This is my review of the Avada theme by Theme-Fusion. It’s a highly popular theme with over 200,000 users at time of writing this review. It’s also been around for a few years and has had a number of big updates.
At time of writing, Avada 4.0 is out which ads a lot of new features and under-the-hood changes. I am reviewing Avada 4.0 specifically.
I do my best to give you a deep review of this theme — 4000 words — looking at the the core features, the pros, and the cons of Avada. I also give you some tips I’ve found on how to best use Avada as an internet marketer at the end of the article.
Straight up, I’m a big fan of this theme. I own it, I use it, and I abuse it. If there is only one theme you buy, you could do a lot worse then Avada. It’s not a perfect theme by any means, but you can do a lot with Avada if you spend time learning the ropes a bit.
Finding a wordpress theme can be hard in 2016 because there’s just so damn many of them. Between the thousands of free themes easily available from within wordpress itself to the thousands of premium themes (all promising you the earth, the moon, and the stars), picking your next theme is tough.
However, there are a few themes that do stand out from the pack of thousands, in my opinion. And Avada is definitely one of them.
The Two Types of Themes
When it comes to themes, you have two choices these days: a static niche theme designed around a specific area of interest (restaurant, video, photography, business, travel, etc) or a multipurpose theme (also called a super theme) which allows you to design and modify everything about that theme.
It seems the wordpress marketplace is moving towards the super theme product, simply because it’s far easier for a developer (or team of developers) to focus on a single core flagship product than a myriad of different products. This means an entire team of designers can work on a single theme rather than splitting development time between many different themes.
Super themes are also far more flexible for the end user: you can consistently reuse them for every type of niche, for every type of site, while completely customizing each theme without having to do any coding.
The downside of the super theme is that you can a) get locked into a specific ecosystem and b) superthemes, due to the many extra features included, may be bulky and inefficient in terms of page speed loading.
There are a handful of super themes out there right now:
However, by far the most popular super theme of all is Avada with nearly 200,000 downloads on ThemeForest.net.
That makes Avada one of the most popular themes in the world at this point. I believe only the Genesis Framework surpasses Avada for most users (Genesis has over 500,000). Genesis is more of a framework only, however, while Avada is a Theme + framework.
What’s a Multipurpose Theme
The number and reputation of WordPress themes designers adds more complexity to the choice, and experienced users can often expect the design house to offer multiple theme. When a design studio offer a single theme, it can raise several question, however the single offer from Theme Fusion ; Avada has turned into the best ever premium WordPress theme sold at the ThemeForest platform, and there may be good reasons why. Since the release, more three years ago, Avada has been downloaded more than 185,000 times.
It is a simple multipurpose theme that is fully customisable and can be used to build almost any type of website. It has been described as being as revolutionary as WordPress platform and some even say that it can turn the web design industry on its head, as almost anything can be done without coding knowledge.
There may be differing opinions on the use of multipurpose or generic themes vs themes designed for specific sites or industries, but Avada turns out to be an exception as it contains almost all of the available customization features, templates and needed options in a single package that simplifies website operation and maintenance.
Highlight Avada Features
It may be difficult to find another WordPress theme that includes a highly valued set of plugins, and the list continues to expand regularly with each new Avada update. As of april 2016, Avada just released it’s newest upgrade — Avada 4, which includes a host of new features, designs, and fixes.
1. Free Plugins included in Avada
These plugins include special built in styling support so they integrate perfectly into the theme, regardless of what design or customization you do.
WooCommerce – for ecommerce
Events calendar – easy management of events
bbPress – forum software
Contact Form 7 – visitor contact
Gravity – contact form builder in lead gen
2. Premium Plugins Included
The theme includes some premium plugins you’d pay for normally:
3 Premium Sliders
In total, you’d probably pay about $60 USD if you were to buy all of these outright (though, you likely would not).
3. 19 Demo Site Content to Insta-Deploy a New Niche Site
The Avada bundle includes 18 fully-built demo sites, each of which can be installed with a single click. Users are easily off to a flying start with the installation of virtually any type of site, and no code knowledge is required. This means you can use Avada, as is, to deploy for specific niches at the click of a button. You’ll have to do some customization of course once you use the demo site design for your niche, but it’s far faster than creating a brand new design from scratch with another theme.
The demos are mighty and powerful, and a version for almost every vertical is readily available. They range from product landing page, Gym, Church, Lawyer, Cafe, Hotel and much more, and if there is no suitable option, which is unlikely, the Classic Multipurpose demo includes almost of the features and layout options.
4. Fusion Builder
The Fusion Builder is the biggest and arguably the most important feature of Avada; it really lets you play God with the content styling and page design. We’ll talk more about this in the next section
5. Customizable Theme Options
This includes headers, footers, page width, colors, fonts, and pretty much everything about site design). You can use these settings to fiddle with anything and everything about the theme, from minor colors to broad structural changes (page width, header styles and sizes, sidebar width, background colors, footer options, etc).
6. Multiple Sliders
The Avada theme includes four premium sliders that may have different properties for adding the super cool effects.
Yea, that’s right — not one slider like most themes, but 4 sliders, and some of theme actually premium plugins that you’d pay for if you were to buy separate. Personally, I think so many sliders are complete overkill; and having multiple sliders on the same page produces inefficient code.
Regardless of the speed problems, you do have serious options. The sliders are: Layer Slider, Revolution Slider, Fusion Slider and Elastic Slider and can be used in combination or separately on specific pages or in posts, and the process is as simple as pasting the required shortcodes.
Even though Avada is designed to be fully responsive to screen of different sizes and browsers, the option to turn responsivity on or off is included, but caution is to be exercised until the visitor usage is fully analyzed.
To make your life easy, Avada include 11 custom widgets that can be dragged and dropped anywhere, and can be further customized. It is also possible to add the shortcodes directly to the widgets for easy updating of content.
7. Custom Widgets
You also get 10 Custom Widgets You can use to replace all of the default wordpress widgets and add more. These widgets offer extra functionality AND have special styling that integrates better with the theme then the equivalent default widgets.
Here are the widgets
Avada Facebook Widget
Avada Flickr Widget
Avada Recent Works
Avada Horizontal Menu
Avada Contact Info
Avada Social Links
Avada 125×125 Ads
8. Extra Post Types (Portfolio and F&Q)
Avada also includes extra post types that appear in special locations on the front end. This is the Portfolio and the F&Q. Both post types have special sections where you can add each type as a post and configure the options. The Portfolio posts will have custom styling as will the F&Q posts. Since these types of posts are regularly used by businesses, freelancers, and general websites, they are quite useful to have a special post type.
Here’s a look at what the Portfolio page types look like with a 2 column setting:
Here’s what the F&Q type looks like:
Keep in mind you can select from a number of different styles, such as 1 column all the way to 6 column layouts, either as a grid or as a classic style layout, or with text, or as a single post with or without a sidebar. Basically, there’s a fuck load of different page layout settings you can apply to the Portfolio and the F&Q page types.
Also note these layouts also can be applied to regular pages and posts.
Theme Customization…on Steroids
Of course, if you want to fiddle around with…well…just about anything to do with the Avada theme styling or design, Avada let’s you do that — and without having to write a single line of code I might add. Theme customization is where Avada really shines.
In fact, the plethora of customization options is probably why you would want to buy Avada in the first place.
Avada is perfect for people looking to do the following:
want to create professional looking wordpress sites for any niche without ever needing to buy another theme again
want the flexibility to customize everything about a theme
want to create new theme designs in only a few minutes
And yes, you actually can accomplish 1 and 2 and 3 without too much trouble.
Let’s look at some of the major ways Avada lets you customize things.
1. Theme Option Panel
Avada’s advanced theme options panel opens access to the engine under the hood. It is where any part of the site can be easily and quickly edited. The word advanced may be a misnomer, as it invokes a feeling that it can be overwhelming, but the interface is really intuitive and process of changing is simplified.
Change colors in any area of your site using the back-end color picker, or switch from a light to dark skin, or go to the gradients of the attractively designed CSS3 buttons for creating the super cool effects. Combine the effects with any of the more than 600 Google fonts to go beyond super cool. The fonts can be used in areas such as headers, and body copy. Several headers are also included, and there are options to upload your own icons for social media accounts or use those that area included. Within the five headers, the option to add desired elements such as menu items, or social media icons, search bars, taglines and other features are available.
This may be the area where a leap forward is taken, with what can be described as the most powerful tool in the package; The Fusion builder enables creation of fantastic looking pages, with simple drag and drop placement. The layout of the builder interface is much more than intuitive and tabbed menus open to reveal all the needed elements.
2. Fusion Builder
Fusion Builder is what you call a WYSIWYG page builder. There are a number of such available as plugins right now:
Visual Composer (part of Divy theme or as a plugin)
Cornerstone (part of X them or as a plugin)
Fusion Builder (part of Avada)
Motopress Content Editor
Personally, I find Fusion Builder one of the best of the bunch. You’ll probably find more stand alone options with Visual Composer (which is older and has been going strong for many years of updates). Beaver Builder also has a strong following and a good reputation. Cornerstone is the new kid on the block, but looks promising.
Regardless of what page builder you prefer, Fusion Builder comes as part of Avada from ground up and integrates completely. You can build a complex page in 5 or 10 minutes that looks fantastic. Keep in mind though, it will likely take you a few HOURS of fiddling around and experimenting before you get to the point where you can use it to create awesome pages in 10 minutes. SO expect to bang your head on the wall for a while until you figure things out.
As for the customization options offered by Fusion Builder, it’s a win.
A Real Example of How the Fusion Page Builder Works
You can completely modify how the page looks in terms of width with the division of the page into various columns and sub columns. Note that with each of these column divisions, you can further divide the page into sub columns by simply dragging and dropping.
Here’s the broad column layout choices:
And with a simple drag and drop, you can create a complex, multi column, multi-scroll page design. I’ve dragged and dropped a few of the columns into the page builder below to show you how easy it is to craft up a complex page layout.
The page works as a Multi Column, Multi Row design:
The only requirement is that each ‘row’ of columns must add up to 1 (1/2 + 1/2, 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3, 1/4 + 4/5, etc). This gives you fine grained control about how wide each column is and how much space you want between each column.
Here’s a look at the the element options you can choose to insert (there are over 50 elements to choose):
These elements can all be combined into the same page column elements you select. This is what makes your page look pretty awesome and complex. It’s where the whole design elements come together. This is also where you will spend MOST of your time when trying to learn this theme.
You can also save any custom templates you create that you want to re-use again for a new page design (or to export):
You can also select from a huge number of pre-build templates to use right away if you wish. This helps jump start your page design:
Summary of the Fusion Page Builder Options
No other theme offers 13 styles of columns that can be change with a single click. The column option ranges from full container width to 20 percent, allowing the flexibility to post any type of content. The width of any of the six columns can easily be adjusted using the intuitive + and – buttons giving the user even more freedom for creative expression.
Opening the builder elements tab will reveal the expansive pack of predesigned page elements that can be dragged into place and inserted with the prebuilt short codes. Add a blog, buttons, video players from Vimeo and YouTube, image sliders, testimonials, text blocks, and a whole lot more simply by dragging the required elements to the page. Every area of the site is fully customizable as the option is included for page element that includes the copyright area at the bottom of the page.
If you feel the need to be even more creative, with the Fusion Short code Generator, you can easily build new pages and paste additional content. Short codes are available for almost anything needed, and any included element can be added to the page. Some of the shortcodes can also be customized, by editing or other aspects of the appearance.
3. The Global Theme Options
The network of theme options is included in an advanced system that was designed to offer power and flexibility. The theme options dashboard displays more than 25 options that control the site appearance and operation. From the theme options panel, it is easy to add elements such as the site logo, or style the blog, sidebars and column widths, or add Analytic code in an intuitive fashion. Theme options are changes that are implemented across the entire site; however there is an option to edit individual pages.
You can also set global options that apply to pages/posts (page color, header font size, title options, full page design, sidebar on or off, and many more features).
4. The Page Level Options
If you want to control things from the post level to override your global settings, you can do that to, on individual pages.
The page option overrides the global theme option, where a specific image or video can be used as a background on a specific page.The theme’s custom post options allow customizing of the content for each section. Sliders can be shown on the page, or different backgrounds or colors used where they are desired. Sidebars can be placed on either the right or left side, or the title bars can be hidden, or replace with custom images, and even more creativity is allowed with rollover with either icons or custom images.
Speaking of pages Avada, includes more than 25 predesigned pages that are all fully customisable. Standard pages include the About Us, FAQ, Contact, and Product pages. It is also possible and easy to go a bit deeper with Team and Office pages
There are several striking options also available with portfolio pages. Attributes are included as elements where categories and skills can be added along with an URL for the ongoing projects copyrights. Page content includes added flexibility to create slideshows or embed videos, or static images which can be custom sized.
Other Theme Features to Consider When Buying
Perhaps one of the most impressive features of the theme is not the remarkable design and construction, but the support that the designers provide. The design and construction of the theme may be a testament to its integrity, but even a remarkable theme as Avada cannot always stand on its own for as long as it has without support. Experts are available to answer questions, which can be submitted via a ticket support system. Video tutorials and an expanding knowledge base, in addition to extensive online documentation are available for added support. And since this is the only theme offered, there is a better chance that the support team will know it inside-out.
There is even a button right from within your theme dashboard which prints out a detailed status of your Avada theme settings so you can hand it to the Avada support team if you have a problem. This greatly speeds up the support process if you have issues.
I actually sent in some support tickets last month due to some issues with Rocket Cache and Cloudflare causing some display issues and the support was very helpful at helping me resolve the issues. So at least in my experience, support was 1) fast and 2) very helpful.
I will note that now when you buy the theme, you only get 6 months support. I bought this theme over a year ago and it came with lifetime support, which has now since been grandfathered in a few months ago with the updated TOS.
2. Future Updated Potential
When reviewing themes, I also like to look at the future theme potential. That is, how long will the theme be around and be updated by the developers.
In this regard, Avada wins. What is equally impressive is that the theme is also continually being updated with new features provided by feedback from the expanding user base. An auto updater is included, which alerts you when an update is available. As of Avada 4, the theme also includes a built in patcher to make micro updates and security patches even easier to do (you don’t need to go through the sometimes buggy WordPress Theme update section).
Also note that if you want to keep the theme updated via WordPress, your licensed credentials when you buy the theme will allow you automatic updates from within wordpress (no need to manually update via FTP as is the case for some themes that only allow you 1 official activation license with automatic updates)
To Buy or Not to Buy
Look, I’ve probably spent nearly $1000 USD on buying premium themes the past six years. I’m not one of those bloggers who cooks up a thin review about a plugin or theme he’s never used before then write a ‘review’ about it.
I’ve used the theme for many sites, and I’m a fan overall. But I’ll also say it’s not the ONLY theme I use and I would not say it’s the only theme you should use either. It’s good to have, but you’ll also want other themes as well, especially some specific themes that do some things a lot better than Avada. As a general, ‘all in one theme’, though, Avada is nearly the best.
What About Value?
I’m also someone who looks to get the maximum value when he spends money on a theme or plugin.
And I’ve learned one thing from spending a lot of money on themes: buy a theme from a developer who will stay around and keep on UPDATING that theme. I’ve lost count how many of the older themes I’ve bought, only to have the theme never updated because the developer is working on new themes or has simply thrown in the towel. If you don’t update a theme, it’s a) seriously at risk of getting hacked due to security flaws, b) likely to break at some point as the core wordpress gets updated. Realistically, I give a theme with no updates about a 2 year life before something breaks.
If you don’t want to buy a theme only to find out it’s been abandoned a year or two down the road, you are best off investing in a super theme from a well established developer who’s killing it on ThemeForest. The reasons is you get a) lifetime updates and b) you actually get lifetime updates because the developers continually update the product.
Avada, as the biggest selling theme in the world, is being updated practically every month. It’s gone through 1 major upgrade since I bought it a year ago already.
So the moral of the story is that you should buy a theme from a developer who is going to continue to work on that theme for a long while. And Avada is not going to vanish any time this decade. So your investment will yield you years and years of free updates and improvements.
Besides the fact it’s a good investment, it’s also a pretty awesome theme that’s very easy to use, has a shit load of features, allows you to customize absolutely everything, and loads pretty fast to boot. I own the theme myself and I’ve used it on at least five of my sites.
Avada is currently one of my favorite themes. It’s not the theme for every situation (I choose Smartmag for more ad oriented content and X theme for tech/product/travel/photography related sites, and specific niche themes for specific niches. But as a general go to theme, Avada is the theme I choose first.
If you buy one license, you can also get automatic updates for every site you install it on, which is nice (you don’t have to automatically upload updated theme versions via FTP which can be messy).
Customize the SHIT out of the theme, from structural elements to minor (colors, font types)
Create different types of blog designs (single page landing page, multi page parrallax design, standard blog design, etc)
Inludes 18+ Demo sites to speed up design related to a specific type of site or niche
There are also multipurpose themes that specialize in a specific sort of design (like SmartMag which is a multipurpose Magazine style theme). So don’t feel like Avada is the ONLY such type of theme available. It’s not. I also own and have used Divy and X Theme and will be writing reviews and comparing these themes to Avada in some future articles.
Suffice to say, Avada is one of the best, more affordable options for a general style website, especially for a blog where you want a seriously customized homepage and a handful of other pages. Avada lets you take design into your own hands, so you are not limited to the typical looking blog page / blog homepage. Note that you are still going to have to put in time to LEARN how to use the Avada page builder to coook up nice custom looking pages — even if you import the demo designs and go from there, you will still need to modify things to suit your taste.
If you just want awesome looking, niche specific blog style websites, consider one of the themes from MyThemeShop, which look great, offer a lot of different themes for specific niches / types of website, very seo friendly, includes some extras like built in reviews, and are blazing fast when it comes to page loading (something Avada is a bit lacking in)..
The Final Word
With all of the remarkable features, the theme is still easy and enjoyable to use. To appreciate the power of Avada, installation of the Fusion Core plugin is recommended, and it takes a few clicks to activate the other plugins. It is also recommended that some time be spent in examining the list of included options and working with them to see the effects. They can all be observed in real time and the options can be selected as desired rather than working with the entire suite.
There is practically no learning curve and it is easy to acknowledge that Avada is perhaps the most powerful and flexible WordPress theme, that may be responsible for a new paradigm in web design.
How to Master the Avada Theme as a Blogger / Internet Marketer
As this is one of my ‘Ultimate Reviews’, I end the review with some extra information about HOW to best use the theme for your blogging or marketing.
Avada is an awesome theme and you can use it to build many different types of sites. If you have multiple domains, it’s a good theme to have because you can give each site a completely different look, and have each site look outstanding (if you are willing to put a bit of effort into the design through customization). While I don’t quit buy the whole ‘the last theme you’ll ever buy’ slogan the theme is marketed with, it’s certainly a theme you will reuse again and again.
1. Spend a few hours learning the ropes with Fusion Builder
While Avada offers a lot of customization (perhaps, the most out of any theme on the market, short of the competing Divy theme by ElgantThemes), it will take you some time to learn. Avada is a design Ecosystem more than it is a simple customizable theme. Don’t expect to have a top looking site in only a couple minutes, not without putting a few hours in first to learn the ropes.
2. Use the Demo Themes to jump start your design…but customize them too
Avada’s 19 demo themes pretty much cover every sort of niche. Choose one of them to get a design headstart. Note, most of the Avada styles are more suitable for businesses looking to capture leads or display pretty photos. If you are trying to create a magazine style site or a minimalistic site for adsense, you’ll have to customize Avada yourself rather than use the demo content.
3. Avada works great with Authority niche sites monetized through Amazon affiliate or Adsense
I don’t just say this, I know this — because two out of my ten top earning sites use Avada (both are completely customized to fit that niche and topic) with one using ONLY Media.net ads and the other monetizing via Amazon Affiliates.
In the case of my Amazon site, it does very well with a very high CTR on the promoted products. In fact, I did a few experimental layout changes a few weeks ago with the theme and the content of the site which in fact pushed the earnings through the roof by several times.
Here’s a snapshot of one of my websites that uses the Avada theme and monetizes with Amazon:
Here’s a snapshot of one of my sites that monetizes only through Media.net and uses Avada:
So look, I’m not just telling you the theme works great with Media.net (which means it will work great with Adsense) and Amazon, I’m SHOWING you this is the case with my own sites’ data here.
So I yes, I can personally verify that Avada can be a good choice for niche sites that earns thousands each month via Amazon or Adsense/Media.net.
Why Use Avada with Adsense or Amazon Affiliates?
While there may be better themes out there that lead to better pure conversions in terms of sales or adsense clicks due to a theme being very simple in design (simple themes = better adsense earnings), Avada LOOKS like an authority style site, if you put a bit of time into the design. This really sets your site apart from the raft of other affiliate sites out there because it does not look like ‘just another affiliate niche site.”
Trust with your readers is key and visually, Avada helps build that. Again, this works best if you spend a bit of time (maybe a few hours even), customizing your site to look good, but Avada provides you the means to do so without coding anything.
Part of the reason Avada looks good is the powerful flexibility of the homepage layout. If you set up a custom page via the Fusion Builder, the homepage can be made to stand out and look pretty damn good. Rather than just another affiliate looking site, you can create a homepage that stands. However, the actual posts and pages have a good looking yet minamalistic design that still leads to very good CTR with adsense/media.net.
It’s a good compromise between simplicity and design that works for niche sites in my experience, especially as a first theme. You can later optimize the theme for better conversions or switch to a more specific, better suited theme in time, but Avada works well enough as a good starter theme for any niche site. I
4. Avada is a good choice for websites with a parallax design or with an icon driven homepage that takes up the full page.
Avada, with their beautiful icon driven home page design option, works very well for sites where you want to have an icon nav bar in the body of the homepage more stuff below (recent posts, or a parrallex section you can scroll down).
5. For Magazine Style Sites / Information-Heavy sites, choose another theme
The one area of weakness is that Avada lends itself particularly well to certain types of websites and not so well to other types. It’s great for the following site designs:
Sites monetized by Adsense inside the posts
Parrallax style sites
Websites about a service / product
Showcase / Portfolio websites
However, I don’t find Avada the best choice if you need a site driven by information feeds. For example, a magazine site, a tech site, a video game site, an internet marketing blog or any site where you need many layers of information from different sections of the site shown on the homepage and integrated into the posts/pages.
The default Avada design and layouts don’t really support this style of site. You probably can customize your theme for this, given enough time, but frankly, that’s just hammering a square peg into a circular hole. For these types of blogs, you are best off using something like SmartMag (the best magazine theme out there IMO) or a premium Genesis theme.
Theme Ease of Use
Theme Update Potential
Bang for Buck
Overall, a fantastic theme if you are looking for a multipurpose theme solution. If you want a specific theme for a very specific purpose, you are better off getting a theme built just for that (a magazine theme for a news site, a viral style theme for social-based website, a more bloggy theme for a content-heavy blog, etc).
However, if you are looking for a one-theme-fit-all theme that you can easily re-purpose for most niches or you need a theme that focuses on a custom homepage design, especially to sell a service or product, AVADA is a great theme for this.
With a bit of tinkering, you can also use it as an adsense-optimized theme as well for niche sites.
Avada does not provide as many features as Divy, especially when it comes to extra customization and special add on's like Split Testing pages and elements, but the general Page Builder functionality is about the same as Divi. Avada is also a LOT cheaper than Divy, since you pay 60 or so dollars for it for an unlimited license while you have to buy the $200+ package with elegantthemes to get the lifetime option for Divi.
For the price you pay and what you can do with Avada, it's one of the BEST valued multipurpose themes and best suited for those who want to make a product or service driven type website with a custom homepage and custom page design.
BenK has been around blogging in the SEO/Internet Marketing sphere since 2010 when he quit his job to pursue a self employed career of making a crazy online income with the dream of doing absolutely nothing to make good money.
However, he soon found that dream was a lie; making an online living took a lot of hard work — more work than he spent at his 9 to 5.
In the 5 years he’s been an Internet Marketer, he’s:
*made a full time income at nearly 20k a month, lost it, then work his way back up *been banned from adsense twice, regained it, then banned again *had hundreds of sites deindexed *rebuilt everything from scratch in two years *moved to Thailand where he now lives on a beach, living off of websites and blogging about internet marketing the RIGHT way.
AuthorityIncome.com is his new blog where he shares his strategies, thoughts, and opinions on making a LONG TERM income through websites.