If you are looking for good quality WordPress theme, you might be interested in knowing that Hestia is among the best and most popular ones out there. Created by Themeisle, Hestia WordPress theme is used by hundreds of thousands of websites, with over 200 people giving it a 5-star rating.
Naturally, this is not a coincidence, and there is a lot to appreciate when it comes to this theme. Before we start this review of the theme, we should point out that it has a free version, as well as a premium version.
The free version is appreciated by many, but it does come with some limitations, which is why our focus today will be on the premium one.
By the end of this review, you will know everything about WordPress Hestia theme, and you will understand why paying for a premium version is definitely worth it.
In fact, let’s start our review by comparing the two, and then we will speak about the premium one at length.
Hestia Free vs Premium
It is no surprise that the free version of Hestia is not nearly as good as the premium one.
Pretty much every product out there that features both versions has its free variant come with the same issues. Otherwise, paying for a premium version would not make sense.
Still, the very fact that Hestia theme WordPress has a free version is a great start, as you can experience at least some aspects of the theme before you decide whether or not to purchase the full version.
Of course, in order to determine whether Hestia Pro is worth it, you need to know in which ways it differs from the free version.
There are some usual benefits of upgrading to the Pro version that you can expect, such as greater flexibility and plenty of extra features. But, since there are many shady themes that offer a premium version that is barely any better than the free one, let us list the features of both so that you can decide for yourself.
Here is what Hestia Free has to offer:
- Top Bar
- Color and typography customization
- Blog options
- WooCommerce support
It doesn’t look like much, does it? Now, here is what you can expect from Hestia WordPress theme Pro:
- Portfolio section
- Video Background
- Section reordering
- Pricing plan section
- Infinite scroll
- Enhanced Top bar
- Full-Screen menu
- Advanced Footer
- Enhanced color and typography customization
- Enhanced blog options
- Enhanced WooCommerce support
- Footer styling
- Support for multiple languages
- Sidebar-width controls
- and more.
This comparison should give you some insight into how big the difference between Free and Pro versions is.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s actually see in detail how the Pro version performs in different areas.
Pros & Cons
With all of that in mind, let’s quickly remind ourselves of some of the pros and cons that we have noticed during this review of Hestia, and see how do they compare.
- Deep Elementor integration
- Live editing
- Excellent front page options
- Great customization capabilities
- Centralized customization
- Advanced customization
- Some customization options do lack a bit
- Text editors for frontpage section need some improvement
- Fewer templates in the site library than what competitors offer
In the end, there are significantly more pros than cons, and the cons are not serious enough to be deal-breakers. Not only that, but in time, they might be eliminated, if the developers give them a bit extra attention, so all in all, we believe that Hestia is more than worth your time.
Plans & Prices
Obviously, the Free version is… well, free. The Pro version, however, allows you to choose between three different plans:
1) Personal plan
Costs $69 per year ($199 for lifetime use). You can use it only for a single site, but it features support and updates for the entire duration of the plan. It is excellent for users who do not deal with designing websites, but it is worth noting that it doesn’t have access to Pro starter sites.
2) Business plan
Costs $99 per year, or $299 for lifetime use. This one is a bit more flexible, as it can be used on up to 3 sites. It does feature access to Pro site templates, and it is good for businesses that need several websites for their own use. Customer support prioritizes this plan’s users more than they do Personal plan users.
3) Agency plan
The largest of the three, it costs $199 per year, or $599 for lifetime use. There is no limit on the number of websites that you can use it on, and it is excellent for agencies, as well as freelancers who design websites. It features everything offered by the previous plan, and it also features white labeling and live chat with top priority support.
Performance is, very likely, the most important aspect of any website, and that means of every theme, as well.
You need a theme that is fast loading otherwise you may end up losing a huge number of visitors, potential customers and Google may even hinder your SEO performances.
The Pro version of Hestia is capable of loading in less than a second. This kind of performance is top-notch, and we were very pleased with it during testing. But, it should be noted that this is the result of tests where Hestia does not feature any plugins.
If we do add some plugins, such as Orbit Fox and demo content offered by the Hestia Original template, the loading speed is only slightly slower. Even then, it is rather impressive, usually loading in 1.5 seconds, at maximum.
The results of our tests confirmed that the theme is as fast as it can get, which is definitely a point in its favor.
Another aspect of the theme — equally as important, albeit for different reasons — is the number, quality, and the type of features that you get alongside it. Hestia WP offers some really great ones.
1) Centralized Customization
This is easily among the most prominent features that come as part of the package. What it means is that you can customize all aspects of the theme from a single place — the WordPress Customizer.
There are no separate admin pages required in order to handle the options offered by the theme. Instead, everything is in one place, easy to find and access at all times.
It is convenient, and while there is a page called Hestia Pro Options, it only contains information, rather than the features themselves.
And, of course, there is also Hestia Pro Hooks that you will not find here, but that also makes sense, since it was created for advanced customization.
2) The Library
Next, we have the library of the theme. Owning one has become a trend for themes, many of which fill them with importable demos to ensure the quick start to the websites’ development. Even so, there are still plenty of themes that do not feature a library, but we are glad to say that Hestia is not among them.
Hestia’s site library is not as detailed as what some other themes may offer, but it is not to be ignored, either. In practice, the majority of the vendors would add numerous items to their libraries each month, so new things might appear from time to time, regardless of what the theme offers at the moment it arrives.
Currently, there are around four pro demos and five free ones available for import, but new ones might arrive as well, in due time.
3) Front Page Section
Another big and important feature is the front page sections, which separates Hestia from most others of its kind. This feature allows you to create a front page — and make it quite beautiful — in mere minutes. It also includes an editing feature that lets you make and see changes in real-time.
Apart from that, it lets you enable or disable sections at will just clicking on the “eye” icon. Moreover, you can reposition them through a simple drag-and-drop, and more.
Finally, it allows you to display front page sections and the page builder’s content of your choice on other pages. All of it is easy to do and understand, as well as style and customize.
Other than that, it gives you access to 13 front page sections, including:
- Big Title Section — appears first and lets you place a header, intro, CTA, and alike.
- Features Section — lets you showcase where your services, products, and similar details are
- About Section — a place where you can tell your visitors about your business/website
- Shop Section — You can only access it if you have WooCommerce active. If you do, it lets you give a preview of several products that your store offers.
- Portfolio Section — only available if JetPack is installed. It shows a certain number of items located in your portfolio
- Team Section — It lets you present your team members, with photos, bios, and links to their social media
- Pricing Section — as the name suggests, this one lets you create a pricing table
- Ribbon Section — this one is great for CTAs or offering visitors to subscribe for a newsletter
- Testimonials Section — allows you to share customer reviews and testimonials as proof of quality and customer satisfaction
- Clients Bar Section — it lets you show your clients’ logos and add links to their online presence
- Subscribe Section — A section that you can use if you are using SendInBlue service.
- Blog Section — If you have a blog, you can use this section to display several of your posts
- Contact Section — Here you can put a contact form and let your visitors contact you.
All of these sections are already available on Hestia Pro, and it is very easy to see how they can make creating your website with this theme quick and painless.
4) Orbit Fox
Orbit Fox was created by ThemeIsle. This is one of the most popular plugins, as it adds a number of additional features to your WordPress.
As it was created by ThemeIsle as well, it is perfectly compatible with Hestia, so if you used it before — you will be glad to know that you can do it again with this theme.
Hestia Pro Hooks
By doing so, you can customize the theme even further, beyond anything that Hestia already offers.
Of course, this requires some technical knowledge, so you either need to know what you are doing, or you must hire someone else to help you out. But, the hooks allow you to add extra content, and they do not only show on your front page, but also on other pages, too.
Obviously, allowing you to customize your website is Hestia’s whole thing, and it is very good at what it does.
But, let’s scale down for a few minutes and talk about different customization options that you can reach through WordPress customizer. In other words, let’s talk about details, such as the color of the font, typography, and alike.
All of this can easily be reached by going to Appearance, and then Customize. Once you get there, here are some of the options you will find.
1) Appearance Settings
Before anything else, we have Appearance settings themselves. Here, you can customize most of the details such as sidebars, colors, typography, and similar aspects of each page. You can also toggle entire front page sections here, add a scroll-to-top button, and other useful tools that can improve website navigation and use.
Then, there are typography settings, where you can decide on the font family and size. After that, there are color settings, that will allow you to customize different elements, such as background, body text, accent color, and more.
Finally, you will find background image settings and button settings. These are pretty self-explanatory and straightforward when it comes to using them. Just remember that all buttons will be affected in the same way depending on what you decide here, as far as settings are concerned.
2) Header & Footer Options
Next, there are header options, where you can customize controls for the header itself, navigation, and the top bar.
Let’s start with the very top bar, which features options for adding things like widgets, a menu, and similar details. It has two layout options, as well as a panel that allows you to change colors to your liking.
Then, there are navigation settings, which offer layout and different settings for the menu. Basically, you can use these options to change the appearance of the site’s navigation, with three different layouts to choose from. However, only one lets you add widgets, if that is something that you might be interested in.
Lastly, there are header settings where you can customize the header layout. There are also separate layout options for product pages, posts, and other pages.
You can also opt to add an image to your header, and even choose whether the image will be on the entire site or only on a single page. Naturally, that will replace all other headers if you make it site-wide.
As for footer options, this section features rather modest customization options, and it only lets you configure the number of widgets, layout, color, and footer credits.
3) Blog Settings
Blog settings come in three different sections, including Authors Section, Blog Section, and Subscribe Section. The Authors Section lets you choose who will be displayed at the blog archive pages’ bottom. You can even set a background image here, if you wish.
The Blog Section allows you to configure the layout of the blog archive page, but also which posts are to be featured, and alike.
Finally, there is the Subscribe Section, where you can use your account at SendInBlue and display different campaigns of your choosing.
4) Shop Settings
This one is pretty self-explanatory as well, and it lets you customize options for your shop pages. As mentioned earlier, you need WooCommerce in order to use it, but if you add it, you will find numerous options that will let you customize the product style, choose between having pages with a limited number of listed products or add infinite scroll pagination, and alike.
5) White Label
The White Label option lets you hide the fact that you use Hestia, as well as any reference to Themeisle. This is useful if you wish to add the name of your own company instead.
Support and Documentation
Documentation and support is another critical aspect to consider when choosing a theme for your website. Let’s see if Hestia offers the quality you need to run your website smoothly.
The documentation is well-written, and it covers every detail regarding the theme and its options. Well, almost every detail. There are very few items that are not covered, and we felt like we should make note of that.
One example is that the documentation does not explain how to reuse front page sections in other pages clearly enough. Basically, you need to use Elementor in order to display the front page sections elsewhere on the site, but this is not mentioned anywhere.
The description is a bit unclear and rather vague, which might spark some misunderstandings when it comes to the word ‘reuse’ among users.
What developers mean is that you can display a copy of a front-page section, but it is easy to see how a user could interpret it in a way that could mean that they can use front page sections and add content on other pages.
Lastly, neither Pro nor Free documentation features navigation, which makes it difficult and annoying to browse the documents. The fact that it is all on the same page makes it even more difficult to quickly locate what you need. But, the search bar can easily fix that, so we should not take this last issue as too big of a problem.
Other than that, we really did not see much else to criticize, as the explanations are in most cases very clear, and the documentation features quite a few images and even gifs that can help you understand what they are talking about.
The fact that everything is on a single page can be helpful too, as you don’t have to leave the page or search elsewhere on the site. It is all in one place, you just have to find what you need.
As for support, there are a few things to note here, as well.
Pro users supposedly have their questions answered by customer support within 5 hours, which might be a bit slow if you are working on your site and you need a solution right away.
However, while this is what the documentation says, most Pro users receive help rather quickly, which means that this is the upper limit that the customer service is given to respond to you.
If you choose to use a Free version, you are also likely to get help quite soon, although that may vary. The service does not monitor the free version forum on a daily basis, since Pro users are prioritized. In truth, the support is reliable and fast, but you might have to wait a day or two during extremely busy periods.
With that, we would conclude our review of Hestia. Is it a good theme for you to use? We believe so. Of course, as we have just seen, it is not cheap, but it is also well worth the money, especially for businesses that deal with website creation or freelancers who make professional sites.It has a free version that you can use for a personal site or a small business, although it does have limitations worth noting. Meanwhile, its Pro version is excellent, with great customization capabilities that will let you make a site the way you always wanted it to be.
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