Natural Theme

Natural Theme | Weaverthemes | $29.99

We’ve always liked the simplicity and the less-is-more approach of this developer’s Rapidweaver themes but Natural, the latest responsive offering takes things to a whole new level of sophistication. It’s not fussy by any means, but it does come with a range of premium features, including an animated off-canvas menu, a powerful header/banner area, built-in lightbox, a free responsive grid stack and support for fluid video across all devices.

The striking banner area has four different height options (including full screen) or can be hidden completely, and you can use a static image there or replace it with slideshow. Weaverthemes provides the code you can copy and paste from its website to achieve this or you can simply hide the banner, set the height to ‘none’ and then drop your own Stacks-based slideshow into an ExtraContent stack and it will fill the header area. While this is a neat alternative for Stacks-addicts, it means you miss out on an important extra feature that’s availabe if you use the code snippet-based slideshow – the ability to overlay different content on top of each slide. Weaverthemes provides an example which adds descriptive text and a nice ghost button, but anyone with a bit of HTML-and-CSS nous could probably add other types of content as well.

Natural comes with a choice of 16 heading and body fonts and offers some of the most stylish choices we’ve seen for a while in a Rapidweaver theme – someone has really thought about the typography here. There are plenty of colour controls for the header, footer, banner area and five extra content areas too; and one of these has its own background image which sits ‘behind’ the website so any content there appears to scroll over the background. The default image for this can only be changed by using another code snippet from the site and it’d be nice if you could just do it from within a standard ExtraContent stack.

The off-canvas menu sits under a hamburger icon on the right of the screen (you can’t change this position) and rolls out from the margin with a smooth animation; we did find that the menu sometimes disappeared unexpectedly when scrolling through a large site with quite a few pages and sub-pages as if it was losing the pointer focus but on the whole it works well.

As with other Weaverthemes themes, Natural includes some clever custom code for slide effects and smooth scrolling, powered by Animate.css and we’d recommend you check out the tutorials on the website on order to get the best out of this and the theme’s other features.

Natural is an excellent Rapidweaver theme with a powerful, versatile header area and some great typographical choices and is highly recommended.

Rob Beattie

Rob Beattie is a freelance copywriter who designs sites using Rapidweaver. He's been reviewing computer hardware, software and web services since 1981. Yes...that long. And he's also the author of 101 Things to Do in a Shed , Fishing: A Very Peculiar History , and The Bluffer's Guide to Fishing