The latest responsive theme from Henk Vrieselaar is designed to display a full-screen slideshow behind your content that will stay full-screen, no matter the size of the device it’s being viewed on. This makes XXL2 a good choice for any website with a high quota of good visual content — perhaps a photographer’s portfolio or a travel/accommodation or holiday/camping site.
The main content area sits to the left of the browser window and is available in small, medium and large widths, together with a margin you can switch on or off. You can control the transparency of the background to ensure that your text and other content stands out clearly from the background slideshow and the theme also supplies four extra content areas here, each with its own styles and settings; in addition you also get two additional EC areas and a sidebar on the right hand side where you can add more content. The result is a theme that provides plenty of layout flexibility — despite its initially rigid-looking setup — indeed, you can even have a full screen slideshow on the opening page that displays the vertical menu but no content.
Adding the background slides is easy, thanks to the HV Slider stack which you can download for free from the developer’s website. There are a choice of seven super-smooth transitions and you can show or hide various related navigational elements like thumbs, controls, the progress bar, captions and so on; even just using the default settings you can create a full screen slideshow that adapts superbly to small screens on handheld devices. Images can be dragged into the Rapidweaver Resources list or — with a little bit of fiddling — warehoused in a folder on your web server. In addition, there’s a Flickr version of the XXL2-r theme which has most of the same features (the ability to pause a slideshow is a notable exception) but pulls photos in from the free Flickr photo-sharing service. This makes the theme a great choice for anyone who has lots of images, wants to be able to manage their own slideshows but doesn’t want the overhead of storing everything on their own webhost.
If you don’t want to use a slideshow on every page you can switch to a single full browser background image easily enough and elsewhere both theme variations give you a choice of seven title and menu fonts, 13 content fonts, together with controls over sizing, shadows, borders, footers and more. You can show or hide the logo, have it display left or right, add or remover borders, fade-in content, blur background images and much more.
The result is one of the slickest themes we’ve seen for a long time — highly recommended for anyone creating a site with lots of images — that packs a tremendous amount of flexibility under the hood.