WordPress world is filled with eye catching and attractive commercial themes. However, with page experience being part of the Google Search ranking signal, minimalist themes are the need of many website owners. It makes sense to use minimalist theme when you have no time to use pre-build modules in your theme like FAQ, accordion, tabbed content, smart listicles, etc. Also, keeping these features in a theme and not using them is a kind of nuisance. When we search for minimalist WordPress themes, we found Breek theme in themeforest marketplace. After using the theme, here is our genuine review to help you decide whether you can purchase the theme or not.
Why Breek Minimalist WordPress Theme?
There are hundreds of minimal themes available for WordPress including the most popular Astra and GeneratePress. However, you will even miss the basic stuffs like author box, social sharing, etc. In addition, most of these minimal themes promote their own or third-party page builder plugin. GeneratePress for example uses their own GenerateBlocks and Astra primarily have templates for Elementor. It will be a hassle to get rid of the page builder plugin once you start using it. Therefore, in our opinion, minimalist plugin should not have any page builder integration. With this idea in mind, Breek theme is the best choice though it has some custom features.
- Breek theme offers elegant layout that looks beautiful on all devices.
- You have all basic items like author box, social sharing and header carousel.
- Ready to import layouts will reduce your work of building from scratch.
- Custom theme panel allows you to show top notification bar, post views and subscription button.
- Flexibility in typography with option to choose system font or Google Fonts.
- Custom sidebar layouts with sticky option. You can disable sidebar and footer or show different setup for mobile devices.
- Coloring for categories and tags with beautiful archive pages.
- Options to add custom CSS and JS code like Google Analytics.
- In-built advertising module allows you to showcase your ads.
- RTL and AMP support with advertisement option.
- The theme also offers you around 10 custom widgets like featured post widget and few shortcodes like creating custom alert messages.
As you see there are plenty of features that you will not get with a plain minimal WordPress theme. At first look, you may also be confused whether it is a minimalist theme. However, using Breek theme is easier without custom WooCommerce store and integration with page builder plugins. After using, we can say Breek is a hybrid theme much easier to setup and kick start your site compared to any other minimalist theme.
Purchasing Breek Theme
Breek is a premium only theme that you have to purchase from themeforest marketplace. It is a 5 star rated theme with more than 2K sales. It will cost you $39 for a regular license with six months of support and lifetime updates. However, you can purchase the theme for lower price during special occasions like Black Friday. We have purchased for $29 on envato Cyber Monday sale through PayPal.
After purchasing the theme, download the files along with the envato product code from your account’s “Downloads” section. Make sure to download theme files and purchase code as you need the code for activating your license.
Installing and Activating Breek Theme
The installation process is same as any other commercial WordPress theme.
- Go to “Appearance > Themes” section and click on the “Upload Theme” button.
- Click “Choose File” button and select the “breek.zip” file that comes with the theme purchase.
- Finally, click on “Install Now” button to finish the installation.
Setup Breek Theme
When you activate the theme, it will open a setup wizard taking you through various steps. You have an option to skip the wizard, but we recommend going through the wizard as it is easy to setup the theme in few minutes. When you see the “Welcome to Breek” screen, click on “Start” link to move further.
On next step, you will be prompted to install a child theme. Since, we do not see much need for customizing the theme, click “Skip” to ignore installing child theme. In fact, this is a minimal theme and you should avoid customizing with custom functions and styles.
Next step is to enter your email, envato purchase code and username to activate the theme. This helps to get free update and six months support as per the purchasing terms. You can enable automatic theme update after activating the license with purchase code.
After that you will be prompted to install the required plugins by the theme. Breek theme needs the following three plugins to work like their demo setup:
- Advanced Custom Fields Pro – this is required to manage custom fields for each post and page. From a user perspective, you simply need to activate the plugin and no additional plugin setup is needed.
- Custom Breek Theme Functions plugin which is required for the theme to work properly.
- Contact Form 7 is an optional plugin for adding contact form to your site.
Select the plugins and click “Install” button.
Next step is to import the demo content as shown in the themeforest demo site. If you are installing the theme on a new site without any previous content, we recommend installing all content, widgets, theme options and menus to duplicate the entire demo site. After that you can delete the pages or modify them with your own theme options. If you have already content on your site, make sure to only import the settings without demo content.
Click on the “Import” button to start the process and if everything goes correct, you will see a “All done. Have fun!” message. Click on “Go to the dashboard” button to go to the admin panel and start building your site.
Check System Status
You can click on “Estudio Patagon” menu to find the license and system status. As you can see in the below picture, Breek theme needs the following to work properly:
- Memory – 256M
- PHP Mac Execution Time – 300s
- PHP Max Input Vars – 3000
These requirements are generally needed for installing demo content and saving theme options. Your site on the frontend will work fine even if these values are showing in the red. However, you can increase the PHP memory limit, max execution time and max input vars after confirming with your hosting.
Customizing Theme Options
Unless many other commercial themes, Breek installation process completely covers all aspects like installing required plugins, importing demo content and theme options. After going through the installation wizard, now your site will look exactly same as the demo site you see on envato preview. What you need further is to update site details like logo, favicon, etc. under “Appearance > Customize” section. However, you can also click on “Theme Options” menu showing on the top bar and customize the appearance of the theme.
The theme panel will look something like below where you can navigate through each section and change the settings if required.
We will explain some important sections that are generally not available with other minimalist WordPress themes.
Go to “Advertising” section and enable the ad placement on required positions. You have the following placement options with Breek theme:
- Insert ads after every x paragraph
- Before and after content
- On top header or below header
- Inside posts loop
- Use shortcodes to insert advertisements anywhere on the site
- You have a custom widget allowing to place ads in sidebar or footer
You can either use the code like Google AdSense or showcase your affiliate banners in these ad slots. It is possible to enable or disable each slot as per your need and you can hide the ads only on mobile devices as well.
Under “Sidebars” section, you can enable or disable sidebars for posts, pages and customize mobile settings. You can also create custom sidebar and use it on particular post by selecting from the post editor meta box. This is useful when you want to showcase different sidebars for different posts in your site. As also mentioned above, you can hide sidebar on mobile device or show different sidebar in mobile and desktop.
Customizing Header Section
Though the header section is similar to any other theme, you have some useful options in Breek theme. You can simply change the header style to minimalist, classic or advertising area by selecting the corresponding option.
Similarly, the theme allows you to show notification bar above the header. You can use this to showcase your affiliate deals during particular season and disable when the deal expires without any additional plugin. By default, the header section include a subscription button for which you need MailChimp subscription URL. Otherwise, you can simply disable it to remove it from the navigation menu.
Using WordPress Customizer
Instead of using theme panel, you can go to “Appearance > Customize” section and use the default WordPress customizer. You will find the same settings here along with default WordPress settings and live preview.
Page Template Layouts
You will get three page templates with Breek theme – Default, Home and Fullwidth (no sidebar).
By default, Breek uses your blog posts page as the home page and shows a list of your latest blog posts. However, you can create a custom page and assign a static home page instead of using the blog posts page. But the problem is that the custom functions like adding carousel will work only when you use the blog posts page as home page and not with a custom static page.
Meta Box in Post Editor
Breek theme uses Advanced Custom Fields Pro theme for adding additional meta data for the theme. The meta box will change as per the page layout you select and show corresponding options. For a default post layout, you will see the “General Information” meta box in Gutenberg editor when creating or editing posts. You will find the details of recommended dimensions for images, changing the sidebar, post count and post style.
On the pages, you will even see less number of options in the meta box. With this simple meta box, you can focus on creating content instead of spending too much time on adding post specific details.
When you select “Home” layout, you can see additional modules enabled in the “General Information meta box. Hover over the title bar and click “Add layout” icon. You will see a list of options to select a module like post carousel, grid posts, advertising, etc.
You can add multiple modules by clicking on the “Add Row” button showing on the bottom of the meta box. For example, post carousel module has customizations for showing featured categories, excluding categories, post limit, sorting order, number of visible items and show/hide author name.
There are some in-built optimization options available under “Optimization” tab. You can minify CSS and JS files and move them to footer to improve the page loading time. You can also enable lazy loading of media files and AdSense ads without additional plugin. However, if you are using caching or other optimization plugin, we recommend disabling all these options and use the settings from your plugin.
Document and Theme Support
Frankly, you will not need any support if you want to create a site like the demo content. You will get a documentation which is the same available on the developer’s site. We did not raise any ticker as it is not needed, but you can go to the ticksy ticketing system and submit a ticket using your envato account and purchase code. You will also get an email notification from the developer whenever there is a new version available.
Some Problems You Will Face
Though the developer did a good job in offering a minimal and lightweight theme, you will find some minor issues with Breek theme.
- Some features like fullwidth and wide width images are not supported.
- Theme is not optimized for Gutenberg and accessing shortcodes through Classic Editor is not a tidy job. Also, you will see 403 access forbidden while trying to access the shortcodes if you are using security plugin.
- No static page templates are available. You can’t use the meta box modules for “Home” template when using a static home page. It only works for blog posts page.
- For a minimalist theme, we expect there should be no PHP limits. This will cause errors when trying to save theme options if memory or max execution time is lower than required level.
Can I Buy Breek Theme?
In our opinion, yes you can buy Breek theme if you want to setup a modern looking site in less than 30 minutes. We have tried other minimalist themes like GeneratePress and Astra and for sure you need few days to setup those themes. For example, you need to create a hook element in GeneratePress for adding Google Analytics which is technical in nature. Also, it is not possible to insert ads in-between posts using hooks and you need additional plugin for social sharing icons. Breek comes handy with social sharing, advertisement module, posts count and related posts which you will need even on a minimal theme.
Frequently Asked Questions on Breek Theme
No, it is a premium only theme and you need to purchase it from themeforest for $39.
Recommend PHP memory limit is 256M, PHP max execution time as 300s and max input vars as 3000. Confirm with your hosting company that you have all these before purchasing the theme.
By default, no page builder plugin is offered with theme. You can use any third-party page builders like Elementor on your own.
No, the theme offers few predefined demos as shown on their product page. Other than these demo, you will have three page template setups in-built with the theme. You will not get any template library consist of hundreds of free importable templates with this theme.
Advanced Custom Fields Pro and a custom Breek Theme Functions are the two plugins come by default with the theme. You can optionally install Contact Form 7 for adding a contact page to your site.