Extra is a magazine theme from Elegant Themes that’s powered by their Divi Builder (a set of tools that let you build layouts with drag and drop). This one has been a long time coming and it was worth the wait. During the development process, ET was able to add new features that will change the way they build themes from here on out. In this article, I’ll take Extra for a test drive to see what I like (and don’t like) about the latest theme from Elegant Themes.
The basics that you would expect from ET are here:
- ePanel – backend control panel where you can make changes
- eCommerce ready – fully compatible with WooCommerce
- blog – using the tools provided you can build blog-posts that are story-driven and media-rich. It has 7 different post formats including Text, Quote, Video, Gallery, Map, Link, and Audio.
- fully responsive – works perfectly on all screen sizes and devices
- WPML ready – works with any language
- perpetual updates – using the ET update plugin
- premium support – get support through forums or email
- back to top button
- Smooth scroll
Price – Extra is available in all of ET’s subscriptions which start at $69 per year for the Personal plan, which includes access to all themes, perpetual updates, premium support, and unlimited website usage. The Developer plan is $89 per year and adds access to all plugins and layered PSD files. Lifetime Access includes everything for a one-time fee of $249. I highly recommend the Developer plan as it gives you access to the plugins.
Extra was built on the Divi Builder platform. You can control every element’s color, size, font style, width, line-height, background and foreground colors, icons, borders, and lots more. You can also add custom CSS to any element and save them independently. For example, a slider on one page can look and act differently than a slider on another page. All of these customizations are made with simple controls with no programming required. Of course, if you want to add your own code there are provisions for doing that too.
The controls are done with simple sliders, drop-down boxes, and color pickers. Any adjustments you make can be added to the library so you can choose them again. The eye in the middle lets you test your changes on different screen sizes. I like this feature because it’s easy to see what a change will look like on a smartphone or tablet without having to save the changes and then go grab a mobile device and look at it from there. This is better for development and works for offline systems.
Post and Page Builder
This is the heart of the Divi builder system. You build layouts by adding sections, rows, and modules. You can drag and drop elements onto your canvas to create your layouts and build story-driven posts. The Divi Builder works on pages and posts the same way it does in Divi. So if you’re familiar with the Divi theme, then you know how to build layouts for pages and posts in Extra. There are 32 pre-defined layouts that include home pages, contact page, portfolios, blogs, stores, about, coming soon, splash page, landing page, case study, product features, creative agency, and lots more.
Once you decide on a layout simply load it and start adding your own content. You can modify it any way you want by dragging and dropping the elements. Of course you can also build completely from scratch if you prefer. You can save your layouts and reuse them.
If you want to build from scratch you can choose your layout which will add columns that you can then add modules to. You can change it later if you want.
Once you’ve chosen your layout you can drop modules within the rows. It includes 32 modules to choose from and you can place as many of each one as you want. You can drag and drop them if you decide you want to change the layout.
Modules include pricing tables, video slider, testimonial, number counter, circle counter, bar counter, post title, login, portfolio, tabs, toggle, text, blog, code, blurb, accordion, contact form, call to action, shop, and lots more. These modules combine to create websites with lots of modern features.
What’s New for Extra
Extra is more than just a magazine version of their Divi theme… it’s a leap forward. It has lots of new features that focus on the needs of magazine websites.
Divi Builder for Categories
It takes the Divi builder one step further with the new Category Builder. It works like the page and post builder and adds a new set of post-based modules. It comes with two premade layouts and you can edit them or make your own simply by dragging and dropping the elements and inserting modules where you want them.
It also includes new modules for categories. You can place modules where you want them, but instead of placing just any post, image, or other content, you get to choose the category that content comes from. This is needed for magazines because you’ll want to provide the latest updates from several categories on your home page. You have complete control over your category layouts.
One of the modules you can place is a slider. It has buttons for previous and next, you can set it to animate or not, set the animation speed, set the size, etc.
It has the same three levels of options as the other module (general settings, advanced design settings, and custom CSS).
Extra has more than enough header options to choose from to ensure you’ll find one you like. You can choose left, right, centered, hide navigation until scroll, and whether or not to show social icons, the search bar, and the trending bar. You can adjust text sizes, colors, styles, background color, link color, whether or not to hide the logo, the logo height, and the menu height.
The menus are highly customizable. You can adjust the colors, fonts, backgrounds, styles, sizes, and how the drop-down structure reacts. You can adjust the dropdown animation so you can have items to fade, scale, flip, or slide from virtually any direction. It has a fixed menu system option that stays in place when readers scroll down. You can make it full-width and hide the logo if you wish.
What’s even better is the mega-menu system. It comes with several mega menus that will display different things.
- Featured Articles menu shows three large articles from a specific category in your navigation bar.
- Article List menu shows two large posts and four small posts.
- List Mega Menu combines multiple dropdown menus into a single menu.
The secondary menu appears above the header. One of my favorite features is the trending bar. This shows links to popular posts and cycles through them. The secondary menu also contains social media links and a search box. All of these can be turned off and customized for colors, styles, sizes, etc. This section will hide out of the way when readers scroll down.
The footer layout gives you a dropdown box with 11 different layout options. Just like the others you can adjust all of the styles, colors, sizes, fonts, links, etc. This adds widget areas where you can drop widgets.
You can adjust the settings for each post individually. Settings include sidebar location, sidebar and widget areas, featured post, hide title and meta, hide featured image, hide post rating, review box contents, and a breakdown with rating percentage (you can add as many breakdowns as you want).
Ratings and Reviews
This is a review system from ET that lets you review and provide ratings. You can also let your readers rate your articles. You can add a product review to any post and include a rating system that you develop yourself. It will display the scores with a breakdown. It also has a widget that will show the review and similar posts.
I like the breakdown feature a lot. You can decide what each element you are reviewing and then provide a number for your rating. It provides this on your post as a bar chart. This is an excellent way to build a rating system. It appears under the post just above the sharing buttons.
Extra adds nine widgets:
- Recent comments
- Recent posts
- Recent reviews
- Recent tweets
- Recent videos
- Social network followers
Buttons Under the Post
It automatically adds a few buttons under each post that make your site look and feel more like a professional magazine website. These buttons can be turned off if you prefer.
- Social Sharing Buttons – At the bottom of each post you’ll find social sharing buttons. It also has a button for email and one for printing the article.
- Rate – This lets your readers rate your articles.
- Next and Previous – Under the sharing buttons are buttons for previous and next post.
Under the Post
It also adds an author box and a section for related posts. The author box shows the picture of the author, bio, and social media and website links.
There are 27 modules that you can customize in the module customizer. You have full control over colors, sizes, fonts, etc. You can customize them using sliders, color pickers, and drop-down boxes. Customizing is simple and you can see the results in real time before you save it.
The theme customizer lets you make changes to colors, fonts, borders, sizes, widths, images, buttons, etc. It uses sliders, color pickers, and drop-down boxes.
This customizer also lets you see the changes in real time before you save it. This way you can make better decisions about what your site looks like before anyone else sees it.
This lets you assign editing abilities based on the user’s level. This way you can allow guests and authors to have a certain level of customization for their posts without having to give them a higher role-level. You can even choose the types of settings they can adjust and which modules they can use.
One thing that stood out to me is it didn’t need much set up after the install. In the past I’ve had to make lots of modifications before the website was usable. With Extra the sites I tried it on were usable instantly. Of course I had to point to my logo and add my social media links, but that was really all there was to it. All of my sidebars still worked as expected.
There are a lot of customizations in Extra. Using the builder you can design the layout in sections and then add rows and modules with ease. You can rearrange the sections and the modules within each section. You can customize every color, style, font, border, button, row, etc. Any one of these would give you a lot of customization options. With all of these combined there are a lot of ways to modify and personalize your layouts to create a website that’s uniquely yours. If you decide to change to a different theme you can keep your layouts using the Divi Builder plugin. You won’t be able to keep category layouts, ratings, or review scores, but you can keep your layout.
Extra doesn’t look or feel like an extension of Divi. It is its own theme with its own features and native magazine layouts. The strength of Extra is its simplicity and elegant magazine layouts, and its special touches like widgets and the product review system. Virtually every magazine reviews products, so this is a welcome and much-needed feature.
Extra is clean, elegant, and pretty. On top of that, it’s powerful and easy to use. It builds high-end and professional-looking magazines, but it also builds personal blogs or any other type of website you need. I highly recommend it as a high-quality magazine theme. If you’re interested in building a professional magazine website but don’t want to spend a lot of time in the design process, ET’s Extra is what you want. It’s worth joining Elegant Themes for this theme alone.
Check it out now:
Your turn! Have you tried Extra? What was your experience like? What is your favorite feature? Do you have something to add? Let us know in the comments.
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