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Kadence Theme Review: My Favorite WordPress Theme

Kadence Theme Review

There are a lot of WordPress themes and page builders that are poorly coded, harming your website’s performance and SEO. The Kadence Theme (view theme) is the perfect alternative to a page builder.

I used Elementor Pro for LasVegasTrip.com. The site has a complex infrastructure and uses a lot of dynamic functions. Then it happened, every SEO’s worst nightmare.

Google hit the site hard for failing every Core Web Vital performance metric. We lost 50% of our search traffic, and we tried to fix it with performance tools and plugins, but nothing worked.

A simple transition from Elementor Pro to Kadence gave this story a good ending.

In this review, I’ll highlight why I switched to Kadence and their premium bundle of WordPress plugins.

Kadence WP Review

4.8/5

Pros

  • Dynamic Functionality: Similar to Elementor Pro, Kadence allows you to use dynamic tags to create dynamic templates.
  • Performance: Kadence is a blazing fast WordPress theme without any code bloat. With the right hosting and caching, you can achieve near perfect scores on mobile and desktop.
  • Popup Builder: With the Kadence Conversions plugin you can build popups, overlays, and slide-ins without slowing down your site.
  • Custom Templates: The Kadence Cloud plugin allows you to link all of your sites together and share custom-built templates across your network.
  • Woocommerce Customization: Kadence Shop Kit plugin enables you to customize a Woocommerce store and add features specific to your needs.

Cons

  • Learning Curve: Like any block builder or page builder there’s a substantial learning curve. If you’ve used Gutenberg block builders in the past, Kadence will be easy.

Bottom Line

Kadence is lightweight, loads fast, and provides Elementor Pro like functions. I love all of the features and conversion tools. Switching from Elementor Pro was difficult, but it was worth it. The full bundle is $199/year or $649 lifetime which is a great deal compared to other WordPress options.

A couple of years ago, I bought into Elementor Pro because of its ability to create complex dynamic WordPress websites.

The problem with Elementor Pro is the bad Core Web Vitals and code bloat that the page builder generates.

No amount of Perfmatters, WP Rocket, ultra-fast hosting with Kinsta, or other WordPress performance tools could fix the problems Elementor Pro creates.

Don’t get me wrong, you can make an Elementor Pro site perform well. But you’ll always have lousy code bloat and endless divs that slow down a site’s potential.

Elementor’s code bloat hit a couple of sites I built particularly hard. Google hit me with 0% Core Web Vitals across the board, cutting my organic SEO traffic in half.

I’m not the only one with this problem. In fact, there are countless articles about Elementor core web vitals and how-to guides to improve struggling page speed scores.

The solution was to find a better WordPress theme that could do everything I needed without all of the code bloat.

This review will share my decision to transition my websites away from Elementor Pro to the Kadence WP Theme and their premium bundle of WordPress tools.

Choosing The Right WordPress Theme

It felt like moving away from Elementor Pro would be impossible.

I am a capable web designer with enough web development skills to create a custom WordPress theme. I have been designing websites for myself and my clients since 2003.

The problem is with my affiliate marketing editorial schedule, SEO duties, and WordPress clients. I had little time to develop a theme that would integrate the intense dynamic nature of the Elementor Pro websites I needed to fix.

I looked at hiring another developer to take on the task for me, and I estimated it would cost $30,000 and up to a year.

That wasn’t an option.

Comparing Gutenberg Block Themes

I started looking for Gutenberg and block-based alternatives. My favorite three that I tested and used are Kadence, GeneratePress, and Astra.

Kadence Theme

Kadence Theme Review

If you like the bells and whistles of a page builder and want a fast, lightweight theme, choose Kadence.

Top Features:

  • Lightweight Theme
  • Dynamic Capabilities
  • Woocommerce Customization
  • Popup Builder
  • Header & Footer Customizer
  • Starter Templates
  • Search Engine Optimized

GeneratePress Review

GeneratePress Review

If you need speed and dynamic capabilities, GeneratePress is a great WordPress theme.

Top Features:

  • Lightweight Theme
  • Dynamic Capabilities
  • Woocommerce Customization
  • Popup Builder
  • Header & Footer Customizer
  • Starter Templates
  • Search Engine Optimized

Astra Theme Review

Astra Theme Review

If you are building a simple website without dynamic functions, Astra is a good choice.

Top Features:

  • Lightweight Theme
  • Dynamic Capabilities
  • Woocommerce Customization
  • Popup Builder
  • Header & Footer Customizer
  • Starter Templates
  • Search Engine Optimized

Astra Theme

I am using Astra (view theme) with Elementor Pro for a client website. While I love the Astra product, it ultimately lacked the dynamic capabilities I needed for the Las Vegas Trip website.

I like that the Astra Pro theme offers lots of customizations, great templates, and white-label options. Astra is an excellent solution for clients with basic site infrastructure or Elementor Pro for dynamic capabilities.

Plus, Astra offers Spectra a free Gutenberg blocks add-on with a robust set of features.

Because this wasn’t the right fix for my issue, I continued my search.

GeneratePress Theme

While reading through some documentation on the Perfmatters websites, I learned about GeneratePress (view theme). I was impressed.

GeneratePress offers flexibility, and they genuinely care about providing a perfectly coded product. They provide dynamic capabilities, but there was one thing it lacked – Woocommerce customization.

I needed the ability to add a Woocommerce shop to the impacted website.

The other concern with GeneratePress is it’s suitable for developers, but I was worried clients might not understand how to use it.

One of the great things about page builders is it helps clients who want to make updates. GeneratePress lacked some user experience for beginner to intermediate WordPress users.

Kadence Theme

Then I stumbled upon Kadence (view theme). In my opinion, Kadence is in the gap between GeneratePress and Elementor Pro.

It’s a well-coded theme with dynamic functions.

The premium bundle has great add-ons like the Kadence Conversions, allowing you to create custom popups, overlays, and other marketing tools.

It has a fully-customizable Woocommerce experience that allows you to control every facet of the shopping experience.

But most importantly, it’s relatively easy to understand out of the box so that it can reach intermediate users. That was the selling point with my clients in mind.

Kadence offers everything I need to build fast, dynamic websites without the negative impacts of Elementor Pro.

If you’re fed up with Elementor’s code bloat or are struggling with Core Web Vitals scores, I urge you to consider an alternative WordPress theme like Kadence.

Performance of Kadence Wordpress Theme

The Kadence WP theme scores nearly perfect on every performance test metric out of the box. I used all the popular sites – Google PageSpeed, GTmetrix, Pingdom – and they all scored 95% or higher.

Las Vegas Trip is hosted with Kinsta and uses Perfmatters. When the site used Elementor Pro, it had a failing FCP of 3.1s and LCP of 2.0s. It also had issues CLS issues on mobile.

When I switched to Kadence, every metric moved into the green with a passing grade. Today, it scores a perfect 100/100 on mobile with an FCP 1.2s, LCP 1.4s, and CLS 0. On desktop, even better, a 100/100 score with FCP 0.4s, LCP 0.6s, and CLS 0.

My traffic from Google rebounded within a week of pushing the Kadence theme live. Now, my organic traffic is growing faster than ever, and I don’t have to fear slow site penalties.

Why I Chose The Kadence WordPress Theme

Many WordPress themes and page builders fail Core Web Vitals, harming the website’s organic search traffic.

In my case, I lost 50% of my search traffic overnight.

I chose to use the Kadence WordPress Theme and premium add-ons like Kadence Conversions, Kadence Blocks, and Kadence Cloud because it was the fastest WordPress theme with dynamic features like Elementor Pro.

It took me about two days to learn the block-building Gutenberg system that Kadence uses.

Once I understood how the theme and plugins worked, it was off to the races. Within a week, I had made an identical version of the original Elementor Pro website, but not it was lightning fast without any Core Web Vital issues.

I liked working with GeneratePress and its accompanying plugin GenerateBlocks. There are a handful of key features that led me to choose Kadence over GeneratePress.

Kadence WP Features

Kadence and its plugins have great features that don’t add bloat to your website.

Kadence Conversions

One of the features I love most about Elementor Pro is its popup builder. Growing an email list is critical to my success as an affiliate marketer.

Kadence Conversions is a popup builder that allows you to collect leads and drive subscriptions to your newsletter without slowing down your website.

To my knowledge, there’s no other lightweight popup solution in the WordPress market at the time of publishing this review.

This plugin add-on included in the premium bundle is the primary reason I chose Kadence over GeneratePress.

With this add-on, you can add popups, slide-ins, or alerts with a host of automatic triggers. It’s easy to track performance and add critical display conditions.

This plugin is a game changer.

Kadence Shop Kit

The other feature I needed was the ability to customize a Woocommerce shop. GeneratePress offers basic Woocommerce support, so you would have to add custom codes and CSS to take control of your shop.

Kadence offers a plugin called Shop Kit.

This plugin allows you to customize product galleries, cart notices, variation swatches, size charts, and more.

The checkout manager allows you to easily customize which fields your shop uses, which is helpful for membership or digital download sites that don’t need shipping information.

It also loads lightning fast and doesn’t add bloat to your site. So you don’t have to worry about slow pages or core vitals posing a problem.

Kadence Cloud

If you’re like me and you design websites for a living, the Kadence Cloud can save you time.

Essentially the Kadence Cloud is a custom template API system. You build custom templates on a website and then share those templates across any website you want.

If you run ten affiliate marketing websites, you could use the same template across all the websites, keeping everything in order.

What’s remarkable is that it doesn’t slow down your site.

Switch to the Kadence Theme

You want a powerful WordPress theme that is fast, lightweight, and easy to use.

Other WordPress themes are slow, bloated, and difficult to use.

Kadence is the perfect solution. The theme is lightweight, loads quickly, and provides all of the features and conversion tools you need to create a stunning website. Plus, the lifetime license is a great deal compared to other WordPress options.

Kadence WordPress Theme FAQ

Here are common questions about the Kadence WordPress Theme:

More WordPress Themes

There are tens of thousands of WordPress themes and countless page builders to choose from. See my list of the best WordPress themes.

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