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Eksell, A Free WordPress Portfolio Theme of the Highest Quality – The Best WordPress Theme of 2021?

Eksell is a feature-rich portfolio and blog theme, with deep support for the block editor and full color settings. It includes extensive block styles and multiple prebuilt block patterns, and it styles the block editor to match the front-end of your site so you always have a good idea of what the end result will look like.

Video Transcription

Install Eksell Theme

As always, let’s start by installing Eksell on a fresh WordPress website without any content. Go to your dashboard, open the themes page and search for Eksell. Install and activate the theme.

Eksell does not require or recommend any plugins, and that is wonderful.

This is what an empty website looks like when Eksell is activated. Even without content, it’s already pleasant to look at.

Now allow me to import the demo content from my Oncanvas theme, to better understand what Eksell can do.

It is amazing how good it looks right out of the box. Even without any additional tweaks, my existing blog posts already look great.

Eksell Theme Options and Settings

Now let’s go through the theme’s options and settings.

There are no additional theme pages in the back-end, no upsells, no admin notices. This is wonderful.

Open the Customize page.

In the Site Identity panel, you can upload your logo. You can display the site title and tagline with or without the logo. They are independent of each other.

In the Theme Options panel, you can disable animations and the google fonts.
You can also enable or disable the sticky header, the search form and the menu label.

For Archive Pages, you can add some intro text on your front-page and you can display your post categories.

For pagination type, there are 3 options: a Load more button, load more on scroll (also known as infinity scroll), and Links. I feel like a fourth option would be welcome, with page number links.

You can select the desired number of masonry columns for 5 different screen sizes.
You can also display post authors, categories, number of comments, dates and tags. By default these are all hidden.
Unfortunately these same controls are currently not available for single posts. Maybe they will be included in future versions of the theme.

In the Colors panel, there are only 8 color controls, but look at the magical things that you can do. It takes me less than 60 seconds to completely change the theme to a dark color scheme. I’m truly impressed, both as a theme developer and as a user.

Block Editor

And finally, let’s look at what the theme does with the WordPress Block Editor. I’ll create a new post, add some dummy text and set a featured image.

The size of text paragraphs can be controlled directly from the block editor. It is important to mention that the predefined text sizes will adjust to the screen size. But if you set a custom size, then it will not change automagically on smaller screen sizes. So be careful with this one.

You can also change the color of your paragraphs and headings. These 6 color options are taken directly from the Colors panel in the Customizer. If you change the colors there, they will be available here. Wonderful!

Block Patterns

But wait, there is more. Allow me to create a new page.
If you go to add a new block, you will see the Patterns tab. In the dropdown select Eksell.

Currently there are twelve patterns that can be used to create beautiful pages and posts.

You can use any of the included patterns and create all types of combinations. Each pattern can be customized and edited to fit your needs. This reduces the need for a page builder even more.

Widgets

One final note: Eksell doesn’t have any widgetized areas, so the Widgets page is not even visible in the Dashboard or in the Customizer.

I think this is a good time to stop and allow you to try out and explore Eksell.

Conclusion

If you are a creative in need of a new WordPress theme, then Eksell could be a great starting point for your new website. As I mentioned previously, it is a 100% free theme, without any upsells and paid add-ons.

Eksell is a true gem of a theme.

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