OceanWP Review – the best all round WordPress theme for 2019?
What is OceanWP
OceanWP is a free WordPress theme extended by purchasing single extensions as required or a bundle offering the best value. Some themes suffer from bloatware, too many
Who is OceanWP for?
OceanWP is a WordPress theme, if you have a WordPress site, OceanWP is a great option for a theme. The theme is completely free from the WordPress repository so it is easy to add to any WordPress installation.
The theme is varied and can work for almost any type of site whether a blog site, WooCommerce store or corporate site, it works with everything. Find out why I believe that OceanWP is one of the best multipurpose WordPress themes suitable for any site – the theme with the premium extension is a great package.
OceanWP Review – Extensions
There are a number of addon extensions that extend the functionality of the theme even further than the free version, offering greater flexibility in design and use.
The premium extensions can be purchased individually or as a bundle pack. Purchasing individually makes sense as the price is lower and you only buy what you need.
If you have purchased the bundle you can simply enter a single licence key to cover all plugin installs and therefore enable all plugin updates. Similarly, if you purchase individual plugins, add the individual licence key. When you purchase the bundle, you are also given individual licence keys which you can use to add certain plugins to sites and not the complete bundle – if you purchase the package with more than a single site that is.
The current list of OceanWP extensions consists of:
- Full Screen
- Cookie Notice
- Popup Login
- White Label
- Woo Popup
- Sticky Footer
- Sticky Header
- Ocean Hooks
- Elementor Widgets
- Side Panel
- Footer Callout
- Ocean Pro Demos
One of my favourite extensions is the pro demo download, not being a great designer, this allows me to start a site from a pre-made pre-filled design. All I have to do is switch the pictures and text and tinker to suit my content and I am done. It saves all of the heavy lifting in the design and layout and makes website creation fast and easy.
The Full Screen extension allows the creation of a full screen scrolling website, this is only compatible with the Elementor page builder at the moment. You can customise by adding your own scrolling speed, add navigation, change colours and so on.
This extension is quite neat as it adds a popup box to the login, register and lost password forms. It looks smart and clean and adds a nice touch to the site.
The Instagram premium extension makes it simple to add an Instagram feed to your site. You can customise the layout, choose columns, show or hide the comments and captions and customise your display information.
This extension allows you to replace all of the OceanWP branding with your own details replacing the theme name, author details, descriptions, screenshot and admin pages.
The Portfolio extension allows you to add you portfolio anywhere via shortcode or page template. You can control how the page is displayed, image spacing, author and other tags, overlay control and so much more – a must for designers.
This is a fantastic extension and is aimed at WooCommerce store owners. The popup box shows when an item is added to cart, you can customise the popup with Elementor or edit the page if using another page builder. You can show or hide elements and control the complete look of the popup. I paid for a popup cart and it was not as good as this extension.
Sticky Footer & Sticky Header
Quite self explanatory, you can add sticky headers or sticky footers to the bottom or top of the page. You can add menus to text to the footer or hide on mobile devices.
The sticky header adds a bit more as you can customise further, add a logo when scrolling, change the height and opacity, change images and background and more.
Hooks are required when adding scripts such as Google Analytics or other tracking code, verification codes, library elements and so much more. Hooks are added via My Library where you can add blocks with Gutenbery or Elementor and the like.
Elementor is arguably the number 1 page builder for WordPress so it makes sense for all of the major theme developers to integrate with Elementor. The list of widgets is vast and impressive but a few that I use are Call to Action, Info Box, Image Gallery and many more. Check out my Elementor review.
The Side Panel extension adds a responsive side panel area where you can add your widgets. The panel is customisable, you can alter the
The Footer Callout is a very interesting extension, you can add content and have it display on certain or all pages, for example, a sale, event or call to action.
Ocean Pro Demos
This is the first extension I used when I installed OceanWP premium extensions. I am not a great designer and I struggle with a blank page. There are many
The categories are:
- One Page
- Coming Soon
There are 40+ themes demos at the moment and the designs are quite unique. Some of the themes require additional plugins such as Elementor, these can be installed during the theme import process.
The sites are easy to install but if you change your mind you will need another plugin to easily remove the content. Some of the sites add sample posts and other content so using a plugin to clear the content is the easiest and quickest way to do this.
You can live preview any of the themes before installing to check all of the pages and layout setup – worth checking this to get a feel for the design.
OceanWP and Page Builders
OceanWP works well with the most popular page builders, the page builders take care of the design on top of the theme structure. The current list includes:
- Beaver Builder
- Visual Composer
- King Composer
- Site Origin
- Brizy (new and very exciting)
Technically speaking, you need a theme for the page builder to build upon, the theme will setup the site and the page builder can be used to create a nice page design, post design or add elements to posts and content. My favourite is Elementor but I am very excited about Brizy which is currently on lifetime pricing for a limited time.
Ocean WP Hooks Locations
Hooks are used to add script, dynamic content and library items to specific parts of the site. OceanWP has several hook locations available, more than most themes I have worked with.
These hook locations are usually used to add analytics code, site performance scripts, tracking scripts and other custom content. It is possible to add multiple content items to the same hook location and adding content is easy as no altering of the theme core files is required and future updates will not overwrite the code.
OceanWP, like many premium themes, is very flexible with hooks, you can add shortcodes, PHP code, content for logged in/out users, content on certain pages/posts/taxonomy and even by
Due to the release of Gutenberg I imagine, the library feature has become prevalent in many premium themes and page builders. The Hooks feature has been moved to My Library, I assume it is to streamline the process of adding hooks as adding blocks from the library performs the same task. The only difference is that the tab below has a Hooks tab where the hook is activated and the location is selected.
OceanWP My Library is used to add hooks and blocks into your design. This is a sample Elmentor block for a mailing list signup form, once you have completed your design, simply save to My Library and add to any post or page you wish.
The OceanWP Customizer (or customiser) is quite extensive, more so when using the premium extensions.
I have not used a theme with so many customisation options straight from the menu. Some themes such as Astra place options within options which looks neater but can make options difficult to find. The approach taken by OceanWP is refreshing as the options are extensive and organised in a logical format.
The OceanWP Theme Panel allows you to disable Customizer panels that you do not need making it load a little quicker. You settings are always saved but some panels are required once and never again. This is also where you can add White Label settings.
OceanWP and WooCommerce
OceanWP has really excelled in this department, there are several customisation options just for WooCommerce pages including shop pages and individual products. Not forgetting the Woo Popup extension which is part of the OceanWP extensions bundle and adds a nice additional feature to any WooCommerce store.
This is a shot of the WooCommerce single product customisation – quite a hefty list! There are so many options to customise the product page to suite your design ideas.
OceanWP is already lightweight and fast but to extend this further you can disable scripts and styles to further boost speed by limiting slow loading scripts and CSS styles.
All of the OceanWP non-vital scripts and styles can be managed via the Theme Panel, of course, caution is required but the items are all labelled and some brief text explaining the function of each item is available. You can use trial and error to enable or disable elements to see what helps improve the all important site speed.
As with any premium or free theme, responsiveness is very important to ensure that your content is displayed as expected to all of your visitors whether on a desktop PC, tablet or phone. OceanWP has this covered and is more than suited to customising the view for all visitors. OceanWP includes a responsive side panel that can be used in place of the standard sidebar, this enables it to adjust to different devices.
If you are familiar with WordPress and themes, you will not have any issues getting to grips with OceanWP, the documentation is extensive and covered all extensions individually.
There is standard ticket support for both free and paid customers, paid customers are prioritised over free customers. If you really need the extra urgent support, you can pay for Priority Support for 3 or 12 months which the speediest response times and more support options such as debugging, theme conflict testing etc.
How much does OceanWP cost?
OceanWP theme by itself is free and available via the WordPress repository. The OceanWP extensions bundle and separate extensions are premium addons.
At the time of writing, the package I purchase cost $129 for unlimited sites for 12 months of updates. There is a renewal discount of 30% off the price you originally paid – rather than the price at the time of renewal which is a nice bonus as not all developers offer this.
Alternatively, you can opt for the lifetime deal which means a single payment for life with all future updates included. This is a fantastic option when you consider the development cycle and extensions available.
What do I think of OceanWP? I think this is a great theme for WordPress, the options are endless – more than I have seen for any other theme I have used. Great for WooCommerce and great for blogs in general. OceanWP is a real multipurpose theme and can be used out of the box with site layouts or customised to
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