OceanWP Review : Pros n Cons (Free WordPress Theme)

OceanWP is a free theme that comes with many advanced features and customization options. It is the most customizable free multi-purpose theme for WordPress so far.

So, in this post, you are going to see a really interesting review of OceanWP theme. Since I used it here on BforBloggers, I’ve compiled both of its pros and cons for you to better judge if it is your dream theme or not.

An Introduction to OceanWP

OceanWP is a free WordPress theme created & maintained by Nicolas Lecocq. He was a freelancer and recently developed OceanWP and thought to give it free to every WordPress user. That’s why this theme is completely free and can be used on as many sites as you want forever.

Since it’s exclusive to WordPress, you can’t use any other CMS. OceanWP has been online since 2016 and is currently rated 5 out of 5 in WordPress theme repo with more than 100k installs. However, in this review, you are going to see its pros as well as cons along with my side of how this theme is suitable for bloggers, developers and e-commerce websites.

It is a multi-purpose free theme available in WordPress theme repo so you don’t have to purchase anything. There are several free and paid extensions available and we will talk about them further in this review as well.

Features

Free Multi Purpose WordPress Theme OceanWP

OceanWP has a lot of features when compared to any other free theme I’ve ever seen in several years. It will allow you to customize each and every part of your blog, sales website or even e-commerce website with ease.

Some of the features OceanWp has:

  1. Full page builder support
  2. Integrates with any screen size (responsive layout)
  3. Lightweight (no bloatware)
  4. Loads super fast (clean code)
  5. Full integration with E-commerce plugins like Woocommerce
  6. Schema Added SEO friendly theme
  7. Demo Import and Export Functionality
  8. Built-in share module, optin module, and others (with Ocean Extra)

And there are many more features that can be added through paid and free extensions available for OceanWP on the website and WordPress plugin repo.

OceanWP theme is free and not paid. You only have to pay for premium extensions that too if you want to add extra functionalities to the theme.

There’s absolutely nothing OceanWp has left. The moment you install this theme, it appears to be a premium theme that can be reshaped and transformed the way you want.

Right from the color, footer, header, sidebar, hook areas, CSS, typography and everything can be changed from the customizer itself. However, a beginner might feel all of it a bit too overwhelming at first.

That being said, let’s talk about its pros n cons in detail.

Pros

OceanWP has definitely many pros as it’s the only free theme that lets its users do whatever they can to customize and personalize it according to their own brand. let me some of the pros:

1. Fast, Lightweight and Cleanly Coded: Since OceanWP is very light and loads quickly over normal layout and theme functions, It’s a great choice especially if you care about user experience.

2. Stock WordPress Widgets Enhancer: I discovered this when I was using OceanWP here on BforBloggers. The theme automatically enhances the feel and look of several stock WordPress widgets such as newsteller and recent posts.

3. Loaded with lots of options: After you install and start to customize the OceanWP along with its Ocean Extra plugin you’ll immediately notice that there are so many options available to start from. Right from the header to the footer to hook areas, you can change it all.

4. SEO friendly: OceanWP uses schema markup as well as other SEO-friendly practices such as proper headline HTML tags, proper site navigation structure and so on.

5. Developer friendly – Just like any other WordPress theme, OceanWP is available on Github for developers to further enhance its functionality and improve.

6. Time & Money Saver for Freelancers – If you are a freelancer and you work for clients, the best thing you can do is get the OceanWP and use its demo import and export feature to quickly set up their websites in literally, 4 clicks.

7. E-commerce Ehnacer – OceanWP integrates with Woocommerce and furthermore enhances its features, appearance, and functionality. This way you can expect more conversion in your online store with lesser compatibility issues.

Now that we have seen some pros, let’s talk about some major Cons in OceanWP theme

Cons

1. Overwhelming Customizer – The moment you open the appearance customizer setting, you’ll notice there are just way too many options to handle and you don’t know where to start with and where to find a particular setting. That’s something any beginner might feel.

2. Incompatible With Speed Optimization Plugins – Just like we’ve seen in Astra Theme, The OceanWP also gives you a static header where the search option or any javascript won’t work. This happens only with the theme scripts so you really cannot use plugins like Autoptimize and remove query strings with OceanWP.

3. Cache Error – I don’t know if it happens repeatedly or it was with me only, but OceanWP had broken my SEO. I saw the cached version, there was a huge header appearing every time in Google cache which covered the whole content and left my blog with a huge area of empty space, something not good for rankings. This is what made me write a review of OceanWP.

Have a look at this:

Even though I changed the header 3 times but it seemed like nothing worked. At the end of the day, I decided to change my theme.

Support

When you look for a quality product, you expect quality support too. OcewanWP has it all. I have to admit, the support is really quick and moreover the developer is eager to help even if you are a free user.

OceanWp also has a  priority support plan and you can sign up for that if you are building sites for a client or if you run a large business and you need quick support if something goes wrong in and out of your theme.

OceanWP’s support is really quick and quite active on the WordPress forum.

I recently opened a ticket for the header and menu icon issue on the WordPress support forum and in 4 hours, I had a reply. Not so satisfying but it was quick and to the point. Have a look:

The mobile menu wasn’t working on any device and browser so I went to the forum and asked for the solution. As usual, I got a message to disable my plugins to see which one’s causing trouble. I knew it would be some sort of javascript issue because I minify the theme CSS/HTML. Now that doesn’t mean you should know this too.

You may be unaware of what javascript is or what even a plugin does, sure you don’t need to do that unless you handle the tech yourself. For people unaware of this, OceanWP theme should give a possible cause and its solution which may work or not. Anyways, it’s free support and we can’t expect them to be on the same level with everybody.

If you are having trouble like the mobile menu is not working, the search icon not showing a search box and so on in OceanWP theme, disable the javascript minification or deactivate any speed optimization plugin you have such as Autoptimize.

If you’ve purchased any extensions for OceanWP, you can also get direct email support from the team.

Pricing

Since OceanWP is completely free, they’re not much to argue about its pricing. There are a few extensions available that you can use to further add features and enhance its functionality.

The extensions are priced separately but there is a bundle available which I recommend you to buy if you are going to purchase any one extensions separately because you’ll save more than $80 when you get a bundle instead of separate extensions.

The extension bundle is priced at $39 for a single site and for $129 you can use the extension and demo templates on unlimited WordPress sites.

There’s also a discount on renewals by which you can save up to 30% on license updates.

Above all, you can also use the white label extension to turn OceanWP into a “your exclusive theme” which you can use to share with your clients as well.

OceanWP: Who’s This Theme Is For

Anyone who owns a blog, a static sales website, or a Woocommerce papered store can use OceanWP because it has all of the necessary compatible functionalities you may want to look for a blog.

It has multiple layout designs for blog pages which can be sued to show your latest posts in different styles such as grids. Also, you can set for space and width you want to display enter content into in single posts.

For WooCommerece, OceanWP automatically sets a few customizations such as a big button, cart icon in the header, etc. which shows it’s really a great choice for it.

It’s SEO friendly, comes with proper schema markup, makes your site load fast and above all, it is very very customizable.

Compatibility With Page Builders

This is the best part of using OceanWP. This particular theme is highly compatible with page builders like Elementor, Visual Composer, Beaver Builder and Brizy too.

It has beautiful CSS ready to take action as soon as you add a widget anywhere through these page builders. For example, the optin form that comes with the Ocean Extra plugin automatically adjusts its width according to the place you are using it on. On the home screen, if you using it in a full-width column, it will automatically increase its width to fit to screen. Have a look:

It also has awesome widgets you can use right away after installing it.

It’s the best pair with Elementor and a visual composer. Since both of them are front-end page builders, it is very very easy to modify the pages as per your requirements. I personally prefer Elementor due to its ease of use. Visual composer will be great for people who need more power and like to play with source code and build a page from scratch.

Its ease of use makes it the best choice for using page builder plugins.

Conclusion

OceanWP is the very best you’ll get for free. It compliments most of the page builder as well as lets you customize everything to the core. There are various extensions available for you to customize it further and add external functionalities.

The theme works out of the box with only a few basic customizations such as changing the header logo and adding menu icons and links.

Final verdict: yes you should definitely use OceanWP.

Go to OceanWP

Do share your experience with OceanWP in the comments section below.

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14 Comments

  1. Hello Ayush , I have searched many lists and websites for free seo friendly themes and ended up here. First i was using Zillah but later i noticed it’s loading time was higher and it was giving few error in js and css . I switched to Astra and same issue , loading time . Now that i am a beginner and i choose Ocean WP this time . Loading time is greatly imoroved but it still causing error with my H1 and few css elements . Google shows error when i check page loading. Can you help me either in solving it or just suggesting a best minimal free seo friendly theme for a blog. I really need help as i am fed up with this issue.

    1. Hi Shaurya,

      What theme are you currently using? I believe if you want something really fast, the best option for you would be GeneratePress or Schema. I’ve seen both load under 600ms in minimum customizations. I hope you’ve read this.

      What error are you facing in OceanWP?

  2. Erasmia Gazeta says:

    Hi!
    I am on the 14 day trial of the OceanWP, which comes with woocommerce, elementor etc and i have two questions:
    1) After the 14 days pass, will I have to pay for these features or is it on the free base? I guess i don’t know if the features of this free period will remain free or if i will have to pay afterwards. I thought that all these features come with the free edition but after reading your article I am not so sure anymore as I was under the impression that after the 14 days trial period i would have to pay only for domain and hosting.
    2) The free trial i am on does not have the plugins option. Will it appear after i publish my site and pay for domain and hosting?
    Thank you in advance for your time!
    P.S. It is my first time i am trying to build a site so consider me as a base knowledge user.

    1. Hi Erasmia,

      OceanWP doesn’t have any free trial on the premium extensions. You are currently using the free extensions which don’t require any payment. The extensions are one-time purchases that have nothing to do with core theme features. You can download the free extension here once you install the theme to get additional features as well. The plugin options will appear once you install the free extension. The theme is free and you don’t have to pay for the extensions of you don’t need them.

      1. Erasmia Gazeta says:

        Thank you so much!!!

  3. Shaminaz Ahmed says:

    Hi
    I am very new to blogging. And I am not tech savvy either. I like to write and I run a clothing business. My question is should I go for Ocean WP or a another free theme I liked called Exchange.
    These are my most important requirements that I am looking for in a theme:
    Free
    Powerful SEO
    Full width image on the front page
    Site Title and Tagline
    Mobile responsive
    Able to add images and videos in blog posts
    Great Support
    Easy to use/setup
    5 Star Reviews
    Speed
    WooCommerce
    After going through the themes, I found OCEAN WP ticked all the boxes, except I was not able to put an image on the home page.
    But when I see on the preview, I do see an Image.
    So how do I go about doing that?
    THANKS

  4. Hello. Can you please help me choose the best theme for my blog. What do you prefer Astra or Ocean Wp theme and why?
    I need a fast, reliable, responding theme.
    Thank you, Tina

    1. Both are pretty good. If you need more customization possibilities, choose OceanWP. Else, for speed and responsiveness, Astra is efficient.

  5. Thanks for this write up. I was leaning toward Ocean and getting a little overwhelmed with all of the choices and this helped me go ahead with it.

  6. Hossein Yazdi says:

    Hello Aayush
    I am a zero beginner and want to use a totally free theme to build my own website as a store to sell my products. Is oceanWP suitable and can I use it without any payment to purchase other things like Toolset or Elemntor?

    1. OceanWp is a very versatile WordPress theme, and you’ll be fine selling products using the Woocommerce extension for free. No problems there👍.

  7. Hossein Yazdi says:

    Thanks a lot. You are very helpful and supportive. Your response was very quick.

  8. It works with plugins like WPRocket? I want to implement it on my website speed2host and I’m not sure if will work. Thanks in advance

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