I wanted to write a Pipdig review based on my usage and seeing other bloggers asking about Pipdig themes lately. Here ya go!
Pipdig WordPress themes are stunning. There’s no denying that; the guy is an amazing website designer. I stumbled across them a few years ago and immediately snapped one up (Equinox). Then I started hearing from everyone and their blogging brother that ONLY Genesis WordPress themes would do.
Apparently the Genesis platform is totally rock solid, lightweight, great for SEO. All important things, but I wasn’t totally in love with the designs of the child themes for Genesis. Plus, since so many bloggers were using it, our blogs were looking a bit similar.
Nevertheless, I let my beautiful Pipdig theme sit dormant for a while as I tried to tweak and cajole my Genesis-based child theme into something unique and close to what I wanted.
If you are a blogger you know the mix of obsession and frustration that goes along with trying to make your blog look the way you want. You buy a theme that’s sort of what you want and then you dig in and start trying to change everything. Then you have a mental breakdown because you’ve just spent 4 weeks on the design of your blog and zero weeks writing anything for it.
After the Breakdown
Following a 5-6 year-long blogging existential crisis, I decided that maybe blogging should be enjoyable, and not a soul-stealing struggle.
I dusted off my old more personal lifestyle blog, switched it back to the Pipdig Equinox theme, and jumped up and down clapping like an idiot. Then I fist-pumped the air until I dislocated my shoulder, guzzled a beer, smashed the can on my forehead, did a little booty dance while slapping my ass, and moonwalked across my house.
This was good. Blogging was going to be awesome again. Not just some big list of what I was doing wrong and what I had to focus on to rank for whatever keywords I couldn’t give 2 shits about but was ranking for.
Fast forward about 3 months, which is 2 centuries in blogging years, and I’m still happy with my Pipdig theme. In fact, I adore it. It just works. There aren’t all these awkward sections like in every Genesis-based child theme I’ve tried (I’ve tried 5). Mr Pipdig just seems to know what will look good, and how to make it happen.
(Mr. Pipdig is not really named Mr, Pipdig, incidentally, but Phil.)
Going Straight to the Pipdig Source
My biggest concern with using a Pipdig theme was whether or not it was coded all clean and fast. It’s super important to use the fastest theme you possibly can, so your site doesn’t piss people off by loadinggggggggg liiiiiiiiiiiike molasssessssssssss.
So I emailed Pipdig Phil and asked him some questions. He responded that evening, and I remembered how quickly he had answered the few questions I had about the Equinox theme when I first bought it.
Here was part of my question I sent to him, and his reply follows:
The biggest thing I was concerned with, and I see other people concerned with is that developers and savvy WordPress people all seem to be obsessed with child themes designed for Genesis. I wanted to get your take on that and if you think Genesis is the holy grail of themes as well.
Also, maybe what is your background that led you to designing site themes? Which are the 1 or 2 themes you would recommend as the most versatile? And anything else you might want to add in.
Genesis is a theme aimed at WordPress developers which don’t have the time, expertise or desire to create their own themes. Our background is website development, so we prefer to build things and make sure each feature is tailor-made for our target audience (primarily bloggers). Genesis is a good base, but there is all kinds of extra fluff which isn’t needed, since it’s designed as a “one size fits all” framework rather than targeting blogging in particular. If I’m honest, I don’t know why people recommend Genesis. It could just be down to not knowing of any better alternatives perhaps.
I mean no disrespect to Genesis or anyone which works with that theme, it just wasn’t the right fit for us. I’m really glad we took the approach of building our own framework. It has meant that we can continuously add new features that people want, without needing to fit them into someone else’s system. It also means that you don’t need to install 2 themes (Genesis + child theme), which keeps your site running quicker and reduces the initial cost for anyone getting started. People don’t need to buy anything extra to use our themes; what you see is what you get.
My 2 favorite are Equinox and our latest theme Etoile. Equinox is super versatile with different layouts to choose for the homepage etc. The Etoile theme is slightly different in that there are no options for the homepage as a whole, however you can select a different layout for each individual post via these new options. This makes the homepage very dynamic so you can keep things fresh. If people want a very versatile theme which can be used for almost any topic, I’d go with Equinox. However if anyone wanted to try something new then Etoile is a lot of fun to use with photography-heavy blogs.
Hopefully that helps! 🙂
What I Like Most About Pipdig Themes
My Equinox theme is indeed versatile. I could sit here all day changing around my blog to see how it looks with different widgets, sliders, etc. I’m never trying to force some design changes like I always found myself doing with the Genesis child themes.
I think it’s pretty cool that he has designed a whole Pipdig plugin pack. This allowed me to delete about 5 plugins I was using with the Genesis theme. Also, please don’t think I’m knocking Genesis, I just gravitate toward the styles of the Pipdig themes and that’s huge when you’re a design snob like I am.
If I’m to judge by his updates alone, he’s constantly working on bettering his themes, because I have to update the Pipdig plugin pretty often. That’s a good sign.
The themes are easy to install- they install like any other WordPress theme, but if you’re nervous about doing it yourself, or brand new to blogging, they’ll install your theme for free!
What You Can Customize in Pipdig WordPress Themes
I’m not going to bother listing all the zillions of things you can customize on your site. Instead, I’ve included this video showing a bit of what you can customize on the Equinox theme. As you can see, you can customize your blog until your head explodes.
Here’s Pipdig for to check out more themes yourself. Also, this is not an affiliate post; I’ve just seen bloggers asking about Pipdig themes recently, so I wrote my own Pipdig review. Hope this helps!