Sydney WordPress Theme Review (Updated 2022)

The Sydney WordPress theme is one of the most popular free WordPress themes on the market and it’s created by aThemes, a very experienced and well known theme provider.

Review Summary

The Sydney WordPress theme is one of the best all-round, free WordPress themes on the market. However, I would recommend choosing a premium theme like Divi if you wanted the best results from your website.
  • Ease of use: 5 stars
    Really easy to set up.
  • Design: 3 stars
    Good for a free theme, but could be better.
  • Support: 4 stars
    Lots of support online but pro version will be needed for priority support.
  • Features: 5 stars
    Plenty of features, even on the free version.
  • Overall: 4 stars
    One of the best free themes but has a boring, generic design unless you use premium features and combine with Elementor.

aThemes have got a whole collection of great themes including plenty of free options but their Sydney WordPress theme stands out as being one of the best. Themes don’t get over 200,000 active installs from WordPress users around the world unless they are doing something right!

Sydney is a powerful business theme that provides a fast way for companies or freelancers to create an awesome online presence. Sydney brings plenty of customization possibilities like access to all Google Fonts, full-color control, layout control, logo upload, full-screen slider, header image, sticky navigation and much more. Also, Sydney provides all the construction blocks you need to rapidly create an engaging front page.aThemes

The Sydney theme is currently getting somewhere in the region or 1000 – 2000 downloads every single day which are crazy numbers. So what makes Sydney so popular? Well firstly, the design is nice and simple. The layout is clean and tidy and the typography is good too. The front page has examples of all kinds of nice features like parallax effects, stats counters and a slider which are all nice features for a free theme.

Sydney and Elementor

Elementor is a very popular page builder plugin for WordPress and the Sydney WordPress theme works well with Elementor.

The theme even has some custom Elementor blocks included with it to make it easier to set up your website if you choose to use Elementor.

In the free version, you get 3 custom Elementor widgets – a testimonial carousel, a slider widget and a employee carousel widget. The premium version has many more advanced widgets such as a timeline widget, pricing tables, and a contact form 7 widget.

The Sydney theme works so well with Elementor that the theme is officially recommended by Elementor.

Sydney Theme Options

The best thing about the Sydney WordPress theme for me is not the design, it’s the admin area. When I use a free theme I want to be able to change the code myself quite a bit so it doesn’t look and feel like a free theme with a generic design.

That means I’d want well-written code so I could see what’s going on and enough options in the admin area to make some useful changes. And that is what the Sydney WordPress theme provides. There are plenty of useful options but not lots of pointless ones that get in the way.

From the customizer, you can change loads of different options including colors and typography. The way you change fonts is not very user-friendly – you have to type in the name in a format that will work with Google fonts. It would be much better to be able to select from a list but this is a free theme after all. You can also change a couple of layout options.

The Sydney WordPress theme allows you to create single page, scrolling websites like you can see in the standard demo or fully-fledged websites. Having the ability to create both types of sites is a great advantage.

There is a pro version of the Sydney theme available but the free version does not push you to upgrade in any intrusive way. There is just a simple button in the customizer which links to a page comparing the pro and free versions. This is good to see because some free themes with a pro version can be very annoying and pushy when trying to get you to upgrade.

Sydney Theme Free or Pro Version

As I’ve mentioned, there is a pro version of the Sydney theme, but is it worth upgrading?

The pro version of Sydney gives you quite a few great features. You’ll get extra blocks for Elementor such as pricing tables, you’ll get extra page templates to choose from,some great starter sites, more options in the customizer and advanced WooCommerce compatibility.

I think these extra options are certainly worth the price tag of $69 for a single theme. You can see the full list of differences between the Sydney theme pro and free versions here.

When deciding to upgrade or not, keep in mind that if you need Elementor support then Elementor has a free and pro version too. To fully unlock advanced features and allow a high level of customisation you will need pro version of both.

As the pro version of Elementor costs $49 per year for a single site and $199 per year for up to 25 sites, the costs can really add up.

Not only that, but you theme will need to load a lot of resources such as CSS and javaScript files from both Sydney and Elementor which can really slow your site down.

If you do go down this route, then be ready to spend lots of time learning about speeding up your website and tweaking the settings in a cache plugin such as W3 Total Cache.

Sydney Theme Documentation

The amount of help available online for the Sydney theme should make it easy for anyone to solve any issues they come across when setting up the theme. aThemes also provide online documentation so you can see exactly what is involved in setting up the theme before you decide to buy – very handy!

How Good is the Design?

As you would expect with a free theme, you’ll need to make lots of changes in order to give your website a premium feel.

I must say though that the design of the Sydney theme has improved a lot over the past few years. When I first reviewed this theme it was a very plain, generic design.

Today, the starter sites included are more modern and look pretty good – certainly good enough for someone who wants a simple, straight forward website to showcase their business.

Sydney WordPress theme starter sites
Sydney starter sites on the free version

The free Syndeny theme has 3 stater sites to choose from and the pro version currently has 17. If any of these starter sites are suitable for you then you can get up and running with Sydney pretty quickly.

If the starter sites are not suitable for you, you need to change them significantly, or you want a more premium feel then that means that you will probably need to upgrade to the pro version, or use Elementor which will make the set up process longer and more complicated.

The starter sites in the pro version are mostly very well designed, but there are some templates that look a little dated. Be sure to check them out before you decide to upgrade.

Here are some samples of the current starter templates in the pro version of Sydney:

Sydney WordPress Theme Support

I’ve not had to use any support for the Sydney WordPress theme myself but aThemes are a well-known company that has been around in the WordPress industry for a long time so I would imagine their support is very good. There are also thousands of other Sydney theme users all over the world sharing solutions in the support forum on the Sydney WordPress theme page.

Conclusion

The Sydney WordPress theme is definitely one of the better free WordPress themes available due to its simplicity and high-quality admin interface.

If you were able to make the design more professional by making changes yourself, or you upgraded to the pro version, or used one of the starter sites then you could build a really nice looking website using the Sydney WordPress theme. You can check out Sydney here.

Premium WordPress Theme Alternatives

If you are looking for something like Sydney but with a better design, more features and a premium feel then you have quite a few options available. I’d recommend checking out Divi. Divi is still he best WordPress site builder on the market in my opinion. They also have thousands of 5 star reviews on Trustpilot and the value for money you get with Divi is amazing.

Divi only costs $89 per year too. The pro version of Sydney along with Elementor Pro would cost a minimum of $118 per year on the cheapest Elementor plan.

Sydney WordPress Theme Questions and Answers

There is a free version of Sydney which has limited features. There is also a pro version which costs $69 each year.

Yes. Both the free and pro versions can be used on an unlimited number of websites.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the write up. Do you think Sydney and Elementor would be able to make a website just as well as something like Divi could?

  2. Hi Ben. Yeah Sydney and Elementor could work just as well. Divi has some great pre-made layouts so it can be very quick to get a great looking site if you dont change those layouts much. Sydney and Elementor would take a bit more work to set up a great looking site but they would still be a great option.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.