Review: WiMo iPhone/iPad, BlackBerry & Android Design with CyberChimps Pro

cyberchimpsThe story behind the new design of Wireless and Mobile News and the CyberChimps Pro framework template/theme includes six years of dealing with CMS and unfaithful developers. This story fortunately has a happy successful ending which is why we rate CyberChimps so high.  CyberChimps understand why responsive  themes are so important.

Update 12/20/2013: The update to CyberChimps Themes now includes Font Awesome's iCons, minified JavaScript and fixes the search bar problem I reported in the support forum. Good work CyberChimps!  Please read our CyberChimps Review update, published today with stats over Black Friday that showed 46.4% of our readers were accessing our content on tablets or high-end mobile devices.

Movable Type vs WordPress Early Days of CMS

When I started Wireless and Mobile News in 2007, I chose Movable Type for the CMS because I liked the way it looked. The pre-made templates had better styling than WordPress templates at the time. In the following years, it became more difficult to find Movable Type developers and once the company was sold and we had other "Google Panda" problems, I decided to move the entire site to WordPress.

WordPress Dev Depression

I've had problems with every WordPress developer, I hired except for one.  The site crashed in the middle of the night, there was not enough attention to detail, things that were obvious to the naked eye were not obvious.  I spent thousands of dollars and wound up cleaning up their messes for months afterwards.  I often had to shut off their passwords because they were sneaking into Wireless and Mobile News to play with our readers and other crimes.

For those of you who are wondering, I use the term "we" when decisions and work were done by a developer/programmer along with myself.

High Cost of Early Mobile

We tried deploying mobile websites two times. The first time separate HTML pages were posted to  The pages were beautiful and very easy to read on even a flip basic phone but Google got confused and started sending desktop traffic to the mobile website. Six months later, I had to hire someone else to tweak the desktop theme to work on the first iPad.  The total cost of both of these deployments was $1,700, two coffees and a barbecue chicken dinner.

Mobile URL Misdemeanors

In 2010, we tried with a system where a  mobile theme was shown to mobile visitors and a desktop theme was shown to desktop visitors. Unbeknownst to me, the mobile and desktop version made separate URLS confusing Google.  I had to remove over eight hundred URLS from Google search to clean up the mess.  There were 404 errors up the "ying-yang." After paying $1000 for the desktop theme development, I paid another $500 for the mobile theme deployment and spend three months cleaning up the mess.

2012 Theme Throwbacks

In the Spring 2012, due to multiple problems with the state of mobile themes at the time, we decided to go with a static theme. The theme cost $50, I paid the theme company $125 for customizations and another $850 to an American developer to deploy the new theme. The theme company was in another country, I had to write all changes up with screenshots, which took several hours.  Often there were misunderstandings of American English and several text chats on Skype.

There were still problems with the 2012 theme customization and I finally found a great development firm Image in a Box to fix them including a problem with thumbnail(featured) images.

CyberChimps BootStrap & Responsive

In the meantime, WordPress developers using Twitter Bootstrap were finally creating responsive themes.  I emailed Emil Uzelac when he first released his free Responsive theme, but I didn't have the wherewithal to figure out how to use it install it myself along with my editorial duties. Uzelac was overwhelmed with record downloads to the tune of thousands within a very short period of time.

This summer, I was able to tweak the "Frank" theme for, although it wasn't full featured enough for a major website. It would have required too many customizations.

For the past six months, I've been shopping for a theme, that is responsive, easy to install, use, customize and runs fast.  Whenever I saw a WordPress website I ran developers tools to see if I could find out the name of the theme.

Earlier in October, I bought a theme that looked fabulous.  Before I bought it, I contacted the developer, who answered immediately.  However after I bought the theme, I never did get answers to my questions. I looked in the support forums where there were unanswered questions and complaints. It looked so nice and paid $45.00 for a new "framework" theme that looked nice but fell short in help department.

That developer is in a country where there is civil unrest and revolution in the Middle East.  There appeared to be some lack of understanding of the questions due to not understanding English well. There were questions that went unanswered for weeks.

CyberChimps to the Rescue

Somewhere along the line, I saw CyberChimps.  When I first looked at the designs, they seemed fine.  I didn't look at them on iPads, iPhones, Android or even BlackBerry where they really shine.

In the meantime, CyberChimps bought the Responsive Theme from Emil Ulec and offered two kinds of tech support.  Forum support is available for free and "premium themes."  An added bonus is the CyberChimp Plus with a special email form for private support for only $9.00 a month.  After you sign up for the plus package  all themes are 50% off,  a real deal.

I looked through the forums and every question was answered, there was even praise from forum members. I remember when CyberChimps. launched, they were in Los Angeles, Long Beach and I liked that I would be dealing with native speaking Americans.  To me dealing with support made in the USA is very important to me.

When I chose LiquidWeb to webhost Wireless and Mobile News, I called tech support first.  I asked very technical questions.  When the developers borke the website in the middle of the night, the heroic support at LiquidWeb continually restored problems caused by errant developers. The Storm on Demand service was able to weather the storm of broken hacked WordPress Plugins such as W3 Total Cache.

At first I downloaded the free CyberChimps Framework to, our development site. I was able to set most of the features, I liked except for the color scheme.

I also needed to get the new theme done before the busy fall smartphone release and holiday buying season. Compared to other framework style themes, I bought previously, CyberChimps was fairly easy to understand.

Besides offering so many forms of support CyberChimps has a money(not monkey) back guarantee.  This time, I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I bought the CyberChimps. Plus Service for $9.00 a month and CyberChimps Pro for$17.50, which was less than the two previous themes, I bought.

When I originally started with Movable Type, I spent an entire month customizing the template.  With CyberChimps Pro framework and Plus support this new design was put together in about a week.  I'm not a CSS whiz, CyberChimps held my hand throughout the process.  There were a few minor problems that they could not help me with. Image in the Box's custom plugin that fixed the last year's thumbnail problem, fixed the thumbnails, this year.

The best things about CyberChimps. themes are:

  • Support, support, support and support.
  • Easy to use interface.
  • Up-to-date framework launched in September 2013 with Twitter Bootstrap 3.0.
  • Choices for social icons.
  • Slides, boxes, carousel and portfolio options
  • Changes can be made with CSS.
  • Excellent price.
  • CyberChimps understands responsive themes like nobody else. The themes look good across all devices.

There were just a few glitches in the entire process. I had everything the way I liked it on the development site and used the export option.  The text boxes exported strangely onto the homepage, when I removed them from the theme, it fixed the problem.  I would have liked to have more color options for the menu and footer without having to do it all in CSS. The social media icons are a little out of style.

The new trend is use Font Awesome and have the icons load faster as fonts. I would have liked to be able to put the social icons on the menu bar as they appear on the CyberChimps website.  I would also have liked a search bar that is collapsed, that opens upon clicking like on the CyberChimps website.

It would be nice if the theme supported JetPack's infinite scroll feature.

CSS is very clunky if you don't know it.  I used JetPack custom CSS which saves previous versions of the CSS therefore when I made a mistake could go back to the CSS that worked. If you don't know CSS, I suggest you use JetPack CSS with auto-backup for development. The JetPack Custom CSS takes a long time to load, when you get the site loading the way you want, you can copy into the Custom CSS area in the CyberChimps framework and then disable JetPack Custom CSS.

I would also like to thank Vicki, Ariel and Jeff Gaudie at  who helped by making backups at LiquidWeb. Jeff was able to restore things after the botched framework failed.

I rate CyberChimps Framework Pro and the CyberChimps 4.5 out of 5 Stars.  The load time was reduced close to three seconds and my stress was reduced a boatload...

Loading of Wireless and Mobile News before and after CyberChimps Pro. Click on image to show full size


4.5 / 5 stars