StyleShop Theme review

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One of the best and most dramatic aspects of the StyleShop theme is its use of the full landscape width to provide a spectacular backdrop for the main page content

Part of the ElegantThemes package, StyleShop retains many of the stylistic and design elements found elsewhere in the range, but with some slick design choices and a full set of useful features it brings a fresh lick of paint to the formula, delivering a handsome looking and flexible website design platform that is tailor-made (as its name would suggest) to providing customers with a stylish e-shopping experience, while giving online retail website owners the tools needed to provide a smooth and effective service.

Designer’s opinion

With a rather formal pallet of black, white and grey, livened up with flashes of red and bright green, StyleShop manages to pull off a smart, no-nonsense look that avoids the danger such a dark color-set runs of looking boring. This is in large part due to its fantastic use of background imagery, best seen when viewing the website in landscape view (such as on a typical desktop monitor or laptop screen). As you can see from the screenshots, this creates a strikingly dramatic effect when a large image that covers the full area of the webpage is used.

Other than that, StyleShop is largely a standard, if well presented, ElegantThemes design, and while I like many of features and design flourishes this entails, I do sometimes wish for a little more variety in its themes. That said, viewed as a standalone product I think StyleShop is excellent, and the fact that ElegantThemes has thrown its entire template package at it means it is much more flexible than it might at firm seem.

Highlights

StyleShop is focused on providing a great online shopping experience, but as it also uses many of the default ElegantThemes page templates, it can also be used an excellent blogging platform.

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This blog archive page shows off not just how stylish and functional the ElegantThemes blog templates are, but also how great the StyleShop landscape backdrop can look. As you can see, the sidebar can be used for placing all sorts of useful links

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Individual blog entries look similarly good, provide plenty of room for presenting text, and feature the same sidebar functionality

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A comments section allows website visitors to contribute their views to your blog entries, and we like the fact that avatar photos can be added to put faces to names

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All the usual boring but necessary stuff like a Contact Form, Advanced Search and Login pages are present and correct. StyleShop does nothing very exciting with them, but they work just fine

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On the Home page is displayed a nice instance of the Slider shortcode, which really gives a feel for how effective and flexible this little gizmo can be

And speaking of shortcodes, StyleShop throws in the full suite of what ElegantThemes has to offer. The full list of shortcode categories is Button Varieties, Content Boxes, Toggled Content, Tabbed Content, Image Slider, Easy Tooltips Social Media, Password Protect your Content, Author Info, Column Layouts, Custom Icon Lists, Corporate Lists, Corporate Pricing Tables, funky DropCaps effects, and Quotes, which gives you plenty to play with and allows a high degree of customization.

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Here are just a few of the things you can do with shortcodes

Further customization can be performed using the standard ElegantThemes Themes Customizer, which lets you modify the color scheme, individual element colors, and Header and Body fonts used.

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Changing from the default Grey to Green color scheme actually looks quite tasteful!

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The green underline rollover effect on the category buttons looks pretty swish. Category buttons can also be configured as dropdown menus

Image Gallery and Portfolio Layout

Although clearly designed for use with e-commerce websites, StyleShop comes with a full implementation of ElegantTheme’s Image Gallery and Portfolio templates. As usual we find them to be attractive and functional, although the differences between the Image Gallery and Portfolio pages are minimal, but with the Portfolio pages displaying text (and the point of the Portfolio No Text template eludes us again).

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When you mouse-hover over an image you can choose to either view the enlarged image, or jump to its related blog post article

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As usual with the ElegantThemes Portfolios, we like the way that enlarged images bounce up when clicked and bounce down when minimised again. We also think the whole display effect is very attractive

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As you can see, the image gallery (shown here in portrait view) is very similar to the Portfolio, except without the text boxes. What you can’t see is the funky rollover effect when you mouse over an image, which is unique to the Image Gallery page

Shop Layout

As we have mentioned a couple of times already, StyleShop works best as an online store front end, and provides all the features needed to display, promote and sell products. The only thing to note is that this theme is not (nor is it trying to be) a full eCommerce solution with complex stock management, financial information and suchlike, for which you will need a dedicated WordPress shopping cart solution such as Magento, CubeCart, osCommerce and Zen Cart.

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Products can be attractively displayed with a nice clean layout

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When you click on an item you are taken to a detailed product description page, which includes a customer Reviews section, Related Products, and other bits of information that customers will find useful

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Customers can add items to their Cart, which will even calculate shipping costs

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If customers continue to browse your website before making a final purchase, they are shown a running total (and reminder!) of items in their basket

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The Checkout page is likewise cleanly laid out and comprehensive

Features

  • Perpetual Updates
  • Responsive Design
  • Theme Options
  • Secure and Valid Code
  • Unlimited colors
  • Shortcodes (see above for full list)
  • Page Template
  • Complete Localization
  • Browser Compatibility
  • Theme Options
  • Page Templates
  • Full shopping and cart features

Price

Judging the value of a product that is part of a package of 86 themes for the price of $39 is always going to be difficult. However, StyleShop is a well-designed theme that looks good, has lots of customization options, and has loads of useful features, particularly in the eCommerce department for which it is clearly aimed. We therefore think that it is worth the asking price just on its own (particularity when you compare the price with many of the offerings on Theme Forest), which means that you get another 85 themes as a free bonus!

Conclusion

There is no getting away from the fact that this is ‘an ElegantThemes theme’, but as these are by and large of very high quality, this is hardly a big problem. It is very cleanly laid out and smart looking, has all the basic shopping features you can expect from such a product, and throws all the ElegantThemes bells and whistles in for good measure so that your website can expand in any direction required as your business grows. If you plan of setting up an online store, you really can’t go wrong with StyleShop.

2013 Blogrid