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Parallax Pro theme review

Parallax Pro theme review, this is one of the most popular themes by StudioPress it’s a great choice for a small business website, especially for digital agencies. Parallax Pro works well as a website with an integrated blog. And you don’t need a lot of content to get started building your site.

The most important points in this Parallax Pro theme review…

  • The front page uses a Modern, parallax scroll effect.
  • The theme works well as a website and a blog.
  • There are four page layout types. Content with sidebar, full width page, landing page, and archive listing pages.
  • The full width page option is an ideal width. This no sidebars layout offers a distraction free reading experience for viewers. And it has the option of pulled images which break out of the normal page area.
  • The theme has a big coloured call to action box. It displays at the bottom of all pages except landing pages. And you can easily choose one of the five colour styles available. The call to action box appears in the footer area of the site.
  • The home page has three big background images. You can easily replace these photos with images of your own.
  • There are three menus available. Header right, primary and secondary navigation.
  • You can enable or disable the breadcrumbs, and the post meta information which appears above and below each post.
  • The premium plugin, Design Pallet Pro, is compatible with Parallax Pro theme. If your budget will stretch to an extra $49 (price correct in March 2015). This lets you make all kinds of small styling changes to Parallax Pro without using code.
  • Parallax pro has been on the best seller list consistently since it was released, it’s a good theme and deserves to be popular.

Parallax Pro theme review, digging in to the details

The theme is easy to set up and has a modern front page style

This is a professional theme that’s fairly easy to set up. Parallax Pro uses a modern style front page. The term parallax refers to the way the background images scroll at a different speed to the content (text) which appears to be in the foreground.

You set up the front page using text widgets

The front page is built up from 5 stripes. The first 3 are headlines with teaser text and a big button. The button can be used to link to an internal web page, category or post. To put this teaser text on the front page you use WordPress Text Widgets.

To set up the pricing table you must edit some basic HTML

To make the pricing table, you copy, edit and then paste the HTML from the StudioPress site. This is easy if you have basic HTML skills. If you don’t want to edit the HTML, you could add a text widget with a headline, teaser text and a button instead of the pricing table.

The pricing table uses basic HTML that you have to edit yourself. You copy the code from the StudioPress site, then replace the text between the HTML tags with your own text. (Table code on GitHub)

Parallax Pro pricing table HTML

Changing the homepage background images

The images used on the homepage are 1600 x 1050 pixels. To use your own images, go to the WordPress dashboard…
Appearance > Customize > Background Images > Change Image.

The demo site uses images that have been converted to black and white, giving good contrast with the white text. This makes reading the text on the homepage much easier.

Three navigation bars are available

The StudioPress demo of Parallax Pro theme only uses two navigation bars. One in the header right widget area and the secondary navigation which appears just above the footer credits.

If you assign a navigation bar to the primary navigation menu in…
Appearance > Menus > Manage Locations
The primary navigation menu will display above your web page title, and below the black bar that contains the logo, in the header area of your site.

Primary navigation – Parallax Pro theme review

The call to action box

The big pink call to action at the bottom of every page (except the landing page) is a widget area. Just drag a text widget into the Footer 1 widget area and type your text into the box. This will give you the big bold coloured box. You can change the colour of this box using the built in colour options. You can choose from blue, green, pink, orange and red.

Pink call to action box for Parallax Pro theme review

Blue call to action box for Parallax Pro theme review

Selecting one of the built in colour options

In WordPress dashboard go to…
Genesis > Theme Settings > Color Style.
Choose an option from the drop-down list. Elements affected by your color style choice include…

  • Hover links in the navigation bars.
  • Button colours on internal pages of your site (not the front page).
  • Text links.
  • The big call to action box in the footer area of your site.

The home page buttons

To get the button effect on the home page add a class of button to a text link.

Parallax Pro button code

Widgets used on the home page

In the StudioPress demo 5 of the 6 stripy homepage sections are made using text widgets. One widget area uses the Simple Social Icons plugin. You just add the URL’s of your social media pages in the Simple Social Icons plugin dialogue box.

There are four main page types used on the internal pages of Parallax Pro theme.

  • Content and Sidebar.
  • Full Width Content (no sidebar).
  • Landing Page (just the bare bones).
  • Archive Listing (blog style) Pages.

Content sidebar pages

To make the sidebar look attractive in Parallax Pro you’ll need to add some sort of graphic element. If you just put text in the sidebar, the sidebar will look very plain. To brighten up the sidebar you could use the Genesis featured post widget with featured images enabled. If you have a MailChimp account you could use the eNews Extended plugin and the Simple Social Icons plugin. Together these will make your sidebar look more attractive.

Full width content page layout

In the Parallax Pro theme, the full width content page layout is a nice width. The sentences are not too long and you get a distraction free page. There are no sidebars to take your readers attention away from your message. The full width page is the only one that allows you to pull images out of the page’s bounding box. They appear to be sticking out to one side, which adds a bit more visual appeal.

Parallax Pro pulled images

Archive category and author listing pages

Archive listing pages are available for each of your categories. Individual author’s can list their posts in their own archive listing page too. You can add some introductory text above archive listing pages. An archive listing page looks like a blog listing page. It lists all posts from a particular category or all posts written by a particular author.

Landing pages

The landing page option is only available for pages, not posts. Landing pages are often used by people who run Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns. Landing pages do not have a header, footer, sidebars or navigation bars. They offer a clean page where visitors can land on your site and see your offer presented without any distractions. If someone clicks on an ad you’ve paid for, this type of uncluttered landing page can give you a better chance of converting them.

If you use a plugin like TinyMCE Advanced, Genesis column classes and a few good graphics, your landing pages can give you a better chance of converting visitors into customers or clients.

Image logo size

If you use an image logo the size must be 360 × 70 pixels. This ensures your logo will look OK when viewed on a mobile phone or tablet.

Breadcrumbs and entry (post) meta information

Using Genesis and the Parallax Pro theme you can enable or disable breadcrumbs and entry meta info.

You can control where breadcrumbs appear on your site. In your dashboard go to…
Genesis > Theme Settings > Breadcrumbs.
By ticking the appropriate boxes you can make breadcrumbs appear on posts, pages, the home page etc. Or you can remove breadcrumbs from your site completely.

The entry meta information displays the post author’s name, and the date the post was published on. This appears above the post. The category the post is assigned to is displayed below the post.

The easiest way to edit or remove entry meta information is to use a plugin called Genesis Simple Edits. After installing and activating the plugin, in the dashboard go to…
Genesis > Simple Edits.
There is a link to a list of short codes you can use to customize the entry meta text that appears above and below your post. Or you can just delete the text in the, Entry Meta (above content), and Entry Meta (below content), boxes.

Removing the breadcrumbs and entry meta text from your site makes a cleaner less distracting page layout. But it also removes links that your site visitors might use to navigate your site.

Parallax Pro with breadcrumbs and meta data

Parallax Pro without breadcrumbs and meta data

Design Pallet Pro (PREMIUM) plugin

Design Pallet Pro is an easy to use, point and click way for you to customize your theme’s colours, styling and fonts without writing code. Design Palette Pro will not help you change your site layout. You can NOT add extra content boxes or rearrange the layout.

But you can change the colours of your site elements such as navigation bars, sidebars and the header section etc.

If you need a theme that matches your company colours or you just want more control over your site’s styling, Design Palette Pro is a great choice.

Design Palette Pro is NOT compatible with all StudioPress themes. Check their website to see the list. ($49 price correct in March 2015)

So what’s the conclusion of my Parallax Pro theme review?

Parallax pro has been on the StudioPress best seller list month after month since it was released. It’s a good theme and deserves to be popular. The front page is modern and not too difficult to set up. The two main page template types both look good, full width and content – sidebar. The theme has an easy to read font with lots of white space. The big bold call to action box just above the footer is an excellent place to put your most important message. There are five colour options for the call to action box. If you don’t want to use the call to action box, don’t put any content in the Footer 1 widget area and the call to action box will not appear.

I like Parallax Pro. It’s a great theme for a digital business. And it has an integrated blog, which is just what you need to get the edge on Google’s listings.

View the Parallax Pro theme demo now, it could be just what you need 😉