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In this post I am going to review and compare some of the best, most powerful and easy to use themes on the WordPress market. And I have used all of these Themes extensively for myself and clients (so this is not just a basic review/overview).
By purchasing such a theme (or theme set) you are buying a future proof and powerful set of tools for your website, that will allow you to build whatever website you imagine. Rather than buying a cheaper one, and being disappointed, or having to add 20 plugins to get it how you want, these themes help you do it all.
Each major theme provider has such a flagship theme, and the ones I am looking at today are:
If you are interested in a specific theme or just want to know which best suits your purpose, just use the Content Navigator on the side ->
Divi is a great theme and website builder all in one, and is the flagship theme from Elegant Themes.
It comes with a whole range of built in features and choice which make it a powerful option to have in your theme arsenal.
Note: I used this theme to create my other marketing website: Entice.
You can also check out a whole load of Divi example websites (real life examples) to see what is possible.
Or take a look at my Divi Theme 2.5 Walkthrough and Tutorial
In this section I will show you the main features, by topic, so you can see the kinds of things that you can do and what is included with Divi.
Divi has a wide variety of layouts that you can choose from, as well as elements that you can easily include on your page – more on that later.
Some of the easy to configure options you have are:
The image below shows some examples of these:
To help speed up your website development, it is crucial to have pre-built templates and pages. After all, why reinvent the wheel, right?
Divi comes to the rescue here too, with the following pages and templates ready-made:
I am almost out of breath!
And they keep coming up with more. Some of them are impressively professional, and you could almost build a website in an hour!
Check out: my ongoing list of premade Divi layouts.
No theme is complete without a huge list of fonts, to help you make your new website unique – and Divi does not disappoint.
I have counted nearly 100 fonts with Divi, which you can easily choose and enable at your whim. (A full list of fonts here.)
They also include an icon library, so you can create those cool icon circles that everyone loves these days, without needing an image library.
Head over here to see all the icons.
Of course, it does not stop there. Divi also have some other features which are worthy of note:
If you have ever used one of the WordPress page builders like Visual Composer from WC Bakery, you will know how easy building websites can be. And Divi is not exception here, with a built-in page builder that is drag and drop simple.
It also comes with a whole swathe of elements that you just have to place on your page, like:
Structural Elements (for structuring your page layout)
More Fun Elements for Your Page
Check out all the Divi Builder modules here.
This is what a page builder layout would look like:
Hopefully that has not overwhelmed you with information, but it is important to know what you are (and are not) getting with these Themes I find.
All in all Divi is quite powerful, flexible and can pretty much create any masterpiece you can come up with.
One list thing. There is such a huge community of Divi users, that there is now a plugin to help you make the most commonly asked for changes in Divi that have not yet made it into the Theme.
I have never seen such a well supported theme before that someone has made such a plugin. It makes it even easier to use Divi to create amazing websites.
Check Out: Divi Booster plugin and what it can do.
I have talked about Thrive Themes and their built-in content builder before, but I thought it was worth adding them to this review as they are very similar in offering to Divi and X Theme.
Thrive entered the theme market just last year, but their founder Shane Melaugh has been in the internet marketing and WordPress game for a long time.
Thrive Themes is focused on creating stunning and high converting websites. That is Shane’s trademark – conversion and style.
So if you are looking to make sure your website not only
then this might be the theme for you!
Like X Theme, Thrive Themes comes in a variety of Theme flavors which are focused on specific looks or purposes:
As you can see you get a lot of Themes to choose from when you buy Thrive. Below you can see theme layed out in order:
In general these themes were built with flexibility, modern design and conversion in mind, so you would not be surprised to hear that they offer:
Divi above did come with some landing pages and templates built in, but this is where Thrive excels, they have things like:
And many more. In fact the Thrive package comes with about 52 templates. You can see more detail on this in my review of Thrive Landing pages.
Probably one of the best website builders in the WordPress community, the Thrive Content Builder is powerful and WYSIWYG (which means you change/create and it really looks like the final result. No more preview button needed (although there still is one to check your work).
The builder basically sits on top of your page and allows you to
It is all very intuitive and simple to use. And actually a lot easier than the other two themes reviewed here (Divi and X Theme).
If you want a full review along with video demo you can check out my Thrive Content Builder Review or see the demo below.
The content builder makes page building easy (and blog posts too) and comes with a large range of elements for you:
And they keep adding more new ones all the time.
X Theme is being hailed as one of the best WordPress themes around. And with good reason.
It was developed with 4 distinct sub-themes/stacks (Integrity, Renew, Icon & Ethos), and if you take a look at what each one looks like, you will see that you can accomplish almost any look and feel with this theme.
To give you a taste for what each “stack” is like, here is a short description from the website:
Below you can see some of these “stacks” and how the layouts, and styles vary significantly.
You can more or less create any kind of layout and style that you can come up with.
X comes with some great FREE extensions in the form of plugins that mean that you don’t have to buy your own. Here are some of the options you have:
Note: more below on how these are integrated with the Visual Composer (ie. you don’t have to work with shortcodes manually)
Built into the X Theme are a whole bunch of shortcodes that make customizing your website simple. For example, some of the custom elements you can add to your website include:
This means that you can build your site quickly and with little to no technical knowledge (although if you are a designer like me, you can also get to the styles easily to customize).
There are also standard pages included with each X Theme stack such as:
So you can create a standard website without doing much at all.
You can also easily include any of the 400 Google fonts into your website to customize it with ease.
And there are icon libraries so that you can easily add any icon you want, without needing to go create an image, and add to the size of your website too (icon fonts save you load time and apace)
I developed a website with X Theme recently using their free and customized version of Visual Composer which made creating the website a lot easier and faster.
It also integrates with all the shortcodes that X Theme comes with, which means that you can place and customize their unique elements easily without using messy code.
This builder is quite similar to the one in Divi, but is a little more powerful with more options (in my opinion) – or at least it felt that way when I had to achieve some difficult results for the website I was working on.
Either way, rest assured that you do not have to code the pages yourself to get the stunning results you see on the X Theme Website. You can borrow their pre-made pages, import them, and tweak them using the Visual Composer.
Revolution Slider with an X Theme Variation (Integrity Side Menu)
One of the most customizable and amazing sliders around is included free with X Themes. You can create stunning sliders with effects like:
In fact, there are so many features and options with this slider, it deserves a whole review of its own!
The X Themes team haven’t forgotten about all your favorite WordPress plugins either and have made sure that you can seamlessly integrate both WooCommerce and BuddyPress.
They have also made translation a breeze, include right to left languages like Arabic.
X Themes is all in all a very powerful set of themes all built into one, that allows you to create almost anything you could imagine.
In this section I am going to compare various areas to help you choose the right theme. It will help show where some themes are stronger and others weaker, so might suit you best for a particular purpose.
*Note on Divi: Although it is yearly pricing, you can buy the theme, install it, and not pay for the next year. You just lose support and access to their other themes (if you have not already used them)
Currently these are the themes that you get when you purchase each one:
Although they are all relatively easy to use, Thrive Content Builder is the best around at the moment. (see the video above for a demo).
It is a full WYSIWYG editor so you really can create on the fly and see exactly what you are getting.
The other two themes have built in editors, that play around in the background with shortcodes (so it is a little harder to edit the HTML if you need to). Thrive works directly with HTML, and gives you access to it in the editor.
It is also very easy to tweak the elements and layout through the editor – so changing color, size, margins/padding, font etc, is all a breeze. That is how it was designed.
It is very hard to say which is the best, but X Theme stands out as having a lot of elements at your disposal.
Having said that, I have made websites with Divi too, but the options are a little more limited (but not significant).
Thrive Themes also has a large range, but they are more marketing focused (so landing pages, optin forms, etc).
In the end you cannot really lose too much with any of them, but if you need a specific element (eg. pricing list, or optin forms) then double check that it comes with it. Some have specific elements like that, others don’t.
However, Thrive Content Builder is also very easy to use as it is “what you see is what you get” so you don’t have to guess or preview all the time.
I just finished building a very complex and large site for a client here in Switzerland, and we used X Theme with quite a few of the plugins you get with it (Revolution Slider for example).
The stack options (giving you 4 distinct theme sets) as well as the layout power built into the customizer makes this a very powerful (and cheap at $64 one-time payment) Theme option for a more experienced WordPress designer or website owner.
Thrive Themes was built with conversions in mind. It comes with built-in optin forms in the content builder, as well as lots of landing pages (sales pages, squeeze/landing pages, thank you & email confirmation pages).
They have also built the structure and layout of the themes with conversion in mind, because the company owner is very driven and focused on these topics (as well as website design and speed).
Divi comes second because they also have some built-in landing pages as well.
X Theme has Content Dock plugin (for slide-in optins) and integrated Mailchimp optin forms
NoteL To get full optin form flexibility/options though, I recommend that any website owner uses Thrive Leads which also has built-in integration to almost any email service, 7 optin form options, and A/B testing. It is a great addition to Thrive Themes (or any other theme for that matter).
You have two options to consider if you want to use something like WooCommerce:
X Theme has 4 unique shop designs.
Divi has a couple of pre-made shop layouts and product pages.
I don’t have enough experience with contacting support for all of these, but the guys atThrive Themes are amazing (fast, helpful, and willing to get onto your site and solve the problem).
I will update this later next week as I need to contact theX Theme guys with an issue I am also having.
In terms of forums the X Theme forums are quite extensive, and so are those from Thrive Themes.
Perhaps it is a testament to how simple Elegant Themes/Divi is, that I have not needed to call them yet? And I have used about 10 of their themes on various projects.
In the showdown between X Theme vs Divi vs Thrive Themes there really is no winner, as it depends on what you want to achieve, what you need on your site, and what kind of help you need building it (website builders, plugins etc).
Photo Courtesy of : Maria Georgieva
Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).