Blocsky and Kadence are 2 of the most popular and trending WordPress themes of the last year. Both themes disrupted the theme market by launching unique features focused on Gutenberg editor.
Let’s find out which one is better for your needs and why you should choose one over another, or maybe use both?
What is Blocksy
Blocksy is a lightweight, modern looking, fast and SEO friendly WordPress theme created by 2 guys from Moldova – Sergiu and Radu. These folks are passionate about their product and very helpful when it comes to client support.
What is Kadence
Kadence is a trending theme created by Ben Ritner – a WordPress developer living in Missoula, Montana. He is the man behind Kadence WP, the company which runs other successful products like: Kadence Blocks, Kadence Cloud, etc.
2. Installations and Ratings
Both themes are trending in the WordPress.org themes repository and are listed under the popular category.
Blocksy reached 100,000 active installations in about 3 years and has an overall 5 stars rating, based on 713 reviews.
Kadence reached 200,000 active installations in just 2 years and has an overall 4.9 stars rating, based on 183 reviews.
|Blocksy||100,000+||5 out of 5 stars; 713 reviews ★★★★★|
|Kadence||200,000+||4.9 out of 5 stars; 183 reviews ★★★★★|
3. Who Copied Whom?
There was a dispute initiated by users who noticed that Kadence looks very similar to Blocksy and there was a suspicion that Kadence actually copied Blocksy.
I don’t think that Kadence copied Blocksy, although it looks like they got a lot of inspiration from there, as Blocksy was launched a bit earlier (in 2019, to be more precise).
Even if they copied, which is hard to prove, they had the right to do so, as WordPress is an open source platform covered by GNU General Public License (GPL), allowing users to run, study, modify and distribute the software.
That being said, competition is good for the market and everyone gets inspiration from other products. At the end of the day, it’s the end user who benefits from the competition.
Once you install and activate the theme you’ll be asked to install the Blocsky Companion plugin. It offers a set of additional features, extensions and starter sites.
After you install the Companion plugin you’ll get a dedicated area under the Dashboard section. In the Home area you have shortcuts allowing you to adjust specific areas of your site like header, footer, blog archive, etc.
All the customizations are available under Appearance –> Customize in WordPress admin. The options are well organized, easy to use and understand. Also, there is a dark mode, which is kinda cool.
There is also a side panel where you can define the layout for your page/post and disable specific elements like: title, featured image, post tags, author box, etc.
Kadence is very easy to customize and use. Most of the options related to visual appearance are available in the WordPress Customizer (Appearance –> Customize).
Kadence offers tons of customization options. You can adjust pretty much everything from the Customizer: fonts, colors, layout width, background, sidebar, buttons and many more.
The theme includes a side panel with additional post/page options. You can access it when you edit a post or page. I find this panel handy, as it gives you more control on what elements to display or hide.
There is also a dedicated section located under Appearance –> Kadence. From there, you can access specific customization features, activate your Pro license, enable/disable Pro add-ons, see the changelog and access the documentation.
The free version of Blocksy theme is packed with a multitude of handy options.
Blocksy has more ecommerce related features and integrates really well with WooCommerce.
It also provides some built-in extensons via the Blocksy Companion plugin. These are:
- Cookie consent
- Subscribe to newsletter
- Product reviews
- Trending posts
- Additional widgets
Blocksy has a built-in free header and footer builder which can be accessed via Appearance – Customize – General Options – Header/Footer.
In the header you have 3 rows and 6 columns in each row, where you can drag and drop diverse elements like: menu, logo, socials, HTML and more.
I really like the Display Conditions option, which allows you to display or hide the header on specific pages or even on the whole website.
The footer works in a similar manner, except that you can add up to 6 widgets in any row or column.
Here is a list of some free features available in Blocksy:
- Header/footer builder
- Global colors and palettes
- Global typography
- Layout customizations
- Blog layout customization
- Single post layout options
- Sticky headers
- Scroll to top
- Global buttons
- Social media profiles
- Form elements
- Googl Analytics 4 integration
Kadence is packed with an impressive amount of features, and the majority of them are free.
One of the most powerful and innovative option is their header/footer builder. Kadence was one of the first themes to provide this functionality in the free version.
In the header, you can up to 3 rows and up to 3 columns in each row. There is a predefined list of items that you can drag and drop. The builder is intuitive and extremely easy to use.
The footer builder works in a similar way, except that you can also add up to 6 widgets.
Here is a list of some free features available in Kadence:
- Header/footer builder
- Advanced typography features
- Advanced layout features
- Custom blog layouts
- Global colors and palettes
- Global button settings
- Social media links and icons
- Sticky header
- Scroll to top
- Responsive design controls
- Speed and SEO optimized
- Custom post type support
Kadence also offers some granular options that are not available in other themes.
6. SEO and Performance
The guys behind this product are passionate developers and are constantly improving the theme in terms of performance. They’re also open for changes and new features.
It’s not clear whether it’s fully compatible with Google AMP but the theme is blazing fast right out of the box and most of times you won’t need AMP anyway.
Blocksy includes a number of performance features right inside the core. These are available under Appearance – Customize – General Options – Performance.
You can set up the following performance enhancements:
- Dynamic CSS output
- Disable emojis script
- Lazy load images
- Define image loading animation
Kadence is well coded and SEO friendly, so Google and other search engines can discover, index and rank your content accordingly.
It adds some default schema markup and has a built-in breadcrumb generator. However, if you need more advanced options you should use a dedicated SEO plugin.
The theme is compatible with Google AMP and there is a premium plugin if you need more advanced AMP features. You can buy it separately or get it as a part of the Full Bundle.
It also has some default optimization features available under Appearance -> Customize -> General -> Performance. These are:
- Scroll to ID
- Load Google Fonts locally
- CSS preload
7. Starter Templates
At the moment Blocksy offers 28 starter sites. This isn’t a huge selection, but the team is focused on quality rather than quantity and they are constantly releasing new designs.
If you want to install any of these templates, you need to activate the Blocksy Companion plugin.
In Blocksy you can’t import a single page from a starter site, but have to import the full template. You also have to install a 3rd party Gutenberg blocks plugin like Qubely or Stackable, as Blocksy does’t provide its own block builder just yet.
Currently, Kadence offers more than 80 starter templates and the team is doing a good job releasing new themes pretty fast. Most of the templates are free and a few of them are available with the premium plans.
I like the style of their designs, they look modern, fresh, clean and have been created for different types of sites like: blog, business, ecommerce, travel, etc.
To benefit from these pre-made templates you need to install the Starter Templates plugin and import a full design or a single page at your choice.
When you import a template you can choose a specific color palette and font and instantly see the changes.
8. Page Builders Support
Blocksy works well with widely used WordPress page builders like:
While you can use Blocksy with any page builder mention above, the team has mainly focused on making the product 100% with the default WordPress Gutenberg editor.
It also woks smoothly with the most popular Gutenberg block builders like Qubely, Stackable, Kadence blocks and other block libraries.
Kadence is compatible with the most popular WordPress page builders:
I think that Kadence + Gutenberg is the perfect combination, as you can use the built-in features provided by WordPress and enhance the website using the Kadence Blocks plugin.
If you like the default Gutenberg editor, you can use it to build your whole website with the help of Kadence blocks. If you prefer other page builder, that’s fine, as Kadence will work well with most of them.
Blocksy doesn’t include a wide number of integrations. However, it’s deeply integrated with WooCommerce and is compatible with major 3rd party plugins.
Here are some available integrations:
Kadence offers the following major integrations:
- Tutor LMS
- The Events Calendar
- Restrict Content Pro
That is not a huge selection, but should be enough for most of the users. In any case, you can use a dedicated WordPress plugin if you have specific requirements in terms of functionality and tools.
10. Price – Blocksy Pro vs Kadence Pro
The premium version of Blocksy is packed with an impressive amount of advanced features. Here are some options included in Blocksy Pro:
- Enhanced header/footer builder
- Header/footer pro elements
- Advanced menu
- Custom sidebars
- Advanced hooks
- Custom fonts
- Adobe Typekit fonts
- Local Google fonts
- White label
- Premium support
- Extended WooCommerce options
There are 2 types of premium plans: annual and lifetime. Both allow you to use the theme on a limited number of sites, except the Agency plan.
Blocksy Pro stands out by providing white label options, content blocks (hooks) and a deep integration with WooCommerce.
Here is what you get with the premium plans:
|1 website||5 websites||Unlimited websites|
|Conditional sidebars||Conditional sidebars||Conditional sidebars|
|Hooks system||Hooks system||Hooks system|
|Custom code snippets||Custom code snippets||Custom code snippets|
|Advanced menu||Advanced menu||Advanced menu|
|White label||White label||White label|
|Conditional header/footer||Conditional header/footer||Conditional header/footer|
|Advanced WooCommerce features||Advanced WooCommerce features||Advanced WooCommerce features|
|Premium support||Premium support||Premium support|
Lifetime plans start at $149 and represent a good investment if you want to stay with Blocsky in the long term. At the same time, if you don’t want to be limited by the number of sites, you have to get the Agency plan.
If you’re not satisfied with the product, which is hardly likely, the team will be happy to return your money within 14 days of purchase.
Kadence pricing plans used to be confusing. They have simplified their offer and now provide 2 premium plans: Kadence Pro and Kadence Bundles.
Note: there is a discount for new users for the 1st year and the listed prices do not include taxes.
Kadence Pro is $79/year and includes the following features:
- Header add-ons
- WooCommerce add-on
- Header/footer scripts
- Ultimate menu
- Fixed elements
- Hooked elements
By the way, Hooked Elements is one of my favorite premium features. It gives you the possibility to add custom elements in different areas of your site. You can even replace certain template elements like header/footer or sidebar.
Kadence Bundles include the same list of premium options + Kadence Blocks Pro plugin, all premium starter templates and access to all themes and plugins. The bundles start at $149/year and are well worth the money.
Here is the detailed breakdown of the Kadence premium plans:
|Kadence Pro||Essential Bundle||Full Bundle|
|Use on unlimited sites||Use on unlimited sites||Use on unlimited sites|
|1 year support and updates||1 year support and updates||1 year support and updates|
|30 day satisfaction guarantee||30 day satisfaction guarantee||30 day satisfaction guarantee|
|Kadence Theme Pro||Kadence Theme Pro||Kadence Theme Pro|
|Kadence Blocks Pro||Kadence Blocks Pro|
|Pro Starter Templates||Pro Starter Templates|
|Kadence Shop Kit|
|Access to all themes and plugins|
|Access to all future products|
Kadence Pro is impressive by default, but it gets even better when coupled with Kadence Blocks Pro, Kadence Cloud and Kadence Shop Kit.
You get all these tools with the bundle offers, which is a nice investment. You can use the theme on an unlimited number of websites. The lifetime bundle, priced at $699 is a great value for money, as you get lifetime access to everything.
The documentation page is very well organized, easy to navigate and understand. It also looks clean and modern. I like the design focus of the documentation.
The team offers the following support options:
- Knowledge base
- Email support (ticket system)
- Video tutorials
- Private Facebook group
I’ve heard good things about the Blocksy support. Customer satisfaction is their top priority and they’re open for changes and improvements.
Their Facebook community is also active and helpful, so you might consider it if you’re browsing social media frequently.
Kadence provides the following support channels:
- Knowledge base
- Email support (ticket system)
- Support forums
- Video tutorials
- Private Facebook group
Kadence offers multiple support options and has an active Facebook group where you can ask for help or share your feedback. The best way to get prompt support is by using their email support which is based on tickets (for pro users).
There also a help section where users can suggest new features and vote for existing submissions.
The theme includes multiple complementary features (called extensions). To activate them, you will need to install their Blocsky Companion plugin.
There is also a “Useful plugins” section in the Blocksy management section. It provides links or downloads to 3rd party plugins. I don’t necessarily like this approach, as long as these plugins are related to other providers.
Another thing to note – if you choose to use specific starter templates, you will need to install either Getwid or Stackable Gutenberg Blocks plugin, since Blocksy doesn’t have its own blocks plugin.
Regarding the payment system (for users willing to buy the Pro version), they use Freemius platform to handle sales and accounts. I’m not sure about its reliability and flexibility, compared to established systems like WooCommerce.
Kadence evolved into something bigger than a WordPress theme. The team created a whole ecosystem around it.
That’s a good thing, as you don’t have to rely on 3rd party plugins, and don’t have to worry about compatibility and other issues.
Their suit consists of the following products, which work seamlessly with each other:
- Kadence Theme
- Kadence Blocks
- Kadence Cloud
- Kadence Conversions
- Kadence Shop Kit
With Kadence theme + Kadence Blocks you have tons of possibilities in terms of design and functionality. These 2 products alone, can power complex and modern looking websites.
I also like the purchase experience on their website (in case you want to buy the Pro version) and the account area, both are handled by WooCommerce.
Blocksy is an excellent theme for both beginners and advanced users. It’s focused on performance, flexibility, modern design and advanced WooCommerce features.
It provides plenty of features by default, including a free header/footer builder. In addition, it’s covered by a great team of developers who care about their customers.
Blocksy offers less starter templates and they don’t have their own Gutenberg Blocks plugin.
Kadence is a great theme for non technical users who care about site speed, SEO, appearance and like the default Gutenberg editor provided by WordPress.
It’s highly customizable and provides plenty of options right out of the box, including a free header/footer builder. The Pro version offers even more features and is suitable for more advanced users.
Kadence offers more starter templates and innate tools, like Kadence Blocks. The team is very active in releasing new options and supporting the customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Blocksy better than Kadence?
I don’t think so. Both themes are great in terms of features and visual appearance. However, I think that Kadence is slightly better, as it offers more options and additional products via premium plans.
Is Blocksy faster than Kadence?
No, both themes are equally fast and performance oriented. It’s hard to prove that one theme is faster than the other and even if it’s true, the difference would be insignificant.
Does Blocksy work with Kadence Blocks?
Yes, Blocksy theme works fine with Kadence Blocks plugin. In fact, most of the WordPress themes should work without issues with this plugin. It’s based on the native WordPress Gutenberg editor.
Which theme was released earlier?
If we review the changelog of both templates, we can conclude that Blocksy was released earlier (in the beginning of 2019) and Kadence was released in the beginning of 2020.
2 thoughts on “Blocksy vs Kadence – Which Theme is Better in 2023”
Kadence & Blocksy are very similar in features and even in look and feel. Both are good themes to go with. I always keep both of them for their performance on real sites.
Hey, that’s true. However, I think that Blocksy is a bit more WooCommerce oriented, while Kadence is a well rounded product with so many awesome features and plugins like Blocks, Shop Kit, Conversions, Cloud, etc.