OceanWP (WordPress theme) – review and tutorial

What is OceanWP about? Why was this built?

The word ‘OceanWP’ actually has two parts in it: ‘Ocean’ and ‘WP’. We all know what an ocean is and the segment ‘WP’ most definitely stands for WordPress. So the developer team of the ‘OceanWP’ want to state that their theme has so many great features and aspects in the world of WordPress, it is almost like an ocean – an ocean of customization options. And their official slogan is ‘the WordPress theme that gives you more’ (than others). Now it is up to us to check and see whether their claims are valid or not. We are going to present our much searched findings in this article.

OceanWP is a free WordPress theme with premium features and quality. So we can call it a ‘freemium’ theme. The theme was first developed by an individual named Nicolas Lecocq back in 2016. He was a beginner in WordPress even in 2012. As he was working with free and premium themes, he realized that the available themes couldn’t be customized easily and they didn’t meet requirements of most WordPress users/clients, even the premium versions. That’s when he planned to create his own theme from scratch. He wanted to build a free theme that could be easily changed or adapted depending on the project/case requirements. He finally was successful in doing that and now he promises to always offer a free version of the theme, as we found on his official ‘About Me’ page. However, these days the OceanWP has also a pro/premium version.

This is what the Founder of the theme promises
This is what the Founder of the theme promises

Now let’s talk about the OceanWP’s current stats and also what position it has been able to grab in the WordPress market of free and premium themes. We visited the site wordpress.org and then went to the themes section. And we searched for the most popular free themes. We did it multiple times and found the same result over and over. Apparently OceanWP is ranked 6th, but we noticed that ‘Twenty Twenty one’, ‘Twenty Twenty’ and ‘Twenty Seventeen’ were among the first five. Since these three are WordPress’ own themes, we could overlook these for obvious reasons. Then OceanWP comes right after ‘Astra’ and ‘Hello Elementor’ which just happen to occupy the first and second positions respectively, when it comes to the real most popular free themes of current time. From this point of view, OceanWP has become the third most popular free theme as of now and it has over 700,000 active installations. But we’re NOT going to rely on these crude findings. We want to check out the OceanWP theme firsthand: all its features and options. Only then will we be able to give our verdict!

Pros and Cons of OceanWP

The following are the pros of OceanWP as a theme:

  1. The blog posts editor section available on OceanWP is entirely unique, unlike any other free theme you’ve seen before. This gives a strong control on how your blog posts, pages and templates would look.
  2. Each and every demo of this theme is truly ‘blazing’ fast. Almost the same result is found after repeated (performance) tests.
  3. On OceanWP there is a support ticket system even for free version users.
  4. On each page of the OceanWP built site you can choose whether or not to show sidebars, headers, footers. You also get to control the look of margins and logo settings.
  5. There’s a preview available for each demo on OceanWP.
  6. Not all WordPress themes make it easy to modify the overall structure. This is not an issue with OceanWP.
  7. Both the header and the footer can be made sticky on OceanWP.

The following are the cons of OceanWP as a theme:

  1. Sticky header/footer is a pro feature on OceanWP, whereas it is found for free on most other free themes.
  2. OceanWP doesn’t have a HEADER BUILDER and a FOOTER BUILDER unlike most other popular free themes such as Astra, Kadence, Blocksy etc.
  3. This theme may turn out to be very ‘difficult’ and challenging for WordPress novices when it comes to properly implementing the theme on the site. A small mistake could lead the site to ‘break’. And the developers might have unexpected results. In short, if you want to make the most out of OceanWP, you have got to be an expert WordPress developer, NOT a novice.
  4. The OceanWP theme may fail to install on many websites compared to other popular free themes. This has to do with the PHP version the site’s hosting is using.
  5. Even a few demos need pro extensions, for which you have to pay.
  6. All the demos (free and pro) of OceanWP seem to overlook all other page builders apart from Elementor. So if you prefer to use some other builder, OceanWP may not be the theme for you.
  7. While on OceanWP, most of the customizations depend on differing boxes in the pages and the posts. The only way to fix this issue is to get one or more extensions.

Key Features

Now we’re going to discuss the key features the OceanWP theme brings with it. These are among the reasons because of which you should choose and install OceanWP on your website.

  1. There are so many customization options available on OceanWP that the user (web developer) may sometimes be overwhelmed. However, if these options are properly used, the website can be given a look like never before. The theme OceanWP is very much capable of making your site look extraordinary, stunning and uniquely beautiful.
  2. The starter templates found on this theme are very eye-catching, vibrant and well-designed. Even in readymade condition, they could almost meet your particular needs of customization. However, a little use of a page builder (like Elementor) may be handy in this regard.
  3. OceanWP is Translation and RTL ready, which means – the theme supports RTL languages and can be translated into your own language.
  4. This theme has ‘Hook integration’ and extensibility (supports add-ons).

Ease of Use 

When we’re on this page Appearance → Themes → Add New, we won’t even have to make a search in order to find the theme. It’s found on the very first page, within the first two rows (the 6th element actually). We installed and activated it on a standard website which uses dedicated hosting. The installation process is pretty easy. After installation, we visited the ‘Installed Plugins’ page on the backend of our site and found that OceanWP hasn’t installed any plugin automatically. However, when we were on the ‘Themes’ page, we saw the following:

OceanWP recommends you to install ‘Ocean Extra’ plugin
OceanWP recommends you to install ‘Ocean Extra’ plugin

This means that the OceanWP theme recommends installing a plugin named Ocean Extra. Although it’s not mandatory, we thought it would be best to install the plugin as well. After all, we’re planning to make the most of the free theme. We started the installation process by clicking on the link enclosed by a rectangular red box.

Once the plugin seemed to have been installed, we were curious whether it really was and in order to check that we visited the ‘Installed Plugins’ page once again. And found the following recommendations/proposals.

You have to ‘pay’ to avail the ‘Sticky header’ functionality
You have to ‘pay’ to avail the ‘Sticky header’ functionality

The ‘Run the Setup Wizard’ was a decent proposal, we went through that and found that they were asking to import any one of their ‘seemingly’ free starter templates (AKA demo) and then proceed further. We selected the ‘Coach’ template and clicked on the ‘Install Demo’ button below. We were taken to a new page where we got to see the following:

You have to install all these plugins and Addons to properly work with the ‘Coach’ demo of OceanWP theme
You have to install all these plugins and Addons to properly work with the ‘Coach’ demo of OceanWP theme

Once we have successfully imported the ‘Coach’ theme, we were directed to the ‘Customize’ page. However, we would like to say that the installation process of the OceanWP theme and its associates and also importing a starter template were kind of hectic. We recently worked on ‘Blocksy theme review’ and found that the installation and importing processes were pretty easy there. Also, a few functionalities like ‘Sticky Header’ were available for free on the Blocksy theme, whereas we have to pay for those in case of OceanWP theme.

And last but not the least is that we would like to share a bad experience of ours which we had during the importing procedure on the OceanWP theme. Our first choice was to import the ‘Stores’ demo, we failed to do that and then we tried to import a few other demos. That failed too. We even tried importing OceanWP demos on two websites, one was using shared hosting and the other was using dedicated hosting. Both the sites failed to import any OceanWP starter template. The  internet speed was okay at that time. After a few moments we were able to import the ‘Coach’ demo on both the sites. We would like to term this a shortcoming from OceanWP’s end. Maybe it is not always easy to import a OceanWP demo. 

We further experimented on this theme using another website of ours. This one is using an entirely different hosting service. We tried to install the OceanWP theme on it. We were unable to do that, because it says the PHP version of the hosting needs to be updated. This is a rare case which we didn’t encounter in 95% of the free WordPress themes.

OceanWP is probably a ‘tough nut to crack’ when it comes to installing a theme
OceanWP is probably a ‘tough nut to crack’ when it comes to installing a theme

So our verdict on the OceanWP installation process is that we consider the overall process for OceanWP to be hectic. This is probably not for WordPress beginners.

Starter Templates (Demos)

OceanWP has 173 starter templates or demos. Out of them 15 demos are free and the rest 158 are pro demos. In order to install a particular demo, you have to install a number of free plugins and a few paid add-ons. The add-ons are optional, but the plugins are must. The interesting thing is, which plugins and add-ons are to be installed depend on your chosen demo. In other words, they vary from demo to demo. The free demos are named MARIA, PHOTOS, ARCHITECT, BLOGGER, COACH, GYM, LAWYER, MEGAGYM, PERSONAL, SIMPLE, STORE, STYLISH, TRAVEL, LINGERIE and YOGA.

‘Coach’ demo of OceanWP theme
‘Coach’ is a wonderful demo in order to import which you have to install the plugins ‘Ocean Extra’, ‘Ocean Social Sharing’, ‘Elementor’ and ‘WPForms’ and the add-on ‘Ocean Sticky Header’ is just a choice

Styling – Customization  

The customization on the OceanWP theme are of two types: basic and advanced. Once you have installed the theme and necessary plugins and imported a starter template, you’ll be taken to the ‘basic’ customization page. On this page you have options to set the logo, the retina logo, ‘Site Title’,  ‘Tagline’, ‘Site Icon’, ‘Primary Color’, ‘Hover Primary Color’, ‘Main Border Color’, ‘Links Color’ and ‘Links Hover Color’ for your website.

Basic Configuration Page that you see after importing a demo
Basic Configuration Page that you see after importing a demo

After dealing with the preliminaries, you can follow this path Appearance → Customize to further customize your site.

Main customization tabs on OceanWP
Main customization tabs on OceanWP

On the main customization panel there are so many tabs/options to customize a website, compared to the Blocksy theme. In the case of OceanWP, the tabs are 16 in number in the free version of the theme. To name a few of them, ‘Site Identity’, ‘Menus’, ‘Widgets’, ‘Homepage Settings’, ‘General Options’, ‘Footer Bottom’, ‘Custom CSS/JS’ and ‘Product Sharing’ among others.

In the ‘Site Identity’ section you get to change the ‘Site Title’, ‘Tagline’ and ‘Site Icon’. In the ‘Menus’ section you have options to customize five different menus: they are ‘Footer Menu’, ‘Left Menu’, ‘Main Menu’, ‘Right Menu’ and ‘Top Menu’. You have the option to choose items to add to each menu. You also get to choose which menu will be placed where, as depicted in the following image:

A menu might be named ‘Footer Menu’, but you could still place it at the top bar
A menu might be named ‘Footer Menu’, but you could still place it at the top bar

Another location where you can add items to each menu is Appearance → Menus while you’re on the dashboard. In short, these customizing options are pretty satisfying. However when you click for the very first time on the ‘Widgets’ section out of 16 sections mentioned previously, you’ll get to see the following:

OceanWP has 9 widget areas, but this particular page doesn’t show them
OceanWP has 9 widget areas, but this particular page doesn’t show them

This says that first you have to be on the dashboard and go to Appearance → Widgets location to edit/customize the Widgets. There you’ll see the following:

Overview of Widgets that can used on OceanWP
Overview of Widgets that can used on OceanWP

Now about the ‘Homepage Settings’ section. It is average, giving you the options to set ‘your homepage displays’, ‘Homepage’ and ‘Posts page’.

Homepage settings on the OceanWP customizer
Homepage settings on the OceanWP customizer

General Options

We were really impressed to see that the General Options section offers a lot of amazing features which are essential for building any kind of functional website. The options are 11 in number and they are namely ‘General Styling’, ‘General Settings’, ‘Page Title’, ‘Scroll to Top’, ‘Pagination’, ‘Forms (Input – Textarea)’, ‘Theme Buttons’, ‘404 Error page ’, ‘Theme icons’, ‘SEO settings’ and ‘Performance’. Now let us discuss each of these options in brief.

General Styling In this tab you can manage the overall style of your website and select the location of your CSS files. Here you can choose STYLING OPTIONS LOCATION and set ‘Primary Color’ , ‘Hover Primary Color’ and ‘Main Border Color’. You can also set the site background color, as depicted in the following image:

Setting site background color
Setting site background color

In the tab under discussion, you can also set the background image and LINKS COLOR and LINKS COLOR: HOVER.

General Settings – Here you get to choose one from three Layout Styles: WIDE, BOXED AND SEPARATE. You can set values to ‘Main Container Width(px)’, ‘Content Width(%)’ and ‘Sidebar Width(%)’ . You can choose the layout of your pages, the available layouts are RIGHT SIDEBAR, LEFT SIDEBAR, FULL WIDTH, 100% FULL WIDTH and BOTH SIDEBARS. For instance, if you choose the LEFT SIDEBAR, your site’s blog page may look like following:

Setting layout on OceanWP customizer
Setting layout on OceanWP customizer

You also get to set the ‘Mobile Sidebar Order’ which is a notable feature on OceanWP. Another option is ‘Content Padding(px)’. There are a number of options for SEARCH RESULT PAGE as well, like choosing ‘Source’ and ‘Search Posts per page’ and enabling CUSTOM SIDEBAR. This sidebar has ‘Layout’ and ‘Mobile Sidebar Order’ options. Last option available in the ‘General Settings’ section is ENABLE OPENGRAPH. Finally let us remind you that you have to do these settings on individual devices (PC, tab and mobile), as indicated in the above image by a purple box.

Page Title – Here you can set whether or not the page title will show. This feature is known as ‘Visibility’. For instance, if you select ‘Show on all devices’ and the checkout page will show the title even on mobile devices. If you choose ‘Hide on mobile’, then the title will not show. These are demonstrated in an image below:

Page title visibility feature on the OceanWP theme
Page title visibility feature on the OceanWP theme

Other options available on ‘Page Title’ sections are ‘Heading Tag’, title ‘Style’, ‘Padding(px)’, ‘Background Color’, ‘Text Color’, ‘Breadcrumbs’ – position & separator, ‘Home Item’ and ‘Link Color: Hover’. Demonstration for ‘Background Color’ and ‘Text Color’ is shown below:

Setting title background color and text color
Setting title background color and text color

Scroll to top – There are a lot of options for customizing the ‘Scroll to top’ button if the uppermost box is enabled/checked. Here’s a little demonstration:

‘Scroll to top’ button options on OceanWP
‘Scroll to top’ button options on OceanWP

Pagination – There are a lot of options for pagination on OceanWP. They are alignment, font size, border width, background color, background color: hover, border color, border color: hover.

Theme Buttons – Theme buttons can do many amazing things on different portions of your website, like ‘call-to-action’. The options that are available in the OceanWP ‘theme buttons’ customizer are padding(px), border radius(px), background color, background color: hover, text color and text color: hover.

There are surely a lot of customization options available for the theme buttons on OceanWP
There are surely a lot of customization options available for the theme buttons on OceanWP

404 Error Page – On the 404 Error page you get to enable a blank page. If you do that all the common features on a page like the header, the footer, menus, page title, images will not show. Just a search box, message saying ‘This page could not be found’ and a theme button titled ‘Back to Homepage’ will be seen. You have two layouts for the error page: FULL WIDTH and 100% FULL WIDTH. Also you have the option to select a template for the 404 error page on OceanWP, which seems to be a notable feature of this theme.

404 error page customizations options on OceanWP
404 error page customizations options on OceanWP

Theme Icons – Now about the theme icons. You have the option to choose one from ‘Ocean SVG Icons’, ‘Simple Line Icons’ and ‘Font Awesome Icons’. You can also set the color of BLOG ENTRIES ICONS and that of SINGLE POST ICONS.

Theme icons options on OceanWP customizer
Theme icons options on OceanWP customizer

SEO settings – You know setting ‘alt text’ on every image on your site makes it SEO friendly. In this section you have the options to go for USE FEATURED IMAGE ALT TEXT ON BLOG ENTRIES, USE FEATURED IMAGE ALT TEXT ON SINGLE POSTS and USE FEATURED IMAGE ALT TEXT ON SINGLE POST RELATED ITEMS. This is depicted in the following image: 

SEO setting options on OceanWP customizer
SEO setting options on OceanWP customizer

Performance – In this section you have the option to DISABLE LIGHTBOX and DISABLE EMOJI by checking the respective boxes.

‘Performance’ check boxes on OceanWP customizer
‘Performance’ check boxes on OceanWP customizer

Now that we’ve discussed all the General Options, remember the sixteen sections we mentioned earlier? General Options, Homepage Settings and Menus are a few among them. We also explored other sections. However, we’ll talk about ‘Typography’, ‘Header’, ‘Blog’, ‘WooCommerce’, ‘Sidebar’, ‘Footer Widgets’ and ‘Footer Bottom’ in separate divisions (‘Footer Widgets’ and ‘Footer Bottom’ will be discussed in one division ‘Footer’). In other words, we prefer not to cover all these under the ‘Styling – Customization’ division. We just like to say a few words about ‘Custom CSS/JS’, ‘Product Sharing’ and ‘Social Sharing’ right here.

We clicked on the ‘Custom CSS/JS’ section and found it amazing.

‘Custom CSS/JS’ section in the OceanWP customizer
‘Custom CSS/JS’ section in the OceanWP customizer

We also visited the ‘Product Sharing’ and ‘Social Sharing’ sections and we found them meaningful and user friendly.

Options to share a product or post on the OceanWP theme
Options to share a product or post on the OceanWP theme

Finally, we have a little bit of confession to make. While attempting to customize our site using OceanWP customizer, we had a few bad impressions indeed. But when we explored further, we were satisfied and we believe that the free version itself is quite capable of making your site look amazing and extraordinary. Later we’ll discuss the pro version features.

Choose Customizer sections

OceanWP allows you to choose the customization sections you want to work on. You have to select them by checking the respective boxes. You can ignore the rest (NOT see them in the customizer) by unchecking those boxes. This is demonstrated in the following image:

Choose customizer options
Choose customizer options

Typography

There are truly plenty of typography options on OceanWP theme. They are shown in a list below:

Typography options available on OceanWP
Typography options available on OceanWP

Here we are going to describe a few ‘notable’ options:

  1. In the ‘Body’ section, FONT FAMILY, FONT WEIGHT, FONT STYLE, TEXT TRANSFORM, FONT SIZE, LINE HEIGHT, LETTER SPACING and FONT COLOR can be set.
OceanWP Body customization options
OceanWP Body customization options
  1. A set of common customizations, namely font family, font weight, font style, text transform, line weight, letter spacing and font color can be set for All Headings.
  2. In the GENERAL section you can disable Google fonts and choose your custom needed FONT SUBSETS.
General typography options
General typography options

Page Builder Support /  Integration

The OceanWP theme officially claims to support a number of page builders, like Elementor, SiteOrigin, Brizy, Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, Toolset, Divy, Thrive Architect and WPBakery. However, when we tried to import any free demo out of the sixteen available, Elementor was the only page builder that was recommended to install. This is why we have an impression that the OceanWP developer team has their ‘focus’ on Elementor. If you consider Elementor ‘the best page builder’ and like to work with it, then OceanWP is the right theme for you. If you want to avoid Elementor, then OceanWP is probably not for you.

Elementor is a must-install (page builder) plugin while importing any OceanWP demo including ‘Lawyer’
Elementor is a must-install (page builder) plugin while importing any OceanWP demo including ‘Lawyer’ 

Header & Footer Sections

Now we’ll discuss how easily the header and the footer of a website can be designed/customized using the OceanWP theme free version. In other words, let’s see what choices we do have when it comes to customizing these two sections of our site while we’re on OceanWP.

Header Builder

Unfortunately, there is no specialized header builder for the OceanWP theme, unlike Astra, Kadence and Blocksy which just happen to be a few of the most popular/used free themes. This means we have to customize the header kind of ‘manually’, after repeated attempts. We already know where to go in order to serve this purpose. In case you didn’t, just go through the path Appearance → Customize and you’ll arrive on the customizer. Here click on the ‘Header’ section out of 16 sections, as mentioned earlier.

This is where you customize the site header using OceanWP
This is where you customize the site header using OceanWP

We clicked on the ‘General’ tab/subsection and found a lot of available choices: the header style, its height, whether header full width and header border bottom will be enabled, background color, border bottom color and a few other options depending on the header style. The ‘Transparent’ style of a header is quite common among themes. However, we have found something truly extraordinary on OceanWP, it has a ‘vertical’ header style. We experimented with it and found it to be pretty amazing, exceptional and beautiful.

Illustration of vertical header on OceanWP
Illustration of vertical header on OceanWP

Then we entered the ‘Header Media’ subsection and found that both video and image can be set on the header. Interestingly enough, even a YouTube video can be used here (this is a notable feature which is rarely found on other themes). The other options we found were overlay color, position, attachment, repeat and size.

We may even choose to play a YouTube video on the OceanWP header
We may even choose to play a YouTube video on the OceanWP header

We can set a logo image and a retina logo image in the ‘Logo’ tab. There was a ‘Menu’ tab where we found many customizing options, but we thought it wasn’t exactly user friendly. Besides, we already know where else we can add and edit menus: the path to follow is  Appearance → Menus, while you’re on the dashboard. Here you get to ‘deal’ with the menus, as you please!

Customizing Menus on dashboard while using OceanWP as theme
Customizing Menus on dashboard while using OceanWP as theme

Now again with the ‘Header customizer’. There are two more tabs we need to talk about: ‘Social Menu’ and ‘Mobile Menu’. The social menu is very simple; whether or not to enable it. Offhand, ‘Mobile Menu’ is a special type of menu which is displaced on mobile (small and portable smart) devices. The menu on OceanWP has to be customized in a special way and we have found it to be very handy.

Options to setup and customize ‘Mobile Menu’
Options to setup and customize ‘Mobile Menu’

Footer Builder

Just like the header section, OceanWP doesn’t offer any builder for the footer section as well. While we were on the customizer, we had to go to two adjacent sections in order to customize the footer: ‘Footer Widgets’ and ‘Footer Bottom’. When we entered the ‘Footer Widgets’ section, we found that it was disabled by default and there were no customizing options other than setting style for ‘Heading Tag’. So we checked the associated box to enable ‘Footer Widgets’. Once we enabled that, plenty of options showed up for us to handle and set values to. They were namely ‘Visibility’, ‘Fixed Footer’ , ‘Parallax Footer Effect’, ‘Select Template’, number of columns, ‘Heading Tag’, ‘padding’, ‘Background Color’, ‘Text Color’, ‘Borders Color’, ‘Links Color’ and ‘Links Color: Hover’. We went to Dashboard→ Appearance → Widgets and found four footer widgets. We added items to them, saved our changes and then came back to the ‘Footer Widgets’ section of OceanWP customizer. Now we got to see an amazing footer like below:

Customizing Footer Widgets on the OceanWP theme
Customizing Footer Widgets on the OceanWP theme

Once we have customized the ‘Footer Widgets’, we then visited the ‘Footer Bottom’ section. There we saw an option to enable or disable the footer bottom. In case you’re confused as to which portion of the footer is ‘Footer Bottom’, just take a close look at the bottom most part of the above image. It is indicated by a purple arrow. If you disable ‘Footer Bottom’, the mentioned part will simply disappear. If this happens, we won’t see any option to work with. If the ‘Footer Bottom’ is enabled, we’ll have to deal with setting values like ‘Visibility’, copyright credit/text, padding and other options much like the ‘Footer Widgets’ section.

In brief, we can say that it was an amazing experience working on customizing the footer of OceanWP demo ‘Coach’. We highly expect that the other demos (AKA starter templates) of the theme would offer the same user friendly experience. 

eCommerce/ WooCommerce Support 

WooCommerce integration in OceanWP really is fantastic, it is because of the many WooCommerce tweaks built directly. For instance, OceanWP has an integrated shopping cart popup and shopping cart floating bar. Also, there is a ‘quick view’ mode that enables a customer to see a product without having to leave the current page.

The OceanWP theme fully supports WooCommerce plugins. If you’re planning to run an ecommerce shop, then OceanWP is one of the best themes for you to choose from. The theme offers a lot of amazing options for WooCommerce. In the WooCommerce section of the OceanWP customizer, you’ll get to see the following tabs:

WooCommerce customizing options/tabs for OceanWP
WooCommerce customizing options/tabs for OceanWP

We discuss these options/tabs as follows:

Store Notice – This is just a notification option you can use to show upcoming ecommerce events or products promotion. First of all you’ll have to enable it in order to use and then type your custom text for notification, as demonstrated in the following image :

‘Store Notice’ feature on OceanWP WooCommerce
‘Store Notice’ feature on OceanWP WooCommerce

General – There are quite a number of customization options here in the ‘General’ section for WooCommerce. OceanWP has added a few custom WooCommerce features. Now it’s up to you whether to use them or not. You can also disable the custom WooCommerce sidebar.

OceanWP general WooCommerce options
OceanWP general WooCommerce options

You have the option to display the cart when a product is added. This will work if ajax is enabled. And There are two ‘Categories Widget Style’: default and dropdown.

Single Product – There are a number of styling you can adjust on the ‘Single Product’ section. In the following image, we have shown that when the LEFT SIDEBAR layout has been chosen, the sidebar is really placed to the left of the main ‘Single Product’ area.

SINGLE PRODUCT customization on OceanWP WooCommerce
SINGLE PRODUCT customization on OceanWP WooCommerce

The other styling options available here are ’Mobile Sidebar Order’, ‘Title HTML Tag’, ‘Summary ELements Positioning’, ‘Display Product Navigation’, ‘Enable Ajax Add to Cart’, ‘Image Width’, ‘Summary Width’, ‘Thumbnails Layout’ to name a few.

Likewise, you have plenty of handy options for WooCommerce customization in the MENU CART, ARCHIVES, CART, CHECKOUT, ADVANCED STYLING and PRODUCT IMAGES.

Checkout page

Checkout page options on OceanWP
Checkout page options on OceanWP

The available options that you can change on the ‘Checkout’ page are the Company Name Field, Address Line 2 Field, Phone Field, Privacy Policy Page and ‘Terms and Conditions Page’ drop down menus and privacy policy text. You can also check two boxes named DISTRACTION FREE CHECKOUT and MULTI-STEP CHECKOUT. Offhand, you can leave these items at their defaults. In addition, you can set your own privacy policy page and Terms and Conditions page for your WooCommerce site, which is surely amazing.

One point to note here is that you should include a minimum number of fields in the above dialog box. If the customer has to provide a lot of their information and wait at this page for quite a long time, then they might get demotivated and the sale may not be converted.

Blog options

The OceanWP theme has an entirely different type of setup and options when it comes to blog posts and pages. When you’re about to add a new post or page, you’ll encounter an interface like below:

Post Editor interface on OceanWP
Post Editor interface on OceanWP

As for adding a new product in the WooCommerce section, the interface is a lot like the above, plus it has quite a few additional features. With that said, now let’s discuss in brief the regular blog options OceanWP offers. The blog customizer has two main tabs: BLOG ENTRIES and SINGLE POST.

In the BLOG ENTRIES section you have options like ‘Archives & Entries Layout’ , ‘Mobile Sidebar Order’, ‘Blog Style’, ‘Image Position’, ‘Vertical Position’, ‘Custom Image Width (px)’, ‘Custom Image Height (px)’ category color: normal and hover, comments color: normal and hover, date color, ‘Excerpt Length’, ‘Blog Pagination Style’ and ‘Meta Separator’. We demonstrate a few of these in the following image:

Blog Entries options on OceanWP
Blog Entries options on OceanWP

As for the ‘Single Posts’ section, the available customization options are ‘Layout’, ‘Mobile Sidebar Order’, ‘Heading Tag’, ‘Page Header Title’, ‘Full Width Content’, ‘Elements positioning’, chosen ‘Meta’, ‘Meta Separator’ etc. In the below image, we demonstrate ‘positioning’ and ‘Meta’:

Single Posts options on OceanWP customization
Single Posts options on OceanWP customization

Theme Performance

We have done an experiment on the OceanWP theme performance. In order to do that we have used a standard website loaded with the OceanWP Free theme. All the images were optimized and we didn’t use any caching plugin. The hosting of the site is pretty good, it’s ‘dedicated hosting’. Which means that when it comes to page loading speed there is no problem from the website’s content or hosting end. If there is any delay or poor performance, it has to do with the OceanWP theme. In order to carry on this particular test, we have chosen the gtmetrix.com site. We visited it and pasted the url of our site. Then we pressed the ‘Test your site’ button and waited for a while for the results to show up. The results came and they are presented in a number of tabs namely SUMMARY, PERFORMANCE, STRUCTURE, WATERFALL, VIDEO and HISTORY. However, we would like to present what we found only on the PERFORMANCE tab. This is given below in an image:

Performance of the OceanWP theme
Performance of the OceanWP theme

As you can see in the above image, the ‘Performance’ percentage is 97 and the structure percentage is 97. The website homepage took only 1.1 sec to load (‘Largest Contentful Paint’). The performance grade is A and all the parameters are okay (all deep green), which indicates that the OceanWP is a good one as a theme. At least this is our conclusion when it comes to page loading speed. In this context, we would like to say that we’ve performed the above-mentioned test several times and we just present to you a mean/average scenario here. Also we made sure to erase the cache before performing the test every time.

Responsive test

Now we also need to perform a test to see how responsive the theme is, i.e. whether or not the OceanWP theme and associated webpage look good and presentable on any device including computer, tablet PC and mobile phones. In order to complete this test we have used the site with the url http://ami.responsivedesign.is/ which is surely the expert on this very purpose. Here we have tested the same site of ours, as in the case of a performance test. We’ve pasted the url in the given text box situated almost in the middle of the test site and pressed the GO! button. In the blink of an eye, we had our result. The image is given below.

Outcome of Responsive test performed on the OceanWP theme
Outcome of Responsive test performed on the OceanWP theme

We scrolled down and up several times on each version of the outcome/result and we found the theme to be quite responsive on every device. So we can say that OceanWP is a responsive theme, which adds to the performance score of the theme.

Sidebars

An amazing feature of OceanWP is that you can set a color for the sidebar background. This color can be different from that of ‘general’ background.

Sidebar options on OceanWP
Sidebar options on OceanWP

Apart from that you can set padding for your sidebar. There are a couple of options for widgets, namely heading tag, background color, padding, margin bottom (px), titles border color and titles margin bottom (px). 

In order to add or remove items to a sidebar you need to go to Appearance → Widgets. On this page you’ll see two types of sidebars: WooCommerce sidebar and default sidebar.

In order to add item, click on the + sign and removing procedure is demonstrated below:

Removing an item/block from sidebar
Removing an item/block from sidebar

You can even add additional sidebars. In order to add a sidebar, just go to Theme Panel → Sidebars and Add New, as depicted in the following image:

Adding a sidebar on OceanWP
Adding a sidebar on OceanWP

Available Widgets

If you need to show something special on any particular portion of a webpage, you can do that by using either a plugin or by a Widget. The latter comes along with the theme itself and they are limited in number. Some themes offer plenty of Widgets (still limited), some others don’t. Now the OceanWP theme offers a moderate number of Widgets. We say this based on the variety of Widgets we find on this theme. Go to Appearance → Widgets while you’re on the dashboard or back end of your site. The available widgets on OceanWP are WooCommerce sidebar, Default sidebar, Left sidebar, Footer 1, Footer 2, Footer 3, Footer 4, Men Menu, Women Menu and Inactive Widgets. Since we’ve chosen to do WooCommerce activities on our site, that’s why the WooCommerce sidebar and Men, Women Menus have appeared. We have clicked on the ‘Inactive Widgets’ and found it to be ‘About Me’.

A few of available widgets on OceanWP
A few of available widgets on OceanWP

Among the items that can be added to widgets are paragraph, buttons, archives, contact info, about me, products list, log in/out – just to name a few. However the items are classified into six categories: TEXT, MEDIA, DESIGN, WIDGETS, THEME, EMBEDS and WOOCOMMERCE.

Real Users’ Feedback

Real Users’ Feedback on OceanWP is pretty fine, it has got a rating of 4.9 out of 5. More than 4900 real users have posted their feedback, till the time of writing this article (September 12, 2021). Almost 98% of people have posted positive feedback and ‘satisfying’ comments about the theme. One such is given below:

Positive feedback on OceanWP
Positive feedback on OceanWP

Now let’s see a negative feedback.

Negative feedback on OceanWP
Negative feedback on OceanWP

So we can conclude that NOT all the customers/users are exactly happy with OceanWP. This is probably because the theme itself is exceptional and kind of difficult to use/implement.

Support , Update & Community

OceanWP seems to have fairly okay support for clients/users. If you visit their support page, you’ll see that they will first ask you to enhance your knowledge base on the theme. At the beginning of the page, they present the most popular support articles and then a search box to ‘search the knowledge base’. This is great to find the answer to your particular query. By clicking on this search box, you’ll actually be directed to their official documentation page.

In case you have failed the answer you were looking for, you can now submit a ticket. There are three options for it, as shown in the following picture:

There are three options for support ticket on OceanWP
There are three options for support ticket on OceanWP

The first one is for free version users, the second one is for pro version users and in order to use the super fast support (they call it ‘priority support’) as presented in option 3, you’ll have to pay additionally. They have two plans for it: PROFESSIONAL support and ULTIMATE support. The first one is for 3 months of priority support and the latter is for 1 years. It is noteworthy here that in order to get support all must register themselves on the OceanWP website. 

We need to say a few words about the OceanWP documentation. We have visited that section of their site and carefully read a number of articles. We think that the documentation section of OceanWP is quite enriched and capable of providing everything and any information you would be looking for about OceanWP. The theme’s documentation and FAQs are divided into five sections: ‘Getting Started’, ‘Extensions’, ‘Developer Doc’, ‘Pricing & Licences’ and ‘FAQs’.

Now about the average update period of the theme. We have visited their ‘changelog’ page. The current version of the theme is 3.0.7 and it was updated on September 7, 2021. The immediate previous version (3.0.6) was updated just the previous day (September 6, 2021). However, the 3.0.5 version was released on August 25, 2021. We have closely observed their update interval and estimated that on average they update the theme twice or thrice a month. This seems to be reasonably okay.

OceanWP theme changelog
OceanWP theme changelog

Finally, we would like to comment on the OceanWP community/forums, where users look for answers to their queries. Although thousands of queries/topics have already been resolved, thousands more have not been resolved to this day. Some of these unresolved topics are as old as 11 months. Such a huge pile of unresolved topics have been gathered, because the OceanWP theme is considered ‘difficult and challenging’ by many, especially for beginners. That’s why we said this theme is probably not for WordPress beginners/novices.

So we conclude that the OceanWP support team/community is NOT excellent, it’s moderate. After all, what’s the use of all these people in the forum, if thousands of topics are still unresolved?

It really looks bad when thousands of queries on a theme go unresolved
It really looks bad when thousands of queries on a theme go unresolved

Additional  Notable Features

The OceanWP theme has the following notable features:

  1. The ‘Mobile Sidebar Order’ can be set for the mobile devices version of the theme.
  2. The blog editor on OceanWP is entirely different and it comes with a number of unique features. This editor is unlike the ones available on Astra, Kadence and Blocksy.
  3. The ‘Top bar’ is a unique feature on OceanWP. This bar along with the available header customization options compensate for and work as a ‘Header builder’. 
  4. The vertical header is a unique and notable feature on OceanWP.
  5. Templates can be uploaded and set for the 404 error page on OceanWP.
  6. The OceanWP has 7 customizable header styles.
  7. The theme has multiple Logo menus. It has three mobile menu styles. 
  8. OceanWP has four page title styles, nine blog post elements and three pagination styles.
  9. You can remove the copyright info on OceanWP and set your own text/message. This technology is known as WHITE LABEL.
  10. Background color of your choice can be set for the sidebars.
  11. Individual post controls are available on OceanWP.
  12. ‘Scripts & Styles Panel’ is a notable feature available on OceanWP.
  13. The ‘Header Media’ is a unique and notable feature on OceanWP where NOT ONLY image, but a YouTube Video can be placed and played also.
  14. Hooks make it easy to insert content into different areas of a site without having to edit the theme’s code directly. A huge Number Of Hooks and Conditionals are available on OceanWP.

Pro version Features 

OceanWP pro version features are Personalized Customer Support, Access to PRO updates, Pre-built Website Library (58 demos), White Label, Sticky Header, Side Panel, Footer Callout, Popup Login, Cookie Notice, Elementor Widgets, Portfolio, Sticky Footer, Woo Popup, Hooks for Templates & Codes, Full Screen and Instagram.

OceanWP pro features
OceanWP pro features

Reasons to Upgrade to OceanWP Pro 

  • When you use OceanWP free version, you do not get live support from the developer team. But in case of an emergency like you mixed up code or made a fatal mistake while using the theme, you’ll surely need help from the expert. OceanWP pro version offers you 24/7 exclusive customer support. 
  • On the OceanWP free version you can’t use sticky header and footer. So if you really liked the theme a lot and want to stick to it, you should definitely consider switching to the pro version.
  • The free version of OceanWP offers you only 13 starter templates, these may not be enough to meet your custom needs. In that case you can switch to pro and enjoy any of 58 more demos.
  • Elementor is a strong and efficient page builder now-a-days. In order to use a number of special Elementor Widgets you need to go for the pro version.
  • By using ‘Portfolio’ you can create an awesome presentation of your skills, services, products, achievements and even more. This feature is available only on pro OceanWP.
  • In order to avail special features like ‘White Label, ‘Side Panel’, ‘Footer Callout’, ‘Popup Login’, ‘Cookie Notice’, ‘Woo Popup’, ‘Hooks for Templates & Codes’, ‘Full Screen’ and ‘Instagram’, pro version is a must for OceanWP lovers.

These are the reasons why you may want to switch to OceanWP pro version.

Pricing – Overpriced or reasonable?

We visit the OceanWP pricing page and saw the following pricing for 1 year plan:

OceanWP pricing for yearly plan
OceanWP pricing for yearly plan

As shown in the image above, $27.30 for 3 websites, $47.40 for 6 sites and $77.40 for 50 sites seem reasonable. These three pricing are named PERSONAL, BUSINESS and AGENCY. Since we previously discussed the pro version features, we don’t need to mention them here, as to what features come with these packages. For the ‘Lifetime’ plan, the pricings are $111.30, $191.40 and $311.40. These are also okay, if not excellent. In addition, you have the option to make the payment in installments, within 4 years of time. To sum up, the OceanWP pricing is moderately okay.

Last but not the least, we want to bring up something we encountered on the theme’s pricing page. This is what we got to see:

OceanWP occasional promotion offer
OceanWP occasional promotion offer

This means that if you go for this promotional offer, you’ll get twice as many licenses, additionally a discount of up to 40%. In the regular PERSONAL yearly scheme, you’re supposed to get licenses for 3 sites. Well, in case of this promotional offer, the number of sites would be 6. Plus, you would get a price discount. In the ‘luckiest’ case you would have to pay only $16.38! Wouldn’t that be amazing? Considering that OceanWP offers this type of promotion once in a while, we will conclude that their pricing scheme is more than average, something that can easily make you happy.

Final Thoughts/Verdicts

We have found the OceanWP theme to be pretty amazing. We believe that the theme is capable of building an extraordinary and unique looking website. However, we have experienced OceanWP to be NOT suitable for beginner type web developers. They might find this theme overwhelming and could easily ‘mix up’ things, which is the last thing a web developer wants.

The oceanWP theme seems to be very much ‘in line’ with WooCommerce. So if the primary purpose of your website is ecommerce, you should most definitely give this theme a try. Apart from WooCommerce, OceanWP is also capable of building other ‘purpose’ websites, like blogs or portfolio. However, one thing to keep in mind is that the developer shouldn’t experiment in the ‘wilderness’ unless they are an expert, for they could run into a situation never encountered before. Such a case/scenario could result in the ‘site crash’. We’ve shown in this article that there are thousands of issues that were encountered while web developing with OceanWP and many (countless, actually) of these are still unresolved to this day. Some of these unresolved issues are as old as 11 months. So the bottom line is – OceanWP is an amazing and unique theme that comes along with a lot of extraordinary features, but as a developer you have to handle it carefully and shouldn’t risk getting your site crashed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.