A New Multipurpose Block Theme For WordPress – WP Tavern
Themeisle, long-time masters of the multipurpose WordPress theme, have released their first block-based theme with the same trademark style and flexibility as their previous products. The store currently distributes its Hestia (100K+ installs) and Neve (300K+ installs) themes on WordPress.org, selling pro versions with updates and support. Raft is the latest addition to the range.
When it comes to full site editing support, the WordPress directory still leans a bit on blog themes, but Raft was designed to fit a wide variety of use cases, as stated in the theme description:
“It’s perfect for blogs, small businesses, startups, agencies, corporations, eCommerce stores (WooCommerce storefront) as well as personal portfolio sites and most types of projects.”
Although the default homepage looks simple, it’s the block templates that make this theme ready for anything. Raft includes templates to create cover image with title and background, image galleries with title, query loop, two columns for features or services, three columns for features, call to action, an FAQ, a reverse background, and a hero section.
When users first install the theme, it prompts them to install the free Otter Blocks plugin, which adds more page building blocks and customization options. Raft is also compatible with Elementor, Brizy, and Beaver Builder, in addition to Gutenberg, and supports WooCommerce. The Pro version of Otter Blocks contains more advanced WooCommerce blocks for creating complex store layouts.
After activating the theme on a fresh install, clicking “Customize” takes the user to the site editor where it will be pre-populated to look almost like the demo. There isn’t much to the demo – it keeps the pages pretty simple and features the templates on a separate page. Raft isn’t quite a blank slate, but it does leave some room for the imagination, as it’s not jam-packed with content and animations.
The theme comes with eight beautifully designed style variations, each with harmonious color combinations that create a different vibe for the website.
Rift offers full site editing templates that users can edit to further customize core pages such as 404, single blog posts, homepage, archives, and more. It also includes a blank page template.
Themeisle markets its popular classic themes on WordPress.org with professional versions that include starter templates, additional header and footer options, custom layouts, WooCommerce layouts and more features. The company has not created a pro version for Raft. They may still be developing upgrade options, but the block world is a game changer, as custom layouts are much easier to create with the block editor. User expectations are different. It will be interesting to see how Themeisle markets its first block theme compared to its regular products.
Rift is a good option if you need a lightweight theme that isn’t too opinionated but still provides basic design as a starting point for building pages and customizing them with more advanced tools if needed. If you are already one of the over 100,000 users of Otter Blocks, this theme fits right in. Raft is available for free download at WordPress.org.