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Kadence: My Favorite WordPress Theme

My Favorite WordPress Theme: Kadence

There are tons of WordPress themes to choose from. Choosing just one can be overwhelming, especially if you are unsure what to look for. As with anything, some are better than others. Mostly having to do with several essential criteria.

What to Look for in a WordPress Premium Theme

  • Support: Is support prompt and available when needed?
  • Updates: When bugs are discovered or WordPress requires an update, are the developers ahead of the curve?
  • Performance Metrics: Does the theme pop or ding your site’s loading time?
  • Features: Does the theme offer the ability to add features and widgets as needed to have a site that allows you to cater to your site visitors?
  • Ease of Use: How easy is it for the site owner to make their custom site what they need?

Of course, priorities also vary based on the type of website you want to have. But the above are the basics I look at when making choices for my sites and clients. In my article Choosing the Right WordPress Theme, I wrote about the considerations you need to evaluate before choosing your theme.

Today, I will dive into why I’ve been using Kadence — for years. I was a happy camper using the combo of the StudioPress Genesis Framework with a child theme. The Genesis and a Child theme was a viable choice back then, but it is no longer for me. You can read why I even looked at Kadence in my WordPress Full Site Editing is Here article.

Kadence WordPress theme Dashboard
Kadence Dashboard

What makes Kadence different?

Performance and features. Kadence is zippy, responsive, and mobile out of the box.

Header/Footer Builder – Unlike other themes, the Kadence Theme comes with a drag-and-drop header/footer builder. This allows unlimited design possibilities.

Globally Linked Color Palette – The element’s color on your website is linked to a global color palette. Want to change color? Change it in one place, and the color changes across your website.

Globally Linked Fonts – Like with the color system, the same goes for font choices. Want to change a font? Change it in one place, and the font changes across your website.

WooCommerce Integration – The Kadence Theme features the most advanced WooCommerce integration to allow you to: customize your WooCommerce product pages; it has a flyout cart, cart icon in the header, product page bullet points, my account page customizations, and more.

Kadence’s Plugins: More on that below…

When I made the switch, my performance metrics improved immediately. And that’s with already pretty great metrics with Genesis/Child — another reason I stuck with them for so long. Performance is a big deal.

What stood out next was the wide range of customization features, combined with the ability to use blocks and modify them much more than any other theme I’ve tried. Add to that all the customization is in the Appearance > Customize area and on the block level by simply ticking boxes and choosing options.

So we have outstanding performance and can tweak and customize like crazy using blocks. These are the two most important things to a website — and what website owners want.

Kadence WordPress Theme Starter Templates

Is Kadence a “Builder”?

In essence, Kadence is its own “builder.” I’ve been asked, “What about builders like Divi, Beaver, WPBakery, and Elementor?” (I wrote about builders here: Quick Review: WordPress vs. “Website Builders.“) In this case, we are not talking apples to apples.

When you switch themes, shortcodes must be removed or modified and tweaked from the previous theme. Unfortunately, builders make that a much more complicated process and are complex for non-devs and non-coders to embrace. As a result, builders generally have a significant learning curve, let alone when you move away from one.

That said, Kadence plays well with Elementor, for example, if you need to customize your website further. However, in all my years working on websites, I’ve tried them all, and the cons outweigh the pros. So, review my linked-to article before taking that step.

Kadence allows you to create the site you envision without relying on builder-inserted shortcodes. More importantly, without having to take a ding on your performance metrics.

Kadence Costs and Pricing

The Kadence theme is free. However, as with most things WordPress, you’ll want to upgrade if you want all the features, available functionality, and support. Kadence has two membership suites (right now):

ESSENTIAL BUNDLE $129/first year

Renews at $149 annually; cancel anytime

  • Use on Unlimited Websites.
  • One-year support and updates.
  • Kadence Blocks Pro
  • Kadence Theme Pro
  • Pro Starter Templates
  • Kadence Custom Fonts

FULL BUNDLE $199/first year

Renews at $219 annually; cancel anytime

Everything in Essential Plus:

  • Kadence Cloud
  • Kadence Conversions
  •  Kadence WooCommerce Shop Kit
  •  Child Theme Builder
  • Kadence Recaptcha
  • Access to all plugins.
  • Exclusive access to all future products.

I have the Lifetime Full Bundle!

Kadence Templates

The free theme is a skeleton for you to build a website exactly how you want.

But with Kadence, you also have the option to choose from a bunch of performance-optimized templates. Each has page templates with pre-created content to import, so you have a running start for your new design.

Choose the prebuilt website and click to import. Then do your thing.

Kadence Plugins

Kadence has its stable of plugins developed to work with the Kadence theme:

  • AMP: Adds Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for WordPress and works with Woocommerce Products.
  • Shop Kit: Variation Swatches, Product gallery sliders, Size charts, and more.
  • Cloud: Drop your favorite design elements into any website.
  • Child Theme Builder: Generate Kadence Child Themes that you can sell and even include a starter template.
  • reCAPTCHA: Prevent spam; add reCAPTCHA to comments, login, and contact forms.
  • Galleries: Create standout galleries that are filterable and beautifully responsive.
  • Pricing Table: Create beautiful pricing tables that stand out and increase your sales.
  • Widget Dock: A powerful, clean, and elegant way to place content or marketing offers in front of your users in a non-intrusive manner.
  • Related Content: Select, order, and define the content you want to entice your readers to investigate further or connect with your site.
  • Woo Template Builder: Create custom WooCommerce products, archives, and checkout pages using Page Builder.
  • Simple Share: Link products to your blog posts and show them in a carousel to upsell and further engage your readers.
  • Page Transitions: An elegant way to add animation transitions to page navigation.
  • Slider Pro: A fast and powerful slider with individual layer control.
  • Full Pane Vertical Slider: Beautiful full-page slider flows naturally with native scroll and allows for any type of content. Build inside page builder.
  • Reading Time: You can easily add an estimated reading time to your WordPress posts.
  • Custom Fonts: Easily add custom fonts to your site and assign them through the theme options panel.
  • WooCommerce Elementor: Build custom layouts for your products in WooCommerce using the Elementor page-building experience

Kadence is a “Goldilocks Theme”

So what do I mean by “Goldilocks Theme?” It’s just right.

  • All the features you need to customize your presentation.
  • Lightweight and fast, so you have great performance metrics.
  • You don’t need to be a web developer and “know code” to use it.

I’ve worked with a ton of themes and builders. All have varying degrees of learning curve. Kadence was surprisingly feature-rich while still being intuitively easy to use.

I now have four sites running Kadence, including this one, and have had no issues or conflicts. I haven’t been this excited and enthusiastic to work with a specific theme in over a decade!

You are probably due for a redesign anyway. Especially with WordPress Full Site Editing coming into play. Why not be ahead of the curve for a change?

At your service,

Judith: WordPress Consultant and Business Coach

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