• Quick Summary: Our catalogue has expanded and now features all non-ecommerce OceanWP demos. All demos we're built using the Elementor page builder. There were some interesting lessons to learn with the addition of this second theme provider.

  • The catalogue as shown on our site

    A first look at the OceanWP layouts

    Our catalogue has expanded with 50 demos from OceanWP. You can find all new entries in a dedicated overview called " OceanWP demos". Considering the enormous popularity of OceanWP in the Facebook groups I'm in I was hoping for a bit more diversity in the demos. But somehow theme providers don't seem to get away from the standard " Architect", " Photography", and " Restaurant" layouts.

    Not necessarily a bad thing, but I would have liked a bit more diversity. The "Architect" business type is represented 3 times. Now I know one architect in real life. And he's a millionaire so fat chance he's going for a DIY WordPress theme.

    Navigation of the Coffee Shop layout

    Similarities with Astra's Starter Sites

    As I looked in-depth at what made up a demo I found OceanWP's catalogue had a number of characteristics I had already seen with the Astra Starter Sites as well. This might prompt me to do a deeper review later on to make it more transparent what you're actually buying when choosing a certain theme provider.

    Overall the layouts are fairly thin. With, not counting dummy blog posts, none of them having more than 5 pages. Usually a combination of "home", "blog", "contact", "prices", "about" and "gallery". Or a layout specific blog category in the main navigation like "travel" or "destinations".

    Single-page layout with no navigation of the "Freelancer" demo

    Single-page layouts

    7 of the chosen layouts are pure single-page layouts. That means the layout is a single page where the main menu serves as an in-page navigation. This goes for the following layouts: " Architect", " Chocolaterie", " Freelancer", " Hotel", " Restaurant", " Spa", and " Web Design".

    Choosing a single page layout might make sense from a design perspective. As a theme provider ourselves we sometimes receive single-page layout requests. However, from a content marketing perspective, you should never opt for a single page layout. That would be like shooting yourself in the foot before starting to run a marathon: possible but extremely painful to pull off. Online marketing is about covering certain content pillars with your site content and a single-page layout is ill-suited for this job.

    Of course they are much quicker to produce for the theme provider itself. And it's a good way to quickly add to your catalogue. Nobody's going to look that closely at your catalogue to see what's what before being convinced by your design prowess reflected in the abundance of layouts. At least not like I did. And it was only after I decided to incorporate the catalogue that I found out about this.

    Apart from the single-page layouts, a smaller number of layouts only consists of 2-pages (" Makeup Artist", " Musician", " Online Marketing", " Scuba Diving"). Technically a multi-page layout I admit. They consist of a homepage, usually with in-page navigation, and a blog section.

    Image licensing and support: OceanWP, Elementor and Astra

    As yet, I'm unsure about the image licensing. Meaning, can you use the layout images or do you need to swap them out to prevent licensing issues? This was one of the questions I asked OceanWP's support team (the other one the one in the following paragraph).

    They did email me back with a return question what I meant with "I would like to offer hosted versions of the demos"? I sent a follow-up email which explained in more detail what information I was looking for. Unfortunately, it has been over a week and they haven't answered both questions. I did see they fixed some of the layout issues I pointed out in my email. So that's a good thing.

    I also received a cryptic response from Elementor on our Instagram post stating we've put the OceanWP catalogue online. I have no idea what they mean with it. We bought the " Expert" package for 199 USD which, as their sales page states, grants us the privilige to install Elementor Pro on 1000 sites. It's marked as a "popular" choice. But it's refreshing to be on the client-side of things. A side that sheds new perspective on how we should operate ourselves.

    We've already sold our first hosted Astra Starter Site which prompted a purchase of both their and Elementor's premium package. This was not a flawless operation however, but the response-time and support of Astra has been outstanding. I'm definitely hoping we can expect the same treatment of OceanWP's team in the future. I'm sure we will.

  • About the Author

    Johan van Seijen

    Co-founder

    Johan van Seijen is co-founder of Nexus Themes and our lead designer. After gaining a Master's Degree in Information Science he decided to try his luck in the illustration industry, working for clients as Avantgarde, Cosmopolitan and Glamour. With the return to the software industry grew the desire to create something to be truly proud of and which could spearhead his ambition of having his own company. And this company is what followed. He lives with his wife and daughter in Amsterdam.