OceanWP WordPress Theme: What Makes It a Great Theme for Beginners?

OceanWP WordPress Theme

Boasting over 5.5 million downloads, the OceanWP WordPress theme has earned critical acclaim for its wide range of templates, eCommerce features, and design choices, but is that enough to make it a good choice for WordPress beginners?

To be honest, I certainly think so.

Since I began my journey to building a $1.5 million content website portfolio, I’ve tried out so many WordPress themes that I’ve lost count.

Yet while I couldn’t tell you the name of every single theme I’ve ever used, I can certainly tell you that the ones that do stand out in my mind are those that offer beginner-friendly usability at budget-friendly pricing, all without compromising on the kind of design quality and functionality modern website owners need to succeed.

For the most part, OceanWP ticks all of those boxes and then some, though, like anything in life, it does have its fair share of drawbacks and disadvantages too.

In this unbiased OceanWP review, I’ll outline all the pros and cons of this popular theme to help you decide if it’s the best choice for your first WordPress site.

What is the OceanWP WordPress Theme?

What is the OceanWP WordPress Theme

Since it was first launched in 2016, OceanWP has earned an ever-growing reputation as one of the best free WordPress themes, thanks to an impressive no-payment-necessary plan that few others can match.

Indeed, the only plan I know of that comes close to rivaling OceanWP’s free offering comes from one of the most successful themes of all time, Astra.

Still, though it may often be referred to as a top Astra alternative, OceanWP certainly doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone.

As you’ll read below, the hundreds of beautifully designed website templates, beginner-friendly customization, and excellent WooCommerce integration make it a superb option for any WordPress user, beginner or otherwise.

What Kind of Websites Can You Make With OceanWP?

What Kind of Websites Can You Make With OceanWP

Although many of its best website templates are reserved for premium users only, OceanWP offers such an abundance of designs for every imaginable niche that you’re bound to find something that fits your needs whether you pay for the theme or not.

Among the countless available demos, you’ll find themes that are custom-designed for just about every industry, including, but by no means limited to:

  • Artists
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Bloggers
  • Business consultants
  • Coaches and personal trainers
  • Churches and charities
  • Construction firms
  • Fashion designers and retailers
  • Festivals and events
  • Freelancers
  • Gyms
  • Health and beauty brands
  • Interior designers
  • Lawyers and legal consultants
  • Lifestyle brands
  • Marketing and design agencies
  • Musicians
  • Pet stores
  • Photographers
  • Restaurants and food delivery services
  • Sports teams and clubs
  • Tattoo and piercing studios
  • Therapists.

Plus countless others.

OceanWP for WordPress: Key Features

OceanWP for WordPress Key Features

You’ll rarely find a free WordPress theme that offers as many features as OceanWP.

Some of the highlights include:

1. Customizable Headers and Footers

The theme gives you complete control over the headers and footers, with seven different customizable styles that can be applied across your site or to individual posts and pages.

2. Mobile Responsive

OceanWP is designed to work well on all devices right out of the box, while a range of additional features can improve how it looks and performs on mobile devices.

Not only can you pick from three different mobile menu styles, but you can also take complete control over the visibility of your headers, footers, page titles, and other content so that you can streamline your site for use on smart devices.

3. Custom 404 Pages

This may not be such a big deal to some, but in my experience, most WordPress themes restrict the ability to create custom 404 pages for their paid customers only.

With OceanWP, that’s not the case.

Even if you’re a free user, you can set up attractive 404 pages so that, if a visitor does get lost, you can direct them back to your content, to your social media profiles, or even encourage them to sign up to your mailing list to boost your email marketing efforts.

5. Advanced Blogging Tools

As a blogger, I love all the different options OceanWP gives you to showcase your blogging content.

Multiple posts and page layout settings allow you to configure your content for mobile and desktop devices. At the same time, you also have the freedom to show, hide, or reorder nine different post elements, including:

  • Post Title
  • Featured image
  • Post content
  • Next and previous post links
  • Related content links
  • Author Box
  • Comments
  • Metadata

Speaking of metadata, the standard post templates allow you to choose whether to display the post date, categories, comments, and author information, as well as the ability to show the reading time of a post and/or the date it was modified.

Elsewhere, you have multiple layouts to showcase your posts, including grid, thumbnail, and masonry designs.

6. WooCommerce Compatibility

If you’re planning to use WordPress to launch an online store, you’ll love OceanWP’s seamless integration with the top eCommerce tool, WooCommerce.

Here, the theme gives you complete control over shop and product page styling along with multiple tools to boost conversions, including:

  • Distraction-free checkouts.
  • eCommerce toolbar so that customers can browse your product catalog in a way that best suits them.
  • Quick View feature so that customers can quickly checkout a product without leaving the page they’re on.
  • Show, hide, or reorder eCommerce elements, including product images, star ratings, categories, and more.

How Much Does the OceanWP Theme Cost?

How Much Does the OceanWP Theme Cost

It’s no secret that one of the biggest upsides to using OceanWP is that the free version packs in everything a WordPress beginner could need to launch a successful site.

This includes:

  • 15 x website templates
  • Custom mobile headers
  • Multiple blog layouts
  • WooCommerce integration
  • Themes designed for top online course platforms such as LearnDash and LifterLMS
  • Custom 404 pages
  • Custom colors and typography settings
  • Social media tools
  • Video widgets
  • Twitter widgets
  • Plus more.

However, once you’ve got your site off the ground, you may want to add extra functionality or upgrade the look and feel of your site using one of the Pro templates available.

If that’s the case, you have the following three premium plans to choose from:

1. Personal – $43 per year

Includes everything in the free version plus:

  • Use on up to three websites
  • 210 x Pro website templates
  • 14 x Premium extensions (more on these below)
  • 7 x Free extensions
  • Limited access to the Elementor Sections Library
  • 12 x months of basic customer support
  • 12 x months of automated theme updates.

2. Business – $71 per year

Includes everything in the Personal plan plus:

  • Use on up to six websites
  • Use of royalty-free images and icons
  • Full access to the Elementor Sections Library
  • Access to a private support group
  • Access to exclusive content and webinars to help you grow your site.

3. Agency – $127 per year

Includes everything in the Business plan plus:

  • Use on up to 50 websites
  • 12 x months of VIP customer support
  • Access to the OceanWP partner program and associated benefits.

Compared to other premium themes I’ve used in the past, this is an excellent value-for-money offer when considering just how many templates and features you use.

What Does the OceanWP Core Extension Bundle Offer?

What Does the OceanWP Core Extension Bundle Offer

Of course, the premium plans are even more attractive when you consider that they also include a total of 21 OceanWP extensions, which expand the core functionality of the theme and give you even more ways to improve your site’s user experience.

These extensions include, but aren’t limited to:

1. Sticky Anything

Allows you to fix any element permanently in place so that it’s always visible on your page.

2. Full Screen

An effortless way to create a full-screen scrolling experience for your site.

3. Cookie Notice

Makes it easy to comply with GDPR and other global privacy regulations.

4. Popup Login

If you’re creating a WordPress membership site or an eCommerce store that allows for account creation, this handy extension will give your users a convenient popup box to log in or register.

5. Instagram

It offers an attractive way to present your Instagram feed on your page.

6. White Label

Ideal for developers, the White Label extension lets you replace the OceanWP branding with your own.

7. Portfolio

Perfect for designers, photographers, and other creators, the Portfolio extension offers beautiful, dynamic templates for showcasing your portfolio.

8. Woo Popup

Adds a popup box when users click ‘Add to Cart.’

9. Footer Sticky

Keeps your footer permanently affixed to the bottom of the screen no matter how or where users scroll to.

10. Modal Window

Add any content element into a modal window with customizable options for where you place the opening button.

11. Post Slider

Sliders still appeal on modern websites, and this handy extension provides several slider designs for showcasing your blog posts.

12. Ocean Hooks

A helpful plugin for adding custom code to your website without interfering with the core theme.

13. Custom Sidebar

Create an unlimited number of unique sidebars for each page of your site.

14. Elementor Widgets

Upgrades your Elementor page builder with more element widgets.

15. Side Panel

Add Elementor widgets to a mobile-responsive side panel.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that you could always avoid paying for the extensions, as you’ll be able to achieve everything above using some of the best free WordPress plugins.

That said, the big advantage to upgrading to the paid version of OceanWP is that since the extensions are specifically designed for the theme, you’re not going to run into any of the conflicts that can sometimes occur between different third-party themes and plugins.

How to Build Your Website With the OceanWP WordPress Theme?

Follow the steps below to get started with building your website with the OceanWP WordPress Theme.

1. Install and Activate OceanWP

Install and Activate OceanWP

If you’ve had a least a little experience with WordPress, you’ll be pleased to know that you can install OceanWP on your website via any of the usual three methods:

  • Via FTP
  • By downloading it from the OceanWP website and uploading it to your site
  • By going to Themes – Add New and searching for the theme there.

If this is the first time you’ve ever used a WordPress theme and neither of these methods is familiar to you, here’s a step-by-step guide to installing a WordPress theme that I hope you’ll find helpful.

2. Install Ocean Extra

Install Ocean Extra

Once the theme is active on your website, you’ll see a notification on your WordPress dashboard inviting you to install a plugin called Ocean Extra.

Although it’s always a little cumbersome to add another plugin, I recommend adding this one, as Ocean Extra is the only way to unlock all of the great features and template designs OceanWP offers.

Install Ocean Extra1

As part of the installation process, Ocean Extra will allow you to share anonymized diagnostic data to help the theme’s developers improve their products.

Whether you allow this or not, it won’t affect your ability to use the theme, and you’ll still be directed to the main OceanWP panel.

3. Import Demo Data

Import Demo Data

Even after creating hundreds of websites, I still recall the panic I had as a beginner after I’d installed a WordPress theme and found that my site looked nothing like it did in the demo.

If you’ve just installed the theme and you’re also wondering why it didn’t seem to make any difference to the look and feel of your website, I’m going to encourage you to keep calm, carry on, and navigate to the part of the OceanWP panel labeled ‘Import Demos.’

It’s here where you’ll be able to select one of those many amazing website templates I talked about earlier and add it to your website so that it starts to look the part.

Import Demo Data1

For this tutorial, I’m going to work with the ‘Coach’ demo. Whichever one you pick, you can look at a live preview to ensure that it looks how you expect it to look, then select ‘Import.’

Import Demo Data2

You’ll be asked to install any plugins required to make your chosen demo look and function how it’s supposed to.

Go ahead and install each one, then click ‘go to the next step.’

Import Demo Data3

From there, you’ll be allowed to choose which parts of the demo you want to install. If you wish your website looks as close to the demo as possible, then I recommend you keep everything selected and hit ‘install this demo.’

Import Demo Data4

When it’s done, you’ll receive a confirmation message with a link to check out your stunning new website.

4. Customize Your Page With Elementor

Assuming everything went smoothly, your new website should look exactly as it did in the preview.

Customize Your Page With Elementor

That’s a great start, but all that generic content and block after block of lorem ipsum doesn’t exactly help you attract visitors, nor does it tell them anything about you or your business.

To do that, you will need to edit and customize your demo, which you can do by selecting the ‘Edit With Elementor’ option from the WordPress menu, which appears at the top of your site when you’re logged in.

Customize Your Page With Elementor1

This will open up the page in the Elementor website builder (which comes pre-installed with OceanWP). You can select any element on the page and edit it to your liking.

Customize Your Page With Elementor2

For example, if you click the purple ‘Make an Appointment button on this homepage, it will bring up a menu of options in the left-hand panel. You can use these options to change the text, color, style, and other key details about this button and choose where it should link to.

Customize Your Page With Elementor3

Elsewhere, you can select individual page elements (known as “widgets”) from the menu and drag them into place anywhere on your website.

5. Configure Key Settings

Configure Key Settings

When you’re done editing your site, you can save and publish it, then navigate to the OceanWP panel from your WordPress dashboard.

Here, you can access a host of tools to finish customizing your site, including adding a logo and Favicon, changing the colors and typography, and modifying the header and footer of your site.

6. Configure Integrations

Configure Integrations

Moving down the panel menu, you can select ‘Integrations’ to enable features including:

7. Customize the Rest of Your Site

OceanWP offers so many features and customizable options that it would take me the length of a book to cover them all in detail.

Customize the Rest of Your Site

What I will say for now is that once you’ve set up your integrations, it’s worth heading over to the theme customizer (Appearance – Customize), where, among other things, you can:

  • Edit general styling and color options for your site
  • Customize the widths and layout styles for your pages
  • Configure the visibility of your page titles, headers, and footers (for example, keeping them hidden on mobile devices but visible on a desktop computer)
  • Edit the content of your headers and footers
  • Create a custom 404 page
  • Configure basic SEO settings
  • Modify your menus and sidebars
  • Choose multiple blogs and page layouts.

The controls for each of these options (plus the countless others) are as intuitive as you could hope for as a new WordPress user, ensuring you’ll have no problems setting up your first site to look and function exactly as you want it to.

When you’re done experimenting with all the different customizable options, hit ‘Publish’ and consider your new website ready to go.

What Support Does OceanWP Offer?

What Support Does OceanWP Offer

OceanWP is a great WordPress theme for beginners because it’s incredibly easy to set up and use.

However, I understand that if you’re new to all this, then there may still be the occasional problem that you run into.

If that does happen, the OceanWP Help Corner offers an extensive range of tutorials, troubleshooting guides, and video walk-throughs to help you get unstuck.

If all that fails, then some customer support is available via a standard email ticketing system in which Business and Agency plan users get priority over Standard and free users.

Though it’s always nice to have other support options at your disposal, the huge amount of documentation combined with the overall user-friendliness of the theme ensures that a basic ticketing system should be enough for most OceanWP users.

OceanWP Pros and Cons



Frequently Asked Questions About OceanWP WordPress Theme

Is the OceanWP theme responsive?

Yes, OceanWP is a fully responsive WordPress theme with multiple options to configure how your site looks and performs on different devices.

Is OceanWP SEO-friendly?

OceanWP is a fast, lightweight theme that integrates effortlessly with leading Search Engine Optimization tools to ensure it’s SEO-friendly.

Do I need Elementor with OceanWP?

All the OceanWP demos were created with Elementor, so you’ll have an easier time customizing your site if you use it. However, you can still use it with any page builder tool, including the default Gutenberg editor.

What Makes OceanWP a Great Theme for Beginners? My Final Verdict

At the beginning of this review, I said that OceanWP is a great theme for beginners, and by now, I’ve done a good job explaining why.

To sum up, the main reason this theme is so popular with first-time WordPress users is that it offers a feature-rich free plan, one of the very best in the industry.

If you’re starting, you may not be ready to plunk down serious cash for a top premium theme, and with OceanWP, you don’t have to, as its free version offers everything you could need to build a quality blog, online store, or website.

Combine that with a very user-friendly interface and controls, high-quality demo templates, and flawless integration with many top WordPress tools, and you’ll find that this theme is the perfect place to start your journey to success with WordPress.



Forrest Webber is an ordinary businessman who stumbled upon the lucrative world of blogging by accident. Forrest founded Wander Media LLC in 2017 and has led the company through ups and downs to a recent watermark of $40,000 in monthly revenue. He’s most passionate about imagination and the positive futures it can create.

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