There was a lot of hype around Kadence theme in the past year. Was it justified? Let’s find out.
In this article I’ll talk about Kadence theme, its features, designs, pros/cons and try to clarify their multiple premium options, so you can decide if it’s a good fit for your website.
What is Kadence Theme?
They also have several handy plugins, including Kadence Blocks, which is a block/page builder for Gutenberg editor (the latest editor launched by WordPress in 2018).
Kadence WP has been around for a while. However, their latest Kadence theme is the new kid on the block. It was launched in 2020 and has been described as a new thing since then.
In reality, the author of this theme didn’t come up with something completely new. He just replicated the best features from the top WordPress themes on the market and packed them in one product, which proved to be pretty good.
Kadence Theme Pros
- Lots of free built-in features
- Free header/footer builder
- Mobile oriented
- Lightweight and performance oriented
- Gutenberg ready
- WooCommerce ready
- Can be enhanced with Kadence Blocks plugin
Kadence Theme Cons
- Just a few starter themes
- Small team
- Confusing branding: Kadence themes, Kadence WP, Kadence blocks, etc.
- Confusing plans: pro version, membership, add-ons, etc.
- No white-label option
Kadence theme includes lots of features right out of the box. Here is a list of some main options that are available in the free version:
- Header/footer builder
- Advanced typography features
- Advanced layout features
- Global colors and palettes
- Scroll to top
- Social media links and icons
- Sticky header
- Responsive design controls
- Speed and SEO optimized
- Mobile first
Most of the features are managed via WordPress Customizer (WordPress admin – Appearance – Customize). From there you’ll be able to adjust pretty much everything that’s related to your site’s design and functionality.
The options are well organized and the interface is appealing and easy to use.
What makes Kadence theme stand out is its header/footer builder. A lot of other themes do not provide this option (at least in their free version).
You can add up to 3 rows in your header and up to 3 columns in each row. There is a predefined list of items that you can drag and drop to your header. These are:
- Primary navigation
- Secondary navigation
- Social media links
All these items can be further customized and placed in whatever row or columns you like. Also, you can adjust the header in multiple ways: change its width, height, color, make it transparent or sticky and adjust the mobile header options.
The footer builder works in a similar way, except that you can also add up to 6 widgets.
Another useful feature is the ability to change the page layout, style, header, etc. inside WordPress editor, when you edit that page.
It will only load the required files on a page, keeping it light fast. Additionally, Kadence works well with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and is compatible with popular WordPress AMP plugins.
This is very useful if you’re obsessed by speed and need a really fast website.
I’ve imported the Kadence SAAS demo template on a fresh WordPress install and tested it in Google PageSpeed Insights, without making any optimizations or changes.
Here are the results:
As you can see it scores pretty well. Giving the fact that I didn’t optimize it at all. If you choose a reliable hosting and use an optimization plugin like SG Optimizer, you’ll be able to make it even faster.
Kadence adds some default schema markup to your site, but you can enhance this by using a dedicated WordPress plugin.
Compatibility With Page Builders
Kadence plays well with most popular WordPress page builders like:
I think that Kadence + Elementor is a great duo, as you can use the built-in features of Kadence and create new layouts and add extra functionality with Elementor. This would be my preferred set up.
If you like the default editor Gutenberg, you can use it as well, as all your blocks will be available and editable in the WordPress editor. For that, you’ll simply need to use the Gutenberg Blocks plugin by Kadence.
I would not use Kadence with Gutenberg to build pages, as I don’t like the way Gutenberg works at the moment. In my opinion, the experience is not there yet.
Kadence doesn’t offer a lot of templates by default. Hopefully, they’ll be able to launch more in the near future.
In order to import demo templates, you’ll need to install the Kadence Starter Templates plugin. From there, you can choose the preferred page builder (currently, it’s just Gutenberg or Elementor) and import your demos.
I find the import options very useful, as you can choose the color scheme, font and additional required plugins.
Kadence works well and has been integrated with the following plugins:
- Tutor LMS
That’s not a big list of integrations, but it should be enough, if you don’t have some special requirements.
When it comes to pricing, things become a little confusing. Let me clarify everything.
First of all, let’s see what are the different premium options. Here they are:
- Kadence Theme Pro – access to premium features for Kadence theme
- Kadence Blocks Pro – access to premium blocks for Gutenberg blocks plugin by Kadence
- Kadence Membership – access to all premium plugins and themes, including Kadence Theme Pro, Kadence Blocks Pro and all Kadence add-ons
- Kadence Add-ons – access to individual tools/plugins for extra functionality, for example sliders
Let’s see what you get with Kadence Theme Pro version:
- 20 header elements
- Ultimate menus (similar to Mega menus)
- Hooked elements
- Fixed elements
- Header/footer scripts
- WooCommerce enhancements
- Use on unlimited sites
- 1 year support and updates
Let’s see what the difference between Kadence Theme Pro and Kadence Membership:
|Kadence Theme Pro||Kadence Membership|
|Use on unlimited sites||Use on unlimited sites|
|1 year support and updates||1 year support and updates|
|30 day satisfaction guarantee||30 day satisfaction guarantee|
|Kadence Theme Pro||Kadence Theme Pro|
|Kadence Blocks Pro|
|Access to all themes and plugins|
|Access to all add-ons|
|Access to all future products|
You can also get the lifetime plans, meaning that you can benefit from lifetime support and updates.
Is Kadence Theme Pro worth your money?
Yes, if you require some extra functionality for your header/footer, WooCommerce features, ultimate menus, various fixed elements, premium support/updates and also need to display custom elements via hooks.
Who is this theme for?
Kadence theme is a nice choice for non technical users, who care about their site speed and SEO and need multiple options right out of the box.
It’s also a good fit for users with some development background, as it offers hooks, script management options and WooCommerce features.