The Sonsa theme is a newly released theme that focuses on the visual. It’s nice to see new themes that are coming out that stay blog-centric while adding more of a visual appeal—and in a unique way. This one does just that.
This theme also can be used for a restaurant site which I will touch on later in this review.
Sonsa Theme Options and Features
Sonsa has some basic features built in, with additional features that can easily be added via the Jetpack plugin. I like this idea because while it’s a free plugin, it’s also a solid one. I will talk about the specific features that require Jetpack as we walk through this theme.
As with many themes that I have reviewed, this theme’s options are found in the Appearance > Customize.
The theme options come with a couple of nice features. The first one is particularly helpful.
Default Post Image
If you have ever changed your theme, and your site has several posts already on it, you probably know that each theme treats the featured image in a specific way. While this makes each them unique, it can be a pain for theme changes.
One issue that may complicate things is when you move to a theme that uses featured images but you haven’t been uploading a featured image to every one of your posts. The result, if your next theme uses featured images, like Sonsa does, you have to go in and add one to all those posts. If you have a lot of posts, this can be a horrifying thought. But Sonsa has the option to upload a default image to fill in those empty spots. For a site with a lot of posts that would use this default image, it may not be the best simply because of the repetitiveness. On the other hand, it is better than a blank spot.
So, when switching to this theme, I might hesitate if I had a lot of featured images vs. just some sporadic ones.
The standard 404 error (page not found) can be pretty lame, but the Sonsa theme gives you the opportunity to upload a custom image.
Site Identity/Site logo
If you use this theme out-of-the box, you have the option to change the Site Title and Tagline and add a Site Icon, as you would with almost all themes.
But as I mentioned before, if you install the Jetpack plugin, this option will also include the feature of uploading a logo.
Although it doesn’t make a note here on the size, in the documentation where they list suggested sizes for the images on the site, you will find the logo size is displayed at 96px x 96px. So make sure your logo is formatted to work as a square.
At first, I was unsure where this image was going to show.
But once I added it, it became the background for the left hand side. The text didn’t lay over it well, but that text color can easily be changed in the customizer. You will need to play with this as that image behind there again disappears on smaller size screens and mobile.
Menus & Widget Areas
There are three menu locations for this theme.
And two widget areas.
I decide to combine both of these as they all play a role in the final layout and how this theme presents each area.
This is built as any menu would be in WordPress.
This is also built in the Menus under Appearances. You will need to create it using the Custom Link option and add your URLs there. The menu supports most popular services and will automatically pull in the appropriate icon.
This is an option to create a custom menu for your portfolio page if you are using that feature. I will explain more about this when I cover portfolios.
Primary and Header Widget Areas
Both of these areas can be used with any widget, depending upon what you want to display. In the example below, I will be using the text widget for the header area.
If we put all of this together, this is what our page looks like with the menu not collapsed.
And if we size the screen down we get this.
As I mentioned earlier, the Sonsa theme has an option for a portfolio that lets you showcase your images. To get this feature, you will need to install and activate the free plugin Jetpack.
And your portfolio will look like this. Sonsa will put in the project names automatically by default for the menu across the top, but you can put in your custom menu via the Menus in WordPress and assigning it to the Portfolio Menu as mentioned earlier.
A Couple of Templates
Sonsa has two custom templates that you can choose to use.
The featured template for a page takes what would be the normal look for a page in this theme…
and transforms it into a more visually appealing page that stands out from your other pages.
Food Menu Template
Sonsa’s food menu template makes their theme a nice choice for restaurant sites. You can show off your dishes with visuals and easily create menus as well. This screenshot I grabbed from their site shows you how it looks.
And because this theme is mobile-responsive, it’s an all-around good choice for a restaurant that wants to catch customers who may be driving and searching for a dinner spot.
Lastly Post Formats
If you are familiar with using post formats, the Sonsa theme takes advantage of this. Not only do you have options for images with this theme, but video and audio as well as other post formats. This can make for a nice multi-media site.
To see some examples of how some of these post formats display, I would recommend checking out their documentation here.
My Final Thoughts
After working with this theme, I can say it’s a clean, simple theme that can bring a unique approach to your visuals. The features and options are limited, so it’s better for a site owners who want to use it out-of-the-box. But that also makes it much easier to set up.
I would recommend using it with Jetpack to take advantage of the added features that brings.
And if you are looking for a theme for a restaurant, I would highly recommend it. When people are looking for a restaurant on mobile they want it easily accessible and menus that are easy to find and read. This theme fits the bill on both counts.