29 Mar 2010

Review | Ultimate Creative Template

Blog Posts, Reviews 1 Comment

On my first review, I will be talking about Ultimate Creative Template from one of the the well-known authors of activeden, Chuckanucka.

First of all, the price of this template is only $35, sold 885 times and got 5 stars from the 320 happy customers(03/29/2010). For a start, only with these information, statistics speaks for the template. But without drowning into numbers, lets check the features, and see if they are working as stated on the item description.

Feature 1 : Automatically generated xml from folders

One of the biggest problem about XML based templates is, even if it is easy to update the site with XML, it is not trivial. There are 3 steps involved in traditional XML based templates on the upload process.

  1. uploading images,
  2. editing your XML line by line to enter the image paths,
  3. uploading the xml file.

But on this template, with the help of an integrated PHP script, updating steps are gone. You just upload your files to your images folder, and voila! The script automatically generates the required XML file and immediately affects your galleries. This means less time wasted and as time means money for most of us, it saves you money!

In addition, (it seems Chuckanucka forget to write it on the description) this template has another time saving feature. You don’t have to crop your images to create thumbnails if you don’t want to! Because this template automatically generates the thumbnails on-the-go.

Feature 2 : An amazing amount of configuration options via xml

Indeed, there are tons of configuration options that you can play with. To talk with numbers, there are +300 of em! Nobody, even Chuckanucka don’t know how much really! To say the truth, if you want to customize the template, and try to make it look unique, than it is just the right template for you. But i think having too many options is sometimes confusing for the customers and in my opinion that’s why there are 1680 comments on the files discussion board. Having said that, I have to admit that the author organized the file structure so well, the confusion fades away after you start to play with the options. Every module has its own well-structured configuration file.

Feature 3: Fully featured news page

It is really full of features. It has a built in auto summery feature so it cuts the long texts to show on the initial news page. But thanks to actionscript, it is not doing it randomly. The feature is so well applied that it never cut your words apart. Another  feature of the news section is the intelligent scrollbar. It is invisible when not needed. Pretty standard this one is. Then the HTML and CSS support comes.  With the aid of CSS, you can use links,bold, italics etc that has styles. Also, once i even integrated a video player feature in the news section, on that project, i see that the code is so well organized that i felt like i was modifying one of my own files. I am saying that this template is quite open for new feature additions.

Feature 4 : Gapless mp3 player with cookie to remember volume

The best thing about the mp3 player is, fade-in and fade-out while the changes between the tracks. The player is minimalist, maybe not suitable for a music industry website but does its job on other industries.  And also, with its intelligent setup, after visitor pauses it, it never gets to play without visitor wants so. That’s cool.

Feature 5 : 3 great mp3 loops from Trix-Music which load randomly (if you want)

Well, normally you pay for the loops! Also those loops are quite shooting and relaxing, your visitors will not be irritated while they are browsing.

Feature 6 : Super smooth gallery system – unlimited galleries and pictures

That’s the place to talk about the animations. I guess you already noticed the Windows XP logon screen resemblance, in fact that’s the only thing that i did not like about the template at first but later, after i get comforted with the smooth and well thought animations that negative feeling went away.  I added +60 galleries to test the “unlimited” claim and see that it is true.  Also added +100 pictures and template proved to be as stated.

Feature 7 : Clean code, section help file and LOTS of comments

This is one of the best things about the template. As i said before, it is really really easy to make changes in the code because of the volume of comments. For almost every 5 lines of code, there are 3 lines of comment. And whenever i got stuck, there were tons of documentation separately on every module. I modified this template for over 15 clients, every time it was quite easy no matter what client wished. Some clients wanted paypal shopping cart integration, some clients wanted video playback ability… Above everything the reason that i wanted to review this template first was just because i modified it so much.

Feature 8 : Php contact form with as you type validation

It is not like traditional contact forms, quite good. But there is one slight issue about the e-mail address verification. It only checks for the @ and the dot, it would be good to add checks for the domain extension.

Feature 9 : Dedicated support

Chuckanucka is really a man of his word. I see almost everyday he replies to the questions of his clients, tries to solve their possible problems about the file and most importantly, occasionally publishes an update that solves the reported problems, and add new features that the majority requests.

Conclusion :

This template has an overall score of 98/100 not only because of the bargain price, but also being so user friendly, easy to update, eye catching and having a wide scale of features.

So, if you need a template, what are you waiting for? Go and buy it already! (:

Please note that the content of this article reflects only the thoughts of its author, Harun Akgun.

One Response to “Review | Ultimate Creative Template”

  1. ilians says:

    nice review!

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