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.
The author of this theme didn’t come up with something completely new. He did a good job by replicating the best features from the top WordPress themes on the market and packing them in one product, which proved to be pretty nice.
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 👎
- Not so many starter themes
- Relatively small team
- Confusing branding: Kadence themes, Kadence WP, Kadence blocks, etc.
- Confusing plans: pro version, pro blocks, bundles, add-ons, etc.
- No white-label option
Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Page builders compatibility
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.
And finally, one of my favorite features available in the Pro version is Hooked Elements. It makes the theme even more powerful in terms of customization.
With Hoked Elements you can add custom elements on different areas of your website. For example:
- Entire website
- Single post or page
- Before or after the header/footer
- Before or after the content area
- Before or after sidebar
- Before after title
- Custom placement via custom hooks
You can also choose to display these elements to all users or specific users and set expire dates, so they will disappear after the defined date.
You can even replace certain template parts using the Template element type (replace header/footer, sidebar, etc.).
Example: let’s say you want to make your sidebar sticky. This is possible with Hooked Elements.
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 + Gutenberg editor is a great duo, as you can use the built-in features of Kadence and create new layouts and add extra functionality with Kadence Blocks. This would be my preferred set up.
If you like the default editor Gutenberg, you can use it to build your whole site, as all your blocks will be available and editable in the WordPress editor. For that, you simply need the Gutenberg Blocks plugin by Kadence.
I still think that Gutenberg is not perfect. In my opinion, the experience is not there yet, but it’s getting better. Thank God we have Kadence Blocks plugin which improves dramatically the default editor.
If you’re familiar with Elementor, you can use it to power your site. Kadence theme works just fine with Elementor, so it’s an option too.
Kadence doesn’t offer a lot of templates by default. However, the team is working hard to release new themes. Currently, there are about 30 starter template which should be enough for most users.
In order to import demo templates, you’ll need to install the Kadence Starter Templates plugin. Then, go to WP admin – Appearance – Starter Templates choose the preferred page builder (currently, it’s 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 also includes wireframe blocks. This recent options allows you to quickly build layouts and plan/structure your page’s design before they go live.
Wireframes are available with Kadence Blocks plugin for both free and premium users.
To add wireframe blocks, follow these steps:
- Create a new post or page
- Click on Design Library – Wireframe
- Choose the wireframe you need
- Click to add it and save the page/post
There are more than 50 wireframe blocks available across different categories: content, promo, pricing tables, testimonials, etc.
Kadence works well and has been integrated with the following plugins:
- Tutor LMS
- The Events Calendar
- Restrict Content Pro
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 Bundles – 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
With Kadence Theme Pro version, you get more advanced features. Some of them are:
- 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
Now, let’s see what is the difference between Kadence Theme Pro and Kadence Bundles:
|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|
The Full Bundle is a pretty awesome deal for only $219/year, as you get access to all existing themes/plugins/add-ons and all future releases.
You can also get the lifetime plan, which is $699 meaning that you can benefit from lifetime support and updates + access to all future products.
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.
Need a stylish, fast & SEO friendly Kadence theme?
Have a look at Narita theme! It’s an elegant, minimalist, modern and airy WordPress child theme for Kadence. It’s simple, yet powerful and includes a variety of features to help you showcase your works in a creative way.