For the past 8 months, I have been sporting the Brunch Pro Theme for WordPress on this website.
I have totally enjoyed using this theme. But I am about to change my WordPress clothes (because I am quite fickle), so I wanted to introduce you to Brunch Pro – because it really is a solid choice for a lifestyle blog.
The Brunch Pro theme is easy to use and customize, it has a very clean and simple look, and is very flexible.
This is how to get started.
What You Will Need
To use this theme you will need
You can get both of these in a bundle at StudioPress.com – or if you already have Genesis, you can get Brunch Pro separately at the same site.
Also, if you don’t have hosting yet – you might want to consider using StudioPress Sites. They take all the headache out of self-hosted WordPress AND both the Genesis Framework and the Brunch Pro (as well as many other child themes) are included with your hosting plan. So, it will save you time and money in the long run.
If you’d rather go with traditional hosting, SiteGround is a great option – they are inexpensive and have excellent customer service.
How It Works
The Brunch Pro Theme for WordPress was designed by Shay Bocks of the Feast Design Co. and is what is known as a “child theme” based on the Genesis Framework.
If you are not familiar, it may sound complicated, but it really isn’t. And honestly, if you plan to blog on self-hosted WordPress, then it is something that you should learn anyway.
Basically, you will install the Genesis framework like you would a regular WordPress theme. But you don’t activate it. Next, you install the Brunch Pro theme and you activate the Brunch Pro theme.
This tutorial will walk you through how to install the Genesis Framework for WordPress.
And now the fun begins!
What You Can Include in the Header in Brunch Pro
The Brunch Pro theme was designed as a theme for food blogs, but you can adapt it for any topic that you blog about.
Your header is the top section of your website and it appears on all of the pages of your site except for those that use the Landing Page template.
In Brunch Pro, the header can include:
- 2 Menus – one above the logo area and one below
- a custom logo or just your site name
- a before header widget, and
- a header right widget, if you choose to use it.
What I Like Best About the Brunch Pro Homepage
The Brunch Pro homepage is what really attracted me to this theme.
It is both static and dynamic in nature.
In the top section, you can include your latest posts or put in a static image or images that don’t change.
Then, in the bottom section, you can include a scrolling list of your latest blog post.
This makes it easy to include a welcome message at the top with all of your posts below.
Your Homepage Options in Brunch Pro
The widgetized homepage in the Brunch Pro Theme for WordPress has 3 main sections.
- Home Top
- Home Middle
- Home Bottom
You can easily customize any of these sections with these secret weapons:
Brunch Pro Features That I Like
Your Secret Weapon – The Bruch Pro Featured Posts Widget
The Brunch Pro Featured posts widget is built into this theme and you can use it to easily add your posts in a grid type format.
You can choose to have your posts appear in a full-width format, or one-half, one-third, one-fourth, or one-sixth.
Further customizations include whether you want to show titles, excerpts, etc.
A Feature That You Won’t Find in Other Themes
Brunch Pro is one of the few themes for Genesis where you can change the font size via a slider in the customizations area.
For most themes, you need to change a bit of CSS to make this happen.
I find the font on many websites to be a little too small for my liking – so this one feature that I thought was pretty cool.
The Flexible Home Top Section
The home top section spans the full width of your site.
In the site demo, the Home Top section sports the Brunch Pro Featured Posts widget that displays the latest 3 posts with Featured Image and title.
On my site, I changed this section to show three static pages instead – which meant that I needed to use a text widget with a bit of code.
It is a little more tricky but Shay explains how to make it happen in this help article.
Learn As Much As You Can
I would suggest that you learn as much as you can about the Brunch Pro theme for WordPress to make sure it is the right theme for your needs.
The best place to start is to watch this video:
See the Brunch Pro Theme in Action
Next, I would read through all of the Help Articles for this theme.
These will give you a good idea of some of the easier customizations.
Finally, take a look at a few websites that use the Brunch Pro Theme so you can see some possibilities.
At the time of this writing, I found that these sites use Brunch Pro:
So – Why Am I Switching?
Actually, I haven’t decided just yet. But I do have my sights set on the Refined Theme from Restored316 Designs.
It is definitely more complex than Brunch Pro. However, I blog about many different subjects and feel like the simplicity of Brunch Pro makes it hard for me to tie it all together.
I am holding off right now because changing themes takes a lot of time and effort. And all the images – getting the sizes just right —- yikes!
Have You Tried the Brunch Pro Theme for WordPress?
As you can see, the Brunch Pro Theme for WordPress is simple, clean, and easy to customize without knowing a lot about coding.
It allows you to focus on creating content, without having to think too much about the setup and design of your site.
If you use or have used this theme, share your insights in the comments below.