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Sarah Gooding
Automattic has a new theme in the WordPress Themes Directory. Bibimbap, named for a beloved Korean comfort food, is a restaurant theme. It is described as “simple and fun” but does not come with a live demo, so users will need to be prepared to work with patterns to get their restaurant sites put together.
The home page pictured in the screenshot displays a full width Cover block with an image as the background, a call to action, and some contact information. Bibimbap features the Cooper Hewitt typeface throughout for paragraph text and headers.
The theme comes with five custom block patterns for building restaurant websites:
I took the theme for a test drive and found that is not very intuitive in its current state, although the patterns are nicely designed. When first installed and activated on a new site, the theme looks blank with nothing in place and no hint of how it can be made to look like the screenshot.
The most ideal experience a block theme can provide gives the user a ready-to-go website that looks like the demo, or at least provides a full-page pattern that is easy to insert. Bibimbap has missed a few opportunities to make the theme more user-friendly. Although it is also available on WordPress.com under the Business plan, the preview is similar to the experience of installing it on a self-hosted site. With no live demo available, it’s difficult to know where to go after installing it.
In the Site Editor, users will need to navigate to the wp-custom-template-home template to edit the home page template. If this is a new website, users will also want to create a new page and assign it to use the wp-custom-template-home page template to get the right design.
The home page header design is not available via a pattern, which would make the theme so much more versatile and easy to use, especially in the case of multi-page websites.
Although the theme comes with just a handful of patterns, they work well dropped onto the page in any order.
Overall, this theme is a good option for those who know their way around WordPress and the Site Editor. It makes it fairly quick to build a restaurant website with a cohesive design. The problems with user-friendliness can be easily remedied with a few full-page patterns and a bit of thought towards the experience after activating the theme. Bibimbap is available for free from WordPress.org.
I’ve just been playing with this theme today. As you say, when you install it it looks awful out of the box and isn’t intuitive to set up. The lack of a live theme demo is also very disappointing too. The homepage cover header also looks quite poor on mobile (it takes up way too much mobile screen space).
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