This summer, I released the Emerald City Theme, a multipurpose WordPress theme designed to help diverse local businesses, professionals, and solopreneurs grow their businesses with their website.

Over the course of my years as a developer, I’ve come to recognize there’s a population of small businesses and professionals that could be better served by WordPress themes.

The choice for these businesses operating a WordPress site often comes down to:

  • Buying a popular commercial theme, often with a page builder. The page builders are great tools, but they come with a learning curve and, sometimes, require skilled help. You can also use theme demos right out of the box. There are also plenty of good web designers to build a site for you using one of these products. But if you need to build it on your own, they can be limiting. If you need to scale up their functionality later, most commercial themes can be a bit challenging.
  • Using a free or freemium theme. This is a fine choice to get started, but they’re often missing a lot of features and your site can get bogged down with all the plugins needed to compensate.
  • Hire a developer to build a completely custom theme. I have over 14 year’s experience building these bespoke themes and they’re an ideal solution, but certainly not a sensible option for all.

None of these are the best option for these clients, so I decided to build a different kind of theme that might better serve these clients. The Emerald City Theme includes the features, tools, options and framework popular among so many of my custom theme clients. And like those expensive custom themes, under the hood, it’s a theme that can be scaled and integrated with a wide variety of applications.

I built this theme thinking about the small businesses and professionals right here in my downtown Seattle neighborhood, many of whom have struggled since the pandemic. Hence the name, the Emerald City Theme, to celebrate both the work of these small businesses and the city they serve, as well as those serving cities everywhere.

The theme has been designed to offer many of the same features as larger theme packages, but with straightforward content entry and a simple, intuitive user interface.

The theme is designed to deliver the features local business owners need in a website: Compatibility with e-commerce and third-party ordering platforms; integration with local search, review and social media; accessible content for all customers; responsive design; reliability; scalability and SEO optimization.

Its features include:

  • Complete set of site-building components for business, with more coming in future theme updates
  • Straightforward fields-based content management and a simple, intuitive user interface
  • Complete One-Click Install Site Demos included
  • Easily add additional components to and edit demo sites
  • Testimonials, team member and portfolio post types
  • Over 100 designer-curated Google Fonts built in
  • The Boxicons library with over 1,600 icons
  • Integration with Facebook, Instagram, and X feeds plus Google and Yelp review from Smash Balloon (bundled with the theme for optional installation)
  • Theme Dashboard with Theme Options including Font Selector
  • Optional Search in Navigation Bar
  • Optional Call To Action Button in Navigation Bar
  • Navigation Bar Options including Transparency
  • Enhanced accessibility features
  • Full support for WooCommerce
  • Complete support for Gutenberg Blocks
  • Coded for easy scalability and integration
  • Designed to be lightweight, require fewer plugins and maximize your site’s speed
  • Regular Theme Updates and new features
  • Have questions or problems? Your license includes Email Support
  • Full Documentation and Knowledgebase
  • Child Theme Included
  • No additional plugins, frameworks or page builders needed.

The Emerald City Theme is available now for download from a wide range of platforms including ThemeGenius Studio, Creative Market, and Etsy.