Introducing the Monstroid Theme
The new Monstroid WordPress theme from TemplateMonster advertises that you can “build absolutely anything” easily, thanks to 4 included niche topic themes, with a promise of 15 more each month after purchase. There is also a powerful and intuitive drag and drop builder tool with over 30 built-in extensions.
Honestly, I have avoided reviewing this theme because there is just so much new here, and so many neat, almost revolutionary included elements to the theme, that it overwhelmed me. I should not have been worried. Once you dig in, the theme is actually easier to use than some of the established top-selling multi-themes, but you can produce your final work faster with Monstroid.
Let’s take a look at some of the included features, as well as how easy it is to install, customize, and publish a website.
Monstroid runs on top of the Cherry framework 4, which is one of the fastest, lightest frameworks in WordPress. On top of that, there are over 30 inbuilt premium extensions and a new backup option for instant restore of your theme if you should break it in any way.
Since TemplateMonster develops both the Cherry framework as well as a huge number of WordPress themes that run on it, they have an advantage in synergy between the theme and framework.
The Monstroid Idea
Monstroid was built to allow you to quickly build any number of websites for any number of purposes. You do this through the use of Monstroid child themes, which they call topics. These topics give you prebuild layout and design for different business sectors without the need to build from scratch.
You get a quality, purpose-built website with a few clicks, then just add your own content or use some of the supplied PSD files and photos you get with the theme.
To be as flexible as Monstroid is designed to be, it needs a huge amount of WordPress plugins, or extensions, to function. Many of the other multi-purpose theme developers were building these plugins into the theme code, effectively locking you into their architecture forever. This is causing somewhat of a conflict between WordPress.org and the theme designers, as well as the clients.
TemplateMonster has designed Monstroid to run outside of the plugins, preventing theme lock.
Features of Monstroid Theme
Here is where the magic begins. Now, we will take a peek at the things that make Monstroid different, and how you use them.
MotoPress Drag and Drop Page Builder
MotoPress Content Editor works with most or all WordPress themes, but is designed to run on the Cherry framework so integration is seamless. If you purchase the plugin separately, it runs $29, so having this included with the theme is a bargain.
I have had just a little past experience with MotoPress, but it works as well or better than the other drag and drop editors available. Build your layout, then populate it with content, and publish – just that easy.
Another included premium plugin from MotoPress is the Responsive Slider plugin. This is, in keeping with the theme, an easy-to-use slider with a range of features such as layers, animation, full screen video and more that can be inserted on any page or post. It does the job, and it saves you $19, but maybe does not have the control and flexibility of some of the other leading sliders.
It is, however, designed and integrated with the Page Builder and the theme, so it is worth seeing if it will work for you.
Free PSD and Graphics Files
Another way that TemplateMonster saves you money while giving value is the 100+ PSD files and 50 graphics files you get for free with the demo content. Just about every other theme I have reviewed recently either gives you cheap filler content or tells you that you cannot actually use any of the licensed content they send you.
The Monstroid art and PSD files are top quality, and you can use, modify or edit any of them for free.
Prebuilt Page Designs
If you are still in the learning curve of MotoPress Content Editor but want to get your site up quickly, you receive a range of page layout options that will set up your page for you, as well as the ability to set global settings for the theme.
All of the layouts, from full width to boxed, are fully responsive across all platforms so you can concentrate on just adding great content, knowing your website will look great.
Use the 150+ shortcodes included with the theme to customize any page or post type with the exact design that you want. These custom shortcodes give you almost too many ways to design the page.
Monstroid is integrated with WooCommerce, so getting your store designed and functioning is a snap. There are unlimited portfolio and store layouts, with payment integration and shopping cart built in. As your business grows, WooCommerce expands seamlessly with you, offering a selection of the best add-ons to streamline your online sales.
Documentation and Support
TemplateMonster has, hands down, some of the best live, 24/7/365 support in the WordPress world. Have a problem or question? They always have someone there with the experience to answer you through live chat. From setup and installation to design, you can expect live feedback and 2 to 4 hour response on open tickets.
The theme docs are thorough and fairly clear, and cover just about anything outside of technical issues that you would want to know.
This is a new theme, so you should expect some bugs to be worked out at first. Mainly because of all of the plugins required to run this theme, setup and installs are a bit tedious, but there are worse out there.
The real engine of the theme, the Content Editor, works as well or better than most of the others I have reviewed, and the slider will work for anyone not demanding spectacular effects from their slider.
The theme certainly has a tremendous amount of premium stuff included for free, and the demo site showcases most of it very well, but it still seems a bit.. unfinished. There are only 4 existing child themes, and the theme has been out for a month, but they are promising 15 new ones each month. Where are they?
The demo site needs to be filled out with more examples of what is possible with the theme, instead of a one-page website. The themes Monstroid is competing against have, for the most part, awesome demo sites that let the customer see and imagine what could be possible. Not here.
And just a personal pet peeve: correct the spelling and grammar on the demo site. It seems rushed and overlooked.
Having said all of that, this is a good theme that I believe will get better and better as updates and more child themes roll out, and since you get updates forever and child themes too, this is a theme that is well worth the money and one that will grow with you.
Agree? Disagree? What is your experience with Monstroid? Have a theme that you like better? Let us know in the comments below.
Buy the Monstroid theme from TemplateMonster for only $79 now!