thumbnail than normal, obviously. When and image is clicked the transition is similar to any light box gallery where the background is dimmed and image is the main focus. All images associate with the page can be viewed from this display.
Video Feature in Portfolio
The three column grid portfolio for Fuse can even fit the video support feature alongside other images associated to the subject. The video feature for the portfolio caters the same functionality on other sections of the Fuse them with support for self-hosted as well as third-parties like Vimeo and Youtube.
• Ultra Responsive Design
• Retina Ready (provided you upload pictures at least 1000px wide)
• Ultra Smooth scrolling
• Exclusive Portfolio Project Builder
• Unlimited colors control of the site-wide accent color
• All the 600+ Google Web Fonts to choose from
• Full-width home page slider with parallax animated content (video slides support included)
• Grid-based portfolio, with interactive filtering (both on the home page and the portfolio archive)
• Custom layout builder for your portfolio projects with 8 types of row layouts
• Integrate videos into your portfolio rows with ease
• Floating header with a cool search integrated into it
• Site-wide area to display the Latest Tweets
• The custom made and easy to use PixelGrade Shortcodes plugin:
Grid shortcode with interactive sliders
Team members shortcode
Icons shortcode (302 FontAwesome and 250+ Entypo icons)
Testimonials slider shortcode
Progress Bars shortcode
• Extensive theme options based on our awesome WpGrade Framework
• Free from PHP notices and warnings (debug mode on was used during development)
• Multilingual Translation ready and .po/.mo files for localisation included ( WPML )
• W3C HTML5/ CSS3 Valid
• Social and SEO optimized:
Facebook OpenGraph meta tags
Google Plus meta tags
Twitter meta tags (Twitter Cards)
Schema.org markup for Google Rich Snippets support
• 8 custom page layouts:
Blog Archive page
Contact page with Google Maps and Contact Form 7
• Custom full width header images and text for pages
• See project images in a responsive and mobile ready lightbox modal window
• Multiple Post Formats support for Blog Posts (video, audio, quote and gallery)
• 5 custom designed widgets:
Twitter Feed Widget
Flickr photostream widget (pull the latest images from a Flickr user or RSS feed)
Dribbble images widget that can display the latest images from a Dribbble user account
Social icons (with custom icons and drag and drop ordering)
Regular License: $45
Extended License: $2250
First things first, does it disorient you at first glance? Put yourself in your user’s position as someone coming to your site. Do you think they would be bothered by the larger scaling of the Fuse theme? If not, then buy it because that is pretty much the only real reason why you would not. This reason is more prevalent when you look at the purchase history of pixelgrade themes. Fuse has over 360 purchases and came out in July of 2013, but their latest WordPress theme LENS has well over 770 purchases and came out in September of 2013. This stands to reason that this theme, while absolutely astonishing, is not for everyone even if it was made that way. Fuse is impressive and those who have purchased it love it to death. It is well worth its price of $45 and should be treaty as a high quality product for any consumer.
At the end of the day, Fuse is a great WordPress theme creatively and uniquely designed with care by pixelgrade. Its use of the three column grid, larger font, and apparent lack of fear in putting the images right on the border of your browser really help to bring out the theme purpose in showing off your creative spark in such open space. It even looks great on any mobile device while retaining that larger scale of elements. Though it can still be disorienting at first because of all the reasons spoken about earlier with the addition of having no boundaries for the images so in a visual sense, there is not cut off gap between elements and the browser. It does not make it a bad thing, but more of a new idea that needs getting use to and Fuse is a prime example worth getting adjusted to.