Rosa 2 Restaurant Theme Provides a Frustrating and Satisfying Experience – WordPress Tavern

Rosa 2 is the sequel to Pixelgrad’s bestselling Rosa theme. The new topic re-introduces its previous incarnation in the context of the block editor (Gutenberg). I was given a free copy of the topic to test and express my thoughts.

The theme costs $ 75 per year, or you pay a one-time fee of $ 95 for lifetime access. The product launch post could get anyone excited about this topic, but is it worth it?

TLDR; Rosa 2 made for a satisfying experience creating restaurant style pages. However, the early learning curve and mindset were frustrating. It also lacks some of the polish I’d expect at a premium price.

An overview of the problems

Before I dive into the good things about Rosa 2 (and there are some nice things about it), let me dig into the frustrating aspects. There were so many flaws that I almost gave up on the subject several times. However, I continued hoping to understand why it might be worth using this topic.

First install the required plugins

Now let me save you some time. If the topic says the Customify and Nova Blocks plugins are required, then they are really required. Otherwise the topic doesn’t look or behave like the demo or screenshots. It might as well not be the same subject.

The first time you activate the theme, your website homepage will turn into a completely white screen. It’s not the dreaded white screen of death caused by a bug. Instead, the theme hides the content with custom styles.

Why? Yes, good question.

I see no reason to. Aside from changing code (which I did), users need to activate the plugins in order for their content to show up. There’s no technical reason why this should be the case when using this theme.

There shouldn’t be a path a user installs a theme into just to make its contents disappear.

I get it. I was told these are plugins. The theme even offers easy installation and activation links via the TGM plugin activation script. I also understand that WordPress doesn’t have a real dependency system for handling this feature. That doesn’t make it any less of a bad user experience.

As a developer, I thought I was going to trick the system and test the topic without these plugins installed. I wanted to see what the theme looks like right away, which you can see in the screenshot below.

Pink 2 standard homepage edition.

Oh, and that big block of category links in the screenshot above never goes away. It’s just there on your blog post page. It is hard-coded in the mail page template (home.php). Rosa 2 is billed as a restaurant theme, so it might be acceptable if you don’t plan on running a blog.

Header and navigation problems

The default header doesn’t look like the screenshots, demo, or video for the topic. After using the topic for nearly two hours, I was ready to throw in the towel and rule this topic out as a lost cause. Not being able to set up the basic navigation menu for the topic was a self-punishment exercise I wouldn’t want anyone to do.

It turns out that the Nova Blocks plugin is really needed. Did I mention that you should install the required plugins first?

Stretched images

Expect stretched images on blog and archive pages trying to fill in the box next to the excerpt for existing posts. There doesn’t seem to be any workaround other than uploading new images.

The theme uses the default thumbnail size, but does not define that size in code. For those who are not familiar with the technical aspects of using that particular size, ideally the theme should define them using the set_post_thumbnail_size () function.

Sticky header

The big sticky header made me feel like walls were approaching me. I got dizzy and dizzy. I found it hard to breathe. This is not an exaggeration. I’m dead serious.

Personally, I’ve had some problems with claustrophobia over the past few years. I had this feeling for the first time after being stuck in the house for two weeks while watching over one of my cats undergoing surgery. I usually work from the porch where I can get some fresh air, but that was one of the worst periods of my life.

Since then, I’ve often had the same feeling when websites have big, sticky headers. It feels like the walls are closing. I wonder if others have similar problems.

That feeling could be mitigated if the theme minimizes the height of the sticky header as the page scrolls. Fortunately, the theme allows users to choose a static header, which I highly recommend. There are a few other head space spacing and size options that can help shrink some of it.

Where the subject shines

Custom restaurant style page created with the Rosa 2 theme.

If there’s one thing that this theme does well, it’s easy to create pages for a restaurant through the Nova Blocks plugin. Within minutes of creating a custom page, I had a restaurant-style page set up and was ready to go.

The theme, when coupled with Nova Blocks, wonderfully treats the process of creating custom pages with numerous unique results. The integration with the plugin is awesome. Each block has custom demo content that you can easily modify.

Some of the names of the blocks and block options were cute and funny, such as “Hero of the Galaxy,” but they became a bit of a nuisance if you wanted to quickly figure out the purpose of a block. I could see some users resenting the names and they may not have been ideal for some professional setup. But they were kind of funny. I have mixed feelings about her.

How does the topic deal with Gutenberg?

Screenshot of the Rosa 2 theme when used in the Gutenberg editor.

Pink 2 is a theme created primarily for the block editor. In my tests, it handled the output of core blocks wonderfully.

When using Gutenberg-enabled designs, I see the pullquote block as a kind of signature of the designer. It’s one of those blocks that designers can have a lot of fun in and add a unique touch to the display. I’m a fan of the pullquote style on this topic (pictured above).

By and large, it works fine. In connection with Nova Blocks you have a lot of power available.

How does the code stack up?

Pink 2 is easy on custom code. Almost all of the functionality is in the associated plugins. Since this is a topic review, I didn’t dig into the plugin code.

From a purely technical point of view, the topic does most things according to standards.

There are some things that I would change from an architectural point of view. For example, the file for the integration of the Customify plug-in contains more than 1,100 lines of code. I would break that down into more digestible pieces which would help with long term maintenance and troubleshooting.

Some of the editor-related JavaScript code could be more efficient. Repeated patterns should be grouped together to make the code smaller. The Editor JavaScript file isn’t large, but every byte counts in a world where developers assume everyone is running on gigabit internet connections.

The primary stylesheet is 173 KB, which is OMGBBQ, especially when you round it off with hundreds of KB taken from the stylesheets and scripts loaded by the Nova Blocks plugin. Unless you are a user who does a lot of tweaking your website, expect slow page loads.

The final verdict

I would only recommend this topic to people who are more patient than me. While I didn’t immediately follow the directions (as a reviewer, I try to push boundaries and break things) the subject had some flaws that just led to a frustrating process.

I’m in the camp of people who believe that topics should work right away. This theme won’t work without setup. You have to do some legwork to get it going. However, once you make it over the initial hump, you can create some nice page layouts.

I propose to use it solely for the defined purpose of creating a restaurant website. The typography is designed well enough for blogging, but the overall theme isn’t well suited for that.

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April 15, 2021