OceanWP is a modern popular WordPress responsive theme with over 400,000 active installations in time of writing this. In this OceanWP theme review, I will be showing what theme offers and what are its advantages and disadvantages.
Having a website is your brand and appearance matters. Some themes look great on a desktop but not so good on handheld devices. OceanWP can adapt your website to any screen size, so it looks great whether you look it on a mobile device, tablet, or desktop.
WooCommerce integration in OceanWP is fantastic thanks to many WooCommerce tweaks built directly. For example, it has an integrated shopping cart popup and shopping cart floating bar. There’s also a quick-view mode that lets a customer see a product without leaving the page.
There are many customizable options including theme panels, header/footers, typography, images, menus, and a plethora of others that you will love to have.
OceanWP has a nice sized collection of demos that you can import into your website to give it a more professional feel without having to work from scratch. The quality of the demo themes is high.
Demos included cover e-commerce, corporate, gym, event, bakery, blog, food, design, charity, fitness, agency, music, surfing, interior, photo, scuba diving, freelance, etc.
On each page you can choose whether or not you want sidebars, headers, footers, and you’re also able to control the look of margins and logo settings.
With these choices, you can be sure that your pages will complement each other as users have all of the design control. Ocean WP was created and designed with its users in mind.
The theme is compatible with page builders, such as WPBakery (see differences between Visual Composer vs WPBakery) Visual Composer (check difference between Visual Composer pro vs free), Elementor (what are differences with Elementor pro vs Elementor free), Divi (see Divi vs Elementor comparison), Beaver Builder (check best Beaver Builder addons), Site Origin, and more. It’s also compatible with WPML (check WPML review).
OceanWP Theme Review – OceanWP Free & Paid Extensions
The OceanWP theme is free. It also has many free extensions (eight) and demos (13 free demos) which you can install if you want to add more features to your site.
But it also offers several paid extensions (13 premium extensions) which you can purchase separately or all of them in Core Extension Bundle. You will also receive 60 PRO demos.
There are so many ways to customize your web pages, including both paid and free extensions that are easy to download and control.
OceanWP Free Extensions
–Stick Anything – This plugin can stick elements on your site. This includes adding offsets for spacing around the sticky element.
–Modal Window – This plugin inserts content into a modal with an opening button. You can make as many modals as you deem necessary, with custom widths, content, and colors.
—Posts Slider – This displays posts into a slider that has multiple options, like the number of posts that you wish to display and the size of images.
With this, you can change the margins between the slider and the content, the read more text, the transition speed, order of posts, and categories.
–Demo Import – Using this tool you can import the demo content (now-defunct extension and you don’t need it anymore)
–Custom Sidebar – If you want an unlimited number of sidebars wherever you want them, this feature makes it possible.
–Product Sharing – Add different share buttons to your single product page so visitors can share your content on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or email.
–Social Sharing – Much like product sharing, this plugin can add the share buttons to WordPress post, with all the above social media sites along with LinkedIn, Reddit, Viber, Tumblr, and Viadeo.
–Ocean Extra – This plugin adds extra features like import and exports, meta boxes and panels that can activate premium extensions.
These features can change the layout, titles, images, theme scripts/styles and other settings.
OceanWP Premium Extensions
Paid extensions you can purchase separately or in a bundle. If you want to add additional options to your site, I would recommend getting some of these paid extensions:
–Full Screen – Adds a full-screen option that you can customize the scrolling speed, optional side navigation, and the navigation color and different tooltips for navigation.
–Cookie Notice – Per GDPR guidelines, this extension complies with EU cookie law in letting you install a notice that adds a script discussing using cookies.
You can edit its content, button text, icon, and other styling settings to make this necessary but stylish.
–Popup Login – If you have a website that requires a login and password, this is something that you need to get. It has the login and register link that you can place anywhere on the site.
You can style it, add a background image, or even change its description.
–Instagram – If a social network button or a share button isn’t enough for you, you can include an Instagram feed to your website.
You can display Instagram photos, posts, follows, and biography related to your profile and have control over if you hide or show likes, comments, and captions.
–White Label – This plugin allows you to add a new box in the Theme Panel, which replaces the OceanWP name and logo with your own.
This includes your branding name, the author, the author URL, description, and screenshot.
–Portfolio – If you want your website to show your beautiful creations in your profile with business features like filter bars, page templates, image adjustments, typography, the location of items and sorting, then this is a must-have extension for you.
–Woo Popup – Are you trying to sell anything on your website? This extension displays a popup for when someone clicks the “Add to Cart” link where you can control the content, sizing, popup elements, and colors.
–Sticky Header/Footer – If you want to edit the header or a footer of your site, this is what you need.
These you can stick manually, mobile or not, with both shrink or fixed styles and effects. You can also choose the background and opacity during the user’s scrolling.
–Footer Callout – If you want to add either important or relevant information about your company in the footer, this is a necessary add-on.
Just like with the footer, you can edit this content, color, and padding, but you can also edit the display of the callout and the callout button.
–Ocean Hooks – This plugin helps you customize content in specific areas without using a WordPress child theme.
This includes adding features, shortcodes, different content in the same hook location, PHP codes, and other content for users who are logged in or out.
–Elementor Widgets (see best Elementor addons) – If you would like to use this feature, you are required to have the OceanWP theme with the Elementor Page Builder plugin enabled.
This is because this widget has many features that are each customizable. These include the following:
Advanced Custom Field Widget
Advanced Heading Widget
Animated Heading Widget
Business Hours Widget
Button Effects Widget
Call to Action Widget
WooCommerce Products Widget
WooCommerce Categories Widget
WooCommerce Slider Widget
Caldera Forms Widget
|Circle Progress Widget
Flip Box Widget
Google Maps Widget
Image Comparison Widget
Image Gallery Widget
Info Box Widget
Instagram Feed Widget
Link Effects Widget
Lost Password Widget
Ninja Forms Widget
Price List Widget
Switch Up Widget
Team Members Widget
Contact Form 7 Widget
Gravity Forms Widget
–Side Panel– You can add a side panel that is responsive with your preferred widgets inside.
There you can choose the icon, opening bottom, size, which side it is on, what overlays occur when the panel is opened if you want to show or edit the close button, and you can also modify the colors.
How to Use OceanWP Theme? Setup Wizard
OceanWP can be downloaded from WordPress.org or installed directly from the themes page in the Appearance section of your WordPress site.
Once you’ve activated OceanWP, you’ll see a message that recommends you install three WordPress plugins: Elementor, Ocean Extra and WPForms.
While Elementor and WPForms (see Gravity Forms vs WPForms comparison) are optional, Ocean Extra is a necessary plugin for all of the features to work correctly. The developers should really stress that Ocean Extra is a required plugin — not a recommended plugin.
Vital theme functionality, such as the OceanWP control panel, won’t be displayed unless Ocean Extra is activated. The OceanWP setup wizard will walk you through getting started with the theme.
Users must make sure that they activate the Ocean Extra plugin for the wizard to be available. You will be able to choose a theme design on the next page.
Then you will see a preview of all 13 of the theme demos (if you have core extension bundle purchased you will have more) that can be installed, but you have the choice to skip it until later.
The next page will give you the option to customize settings such as your logo, title, and tagline. On this page, you are also able to change your website colors and links.
Since all colors are grayed out, you’ll need to use the color picker to choose your colors. I’d love to see preset color schemes available at this stage so non-designers have a starting point.
The next page gives users the option to sign up for the OceanWP email list in exchange for a bonus video. The setup wizard is beneficial for users and beginners trying to set up their initial website.
Even though it should have been built into the OceanWP theme instead of being added afterward, it still works well for users seeking a little extra help with building their site.
Unfortunately, one problem with the OceanWP is that in order for all of the free demos to work correctly, they need premium extensions.
Some of them actually need at least four premium plugins to work. To be able to recreate the design you’ve chosen, this is a requirement. For some of the designs, you will lose important elements if not using the required plugins.
Theme Panel & Settings
After you have activated OceanWP, the theme panel menu will be shown in your admin menu. On the main theme panel page, you will be able to either enable or disable certain sections from the WordPress theme customizer.
Below, you will find important links for your settings such as for uploading your logo and header modification. The wizard can also be run from this page.
You can also always access how-to videos, documentation, open a support ticket, or join OceanWP Facebook group.
You will also see the third party integrated services in the integrations tab. If there are none chosen, you will only see integration options for MailChimp.
OceanWP has its own templating system. Under “My Library,” you can make your own templates using the WordPress visual editor, then reuse them anytime you want using shortcode.
This is especially helpful if you are using the same content on pages constantly. This can be extremely useful as it means content that’s used frequently can be modified in one central location and used to update hundreds of pages.
There are 54 scripts and styles which you can enable or disable depending on your needs.
In OceanWP Importer & Exporter tab, you can import or export theme settings. All theme settings can be exported in a .dat file, which is useful if you want to back up your preferred settings or need to transfer OceanWP from a test environment to a live website.
The styling options and website settings that are configured through the setup wizard can be modified through the WordPress theme customizer.
You’ll see a list of ‘Free’ demos that are available to install, or if you have Ocean Pro Demos extension (price is $29), you will also have premium demos available.
There’s a preview available for each demo, and clicking on design will show you what plugins are required for it.
There is also Account tab where you can see information about your OceanWP membership, extensions you have installed, billing details, etc. Under the Addons tab, you can see all available addons (extensions) for OceanWP theme.
OceanWP Pages, Posts, Custom Post Types Settins
Any settings you may need can be found under the WordPress visual editor for pages, posts, and custom post types.
However, keep in mind that any settings you have here or change here will only apply to the page in question, they will not change any of your other pages on the website. They are specific to the page you are currently working on.
The options in this settings box are useful and easy to apply. You can change any number of settings from headers, footers, and sidebars, and you can also enable or disable features.
For example, the shortcodes can either be added before or after essential parts of your pages as well as giving you the option to change the logo or navigation menus as you please.
The settings are useful, especially when branding specific parts of your website and its pages.
As an example, assume you have created a documentation page, you can upload a logo with different branding logo, then create a link to direct users to key documentation right from the main menu.
Titles, sub-headings, style, can also be changed as you wish, and you even have the option of disabling them. Format options are also available for audio, video, links, quotes, etc.
Using The Theme Customizer
Within the WordPress theme customizer, you can find a large number of settings needed for your website. Keep in mind that any changes you make here can be previewed in real-time on all of your devices.
Inside the general settings area, you have the options you need to change your website design and layout. It also offers you control over pagination.
Every element of your website can be modified, but the header section is one that really stands out. The theme demos for the header sections offer a larger variety of styles, colors, margins, padding, as they can be modified to your liking.
Users have several options for their blogs, such as using large images, video banners, small images, grid layouts, thumbnails, and you also can enable and disable anything you want to with one click.
In the footer section, you can create your own copyright message for your pages by using shortcodes, as well as the ability to tell it whether to be displayed on a mobile, or tablet, or some other device.
More theme developers are beginning to use the WordPress theme customizer instead of using the traditional options page that’s powered by an options panel such as Redux Framework.
While the customizer isn’t always the quickest way for making changes, it is still worth its weight in gold, so that you can see the changes you make taking place immediately in real-time.
Pros & Cons of Using OceanWP
Just like with any prpduct, there are both advantages and disadvantages when using OceanWP theme.
Whether they are useful or not depends on each user and the intention behind what they want to include on their website. What may be a pro for one user may be a con to another.
Here are the pros of the OceanWP theme
- The theme is fast and lightweight which makes the user experience more positive. This means there is no impact on the speed or performance of the site.
- It automatically takes several stock widgets like recent posts or newsletters and enhances them for a better blogging experience.
- There are a plethora of customizable options. It lets you customize every aspect of your web page from top to bottom.
- It incorporates SEO practices and is developer-friendly. OceanWP integrates HTML tags and proper navigation structure, among other schema markups, so you don’t have to.
- For those freelancers who like to crank out a website quickly, OceanWP is the best thing.
- OceanWP integrates with WooCommerce and enhances its features to both its function and appearance.
- Your website can adjust to all screen sizes, regardless of which device it is on.
- You can enable or disable elements you dont intend to use thus decreasing page load.
Here are the cons of the OceanWP theme
- It can be overwhelming. If you are a beginner or freelancer, you may be overwhelmed with how many customizations there really are.
- Most of the customizations rely on differing boxes in the pages and posts, and the only way to fix it is to get some of the extensions.
- Even though the theme is free, some of its premium extensions are required even in free demos if you want to get the same look.
- Ocean Extra free extension though displayed as recommend, when you activate OceanWP theme is in fact required to have for the theme to work.
- After starting to use Fremius as their e-commerce platform, they increased the price when purchasing premium extensions separately from $9.99 to $29.99
OceanWP Theme Pricing – What is The Cost of Extensions?
OceanWP theme is free. But you can purchase extensions if you wish to add more options to the site. There are three different pricing plans. There are 13 premium plugin extensions available for OceanWP.
The extensions are Full Screen, Cookie Notice, Popup Login, Instagram, White Label, Portfolio, Woo Popup, Sticky Footer, Ocean Hooks, Elementor Widgets, Side Panel, Sticky Header, and Footer Callout.
The developers have priced each extension at $29.99 per year. But they were only $9.99 per extension before OceanWP moved to use Fremius as their payment service.
Freemius is managed eCommerce platform to sell and market freemium and premium WordPress plugins & themes.
If you decide to add some extensions and put them in your shopping cart, you will be asked about taking advantage of the OceanWP Core Extensions package which includes all of the premium extensions mentioned for $34.99. Normally it costs $39 per year for the license of this bundle.
By purchasing the bundle, you will have 12 months access to all support and updates as well as access to all pro demo designs.
All three licenses give users the same content it just depends on how many sites you can activate based on which plan you choose. A personal site license is for one site, and it costs $39.
Business license costs $79 a year and includes support and updates for up to three websites.
The Unlimited license has a price tag of $129 per year, and it eliminates any domain usage restrictions that users have.
You can also go with a lifetime pricing plan option where depending on how many sites you need to use extensions; you can pay from $159 – $519 for lifetime usage.
OceanWP Theme Review Conclusion
OceanWP theme is a popular way to get the most out of the website you are building. The free version alone has been uploaded to over 400,000 different sites.
OceanWP is a multipurpose theme with excellent loading times that has excellent support for third-party plugins and drag-and-drop page builders.
OceanWP offers a lot of great functionality out of the box, and its features can also be enhanced using free and premium plugin extensions. More theme designs are also available if you upgrade to the OceanWP Core Extensions Bundle.
The theme places most design and styling options in the WordPress theme customizer so you can see how modifications look in real-time. Beginners will appreciate how much this helps when making changes.
The additional settings that are displayed under the WordPress visual editor can be used to customize every single page on your website uniquely. This opens limitless possibilities for how you build your website.
Page builders are supported well too, as you can disable page elements, such as your header, footer, and sidebars, at the click of a button.
It’s worth noting, however, that OceanWP has better integration with Elementor than other page builders.
I do feel that the developers should improve the installation process of OceanWP for beginners, and perhaps add the functionality of Ocean Extra directly into the theme itself.
However, a more significant concern is the implementation of OceanWP’s free theme demos. The theme demo system is undoubtedly one of the best features of OceanWP because it gives users access to a catalog of high-quality designs.
It’s disappointing that to work correctly, every single free theme demo requires a premium plugin extension. In that respect, the full version of OceanWP is a better representation of what OceanWP can do.
Each premium plugin extension is priced at $29.99 per year. However the bundle where you get them all at $34 is the better buy.
By purchasing the core extensions bundle, you’ll get a full year of support and updates, access to all premium plugin extensions, and access to all pro theme demos.
If you’d like to learn more about OceanWP, I recommend installing the free version to see for yourself how it works.
Check out the extensive documentation area too, which features video tutorials and written tutorials of every significant feature of OceanWP, and explains how each plugin extension works.
If OceanWP theme is not something you are looking for, then Astra (check Astra theme review), GeneratePress (see Astra vs GeneratePress comparison) or Deep theme (Deep theme review) might have what you need.
- It is free, only extensions are paid
- Easy to use
- Affordable price
- Many customization options
- You can disable features you dont intend to use
- WooCommerce integration
- Many available demos
- Premium extensions are required even in free demos
- Ocean Extra plugin is required for OceanWP theme
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