OceanWP Review: Worth it in 2024?

Here is our in depth review of OceanWP widely adopted with over 300,000 activations, OceanWP stands toe-to-toe with well-known themes like Divi and Elementor and boasts an exceptional rating on WordPress.org, confirming its satisfaction among users. As a scalable solution, it targets both newcomers and seasoned web developers by offering a seamless way to construct a professional online presence without compromising on speed or ease of use.

Key Takeaways

  • OceanWP is a highly customizable and fast WordPress theme compatible with page builders.
  • It offers a wealth of features that can be extended through free and premium plugins.
  • The theme is well-received, with a vast user base and high ratings on WordPress.org.

The Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

OceanWP stands out as a versatile WordPress theme that caters to a wide array of websites, from corporate sites to online stores. Its modern, responsive design easily adapts to various display devices and equally supports multilingual content, making it a globally accessible solution.

Features of OceanWP:

  • Responsive Design: Ensures optimal viewing across all devices.
  • WooCommerce Compatibility: Fully integrated with WooCommerce, including unique features such as a shopping cart popup and floating bar.
  • Demo Importation: Offers a collection of professional designs that can be easily imported to enhance your site’s appearance.
  • Multipurpose Demos: High-quality designs tailored for specific purposes, providing a suitable base for any project.
  • Plugin Extensions: Access to over 20 plugin extensions, adding style options, widgets for page builders, custom post types, and more.

The theme specifically excels with its WooCommerce enhancements such as the streamlined shopping cart experiences and quick-view product modes, making it a robust choice for e-commerce platforms. These elements contribute to a seamless customer journey directly within the web interface.

One of the key challenges non-designers face is adjusting a theme’s core structure—OceanWP mitigates this hurdle through easy-to-use customization options. Users can effortlessly modify their site’s structure to match their vision without the need for extensive coding knowledge.

With regards to page builders, OceanWP shows a high level of compatibility and even improves on that relationship. Users have the discretion to display or hide elements like sidebars, headers, and footers, and adjust settings such as logos and margins. This ensures that the theme works seamlessly with tools like Divi, giving you the freedom to craft individual pages to your taste.

Pricing and Extensions:

  • Extensions Available: More than 20 to enhance functionality.
  • Pricing: Extensions can be purchased individually or in a bundle, starting at $9.99 per year.
  • Free Features: Despite the premium options, a significant number of functionalities are available without any cost.

OceanWP represents a flexible, yet straightforward solution for users seeking a multi-purpose WordPress theme that doesn’t compromise on the extensive array of features or ease of customization. Whether for an advanced web project or a simple blog, OceanWP offers a foundation that promotes both style and functionality.

Setting Up OceanWP and Essential Extensions

Upon activating the OceanWP theme within WordPress, which can be acquired from the WordPress.org site or the themes directory in WordPress, users are met with a prompt. The prompt suggests the installation of three specific extensions, namely Elementor, Ocean Extra, and WP Forms. It’s crucial to illuminate that Ocean Extra should be considered a necessity rather than optional. This particular extension unlocks critical features of the OceanWP theme, such as access to the control panel, without which the theme’s functionalities are significantly restricted.

Following the installation of the above plugins, it’s natural to encounter an array of notices and prompts. These are standard procedures to help guide users through the necessary steps to fully leverage the new tools at their disposal. Users should expect to be taken to an initial setup page or receive instructions like activating certain services, partaking in the data collection for better service provision, or leaving feedback.

Plugin Installation and Configuration:

  1. Elementor: A powerful page builder that provides extensive customization capabilities.
  2. Ocean Extra: An indispensable plugin for managing theme settings and deploying demo content.
  3. WP Forms: An intuitive tool for creating and managing forms on your site.

Users are sometimes redirected to a setup page (e.g., WP Forms) upon plugin activation, which may momentarily affect the appearance of the admin dashboard. Users will also be prompted to engage with various welcome messages and run the setup wizard.

Considerations for a Smooth Installation:

  • Be prepared for multiple notifications upon activating the recommended plugins simultaneously.
  • Follow the setup wizard’s instructions to streamline theme configuration.
  • Download any additional extensions, such as Ocean Sticky Header, for expanded functionality.

Developers continuously aim to enhance the user experience; therefore, any complexities during the installation and setup phase are opportunities for improvement. OceanWP’s approach to encourage plugin use for additional functionality is sensible—why build from scratch when one can effortlessly extend a site’s capabilities? However, it’s acknowledged that the process could be refined to be less taxing on new users.

Website Configuration with OceanWP

Configuring a website with OceanWP begins with the activation of the theme’s designated setup assistant provided through the Ocean Extra extension. This initial step is crucial as it streamlines the process of tailoring the theme to the user’s preferences.

The next stage presents users with an array of website designs to choose from. With thirteen complimentary templates available, individuals have the liberty to examine each before making an installation. However, they also have the option to bypass this step completely if they wish.

Should one opt to employ the travel template, it is recommended to commence with a clean WordPress installation to facilitate the importation of the demo content flawlessly. Clearing the database can be achieved with tools like WP Reset or similar plugins that are specifically designed for this task.

The following step may prompt the user to install certain required plugins. These may include essentials such as Custom Sidebar for enhanced widget areas and Social Sharing for increased audience engagement. Although there could be suggestions to include premium plugins like Sticky Header and Elementor Widgets, it is possible to progress without these, keeping in mind that the resultant site may not fully mirror the preview.

During the setup, users have the opportunity to import various demo data elements, which are all pre-selected, but can be customized to their preference.

Adjusting the critical elements such as the site logo, title, and tagline is made convenient on the subsequent page. Furthermore, users can set the default color scheme for their website design and links. While starting with a neutral palette, each color can be personalized using a color picker, offering a robust foundation for non-designers and a gateway to custom aesthetics for all users.

As part of the configuration journey, there’s a chance to subscribe to the OceanWP newsletter to receive additional resources like bonus videos, although one can choose to skip this offer and proceed to admire their newly designed site.

Upon completion, the visual appeal of the site, especially when the demo content is utilized, is noticeable. However, users should be aware that full fidelity to the demo’s look may require certain premium additions, such as the Sticky Header for a fixed navigation menu, or Elementor Widgets for specialized content displays, like a grid format for posts.

It is worth noting that getting the website up and running with OceanWP is helpful for beginners, simplifying the setup experience. Ideally, all functionalities and prompts to install essential plugins would be incorporated within the theme, rather than requiring an additional extension. This would offer a more seamless experience and provide users with a comprehensive understanding of each plugin’s advantages during the setup phase.

An aspect that calls for attention is the need for premium extensions to fully utilize the capabilities of the free demos. For a more user-centric approach, the developers could consider revamping the free templates so that they are completely operational without the necessity of any premium plugins. This would ensure that all users, regardless of their intent to invest in additional features, can enjoy the full potential of the theme’s design offerings.

Customizing Your OceanWP Website

With the activation of Ocean Extra, the theme panel menu for OceanWP appears in the WordPress admin menu. This panel grants access to enable or disable customizer options and streamline logo and header changes. It streamlines the setup wizard operation too.

For more comprehensive adjustments, users can navigate the integrations tab, which highlights the theme’s capability with third-party services like MailChimp and other extensions that enhance the site’s functionality.

OceanWP’s native templating system stands out for its user-friendly nature, allowing for the creation and usage of templates with WordPress visual editor and shortcode application. This ensures consistency and efficiency in content deployment across various posts and pages.

Moreover, the scripts and styles feature in OceanWP is commendable for prioritizing performance. By toggling JavaScript and CSS elements, users can tailor the site’s loading speed to the essential functions they engage with, making the pages lighter and faster.

The theme’s settings are safeguarded and easily transferable with an export utility in a .dat file. This is particularly useful for moving settings from staging to live environments without a hitch.

OceanWP has integrated the previously separate Demo Import Extension plugin into Ocean Extra, now featuring a consolidated list of free and premium designs., promising quality and ease of transformation with just a few clicks.

As for granular page-level customization, OceanWP delivers a robust set of options beneath the WordPress visual editor. Each page can exhibit unique styles and functional elements, from headers, footers, and sidebars to specific titles, breadcrumbs, and post format options that can be tweaked individually. This flexibility empowers the user to truly craft a unique experience that resonates with their brand and audience.

The meticulous attention paid to customization in OceanWP reaffirms its status as a versatile foundation for building a responsive and distinctive website with a focus on tailored user engagement.

Utilizing the Theme Customizer

The WordPress theme customizer serves as a central hub for adjusting and refining the appearance and functionality of a website. Within this tool, users have the ability to preview changes in real time across different devices such as desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

General Settings

  • Design & Layout: Adjust overall website aesthetics and main area layouts.
  • Pagination Control: Configure how content is paginated on the site.

Typography & Headers

  • Font Customization: Tailor fonts for every site element, with a focus on headers.
  • Header Styles: Several demo styles with customizable colors, padding, and margins.
  • Header Media: Incorporate striking image or video banners for a distinct look.

Blog Configuration

  • Display Options: Choose from large images, thumbnails, or grid layouts.
  • Element Management: Toggle blog elements on or off with ease.

Footer Customization

  • Responsive Display: Decide if the footer appears on mobile devices.
  • Copyright Creation: Personalize copyright messages using shortcodes.

Adopting the WordPress customizer, many theme developers are moving away from traditional options panels. This transition aligns with preferences for a more interactive styling process, despite the method being slightly less swift than alternative means. The customizer’s interface allows for adjustments and enhancements to be made and reviewed simultaneously.

OceanWP Core Extensions

OceanWP theme enhances its capabilities through a suite of extensions that amplify its integration with WooCommerce and offers additional features to any eCommerce platform or website. The availability of OceanWP core extensions include several free options that users can access directly from the WordPress repository or via their administration area.

The Ocean Extra plugin emerges as an essential tool, being integral for the importation of theme demos, management of the theme control panel, and the injection of scripts. To enhance the user experience and theme functionality, the inclusion of Ocean Extra is a must.

For those looking to affix specific page elements, the Stick Anything extension allows for the adhesion of selected CSS elements, which can include items such as logos or contact forms, ensuring they remain in view as the user scrolls.

Enhancing visual engagement, Posts Slider equips website owners with the ability to showcase blog posts in slide format. This extension provides control over aspects such as thumbnail sizes, slide counts, and the velocity of transitions, with the functionality of limiting content to specified categories.

Website customization is further simplified with Custom Sidebar, enabling the creation and management of multiple sidebars. This feature melds seamlessly into the OceanWP theme panel, presenting an effortless and integrated sidebar management experience.

For WooCommerce stores, the Product Sharing extension presents a way to incorporate social sharing functionality beneath each product, leveraging the power of social media for product promotion.

The Social Sharing module provides similar sharing capabilities for blog posts, with customizable support for various platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. These sharing buttons have received positive attention for their aesthetic appeal.

While the provided extensions serve as valuable additions, they are not unique to OceanWP. Users seeking to enhance their site with sliders, sidebars, or social buttons may also explore third-party alternatives to see which best aligns with their needs. Compatibility with a broad array of plugins allows OceanWP to maintain a flexible stance, accommodating the diverse requirements of website developers and content managers.

OceanWP Premium Extensions

OceanWP expands its theme functionality with a suite of thirteen premium plugins. These extensions provide a diverse range of features catered to enhance user experience and website functionality:

  • Full Screen: Enables full-page scrolling, with customizable navigation colors and scrolling speeds.
  • Cookie Notice: An essential tool for GDPR compliance, allowing for style modifications and custom messages.
  • Instagram Integration: Streams images directly from your Instagram feed onto your website.
  • White Labeling: Offers an opportunity to brand the theme as your own, replacing OceanWP’s branding with a custom one.
  • Portfolio: A dynamic way to exhibit images, with adjustable styles and typography, and content filtering by various categories.
  • Woo Popup: Interacts with shoppers by signaling added products to the cart with customizable pop-up messages.
  • Sticky Footer: Keeps footers visible, anchoring them to the bottom of web pages.
  • Sticky Header: Ensures headers remain at the top of the page, with settings for height and mobile display.
  • Elementor Widgets: Presents over 40 unique content widgets when using Elementor, greatly extending design possibilities.
  • Popup Login: Streamlines the user login process with a pop-up form for account actions.
  • Side Panel: Adds a customizable side panel with widget areas for additional information or functionalities.
  • Ocean Hooks: Delivers a means for developers to include PHP code and shortcodes across the website.
  • Footer Callout: Showcases an attention-grabbing bar above the footer that can be styled and toggled per page.

Each individual plugin is priced at an affordable $9.99 per year. However, shoppers who add any extension to their purchase are prompted to consider the OceanWP core extensions bundle at a reduced rate of $34.99. This bundle not just aggregates the plugins, but also adds 12 months of support, updates, and access to 21 professional demo designs.

Licensing options vary in scale; from personal use on a single site to unlimited use across multiple sites, with the business license offering intermediate support for three websites.

Extensions like Elementor Widgets and Ocean Hooks provide substantial enhancements to its core offerings. While some add minor improvements, each extension is designed with precision to cater to specific needs.

At a modest price point of $9.99 per premium plugin and the bundled offer, OceanWP positions itself as an attractive and value-packed option for website customization and enhancement.

Comprehensive Evaluation

OceanWP emerges as a commendable option for those exploring cost-effective WordPress themes. It cleverly harnesses the native theme customizer of WordPress, allowing visual modifications on-the-fly—a feature novices find particularly beneficial for personalizing their sites with ease.

The theme extends its customizability to each webpage, courtesy of specific settings under the visual editor. With just a few clicks, page elements such as headers, footers, and sidebars can be toggled, enhancing compatibility with page builders, especially Elementor.

Despite the theme’s strengths, there is room for improvement, particularly in streamlining the setup process for newcomers and possibly integrating the Ocean Extra’s functions directly into the core theme.

The theme’s array of sophisticated demos stands out as a pivotal attribute of OceanWP, providing a repertoire of top-tier designs. Nevertheless, the requirement of a premium plugin to fully exploit these demos is a slight setback.

For those seeking the full OceanWP experience, acquiring the premium version is the way to go as it presents the theme in its entirety. Each premium plugin is reasonably tagged at $9.99 yearly; yet, the personal license offers a more valuable package at $34.99, encompassing a year of customer support, updates, and all pro demos.

Individuals considering OceanWP should consider trialing the free version to gauge its functionality. For comprehensive insights, the theme’s website showcases extensive documentation, instructional videos, and detailed guides that elucidate the use of each plugin extension.

For a practical understanding, examining live websites that utilize OceanWP could serve as a resourceful checkpoint. This review, bolstered by hands-on-checkouts, should help users decide whether OceanWP aligns with their needs.

Developers of OceanWP demonstrate a commitment to enhancing user experience through regular updates. It’s evident they value customer support, evident from the detailed guidance offered in the documentation. Support for queries, conversion optimization, and a strong presence on wordpress.org bolster the theme’s reputation. This thematic review reflects a collective analysis shaped by user experiences, developer input, and the utility of the theme’s expansive toolkit.

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