Here’s a beautiful freemium (free and premium quality) WordPress theme from Retro Design Studio called Monkeypr which was released earlier this month. The theme page doesn’t contain any details or information so I can’t really provide much information except for the stuff that I’ve seen and observed from the demo. Monkeypr is a 2 column, widget-ready WordPress theme that includes built-in gravatar support and custom graphics.
With regards to the design and layout, the Monkeypr theme is awesome and is easily one of the best looking free WordPress themes around. It also has the basic features like widget-ready sidebar and built-in gravatar support that most blogs need. It has very nice custom graphics and includes a custom header editor that lets the user customize the font color and a few other settings.
I also like the jscript-powered Ajax sliding content header, found at the upper right section of the blog, beside the blog header. It lets the blog author display important announcements or news to their readers. The user navigates through the different news articles using the arrows found on each side.
Unfortunately, the Monkeypr WordPress theme lacks the proper documentation. The theme page only contains the live demo and download links and doesn’t have any information regarding theme installation. The only documentation found in the theme file is the readme.txt file which is written in Turkish. So even if the theme is simple and easy to install for some, it might be a nightmare for others who aren’t familiar with WordPress theme file structures and stuff. I tried installing it on my blog to see how it works and I was able to run it but I had an issue with one file – border-radius.htc (found in root folder). I don’t know what its for and how you install it. This file is mentioned in the readme.txt file but because it is in Turkish, I don’t understand the instructions.
Some users might have an issue with are the sidebar title graphics – category, archives, pages which are all in Turkish. The theme author didn’t provide the PSD file for these custom graphics so the user who wants to use the Monkeypr theme has to create their own custom graphics for the sidebar titles.
The Monkeypr theme includes a built-in 125×125 banner ads support but because of the lack of documentation, users won’t be able to use it. From what I can see, the only way to do it is to manually code the banner ad links and image source into the sidebar. Another thing that users (especially those who use a lot of images in their posts) need to consider is the post/content width. The default width is around 371 pixels, is quite narrow compared to other regular WordPress themes. So if your post images are larger than that, you’ll have to fix them so they won’t overlap.
The Monkeypr WordPress theme is such a beautiful and well designed theme and it’s very unfortunate that the theme author didn’t spend time to include proper documentation. I’m sure more WP users would’ve installed or would be able to use this theme if there was proper documentation and installation instructions included in the theme file.
If you’re Turkish or if you are able to create your own custom graphics or have someone do it for you and if you don’t mind getting your hands “dirty”, then installing/using this theme on your blog won’t be a problem. The theme works well except for the issues that I pointed out earlier. The best way to find out if this theme works on your blog is to download, install and activate it.
Inspite of all the issues, the theme author still deserves credit for creating a very beautiful free WordPress theme and sharing it with us. Kudos to the folks from Retro Design Studio!