Published by on 27 June 2019 • 0 Comments • Lire en Français

This theme is not as well known as famous athletes or singers.

But if it continues to grow, it could be one day, as its growth is so rapid.

This is OceanWP theme, “a totally free WordPress theme with premium features and quality”, as explained on the About page of the website dedicated to it.

With more than 400,000 active installations and a bunch of positive reviews – 2,387 of the 2,420 5-star ratings left at the time of writing – our theme of the day is simply not to be missed on the official WordPress directory.

OceanWP ratings on the directory

The kind of thing you really don’t want to miss.

Une petite fille fait non du doigt

But before you throw yourself at it like a hungry person (at the theme, not this little girl’s cake), you need to know if you can bank on it for your next projects.

To help you, I’ve written a detailed review.

As I did in the posts about GeneratePress and Astra, I will talk to you about:

  • How OceanWP is easy to handle?
  • its impact on performance and SEO
  • Its pricing etc.

OceanWP theme, a free theme really… premium

I will come back to this in more details later in this post, but OceanWP is a somewhat different theme.

It does not offer a Pro version per se, but paid add-ons that add features to its free theme (e.g. a sticky header, Elementor Widgets, White Label etc.).

Exactly as WooCommerce does, for example.

Nicolas Lecocq, the creator of the theme, explains that he opted for this business model in order to stand out from the vast majority of his competitors (most sell freemium or premium themes).

Since the launch of the theme at the end of 2016, “this model has worked very well”, as he stated in this article.

It is difficult to contradict him when it comes to looking at the subject a little more closely. In just two years, OceanWP’s growth has been exponential.

With the exception of native WordPress themes (Twenty Nineteen, Twenty Seventeen etc.), OceanWP is simply the most popular theme in the official directory.

OceanWP homepage on the official WordPress directory

The numbers are dizzy. Installed on more than 400,000 sites, OceanWP is also highly regarded by its users.

It is almost impossible to find detractors.

But then, what makes people so addicted? The theme homepage gives some answers. OceanWP would be:

  • Fully responsive.
  • Lightweight with “the highest grade in most of the top speed testing tools”.
  • eCommerce ready: OceanWP claims to be the “best friend of WooCommerce”.
  • Composed of many demos that can be imported with a single click.
  • SEO base built-in.
  • With an awesome support.
  • Support for RTL languages and translatable into any language.
  • Designed to work with the best page builders on the market.

These arguments remain interesting but all in all quite classic and enticing: the goal is to promote the theme. But is OceanWP really good?

As Nicolas Lecocq adds, with OceanWP anyone can create a professional looking, beautiful website regardless of their web design/development experience”.

Alex is not so categorical. In the OceanWP Theme Instant video on WPMarmite’s YouTube channel, he would not recommend it to beginners, because of its many options in which it is easy to get lost.

Now all you have to do is make up your own mind by reading the next few lines.

Let’s start with an OceanWP installation tutorial, to see if it is easy to handle.

How easy is it to handle?

Theme installation process

The easiest option is to use your WordPress Dashboard.

Go to Appearance > Themes. Then at the top of the page, click on Add.

In the search bar, enter OceanWP, then install and activate the theme.

Add OceanWP theme on WordPress dashboard

If all goes well, OceanWP should then recommend that you install 3 plugins:

  • Elementor : a famous page builder that Eleonor reviewed on the WPMarmite blog.
  • Ocean Extra: this plugin adds additional features to the OceanWP theme such as widgets, meta boxes, enable/disable sections of the Customizer, enable/disable theme scripts & styles, import/export and a panel to enable premium plugins.
  • WP Forms: a plugin that installs a contact form.

I advise you to follow the developer’s recommendations, or at least install Ocean Extra, because this plugin will trigger the launch of a setup wizard.

Note

If you ignore the developer’s recommendations, you will end up with the basic theme, which you can then customize as you wish, of course.

Come on, let’s get back to our business. By clicking on Run Setup Wizard, a bodybuilder shark greets you from the fin: click on the blue Get Started button.

OceanWP setup wizard

Ready for 4 steps? Here we go.

Step 1: Choosing a demo. There are 13 in total covering several areas (Blog, Business, Sport, One Page, Ecommerce). As I like sport, I started with the Gym model (you don’t have to choose a demo and can also go directly to the Customize step, if you wish).

Step 2: Installing required plugins. It is stated here that “it is recommended uploading sample data on a fresh WordPress install to prevent conflicts with your current content”. The theme is free but it is recommended to install Ocean Sticky Header and Ocean Elementor Widgets, which are two… premium add-ons sold for $9.99.

Required plugins setup wizard

I just enable the Ocean Social Sharing plugin and import my data at the bottom of the page. It took less than a minute to import.

Step 3: You can now start customizing your site by adding your logo, site icon, tagline, or by choosing your main colors.

Step 4: Your website is ready. If you want to go further, a bonus video guide is available in exchange for your email address. 

All you have to do is click on the View your website button to see the final result.

View your website setup wizard

So, what’s going on there?

Let’s start with the positive points of this installation process. In my opinion, the setup wizard very useful for beginners.

We are taken by the hand and each step is really clear. In the end, if you choose to install a demo, you get a ready-made site with several pages without having done anything, or almost nothing.

But there is one thing, though, and that’s the point.

On closer inspection, I noticed that some sections were empty on my newly installed site.

An example? The price table. Look, apart from the title and subtitle, there’s nothing there.

Table des prix
But where did the prices go?

In fact, it was the premium Ocean Elementor Widgets plugin that should have done the job.

But as I didn’t install it previously, we end up with this empty space, without the price display.

Too bad, for a theme that claims to be totally free.

For the installation process, you’re OK. Now I suggest you discover what are the theme options on the Dashboard.

Discovering the Dashboard

You will find the theme options on the Theme Panel menu, located on the left column of your WordPress administration.

But be careful, this will only be the case if you installed the Ocean Extra plugin just after the theme was activated. Hence the importance of doing so. I hope you ‘re still there ;-).

Theme Panel

Six options are available:

  • Theme Panel: you will find various sections of the WordPress Customizer that you can enable or disable to improve page load time. Links also allow you to quickly customize different aspects of your site (e.g. logo, typography, colors, sidebar, etc.). I find it unfortunate that several messages to encourage you to get the premium add-ons make the page a little less readable.
Theme Panel dashboard
  • My library: it allows you to create your own page templates that you can then use as often as you like, thanks to a shortcode.
  • Scripts & styles: this option allows you to enable or disable CSS and JavaScript scripts that you do not want to use with one click. This is very useful to improve your page load time: well done!
  • Import/Export: Allows you to import or export your site’s settings into a .dat file.
  • Install demos: Here you will find the 13 demos you discovered during the theme installation process. It is possible to preview them, then activate them very easily with a few clicks.
  • Extensions: Here are the 13 OceanWP premium extensions of the theme. You will discover them in detail later.
    Now, let’s move on to the next step: customizing the theme. You’re going to get your hands dirty, I’m telling you!

OceanWP theme customization

The Customizer

On OceanWP, the vast majority of the settings are made within the Customizer, which is really very valuable.

This makes your life easier because everything is centralized in the same place.

You will find the Customizer following this path: Appearance > Customize.

OceanWP Customizer

As you can see, there are many options. In total, there are 14 different main “menus”, which is particularly abundant for a free theme.

To compare with, Astra and GeneratePress, which are two themes with a quite similar profile to OceanWP, have fewer options at this level, in their free version.

Within this Customizer, you will find some classic settings (Site Identity, Menus, Homepage Settings, Widgets etc.).

Here, we will develop some features that seem major to me.

General options

Among the interesting elements of this menu, I could mention:

  • The ability to customize the layout style (wide, boxed or separate). Being able to display your content full width is very interesting, especially if you use the theme with a page builder later on. It is also possible to adjust the pixel width of your content and sidebar. For the latter, you have the choice between displaying one or two sidebars (left or right), or no sidebar at all.
  • The many options to create a Scroll to top arrow. 10 icons are available, and you can even customize the border radius.
Scroll to top customizing options
  • Full control over your 404 error page, if you wish, using a template previously created in your Library from the Theme Panel.

Top bar

As the name suggests, this option allows you to enable and customize a Top Bar on your site.

This can be useful to display some contact information to your visitors as soon as they arrive on your site (phone number, address, email etc.), or your social networks.

You can of course change the background colors of text, links etc., and choose to disable this top bar on some devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets).

Header

Header is a menu that I found really great. The options are really very advanced.

For example, it is possible, among the 8 styles proposed, to create a transparent header so that it is based on a background image, or a video.

It is even possible to adjust its height and install a custom header, thanks to a template that you will have previously created in your Library.

Customizing header

In addition, you can also:

  • Download a Retina logo and adjust the height and width of your logo directly from the Customizer. Pretty cool.
  • Set up about ten effects on your menu links. Check out what it looks like with the one called Tripple Dot Under Triple point menu
  • Manage the breakpoints, i.e. the media query where you want to display the mobile menu, as well as display a different logo for smartphones and tablets.
  • Customize your mobile menu by choosing to display it in a sidebar, a drop down menu or full screen. You can also change its icon and colors.

Blog

The Blog part is highly customizable. To start with, you can act on 2 levels: Blog entries – i.e. the page where all your posts are listed -, and Single Post, which allows you to make settings on the posts themselves.

The options of these two “menus” are almost identical. Among them, I appreciated the fact:

  • To be able to drag and drop the elements of your choice (title, content, featured image etc.) and disable them in 1 click.
Blog pagination style
  • To be able to choose the blog’s pagination style (Standard, Infinite scroll, Next/Previous).
  • To be able to adjust the length of the extract.
  • To display or not sidebars and your content full width.
  • To propose a module to display related posts. This can be useful for creating internal links, and therefore for your SEO. And it also saves you from having to activate an additional plugin to complete this task.

Footer Bottom

Depending on the theme you use, customizing your footer can sometimes be tedious, especially if you have little knowledge of code.

Often, the first thing you want to change to make your site more professional is the Copyright. And it is not always easy to do this without going through some of the core files of WordPress.

At this level, OceanWP makes it easy for you. Via its Footer Bottom menu (still in the Customizer), it is possible to enter the text of your choice, without getting your hands in the code.

Footer bottom

Other very interesting possibilities:

  • You can add shortcodes to display elements such as a search bar, a shopping cart if you have an e-commerce store, a button to log in/disconnect etc.
  • It is possible to hide the footer on some devices (e. g. smartphones and/or tablets).
  • You can change the background colors, text and links.
  • You can add up to 4 widget columns (using the Footer Widgets menu at the bottom of the page) to display certain elements of your choice (e.g. social network icons, menu etc.).

So far, you have discovered native features of the theme, integrated into the Customizer

OceanWP is also modular and has additional options that you can take advantage of by activating specific, free and premium extensions.

Let’s start with the free ones, to discover just below. Come on, let’s scroll!

OceanWP theme free extensions

At the time of writing, OceanWP has 8 free extensions. You can find them within OceanWP Theme Panel (Extensions Menu), as well as from the official WordPress directory.

Among them, there is:

Ocean Extra

Ocean Extra plugin

Again, I’ll repeat myself, but better twice than once: in my opinion, Ocean Extra is just a must if you use the theme, so install this plugin (which will also be necessary to activate… other OceanWP-specific plugins).

Its big plus is the addition of meta boxes, i.e. a Settings to insert at the end of each post, page or custom post type content.

This can be very useful for creating custom pages.

Among the options offered here, you will be able to:

  • Set up a custom layout and enable/disable the sidebars.
  • Add shortcodes (in the header, top bar, footer etc.).
  • Enable/disable page title, widgets or copyright.
  • Display or not a particular menu.
OceanWP settings on page

Ocean Social Sharing

Ocean Social Sharing plugin

Let’s now make a stop on the Ocean Social Sharing plugin, which adds social share buttons within your articles.

The main social networks are there (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) and the customization options are nice enough for a free plugin.

Share this plugin integration on site

You will notice that it is possible to choose the position of your icons (before, after, or before and after the content), display the name of the social network, add a sharing heading (e.g. Please Share This), modify the buttons style (minimal, colored or dark) and their margin.

Anyway, it’s really not bad. A minor drawback, though: it is not possible to display your social share buttons on pages.

For a complete solution, you will need to use a dedicated plugin such as Social Warfare, for example.

Well, speaking of social networks, be aware that if you use WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads, OceanWP also offers the Ocean Product Sharing plugin, which allows you to “add social share buttons to your product page”.

Custom Sidebar

Ocean Custom sidebar plugin

Thanks to Ocean Custom Sidebar, you will be able to create the number of sidebars of your choice and place them wherever you want.

Once enabled, a Sidebars option appears in the Theme Panel. Give a name to your sidebar (ex: sidebar test), then find it in your widgets (Appearance > Widgets).

Sidebar test

For a complete overview, you will also find the following free extensions:

  • Ocean Stick Anything, to stick anything you want, thanks to its CSS class.
  • Ocean Posts Slider to display your latest articles in a slider. Why not, but beware of sliders, which can slow down your site.
  • Ocean Modal Window to insert any content in a modals and place the opening button anywhere to open it. 

Note

Ocean Demo Import, which allows you to import the contents of site demos, is still available for download, but Ocean Extra already offers an option to do so.

OceanWP theme premium extensions

For even more choice, OceanWP also offers 13 Premium extensions.

You can:

  • either buy them individually ($9.99/year).
  • or get a global bundle, a kind of OceanWP Pro, containing the 13 Premium extensions + 60 site demos, starting at $34.99/year. This is certainly the price offered when you add an extension alone in your shopping cart.
Extensions premium prix

We have tested them all, here are three that I think are essential to start customizing your site, especially if you are a beginner.

This does not mean that others are not interesting. They simply meet more technical and specific needs, as you will see immediately afterwards.

Elementor Widgets

Elementor Widgets

This extension adds about fifty modules to the page builder with the most active installations in the official directory (more than 2 million!).

For example, you can add:

  • Price tables.
  • Animated titles.
  • Login forms.
  • Price lists etc.
Elementor widgets

In terms of integration, everything is fluid and you don’t lose intuitiveness. I did not complain about any latency time.

Sticky header

Sticky header

Natively, OceanWP does not allow you to create what is called a sticky menu, a menu that remains stuck at the top of the screen, even when the user scrolls in the page.

This feature is very useful to make it easier for your visitors to navigate and encourage them to stay on your page.

It is possible to do so with the Sticky header premium extension. Once you have activated it, a new menu called Sticky header will appear at the bottom of the Customizer.

In particular, I found it quite interesting to be able to add a logo when the menu becomes sticky.

Thanks to the Ocean Sticky Footer extension, it is also possible to make your footer sticky, as you did with the header.

And to go even further, the Footer Callout plugin adds a call to action bar where you can add text and a button, both easily customizable (color, typography).

You will find it under the name Footer Callout in the Customizer.

And this is what your visitors will see on the front-end :

Footer callout

Side Panel

Side Panel

The Side Panel extension (called Side Panel within the Customizer) allows you to design a kind of sidebar that will only open when your visitor clicks a button.

Inside, you can drag the widgets of your choice. Not too bad for adding additional content that you don’t necessarily want to display automatically in the body of your page.

You thus give your visitors the choice to discover more or not.

Side Panel

Among the Premium extensions, you will also find:

  • Ocean Hooks. I had planned to tell you a little more about this plugin, but when I tested it, it seemed complex for a beginner. But nothing prevents you from making your own opinion 😉 As a reminder, a hook is an entry point into a WordPress function. With Ocean Hooks, you will be able to add custom code pieces to go even further than what the extensions offer, and without using a child theme. If you are familiar with the code, you should like this extension.
  • WooPopup, which displays a pop-up window (which is highlighted on the page) on your WooCommerce store, when a visitor adds a product to his Shopping Cart.
  • White Label. This extension allows you to replace the OceanWP brand with the name of your choice, as well as that of your company or theme in the admin pages.
  • Portfolio to display a portfolio.
  • Full Screen to create a full screen scrolling website, but it only works if Elementor is enabled.
  • Cookie Notice which adds a banner to inform users that you are using cookies to comply with the EU cookie law GDPR regulations.
  • Popup Login allows you to add a form to ask your visitors to connect to your site.
  • Instagram to display and customize your Instagram feed.

In conclusion, what to remember about Premium extensions?

In general, I find it not always easy to find your way around: some of them are set up from the Dashboard, others from the Customizer (for the majority of them, it is the case).

Secondly, I would say that some of the free extensions available on the official directory can be just as effective. For example, Cookie Notice for GDPR can replace Cookie Notice; Instagram Feed has nothing to envy the OceanWP Instagram.

Site demos

As I detailed during the installation process, the free version of the theme gives access to 13 site demos (OceanWP theme demos).

As a reminder, these are ready to use templates, which can be activated in 1 click, and which will install a complete site in a snap of the fingers (or almost).

The Premium version offers about sixty more OceanWP templates than the free offer.

To install them, simply activate the Pro Demos extension contained in one of the three Premium offers (I will detail them in the Pricing section, a little below).

New models have therefore been added in the basic categories (Business, Blog, Sport, One Page, Ecommerce).

But the majority of them are in two new categories called Corporate and Coming Soon.

Corporate templates will allow you to activate sites for professionals in a wide range of fields (hairdressers, web agencies, restaurants, photography, weddings, photos, fitness, florists, etc.).

Finally, as the name suggests, Coming Soon templates give you the possibility to set up Coming Soon pages.

Site demos

Thumbs up: you have finished customizing your site.

Now, I suggest you discover how the theme behaves with page builders and plugins.

Page builders and plugins compatibility

OceanWP and page builders

As explained on the OceanWP website homepage, Nicolas Lecocq’s theme has been “designed to work with the best page builders in the market”.

To convince you, famous page builders logos such as Elementor, Divi or Beaver Builder are displayed ostensibly.

Les constructeurs de page recommandés

On the other hand, what we can say with certainty is that OceanWP has its favourite: Elementor.

First, as you have noticed, OceanWP very often asks you to install it so that its demos can work properly.

Then, the theme has a specific premium extension, Elementor Widgets, which you discovered earlier.

But Elementor also gives it back to him. In its documentation, the page builder states that OceanWP is one of the themes that works best with him.

Finally, beyond these friendly exchanges, OceanWP is very practical to use with a page builder, in a global way.

Thanks to the Settings insert within each page, you can control the layout by displaying your content full width, disabling sidebars, page titles, etc.

OceanWP and WooCommerce

Within the WordPress ecosystem, OceanWP also has very good press due to its excellent compatibility with WooCommerce.

Indeed, it offers many features to customize your online store.

To take advantage of it, you must have activated WooCommerce beforehand. With the Premium version of OceanWP, you have 12 ready-to-use demos for your e-commerce store, in various fields (Services, books, jewelry, street food, shoes etc.).

Settings are made from the Customizer, which is quite rare in competing themes.

They are also quite intuitive and practical for beginners. For example, you can change the position of the summary elements (Price, Note, Extract, Add to Cart etc.) by dragging and dropping them.

OceanWP also has several native options to enhance the user experience and encourage conversion.

For example, a pop-up window will appear to encourage your visitors to validate their order when they fly over their shopping cart.

The Quick View option allows you to display detailed information about a product without your visitor having to leave the page.

WooCommerce being a plugin, the transition is all found to complete this part.

What about OceanWP’s compatibility with plugins?

In principle, you will not encounter any problems with the plugins you can find on the directory.

Even if, as you probably know, no one is immune to a bug when it comes to installation or updating. If this happens to you, you can always refer to our WordPress error guide to help you.

OceanWP and Gutenberg

Finally, what about OceanWP’s compatibility with Gutenberg, the famous and controversial content publisher that appeared with WordPress 5.0?

No concerns on that side to report. You can create your pages and articles without risk of being blocked.

How is user experience going for a site using OceanWP theme?

Influence on site performance

Having a fast site is very important to enhance your visitors’ user experience.

For example, it is estimated that 40% of Internet users leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

But load time can also impact your SEO.

To rank a page, Google uses more than 200 criteria, including your site page speed.

So I might as well tell you that the theme you choose will have to ensure at this level.

Among the reasons to like OceanWP, the theme’s homepage highlights a very fast load time.

“OceanWP gets the highest grade in most of the top speed testing tools”, it states.

This is what I verified running several tests.

Here is how I did it:

  • Testing services used: WebPageTest (using Paris as location each time) with consideration of the “fully loaded” criterion (when the site is fully loaded, including external scripts and applications); Pingdom Tools (using London as location each time).
  • Test site hosted on a shared o2switch server.
  • I didn’t activate any plugins.
  • I compared OceanWP to another popular free theme (Sydney, 200,000 active installations) from the official WordPress directory.

Test on WebPageTest with OceanWP enabled: load time of 1.154s (fully loaded) :

OceanWP sur WebPageTest

Test on WebPageTest with Sydney enabled: load time of 2,237s (fully loaded) :

Performance de Sydney sur WebPageTest

Test on Pingdom Tools with OceanWP enabled: load time of 629 ms

OceanWP sur Pingdom Tools

Test on Pingdom Tools with Sydney enabled: load time of 2.03s:

Performance de Sydney sur Pingdom Tools

To sum up: on one hand, OceanWP is indeed to be classified in the category of ultra-fast themes.

On the other hand, our tests have shown that it is slightly less efficient than two of its competitors: Astra (1,040s with WebPageTest) and GeneratePress (0.942s with WebPageTest).

Note

The above results provide a first overview, but cannot be considered as a final and definitive judgment. You may have different data at home, depending on your host, or the plugins you use.

SEO optimization

OceanWP theme has been built with SEO best practices in mind. First, it applies WordPress code standards.

Then OceanWP uses Schema.org data. This is an HTML tagging method that helps Google understand what type of content you have.

You can activate this data via the General Options menu > General Settings of the Customizer.

Enable schema markup

Finally, don’t forget that you can influence the load speed of your pages, and therefore your SEO, by activating the scripts and styles of your choice via the Scripts & Styles menu of the Theme Panel.

Responsiveness

If your site doesn’t display correctly on smartphones, you may lose a lot of visitors along the way.

It is therefore essential to take care of this aspect in order to:

  • Promote user experience.
  • Do not seal your conversion rate.
  • Do not penalize your SEO: since March 2018, Google has implemented mobile-first indexing. This means that it mainly uses the mobile version of your site to index and rank your pages in its results.

Regarding responsiveness, is OceanWP doing well? A first manual test gives a first positive answer.

By resizing the window on my browser, no shocking details jumped out at me.

But for more reliability, I used Google’s mobile optimization test, which gave me satisfaction.

Test du responsive avec l'outil de Google

Pricing

OceanWP theme is first available for free on the official WordPress directory. You can also install it directly from your WordPress Dashboard.

If you want more features, 2 options are available:

  • Get one of the 13 Premium extensions one by one ($9.99/year each).
  • Opt for one of the 3 Premium plans (Personal, Business or Unlimited).
Les prix du thème

Note

Some changes are to be expected in the coming weeks in the plans. Nicolas Lecocq explains it in this article. The Unlimited plan should disappear to make way for an Agency pack, which can be used on up to 25 sites.

Apart from the price – the range goes from 39$ to 129$/year -, the main difference between the 3 offers lies in the capacity of use. Only the unlimited offer allows, as its name suggests, to use the theme on an unlimited number of sites.

If you choose the Personal plan, you will only be able to use the contents of the pack on 1 site.

For the rest, the 3 plans include the same options, namely access to 12 months of support and updates, the presence of 13 Premium extensions and 60 demos (site templates).

Information

Also note that you can benefit from a Lifetime License to not renew each year – starting at $159 for 1 site -, and that a 30% discount is automatically applied if you renew your License before it expires.

In order to find the right Plan, it all depends on your needs. Do you manage a single site? The Personal offer will be sufficient.

On the other hand, if you regularly create sites for customers, the Unlimited plan offers a better return on investment, even more so if you pay for it lifetime.

And compared to the competing solutions on the market, how does it go?

  • Themeforest Most of the themes sold on the platform cost on average around 59$. They are not always usable on an unlimited number of sites and include 6 months of support.
  • GeneratePress It will cost you $49.95 for use on an unlimited number of sites.
  • Astra Prices for the theme created by Brainstorm Force start at $59 for use on an unlimited number of sites.
  • Genesis The framework itself costs $59.95 but you will have to buy a child theme (generally a price of $129.95 for both). However, support and updates are included for life and you don’t have to renew your theme.

Our final opinion

OceanWP’s strengths

  • The customization of the theme via the Customizer.
  • The multitude of options available, while the theme is free of charge.
  • OceanWP is fast and efficient, as announced.
  • A theme that respects WordPress and SEO code standards.
  • Rich and clear documentation. 
  • The support is rather reactive. At least that’s what came out of the research I was able to do.
  • The theme is regularly updated and correctly maintained.
  • Compatibility with WooCommerce and the many options natively integrated are great.
  • The Lifetime License to get the theme once and for all.
  • The setup wizard is good to guide you step by step through the installation of the theme.

Areas for improvement 

  • There are so many customization options that it may not be easy to find your way around at the beginning, especially if you are new to WordPress.
  • The prices of the Premium versions are higher than those of two of its main competitors: for use on an unlimited number of sites, it will cost you $129/year with OceanWP, compared to $49/year for GeneratePress, and $59/year with Astra.
  • The Ocean Extra extension seems to me essential to take advantage of additional features for free (e.g.: customize each type of content, enable/disable scripts and styles etc.). It’s a pity it’s not natively integrated into the theme.
  • Many site demos require the installation of Premium plugins to work properly. Otherwise, you may end up with less content, as explained at the beginning of this post.
  • Some users have also reported the following concern, related to the Ocean Demo Import plugin. Once a demo is imported, it is impossible to delete it, except by making a complete reset of your database.

Who is the theme for?

As you may have read at the beginning of this post, Alex would not recommend it to beginners because of its many options in which it is easy to get lost. A point of view I share, after this test.

On the other hand, if you are an experienced user and create sites on a regular basis, I think OceanWP will seduce you. Already, it has many hooks to be customized, which makes it flexible and modular.

Then, for a free theme, it is still incredibly rich in options.

As Nicolas Lecocq said in commenting on Alex’s video of the theme, “At first, it takes a little time to adapt because there are many options. I want to give users a lot of choice. Once you get to grips with the theme, you can do almost anything you want.”

Finally, if you are considering creating a WooCommerce store, OceanWP will be a perfect companion. You will certainly appreciate its many native features.

Conclusion

And that’s it, your dive in OceanWP is over.

To sum up, I am quite divided on this theme. On the one hand, it is true that it is extremely powerful, complete and flexible. It’s an excellent theme, that’s for sure.

But on the other hand, I find him a little confused, especially because of the many options he offers. These options allow you to push customization very far, that’s true, but only if you have a minimum of experience with WordPress.

Having tested GeneratePress and Astra before OceanWP, I’m able to establish a point of comparison, given that these are 3 quite similar themes.

Result: I found GeneratePress and Astra more accessible for beginners.

If you are a fan of the Premium version of OceanWP, you can get it on the official website via the button below (aff).

The official OceanWP website

Now, it’s your turn.

Do you use OceanWP theme? Do you have any comments to add to our test?

Tell me everything in the comments below.