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Monochrome Pro Theme for WordPress Review – My Favorite Features

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The Monochrome Pro Theme for WordPress from StudioPress is a feature rich theme that was built to work seamlessly with the Gutenberg editor. I have used it on this site and really like it. Here are some of my favorite features.

Because Monochrome Pro was built with Gutenberg, in mind some things work a little differently than other Genesis child themes that I have used in the past.

If you are accustomed to using the Classic Editor in WordPress, this will be new for you as well.

Before I begin, one thing to note is that Monochrome Pro is a child theme for the Genesis Framework.

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Use the One-Click Theme Set Up

Once you purchase the Monochrome Pro theme you get access to the theme set up guide.

I highly recommend that you read this guide before get started.

One of the first steps you can take is to do the One-Click theme set up.

For me, this worked like a charm.

It downloaded all of the sample content and the necessary plugins.

You don't need to do the one click theme setup but I found it easier on a new blog.

The sample content made my site look exactly like the demo – which I could then modify to meet my needs.

I felt this was easier than starting from scratch.

Download This One Essential WordPress Plugin

The one click theme set up installs 5 WordPress plugins – all of which are optional.

However, I personally found one of the recommended plugins to be absolutely essential: The Atomic Blocks plugin.

This plugin pumps up the functionality of Gutenberg Blocks and is necessary to make your homepage look like that of the demo.

If you have used Thrive Architect, the Atomic Blocks plugin brings Gutenberg a little closer to that powerful platform.

The Homepage Is Highly Customizable

In the Monochrome Pro theme one thing in particular that works very differently from other Genesis child themes is the homepage.

The main difference is that the homepage is not widgetized.

It is actually built as a static page using the using the “Block Template” which is part of this theme.

I actually really love this.

Since you use Gutenberg blocks to build your homepage, you can really customize it any which way you want.

You can add:

  • images
  • sign up boxes
  • columns
  • background colors or photos
  • videos, and more.

You build the homepage just as you would any other post or page on your blog.

This combined with Atomic Blocks plugin that I mentioned above gives you powerful design options.

For example, the Atomic Blocks plugin has a columns block that you can use to create several of the homepage sections that you see in the theme demo.

Optional Search Icon in the Menu Bar

The Monochrome Pro Theme features a sticky menu bar that stays visible while you scroll any page.

By default, you will see a search icon in this menu bar that turns the whole bar into a search box when you click on it.

You can turn this feature off if you don't like it, but I think it is pretty cool.

Intro Paragraph Highlight Option

Another feature of the Monochrome Pro theme is a bolded intro paragraph to each post.

You can also turn this feature off, but I rather like it.

These are the Colors You Can Customize

One of the things that I always look for in a WordPress theme are the options to customize colors.

The last thing that I want to do is mess with CSS – so I' rather be able to choose colors from the Customize Theme options.

Monochrome Pro gives you the option to customize your:

  • link color
  • accent color and
  • footer gradient color (this is really the colored bar before the black footer section).

A Little Background

My website is pretty much brand new.

I set it up as a fresh, clean WordPress install hosted on my favorite blog host – Big Scoots. You can read all about why I like them here.

Because the site was brand new, I decided to exclusively use the Gutenberg editor for WordPress on this site.

I did not install the Classic Editor plugin, nor was the Classic editor ever used on this blog.

Choosing a WordPress Theme

Since I decided to use Gutenberg from Day One, it made sense to use a WordPress theme that was specifically optimized for the Gutenberg editor.

All of the themes at StudioPress are Gutenberg ready – but the following six themes, in particular, have been reworked to take advantage of the new block building features:

Out of the six I decided that I liked the look of Monochrome Pro – so I went with it. (While I still love the Monochrome Pro theme – I have switched to the Brunch Pro WordPress theme on this blog.

The Best Part About the Monochrome Pro Theme for WordPress

Monochrome Pro is a clean looking, fast theme built specifically to work with Gutenberg for WordPress.

It has many great features including:

  • One Click Setup
  • Highly customizable Homepage
  • Search icon in menu bar, and
  • Customizable colors

My favorite feature is the versatile Homepage that is created entirely using the block editor.

It is much more customizable than a traditional homepage that uses widgets.

Have you tried Monochrome Pro?

Tell me what you think in the comments below.

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Jay

Thursday 7th of May 2020

Hi Neena, did you use the Monochrome Pro theme but then integrate a different wordpress theme for your blog page? I love the theme but find the blog page and the format for featuring multiple blog previews on one page a bit restrictive. Thanks, Jay

Neena Nandagopal

Thursday 7th of May 2020

Hi Jay, First, let me be clear that my entire website including my blog is now sporting the Bruch Pro theme from Feast Design which also runs on Genesis. However, I still do love the Monochrome theme - it is so crisp and clean. As to the blog page and multiple blog previews, I add them using the Atomic Blocks plugin which works with the WordPress Gutenberg editor. I don't think the theme matters, you just can't use it with the Classic editor. I'm not sure if this answers your question, so please let me know if I can clarify further. Thanks!

Mark

Monday 13th of January 2020

Are all the images in this theme in black and white, or can color images be used in the theme?

Neena Nandagopal

Monday 13th of January 2020

Hi Mark, I believe you can use whatever color images you would like to upload. However, the buttons are black as are some of the accent colors. Your best bet is to reach out to StudioPress support if you have specific questions before you purchase the theme.