As you all know by now, I won quite a few amazing WordPress products in the AWP Giveaway, and I promised to review as many of them as possible, as soon as possible. Of course, it’s impossible to use that many products at once, so as I have the opportunity to check them out, I’ll report on them here. Today’s review is for a niche-based theme. It’s called Hammer, and it is geared towards the construction industry.
I like niche-based themes because they usually offer two things:
- The opportunity for users to visualize how their site might look using their own images, which will likely be similar to the ones used in the demo.
- Special features or plugins (usually involving custom post types) that solve industry-specific needs
Hammer does a good job with both of those. It comes with a one-click demo installer, but keep in mind that the images you see in the demo are “clearer” than the ones you receive. In other words, the images you receive are blurred to prevent you from using them on your own site. You aren’t purchasing the rights to use the demo photos. They are only there to help you visualize. You must replace the demo photos with your own. This is fairly standard when themes provide demo content, and frankly, I like the way Hammer handles it. I’d much rather see blurry, but relevant, images, than plain gray blocks.
The Timing Was Perfect
As it turned out, not long after I won the theme, I had a construction company ask me to build a small website for them. Timing is everything! So I installed Hammer, and within 24 hours, the client had a gorgeous website ready to go!
Warning: Pun coming up in 3…2…1…
Use The Demo And The Page Builder
I strongly recommend installing the demo, as it makes it super quick and easy to replicate the great-looking site.
Hammer relies on the Page Builder by SiteOrigin plugin, and that is intuitive enough for most. I’ve moved on to using (and loving) other page builders over time, but SiteOrigin’s is solid and perfectly useful in this theme. Of course, you aren’t stuck with using it. You could easily switch to a different page builder of your choice. My favorite is still Page Builder Sandwich. But this is a review of Hammer as it came to me, so I used SiteOrigin’s Page Builder for this project.
SPEED, BABY, SPEED
The site I built loads in just 1.4 seconds (with the help of WP Fastest Cache free plugin), so I’m pleased that it not only looks fantastic, but it’s also super speedy.
I expected a difficult-to-use theme for some reason. No particular reason for that assumption, really, I guess I’m just jaded. But I was wrong. The Hammer theme was simple to use, a breeze to work with really, and in the fastest time ever, I’d created a great little site. The client loves it, it’s highly optimized for speed, usability, and search, and I can’t ask for more.
And Even Better…
Bonus: You don’t have to use this theme for construction niches! It could be used as a general, all-purpose theme. There’s really nothing forcing it to be only for construction sites, so if you think it would fit for any other niche, go for it.
I don’t have any affiliation with this theme or company. In fact, I’d never heard of them, or it, before the AWP contest. But it’s a pretty nice GPL theme, and I’ll definitely use it again in the future whenever it fits my needs.