Looking for WordPress frameworks can really be a complicated tasks. There are so many of them out there and being a non-tech savvy guy like me, often times I like to use frameworks that does not require too much of my brain cells to understand how it works.
Having the chance of taking the Volatyl framework for a spin was quite an interesting experience and while simple, it does have some great features. There is actually one in particular that I really liked, and mind you, it is a featured that I have not yet seen in most frameworks that I have worked with. Want to know what it is? Read on…
OK, before actually going to the specifics of what I loved most about the Volatyl framework, let’s dive in a bit to some of its neat features.
(see image – left full desktop and right mobile simulation)
Extremely Flexible and Supports child themes
The Volatyl framework comes out of the box with 7 different types of layouts. In addition, you can define on a post or page level, the type of layout you want to use, including a “landing” and “squeeze” page built-in, cool!
That is quite flexible is you ask me, and with the child themes, any customization you do will always be there, regardless if the framework is updated.
What else? Built in hooks with total control on where to use it, content customization and pagination, etc.
Don’t know about you but one of the things that really annoy me is when there is not enough (in some cases none at all) documentation to walk me through the learning process. Support, forums , etc. are OK, but why do I have to go there first? Well, you will be amazed with the documentation that Volatyl has. It is nothing short of being “massive”. Everything is there:
No Developer of Multi-License kind of thing
Yeah, once you are a proud owner of the framework, that’s it. You can use it wherever you want. It has a 100% GPL license and you get updates for life. That’s good, right?
And, my favorite feature (one that I really liked)…
You can define two widget areas for each and every post. This means that for a specific post, you can create a whole set of widgets just for that one particular post. The “general” widget is turned off and display only the widget you created for that posts. Confused? Yeah, me too 🙂
Watch the video below to understand what I am talking about and also see how it actually works on the back end. I tried to make the video as shot as possible and I may have missed something out. Nonetheless, the golden nuggets have definitely been covered.
That’s it! Volatyl is quite an impressive framework and good out of the box. For the investment the developer requires, I’d say that it is very affordable. It comes with one free child starter theme, and other child themes can be purchased separately for a minor investment. I believe that the only thing missing here is the ability to have some sort of control over the fonts and colors. That I did not see, but if I am mistaken, please do let me know.
I've been playing around with code, themes and websites for a long time. While I am in no way an expert (or even close), I am the kind of person who is dangerous - I don't know how everything works, but I love to tinker. This theme gives me the ability to do that. Plain and simple, Volatyl is a bare bones approach which lets the user control his/her experience. I like that I have to write all my own code - it forces me to learn and appreciate what's going on.
What I love the most about this theme, however, is the customer support. Sean is, hands down, the most customer support happy person I know. He's always willing to walk you through a problem and let you know where you're messing up. And, if it's something the theme is incapable of (typically not as it's a Create Your Own Adventure kind of theme - you 80's kids will get that reference), he'll be straight up with you and probably roll it into his next release.
I plan on using Volatyl and its child themes for all of my upcoming web design projects.
Rating: 5 5 /5 stars
Peninah Aon 2013-12-16 05:25:38
I'm loving Volatyl. I especially love the checkbox add-widget-area--I've used it in several client projects and it's so helpful and so easy! It definitely is aimed toward a specific user set in the WP world, but for those people, it's the best.
Sean has created a very great framework here that's great for any person that's really wanting to have a solid foundation to create their website or blog off of. His customer service is outstanding and really helpful. He has some great insight on how to make sure your project turns out really well.
Here's the thing. Simply put, there are WordPress frameworks, and then there's Volatyl.
Aside from it being an awesome framework, the creator (Sean) provides the best customer experience you could imagine. If you have questions and you take them to Sean, he not only answers them, but he will teach you as well.
I'm working on a project and I was faced with a lot of various options when it came to WordPress framework, theme, etc.. The choice was easy for me, Volatyl is where it's at! Power, simple, and does exactly what you need it to do. The documentation that is provided along with it is SUPER helpful and valuable as well. Sean is there to fill in any gaps!
I highly recommended Volatyl.
My name is Alex, and I approve this message. 🙂
Rating: 5 5 /5 stars
Rich O'Brienon 2013-09-09 07:59:45
Hands down Sean Davis cannot be touched for enthuasistic support. The guy is a hive of info. This carries through to his Framework - great docs, well structured and easily customisable.
As an early adopter to Volatyl and the Skeletons it was clear that this Framework was built to give you the scope to design whatever you need. The fact that Sean aids you somewhat is a big fucking plus in my book.
Rating: 5 5 /5 stars
Robertoon 2013-09-01 13:59:06
I'm a genesis user. Last week I bought volatyl and its working great, simple but powerful features.
Support is outstanding, Sean not only answer questions, he teach with every response.
The documentation is extense and detailed, I'm a bug hunter and after try the framework and themes, I not found any issues. I hope he has enought support from customers to continue improving this framework.
Thanks for the review, Francisco! I enjoyed the video and definitely appreciate you taking the time to put this together.
You hit the nail on the head with my aim to keep the options simple but powerful. The goal was to give the user maximum leverage when it came to the more challenging tasks that deal with PHP more so than styling with CSS. So every option focuses on using a simple checkbox to do what would have normally taken raw PHP code.
You mentioned at the end of the article that it doesn't included any font and color options. You are right and that was done on purpose. The goal was to stay away from all design options simply because I want Volatyl to be a theme structure framework and not a design framework. Volatyl focuses on your underlying HTML structure and how you want that to be first. Then, once the framework takes care of all of that, the designer is free to style the site without having to write much code.
Adding design options has been a common request but those features are no congruent with Volatyl's true purpose. Though many other frameworks provide design features, I'd argue that they shouldn't and that mindset is reflected in Volatyl's features.
Thanks a ton for highlighting some of the coolest features like the additional sidebars for specific posts and pages as well as hooks built-in conditionals. That's a customer favorite and a really powerful tool for maximum customization. Mix that with the different layout options and the ability to add custom classes to Posts and Pages and Volatyl is about as flexible as it gets.
Great emphasis on the documentation as well. 😉 Two thumbs up for an awesome review!
Hi Sean. First, congrats for a job well done. I really enjoyed delving through the theme and found some real cool features that I liked. As you have noticed, one of them is definitely the "sidebar" widget option on a page level.
As for the colors, I was not really referring to being able to style differently the design as a whole. I just meant the colors of certain elements, like fonts, links, etc.. Minor stuff. You know, it is difficult to make everyone happy, but colors can be motivational too 🙂