For a couple years now, the premium themes market has been growing steadily and the competition has been elevated. Designers are pushing each other to be more innovative trying to earn your dollar, which is great for potential buyers like us, but can sometimes be difficult to for a new theme designer to jump in and hold their own.
One guy that has successfully done this, in my opinion, is Pavel Ciorici of WP Zoom. Earlier this year he released his first premium WordPress theme, the Yamidoo theme. The title of the theme is interesting enough that it grabs your attention, then when when you look at the theme, it is hard not be impressed!
Now, Pavel has released his second premium theme, the Zenko theme, which I wanted to mention here. With this new magazine theme, the homepage design is a traditional magazine theme layout, but is designed in a way to feature the most important content in areas where readers will see it. Here is a default sample of how the homepage features your top content:
Zenko Magazine Theme Homepage
The homepage is also very image intensive, which is an important part of a magazine-style homepage to draw the readers attention. For the internal pages, the Zenko theme switches to a more traditional blog page layout with the sidebar on the right side:
Zenko Magazine Theme Post Page
A full live demo of the Zenko theme can be viewed here.
The Zenko theme also includes a number of great features. Some of my favorite parts are the featured content and popular posts on the top of the homepage, the built-in navigation designed to function like the WP-PageNavi plugin, and of course the footer area, which was designed to provide a place for you to put your less important content (footer is a great place to put categories, archives, etc. so they are available for readers that want to find it, but is also out of the way for people not looking for it).
Other features included with the Zenko theme:
- Built in support for Google Analytics and Feedburner
- Integrated Banner Management System
- Custom templates for categories, archives
- Auto-resizing and cropping for images
- Threaded Comments for WordPress 2.7+
- Built-in widgets
- Support for WordPress 2.7.1
- Cross-Browser Compatible – tested on IE (6,7), Opera, Firefox, Safari, Chrome.
- Flickr widget
- Theme Documentation
- Integrated Theme Options
- Tabbed Widgets
- Widgetized Sidebars
- Built-in Gravatar Support for Authors & Comments
- Drop-Down Menus
- Integrated social bookmarking in posts
- Photoshop Files (.psd) included
I also had the privilege of digging through the backend of this theme and was glad to see the code structure is very SEO friendly and well setup for someone who prefers to manually hack their code. Another thing that I really liked was the fact that this theme doesn’t require any WordPress plugins or custom fields to function properly. I always try to find at least one thing missing, and the one feature that I couldn’t find was the option of a traditional blog template for the homepage, which has become a pretty common addition with most premium themes.
Pavel also has a very competitive pricing structure, which allows just about any WordPress user to be able to acquire one of his themes. Currently, the Zenko theme can be purchased for $69.00 (single-use license), $119.00 (for 5 site license), or $149.00 (developer’s license).
Have questions? Want to learn more about this theme? Check out the official Zenko theme page by WP Zoom.