Why am I writing a review of StudioPress’ Outreach Pro Theme?
Because I’ve been using it on my own Genesis-powered WordPress site for around 3 hours/day for the last 4 years. While Outreach Pro is advertised as a church theme, mine is a marketing website that advertises WordPress SEO consulting with a ton of blog tutorials on SEO, site speed, Genesis themes, and other WordPress topics. Nothing to do with churches.
But yes, you can definitely use Outreach Pro as a church theme and I will show you examples of websites that were customized using Outreach Pro (which you can find on StudioPress’ showcase page). I will also give you an inside look at the Outreach Pro theme settings, plugins I use, and StudioPress documentation that will help you customize this theme. Let’s do this…
My Background And Why I Migrated To Outreach Pro
I was a full-time freelance WordPress designer for 4 years. I designed my own website with a theme called Dailycious from ThemeForest which got discontinued, plus it wasn’t responsive.
I read that Yoast and Matt Mullenweg (lead developer at WordPress) recommended child themes built in StudioPress’ Genesis Framework. I checked out StudioPress and went through pretty much every Genesis theme store there is. Seriously, from StudioPress to Zigzagpress, Web Savvy Marketing, even smaller Genesis theme stores like The Pixelista and Restored 316.
I kept opening the Outreach Pro demo and realized how much I loved it. The design, the widgets, the boldness of it. I was sold. I purchased Outreach Pro to use for my website (which is a marketing site, not a church or non-profit site) and I am SO glad I chose this theme.
- Bold, clean design
- Not just for churches
- Built-in widgets and blog
- Lightweight codes means faster load times
- Mobile responsive + HTML5 + built-in security
- Built in the Genesis Framework which is awesome
- Comes with detailed setup instructions once you buy it
- Lightweight theme means less built-in features
- You must rely on plugins to add functionality (like any StudioPress theme)
- $99.95 is a little much for people used to free or cheap themes
- Most people only use it for church websites, which doesn’t have to be
- Only 5 color styles: default (green), blue, orange, purple, red (but you can use any color if you know a little CSS)
Outreach Pro doesn’t HAVE to be for churches
This is my homepage which shows a customized version of StudioPress’ Outreach Pro theme. You can browse my website but I would check out a few particular pages on WordPress SEO, my contact page, and a blog tutorial I wrote showcasing SEO-friendly WordPress themes.
But you can still use it for a church website…
Theme Settings Details
- Information (automatic updates)
- Color style (green, blue, orange, purple, red)
- Custom feeds (I use FeedBurner)
- Default page layout (6 options)
- Primary navigation extras
- Breadcrumbs (front page, posts pages, pages, posts, archives, 404s, attachments)
- Comments and trackbacks
- Content archives (I like to show 150 x 150 thumbnail images for posts)
- Blog page template (choose # posts to show + specific category if you want)
- Header and footer scripts
Lightweight = Fast Load Times
My site only takes about .9 seconds to load on Outreach Pro…
Outreach Pro Features
- Widgetized homepage
- Genesis responsive slider
- Featured pages / posts
- Genesis user profile
- Header right
- Primary sidebar
- Secondary sidebar
- Home top + home bottom
- Sub footer left + sub footer right
- 4 footer widgets
Once you purchase Outreach Pro you will access to it’s setup instructions…
Plugins To Consider
A lot of these are StudioPress plugins…
- Genesis Responsive Slider – needed to add a slider to your homepage and other pages.
- Genesis Simple Edits – makes it easier to customize entry meta (above and below the content) using shortcodes, and to customize the copyright section in the footer.
- Genesis eNews Extended – look at my right sidebar widget which shows my bio/newsletter. This is used in basically every Genesis theme demo.
- Genesis Simple Share – lightweight social sharing plugin that can be added to the top and bottom of pages/posts with option for Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest.
- Gravity Forms – premium plugin… for simple contact forms, use Contact Form 7.
- Widget Logic – control where widgets appear.
- TinyMCE Advanced – more options in the visual editor.
- Anit-Spam – best one I’ve used so far.
- W3 Total Cache – makes your site load much faster. See my W3 Total Cache tutorial which shows you how to configure the performance tabs, Cloudflare, and MaxCDN.
- Wordfence – block those damn hackers.
- Yoast SEO – see my tutorial on configure the Yoast SEO settings.
- AMP – accelerated mobile pages which make your site load faster on mobile and gives you a nice “AMP” sign next to your search results on mobile.
- Glue For Yoast & AMP – adds an “AMP” option in Yoast’s settings which lets you better design AMP pages and make them compatible with Yoast.
Wrapping It Up
Overall I love StudiPress’ Outreach Pro theme and recommend it to anyone looking for a bold, user-friendly Genesis theme. NOT just a church website! Obviously there is a learning curve when using any Genesis theme, but Outreach Pro is fairly simple to work with. Also, any lightweight theme naturally comes with options, so yes, you will be relying on plugins to add functionality. But that’s what lightweight themes are all about.
I hope you enjoyed my Outreach Pro theme review! If you have any questions about this theme, StudioPress or other Genesis themes, leave me a comment and I’ll be glad to help!