Choosing a theme for your blog is like deciding whether you want your house to be brick, stucco, rock, or something in between. Avada lets you make that happen easily! And you can control exactly how it looks.
It’s a lot of work to figure out how you want your site to look. And when you’re just starting out you likely don’t know 100% what you want.
Of course, you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a theme and/or web developer and then decide you want to change things up in 6 months either.
If you’re like me… you might want to be in complete control — being able to change things up if you want — but also have the option to hire some help if you don’t want to do it yourself.
It’s the combination of those two things that led me to choose Avada as the theme for Succulents and Sunshine (my main “blog” or niche site), as well as other sites I’m running (this one included).
Favorite Things About Avada
I could probably tell you a million different reasons why I love the Avada WordPress Theme, but that wouldn’t help very much. So I’ve narrowed it down to the few items that were “deal breakers” for me.
For me, the biggest selling point of Avada was the customizability.
I’ve tried a bunch of other drag and drop builders but they ended up being really clunky to use, or there was a disconnect from what I *thought* I was building on the back end and what actually happened on the front end.
With Avada, you can easily create seemingly complicated designs with pretty little effort. And the setup for building on the back end is fairly intuitive with the front end result adjusting just like you’d expect.
Build Your Own Templates
One of the downsides to “customized” is usually that it’s complicated to duplicate a particular look or feel across multiple pages.
Avada makes this really simple. If you like how a particular page turned out, simply save it as a template! Then use that template for the next page or post you set up.
You can also save “containers” (a horizontal section of the site) and “elements” (individual pieces of a page) in addition to the full page.
There’s also an options to set a saved container or element as “global”. This means if you update the container on one page it will automatically update that container anywhere else you have it on the website!
I’ve found this feature to be extremely handy for creating “ads” for my own products on various pages or posts. If I want to make an adjustment, I only have to update the global template and it’s adjusted everywhere! No more going into each individual page to make the change.
You also have the option to set a page to no longer be global too, so you can easily change your mind.
Options to change at many levels
The great thing about the customizability factor here is you can make adjustments at a variety of levels. You can easily make site-wide changes to things like headers, button colors, and more.
Or, you can make adjustments on a page or element level. It’s up to you!
Almost anything can follow the “default” setup (which you can customize) or it can be changed individually on each page.
No Landing Page Builder Required
Using this theme has eliminated the need for a “landing page” builder as well. Each page can be completely different than any other page on the site.
Want to have a custom header ONLY on the sale page? No problem!
Want to change up the sidebar for a specific page or post? Totally doable!
There have been very few building options I haven’t been able to work out with the Avada theme.
The Not-So-Great Things About Avada
Where there are lots of good things about using Avada there are also some not-so-good things too. Most of these “cons” are due to the amazing customization options available with Avada. They come with a price :)
Initial Learning Curve
While I have LOVED using Avada and I am very comfortable using it, it is not especially beginner friendly.
It takes a good deal of training to understand the different sections and how they interact. Plus, there are different ways of building things out so you might build out something differently than the support team would making it a little bit difficult to get help.
The support forums are really helpful though! And I’ve received very helpful feedback from their service team.
Once you understand the basics of how Avada works and have played around with various elements and container options, you’ll begin to see the potential at your fingertips.
But if you’re already struggling with the tech side of having a website — this isn’t the theme for you.
It’s fantastic if you’re DIY-er and like to have control and don’t want to hire a designer for every little change you want to make.
Options Overload + Blank Canvas
There are SO MANY different options and customizations available with each Avada element. This is great, except when you don’t really know what you want.
A fresh install of Avada isn’t already “pretty” and ready to go for you. You’ll need to build it from scratch, or import content from one of their demo themes.
The demo themes are awesome, but I found it very tricky to understand how they were using each element. My approach for creating things was a little different.
But, if you already have an idea in mind of what you’d like your website to look like, you should be able to get it built out fairly easily. It’ll just take a good chunk of time up front to get all the settings right.
When I began using Avada for Succulents and Sunshine, I hired Meredith from Greenix Media to get all the basics setup.
I had an outline of what colors and typography I wanted for various headers and elements. She made it all happen. Plus, I had some wire frames of page layouts that she was able to build out for me too.
It was a great way to get the foundation laid, while still giving me the control I was hoping for.
And now she’s basically on speed dial for any changes I’d like to implement but can’t (or don’t want to) figure out. She is extremely knowledgeable about the Avada theme and is fantastic to work with!
This one is a bit of a challenge for me and may be a turn off for some. While Avada has worked to optimize the load time and “weight” of the theme, it isn’t the fastest one out there.
But, it’s also likely you won’t need a bunch of other plugins that might slow your site down too.
For me the difference in speed wasn’t worth giving up the customization. And I still rank extremely well on google search so it hasn’t been a major issue there.
If you’re wondering… Succulents and Sunshine usually ranks 1 or 2 for the keyword “succulents” depending on the day. In the past year, our average position was 1.6 for “succulents”.
I’m guessing there’s some statistical data out there somewhere if this might be an issue for you.
Page Specific Customizations
I LOVE being able to customize each individual page on my site. However, this can also cause some issues.
There have been times where I didn’t realize I had made some page-specific changes and don’t notice the inconsistencies until weeks after making a global change. Sometimes I’ll run into an issue with a particular element only to find out there’s a custom setting overriding the feature I want.
This is going to happen with any customizable theme you use. And for the most part it’s pretty easy to find or catch these issues with Avada.
You can also easily insert custom CSS to the pages. I’ve found myself trying to make adjustments and didn’t realize some previous CSS override I did was causing a weird interaction.
Again, that you’re likely to run into if you do a lot of custom changes.
What should you do?
At the end of the day, the benefits of using Avada far outweighed the cons.
I’ve been using the theme for two years and counting now. I’ve adjusted to the setup and I love easily being able to create a beautiful, customized page with minimal effort.
I can easily replicate most landing pages I see others using but with my own look and design.
Everything feels clean and simple because I’m only adding things in where I want them. At it’s core Avada is a blank slate for you to add to.
One other benefit of Avada is there’s no recurring payment for the theme and updates. You only have 6 months of support (unless you buy an extended license) but I’ve found working with GreenixMedia to be the best option for support.
If you’re looking for a website design won’t look like everyone else you know… that’s also easy to edit and customize… I highly recommend checking out Avada.
You can browse their demo sites to get inspiration and see what elements and functionality are available to build with. My sites are using pretty basic elements, but there are some other really great options that we haven’t used yet.
So, take a look! This just might be the website design solution for you.