An Obox Theme Review
Obox Design offers a wide range of themes, for anyone from the individual hobbyist to companies with their own lines of products. There is enough variety here to truly say they offer something for everyone, and enough flexibility for you as an end-user to make simple tweaks and modifications easily– without having to understand any kind of code.
The strength with many of the Obox themes lies in a somewhat more business-oriented approach to blog layouts, and some of their designs break the blog mold entirely, making these themes a good fit for almost any size and type of business.
Whether you represent a small or a large company with your own products and services, you are a crafter or an artist looking to showcase your work on the web, or if you are just looking to make your mark and develop a presence online, Obox has several interesting options for you.
A Look at Obox-Design.com
The themes are front and center on obox-design.com, and when you arrive on the home page you should have a pretty good feel for what these guys offer. The site design is clean and free of clutter, and very easy to navigate, which is a philosophy that holds true with all of the themes they offer.
Choices are presented in an intuitive, sensible way, not involving any tech jargon, and without trying to flood you with too much information all at once. The WordPress Themes menu directly asks who you are and what you are after, giving you options like “I’m a blogger” or “I want to sell something.” It’s a very straight-forward approach which ensures you know where to start, and can find exactly what you are looking for.
The actual results page is easily sortable with any of their options, and you can even choose to show themes for “I’m a blogger” and “I want to sell something” at the same time, if you are interested in more than one category.
It’s a very smartly designed and intuitive interface which should help you get to the themes you want straight away.
Obox Features and the User Experience
One of the main benefits of buying an Obox theme is that they go beyond WordPress itself, offering greater benefits in several different ways. Their own tools and plugins will enhance the power of the platform in key areas that are highly beneficial to both businesses and individuals.
The plugins they currently offer are:
- Obox Mobile: Creates a mobile-friendly version of your website, keeping a theme consistent with the full site design.
- Social Commerce: This plugin enables your customers to shop and make purchases directly from your Facebook fan pages.
- The Launchpad: While your site is under construction, this plugin allows you to display a customizable countdown to your grand opening, creating early hype and interest in your new web presence.
They also offer full integration, for all of their themes, with OCMX, which is their own framework built on top of WordPress to offer greater security and advanced features for those who need them. This system is fully integrated with the WordPress core, making it simple to update, and keeping it consistent with the way WordPress is built and used.
All of these features are very easy to use and set up, at least relative to most alternatives. They have done a great deal to make sure that even inexperienced users are able to work with their plugins and the enhanced feature set of OCMX, but it might still take a bit of getting used to before you are completely comfortable with the sheer variety of options in front of you.
Information and Documentation
There is a very comprehensive Documentation section available on the Obox website, with enough coverage for even the most advanced users to learn a thing or two. While it’s great to have so much information publicly available, you might find it a bit daunting if you aren’t used to working with software of this scope.
There is quite a bit to read, but it isn’t strictly necessary to do so unless you want to fully understand what’s going on under the hood. They have tried to present the information in a simple manner, without spending too much time talking much about things casual users will not be interested in, and they have struck a very good balance in this regard.
Individual documentation is available for some of the Obox themes, so if you really want to get your hands dirty and learn the system, you might want to make sure that your theme is covered in the Documentation section.
Support, Forums, and Theme Support
Support is offered only if you are a Premium member, which is true of anyone who has purchased one of their Premium themes. Even the support forum is open only to premium members, which limits your ability to ask presale questions, or to look into the answers of other users.
This also means there is no way for you to poke through the support forum to see what their customer service is like.
Your best bet for presales questions is to contact the developers directly by email, and there is a contact form available on the website to facilitate this.
If you have a relatively simple question, you might opt to use live on-site support chat for a fast response. Chat support for Obox is through Olark, and while this is an outsourced support option, its reputation is markedly better than leading competitors, such as LivePerson. If you’re looking for a quick answer or two, Olark works very well.
While the OCMX framework offers more features and customization within WordPress, it also makes the platform slightly bulkier overall. If all you want is a very simple blog you might find the wealth of options available to you slightly intimidating, or just not necessary. Though, it is important to note that there is no requirement that you make use of all of them, and OCMX does not make the installation of the theme any more difficult or cumbersome.
The same can be said of their plugins and documentation. Even though they have done their due diligence to make sure that the system is understandable, there is no less a learning curve. You don’t have to understand code or even be particularly good with a computer to figure it all out, but if you want to put together a robust website utilizing everything Obox has to offer, you will need to spend some time learning how everything works.
Pricing: Theme Packs and Obox Membership
Obox offers three choices when you purchase a theme. If you are a relatively inexperienced user you will want to opt for the Single Pack, if you want a bit more control and don’t mind getting your hands dirty you will want the Developers Pack, and if you want access to absolutely all of their products and themes you should go for the full Membership.
- Single Pack: This options gives you access to almost all of their features– with the notable omission of mobile support– and even throws in a free second theme along with your purchase. $60
- Developers Pack: 2 extra themes, mobile support, photoshop files useful to designers. $120
- Membership: Access to all that Obox has to offer, with unlimited choice in themes, plugins, and full support. $140 + $15/month
Additionally, they do offer the option to use two of their themes free of charge, as well as the Launchpad plugin. You don’t get to choose any theme you want with this option however—the two themes you can use for free are ‘Casual’ and ‘Selecta’—and you will not be able to take advantage of some Obox features, or receive any customer support, if you go this route.
Ultimately Obox Design offers a great selection of WordPress themes for anyone looking to make an impact online, and they are a particularly strong choice if you are interested in establishing a brand or setting up an online store. Artists and hobbyists will do very well to choose Obox as well.
If you are interested in getting started with your own Obox-powered WordPress site, head to obox-design.com and I’m sure you will be able to quickly find a theme that suits your needs.