Searching for a better theme for World of WordPress, I’ve tried a number of themes. All free themes, because I didn’t want to pay for one (again). I had a few critical demands: the new theme has to be responsive, good performance, offers a masonry blog grid and infinite scroll, can also be used for my other websites and doesn’t have too much functionality that I’m not going to use. And it has to work nicely with Elementor, my favorite page builder.
Choosing this theme
After a long search and extensive testing, I decided to go for OceanWP. A relatively new theme, but with already 20.000 installs and a 5 star rating on WordPress.org. It met all my demands and performs very well. Plus it doesn’t come standard with unnecessary options.You can extend the functionality by buying extensions or install the free plugins.
The installation of OceanWP is like installing any other free theme in the WordPress.org themes directory. After activating the theme, you’ll be advised to install the Ocean Extra plugin. This plugin extends the standard theme with widgets, metaboxes, activate/de-activate customizer sections, enable/disable theme’s scripts and styles, import/export and a panel to activate the premium extensions. That is a must-have and a bit strange it doesn’t install on theme install!
Do you need more?
OceanWP can be extended with free and paid plugins. On WordPress.org you can find the free plugins like Ocean Social Sharing. On the website of OceanWP you can find paid extensions. You can buy separate extensions or buy a core bundle of extensions all at once. Like the Elementor Widgets extension, that shows how OceanWP and Elementor are able to integrate!
The Theme Panel
Once you’ve installed the theme and the Ocean Extra plugin, you can start playing around. First let’s have a look at the Theme Panel. This had various options:
- Theme Panel: this makes it possible to customize the customizer. You can switch off parts you won’t use, so they don’t clutter the customizer and makes it faster. Also from the Theme Panel you can jump start several options.
- My Library. You can save the templates you can use on various places.
- Scripts & styles. To make your website load faster, you can switch of the scripts and styles you don’t use. It takes some testing to figure out which scripts and styles you can switch off safely, without breaking the website.
- Import/export. Speaks for itself. You can export and import all settings. Very nice for testing on a localhost or subdomain.
- Rec.plugins. A list of recommended plugins, some free, some premium.
- * Extensions. A list of extensions (plugins) by OceanWP, some free, some premium.
The customizer is like any other customizer. It’s very easy to go through all the options. And there are a lot! Eight different header layouts (including vertical), full width, boxed of separated lay-out, various blog styles and pagination types and more. Because of the large amount of options, it takes a while to get to the layout you want or need.
I can’t tell you anything about the premium extensions, because I don’t use them. Feel free to leave your experiences with them in the comments section!
Besides the customizer there are a lot of other options to adjust the theme and all options to your needs. With the plugin Hooks Visualizer you can find the location of all available hooks very easily! Always work with a child theme when you want to edit the theme files.
Last but not least: I use OceanWP together with Elementor page builder. They play very nicely together! Let’s hope the developers of OceanWP and Elementor keep on doing their good work for many years to come!
The OceanWP theme is a very nice theme to work with. It has some nice features, like switching of scripts and styles you don’t use. The theme performs very well, even with all scripts and styles switched on! Responsiveness is good on mobile phones and tablets. The developer’s website contains a lot of information to help you set up the theme as you want it.
This website is using OceanWP now. I also installed it on World of WordPress and two other sites.
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