Omnicon Theme

Omnicon | One Little Designer | $39.99

They say there are only so many ways to design a web page and that it’s inevitable that sites start to take on a familiar look and feel, as if they were all being created by the same person. 1LD’s new Omnicon theme attempts to buck this trend by delivering a theme with not one but two slide-out areas — one for the main and sub navigation and the second to display an innovative sidebar into which you can drop whatever content you like; in the demo, 1LD suggests a Twitter feed and social media links, which works well, but you could easily add some news, a contact form or whatever the site requires.

At nearly $40.00 Omnicon purchasers would be justified in expecting more for their money — and they get it, thanks to the included responsive columns stack and slider stack; these, plus the included code snippets, built-in lightbox, 601 icons courtesy of ionicons and a JQuery-based live search feature which desn’t need a database, make the premium price one that’s definitely worth paying.

You get 17 title fonts, 11 body fonts and the usual range of colour controls plus some nice background options for both the main content area and the navigation section. 1LD povides extensive tutorials to help you get the best out of the theme (including how to add subtitles and icons to the menu, how to set a banner image, use the supplied stacks, select and change icons and more) and we’d really recommend you get your teeth into these in order to allow the theme to do its stuff.

There are plenty of nice touches. If you have search enabled and preview your site in a browser, a little pop-up warns you that the site needs to be published in order for the search feature to work. Search itself is basic but effective and the list of results appears overlaid on top of whichever page you’ve searched from — it’s site wide too, and each result provides a link to the relevant page.

As with some other heavily customised themes you’ll need to go to Settings, Advanced and turn off the ‘Consolidate CSS Files’ settings in order for everything to work properly (if you don’t, the icons don’t display, for example) but since RW6 this setting can be applied on a project-by-project basis, so it’s not a problem.

We really like Omnicon. It’s that rare thing, a theme that’s genuinely distinctive and packed with enough extras that you won’t necessarily need to buy anything else to create a great-looking website.

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