The Kadence suite is definitely one of the most popular among those who prefer Block Editor over various WordPress builders. However, it can work with pretty much anything, but their Blocks plugin is really cool (and the whole suite is focused on blocks).
That’s why it’s time to do a Kadence theme review and show how it can work with Crocoblock plugins (JetPlugins).
Table of Contents
Kadence Theme and Plugins Overview
Kadence Theme is difficult to imagine without its satellite plugins, which are the Starter Template and the Kadence Blocks plugins. In this section, I will have a closer look mostly at the free version of them, yet highlight the free and pro features and bundles and talk about pricing plans.
If you need a comparison, this theme really reminds me of Astra: it has a detailed Customizer with header and footer builders; you can make the header sticky or transparent, set up main layouts, their paddings, the way featured images are placed, control a sidebar placement, and so on right from there, completely visually. Also, there’s a quite detailed fonts customizer where you can choose styles not only for headers and body but for breadcrumbs and content titles and set font subsets, which is great for performance.
And, of course, there are plenty of settings for blog pages and archives. Design tabs there let you choose all the main design defaults to follow the design system of your website without effort.
If you purchase a Kadence Theme Pro, you’ll get these additional features:
As for me, these features are cool, but nothing mindblowing, especially for its price. But Kadence was never on the cheap side for their premium products. However, if you have some WordPress knowledge or are building a pretty simple website, the free version will be enough for you. Alternatively, you can make good use of Crocoblock plugins to put your Kadence WordPress theme on steroids and build fast, dynamic sites of any complexity.
Starter Templates plugin
This plugin adds great value to the theme because it comes with 49 free and 34 Pro templates for Gutenberg (however, many free templates still require some paid plugins from the bundle, so they will not be fully operational without a Pro bundle). Templates are modern and well-designed and will be a great solution for simple websites and landing pages, not to mention that they are perfect for beginners or those who don’t want to dive deep into design details.
You can import either the full site with demo content or just an individual page. Also, you can choose a color scheme to match your company’s identity. Note that if you want to access Pro templates, you must buy one of the Bundles, not only the Pro theme.
Kadence Blocks plugin
After testing a lot of block plugins for Gutenberg, I can definitely say that this one is one of my favorites because it’s well-thought-out and has a great user interface. You won’t get lost in all the settings, while there are a lot of them for customization of each block.
But let’s start with blocks. There are 21 blocks in the free version and 31 in the Pro (which include Modal, Carousels, etc.). Both come with fully-fledged responsiveness settings. Another thing that some block plugins often omit is advanced font settings, where you can select a custom font family (not only the one from the Customizer), and Kadence offers this.
They even offer the on-page CSS editor with syntax highlighting, which can be opened in a modal window. It is a trifle but nice, and such small things add to the feeling that the product is polished.
Now, a couple of words about their layout logic. They use rows as a base, and you can choose how many columns (sections) inside it should have. It’s very easy to change their width by just dragging the borders; also, you can either rearrange them using the template on the right panel or do it manually by clicking on the section and clicking the “left” or “right” icons.
There’s one very interesting feature I should mention: Kadence block control. Nope, it’s not for custom visibility but for control of the blocks available in the editor for different groups of users. You can even switch off Design Library or font control. It can be useful for membership websites or just for some of your colleagues who work on the website, who can be confused or use certain blocks wrong.
One more thing I’d like to point out is the layout editor on every page, so you can choose the layout, be it fullwidth, boxed, with a sidebar, etc., for each page. You can also disable headers and footers, control paddings, show or not the featured image, etc.
There’s a new cool feature that is, as of the end of 2023, in the making, but it already seems not bad. Using this tool, you can generate texts, color themes, and more. However, all the images come from the Pexels free library and are not generated customly. If you want to know more about this feature, watch this video from our recent WordPress Agency AI Summit.
There are three main categories of pricing for the Kadence suite. To be precise, there can be even four if you buy a theme separately (the Pro costs $59 a year). But buying the Kadence Blocks Pro makes much more sense, in my opinion, or just investing in the Essential Bundle ($129 a year).
However, if you work with WooCommerce, it’s better to pay $199 a year, and you’ll get all the Kadence benefits, including the Cloud, Conversions, a powerful Shop Kit, and so on.
Also, it’s better to remember that Kadence gives discount prices only for the first year, while the renewals will be charged at the full (crossed) prices, which are $20 more.
So, maybe it’s better to buy a Lifetime, which they also offer; it costs $799.
Kadence and Crocoblock
Many users still think that Crocoblock is only for Elementor, but it’s absolutely not. Years ago, it started with it, but now, almost all the JetPlugins work with Block Editor (Gutenberg) except those specifically Elementor add-ons. Moreover, the key plugins, such as JetEngine and JetSmartFilters, are compatible with Bricks Builder as well.
So, first of all, Kadence and Crocoblock are a great match when it comes to custom post types, so their content area can be designed with all the tools the Kadence Blocks plugin offers.
Another use case is that the Posts block by Kadence fully supports Crocoblock listings. So you can use it to create a post loop by tools of Kadence (alternatively, you can use the Listing Grid block by JetEngine, which has more dynamic settings).
Yes, the Kadence theme and the plugins are fully compatible with Crocoblock.
Kadence offers free versions of their theme and core plugins. They are fully functional and enough to build a lot of websites. However, if you want some dynamic functionality, a powerful Shop Kit, your own cloud library, and so on, the best option would be to purchase a Pro bundle. Alternatively, depending on your goals, Kadence can work great with Crocoblock for highly dynamic websites.
It’s definitely worth testing. Kadence is very easy to use, fast, and SEO-friendly, and gained its well-deserved spot among the most popular themes in the WordPress theme directory.
Yes, thanks to its well-designed and easy-to-use interface and detailed Customizer.
I won’t hide the fact that I really like Kadence products, and there are many reasons for that. First and foremost, their tools are done very professionally, easy to work with, and you can enjoy working with Gutenberg, which is not such a joy without additional plugins sometimes, especially if you design sophisticated landing pages or complex dynamic layouts.
While the Pro versions and bundles are a bit on the pricy side, they offer a full-fledged free theme with Blocks and Templates plugins, which balances everything. They don’t overload with a pile of blocks, but each of them is very functional and has many settings.
Last but definitely not least, Kadence is fully compatible with Crocoblock (JetPlugins), which means that you can build complex websites with a lot of dynamic content on Gutenberg, using all its advantages and enjoying a great UI and design toolkit.