In this review, we introduce you to a new feature of the popular TheGem WordPress…
If you’re in the process of creating a blog or a news and reviews style website, then the recently released Extra WordPress theme could be just what you need. In this Extra WordPress theme review, we’ll be finding out exactly what this template has to offer.
Extra is described as a magazine WordPress theme by its creators – Elegant Themes. However, the fact that the Extra WordPress theme includes a powerful page builder tool, not to mention a wealth of other settings and features, means that it’s a highly versatile theme, which can be used for a wide range of purposes.
So if you like the look of this theme, there is a very good chance it can be used to build the type of website you are planning.
In our Extra WordPress theme review, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at what this theme has to offer in order to help you decide if this new template from Elegant Themes is the right choice for your website.
This Extra WordPress theme review will start with a detailed look at the features of this multipurpose theme. Following on from there, we’ll demonstrate how easy – or difficult – Extra is to actually use to build a website with.
By the end of this review, you’ll have enough knowledge about this theme to make an informed decision as to whether Extra is the right choice for giving your existing website an updated look or ensure your new site has the right appearance and set of features at its disposal to become a success.
Extra WordPress Theme Review: Overview
As mentioned, Extra is the latest WordPress theme from the Elegant Themes team. Elegant Themes are one of the most popular theme developers in the WordPress community and there are reportedly over 300,000 members of their theme and plugin club.
We’ll look the benefits of joining the Elegant Themes club shortly, but by doing so, you get access to all of their 87 WordPress themes. This includes the powerful Divi theme and of course, the newly released Extra theme. With prices starting at just $69, it’s certainly a competitively priced club.
Extra Theme Review: The Features
As we’ll soon see, Extra is packed with useful features. However, its key selling point it probably its design and appearance so let’s start there.
Extra Theme Design and Appearance
With Extra, there is none of the overblown effects and animations found in some other multipurpose WordPress themes. Instead, with this theme you get a clean and modern look and feel for your website, which manages to avoid being plain and boring.
With Extra, your website will still have a professional appearance that makes it ideal for more serious news and reviews sites, while also making it a good choice for a blog that is being used to promote your products and services.
However, thanks to the customization options and the integrated page builder tool – which we’ll get to shortly – you’ll have plenty of options for how your site will look. This goes far beyond just relying on the prebuilt templates and layouts.
While there is no doubt that Extra has been built for those who plan to publish lots of content on a regular basis, the fact that this is such a flexible theme means that it can be used to build almost any type of website.
Extra Drag and Drop Page Builder Tool
Part of what makes Extra such a flexible theme is its integrated page builder tool. Extra actually includes the Divi page builder tool that was first made available as part of the Divi WordPress theme.
The drag and drop page builder tool from the Divi WordPress theme is now available as a standalone WordPress plugin that allows you to add a page builder tool to any WordPress website. Extra is the second theme from Elegant Themes to be built around this page builder tool.
This means you get access to the Divi Builder and its user interface. This tool has been constantly refined since the initial release of the Divi WordPress theme, making it easy to start creating custom post and page layouts for your website content.
With the builder tool, you can add some truly unique layouts to your website. Examples of this include allowing you to overlay images with text, add custom column layouts to your content, and a whole lot more.
Furthermore, as each of the page templates and layouts included in the Extra theme package have been built with the Divi Builder tool, you can easily edit and modify any of them to ensure they better suit your needs.
Divi Builder Content Modules
Although the Divi Builder tool that has been integrated into the heart of the Extra theme makes it very easy to create custom layouts that just wouldn’t be possible without writing the underlying code yourself, its best feature might actually be the many content modules that it includes.
These content modules can be inserted into your posts and pages, allowing you to add many elements and features to your website that would otherwise require additional plugins to be installed. Some of the highlights from the library of content modules that come with the Divi Builder and Extra theme include:
- Email Optin Forms
- Buttons and Calls to Actions
- Contact Forms
- Countdown Timers
- Pricing Tables
- Video Slides
To ensure these content modules integrate seamlessly with the rest of your website, they can each be customized in detail to meet your needs. Through the visual settings, you get a good amount of control over how they look and function; while more advanced users can easily add custom CSS to give them an even more personalized look and feel.
Extra Theme Layouts and Templates
As Extra has a strong focus on building news and magazine style websites, it makes sense that many of its great looking layouts and templates are centered on this type of usage.
With a good selection of homepage layouts to choose from, as well as many templates for the inner pages of your website, you can easily give your site the look and feel it needs, in just a few clicks.
As well as the homepage layouts, you’ll also find a couple of different layouts for the blog post archive pages. These blog layouts work really well, and will make it easy for your visitors to browse your content and find what they are looking for.
When it comes to the individual blog post layouts, there are a few different sidebar configurations to choose from. This includes a nice no-sidebar design that will appeal to minimalists and those who want to present their content in a clutter-free environment.
Review Publishing Tool
If you want to build a reviews website or simply publish the occasional review on your blog, the Extra theme includes a handy tool that makes it easy to mark your content as a review.
Through the review box panel, which can be found on the WordPress post editor screen, you can easily add a review summary to your content. This information can include review criteria and percentage scores.
Then when you publish the review post, the review box panel will be displayed. This helps to give your readers a quick overview of the review and some easy to understand score ratings.
Furthermore, when your visitors are browsing your content through the homepage, blog post archives, and category pages, your review content is highlighted as such. This then makes it easy for the readers to quickly find the reviews that have been published on your website.
The integrated review functionality of Extra also helps you to add an element of interactivity to your website, thanks to the user ratings feature. Through the post options, you can decide whether to enable user reviews or not. Doing so allows your readers to add their own star ratings to your content.
Other Impressive Extra Features
Extra certainly is packed with features. As well as the major highlights mentioned above, the more you use this theme, the more tools and features you’ll discover.
Easy Custom Sidebars
Examples of this include the ease with which you can choose which sidebars to display alongside the individual posts on your blog.
As choosing which sidebars are displayed alongside your content takes place on the WordPress post editor screen, there’s no need to switch over to the Widgets section of the dashboard to configure which sidebar is displayed where. This speeds up the workflow considerably. It also makes it easier for less experienced WordPress users to harness the power of custom and dynamic sidebars.
Through the Extra Settings option box, which is displayed on the post editor screen, you can also decide whether individual posts and pages even have a sidebar at all. This is great for those occasions when you want to publish full-width content, without any of the distractions that sidebars can sometimes add to a page.
If you check out the live demo of the Extra theme, you will quickly see that it includes an animated header. While this feature looks nice and does a good job of catching the attention of your visitors, it also serves a more practical purpose.
As your visitors scroll down the page, the size of the header decreases, allowing your content to take up more of the available space. You can also configure the layout and appearance of the header area through the Customizer tool.
Other features of Extra that you might be interested in include:
- Full WooCommerce support for building an online store
- A tool for creating custom category archive pages
- Additional support for WordPress custom post formats
- Projects and Portfolio tools for publishing your work
- Detailed support for the WordPress Customizer tool
- Library of prebuilt page templates
- Additional custom built sidebar widgets
You can find out more information about all of the features of Extra on the theme documentation pages.
How to Build a Magazine Website with Extra and WordPress
Although Extra is billed as a magazine theme, after reviewing the features, I’m sure you’ll agree that this theme can be used to make any type of website. From a basic blog to an online store and anything in-between, Extra is a highly versatile tool.
More good news is that using Extra to build almost any type of website is very straightforward. Thanks to the included library of prebuilt page templates and layouts, you can quickly apply the right designs and settings to your content.
There are plenty of prebuilt layouts to choose from that are part of the Divi Builder tool. These layouts can be applied to your pages in just a few clicks, with the option of customizing them through the Divi Builder interface.
After loading a layout, you can simply add your own content through the Divi Builder or start adding and removing modules to get the perfect layout for your content.
Each of the modules that make up the Divi Builder layouts can be customized through the module settings. This gives you detailed control over how they look, all through a set of visual controls. At any point, you can quickly preview your module to see what effect your changes are having on its appearance and functionality.
More advanced users can easily add their own custom CSS to get even more control over the appearance of their layouts and the modules they contain.
As well as personalizing your website at the individual post and page level, you can also open up the WordPress Customizer tool for more site-wide control over the appearance of your website.
Extra includes an impressive level of support for the WordPress theme Customizer tool, giving you a live, front-end interface for personalizing your website.
The Customizer makes it easy to configure many aspects of your website. This includes the menus, the header area, the WordPress and Extra widgets, typography settings, layout options, button styles, and a whole lot more.
The Customizer tool is also used to allow you to personalize any of the modules included with the Divi Builder tool. Again, this all takes place through a front-end interface with a live preview, allowing you to monitor your changes in real time.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for customizing your WordPress website when using the Extra theme.
About the Elegant Themes Club
There are three pricing tiers for joining the Elegant Themes club. Whichever option you choose, you will get access to the Extra theme, as well as all of their other WordPress themes.
If you upgrade from the entry-level $69 Personal membership plan to the $89 Developer plan, you’ll also get access to all of the Elegant Themes plugins. This includes:
- Bloom email optin form plugin
- Divi standalone page builder plugin
- Monarch social sharing plugin
- Handheld mobile friendly plugin
Plus a few more WordPress plugins.
There’s also a Lifetime Access plan, which includes everything Elegant Themes has to offer now as well as all future releases for a one-time fee of $249.
Extra WordPress Theme Review Summary
Extra is probably best described as a multipurpose WordPress theme. Yes, it’s ideal for creating a content-rich news, reviews, or magazine website.
However, thanks to the included page layouts and templates, the project and portfolio builder, not to mention the full e-commerce support, you shouldn’t have any trouble building almost any type of website with the Extra theme.
All of the features and tools of Extra are ready to go, right out of the box. However, as I have a feeling this is going to be a very popular WordPress theme, it’s great to see that there are so many customization options on offer. This will help your website stand out from the crowd. It also makes it a good choice as a platform for building websites for clients.
Being able to quickly deploy this theme, then customize it in any number of ways makes it great starting point for custom web design projects – something that those creating websites for clients will really appreciate.
At the end of the day, Extra and the integrated Divi Builder tool gives you plenty of options for building a website with WordPress. Everyone from those who are happy to use the included modules, templates, and layouts as they are, through to those who need more personalized and custom designs will find that Extra meets their needs.
Being able to pick up Extra and the other 86 WordPress templates from Elegant Themes for just $69 also makes it a great value purchase.