It was June 11th, 2014, when we, the Pixelgrade crew, published Rosa, our first restaurant WordPress theme on Themeforest.com. Little did we knew that it will quickly become the best selling restaurant WordPress theme and will keep its place ever since.
We can’t ignore that; over the past year, the WordPress environment has changed a lot. Gutenberg is here to stay, and the WordPress themes as we know them may be a thing of the past.
As theme authors interested in pushing boundaries and keep evolving, we are not immune to the challenges ahead. We try to view them as an opportunity to put our creativity and adaptability to the test.
The way we’re building as a team meant we couldn’t stay aside and watch everything unfold without being part of the action. And what better time to put our minds together and embrace this change than the fact that we just celebrated Rosa’s fifth anniversary, next to 13,000 customers across the world?
We can’t argue that Gutenberg comes with a lot of flexibility and room to explore while building out your website.
At the same time, having almost no limits on what you can do often results in losing clarity and consistency across the website. Without knowledge in design or development, you will find yourself with all the decisional responsibility on your shoulders, resulting in either a lot of abandoned projects or just as many half-finished websites.
As in day-to-day life, we need constraints to make the most out of our time, money, skills, relationships, communities, and so on. When everything seems possible, you can freeze and make it way more challenging to start. It’s just human nature. We need certain limits and rules to gain safety and mental space to invest in whatever we want to accomplish.
There’s definitely a better alternative, and while talking to our customers, we found out that they appreciate the limits we provide through our products. It allows them to make better decisions and not get overwhelmed with an infinite number of options.
In the end, both of us have a fair share of responsibilities. We should provide a product that gets the job done and address real digital needs. They should have a clear business goal that they want to accomplish within the digital field. We work together, not against one another.
After dozens of thoughtful conversations, we started to put together an idea of what a 100% Gutenberg theme will look like and how will people likely want to use such a product.
Introducing Rosa 2 — The First Restaurant WordPress Theme 100% Gutenberg
Since Rosa is our most successful theme to date, with over 13,000 downloads, we wanted to use this anniversary as a way to update it to the latest and greatest offered by WordPress. Not to mention, this is also a way to keep the theme future proof to whatever WordPress decides to become.
Our goal was to re-create every section and feature from Rosa using Gutenberg blocks. Our starting point was Nova Blocks (nova as in astronomy, hence the creative names of various blocks), our own custom blocks plugin, available for free on WordPress.org.
We managed to transform everything into blocks without losing the taste for the right design decisions, allowing you to create a website using only the Gutenberg editor. This way, you can easily create pages and insert the section that got Rosa so popular anywhere on the website.
At the same time, we kept our philosophy and provided just the right amount of room to play while seamlessly connecting with the overall design of your site.
In the end, everyone aims to offer a consistent digital experience when building a website. In such a crowded digital world, this approach is the only one that can help you stand out and be relevant in the long run.
What’s New in Rosa 2
No more page templates
As I already mentioned, the editing experience is the one that changed the most, for the better.
Contact pages, the home page, or pages without title do not require page templates anymore. Everything is replaced with new custom blocks where you can insert your content directly. No shortcodes, no tricks, just a beautiful yet efficient way to get the job done.
Header and Footer Editing in Gutenberg
Gutenberg had some recent developments that made it possible to build your site’s header and footer using blocks entirely. When we said 100% Gutenberg, we meant it, and this is just one of the promises we kept.
A New and Improved Hero Block
The fantastic parallax feature that made Rosa so popular is now back in the form of a Gutenberg block.
You can impress people right away by featuring a fullscreen background image or video, along with a Headline and call to action. Keeping momentum with your audience has never been easier since everything is at your fingertips.
The Media Card block to Highlight What’s Important
The Media Card block helps you deliver your message with ease.
You can use it to display media objects such as single images, galleries, or videos, alongside short pieces of content with a call to action to drive whatever behavior fits your goals and interests. Its flexibility means you can use it to push people towards other essential sections of your website such as reservations, about, contact, whatever works for you.
A Slideshow Block for Image Galleries
As the title states, this block is best when you want to showcase a gallery of images side by side.
A food menu block easy to update
Every restaurant needs a menu to display and make it easy for people to understand what they’ll be getting.
With the Food Menu block, you can add items, highlight them, add sale prices, and provide a short description or list of ingredients. On top of that, you can easily showcase what’s your signature dish and encourage people to give it a try.
Announcement Bar Block to Capture Attention
Besides the fact that it can stay on top of the website for every page. It can also be added inside your content to maximize the impact of your special offer or deal. Grab attention by the blink of an eye and communicate your intentions with an appealing yet non-intrusive promo bar.
Map Block for Easy Discoverability
To keep our promise and get rid of page templates meant we needed to create an easy to use the block that will display your physical location. It’s able to showcase an interactive Google Map with a location pin of your venue.
Customization Tool at your Fingertips
It wouldn’t be a Pixelgrade theme without integration with Style Manager, our flexible system that allows you to select between a bunch of pre-defined color palettes and fonts.
With this tool, you can change the look and feel of your website with just a few clicks and be sure that all the colors and fonts work great together. No need to make design decisions and feel that you’re making the wrong choice at every step; we did that for you. So you can invest more energy in other areas of your digital presence.
Sure, you can also create their palettes or choose from a vast list of fonts, but you can rest assure you have plenty of options built-in. Match your brand system and requirements in a way that makes sense and feels like a consistent visual story.
Full WooCommerce Integration to Enable Online Ordering
Creating an online store and enabling food ordering is as simple as it can be.
With full WooCommerce integration, you can be confident that your website’s brand and visual identity will maintain consistency across the board. Expand revenue streams to increase your chances to run on profit on your terms, without making useless compromises that will keep people away.
That’s Only The Beginning
We hope this is the next chapter for Rosa and one more in line with WordPress and Gutenberg’s evolution and future bets.
It wasn’t easy to get here, but we’re proud to see that all our insights, know-how, and experience brought us in a place where we can offer a top-notch product within the WordPress ecosystem. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, all these constraints helped us put together a restaurant theme that we are confident it will conquer people’s hearts and stay relevant in the very long run.
The sequel is here, even easier to use and maintain.