Hey, are you feeling very restricted while using any WordPrWooCommerce Email Designeress theme as a non-developer? I’ve got you covered.
Today in this post, I am going to review the Kadence theme. Kadence is one of the top brands in the WordPress community that offers plenty of themes and plugins.
Kadence theme is a lightweight, easy-to-use, and feature-rich WordPress theme and is as powerful as Astra and GeneratePress.
Kadence has additional plugins like Kadence Blocks, Kadence Cloud, Kadence Conversions, and much more.
These plugins eliminate the need for page building and lead generation plugins. The Kadence full bundle gives you access to all of its themes and plugins at an affordable fee. The full bundle is even available for a lifetime purchase.
Let’s get started with the Kadence theme review and decide whether it is the best WordPress theme for you or not.
|Pricing starts at 💸
|You can use on unlimited sites
Header & footer builder
|Coding skills needed? 👨💻
|No. You get almost all the
features built-in within
|Kadence has a good number of integrations.
For instance, WooCommerce, LearnDash, Tutor LMS, etc.
Kadence is a feature-rich, easy-to-use, and beginner-friendly WordPress theme that comes with additional plugins and themes.
At WordPress.org, it has 100,000+ active installations to date.
Unlike GeneratePress, which restricts the number of site usage (500 websites), you can use all Kadence plugins on unlimited websites.
Apart from its theme, it has two notable plugins:
- Kadence Blocks addon eliminates the need for page builders by super-charging the default block editor.
- Kadence Conversions helps in lead generation eliminating the need for a popup builder.
Upfront bottom line: If you’re concerned with page speed and core web vitals, Kadence is the solution. Kadence is one of the lightweight, fast-loading, and feature-rich WordPress themes.
Its Kadence Blocks has tons of Gutenberg elements that let you eliminate the need for page builders, Kadence Conversions helps you in lead generation and it replaces the need for lead generation plugins.
Kadence Cloud helps you reuse your design assets across multiple websites. Also, its Shop Kit plugin helps you build a conversion-ready WooCommerce store. If you need excellent customization options without any coding requirements, Kadence is the way to go.
Kadence pros 👍
- Kadence is one of the easy-to-use and feature-rich themes that offers additional plugins to take your site design to the next level.
- Similar to Blocksy, the Kadence Pro theme has a color switch add-on that allows users to switch the color palette at their convenience when they land on the site.
- Kadence theme supports 35+ social networking sites to add to your website. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, Patreon, Github, TikTok, Telegram, SoundCloud, and Apple Podcast are supported, to name a few.
- It supports breadcrumbs features of Yoast, SEOPress, and Rank Math plugins.
- To make galleries and images look professional, the theme has a built-in lightbox overlay feature.
- You can use its Kadence Cloud, Kadence Conversions, Kadence Blocks, and other Kadence plugins based on your requirements. Kadence full bundle gives access to all these plugins.
- Their “element hooks” feature lets you easily add elements or content anywhere across the website.
- Kadence is one of the most lightweight and fast themes which helps in ranking especially with Google Core Web Vitals in place.
- It also has an option to load Google fonts locally which helps in improving the speed of the site.
- It was one of the first themes to introduce full site editing that lets you customize your whole WordPress website using Gutenberg blocks and not just the Post/Page.
- You can use all Kadence products on unlimited websites.
Kadence cons 👎
- Kadence lacks a white labeling feature, unlike Astra. It could be very important for you if you’re an agency owner.
- You have very limited customization options with the free Kadence theme. Like, you can just customize the colors, typography, layouts, and branding.
- The basic Kadence pro pricing plan lacks access to Pro starter templates. To get this, you need to buy its essential bundle at $129/year.
- In order to purchase additional plugins, you must pay an additional fee.
- Kadence’s free version has very limited templates.
Ease of use and user interface
Kadence theme is very easy to use, even beginners can easily get started.
To activate this theme, first, you need to install Kadence free theme. If you are a Pro user, activate the license with API keys.
In the dashboard, under Appearance>Kadence, you will find quick links to access the customizer settings. If you want to customize the typography, just click on customize and it will load the typography settings for you.
Kadence does not require coding skills, unlike GeneratePress. The theme has neatly organized sections making it easier to access all its features.
Let’s analyze the speed and performance metrics of the Kadence theme with GTmetrix.
- WordPress site running on Closte (powered by Google Cloud and Litespeed)
- Tests are run keeping Closte’s CDN server-side cache that includes OPCache and advanced-cache.
- Litespeed cache plugin on WordPress.
Kadence free theme alone
Performance with Kadence Pro
You can see from the above screenshots that both free and premium themes load faster. There is no huge difference.
However, in real-life use cases, as you’ll be having many more plugins installed on your site, the page speeds vary.
- Here are some unique ways in which Kadence is optimized for faster page loads: Kadence is one of the only themes that lets you load Google fonts locally within a click.
- It also comes with CSS preload functionality
- The theme is lightweight.
By installing Starter Templates by Kadence WP plugin, you will get professionally designed templates to quickly set up your site..
You can filter the templates by choosing either Gutenberg or Elementor page builder.
Kadence provides a wide range of starter templates in various categories. The templates are available for various use cases like courses, charity, digital services, eCommerce, events, freelance, yoga, recipe blog, SaaS, shopping, and much more.
I am using the Business course template for sake of demo.
While importing the template, you can either import a single page or the full site.
Similar to Astra, with the Kadence Cloud plugin, you will get access to section templates and wireframes (structure). With these templates, you can build any type of site you imagine.
Kadence products work well with any of the page builders you use. Elementor is the top one-page builder the Kadence team has recommended.
Some of the other page builders you can use include Brizy, a page builder by SiteOrigin, Divi, and Beaver Builder.
As you saw in the previous section, Kadence provides starter templates specifically for Elementor and Gutenberg.
Using these page builders you can customize the templates as needed.
Note that, if you are not using any of the page builders like Elementor, you can make use of Kadence Blocks. This is a WordPress block editor plugin very similar to Generate Blocks that helps you extend the design possibilities. It gives you excellent blocks with great customization features.
Kadence Blocks vs Elementor
Elementor is one of the leading page-building plugins for WordPress. With Elementor Pro you will get plenty of advanced blocks to design your site and the WooCommerce store.
Also, there are good customization options available for each Elementor block.
If you compare Elementor Pro with Kadence Blocks Pro, with Kadence Blocks there are very limited blocks and customization options. Kadence Blocks is not an independent page-building plugin, it is just an addon to increase the design flexibility of WordPress.
So, if you want to build complex websites with some fancy layouts and need conditional blocks, Elementor Pro is the way to go.
If you don’t want to make your site heavy and want to build a fast, responsive and clean website, Kadence Theme + Kadence Blocks would be the best combo.
Also, Elementor has 300+ pre-built templates whereas Kadence has over 90+ pre-built templates. Here, Elementor has an edge over Kadence.
Kadence’s customizer offers plenty of unique customization features. For example – Kadence allows you to customize the search results page, enable the lightbox for images, has conditional headers, 35+ social networks to add profile links, and much more.
You can access this feature under, Customizer>General>Colors. Kadence supports three color palettes, each supporting up to 9 colors. You can customize the palettes to match your brand.
You can set global colors for buttons, background, links, text, headings, etc. Kadence Pro has a “Color Palette Switch (Dark Mode)” feature where you can let users switch to a dark mode palette for their convenience.
You can also enable the OS Aware feature, where the default color palette will be set based on users’ computer settings (dark mode or light mode).
There are plenty of options available to design the color palette switch. You can customize the switch style, switch type, palette title, set the icons for light and dark modes, and much more.
Kadence‘s header and footer builder is very similar to Astra, yet more powerful. There are nearly 20+ widgets available to design your header.
Basically, with other WordPress themes, you will get two header options; transparent header and sticky header. Kadence adds one more header type called conditional headers.
With this feature, you can create and display unique headers for specific posts or pages by creating the rules. You can even show the conditional headers for logged-in and logged-out users.
This feature would be really helpful to show the relevant content to the target audience increasing the user engagement on site. You can import/export these headers to use on any of your websites.
You can also specify an expiration date for the conditional header. For example, during Christmas, you can set a custom header with some Lottie animations, and let it expire once the season ends.
Similarly, you can design the footer by just adding the widgets you need. Kadence has a few widgets to design footers.
Additionally, you can add any elements designed via Gutenberg using “widget” option. Using Kadence customizer you can design the layouts globally for your blog pages, single posts, archive posts, and search results.
For pages, you have various layout options like normal, narrow, full width, left sidebar, and right sidebar. If you want to add sidebars for pages, you have three choices, sidebar1, sidebar2, and catalog off-canvas sidebar.
You need to design sidebars 1 and 2 using widgets in the dashboard.
You can also easily make all or the last sidebar sticky from Customizer>General>Sidebar.
Single post layout
For the title of the single post, you have two layouts – in-content, and above content. You can enable the title items to display, like breadcrumbs, categories, title, meta, and excerpt.
You have the options to enable/disable the featured image, post tag, author box, post navigation, related posts, comments, comments date, and footer area in boxed mode. Kadence has a unique feature to display the related posts loop endlessly.
Similar to pages, you can design the archive pages. You can choose the archive layout, and container width, and select the title elements to display.
For archive posts, you can display the featured image, category, title, meta, read more, and excerpt. When you expand the drop-down, you will get access to many of its features.
For example – Under Meta, you have options to show the author, author link, author image, author label, show published date, last updated date, etc. I liked the fact that the interface looks very neat and minimal as the options are nested in dropdown menus.
Note: Kadence has similar design options to design the search result archives as well.
If you want to create a custom layout and sidebars for your site, you can do this by using Kadence Elements along with a block builder like Kadence Blocks or any of the page builders. We will discuss more on this later.
Kadence Pro comes with a Header/Footer Scripts add-on, where you can add custom scripts for headers and footers to track the analytics/conversions.
For example, you can add Google Analytics/Google Tag Manager scripts to track conversions and traffic insights. Go to Customizer>custom scripts and add the tracking code.
Apart from these, you also have options to add scroll to top button, breadcrumbs (Kadence supports Yoast, Rankmath, and SEOPress breadcrumbs), enable infinite scroll for a blog, search page, products, and custom post types.
Kadence Elements is a premium feature. It gives you the freedom to add whatever element wherever you want. Also, it’s very easy to use so anyone can do endless customizations.
To avail this, you need to have the “Hooked elements” module enabled inside of the theme settings.
To create the new element, go to Appearance>Kadence>Elements.
When you click on Add new, it will ask you to choose the element type.
- If you want to create a sticky element you need to choose“fixed section”.
- Go with the “templates” type to create element templates for custom post types.
- The content section is for creating custom content areas to display on your site.
- If you want to add the content using HTML, go with the HTML editor.
For sake of the demo, I am creating a template element and will design the template using Kadence and WordPress blocks. After creating the element, you need to choose the placement i.e. where the element should be displayed, choose the posts/pages, users, and devices on which the element should be displayed.
If you want to disable the element after a certain time, you can set the expiry date so you won’t have to disable it manually. This would be really helpful if you want to create elements for announcements, special deals, offers, etc.
To see how your design looks, you can choose a post for a preview and see the changes.
I found this feature of Kadence to be more intuitive and polished than Astra’s Custom Layouts. That this will surely change as these themes are updated fairly regularly.
Using Kadence Blocks you can also design custom layouts, sidebars, footers, headers, etc.
Let’s now discuss about sidebars.
To add a custom sidebar, first create the sidebar using Kadence Blocks or page builder, then in the placement choose the sidebar to replace.
You can add any element at any place on your site using the Kadence Element Hooks. For instance, an affiliate disclosure, author box, automatic table of content to every page, or any call-to-action at the end of every post/page.
Additionally, the Kadence element gives you an advanced option to display the particular elements on selected devices only. This is very beneficial for those interested in A/B testing.
Kadence Blocks is more powerful compared to GenerateBlocks. With both, you can display the content dynamically.
It’s library has more blocks compared to Astra or GeneratePress. It should not come as a surprise as they theme witnessed more growth when WordPress Block Editor was gaining momentum.
But, it doesn’t matter much as you can use this plugin with other themes as well.
GenerateBlocks comes with only four blocks; container, grid, buttons, and headline. Whereas Kadence Blocks comes with more blocks like row layout, infobox, accordion, video popup, table of contents, count up, etc.
One downside with Kadence Blocks is the lack of block templates. GenerateBlocks provides element templates that you can customize using GenerateBlocks.
With Kadence Blocks you will get more customization options compared to GenerateBlocks. There are settings available to design the container, media, title, text, add shadows, enable the conditional display, etc.
Kadence Blocks is mainly for non-developers and you don’t need any CSS skill to make or build some advanced stuff. GenerateBlocks is inclined towards developers and you’d need knowledge of CSS to build some advanced stuff out of it.
Kadence Cloud is a newly released plugin that helps you build a cloud library of design assets. For this, you need to have the Kadence Blocks Pro version installed on your site.
With Kadence Cloud you can save all your favorite blocks to the cloud and reuse them on multiple websites.
For example – If you have created an amazing pricing table using Kadence Blocks and you want it to use on your other websites, you can simply save this as a template to Kadence Cloud and access it whenever and wherever needed.
Kadence Cloud design library gives you access to its Kadence starter packs, wireframes (Similar to Astra) for testimonials, pricing table, portfolio, etc., and sections like pricing tables, sections, features, etc.
To connect your new site to Kadence Cloud, you just need to enter the connection URL and the connection access key.
Kadence Conversions is a popup-building plugin for you to create popups, slide-ins, and banners. There are also a few templates available for these popups. It can be very advantageous for lead generation.
Kadence Conversions is one of the fastest & lightweight plugins and it adds minimal code unlike Thrive Leads, etc. So, it won’t affect your pagespeed much.
You can customize the popups as you need. You can add the background color, image, add overlay, padding, customize the style, position, and much more.
You can display the popup based on the triggers like exit intent, on load, end of content, scroll distance, on load, etc. There are also options available to display on the
- Target pages like on the entire site, on the blog page, all archives, etc.
- Target visitors, like logging users, logged out users, administrators, editors, authors, etc.
- Target WooCommerce cart. Only show if specific products are added, based on the cart total, etc.
- Target devices, show on desktop, mobile, or tablet.
- Much more.
Note that you can schedule the popups to display over a certain time period, you can enable recurring and range scheduling. Along with these, there are open and close animation options available and you can customize the close button.
Kadence Conversions has a built-in analytics tracking feature to know how your pop-ups are working. If you want to track and get more analytics, you can integrate it with Google Analytics.
If you are an Elementor Pro user, then you will get access to its pop-up builder. This is more powerful than Kadence Conversions.
With Elementor, you can create a variety of popups like full screen, content lockers, modal, slide-in, top/bottom bars, etc. The templates are more professional than Kadence.
You can connect Elementor popups with Elementor’s built-in integrations like MailChimp, Drip, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, HubSpot, etc.
In addition to Kadence Blocks, Kadence Cloud, and Kadence Conversions plugins, there are other plugins available to power up your theme and the WooCommerce store.
Here is a list of Kadence WordPress plugins:
- Kadence Slider
- Kadence AMP
- WooCommerce Email Designer
- Kadence WooCommerce Elementor
- Kadence WooCommerce SiteOrigin Builder
- Kadence Gallerie
- Kadence Related Content
- Kadence Pricing Table
- Kadence Simple Share
- Kadence Reading Time
- Kadence Page Transitions
- Kadence Custom Fonts
- Kadence reCAPTCHA
- Kadence Widget Dock
- Kadence Fullpane Vertical Slider
You can go through this to explore more on these plugins.
With Kadence you will get more customization options to design your WooCommerce store.
With Kadence you can customize the store notice placement, disable the dismiss button, customize the store font, and the background color.
Single product page design
You can design the single product pages by choosing the product layout, content style, choose the product elements to display (like category, title, rating, payment mode, add to cart button, etc), enable the custom quantity variator, show related products, etc.
Here you can design the archive layout, and content style, choose what to display on the shop page, category page, display the custom content for the shop page, add filters, product sorting, etc.
Kadence allows you to design custom off-canvas sidebars using the default WordPress blocks and Kadence Blocks.
Kadence theme lacks in WooCommerce checkout page customization options like you cannot add coupon fields, cart notes, or enable the two-step checkout. It is a bare minimum.
But with the Kadence WooCommerce Shop Kit plugin, you will get more advanced WooCommerce features to design your store.
Kadence WooCommerce shop kit plugin allows you to add a slider for product galleries, enable image zooming on hover, create custom cart messages to display on specific products, and based on the cart value. These custom cart messages help you upsell the products and motivate users to buy more. You can also add variation swatches including color swatches, image swatches, and radio boxes. These are the unique features you can avail with the Kadence+Shop Kit plugin.
This shop kit comes with one powerful feature called advanced reviews. This feature replaces the WooCommerce default reviews feature. Users can upvote the reviews they found most helpful and they can order the reviews to show the highest voted reviews first.
You can also customize the call to action buttons, add descriptions for category pages, add variation price control, create your own custom fields using checkout manager, add direct affiliate links for product images, enable coupon checkout nodal, and much more.
If you use Elementor to design your WooCommerce store, you can use Kadence WooCommerce Elementor Pro addon to get additional WooCommerce blocks and features.
Kadence Free vs Pro
Kadence theme free vs pro
Kadence free theme gives you very limited customization options. Like, you can just customize the colors, typography, layouts, and branding.
The pro theme unlocks several modules that give more advanced customization options to design your site.
Some of the important modules you get with Kadence Pro are:
- Header addons
- Conditional headers
- Ultimate menu
- Header/footer scripts
- WooCommerce addon
- Hooked elements
Kadence blocks free vs pro
With the free Kadence Blocks plugin, you will get very limited blocks and customization options.
Blocks available in the free version:
- Row Layout Block
- Accordion Block
- Tabs Block
- Advanced Heading Block
- Info Box Block
- Icon Block
- Advanced Button Block
- Spacer/Divider Block
- Prebuilt Library
- Editor Width Controls
Blocks available in the Kadence Blocks Pro:
- Video pop-up Block
- Product carousel Block
- Split content Block
- Image overlay Block
- Post grid/carousel Block
- Modal Block
- On scroll animation
If you want these blocks and advanced customization features, go with the premium version.
Kadence integrates with some of the top-page WordPress page building plugins, LMS plugins, membership plugins, etc. These include Elementor, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg, LearnDash, TutorLMS, Restrict Content Pro, and much more.
Kadence offers you some eLearning starter templates if you are building an LMS website. When you integrate LearnDash with Kadence, in the customizer Kadence allows you to customize the layouts for courses, lessons, essays, groups, and topics. Also, you can customize the background, typography, and colors.
Kadence has in-depth knowledge base articles, YouTube videos, community forums, Facebook group to assist its customers.
You can also submit your queries through a form.
So, in case you have any doubts or you want some help regarding the theme and its features, Kadence, and its team has got you covered.
You can buy the Kadence products either individually or purchase its full bundle which gives premium access to all its products.
The single Kadence Pro theme costs you $59/year. If you purchase their essential bundle at $129/year, you will get access to the Kadence Pro theme, Kadence blocks Pro, and the Pro starter templates.
The full bundle at $199/year includes:
- Kadence Blocks Pro
- Kadence Theme Pro
- Pro Starter Templates
- Kadence Cloud
- Child Theme Builder
- Kadence Shop Kit
- Kadence AMP
- Includes all our themes and plugins
- Access to all future products
If you are using the Kadence free theme you can buy other Kadence products individually, like the Kadence Cloud plugin alone costs $69/mo, Kadence WooCommerce Shop Kit costs $75/year.
Kadence vs Astra
Both Kadence and Astra are easy-to-use themes with excellent customization options. You don’t need any coding knowledge to use these two.
Similar to Astra, the Kadence theme has lots of features and customization options built in to design your site. Like, with Kadence’s customizer you can design search pages and 404 pages. Kadence also has a color palette switch addon, 30+ social networks, and much more.
Also with Kadence Cloud, you can access the design library on multiple websites.
Kadence also has a header/footer script in the customizer which lets users to easily add any script without using any bulky plugin. Kadence free version also has many features that are not present in Astra free version (not even in GeneratPress).
Some features like transparent header, footer widget, author bio box, & related blog post widget is therein Kadence free version but absent in Astra free version. Hence, if you’re searching for the best free theme, just go with Kadence.
Astra comes with a white-labeling feature with unlimited site usage. Best for agencies. Kadence is not a white-labeled solution.
Long story short, Go with Kadence if –
- You want a better and easy customization option as Kadence is the most beginner-friendly theme.
- You don’t know about CSS as Astra may need CSS-skill sometimes to edit certain elements.
- You want to completely eliminate page builders as Kadence + Kadence Blocks is an ultimate solution that can completely kill the need of page builder. It also helps in pagespeed and usually, Kadence performs better in Core Web Vitals.
- You are building an E-commerce website as Kadence has some better WooCommerce integrations and features compared to Astra. For instance, Kadence supports a custom WooCommerce shop pages whereas Astra doesn’t.
Consider going with Astra if –
- You want to design a website from scratch. You can think it as a base and then you have to design it according to your need.
- You like a simple and basic website and you don’t need much customization options.
- You need a completely white labled solution.
- You need access to its plugins like ConvertPro and SchemaPro.
Kadence vs GeneratePress
Kadence and GeneratePress both are lightweight themes. To use GeneratePress you need to have some coding skills to add additional features to the theme with custom code. To use Kadence, you don’t need any coding skills.
Kadence offers better customization options than GeneratePress. Kadence has unique features like conditional headers, color palette switch addon, customizer settings to design 404 and search pages, etc. It offers plenty of integrations and comes with additional plugins and themes.
Kadence free version has a lot of better customization options and features than GeneratePress. For instance, colors, site library, copyright, import or export, & WooCommerce.
GeneratePress needs CSS skills to customize or add any particular element, be it, changing the font on a particular page, customization in the author box, etc. On the other hand, you can easily customize and add any element in Kadence without knowing anything about CSS.
For instance, you can see the below image. To add just an author box, you need to add CSS in GeneratePress whereas adding an author box in Kadence is just a single click.
In brief, go with GeneratePress if –
- You know somewhat about CSS and WordPress technicalities.
- You want a basic theme and want to design it from scratch.
- You do not need many integrations and customization options in the theme.
Go with Kadence if –
- You love making your site beautiful and more user-friendly.
- You want more freedom in customization and do not want to settle down with just 4 blocks present in GenerateBlocks.
- You are not a developer or you are a beginner and you don’t know about CSS.
- You have an agency and want an unlimited site usage license.
- You want access to plugins like Kadence Blocks, Kadence Conversions, etc.
- You want to completely eliminate bloated page builders like Elementor and want to get the best out of Gutenberg.
Kadence theme is lightweight, easy to use, and has a good number of features built-in. It doesn’t require any coding knowledge. If you want the fastest theme with excellent customization options, Kadence is the way to go.
Kadence free theme also has a decent number of features to design your site.
Kadence Blocks eliminates the need for page builder plugins. You can use the Kadence theme + Kadence Blocks to create stunning websites with no page builders.
If you have a WooCommerce site, the Kadence Shop Kit plugin is a game-changer. It gives many advanced features to take your WooCommerce store to the next level.
I hope you liked this post on the Kadence theme review.