Extra WordPress Theme Review: Build the Website You Want with Ease

Extra Minimal Magazine Style Theme

If you’re in the process of creating a blog or a news and reviews style website, then the recently released Extra WordPress theme could be just what you need. In this Extra WordPress theme review, we’ll be finding out exactly what this template has to offer.

Extra is described as a magazine WordPress theme by its creators – Elegant Themes. However, the fact that the Extra WordPress theme includes a powerful page builder tool, not to mention a wealth of other settings and features, means that it’s a highly versatile theme, which can be used for a wide range of purposes.

So if you like the look of this theme, there is a very good chance it can be used to build the type of website you are planning.

In our Extra WordPress theme review, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at what this theme has to offer in order to help you decide if this new template from Elegant Themes is the right choice for your website.

This Extra WordPress theme review will start with a detailed look at the features of this multipurpose theme. Following on from there, we’ll demonstrate how easy – or difficult – Extra is to actually use to build a website with.

By the end of this review, you’ll have enough knowledge about this theme to make an informed decision as to whether Extra is the right choice for giving your existing website an updated look or ensure your new site has the right appearance and set of features at its disposal to become a success.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Dark

Extra WordPress Theme Review: Overview

As mentioned, Extra is the latest WordPress theme from the Elegant Themes team. Elegant Themes are one of the most popular theme developers in the WordPress community and there are reportedly over 300,000 members of their theme and plugin club.

We’ll look the benefits of joining the Elegant Themes club shortly, but by doing so, you get access to all of their 87 WordPress themes. This includes the powerful Divi theme and of course, the newly released Extra theme. With prices starting at just $69, it’s certainly a competitively priced club.

Extra WordPress Theme Review E-Commerce

Extra Theme Review: The Features

As we’ll soon see, Extra is packed with useful features. However, its key selling point it probably its design and appearance so let’s start there.

Extra Theme Design and Appearance

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With Extra, there is none of the overblown effects and animations found in some other multipurpose WordPress themes. Instead, with this theme you get a clean and modern look and feel for your website, which manages to avoid being plain and boring.

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With Extra, your website will still have a professional appearance that makes it ideal for more serious news and reviews sites, while also making it a good choice for a blog that is being used to promote your products and services.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Blog Layout

However, thanks to the customization options and the integrated page builder tool – which we’ll get to shortly – you’ll have plenty of options for how your site will look. This goes far beyond just relying on the prebuilt templates and layouts.

While there is no doubt that Extra has been built for those who plan to publish lots of content on a regular basis, the fact that this is such a flexible theme means that it can be used to build almost any type of website.

Extra Drag and Drop Page Builder Tool

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Part of what makes Extra such a flexible theme is its integrated page builder tool. Extra actually includes the Divi page builder tool that was first made available as part of the Divi WordPress theme.

The drag and drop page builder tool from the Divi WordPress theme is now available as a standalone WordPress plugin that allows you to add a page builder tool to any WordPress website. Extra is the second theme from Elegant Themes to be built around this page builder tool.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Builder

This means you get access to the Divi Builder and its user interface. This tool has been constantly refined since the initial release of the Divi WordPress theme, making it easy to start creating custom post and page layouts for your website content.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Page Layout

With the builder tool, you can add some truly unique layouts to your website. Examples of this include allowing you to overlay images with text, add custom column layouts to your content, and a whole lot more.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Custom Layout

Furthermore, as each of the page templates and layouts included in the Extra theme package have been built with the Divi Builder tool, you can easily edit and modify any of them to ensure they better suit your needs.

Divi Builder Content Modules

Although the Divi Builder tool that has been integrated into the heart of the Extra theme makes it very easy to create custom layouts that just wouldn’t be possible without writing the underlying code yourself, its best feature might actually be the many content modules that it includes.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Divi Modules

These content modules can be inserted into your posts and pages, allowing you to add many elements and features to your website that would otherwise require additional plugins to be installed. Some of the highlights from the library of content modules that come with the Divi Builder and Extra theme include:

  • Email Optin Forms
  • Buttons and Calls to Actions
  • Contact Forms
  • Countdown Timers
  • Galleries
  • Slideshows
  • Pricing Tables
  • Testimonials
  • Video Slides

To ensure these content modules integrate seamlessly with the rest of your website, they can each be customized in detail to meet your needs. Through the visual settings, you get a good amount of control over how they look and function; while more advanced users can easily add custom CSS to give them an even more personalized look and feel.

Extra Theme Layouts and Templates

As Extra has a strong focus on building news and magazine style websites, it makes sense that many of its great looking layouts and templates are centered on this type of usage.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Homepage Option

With a good selection of homepage layouts to choose from, as well as many templates for the inner pages of your website, you can easily give your site the look and feel it needs, in just a few clicks.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Blog Feed

As well as the homepage layouts, you’ll also find a couple of different layouts for the blog post archive pages. These blog layouts work really well, and will make it easy for your visitors to browse your content and find what they are looking for.

Extra WordPress Theme Review No Sidebar

When it comes to the individual blog post layouts, there are a few different sidebar configurations to choose from. This includes a nice no-sidebar design that will appeal to minimalists and those who want to present their content in a clutter-free environment.

Review Publishing Tool

If you want to build a reviews website or simply publish the occasional review on your blog, the Extra theme includes a handy tool that makes it easy to mark your content as a review.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Review Box

Through the review box panel, which can be found on the WordPress post editor screen, you can easily add a review summary to your content. This information can include review criteria and percentage scores.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Review Preview

Then when you publish the review post, the review box panel will be displayed. This helps to give your readers a quick overview of the review and some easy to understand score ratings.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Homepage Reviews

Furthermore, when your visitors are browsing your content through the homepage, blog post archives, and category pages, your review content is highlighted as such. This then makes it easy for the readers to quickly find the reviews that have been published on your website.

Extra WordPress Theme Review User Ratings

The integrated review functionality of Extra also helps you to add an element of interactivity to your website, thanks to the user ratings feature. Through the post options, you can decide whether to enable user reviews or not. Doing so allows your readers to add their own star ratings to your content.

Other Impressive Extra Features

Extra certainly is packed with features. As well as the major highlights mentioned above, the more you use this theme, the more tools and features you’ll discover.

Easy Custom Sidebars

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Examples of this include the ease with which you can choose which sidebars to display alongside the individual posts on your blog.

As choosing which sidebars are displayed alongside your content takes place on the WordPress post editor screen, there’s no need to switch over to the Widgets section of the dashboard to configure which sidebar is displayed where. This speeds up the workflow considerably. It also makes it easier for less experienced WordPress users to harness the power of custom and dynamic sidebars.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Extra Settings

Through the Extra Settings option box, which is displayed on the post editor screen, you can also decide whether individual posts and pages even have a sidebar at all. This is great for those occasions when you want to publish full-width content, without any of the distractions that sidebars can sometimes add to a page.

Animated Header

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If you check out the live demo of the Extra theme, you will quickly see that it includes an animated header. While this feature looks nice and does a good job of catching the attention of your visitors, it also serves a more practical purpose.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Header Small

As your visitors scroll down the page, the size of the header decreases, allowing your content to take up more of the available space. You can also configure the layout and appearance of the header area through the Customizer tool.

Other features of Extra that you might be interested in include:

  • Full WooCommerce support for building an online store
  • A tool for creating custom category archive pages
  • Additional support for WordPress custom post formats
  • Projects and Portfolio tools for publishing your work
  • Detailed support for the WordPress Customizer tool
  • Library of prebuilt page templates
  • Additional custom built sidebar widgets

You can find out more information about all of the features of Extra on the theme documentation pages.

How to Build a Magazine Website with Extra and WordPress

Although Extra is billed as a magazine theme, after reviewing the features, I’m sure you’ll agree that this theme can be used to make any type of website. From a basic blog to an online store and anything in-between, Extra is a highly versatile tool.

More good news is that using Extra to build almost any type of website is very straightforward. Thanks to the included library of prebuilt page templates and layouts, you can quickly apply the right designs and settings to your content.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Load Layout

There are plenty of prebuilt layouts to choose from that are part of the Divi Builder tool. These layouts can be applied to your pages in just a few clicks, with the option of customizing them through the Divi Builder interface.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Builder Interface

After loading a layout, you can simply add your own content through the Divi Builder or start adding and removing modules to get the perfect layout for your content.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Builder Module Settings

Each of the modules that make up the Divi Builder layouts can be customized through the module settings. This gives you detailed control over how they look, all through a set of visual controls. At any point, you can quickly preview your module to see what effect your changes are having on its appearance and functionality.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Custom CSS

More advanced users can easily add their own custom CSS to get even more control over the appearance of their layouts and the modules they contain.

As well as personalizing your website at the individual post and page level, you can also open up the WordPress Customizer tool for more site-wide control over the appearance of your website.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Customizer

Extra includes an impressive level of support for the WordPress theme Customizer tool, giving you a live, front-end interface for personalizing your website.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Customizer Menus

The Customizer makes it easy to configure many aspects of your website. This includes the menus, the header area, the WordPress and Extra widgets, typography settings, layout options, button styles, and a whole lot more.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Customizer Typograhy

The Customizer tool is also used to allow you to personalize any of the modules included with the Divi Builder tool. Again, this all takes place through a front-end interface with a live preview, allowing you to monitor your changes in real time.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Modules

As you can see, there are plenty of options for customizing your WordPress website when using the Extra theme.

About the Elegant Themes Club

There are three pricing tiers for joining the Elegant Themes club. Whichever option you choose, you will get access to the Extra theme, as well as all of their other WordPress themes.

If you upgrade from the entry-level $69 Personal membership plan to the $89 Developer plan, you’ll also get access to all of the Elegant Themes plugins. This includes:

  • Bloom email optin form plugin
  • Divi standalone page builder plugin
  • Monarch social sharing plugin
  • Handheld mobile friendly plugin

Plus a few more WordPress plugins.

There’s also a Lifetime Access plan, which includes everything Elegant Themes has to offer now as well as all future releases for a one-time fee of $249.

Extra WordPress Theme Review Summary

Extra is probably best described as a multipurpose WordPress theme. Yes, it’s ideal for creating a content-rich news, reviews, or magazine website.

However, thanks to the included page layouts and templates, the project and portfolio builder, not to mention the full e-commerce support, you shouldn’t have any trouble building almost any type of website with the Extra theme.

All of the features and tools of Extra are ready to go, right out of the box. However, as I have a feeling this is going to be a very popular WordPress theme, it’s great to see that there are so many customization options on offer. This will help your website stand out from the crowd. It also makes it a good choice as a platform for building websites for clients.

Being able to quickly deploy this theme, then customize it in any number of ways makes it great starting point for custom web design projects – something that those creating websites for clients will really appreciate.

At the end of the day, Extra and the integrated Divi Builder tool gives you plenty of options for building a website with WordPress. Everyone from those who are happy to use the included modules, templates, and layouts as they are, through to those who need more personalized and custom designs will find that Extra meets their needs.

Being able to pick up Extra and the other 86 WordPress templates from Elegant Themes for just $69 also makes it a great value purchase.

If you want to know more about Extra, be sure to try the theme demo and view the online documentation today.

Scalia: A Flexible Multi-Purpose 5-in-1 WordPress Theme Review

Scalia Multipurpose Theme Review

Scalia is a new WordPress theme that has been created to help you build a range of different types of website. From business portfolios, to regular blogs, and even a fully functioning online shop, Scalia and its many features, layout options, and page templates, aims to be your one stop shop for creating any type of website with WordPress.

However, with many multi-purpose WordPress themes already vying for your attention, Scalia will have to have something special to offer its target audience, if it’s going to be able to carve out its own share of this crowed market.

In this review, we will be taking a look at the many features of this theme, in order to help you decide if this is the right choice for your next website project.

Who the Scalia WordPress Theme Is For

If you are in the market for a new WordPress theme, there is a strong chance you know the type of website you are going to build. However, even if this is the case, there are some good reasons why you should consider choosing a multi-purpose theme.

One benefit of picking a theme like Scalia for your next project – a theme that can be used for a range of different purposes – is that once you’ve mastered and learnt how to set it up, you can quickly deploy it again and again for future projects. This helps to save you time and effort when creating new websites.

Another benefit of choosing this multi-purpose theme, is that even if you only use it on one website, the amount of flexibility on offer means there is little chance that your creativity will be stifled.

So now that we’ve established why a multi-purpose WordPress theme like Scalia is something you should definitely consider, let’s take a look at some of the its main selling points and core features, in more detail.

Five Different Themes to Choose From

The Scalia package actually includes four child themes, in addition the core theme. Each of these five templates has been created to help you build a different type of website, as quickly and easily as possible. They each have their own different look and feel, and are genuinely different designs. Their only shared characteristics are the underlying features that power the theme.

Main Scalia Theme

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The main Scalia theme does a great job of showing off what this template has to offer. Although each of the different versions of this theme can be fully customized to meet your needs, the default configuration is more than good enough to be used as is.

However, the Scalia main theme actually includes eight ready to use, pre-built home page layouts. As well as the home page configuration pictured above, you will also find the following pre-built layouts:

  • A business-focused home page, complete with animated slider, company information, and latest news sections.
  • A presentation-style home page, which includes plenty of page elements for highlighting your services and best content.
  • A sidebar and full width mixed layout, complete with animated page elements, team member profiles, and tabbed areas.
  • A parallax quick finders home page, with attractive icon lists, skill charts, and full width alert boxes.
  • A video slider home page layout, which gives you an stylish way to showcase multiple videos on your front page.
  • An extended slider home page, complete with a full screen animated content slider, and many other useful page elements.

Out of the box, the default home page layout of the main Scalia theme features a full screen animated content slider. This centerpiece of your website does a great job of grabbing the attention of your visitors, and showcasing some of your best content.

Further down the home page, your website can include retina-ready icons. These graphics can be used to highlight the unique selling points of your business or service, as well as some of the benefits on offer to the visitor if they stick around.

The other areas of the home page give you the opportunity to display a Google Map, pricing tables, more content sliders, client and customer testimonials, and links to the other pages on your website. Throughout the theme, CSS3 animation effects are used to really help your website stand out from the competition.

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Zaro Ecommerce Child Theme

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The Zaro child theme is perfect for anyone who wants to create an ecommerce website with WordPress.

This child theme includes all the tried and tested elements and design choices to really make your online store get your brand identity across, and lead your visitors towards your checkout.

As the name suggests, this child theme has been optimized for creating an online shop. While all of the child themes for Scalia include support for the WooCommerce plugin to help you build an online store, this is perhaps the best choice for anyone looking for an ecommerce theme for their project.

While you don’t have to use this child theme for ecommerce purposes, if you do, you get the opportunity to showcase your best products in an animated full width slideshow. Each of the individual product pages are tastefully designed. This gives your inventory a chance to really stand out on the page, without taking any attention away from them with unneeded design features.

This child theme also includes some attractive blog templates. These allow you to blog about your products, your store, or whatever you want, in order to help forge a better connection with your potential customers.

Creative One Pager Child Theme

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One page websites are a popular trend right now in web design circles, and the Creative One Pager child theme makes it easy to apply this style to your site.

Like the other options, this child theme includes another engaging, full screen animated slideshow on its default home page configuration. However, you are free to use this format, or replace it with a full screen image or video background.

In true one page style, each item on the sticky header navigation menu simply scrolls the visitor down the page, before stopping at the relevant section. While the home page components are fully customizable, the default configuration includes an about, a features, a case studies, team members, and a contact section.

The smooth scrolling motion, combined with the parallax effect, really makes your website look special as your visitors check out the different sections of the home page.

Scrollex Parallax Landing Child Theme

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Scrollex makes use of the hugely popular and highly eye catching parallax scrolling effect. This faux 3D effect works really well to grab the attention of your visitors and create a modern and professional first impression on them.

The graphic elements on the home page of this child theme are all big and bold, helping to make this option a good choice for anyone with a strong brand or message to get across. The layout of the home page takes on the horizontally long format. Each of the main menu items jumps the user down or up the page, to the area they want to visit.

There are also plenty of animation effects in use, as well as lots of different page elements. These all work together to make your website more interactive. One great use for this child theme would be for an online portfolio. The gallery section works really well, and whatever forms of media you are showcasing, Scrollex does a good job of giving it a home.

Stylish Blog Child Theme

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Last but not least, is the Stylish Blog child theme. While all of the other child themes include a blog section, this child theme has been created especially for those building a website whose main focus is blogging.

There is a great selection of page templates to choose from, including layouts with and without sidebars, timeline lists, masonry portfolios, metro galleries, mixed portfolios, and slider galleries. If you’ve got some visual work you want to showcase alongside your blog content, then this could be the theme you are looking for.

Like the other child themes for Scalia, this one makes use of lots of subtle animation effects to really help your content stand out on the page. There are plenty of content layout options that can be applied to the individual posts and pages, including columns, block quotes, lists, and horizontal lines.

This child theme is much more than just a blog template, however, if you are creating a blog, then this option comes highly recommended.

Other Features of Scalia

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Whether you choose one of the above child themes and pre-built configurations or not, there are plenty of features you can make use of when creating a website with Scalia.

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150+ Pre-Built Pages

When setting up the theme on your website, there are 150 pre-built pages to choose from. These cover a wide range of uses, such as about pages, contact pages, plenty of custom blog post layouts, home page configurations, portfolio and gallery templates, ecommerce pages, and many more. While you won’t want to use all of them on one site, you do get a large pool of options to choose from.

If those 150 page templates weren’t enough for you, the Scalia theme includes the popular Visual Composer premium WordPress plugin. This is a drag and drop tool that makes it easy to build custom layouts, without editing any code yourself.

Scalia Widgets

Sidebars & Widgets

The theme also includes a large library of widgets, which can be used in the sidebar or footer areas of your site. However, if you combine them with the functionality of the Visual Composer page builder, you can insert those widgets into your layouts to create some highly dynamic content for your website.

Furthermore, when using these widgets in the sidebar areas of your site, the theme gives you the option of creating an unlimited number of sidebars. They can then each be assigned to different posts and pages, helping you ensure that your sidebar content is closely related to the main post content.

Content Elements & Visual Composer

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Scalia offers an extensive set of options, widgets & features to help you get started within minutes. But the most exciting feature of Scalia is the number of content elements (shortcodes) included.

Check the “Elements” menu option on Scalia’s main demo website to see why. With an impressive 50+ shortcodes to choose from, this theme provides you with everything you could ever imagine inserting into the content of a corporate, portfolio, or any other kind of website.

Furthermore, each of these shortcodes has several options and styles to choose from. This means you can be sure that you will be able to find the best look for your website. In order to make all this as easy-to-use as possible, Scalia includes the latest version of Visual Composer, the premium page builder plugin for WordPress. This tool gives you the ability to create your pages through a front end builder with a live preview mode, simply by drag’n’dropping and combining content elements with each other.

Page Options

Thanks to the large variety of additional options on offer, you are totally free to decide how your pages should look. Fancy title areas in different styles, slideshows, portfolios and galleries with plenty of display settings, blog lists in different layouts, flexible customizable sidebars, and much much more – with all these options and settings at your fingertips, you’ll be all set to launch a great-looking website for any purpose.

Other features include a choice of boxed, wide, and full screen layouts; two premium slider plugins, LayerSlider and NivoSlider; a video slider builder; optimization for all of the major search engines (this theme is really well coded and works perfectly with the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin); and countless of other customization controls.

Scalia looks great on high resolution retina screens, thanks to its retina image optimizations. This theme is aimed at international users, so it’s ready for localisations and translations. This can be carried out very easily, by using the high quality WMPL plugin.

Documentation

Scalia’s documentation is some of the most detailed theme guides and instructions available on the market today. All settings, options, features, and functions are described in an understandable way. This documentation is also accompanied by lots of helpful screenshots that show you exactly what you need to do, every step of the way.

In the documentation, you will also find examples and step-by-step explanations of each feature and setting. The documentation is aimed not only at WordPress professionals, but also at WordPress newbies, covering general editing aspects as well as more in-depth topics.

Support

By checking the Scalia theme’s comments and support forum on ThemeForest, as well as the theme’s customer rating, you will see, that the quality of support offered with this theme is top-notch. Scalia is actually the third best rated corporate theme on ThemeForest, and has been awarded plenty of five stars ratings, as well as praise for the quality of support on offer.

If you do experience problems when using this theme, the developers offer quick support for any questions asked via the ThemeForest comments section. This will help you unleash the full potential of the Scalia theme, and ensure you are able to build the website you’ve always wanted.

Pricing

The Scalia theme is available from ThemeForest for the price of $58. Considering you get access to not only over $50 worth of premium plugins in the package, but also five distinct themes, it’s a great value offer.

Conclusion

The decision to include the core theme – which is a great product in its own right – as well as the four child themes, helps to make Scalia one of the most versatile WordPress themes out there.

Another benefit of supplying four different child themes, is that it makes setting up the individual versions of the website very easy. Simply upload the theme files as you would with a regular theme, and then activate them through the WordPress theme manager. The Scalia package includes all the demo content and page templates, and these can all be installed in just a few clicks.

The inclusion of the premium Visual Composer page builder plugin, means that if you need to make any changes to the design or appearance of your website, you can easily do so. As you also get two slider tools to choose from, adding full screen, animated content slideshows to your pages is very easy.

If you like the look of Scalia, or any of its child themes, then you should definitely try out the demos to get a better sense of how your next website could look.

Try Scalia today

WP Speedster Review: Find the Fastest WordPress Themes and Plugins

WP Speedster Review

Website speed and page loading times are very important. Not only does a slow loading website negatively affect the user experience of your visitors, but it can also have a detrimental effect on how search engines like Google evaluate your website when deciding where to rank it in their results.

Therefore, if you want to improve the user experience, increase the conversion rates, and get more traffic to your website from the search engines, then you should definitely be focussing on improving the page load times of your website.

While one way to do this is to upgrade your WordPress website hosting to a faster service provider, it’s also important to be aware of the impact of your chosen theme, and any plugins you install. In the past this has required you to invest the time and effort to test the available options yourself. However, now thanks to the WP Speedster website and its author Csaba Kissi, you can find out the speed and performance rating of a vast array of plugins and themes, before you install them on your website.

In this article, we will take a look at the WP Speedster website and their free plugins, to see how they can help you make your WordPress website as fast as possible. This in turn will help you reap all the benefits associated with having a quick loading website.

Speedster Website Themes

WP Speedster: Over 25,000 Plugins and 2,500 Themes Tested

With the fastest themes in the WordPress Theme Directory scoring as high as 98 out of 100, and the slowest as low as 33, it’s vital that you speed test any WordPress theme before activating it on your site.

Thanks to the WP Speedster website, you can now see in an instant, which of these themes are the fastest loading. Not only that, but the team have tested over 25,000 of the free plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory to help you see the impact they too will have on the loading times of your website.

Speedster Website Top 10 Fastest WordPress Themes

The website allows you to view the themes and plugins according to how fast they load, and the impact they will have on your website’s page speed. The tests have all been carried out using the Google PageSpeed Insights tool. Both mobile and desktop device testing has been performed. This allows you to ensure that your chosen theme will perform well on both types of device.

Speedster Website Test Resuts

As well as giving you a quick overview of the speed rating of each theme, you can also dig deep into the results. This allows you to get a better understanding of how the theme works, and specifically how it will affect the loading times of your website.

Csaba Kissi has put together a really great resource that any WordPress website owner will gain value from. If you are using free themes or plugins from the official WordPress directories, then you should definitely visit the WP Speedster website for assistance in finding the the fastest options for your website.

View the plugin and theme test results at the WP Speedster website now

Themes Speed Test Plugin

Speedster Themes Speed Test Plugin

Themes Speed Test is one of the two free plugins from WP Speedster that will help you in your quest to build a fast loading WordPress website.

The plugin has only recently been released and has yet to be installed on many websites. This gives you a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor, and identify the quickest WordPress themes available from the official WordPress Theme Directory, before anyone else does.

The main feature of this plugin, is that it displays two metrics or scores for each of the themes they’ve tested from the WordPress theme repository. These scores are then displayed when you view the themes from directory that you’ve installed on your website.

Speedster Themes Speed Test Ratings

These two scores tell you the speed rating of the home page and the sample post page of the theme you are looking at. These are the scores or ratings from the Google PageSpeed Insights tool. Considering that one of the reasons you want to make your website as fast as possible, is that it can improve its position in search engines like Google, it’s great to get this site speed rating direct from this useful tool.

As well as being able to instantly see the two speed ratings for each theme, you can also click through to the details of the speed test for each theme. Clicking on the Speed Test button takes you to the page on the WP Speedster website which lists all the results and information from their test of the theme.

Speedster Themes Speed Test Page

From that page, you can find out how the theme compares to the other templates in the WordPress directory, in terms of page load times. You can also see a more detailed breakdown of how the different pages of the theme perform, across a range of devices.

These test results illustrate the speed of the theme on desktop and mobile devices. Google is now factoring in more and more how mobile-friendly a website is as part of its ranking algorithm. This means it’s vital that you know how well a theme performs on mobile devices before choosing it for your website.

Speedster Themes Speed Test Devices

When it comes to using the free Themes Speed Test plugin, once it has been installed and activated on your website, it adds a new item to the Appearance menu on the dashboard of your WordPress website. From this page you can view the speed rating of the themes from the WordPress Theme Directory that have already been installed on your website.

Speedster Themes Speed Test Scores

From this new page on your website, you can search for themes in the official free WordPress theme repository. You can also jump directly to the lists of best performing themes on the WP Speedster website to help you find the fastest free WordPress theme available. You can also view the quickest loading themes by either desktop or mobile devices.

It’s worth pointing out that the speed tests of the themes aren’t carried out in real time. Instead the results are returned from the WP Speedster website, where the results from the previously performed speed tests are stored. However, at the time of writing, over 2,500 themes have been speed-tested, giving you plenty of options to choose from.

While this plugin does give you the ability to see the speed rating of the themes from the WordPress Theme Directory, it does have one drawback. That is that the theme must already be installed on your website (but not activated), before you can see the speed score.

If you could see the speed test score as you browse the themes in the directory, this would be great. However, as it is, you must first install the theme before you can see the results, then make the decision whether to use the theme on your website or not.

Speedster Themes Speed Test Add Themes Page

Perhaps it’s naive to expect the developers of the plugin to be able to overlay their speed scores on to the Add Themes page of a website the plugin has been installed on. However, without this feature, it does make the plugin a little less useful. You can overcome this by browsing the themes directly from the WP Speedster website. From the website you can view the speed rating, and then make your choice of which theme to use on your site.

Overall though, this plugin does give you a quick and easy way to see the speed test rating of the themes from the WordPress Theme Directory that you’ve installed on your website. By clicking through to the WP Speedster website, you can then find out more information about the page load times of any prospective themes, or simply find the fastest loading template from the directory.

Update: Next version of this plugin will display performance metrics directly in theme search results. We’ll let you know once this version will become available.

Find out more about the Themes Speed Test plugin today

Plugins Speed Test

Speedster Plugin Speed Test Plugin

The Plugins Speed Test plugin from WP Speedster takes a similar approach to their Themes Speed Test plugin. This time however, as the name suggests, it gives you a way to see the impact the plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory will have on your website, directly from within the admin area of your website.

The benefit of using this plugin to find out this metric, is that it allows you to see the negative effect a plugin will have on your website, in terms of how quickly it loads. If you are trying to make your website as fast loading as possible, then knowing this number can help you make a more informed decision when choosing which of the free plugins from the official WordPress Plugin Directory to add to your website.

After activating the free plugin on your website, a new column is added to the Installed Plugins page of your website. In this column, you should be able to see the speed impact of the plugins you’ve installed on your website from the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Plugin impact on WordPress performance

From the testing carried out by WP Speedster, you can find out the impact the plugin will have on the home page of your website, as well as the single post page. These results are taken from testing using the Google PageSpeed Insights tool.

You can also see the number of resources in KB that has been added to the post page after the plugin has been installed. Furthermore, you can see the number of database tables the plugin creates. The plugin also adds a ‘more details’ link. When clicked, this link takes you to the plugin testing results page on the WP Speedster website. From here you can view more detailed results from the testing, helping you to make a more informed decision as to whether to use the plugin or not.

Speedster Plugin Speed Test Graph

Again, like the Themes Speed Test plugin, this tool isn’t testing the performance of the plugins in real time. Instead the plugin is calling the information from previously performed tests, the results of which are stored on the WP Speedster website. However, with over 25,000 plugins tested at the time of writing, there is a good chance any plugin you are interested in adding to your website will have been covered.

Also, you have to install the plugin you want to know more about on your site, before you can see the results of the testing. Therefore, for example, if you want to see which of the free contact form plugins from the official WordPress Plugin Directory will have the greatest impact on the page loading times of your website, you will need to install the options you are interested in, then view the details. Alternatively, you could just view the test results on the WP Speedster website to save you the time and effort of installing those plugins.

Overall, the testing carried out by WP Speedster will be invaluable for anyone trying to make their WordPress website load as quickly as possible. While this tool won’t tell you the impact of a plugin on your page loading times before you install it, for any plugins you’ve already installed from the plugin directory, you can quickly see how they perform.

Find out more about the Plugins Speed Test plugin today

Conclusion

If you want to keep your visitors happy, avoid negatively affecting your conversion rates, and increase the chances of your website ranking prominently in the top search engines, then focusing on page loading times is essential.

Thanks to the efforts of the WP Speedster author Csaba Kissi, you’ve now got a free and easy way to see the impact the free themes and plugins available from the WordPress.org website will have on the loading times of your website.

Find out more about the WP Speedster testing results now

Sura Theme Review: Spotify Like WordPress Music Streaming Theme

Sure Music Streaming WordPress Theme

If you want to make a website to promote your music, or the tracks from other artists and make them available for streaming, then the WordPress Music Streaming theme from TeoThemes could be just what you are looking for.

This theme has an attractive design that will really catch the attention of your audience, while also making it very easy for them to listen to your uploaded audio content. By using WordPress and this theme together, your website will allow your listeners to save their preferred music to their favourites, and also, depending on how you configure your website, buy the music directly from your website. This is the closest Spotify like WordPress theme that offers the same music streaming experience and features.

This theme combines lots of great features with an attractive design. However, with many other themes competing in this space, read on to find out if this is the best choice for your project, in our Music WordPress theme review.

Sura music streaming WordPress theme

Features of the Music WordPress Theme

As well as the high quality and professional design and appearance of Sura music streaming theme from TeoThemes, you will get access to a selection of very useful features, should you decide to build your website with this theme.

At the heart of this theme is the music player. This player is always on display as your visitors navigate their way around the different pages of your website.

Music Theme Review AJAX Player

This allows your visitors to not only listen to the music featured on your website, but also instantly add a track to the optional shopping cart while it plays.

As the website has been built using AJAX, the use of this technology means that as your visitors navigate the different pages of your website, the actual pages don’t reload or refresh. The benefit of this is that the music player never misses a beat, as your visitors check out your content. If you want to showcase your music in style, without any interruptions, this feature will really appeal to you.

Music Theme Review Cart Heart Icon

Thanks to the use of AJAX, adding items to your cart, or marking a track as a favourite, also takes place instantly, without any page loads required. This helps to create a really smooth and seamless user experience on your website.

With this theme, you get full integration with the free WooCommerce plugin. This gives you the option of adding a shopping cart to your website. While in theory, this ecommerce plugin will work with any theme, by choosing one that has been built to be fully compatible with this powerful plugin, you can ensure that all of the pages of your store match the rest of your website, in terms of design. This includes the product pages, customer registration pages, and the checkout section, to name just a few.

Music Theme Review Shopping Cart

Whether you want to sell physical or digital products from your music website now, or in the future, knowing that this theme has been created to integrate with the leading WooCommerce plugin will give you plenty of options for selling items online from your website. This free shopping cart plugin also includes the ability to collect payments via PayPal, right out of the box.

However, even if you never plan to add any items for sale to your website, the Sura theme has plenty of other great features that help make it as easy as possible to create the website your project deserves.

Music Theme Review Albums

Whether you are using your website to promote your own music, or content from a range of artists, the Sura theme makes it easy to organize your tracks on the back end. The theme also makes it straightforward to present that content to your visitors on the front end, in an easy to navigate format.

Music Theme Review Songs

Through the front end of your website, your visitors can browse the music by album, or by simply viewing all of the individual songs, before diving into the individual song pages to find out more about that track.

Music Theme Review Song Page

This music WordPress theme also includes a useful discover feature. This part of your website allows visitors to browse the music on your site. However, rather than just sorting the tracks by artist, album, or title, they can now filter them by genre, and even the instruments they feature. Depending on how you’ve tagged and categorized your content, your visitors can then filter your music using those same attributes.

Music Theme Review Song Page

When it comes to creating your content on the back end, the Sura music streaming theme includes a number of useful page templates. These are all beautifully designed, as you can see from the theme demo.

Music Theme Review Album Template

Not only that though, but the templates can be easily applied to each new page, simply by selecting them from the appropriate drop down list.

Music Theme Review Select Page Template

As the theme includes, and integrates with the popular Aqua Page Builder tool, you get a powerful interface for editing the existing page designs, as well as also creating your own. By including a page builder tool, the developers of Sura have given you an intuitive way to break free of the constraints of the default WordPress page editor, and start creating your own personalized page designs.

Music Theme Review Page Builder

By using this page builder tool, you are then free to create some truly original landing and inner pages for your website, all through a drag and drop interface. Alternatively, you can just use the attractive and well-crafted templates that come with the theme as they are, and leave the design work to the professionals.

It’s worth pointing out that the Sura theme does omit some of the features you might find on a commercial music website. This includes playlists, stations, and the social networking features found elsewhere. However, this is done to make your website run as fast as possible, rather than bogging it down with nice, but non-essential features.

Rather than spending thousands on a developing a custom built, fully-featured music website, you can instead, by using WordPress and this theme, create a great looking website that allows you to publish your music online and in style, at a fraction of the cost.

Conclusion

The Sura music streaming theme is available from ThemeForest, where it can be purchased for $58. This allows you to use the theme on one WordPress website.

While this is the going rate for a theme on the largest WordPress online theme marketplace, it’s a great price considering the attractive and professional design inspired by Spotify and appearance of this theme, not to mention all the great features it includes.

The highlight of the Sura theme for me, is the way the audio player continues to work as you navigate your way around the website. Rather than reloading the player each time you change pages, the use of AJAX means this never happens and your visitors can continue to preview your music, uninterrupted.

The Sura theme is the best Spotify like music WordPress theme out there and its the right choice if you are looking to get the best music streaming experience using WordPress.

Whether you want to sell music online, or simply showcase your work, and the work of others, the Sura theme allows you to do that and more in high quality surroundings. With more features expected to be added to the theme in the future, if there is the demand, Sura looks like one product that will only get better over time.

Find out more about the Sura music streaming theme now