What I want to know about the Avada Theme: Is it easy to use, flexible and will it help you build an great site with out frustration?
The examples sites on the Avada demo page look amazing. Really well designed professional looking pages. But can you really produce similar designs with out knowing any code and without being a designer? The short answer is yes you can. The theme delivers what their marketing slogan suggests. “Coding knowledge not required.” I really like it when I see products that live up to what their marketing department says it can do.
The next question is it easy to use. That is something that I will let you decide for yourself based on your experience. Watch the video review above and I’ll show you what it’s like to use. I think that everyone has a different idea about what is easy to use. For me I generally liked the amount of things that you can do without knowing code. The downside is for the theme to provide this functionality you have to navigate your way thru lots and lots of options and settings.
To define the theme in one word it would be: options. Tons and tons and tons of options. That’s probably the themes biggest strength and the overwhelm of all of those options probably the biggest weakness.
This theme should be able to be installed just like any other WordPress theme. I however ran into a bit of a hiccup with the standard installation. I received an error message when I tried the standard WordPress theme installation method. After looking at the Avada Theme instructions this is apparently a common problem. The work around is to unzip the theme files on your computer and then upload the files via FTP. For me this was a minor inconvenience. As long as you are comfortable using FTP you will not have a problem installing this theme.
Immediately after activating the theme you are directed to install and activate the included Fusion core plugin. This plugin adds the page builder functionality as well as the fusion slider and elastic slider. Avada also includes several other plugins. The creators of Avada recommend only activating these additional plugins if you plan on using them. As a general practice you should only have installed the minimum number of plugins possible to get the functionality that you would like on your site. The additional plugins include with Avada are; the Layer Slider, Slider Revolution, WooCommerce, bbPress, The Events Calendar and Contact Form 7.
For this review I only used the core fusion plugins.
Avada Theme setup
The initial theme setup is handled under the new Avada menu. That menu is available from either the top WordPress tool bar or in
Avada Theme Options
the WP dashboard under Theme Options. There you will find a huge list of tabs filled with options that let you control just about anything you could think of in the theme. Colors, fonts, the look of the main site header and menu and almost anything else you can imagine.
You might feel a bit of overwhelm when first encountering all of the options. Fortunately the settings are well laid out. In most cases settings are where you would expect to find them. There were a few instances like where you control the look of the buttons, which is under “short-codes”. Not where I was expecting to find that control.
The good news is that with all of these settings you can really sculpt the look of your site and create a website that looks well branded and well thought out.
If you want to save yourself some time setting up the Avada theme you should check out my online course where I walk you thru setting up your entire website from picking a domain name thru setting up the Avada theme and building your pages, even setting up email at your own domain.
A highlight of the theme settings for me is the ability to change the look of the menu. The menu style is one of the biggest factors in giving your site it’s over all style and there are a number of different looks that you can give to your menu and header using this theme.
Avada Theme Header and Menu Options
Avada Page Builder
The main benefit of the Avada Theme is that it has a built in page builder. This allows you to customize the layout and design of each page. You can even use it to customize the look of your posts. You don’t have to rely on a fixed set of page templates like you would with many other types of themes.
The page builder is a backend page builder, meaning that you can’t see the changes as you make them, but rather get a graphical representation of what your pages will look like. You add rows to your layout and then add columns and decide on what percentage of the width that you would like the columns to be. Very similar to the way the Divi theme works which I looked at in a previous review. The main difference between this and the divi as far as workflow is that in Avada all of the row/column options and element options that go into the sections are kept at the top of the page. If you are working on a long page you have to continually scroll to the top select what you want and then drag it down to the bottom of the page. Whereas on the Divi theme these selections are make right at the part of the page where you are, a much nicer and easier to use workflow.
Avada Page Builder elements
Many of the elements in this theme are similar to the Divi theme, but you do get more options and better controls of the the segments and elements in this theme. Again in each section and with each element there are just a ton of options that you can use to customize the look of your site.
This theme is fully responsive meaning that it is designed to dynamically change based on the size of the screen that your viewer is using. So without any extra effort on your part your website will automatically work on anything from a desktop computer to a phone. You also have control over which sections and elements will appear on different devices so that you can further customize your users experience.
The default Avada slider, called Fusion Slider, is basic with simple controls. It offers all of the basic functions that you need. The slider offers a good number of options including full width image, video or color background. It also allows you to add header text and caption text to your slide. Both header and caption text allow you to easily control the font size. To adjust the style of the font, like bold or italic you do need to use the HTML tags.
You can also add 1 or 2 buttons to the slider, or make the entire slider on large link. To create a button in the slider you can select button and it will but in the default button styling from your main Avada Theme options. If you want something other then the default styling you will need to use their short codes. They have good documentation on their short codes, but it can get a little bit confusing. I think that the default slider is perfectly adequate. If you find that you need more the theme does come bundled with additional slider options.
Conclusion on the Avada Theme
Over all I really like the Avada Theme. I really like all of the options, especially the control over the look of your pages and the menu. I think that these controls will allow you to create some amazing and beautiful designs, and you really can do it with out knowing code! I would absolutely consider using this theme for an upcoming project.
Some of the downsides are it only includes 6 mo. of support with a standard license, you can of course purchase additional support. Some users may find all of the options and settings overwhelming.