Allegro Pro | BLT Themes | $30
If you use Rapidweaver 6 then you’ll probably be aware of the Allegro theme that’s included for free – it’s a sparse, no-frills theme with horizontal navigation, drop down menus and a limited number of font and colour options. Nice enough to have for nothing then, but not likely to inspire you.
The paid-for Pro version adds all the fanciness you’d expect from a professional theme – many more colour and font options, a built-in slideshow that’s optimised for the theme, more Extra Content areas (the free version has some EC areas but they’re not documented) baked-in support for social icons and some subtle stylistic cleaning-up that gives it a more polished feel. We’d happily use this to create corporate sites or perhaps something for an upmarket boutique hotel.
The key to getting ‘inside’ Allegro Pro is to explore the included demo project which contains detailed instructions on how to add your own slideshow (the theme uses the popular BX Slider for this) as well as standard and slimline static images into the banner area; there’s also a nice full-width topper area (Extra Content 6) where you can add an additional slogan and social icons (these are particularly nice and use the Zocial icon set developed by Sam Collins). As with BLT’s other themes, you’ll find that using these features requires you to edit code snippets and while this is simple enough (it’s actually really simple) those brought up on a drag-and-drop diet of Stacks can always use that approach instead; there’s a setting in the Master Syle which allows you to ‘tell’ the theme that you want to use a third party slider for example, and you can target the other areas on the page using the free Extra Content stack. What the code snippets demonstrate though is that it’s possible to achieve all the effects seen on the demonstration site without having to buy anything else – it’s all included in the theme.
The additional colour and font options, together with a nice, simple slider (which also supports vertical slideshows), up to seven Extra Content areas and support for the Zocial icon set make Allegro Pro a compelling upgrade to the free version; and anyone who’s tried out Allegro and wished it could a little bit more will find this theme very attractive.