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Duo – A stylish new MultiTheme
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Duo – A stylish new MultiTheme

Duo from MultiThemes, Review By Rob Hall, CEO at rjh Web Design Rating: 5 out of 5. Duo is a stylish and unusual theme that will find much appreciation.

It's been a while since I used the sidebar on a website – I've allowed them to become unfashionable.

Duo is a theme that might just change that – Duo is the sidebar. Michelangelo has released another fully responsive MultiTheme and it's an unusual one.

Duo splits the screen down the middle. Two bold, vertical columns of content. If you – like me – have tended toward a multi-column-layout in the recent past, Duo will make you think again. Perhaps less is more. It certainly looks stylish.

The first thing you are going to want to do, is set the basic Theme Style for Duo. Not an easy thing to do, because there are 21 to choose from!  

You then have a choice of ten background images and of course, if you can't find one that you like, you can choose a flat colour or replace the images with your own.

If you like web fonts, Duo won't disappoint you – There are 20 Google Fonts to choose from too.

And then, of course, there's the sidebar. The standard setting of 50% width is Duo's most appealing feature. If you'd prefer a more conservative approach, you can choose from widths of 40%, 30%, the traditional 25% or – but I can't see why you would – switch it off altogether Your Duo-based website is going to look different from every other one – guaranteed.

If you are using RapidWeaver's standard pages – the styled text or the blog page, for instance – your content goes into the Sidebar editor. Text content is going to look rather bland in there, so I'd suggest one of two options – you'll either need to format your content using HTML, or you can place another RapidWeaver page into the sidebar using Pluskit.

duo

If you rely on Stacks to build your pages, life becomes a whole lot easier. Duo makes use of ExtraContent area [ECA} one for the sidebar content. Any stacks that you drop into ECA one, will automatically appear in the right hand column. And, rather than add a plethora of ExtraContent areas, Michelangelo has only added three. ECA two appears above the footer and ECA three above the main page, below the menu. The padding for ECA areas one (the sidebar) and two can be removed.

The RapidWeaver Gallery is complimented by PrettyPhoto, a jQuery lightbox and slideshow. The gallery is not the only thing that Duo can animate. 
Duo's pages have a fade-in transition that is active by default. It is a very smooth transition but if you prefer, it can can be deactivated. 
Michelangelo's Plus Code is included with Duo, allowing effects to be applied to text, images and font awesome icons. For instance Plus Code will allow page elements to fade in on page load; or fade, slide or bounce in when the page is scrolled. There is a whole page of examples on the MultiThemes website which include the necessary code. 

I found Duo simple to use, but it comes with a demo project that is sure to aid some users. 
Duo is one of the more innovative themes available today – it's a very aesthetic theme that will find a number of admirers.

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