Sep 092013
 

Suffusion - one of the best themesI am very happy with the current theme I’m using – Suffusion (version while writing this post: 4.4.7.) and I think now is the utmost time to write my first post about it. Many people consider Suffusion to be one of the best themes made for WordPress, if not The Best and over 1 million downloads should be a number that adds credibility to this opinion. There are plenty of good articles and comments about Suffusion available and many of those are written by users much more experienced than me, which made me think – what can I, a beginner, add to all this? Well, I – a beginner, can share my own experience – how has Suffusion helped me and therefore could help other beginners.

First impression

By the time I found Suffusion, I had tried approximately 8-10 different themes, with some I worked more and couple of them I uninstalled almost instantly. The specific reasons for not finding any of them suitable were different, but the hidden ground reason was simple – I did not have enough experience in WP and web programming overall, to understand what I want and how to achieve this (not that I have great experience now, but at least I understand the basic things, hopefully). The routine for me was like this – I had a plan, found a theme, started to use it, discovered something new to add or to change in my site, was not able to do it with chosen theme, looked for a new theme and started this cycle again.

Suffusion Options 300225Then at some point I installed Suffusion, but to be honest – it was not love at first sight. Suffusion has a lot of customization options and naturally its admin board looks pretty scary at first, especially for beginners like me. I did not panic, as is also suggested at themes admin welcome panel, but I wasn’t eager to jump into all those settings either. So for some time I used Suffusion only in one of my test projects (customizing WooCommerce) and continued with my previously mentioned cycle on other projects. Now I feel, that I wasted my valuable time and should have started to familiarize myself with Suffusion much earlier. As is mentioned in the themes welcome message and in various other places – it is not as hard as it looks. You can start using it with relatively minor knowledge and learn more advanced possibilities step-by-step.

Maybe not for very casual users

Here I have to note that when I write “beginners”, I mean beginners like me – newbies who want to learn more to achieve at least some level of proficiency in WordPress and its themes. There are also beginners, who just want a blog or a webpage and do not plan to bother themselves with development so much. There is nothing wrong with that and if you are one of them, you could still use Suffusion, but probably there is another theme out there, that suits for your plans and is easier to set up (i.e. it already looks and functions the way you want and you don’t plan to change that). You can still read further though, who knows, maybe you would like to get your hands dirty with customizing your site in the future.

One of the best themes as a learning tool

For me Suffusion has been much more than just one of the best themes for WordPress, it has been also a great learning tool. Why? Well, to be honest, I’m lazy. I really don’t like to read long tutorials and documentations, unless I really need those and sometimes I lack the patience to study things sufficiently before implementing. Suffusion has given me the possibility to start testing right away. It has many options included, that most themes don’t and those are nicely paired with short, but adequate explanations. And if I ever have needed additional support, Suffusions support forum has always helped me.

And there is more. When I at last met the limits of Suffusions options, just when you’d usually need a child theme, there is this nice possibility to add custom CSS and Suffusion options - CSSjavascript to the theme without the need of modifying any files. As you might know, when you modify themes files directly, then an update will wipe away your changes, therefore you should always use a child theme for this purpose, but this additional feature makes it possible to tweak CSS easily, without the fear of loosing your changes. I actually still use a child theme, because some changes I need, cannot be done this way, but the ability to change the styles inside Suffusions dashboard is still a great timesaver. Besides – making a child theme for Suffusion has been made easy for everyone, by offering a child theme starting package called Suffu-scion at themes homepage.

There is one more great advantage while using Suffusion for learning – absolutely magnificent support. All Suffusion related and many other questions I’ve had, have all found their answers in the forum (actually I haven’t even needed to ask anything yet, most of the questions are already answered) and as I see, this trend continues there are questions asked daily and more importantly – those are answered daily.

Conclusion

There are much more advantages in Suffusion, like plugins, its compatibility and quality, but describing all this would make this post too long and as a beginner, I still don’t feel comfortable to talk about things that I’ve not yet fully learnt. But at least I can say confidently that Suffusion has helped me to understand and learn web programming and that at the moment it is not only one of the best themes, but The Best theme for me to use. The only problem that I can see now is, that when I ever would need to replace Suffusion, I must probably start to use some quality framework and develop my own (child)theme, because to find a theme (specially a free theme) that could match the standards Suffusion has set, will be very hard.

Thank you Sayontan :)

With best regards,

Rait

 

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  3 Responses to “Suffusion – one of the best themes for beginners”

  1. Rait, I agree with you about Suffusion, and you’ve done a good job of explaining why it’s so great!

  2. Hi Rait,
    I am also a beginner and it took me a VERY VERY long time to figure out how to use this theme, so long in fact that now I don’t remember how I started in order to build a 2nd site.
    Do you maybe have a checklist of steps to setup a website with suffusion?
    Also, I keep hearing about Suffusion templates. Are those websites that one can use and change to suit and if so, where does one find them?.
    Thank you.
    Marius

    • Hi Marius,
      I don’t have any standard procedures when I start a new site with Suffusion, maybe only those:
      1. install Suffusion
      2. create child theme
      3. check/fix compatibility issues, disable unused modules/widgets

      It all depends on the setup planned, so for me every new install still feels like a first install :)

      I haven’t noticed any templates, that are additional to Suffusion itself. In Suffusion settings you can find different pre-set layout templates and a custom layout template (can create almost anything with widget areas). This has been enough for me so far, so I haven’t really looked for additional solutions.

      Hope this helps.

      Br,
      Rait

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