WordPress Theme Review: Here’s Why Elegant Themes Are No 1 For Blog Design
Finding and installing your WordPress theme is one of the most important steps you’ll take in the creation of your blog. Elegant Themes might have the flex your after.
Why? Because the theme you choose is critical to the look, feel design and style of your entire online presence.
It can be difficult to know where to begin, there are literally thousands, if not millions, of themes to choose from so you can be excused for not knowing exactly where to start.
But you’re in luck. It’s 2020, WordPress themes have come a long long way and the technical ability of some themes means that you need zero coding experience in order to create a beautiful website. Amid all of the noise it’s possible to find a theme that cuts through the jargon. A theme that absolutely anyone can use and one that will enable you to create a beautiful functional site.
Let’s get started.
Are Elegant Themes The Best On The Web?
Elegant Themes began life in the student apartment of Nick Roach, a top WordPress enthusiast and specialist. At the core of Elegant Themes lies an approach that has seen the development of its theme software centred around an idea of community, rather than a corporation. In fact, Elegant Themes brings together WordPress experts from over 20 different countries around the world. This diversity of experiences, skills and expertise means that Elegant Themes have created a product that reflects the diversity of its customers, placing their needs at the heart of its approach.
In this profile of WordPress theme provider, Elegant Themes, we’ll show why Elegant Themes, Divi and Extra, are the best on the web. It’s largely because Elegant Themes have stripped back the process of WordPress theme design to exactly meet the priorities of their customers which fall into two key aims.
- Most people have little-to-no coding experience, or zero coding experience, which means they work from a visual perspective. What good is a theme that requires a ton of coding in order to get your site looking the way you want? Elegant Themes dispenses with that and enables you to build your perfect website using a drag-and-drop page builder, which we’ll go into more detail below.
- Everyone creating an online presence wants to create a beautiful, creative, clean website and they can easily customise. Elegant Themes incorporates this simplicity and provides you with the tools to do just that, enabling the creation of a professional-looking site design in mere minutes.
By taking this approach and working tirelessly to meet these two key priorities Elegant Themes have created a product that far excels in comparison to other themes on the web.
And that’s why their best selling theme, DIVI, is the number one selling WordPress theme on the internet. As one of the first themes to integrate a page-builder combination it has been around for years, inspiring legions of dedicated fans and enabling bloggers and site-builders the world over to build beautiful, inspiring websites.
Part of the success of Elegant Themes is also derived for the fact that the company has created a community-led approach that brings together some of the top WordPress experts from around the world. With individuals from over 20 different countries, Elegant Themes has massively evolved over the last 11 years of its existence to represent individuals from all walks of life.
Fantastic Features of Elegant Themes
Part of the appeal in Elegant Themes comes from its simplicity. The community-led company recognised the baffling array of WordPress themes on offer and has, in recent years, slimmed down its offering from 87 themes to 2 powerful themes, supported by 3 equally powerful plugins.
This aligns the product with the priorities of their customers and allows Elegant Themes to provide a customisable product that creates pretty much any look required. Aside from this the two themes on offer, Divi and Extra, come packed with a whole range of features as standard:
Divi and Extra: Themes Anyone Can Customise
One of the key drivers behind the creation of the Divi and Extra themes from Elegant Themes was the simplification of their theme offering.
Divi first launched in 2013 and it’s long record of innovation and experimentation have enabled it to become the market leader. And that’s because almost every component of the theme’s look and appearance is customisable without you needing to have any technical expertise.
The Divi theme options control panel gives you a clear sense of how simply and easily it is to change aspects of the design and layout of the theme:
This functionality can be found in Divi Builder, a component of the Divi theme which allows you to essentially drag and drop any text or image configuration into your site without coding.
The drag and drop elements are shown below and allow you to customise each section, row and text box, selecting design elements from a whole array of choices.
Once you have designed your page layout you can then add the necessary page module which will allow you to populate your site with content. Page modules are the sections of your page that display different configurations of headings, text and images as well as video and audio content.
Divi provides over 46 different modules which include everything from contact forms, countdown timers, email opt-ins and audio/video playback.
Select your module from the insert module list, as displayed below.
New Module List:
Once your modules are in place you can add content and customise it to any style you need, including typography, spacing, font size, background colours, functionality, positioning and a variety of other stylistic changes, depending on the module you insert.
Call to Action Module:
Max Tip: When you instal the Divi theme take the time to play around with page-builder layouts and inserting Divi module blocks in a draft page template. Learning the full functionality of each module block will pay huge dividends when it comes to designing the looks, feel and functionality of your site.
In Summary The Divi Theme Offers:
- Unparalleled customisation ability in both the Divi theme and it’s page-builder plugin.
- Creative animation effects, endless font-text styling including drop text and text shadowing to add depth to your site
- Theme responsiveness across mobile and desktop
- Huge array of in-built web-fonts, font sizing customisation, font spacing and colouring
- Hover effects to encourage reader engagement and calls to action
- Custom shapes and breaks to map out page layouts and content
- Border design and customisation
- Code-free customisation across the entire theme
- Pre-designed layout packs
- eCommerce seamless integration
- Drag and drop building
- Responsive Editing, inline text editing and custom CSS control
And if you don’t want to start from scratch then you can import a layout template from hundreds of pre-existing designs. With dozens of categories to choose from you’ll find a layout that can accommodate your site within a few clicks of a button.
Once imported a Divi layout can be stylised in any of the ways outlined above. Thats means you can select your layout as a basic foundation and then edit it to stylise it in a way that reflect your own design choices and creativity.
Using pre-made layouts is a cinch, just watch the video below for more info on how to get started:
What About Monetisation?
Divi is a steller theme enabling a market-leading ability to customise your site in any way, shape or form you see fit. It can help you to monetise your site or blog by providing:
- Integrated compatibility with Mailchimp and other email marketing tools
- Full WooCommerce integration for the online store creation
- Built-in marketing features and split testing capability
Whilst the Divi theme provides customisation at every level the Extra Magazine theme from Elegant Themes brings a slightly more specific focus.
The Extra theme was designed as a magazine format WordPress theme. What this means in practice is that the Extra theme provides a magazine format layout style, which is perfect for bloggers looking to create a travel, fashion, lifestyle or food blog.
Providing bloggers with the opportunity to promote story-driven posts the Extra theme will allow you to customise everything, as with Divi, whilst connecting more deeply with your readers using Extra’s excellent built-in rating system and social media integration.
If you’re a full-on content writer than Extra might be the theme for you. Check out the LIVE DEMO OF THE EXTRA THEME HERE.
The best part? Divi builder is included with the Extra theme also, which means you can customise the theme to make sure your site looks any way you want.
Remember that the main reason for Elegant themes in providing live demos is to showcase the complete functionality of their themes, which means that if the theme is slightly too busy or includes too much functionality it’s important to note that this can be removed and edited to suit your needs.
Extra includes all of the same modules in Divi that can be used to design your site’s pages, some of the most popular modules are:
One of the key additions in Extra’s armoury of tools is the Category Builder. This means that modules can be adapted to filter certain categories depending on the settings you apply.
And this enables you to build a variety of different page designs that can be targeted to a particular category enabling you to focus your readerships and drive views.
Furthermore, each module has been designed to work across all devices which means they will adapt to any screen that your website is served upon.
Dozens of other layouts enable you to construct the site that you want. With a built-in review system which facilitates the collection of reader reactions, Extra makes it easy to build an engaging magazine site that is responsive and adaptable.
Woo woo WooCommerce! And Monetising Your Blog
Like the Divi theme, Extra enables the full integration of WooCommerce. This allows seamless integration so that you can sell physical products, digital products, services, affiliate sales and downloads.
In Summary The Extra Theme Offers:
- The ability to format posts in multiple ways allowing you to incorporate text, imagery, video, audio, maps, quotes, linked and many other content assets
- Ratings and reviews from your site visitors creating engagement with your audience that facilitates feedback and adaptability
- Social media sharing buttons that enable readers to share your posts, link to your site and increase audience engagement
- WooCommerce integration including product zoom capability,
3 Powerful Plugins from Elegant Themes
There are 3 powerful plugins that come pre-packaged with both the Divi and Extra themes to provide your WordPress site with a powerful punch in engaging your reader’s attention.
POWERFUL PLUGIN 1 – MONARCH:
An extremely flexible and effective user engagement plugin, Monarch is a social media tool that allows you to add social sharing buttons in five different areas of your site:
- Floating Sidebar
- Above & or Below Content
- On Images & Videos
- Automatic Pop-Ups
- Automatic Fly-ins
In addition the plugin facilitates a whole range of pop-ups and fly-ins; one of the most effective methods for engaging user interactions. This includes pop ups that appear:
As with nearly all aspects of the Elegant Theme’s offering you can customize your social sharing buttons. You can choose from 3 different styles of button, 5 side-bar hover effects and 4 inline buttons hover effects.
You can change the icon orientation, show the actual names of each social media network and match the colours against your own sites branding.
Social Media Full Name Styles:
Own Site Colour Branding Example:
POWERFUL PLUGIN 2 – BLOOM:
Bloom is designed to make your audiences, and email lists, bloom! And it makes it easier for you to build out your email lists by enabling you to create some stunning email sign-up, or opt-in, forms.
Building a long email list should be one of the primary goals of any new, or existing blogger because it provides a security net against SEO changes that damage your site’s ranking, it enables you to build up a database of like-minded individuals interested in your blog topic, but most importantly it creates a conversation and a dialogue between you and your reader.
It turns a standalone website into a creative, connected community which enables writers and readers alike to share information, inspirational stories, learning and creativity.
And Bloom is a plugin that will help you achieve that. Once activated you will have the options to create six stunning types of displays:
- Automatic Opt-In Pop-Up
- Automatic Opt-In Fly-Ins
- In-line Opt-In Forms
- Below Content Opt-In Forms
- Widget Area Opt-In Forms
- Require Opt-In To Unlock Content
The Six Bloom Display Types:
Bloom will integrate with 19 different email marketing service providers, meaning that you should be able to build an email list with a whole range of email list experts. The difficulty is choosing the best one for your needs.
You can also select your Bloom email sign up form from a range of 100+ different templates, adapt any of them to your requirements or simply start from scratch. The choice is yours.
Other key features of Bloom include:
POWERFUL PLUGIN 3: DIVI
And last but not least from the very core of the Divi theme comes the Divi Builder Plugin, pre-packaged with both the Divi and the Extra themes, it also works as a standalone plugin that can be utilised across other WordPress sites.
The most important thing that you should know about the Divi Builder plugin is that if you are a visual creator you can drag and drop the elements you need. No coding is required.
This means if you are a creative type that has more expertise in styling the layout and look of your website then you will be able to take your WordPress site to a whole new level by removing all of the requirements for coding allow you to focus your creativity on building out your blog.
The Divi Builder has…
9 Amazing Features…
- Drag & Drop Building
- True Visual Editing
- Custom CSS Control
- Responsive Editing
- Design Options Galore
- Inline Text Editing
- Save & Manage Your Designs
- Global Elements & Styles
- Undo, Redo, & Revisions
40 Website Elements…
Also known as modules, these are the blocks that you can import into pages and posts to create special types of content for… just about anything. And they include a call to actions, sliders, forms, testimonials, galleries, the list goes on.
The Divi Builder has provided these shortcuts so that you can focus on content, rather than coding.
And if you need any inspiration the Divi Builder also gives you access to 800+ Pre-made theme designs and 100+ full website packs. What this means is that you can effectively import a ready-made website, along with royalty-free photos, icons and illustrations, and then tailor the content to your needs.
Divi Builder modules are also customisable which means you can edit the text, images, background colour and styles to suit the branding and style of your blog. Additional effects and animations are also available giving your site some added flare.
To summarise the Divi Builder is an amazing plugin that offers virtually unlimited options for customization and stylisation without the need to code.
Elegant Themes Pricing and Offers
With their focus on simplicity, Elegant Themes packages the above products into two simple price offerings. Which one you choose depends on your own individual site needs and requirements.
Should You Buy An Elegant Theme?
That is up to you. What I’ve aimed to do here is give you a comprehensive review that covers all the options available within the Elegant Themes product range.
I love Elegant Themes because they build a product that starts with the perspective of the creator (not the coder) and developed their themes and plugins from the ground up with that perspective in mind.
It’s a crowded market in the world of WordPress themes and there are tons of free to low-cost themes available but where you save on money you may well miss on quality and the flexibility and ease of designs that Elegant Themes offer means that you can spend your time creating great content that will benefit your readers.
It’s important to remember that when you buy an Elegant Themes licence you get complete access to their products across unlimited websites and users. This means you buy the product and then you can roll it out across all of your sites if you own more than one blog or website.
You can also cancel your membership or upgrade to a different package at any time after signing up.
And you have a full 30 days to change your mind.
In my experience, once you’ve paid for a theme with some WordPress theme providers it can be difficult to get your money back. The refund and cancellation policies here provide a peace of mind that is somewhat lacking in other parts of the WordPress theme sector.
Remember, when you join Elegant Themes you become a club member with ongoing support and updates that ensure your blog remains up to date with all the latest adaptations and improvements.
As part of the Elegant Themes club you’ll have access to their premium support channels, their community forum, developer documentation and elegant themes documentation.
Ultimately whether or not you purchase Elegant Themes is up to you. If you want to focus your energies on creating great content and need a one-stop-shop that can help you to produce a professional and stylish blog or website then Elegant Themes might be for you.
▶︎ hey, I’m Tom
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