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The Ark Theme

The Ark is a business and corporate premium WordPress theme, built in December 2016 by FreshFace, an Envato Power Elite Author. This template is one of the author’s best products, and it comes with multiple customization options. The Ark can be a good choice for every business, corporate, blog, creative, agency or WooCommerce website.

Design

The Ark is a modern, and responsive WordPress theme designed with a minimal touch and beautiful, appealing lines.The template comes with a lot of pre-made pages, sections, and multiple styles to make your website differentiate from others. With the one-click demo install system, you can import many pre-made designs like Construction, Gym, Hair Salon, Healthy food shop layouts, and make your first impression on The Ark. The theme comes with a nice styling tool that allows you to use your favorite color as a main accent for the whole website.

Both pages and posts can be customized with the Fresh Builder, and also with the extra individual settings. If you want, you can be creative and change the layout, header, title bar, footer or post content mode for each page or post.

Over 20 header and eight footer styles are ready to help you build a strong brand and impress your visitors. Some of the most popular ones are the ‘Default Classic – Transparent Top’, ‘Default Search – Full Classic’, ‘Default Header’, ‘Default Footer’ and ‘Default Map’. Besides the predefined header and footer layouts, you can customize each chosen style with the general, box model, typography, elements or custom code options – which are individually per each pre-made above the fold or bottom areas.

As for the typography, The Ark holds a pack of over 800 Google Fonts and an opportunity to show different fonts on different devices. Also, you can upload any custom font and use it on your website.

With the sidebar manager, you can use a single sidebar (on the left or right side) or dual sidebars and create countless new ones. Insert them anywhere you want. Add and give more content and navigation to your visitors.

Two of the more useful elements that are included with The Ark are the Slider and Form Builder, which allow you to showcase your work in custom moving galleries. The Form Builder element gives you the chance to design engaging forms and style them as you like.
With the Ark you can display your creative content, such as custom images, videos, embed YouTube or Vimeo and web pages in an elegant way, using a lightbox effect. This option will give your website an interactive touch.

The theme is social network friendly. You can share your popular posts or pages with friends and fans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google Plus.

Functionality

The Ark comes with a Theme Options panel that helps you generally adjust the layout, skins, fonts, icons, portfolio and Google API. Also, the admin area includes additional settings, such as the sitemap, headers & footers builder, or sidebars.

The page builder comes with over 200 pre-built elements, which have multiple options for customization. The Fresh Builder is well structured and gathers entire pre-made blog sections, portfolios, headings, footers, buttons, sliders and more.

You can display posts or pages in a beautiful ‘mega menu’ on 2, 3 or 6 columns, but without an image thumbnail preview. You can load elements or over 200 pre-defined sections on pages or posts. No matter what pre-made section you want to include, you have a ton of options, right from the page builder. From banners, charts, testimonials, counters, sliders or team, you just have to insert them, and your page or post is ready to draw attention to your visitors.

The author designed a “Magic” Quick Save button that allows you to modify a page or a post without reloading it. When you hit this button, the page or post is refreshed automatically, as the content is saved through Ajax. With the quick save function, you don’t have to go back and forth to see the changes.

For The Ark theme, the author has built four custom widgets that bring the Latest post & news in a more visible area, along with a Twitter icon & Timeline information that brings you an excerpt of the most recent news on Twitter.

The entire functionality is given by the Ark Theme Core, Fresh Framework, Custom Code, Favicon, File Editor, Menu Item Limit Fix, Performance Cache and Revolution Slider plugins, which come bundled with the template.

The Ark is compatible with the most popular plugin like WooCommerce, WPML, SEO by Yoast, MailChimp, and WP Super Cache plugins.

GENERAL
Item name The Ark
Category Multi-purpose
Type Premium
Author FreshFace
Envato elite author Yes
Tested version 1.9.1
COMPATIBILITY
Content width Full Width
Browser compatibility IE10+ / Chrome / FF / Opera / Safari / Edge
WooCommerce Yes
bbPress -
BuddyPress -
WPML Yes
FONTS AND TRANSLATION
Integrated translation -
Google fonts Yes
Custom fonts Yes
Typekit fonts -
RTL support -
POST FEATURES
Video posts Yes
Audio posts Yes
Post templates 16
Post view counter -
Smart lists -
Social share Yes
Custom image lightbox Yes
Custom image galery -
Link post -
Lightbox skins 5
PAGE FEATURES
Page templates 16
Blocks 200+
Widgets 4
Header styles 22
Footer styles 8
Masonry layout Yes
Mega menus Yes
Sticky menu Yes
Social networks Yes
Social counter -
Video playlists -
Instagram widget -
Custom Page Builder Fresh Builder
Portfolio styles 7
Responsive layout Breakpoints
Blog layouts 21
Menu styles 1
Dual Sidebars Yes
Shortcodes Yes
Video slider Yes
OTHER FEATURES
Demos included 6
SEO optimized Yes
Custom Theme Updater Yes
ADS
Ad system -
Adsense support -
Custom ads -
PERFORMANCE
CSS file size 1.0 mb
Overall speed Slow
Performance documentation -
USER EXPERIENCE
Total ratings 85
User rating
Learnability Medium
DESIGN
Responsive design Yes
Retina ready -
DOCUMENTATION
Difficulty Medium
Explanations Less Detailed
Explicit screen shots Yes
Video tutorials Yes
Search option -
Extra documentation -
PREMIUM PLUGINS
Plugins Ark Theme Core, Fresh Framework, Revolution Slider, Fresh Performance Cache, Fresh Custom Code, Fresh File Editor, Fresh Favicon, Fresh Menu Item Limit Fix
VALUE
Price $29
Value for the money Good

Performance

We have tested The Ark default demo on different page speed tests and the content loads at a low speed.

The Ark – PageSpeed

Downsides

The page builder has so many customization options that you can feel overwhelmed when learning your way around this theme. Unfortunately, the learning curve is quite steep for this theme. It will take you quite a while until you get familiar with it and manage to build a great website.

The demos come with blurry media images, and you have to be patient until the content of your chosen pre-made layout is loaded.

Also, the theme’s documentation looks like a mini guide through The Ark, with a few screenshots. Though, on the official YouTube channel, the FreshFace developers have uploaded over ten step-by-step videos to help you set up a nice website.

The Ark Theme Review
Category: Multi-purpose
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Price: $29
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Features
User experience
Documentation quality
Flexibility
Performance
Stability
SEO Friendly
Monetization
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Value
Conclusion
The Ark is a new and interesting theme on the market. Since it’s so fresh, the authors are continuously improving and adapting this template to the user's needs. With all the given customization settings The Ark is more suitable for an advanced WordPress user who wants to build a personal, business, one-page, portfolio or eShop website.
Good for
  • Fresh and minimal design
  • Custom theme updater
  • Custom plugins
  • Layout Builder
  • Many video tutorials
Not so good for
  • No translation panel built-in
  • No advertising system built-in
  • No Typekit fonts
  • Large CSS file size
Overall score:
73%
Awards:
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Lisa Jones
Editor-in-chief of WPion. 100% passionate about WordPress, Lisa is part time web developer and part time front-end designer. With a master's degree in computer science, she is specialized in CSS, HTML, JavaScript, MySQL and PHP. Lisa uses her knowledge and experience to offer you a complete analysis of WordPress most popular themes and plugins.

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