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I promised myself I wouldn’t write about directories, or authority sites today. Really. I did. Not because there isn’t a ton more to say about the authority site business model, it’s just that I’d prefer it wasn’t me who said it.
I’m finding it’s much more interesting to actually BUILD a new community, than it is to continuously write about how to do it, which grows a bit stale after 10 or 12 or 15 posts in a series. (plus I feel like I’m losing the real audience I’m much more interested in talking to through this blog – which are folks much more interested in learning how to write more inspiring, and entertaining content of their own)
That aside, lots of people have been asking me about my thoughts on the right directory theme to pick. Should I go with Listify or Listable? Templatic, or Vantage? Considering I’ve bought and used them all, I’ve generally been recommending folks stick with Listify for a whole hodge podge of reasons I’ve outlined in the directory marketing series.
The caveat to my most recent advice, has been this:
Wait until Vantage 4.0 comes out in January, before you invest in a new directory framework. Why? Because Vantage, by appthemes, has historically been the absolute easiest and uniform wordpress directory framework – no need to juggle many disparate parts, from many disparate plugin makers, to make sure all plays well together.
The problem with Vantage by appthemes? (note – there is ANOTHER “Vantage” theme that is not a directory, that many folks have confused with this one) The appearance of the theme has been very dated, for a very long time, and as the Kardashians have taught us over the last decade, looks DO matter online.
For pure aesthetics, there is no comparison (before) between Listify, and a theme like Vantage. Simply stated, Listify, Listable, the Templatic suite of themes, etc – have all been much, much more attractive than Vantage, even when you buy a child theme. (which I have, and can upgrade the looks considerably)
So….after all of that ramble, Vantage 4.0 is finally showing off what it’s going to look like, a week or two prior to it’s release.
Check out the Vantage demo here.
What do YOU think? I’m probably a bit in the minority here, by dint of the comments on the Vantage theme release comment section, but I’m not really all that impressed with the new look.
It’s looks Listify with a really mediocre hair day. Not it’s best. Not terrible either. But just…….meh?
In fairness, I don’t think this is the final version, as David from appthemes says they are iterating and improving the theme everyday.
(I’ve always wanted to use iterating in a blog post – it’s been on my bucketlist since 2012, i’m not sure i used it right, but boy does it feel good)
I’ll definitely buy the theme, just because I so desperately want to upgrade a few older versions of Vantage I have running now, but I’m a tad less enthused then I was a few weeks ago, when I expected it would be slicker, more modern and just “pop” a bit more on mobile, especially.
If we’re going to be totally honest, I think the blind date I had on Match.com last night probably felt the same way about me.
The good news is, I’m iterating a bit everyday too. So don’t give up on me, Mary. And I won’t give up on Vantage.
I think that’s fair.