Theme Review Summary
- Anyone looking for a good all-round theme
Not Recommended For
- Anyone wanting a premium look for their website
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. 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 is perfect for creating 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, more options in the customizer and WooCommerce compatibility.
I think these extra options are certainly worth the price tag of $59 for a single theme. You can see the full list of differences between the Sydney theme pro and free versions here.
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!
As you would expect with a free theme, the design is not going to win any awards. The design is very generic and there is nothing that looks particularly well designed. Also, as the theme is used on so many other websites you can be sure that if you decide to use Sydney yourself there would be tons of websites out there that look exactly like yours. This is why I think this theme is ideal if you are planning on making significant changes to it yourself and using it as more of a framework than a complete theme.
Sydney 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.
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 interesting by making changes yourself, you could build a really high-quality website using the Sydney WordPress theme. You can check out Sydney here.
Premium WordPress Theme Options
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 if you want an all in one theme. The Create WordPress theme would also be a great option. It uses the same page builder plugin as Sydney does but has a much more professional design.