Reasons why Artisan Themes is THE MOST UNDERRATED WordPress theme!
If you’ve been shopping for new WordPress themes any time within the past 3 years and you haven’t heard of this little company from Argentina…shame on you! SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!
What makes Artisan Themes special?
I’ve been telling everybody about Artisan Themes for years. It’s run by Javier and Mai (out of Argentina) and listed on my best WordPress themes list. One of the best designs, many customizations, lightweight, and super easy to use. But for whatever reason, only a few people ever try it.
They’re enticed by the gimmicky bloated themes from ThemeForest/Envato, or caught up with lightweight DIY frameworks like GeneratePress/Astra.
What they don’t know is…Artisan Themes (especially their Pepper+ theme) will easily produce a BETTER DESIGN with MUCH LESS EFFORT, and doesn’t use a pagebuilder!
Artisan Themes is a criminally-underrated.
The elegance of Argentinean design.
When I first saw Artisan Themes several years ago, I couldn’t quite put a finger on their origin…like I usually could with other themes. They didn’t fit any of my generalizations about different design cultures (listed below):
- North American design (BUSINESS CASUAL) – professional, but not too serious. Like a stranger trying to be your best friend. It’s their way of building trust. Other times, they try to be EDGY and COOL.
- European design (CLEAN MODERN) – usually very modern and MINIMALISTIC. Lots of architectural and geometric influences. So clean, so neat and ORGANIZED. Clean color accents.
- Asian design (BUSY FEATURES) – heavy focus on pricing and VOLUME. For many Asian cultures, MORE is more. Many things from Asia have more features, more options, and built at a lower PRICE.
- South American design (WARMTH) – lots of culture, flavor, and spice. Everything about South Americans has passion. The language, the music. There’s energy in everything that they do.
Look at the violet/yellow color palette on the free Pepper theme website…
- Does that look American to you? – hell no, too much flavor. Americans are usually doing the nostalgic, cinematography, hipster look.
- Is it European? – hmmm, maybe the structure and cleanliness but still too much flavor to be European for me. European design usually has lots of WHITE Bauhaus influences with colors used as accents only.
- I didn’t suspect Asian design because lots of Asian-made themes are copycat themes, shoving as many features as possible at the lowest price possible.
This thing, whatever it was, was something truly unique from everything else. Clean like European design, but with a little more warmth.
Argentinean culture – a mix of European and South American latin influences
I’m actually somewhat familiar with Argentinean culture. I’m an Argentine tango dancer. I’ve also taught it. Competed in it. I won 3rd place in the US in 2015. My brother was 3rd place in the world in 2011. I’ve traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina before.
The moment I found out Artisan Themes was done by Argentineans, I thought to myself, “AHA! I KNEW IT!”
It makes perfect sense that it was made by Argentineans, since Argentinean culture is rich with European influence but also has the flavor and spice of latin culture. And the dance of Argentinean tango? It’s known for its elegance. Warmth, passion and love, but without effort. (So cliché, I know, but look at the theme and decide for yourself.)
Agency-grade theme designs.
Artisan Themes (for me) has by far the best stock theme designs.
When comparing stock designs, their stuff looks better than anybody else’s out of the box. They look like the work of a true design agency. See their themes for yourself.
- Spatial balance and cleanliness.
- Interesting layouts. (Not just shoving sidebar left and right.)
- Sensible use of color. (Even their plain B&W looks fresh.)
- Unique (AND SEAMLESS) transitions between different sections.
- “Out-of-the-box” – you don’t feel the “boxiness” of their grid layouts.
- Fun staggering – not just boring left-to-right, top-to-bottom.
Artisan Themes feel so free and yet so organized. Contained but not restricted. Organized, but not boxed in! Everything breathes. I’ve followed top design agencies and design award sites for years, borrowing influences from them in my work. While I may not be on their level, I can recognize a well thought-out design vs a copycat.
“99% of WordPress themes are TERRIBLE designs.”
99% of WordPress themes are TERRIBLE designs. No respect whatsoever to the content. Just a jungle of boxes with flashy effects for beginners wanting a “professional web design” for $50. So boring and generic! *SNORE!!!*
Nice mobile down-sizing
Many other themes look cool in desktop view, with their interest layouts and shapes/angles…but what happens when you downsize them? They lose all their personality, unraveling into simple boxes stacked on top of each other. All the magic sucked out of them like Cinderella at midnight!
Artisan themes retain their unique styling in mobile. If you have some cool staggered box layout, or angled shapes…it retains most of that styling as it downsizes to mobile. This extra attention to detail is much appreciated, and makes the difference between a professional design vs a pseudo/wannabe professional design.
Modular theme capability.
The Artisan “modules” feature is BETTER than a pagebuilder.
When other themes advertise “modular” features, what they mean is a clunky pagebuilder and millions of options. Artisan’s “modules” are different. It’s their own block editor, kinda like Gutenberg (building content with blocks) but more elegant and user-friendly. With the Artisan modules, you can build 99% of the layouts out there.
With Artisan themes, you can build your pages in several ways:
- Regular pages using the standard Gutenberg block editor.
- “Modular Pages” using Artisan modules.
- Import pre-styled designs, then edit “modules” how you like.
- You can also save and re-use modules.
And you know what kills me?
It’s that Artisan was the first theme (that I know) to do this. Back when everybody was enamored with pagebuilders coming out, Artisan was correct in going towards modular design. And if you do the math, they were doing this before the official Gutenberg editor. They were just so ahead of their times that they couldn’t be appreciated.
Perfect amount of modules.
There are just enough modules for you to do everything that you need. (Text, image/video, portfolio, gallery, buttons/slogans, columns, tabs, etc.) You won’t be limited nor overwhelmed. If you’ve ever dreamt of a minimal pagebuilder with only the essential options, the Artisan modules strike that perfect balance.
Between the prebuilt designs (blog, magazine, landing, shop, course, pricing, etc) and the modules, I’m confident you can make any website without a pagebuilder.
Import prebuilt designs BY PAGE (instead of the entire site).
- Have you ever wanted to mix designs? Like the HOME page from one design, and the ABOUT page from another?
- Or you already built your site but now want to import JUST ONE PAGE from the prebuilt designs? (Without overwriting existing content.)
With some other themes, you can’t. You can only pick one prebuilt style and it overwrites what you have. You can’t import just one page, and you also can’t import pages from 2 different styles. But with Artisan…you CAN import just one page. And then later even add another from a different design, all without affected your existing pages. Pretty handy, huh?
I also like that Artisan lets you choose to import designs with or without the images. It’s nice not to have annoying stock photos in your media library after importing.
Very few settings, AND you get a helper.
Many themes call themselves “easy” but all they do is load prebuilt styles. Building from scratch feels complicated or empty. Same goes for “lightweight themes” like GeneratePress or Astra/OceanWP!
The moment you activate the theme, a little helper walks you through the settings and how to use their modules. It takes about 3 minutes. Friendly enough for new WordPress users yet not annoying for pros.
The Artisan theme settings is just 8 simple tabs and that’s it.
- Not like other themes with 20 tabs in the “Theme Options” and then another 10 in the “Advanced Options”.
- Also not like the themes with 30 modules to activate, each with 3-5 settings in the Customizer that require 3-clicks to get to each one.
The modular pages can be managed from a frontend editor. There’s no frontend-backend madness. You can see exactly how things look instead of having to save and click back and forth. It’s so intuitive for non-techy people.
If you’re a beginner, you should be looking at Artisan instead of pagebuilders! It’s much easier to use AND looks so much better. It’s like you can’t mess up. I sincerely hope they release their Artisan modules for Gutenberg. Because if they do, I’ll be the first in line and bring all my friends. It’s agency-grade design modules in the palm of your hands!
It’s like playing with Legos.
I had to invent this term “fun-of-use” for Artisan because I didn’t know how else to describe their user experience. Playing with their modules brought back a childlike joy I used to have with Legos. Where it felt like everything I made was special. The included modules can do many unique layouts. Every change elicited an entirely different feeling.
You’ll enjoy exploring because you’re having so much fun. You’ll fall in love with all your little creations, and want to save them all (and you can, btw).
Anyone (and with any content) can make beautiful websites with Artisan.
You know those themes out where you feel like everything you do looks ugly?
- Where the prebuilt styles look good, but fall out of balance when you add your own content?
- Add an extra word to the header and it looks ugly.
- Or what if you want a square photo instead of a rectangle? NOPE! Not possible.
Believe me, I know your pain!
Artisan is the exact opposite. You can use any size/shape of image. You can write as much or as little as you want. You aren’t bound to the generic “balance” of text, images, and container widths. (What the hell is “balance”, anyway?) You can put whatever you have, and it will look great!
No more having to do a photoshoot or changing your company slogan because it doesn’t fit the damn theme. No hair-pulling or banging your head to make things look right. You feel like everything you make looks great! It’s so much fun to use.
Don’t even get me started. Artisan themes are coded super clean. As lightweight as any theme can be. Despite the cool designs, custom layouts, and other sexy features…it is coded lightweight. And this was way back in 2017 before “lightweight themes” were a trend. Are you thinking of using a pagebuilder? Just use Artisan and you won’t have to.
As fast as any other “fast theme”
Is it as fast as Astra? Is it as fast as GeneratePress site? As fast as a hole in the wall with no content? Yes, yes, and yes. It’s fast. Stop trying to compare. And if you’re comparing ANY site with a pagebuilder, Artisan will definitely be faster than that.
Final thoughts on Artisan themes
Artisan themes are perfect for ANYONE to create unique beautiful websites.
The themes are so well thought out. Great features, simple UI, fun user experience. And just enough options to play with. The “modules” feature can easily create unique designs that won’t look like anybody else.
- Unique header layouts.
- Unique footer layouts.
- Many page layouts.
- Many “modules” for your custom pages.
- Can still make regular pages (with Gutenberg or Classic Editor).
- No pagebuilder necessary!
Who is Artisan NOT meant for?
- Anybody wanting 500 silly effects and animations, bloated sliders and menus.
- Anybody deadset on a pagebuilder (defeats the point of Artisan IMO).
- Anybody coding super-customized designs from scratch.
Try the Pepper+ Artisan Theme
The best Artisan Theme is their latest Pepper+. It’s got the cool unique unboxed designs that I love. It’s one of those, “Wow, is that even WordPress?!” It was actually released 3 years ago but still unique today…the beauty of timeless designs, eh?