The Monochrome Pro Theme for WordPress from StudioPress is a feature rich theme that was built to work seamlessly with the Gutenberg editor. I use 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.
Get the Blogging Newsletter
Never miss another post - simply fill out the form below to get practical blogging tips right in your inbox.
You are signing up to receive informational and promotional emails from Almost Practical LLC and it's properties. Unsubscribe at any time.
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.
Related: How To Install the Genesis Framework
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:
- sign up boxes
- 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.
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.
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.