Given that the regular version of OceanWP is one of the most generous and flexible free themes in the WordPress library, I was excited to see what the Pro version had to offer.
So, I put it to the test and created this in-depth OceanWP Pro review to share the results with you all. In this OceanWP Pro review, we’ll be covering what OceanWP Pro is, what it costs, what features it includes, and how it differs from the free version.
We’ll also be sharing the biggest pros and cons, and rating OceanWP Pro in terms of speed, ease of use, flexibility, and value for money.
I’m not going to lie: I went into this review with high expectations. OceanWP has always been my go-to free theme because it’s just that good, and I assumed the premium version would be even better. (Spoiler: it didn’t disappoint.)
- What Is OceanWP Pro
- OceanWP Pro Pricing
- OceanWP Pro Demos
- OceanWP Pro Plugins & Extensions
- OceanWP Pros and Cons
- Final Verdict
OceanWP Pro Review at a Glance
Alright, let’s get started. Here’s everything you need to know about OceanWP Pro.
What Is OceanWP Pro?
OceanWP is one of the most popular, free multi-purpose WordPress themes on the market, known for its blazing-fast load times, innovative demo system, and superb third-party plugin support
It has over 3.5 million downloads to date and has been used on over 300k websites. Not only that, but it also boasts a perfect 5-star rating on the WordPress theme library based on thousands of user reviews.
Some of the features that make it so popular include:
- Integration with page builders
- Responsive design
- Lightweight (no bloatware)
- Super-fast load speeds
- Deep WooCommerce integration
- SEO friendly
- Demo system
In this review, we’re going to be looking specifically at the Pro version.
When we say OceanWP Pro, we’re actually talking about any of the OceanWP paid/premium plans, or ‘core extensions bundles’.
These paid OceanWP plans include the OceanWP theme plus a ton of additional premium plugins and Pro demos.
OceanWP Pro vs Free
The free version of OceanWP includes the standard theme plus 7 free extensions and 15 free demos. When you upgrade to OceanWP Pro, you also get access to these three additional perks:
- 109 Pro demos
- 12 Premium extensions
- 12 months of updates and support
We’ll take a closer look at these Pro demos and extensions in a few moments. But first, let’s talk about pricing.
OceanWP Pro Pricing
There are three OceanWP Pro pricing plans available:
- Personal ($39/year; 1 site)
- Business ($79/year; 3 sites )
- Agency ($129/year; 25 sites)
The only difference between each of these plans is the number of sites included. All of them include the same additional demos, extensions, and support. If you don’t want to pay annually, you also have the option of paying a one-off ‘lifetime’ fee instead.
To be honest, that’s actually pretty pricey compared to many other themes on the market
However, when you look at what’s included and add up the costs of everything, it’s actually pretty reasonable.
For example, the included Ocean Sticky Footer extension alone costs $29.99 when purchased individually, and all the other premium extensions are similarly priced.
If you were to buy all the premium extensions separately, it would cost hundreds of dollars. When you buy the bundle, you get them all for just $39.
Click here to check the pricing details.
OceanWP Pro Demos
If you’re not a qualified website designer, it can be tough to edit the design of a WordPress theme beyond small changes like fonts and background colors.
To make more-complicated changes, you often have to add custom CSS. And if you don’t have coding knowledge, that’s easier said than done.
Fortunately, this isn’t a problem with OceanWP Pro thanks to the innovative Demo system.
You can simply choose between a bunch of professionally-designed theme ‘demos’ and import them onto your website at the click of the button, thus instantly transforming the design into something really special.
OceanWP has done a great job on these demos. They’re all really well-designed – even the free options. However, there is a catch.
First off, there are only 15 free demos to choose from. The limited number of options available means your site might end up looking like a copy-paste of the thousands of other websites out there that are using the same free theme.
Secondly, a lot of the free demos require premium plugins to look the way they’re intended to. For example, the Travel Demo, which is available on the free OceanWP plan, requires two premium plugins in order to work correctly: Sticky Header and Elementor Widgets.
You can install it without them, but it won’t look exactly the same as the theme preview.
When you upgrade to OceanWP Pro, you eliminate both of these problems and unlock 109 additional OceanWP Pro demos.
All of the Pro demos look amazing – a lot better than the free demos – and because you have so many options to choose from, it’s easier to find the perfect option for your website.
Plus, you can be sure they’ll work exactly as intended as you’ll also have access to all the premium plugins you need.
How to Import OceanWP Pro Demos
OceanWP Pro demos are easy to import without any coding knowledge. The whole process is very beginner-friendly and only takes a few minutes. Here’s how it works.
First, you can head over to oceanwp.org and click on the demos tab to browse the different Pro demos available.
If you see one you like, you can click on it to view the live demo in a new tab.
Once you’re ready to install it, go to your WordPress dashboard and install and activate the Ocean Pro Demos plugin.
From there, head to the theme panel, click install demos and click on the demo you want to install.
On the overview page, it should list all the plugins you need to have to make your site look exactly like the demo. You can then click ‘install now’ next to any of the plugins you don’t already have and proceed to the next step.
Finally, select what you want to import from the demo (e.g. XML data, widgets, etc) and hit install.
Now, all you have to do is wait a couple of minutes and you should have a fully-functional, beautifully-designed website.
Once it’s installed, you can go back into the back end to customize it and adjust the pages as you need to.
Depending on what demo you choose, you could literally build a complete eCommerce store – with individual product pages, checkout pages, cart, and site architecture, in less than 5 minutes. That’s pretty impressive.
OceanWP Pro Plugins & Extensions
OceanWP Pro also comes with 12 premium plugins/extensions that can be used to extend the functionality of your site.
All of these premium extensions are really useful, and I’d even consider some of them (like the GDPR cookie notice) essential for any site in 2023.
Here’s a quick breakdown of all the premium plugins included in the OceanWP Pro bundle.
The full-screen extension allows you to create a beautiful full-screen scrolling website with the Elementor page builder. Fullscreen scrolling sites look super modern and stylish. You can use the extension to add side navigation, adjust the scrolling speed, and more.
Cookie Notice is an essential plugin if you’re serving users in the EU and want to be compliant with GDPR regulations.
Popup Login is a plugin that allows you to set up popup login forms that your visitors can use to register, login, or recover lost passwords.
One of the advantages of using a popup login form rather than a login page is that it allows your visitors to login without navigating away from the page they’re currently on. This can help you to maximize your conversions.
The White Label plugin lets you remove all OceanWP branding and replace it with your own. This is essential for agencies that want to sell their website design services under their own branding.
The Portfolio plugin is ideal for photographers, writers, and anyone else that needs a portfolio to showcase their work.
You can use it to instantly set up beautiful portfolio pages via page templates or shortcodes. I personally really like the full-page image grid layout, as pictured below.
If you’re building an eCommerce store, the Woo Popup plugin is another essential extension. It automatically displays a popup box inviting the website visitor to go to their cart or continue shopping
whenever they click the Add to Cart button on any of your products.
You have plenty of control over the design of the popup and can customize the size, text, colors, and size.
Ocean Hooks is a nifty developer-focused tool that’s a huge time saver. It allows you to add your own custom content into any area of your website without using the child theme by inserting PHP codes or shortcodes.
You can activate hooks on individual pages, limit them by conditional logic or user roles, and more.
This extension lets you create a responsive side panel. You can choose what widgets to display inside it, where to display it, how it looks, and more.
The Elementor Widgets plugin offers deeper integration between OceanWP and the Elementor Page Builder.
It adds a ton of powerful widgets to the Elementor Page Builder plugin, including banner widgets, Google Maps widgets, image gallery widgets, banner widgets, effects widgets, price list widgets, and forms widgets.
Related Read: Ultimate Addons for Elementor
The Footer Callout extension provides a neat way to add some important information to your website footer. You can toggle the settings to display or hide it on different pages, customize the color and design, and more.
The Sticky Header seems to be required for most of the demos I’ve tried, so it’s one of the most important extensions to activate.
It allows you to keep an eye-catching header fixed at the top of the page, so it’s always visible even as the visitor scrolls down the page.
As you probably already guessed, the Sticky Footer plugin allows you to create a fixed footer at the bottom of your website pages. You can and add menus, text, and custom colors to the footer through the plugin.
Pros and Cons of OceanWP Pro
OceanWP is great, but it isn’t perfect. Like any theme, it has its good points and its flaws. With that in mind, let’s talk about some of the main pros and cons of OceanWP Pro before we wrap up.
I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy, so we’ll start with the pros. Here are the 6 biggest benefits to OceanWP Pro.
1. Blazing Fast
The thing that impresses me most about OceanWP is how quickly it loads up. It’s a very lightweight theme without any of the usual bloatware that slows down your site.
As a result, pages built with OceanWP tend to score highly on Google PageSpeed Insights. This is especially important for SEO in 2021 as Google’s algorithm uses PageSpeed as a ranking factor.
The quicker your site loads, the more likely you are to rank in the search engine results pages for your target keywords.
Another thing I love about OceanWP Pro is how beginner-friendly it is. You don’t need any technical know-how or design experience to build your website.
The intuitive setup wizard guides you through the setup process in minutes, and the demo system makes it easy for people without a lot of design experience to create beautiful-looking pages.
3. Highly Customizable
Compared to many other themes, OceanWP is very flexible and customizable. You can use the frontend visual editor to make either universal changes or changes to specific pages.
The level of control OceanWP gives you over individual pages is incredible. You can enable/disable different areas of the design like the header, footers, or sidebars; add in shortcodes, alter the title and subheadings, customize breadcrumbs, and even change the logo and menu.
4. Pairs Well With Page Builders
One of the biggest advantages of OceanWP is how well it pairs with WordPress site builders. It works particularly well alongside Elementor, but it also integrates nicely with GeneratePress, Astra, and Divi.
It doesn’t squash the pages you build with your page builder into a small canvas area like a lot of other WordPress themes.
Related Read: Best WordPress Page Builder Plugins
5. Templating System
Another great thing about OceanWP is the fact that it has its own templating system. You can use it to create reusable template shortcodes that will save you a ton of time.
Instead of having to add the same content to posts and pages over and over again, you can just paste in the shortcode and it’ll automatically add it all in for you.
This also allows you to make sweeping site-wide changes across all the pages that use the shortcode from one centralized location, rather than having to update dozens of pages individually.
6. WooCommerce Integration
If you’re running a WooCommerce site, OceanWP is the perfect theme choice. It offers much deeper integration with WooCommerce than most other themes.
On the website customizer, you have a specific WooCommerce settings area, which lets you customize everything from your checkout pages to the number of upsells on your cart-page.
All that being said, OceanWP Pro still isn’t perfect. Here are a couple of the things we thought could be improved.
1. Heavily Reliant on Plugins
The out-of-the-box functionality of OceanWP is fairly limited. You really need to install a bunch of extra plugins to get everything you need. For example, Ocean Extra is absolutely essential. Without it, you can’t even see the OceanWP control panel.
This isn’t a big issue – it only takes a few seconds to install plugins but it does make your dashboard feel a little ‘messy’ when you have too many plugins running at once.
2. Default Styling Is Dated
You’ll notice that the default styling is pretty ugly and dated-looking until you install demos. Again, though, this isn’t a big deal as if you’re using OceanWP Pro, you’re probably intending on using demos anyway.
Final Verdict: OceanWP Pro Review
No theme is perfect, but OceanWP Pro comes pretty close. The standard free theme is already great, but once you add in all those premium extensions and demos, it takes it to the next level.
The premium bundle has all the tools you could possibly need to build your perfect website without any coding knowledge, and the flexibility and level of control it gives you over individual pages are unmatched.
Overall, it’s a great multi-purpose theme that we’d highly recommend.
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