Fusion Theme Review

home 1
It’s good to see the full landscape browser width used to good effect, and the sliding banner looks great, jumping out at you in a burst of color to give the Home page plenty of ‘Wow! factor’

Fusion is a smart looking, lightweight theme that does its job well. If you have never seen an ElegantThemes theme before then you are likely to be very impressed, as the design has a tasteful yet eye-catching pallet, a crisply functional layout helped by the inclusion of useful meta-site tools, and has some great looking image gallery and portfolio pages. ElegantThemes’ usual suit of shortcodes allows for a huge variety of formatting options, as well as the creation of some quite dazzling effects (although the Fusion live demo is not as good at showing these off as some of the other live theme demos). If you are familiar with the ElegantThemes pack then Fusion holds few surprises as it relies heavily on  standard templates, but this should not take away from the fact that it implements these well to create nice little theme, best suited to  bloggers and visual displays.

Designer’s Opinion

Fusion gets off to a good start with its striking full-screen home page sliding banner. It has to be said that this is the most visually arresting aspect of the design, although the default color scheme also works well, using turquoise and white with lime green highlights to offset the rather functional but smart-looking grey and white main web page area. I would definitely suggest sticking with the default scheme though, as the alternatives really don’t work with the other design elements, and look, frankly, hideous.

Functionality is somewhat limited by the lack of any shopping cart or advertising options, but as other themes in the ElegantThemes set have shown us before, the ElegantThemes shortcode tools can turned to all sorts of useful purposes (and for creating some very eye-catch effects), greatly extending what you can do with the theme.

Highlights

home 2
Here the full home page view shows how different shortcode elements, most notably text formatting options, can be combined to create a visually appealing website design

dropdown
The rollover effect on the category buttons, which consists of a lime green underline rapidly expanding from the middle, looks snazzy, and adds a touch of class to the theme. The drop-down menus also look good. The social media buttons allow visitors to easily connect to their social networks, and visually fit in nicely with the rest of the theme

about
The full width banner image at the top of the text pages helps to make them look bright and colorful, and the sidebar makes website navigation easy and intuitive

contact

The stock contact form is similarly enlivened by having a full width banner header…

sitemap
… as are the Sitemap, Advanced Search, and Login Page, although they are otherwise more functional than beautiful. We like the way that pages are sorted in different ways on the Sitemap, making finding the article or information required very easy

 search bar
An in-page search function on each page is also a very welcome addition to Fusion’s functionality

 theme customizer
You can change meta-aspects (color scheme, individual color elements, and fonts) of Fusion using the Theme Customizer. However, when it comes to the color scheme we suggest that you stick with the default, as only a limited number of design elements are changed (mainly the navigation bar beneath the header banner, and sometimes (but not always) the category button rollover effects, and these simply do not work with the rest of the design elements, clashing with them to ugly effect

shortcodes
One of the best aspects of all ElegantThemes designs is the inclusion of its suite of shortcodes. These are very comprehensive and flexible, and can be used for all sorts of fun and useful things. The Fusion live demo does not show this off as well as it might, but you should look at some other themes in the range to be impressed at what can be done with them (and get some inspiration for ideas of your own!). The full list of shortcode categories on offer is: Button Varieties, Content Boxes, Toggled Content, Tabbed Content, Slideshow, Image Slider, Easy Tooltips Social Media, Password Protect your Content, Author Info, Column Layouts, Custom Icon Lists, Corporate Lists, Corporate Pricing Tables, DropCaps, and Quotes

Blogging features

Blogging is an area that Fusion excels in, providing all the tools needed to present a strikingly presented series of news style articles.

blog 1
The Recent News page does admittedly use the standard ElegantTheme’s template, but as it presents recent articles in a clear to digest way that looks great, who’s complaining?

blog 2
The main blog page itself provides as much space to write text as you want, which can be nicely brightened up with the inclusion of an image

commdents
At the bottom of each blog page is Comments section, which looks cleanly laid out and matches Fusion’s default color scheme. We like the way that contributors can add a photo or avatar picture to their profile, so that posts look more personal and individual

rss
A great addition to any blog page is the ability to subscribe via RSS. This lets readers incorporate your updates into their RSS news feed, so they always keep up with the latest articles

Image Gallery and Portfolio layout

Again, although using standard Image Gallery and Portfolio page templates, these still look as great as ever. There isn’t a lot of difference between the Image Gallery and the various Portfolios except that the Portfolio pages (usually) include text and can also link to video content (although this is not shown in the live demo).

port med
The Portfolio layout is nice and clean, and allows easy perusal of the images or videos

port med 2
Mousing over an image gives you option of jumping to its associated Blog article, or expanding the image, something it does with an attractively jaunty bounce effect

image
We prefer the rollover effect in the Image Gallery here, but it is otherwise very similar to the Portfolio pages

Features

  • Perpetual Updates
  • Responsive Design
  • Theme Options
  • Secure and Valid Code
  • Five Unique Colors
  • Shortcodes (see above for full list)
  • Page Template
  • Complete Localization
  • Browser Compatibility
  • Theme Options
  • Page Templates
  • RSS feeds

Price

Because of its relatively limited functionality and heavy reliance on standard ElegantThemes templates, Fusion is not a heavy hitter in the ElegantThemes package. However it does look good, with a striking Home page and a tastefully fun color scheme, and it makes good use of those templates (which always work flawlessly and look fantastic) so that, if its aesthetic appeals to you, it could well be worth the modest $39 entry price. Given that you also effectively get another 85 themes thrown in for free, we’d call that a bargain!

Conclusion

If your needs are not too demanding, and you like the default color scheme (and we do), then Fusion hits the nail on the head. It takes some of the best elements of the ElegantThemes range and turns them into a tightly realized, highly focused whole, which has enough flashiness to catch the eye and be memorable, while keeping the clean functionality that is the hall mark of ElegantThemes designs. If you need commercial functionality then other themes in the range will likely suit you better, but if creating a more visual and text based impact is your aim, then you can do a lot worse than Fusion.

2013 Blogrid