Avada is the number one best-selling theme on the largest WordPress theme market, ThemeForest. Since its launch in August 2012, Avada has generated more than 500,000 sales, making it one of the most popular premium WordPress themes the world has ever seen.
Avada demos do an excellent job of selling both the theme and the dream of being able to build a similar website without the need for a developer or coding skills. However, the reality of using a product can often differ greatly from the promises of its promotional material.
With that in mind, we’ve taken Avada to a test drive to see how easy it is to use and whether it lives up to expectations.
What kind of theme is Avada?
Before we begin, it’s worth noting that there are two schools of thought when it comes to WordPress theme design. The first is that themes must be created for a specific type of website, with a minimal set of customization options and limited additional functionality. The second is that themes should be multipurpose and include as many features, page templates, customization settings, and options as possible to allow you to build any type of website with a single package.
Avada developers fall into the latter field and have used their skills to create a multipurpose theme that is by no means lacking in features, customization options, pre-built layouts, or third-party plugin integrations.
If this is not the type of theme you would consider buying then this review is unlikely to change your mind.
However, if the idea of a flexible theme that can be modified to create any type of website without any coding knowledge appeals to you, then Avada might be just what you’re looking for.
So, without further ado, let’s start with a full review of ThemeFusion’s Avada WordPress theme.
Features that helped Avada become the best-selling song of all time
Avada includes a seemingly growing list of features, and is regularly updated to ensure it’s a competitive option. The developers have certainly done a great job of expanding WordPress core functionality to cover almost any eventuality, making this a true multipurpose theme.
The full list of features is actually much longer than this, but here are some of the highlights:
Custom drag and drop page creation tool.
Large library of elements to insert into your content.
A growing selection of pre-built websites and individual page templates.
Support for video backgrounds and video insertion in your content.
A range of different header layouts and vertical navigation areas.
Background image blur, fade effects and other animations.
Testimonials, portfolio and skills publishing tools.
Compatibility with popular plugins including WooCommerce and Gravity Forms.
Almost all of Avada’s features and elements can be fully customized using the detailed options and settings available, making this an extremely flexible theme.
Starting with the Avada WordPress theme
Once you have installed and activated the theme, you will be prompted to install the necessary Fusion Core and Fusion Builder plugins. You can also activate the other plugins that come with the theme, including the LayerSlider WP and Slider Revolution premium plugins. Thanks to the easy-to-use Avada administration area, managing the included plugins is very easy.
If you look at the front end of your website after activating the theme, you will notice that it is nothing like the demo version of Avada. However, it does have a couple of ways to make things look a little more interesting.
When it comes to building your new site, one option is to import one of the Avada demo websites, while the other is to use Fusion Builder to create your own custom content. Since demos are one of the highlights of this topic, it is recommended that you explore them to see the full range of websites you can quickly create with Avada.
At time of writing, there were 49 demos to choose from, covering business, lifestyle, agency and portfolio websites, to name just a few. Avada is also fully eCommerce ready, and there are a few online store demos in the package. As Avada is regularly updated, new demos are often added to the theme.
The Fusion Builder Content Editor
Avada comes equipped with its own proprietary page builder tool — Fusion Builder — that can be used to create custom layouts for your posts and pages.
Unlike some of the latest page builders available for WordPress, the work takes place in your WordPress Dashboard, rather than on the front-end of your website, through a WYSIWYG editor. However, despite this, the user interface is easy to understand and does make it possible to edit the prebuilt content of Avada, and create your own custom designs from scratch.
When starting work on a new page, you can import one of the prebuilt templates from any of the Avada demos.
Alternatively, if you want to start with a blank page, the first step is to choose a column layout for the section you’re working on.
After you’ve added a container to your page, you can then insert any of the Fusion Builder elements into it. Each of these elements can be customized, giving you lots of control over how your page will look.
Because of the way Fusion Builder works, your layouts can be as advanced as you need. By adding multiple containers to your page, each with their own column layouts, and then populating them with a range of elements, you can break free of the constraints of the default WordPress Editor.
While you don’t get a live front-end preview of your work as you use the builder, you can easily preview the post or page, just as you would a regular piece of content in WordPress. Then, if you need to make any more changes to the design, you can switch back to the previous tab you were working in.
Another nice feature of Fusion Builder is that any page layouts you create with the tool can be saved to the template library for reuse on other areas of your site.
Post and Page Options
In addition to using the Fusion Builder, with Avada you can customize how your content looks via an options panel that the theme adds to the WordPress post and page editor screen below the main editor area.
The controls on the Fusion Page Options panel cover a range of settings, such as configuring how the header should look or if it’s displayed at all, which sidebars to display alongside the post or page, and whether to use a background image or not, plus a whole lot more.
As these choices are only applied to the individual post or page you’re working on, you really do get a lot of flexibility in how each piece of content on your website looks and functions. If you’re creating a landing page, for example, you may want to turn off distracting elements, such as the header and sidebar.
The Avada Theme Options Control Panel
Another way that Avada lets you personalize your website is through the theme options control panel. As you can see from the image below, there are lots of options and settings available to you as you customize your website.
However, unlike some other themes, Avada doesn’t have much support for the WordPress Customizer interface. Because of this, rather than being able to see the effects of your changes to the theme options and settings in real time, you’ll have to save your changes, then load your website to see how your site looks.
To get the most from Avada, you should probably spend some time going through the settings and options. However, when you’re just getting started, a better approach may be to locate any settings you want to modify as needed — rather than getting lost in the back end of your website.
Other Options, Settings and Features of Avada
In addition to the options for posts and pages, the custom post types of Avada, such as the portfolio and FAQ types, each have their own set of options as well as their own custom taxonomies to help you to organize them more efficiently.
In addition to the options for posts and pages, Avada custom post types, such as portfolio and FAQ types, have their own set of options and their own custom taxonomies to help you organize them more efficiently.
Avada also offers you the option to create multiple sidebar areas for your website, which can then be displayed on one or more pages. Creating multiple sidebars gives you full control over the exact widgets displayed along with each type of content on your site
Avada also gives you the option of creating multiple sidebar areas for your website, which can then be displayed on single or multiple pages. Creating multiple sidebars gives you total control over the exact widgets that get displayed alongside each type of content on your site.