Choosing a theme to design websites in WordPress usually goes one of two ways. Developers choose a theme geared toward a specific niche or they find a theme that can build a variety of different types of websites. Niche specific themes are great, but if you plan on building a website with room to grow, you may find that an all-purpose or multi-purpose theme may be more convenient and cost effective. You will have more options when it comes to future growth of your website. As it develops, you will easily be able to add more functionality and features.
You may find that many themes labeled as all-purpose/multi-purpose can be clunky, have compatibility problems or just aren’t that versatile. The number of WordPress themes that are designed for multi-purpose use is ever increasing. But there really are only a few themes that really pass the test when it comes to successfully building a wide variety of websites with WordPress.
3 of the Top Multi-Purpose Themes
This article will compare and contrast three themes that actually live up to the claim of multi-purpose use. Today we are looking at Avada, Enfold and X Theme – three of the biggest and best themes on the market for WordPress. The great thing about the massive Themeforest marketplace, is that it provides theme authors lots of opportunities for feedback from users. The authors can take feedback and make adjustments accordingly. These juggernauts have been put to the test by hundreds of thousands of WordPress users and it seems as though they’ve succeeded. I have some experience using each of these themes to build different types of sites.
Each one of these expansive themes have their own relative advantages and disadvantages. We’ll discuss some of the strong points and best applications for all three of these themes. When it comes down to it, all three can produce a wide variety of websites. It really depends on your preference, how your brain works and what type of site you are building. If you have any other favorite multi-purpose themes feel free to let us know in the comment section below.
Avada is the oldest of the three themes we are looking at in this article and at the time I am writing this article. It has the most sales with hundreds of thousands of installs! Avada can really do everything it claims and makes it easy too.
With unlimited design options and a bunch of great features it has developed into a powerful tool for WordPress web developers. You can use Avada to build any site imaginable from simple one page sites to large directories. Use it for eCommerce, portfolio sites, corporate, creative, online shops etc.
FAST AND POWERFUL
If you know your way around the WordPress dashboard then you will be able to get the hang of Avada quickly. With 28 demos for various different niches you have a full range of sites you can build. Customize anything on the site without coding at all. Build your own custom templates from scratch, or modify the demo content and save your changes. I instantly got along great with the fusion page builder, Avada’s page building interface. After a couple hours of exploration I was confident I could make any type of page I wanted.
Once you get used to how everything is laid out in the admin panel, you will find that it’s a very convenient tool. You build pages with any sort of column layout you choose. For me, I found that Avada works best for creating business sites. I really like the flip boxes and modal pop-up elements to showcase selling points for professional services.
When it comes to building sites for anything, I think Avada is the most beginner friendly. It’s has more elements and convenient more theme options than Enfold. You can produce some awesome sites for photography, business or any other site. Like Enfold and X, Avada can be used for anything you can dream up. The Fusion page builder is very versatile, probably more so than the other two. It integrates well with Visual Composer as well if you prefer using it to build pages.
- Very solid support and documentation
- All-time best seller
- Well thought out theme options
- Plenty of header options, logo above, below
- Fusion page builder is super easy to use
- Easy mega menus
- 6 Blog layout options
- WooCommerce ready
- One click demo install
- Advanced theme options for layout and design
This theme is the youngest on this list, but only by 6 months. The creators of X tout it as, “the last theme you will ever have to buy.” Technically that’s true. You could use this theme for creating any type of website you could think of. X Theme also churns out the most modern looking website designs out of all three. It’s good for showcasing lots of high quality images and videos as long as your server is up to par.
X Theme stands out from the other two with the unique design structures. The backend is laid out a little differently than Avada and Enfold. The developers opted to go with a more contemporary approach. I really appreciate all the easy to access tutorial videos. This is helpgul for beginners.
Users have been captivated by the stunning websites created with X. With the option to use dozens of FREE extensions, developers will enjoy the versatility of this theme. The page builder, Cornerstone has undergone some major improvements since it’s release and is also a stanalone plugin. After I got acquainted with the idea of using stacks and the customizer, building was easy smoothly.
The design itself is modeled after “stacks.” Which are multiple designs used for different applications. With their innovative design “stacks,” you can create all sorts of custom templates. It’s fast when it comes to page loading. Currently there are 4 stacks – Icon, Review, Integrity and Ethos. When you purchase this theme there are child themes for each stack included.
The great thing about X is that it has been evolving quickly and it offers a really trendy look. X comes with a page builder called Cornerstone which is nice but not quite as intuitive as Enfold or Avada’s visual page builders. With 30+ custom extensions to add more power to this theme; you can squeeze even more mileage out of X. Developers that are good at using shortcodes and editing PHP files, X is very efficient and fast. On the other hand, beginners may have trouble customizing X than they will the other two themes on the list.
- Stacks – unique designs within the same theme
- Lots of custom extensions
- Cornerstone page builder
- Innovative template builder
- Lots of tutorial videos
- Exclusive addon modules function like plugins
- Demo content comes with layered PSD files
- Preview changes before publishing
Enfold is a very popular choice among WordPress newbies, probably it is powerful and support is responsive. The backend is very easy to get used to. Creating layouts, adding content and editing is super easy with Enfold’s Avia Layout builder. I don’t think the theme options are quite as extensive as Avada’s or X’s, but using Avia to create and edit pages is simple. Spend a few hours with it and you will be able to create column layouts, sections and add elements with ease.
While it may not be as versatile as Avada, you have everything you need to build websites for anything from corporate websites to creative blogs. Enfolds theme options panel is straightforward. There is a convenient custom CSS box for specific element within the options panel to change things like menu hove effects instantly.
Enfold was the first multi-purpose I bought and it is still one of my go to themes. It’s very solid and allows you to get a site up fast and make changes quickly. The developer support is also very helpful, any threads I opened with a questions were answered within 24 hours and were very helpful.
The demo content lets even the newest WordPress users get to work right away. The drag & drop page builder is the most intuitive of the three themes on today’s docket. Like Avada many developers opt to add content making small changes to the pre-built demos.
As far as features there are more than you could ever need. You could probably use this theme exclusively to build hundreds of different sites and nobody would know. You can customize anything with the custom drag & drop template builder to create completely unique layouts. I had some trouble getting Visual Composer to work with Enfolds page builder, but it if you really don’t need VC with this theme. Enfold has a great native page builder and is great for minimal, clean websites.
One drawback of Enfold demo content is that it can be kind of vanilla when it comes to eye catching designs that set your sites apart. With enough creativity you can easily add design flair to the demo content. But if you are looking for a site that already has interesting color schemes and stunning visual effects, you might want to go with X Theme.
- Avia visual page builder
- Straightforward use cases for demo conten
- Fast and helfpul developer support
- WPML ready
- No knowledge of PHP/HTML/CSS required
- Contact Form Builder
- Advanced header options
- Extensive documentation with video tutorials
Which one is for you?
*The table represents our top pics for each category based on a 5 star rating system with 5 being the best.
|Ease of Use||★★★★★||★★★☆☆||★★★★☆|
|Cross Platform Compatibility||★★★★★||★★★★★||★★★★★|
Each of these multi-purpose themes for WordPress are like your own personal Swiss army knife. As far as versatility I think I’d go with Avada. It’s compatible with all sorts of plugins and gives you easy options to showcase your content right off the bat.
Don’t count X out though. Considering creative flair and trendy design features, it’s definitely the most current looking of the three. For seasoned developers who want an impressive, trendy look I, X Theme is the way to go. X is innovative in the way that the dashboard is configured. X Theme is perfect for building really eye grabbing sites with responsive functions that trump both Avada and Enfold in terms of artistic merit.
Avada is probably the most user friendly, giving you the power to control and make custom changes within the intuitive admin panel. It outputs minimal, clean websites and there are very convenient options for things like headers, logos and page building. If you like the less is more approach, Enfold give you a great platform to do that with. While I mentioned a few times it’s not quite as easy or versatile as Avada, it’s a very close margin.
All three of these themes all responsive, cross platform compatible and optimized to work on all devices. With powerful theme options you can customize anything imaginable. It really depends on your workflow and preferences. Remember, by using a multi-purpose theme, you will have access to a large pool of design resources. This can come at a price.
One drawback of big multi-purpose themes is that they may have too many options for beginners to wrap their heads around. Also, with all the jquery plugins, CSS files and heavy code, it can slow down your site’s performance. Performance concerns like page loading times is going to be an issue with any megatheme, and the differences between all 3 are negligible. This is more of a server issue.
If you know your way around WordPress any one of these themes are a great investment and you may find situations where you would want all of them at different points. For newbies, I’d say use Avada. For those who have some WordPress experience both X and Enfold are worth checking out.
The truth is all the themes featured here today have limitless layout and design options to keep you happy. Let us know if you have any favorite features or use cases for these three best-selling themes. There you go, now get started and have fun!