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RocketTheme's template release "Plethora" is exceptionally well-suited for true *publication*-style web sites -- sites with a ton of content to feature in various ways. These days, there's a real distinction emerging, I think, between (1) pure marketing-style sites that are there for the purposes of selling things, and (2) sites that are means as Internet-based publications. (Of course, there are still other types of sites, too -- things like social media platforms and sites that perform various services.) But, publications (newspapers, magazines, and even larger blogs) really do have a special need in that, as they grow, deciding on what and how to present a significant base of content becomes problematic.

What invariably emerges, if you look at any well-done newspaper site, is the concept of the home page as an way to showcase various content from the site. So, on these types of sites, the home page can be dramatically different from a normal article page. Of course, the organization of the site's content into categories, and the representation of such via a well-done menu system is also part of the winning formula.

Quick tangent before getting back to this review of Plethora. Since Joomla adopted Bootstrap about a year back, I'm seeing less and less customization of certain elements that are largely handled by Bootstrap (e.g., bullets) and/or other design platform defaults (e.g. Gantry's menu system). If you review the past several months of RocketTheme's releases, you'll note relatively little significant variation on the menu system, for example. I just wanted to remind readers that the system is still customizable in various ways, and may write up an article on customizing Gantry-based menus, as there is a ton of CSS involved, and it can be one of the more difficult aspects of a site to customize (because, mostly, a lot of what you see is only there in the active or hover state).

Anyway, back to Plethora... So, what you see right off is a ton of content being showcased on the home page. For most sites, the next thing to do is to take a look at what a "normal" web page would look like. For most, that means take a look at a "blog" page. So, on the RocketTheme demo, click on "Pages," then "Blog". You may then want to click on an article title, and then you'll get a look at a standard Joomla article page -- article on one side and a sidebar on the other. I think it's fair to say that most web sites fall into this time-honored design nomenclature -- info in one area and a sidebar there for further clicking.

So, if you want to evaluate a template quickly, look at its home page rendering and then its single blog article rendering. Remember that the whole thing is customizable from there (e.g., what all else shows, ratios of article vs sidebar widths, color schemes, # of sidebars to show (or no sidebars), etc. ad infinitum), but that's nevertheless a good way to evaluate a template quickly.

So, that's all for now. Plethora is good for BIG sites -- sites where you really have a lot of information. And, of course, all that is just my humble opinion.

You can get RocketTheme's Plethora template here. Just click Joomla and then Templates to see a preview. Or, hire Marketing Portland for your Joomla! web development and we can get the template you want for you. As developer members with RT, we're entitled to use any of their themes for our clients!

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