Reviewing CityBook A Directory & Listing WordPress Theme
There are literally loads of directory/listing themes for WordPress on ThemeForest, loads of them.
In fact, I recently did an article demonstrating whats on offer and advice on how to run a directory/listing website, you might want to check that out if you get the chance.
CityBook is a brand new WordPress theme created by Cththemes an elite author on ThemeForest, with 27 items in their portfolio they sure have been busy.
Why has CityBook caught my eye amongst the throngs of directory themes?
How about a review of CityBook then?
Please do note that this review is from a visitor perspective, not from an administration one. So I cant tell you about how easy/difficult it is to use from an admin viewpoint ok?
Right cleared that up then!
Want to watch my YouTube review of the CityBook theme?
Relatively new to me, but I’d thought I’d take the CityBook theme for a drive using a video overview, see below for the review. Let me know your thoughts on it!
CityBook looks (and I have to say it) like pretty much every other directory/listing theme on ThemeForest to a degree. There seems to be a commonality on TF that directory themes should look a certain way, this is true with the CityBook theme as well.
The landing page does look good in the demo, there are 5 different homepages to choose from with various sliders, video backgrounds and such.
The search function works quite nicely (check out my video to see it in action), and as a whole, it looks good, but samey, sorry better to be honest!
Remember that’s just my opinion after seeing a load of directory themes, your potential audience may well have no idea of this!
The listings themselves have a nice feel to them and there’s plenty of information on the business itself, which is great for us visitors.
Navigation is well thought out, not too complex and it’s relatively easy to find what you need as a visitor.
There’s a blog section for updating your customers and letting the world know about your directory/listing business, blog posts are nicely laid out, with a featured image etc.
CityBook as a business owner
CityBook does allow users to submit listings, but you need to be logged in to do so, currently, the theme supports standard login and login via Facebook.
A quick test via Facebook reveals the administration section of CityBook, see below for what I mean.
Here you can edit your profile, change the password and of course check your bookings. This is a nice feature from a user perspective, as it’s all in one.
I did try and add a listing as I could see nowhere in the profile section to administer my listing.
This failed, now this could be due to theme demo being locked to prevent abuse. Or indeed a fault, I honestly don’t know which it would be.
Also editing my profile didn’t load up the page again when I submitted some changes, I had to manually refresh the page for it to take effect.
Which obviously is not ideal.
Submission of listings in the CityBook theme
There are a wealth of options for listings on the CityBook WordPress theme, some might say too many.
See what I mean? No one could argue that they haven’t covered all the basics, there are loads to fill in which is a positive and negative.
As a business owner its great to have so many listing options available to show off my business, from bookings, videos, images and more besides. Great!
I just feel that the listing section needs to be split up, either on a next page basis or accordion toggles. When faced with this many options it could be overwhelming to some.
I can’t tell you about that either as I couldn’t go through and actually submit a listing on CityBook, looking at the theme listing on Themeforest it’s unclear as to how the payment side of things is done.
I guess it’s baked into the theme, so be wary if the theme author suddenly stops supporting the theme as you could be stuck with a lemon. That being said CTHthemes is an elite author and knocked up quite a few sales so the chances of that happening are slim.
How quick is the CityBook theme – page speed test
I do like to be thorough when reviewing so I thought I’d put the theme through its paces. See below for page speed results:
First up Google Page speed test:
Wow, that’s crap. Desktop got 13/100 (what you can’t see is the mobile score) this was actually 51/100. What about GTMetrix?
GTMetrix Page speed test:
Eeek, that’s not good either is it? 9 seconds to load and 5.65MB? What about Pingdom page speed test?
Pingdom Page Speed test:
Faired a little better, I chose the San Jose server to test from. Still, it’s not good. Not good at all.
Caching plugins may solve some of the issues with the above, I did test the theme via various detectors and couldn’t see one had been activated.
CityBook - Directory & Listing WordPress Theme
CityBook theme review
- Features - 8/108/10
- Page speed - 2/102/10
- Design - 5/105/10
CityBook theme review verdict
Would I buy the CityBook theme?
I've got to be honest, probably not at the moment. Whilst it's only just literally come out and despite its introductory offer of $35.00, I'd hold fire.
Personally, I'd give it a few weeks till things are ironed out, the page speed alone of this theme is woeful, for me that's enough not to purchase it.
If you'd like to take a look at the demo please by all means do, just be cautious and ask questions of the author!!