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Project Files: Spotlight on Revolution

By Char

In August 2007 Brian Gardner revolutionized the WordPress theme space by launching the first of a family of ultra-customizable, cleanly coded and innovative themes aptly named Revolution. Shortly after customizing my first Revolution theme, it quickly became my first choice when considering themes for projects.

The following are a few of the site designs/customizations I have done in the past six months using Revolution as the base:

From top to bottom, the sites are:

While the original Revolution theme took the traditional WordPress site to the next level, the Revolution Magazine theme and its variants kicked things up a few more notches. The magazine style theme allows more content to be displayed on a site’s home page, giving web publishers the ability to control what content stays in front of the visitor and for how long. The theme is also perfect for adding video, audio, advertising, and interactive features to the site.

Brian has recently released Revolution2 – taking Revolution from a premium, for purchase theme to a completely free, open source series of themes with specific functionalities based on the type of site you need to create. Additional Revolution2 features and support are now available via subscription, including access to the support forums and a listing of Brian’s recommended designers (I am one of them).

So, yes, I have been a little busy (which explains the less frequent posting here), but I really enjoy taking client ideas and bringing them to life using Word Press and more often than not, the Revolution theme. If you are ready to take your site to a new level, I’d love to help you get it there. You may contact me at cpolanosky [at] gmail [dot] com for availability and a quote.

Categories : Project Files, WordPress



Char, what a fantastic display of websites – well done! You’ve known all along how fond I am of you and your abilities, this only demonstrates your skill. I’m happy to see the Revolution themes as the foundation of some great designs, and thank you for the post. I just don’t want all your visitors mad at me know since my themes have helped keep you busy! Keep up the great work!


Brian – Thank you for creating such an amazing theme! Revolution is hands down, the best group of themes I have worked with. There is no sense in creating a theme from scratch when such a solid base is already there – it allows the designer to produce a site the client loves in a fraction of the time.


I love these! They look great and are a testimony not only to the templates flexibility but your ability to maximize its impact visually and strategically.

Nice work!


Thanks V! I can’t wait to get a chance for us to work on each others’ sites again. My pages definitely need your word magic.


Very impressive. Well done!
I’ve got two questions to you, Char:

1) Do you find tweaking the code much when basing your sites on Revolution Theme, or do you mainly work with CSS and change it a lot?

2) Do you charge your clients less because you use a ready-built WP theme, than if/when you create a custom theme for them?


Inspirationbit – great questions! The answer to both questions is “it depends”. Some of the sites are pretty straight forward modifications of the CSS but there are others that required considerable modification of the individual php files.

I do charge less for designs based on an existing theme than I would for a design created from scratch, however, the quote varies based on the level of customization of the main theme that is needed.

Thanks for stopping in!!


Thanks for the answers, Char.
It’s always a pleasure to get a bit of insight into the projects you’re working on. I’m always amazed at how much a busy mom like you is able to accomplish.


I am a big fan and supporter of Brian’s work from Day 1. In fact, I purchased the developer kit and use it on all my new sites. I still have the original News theme, and have a hard time deciding which theme to “upgrade” to. So many choices!


inspirationbit – no problem – some days I juggle better than others.

Jimson – you did a great job on your site. The new Revolution2 themes are amazing – I’m playing with one now for a new project.


For a beginner how difficult is it to set up Revolution and make it look like something professional? I know enough to be able to install wordpress and switch themes as well as ad plugins but I have never gotten into modifying any code.

Can a novice like myself make Revolution look great without manipulating code? I’ve tried to set up another magazine style wp theme called Mimbo II with no luck. I was just too confused.


Paul – I think Revolution is easier to work with than Mimbo, however, in order to make Revolution really work you need to work through the tutorials, understand how to control your categories and be comfortable adding thumbnail graphics. Hope that helps.


Fantastic portfolio. Question: do you see the advance of free professional themes be it on WordPress, Joomla or other as a threat to your web design business? With so many great products “out of the box”, surely web designers must be less in demand compared to say 10 years ago? On the other hand I imagine there will always be a market for custom themes..


Clarinette – Thanks for the kind words. I don’t see free themes as a threat to my business in any way. I think web designers are in greater demand – because everyone now knows the importance of having a web site for your business, organization etc.

There is always a market for custom themes and there is always a market for designers to modify the free themes. I don’t know a single web designer who is looking for work right now. Most of us are so busy we are turning work away.


Those are some exceptionally nice designs. I’ve just recently started to use wordpress for some of my sites, I’m taken aback by how easy it is to build great looking full sites as well as blogs. There’s even an effective ecommerce system plugin. WordPress really do seem to have created a top notch open source CMS.


One of the best things,I like about this post is mentioning the theme. Most of the time,I really like the word press theme, but really get confused for what theme I use it.

This is the fist time I have seen clear specification of themes.

I really like this post, Please keep posting more.


Those websites look great. What’s more is the system behind them look great as well. I remember how much of a hassle it was at times to tweak my custom WordPress theme to get it cleanly coded and web standards compliant. It seems to be the nature of dynamic content to not want to be compliant, but I think it’s important to make sure that it is.

These themes look like a great step forward and hopefully the will become a powerful tool and help bring the standard of the themes to a higher level. I’ll definitely be taking a look at them.


nice work you’ve done. maybe we can work together in the future :D

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