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The first thing I notice is the amazing value. Unlimited downloads, including all of the code and Photoshop files for just $39. The themes are good quality; I was especially impressed with Tinos which seems to be a new approach to blogging. I can’t really say why it seems like a new approach, but I think that if a news site were to use this theme it would really take off. A big plus for me were the references to Foucault, Derrida and dialectics in the dummy texts. These guys know their critical theory, alright. This gives me unwavering faith in the intelligence of their code.
Like they say on their landing page, these themes would definitely make a good first impression on a user. They also provide 24/7 support, helping customers tweak their templates if they aren’t code masters like the guys at CSSIgniter. Vignette is an incredible template, I really don’t know why more people aren’t using designs like these and the ones I’ve seen on Graph Paper Press, iThemes and Tesla Themes. The whole internet looks grey in comparison. A problem I have with Vignette, as seen on plenty of themes in the past, is that when the user hovers their mouse over a photograph to click it, it obscures the whole photograph with a translucent layer of greyness. I don’t know why this irks me, maybe it’s my sub-conscious habit of moving my mouse to things which I like instead of things which I want to click. Obviously it’s odd of me, or I wouldn’t see it around so much.
Their Santorini theme reminds me a little bit of the feature articles on the Atlantic, with that huge hi-res banner across the top which leads onto the site itself. I’ve always liked things like that; it gives the site immediate class and appeal. CCSIgniter, despite the reference to code in their name and URL, are targeted at people how don’t know anything about code. This is pretty obvious when they talk about how they decided to not include every feature in their templates, to eliminate the confusing parts and cut it down to just the features people would need.
Unlike some sites operating under the pretense that they actually ever sell themes individually when they have full packages available for virtually the same price, the only option on CSSIgniter for purchase is to buy every theme at the same time in one go. This sort of deal, you might think, would make the creators lazy. This doesn’t seem to be the case, as they are regularly updating their blog with fixes and news, even including some freebies along the way.
They have recently released a free graphic pack which allows users to create appealing infographics. These little releases show CSSIgniter care about creating a community. In February they even reduced the price of the full package of themes to just $19. That’s just about the best value anywhere on the web.