Have you dreamed about building your own Spotify-like service, but never knew where to start?
Sura is a brand new WordPress music streaming theme from TeoThemes that enables you to do exactly that – with it you can sell others' songs, create a streaming radio-like site, or even sell your own music to promote your band or solo work.
I'll give you the big reveal up front: Sura is truly a thing of beauty, in every sense of the word. It offers a very aesthetically appealing design, while delivering a level of functionality that's likely to cater to your every need.
Interested? Keep reading to find out all you need to know about Sura!
Installing The Theme
The theme's installation process is as simple and straightforward as any other WordPress theme. Just navigate to Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme, choose the download file from your hard drive, and you're all set.
If you're interested in selling digital and physical products, you'll need to install the WooCommerce plugin separately, which you can download free of charge here. Sura is fully integrated with WooCommerce, which makes selling products simple and easy.
How Sura Looks
From a design perspective, Sura is a very simple theme. It contains a ton of white space, which helps to create a relaxing music streaming environment. The theme's designers have produced a truly minimalist theme in the sense there's nothing without purpose added.
This was done in order to present your music and albums in the most elegant and straightforward manner possible, while cutting down on loading speeds and other distractions.
Beyond how it looks, it has several features which really make it stand out.
WooCommerce integration enables you to sell your digital and physical goods. This means that you can sell items like digital or print albums, t-shirts, and other merchandise.
Although WooCommerce can work with any theme, the full integration with Sura means it will function and look like it is part of the theme on every level, including the product pages, checkout pages, registration pages, and much more.
Sura's Page Builder
Creating content on the backend is easy with over ten pre-made page templates and over 15 editable page blocks. The page templates are very beautiful and can help you create a seriously professional-looking website in no time at all.
Exploring Sura's AJAX Functionality
One of the great development features of this theme is that it was built using AJAX. This means that the website as a whole never reloads or refreshes, even as visitors are navigating around. Instead, select sections of each page are loaded as and when necessary.
At the core of this theme is the music player that's always on display. Since you don't have to worry about pages refreshing, selected music will continue to play, no matter what page of the site visitors are on.
Adding items to the cart is a seamless experience. You can even add songs from the streaming music player directly to your cart.
The discovery features allows you to uncover music visitors may not have heard before. You can break down the search by album, songs, keyword and even genre.
Sura Isn't Spotify (And That's Good)
TeoThemes did a lot with Sura. It takes what's currently out there in the music streaming app market and consolidates it into a single WordPress theme.
Think Spotify, without the direct user interaction, and geared towards musicians and those who truly love their music.
Having spoken to the developers, it is clear that they will develop additional features over time, but only if absolutely necessary. They would would rather keep the theme lightweight and fast, rather than bloated and slow.
There are potential features already in the works, but they will only be added if demand is high enough. That said, here are a few potential future features to look forward to:
- A ‘Write the Artist' feature in which you can directly message the artist.
- The ability to chat with other users.
- The ability to create web stations similar to Pandora.
These features aside, Sura as it stands offers more than enough to any artist or music curator.
Beyond the Web App
For individual artists looking to do a bit more with their work, Sura's developers offer an alternative version of the theme called Music Artists (which you can preview here). This theme helps artists showcase their work and sell directly to their fans.
Features include WooCommerce integration, customized tour and album landing templates, as well as variety of custom page templates.
This theme is available with the purchase of the Sura theme.
Sura has full support for questions and concerns regarding the theme and its features, bug fixing and other reported issues, and updates to ensure compatibility. All support is carried out through the comments section of the ThemeForest page.
Sura is priced at $58 on Themeforest. Quite frankly, at just under sixty bucks, this theme is a complete steal.
TeoThemes is breaking new ground with the Sura theme. I believe it is the first theme of its kind to offer the ability to run your own music streaming service.
While Sura isn't perfect out of the box, no theme is, and the pros far outweigh the limited cons. Furthermore, Sura will no doubt improve and evolve in the direction its users are requesting over time.
So if you want to have people listen to and buy your favorite songs, or if you're an artist looking for a beautiful way to showcase and sell your work, Sura is a compelling choice. Perhaps the only choice.