The Only X-Theme Review You Will Ever Need to Read
After a lot of hype, great PR and an even bigger amount of authority domains redirecting to an X-theme website, I decided to give this theme a go.
A large number of sales can’t be wrong (top seller record on ThemeForest). It’s also not priced low so it’s possible it is quality meets easy-to-install, good looking graphics and endless possibilities.
Alas…what a huge disappointment.
It looked great on their sales page, there are so many options and ways to tweak a theme. After just a couple of clicks, you get an entirely different design…but that’s just a very good PR move.
A round of applause for your PR team X Theme. Whomever is the brain behind this PR stunt – yes, I am calling this theme a stunt – you deserve a six-figure salary.
You know, WordPress shouldn’t be complicated, but you over-complicated this. It ruined WP themes forever. You know why? Because now I see more people trying to replicate what you did. And they shouldn’t because I don’t need complicated WordPress. I am sure no one out there needs this. I want to run my business.
If I wanted to code dozens of web sites I would have hired a coder. This is where we come to the point:this theme is great! However, only if you’re a geek coder that likes to spend your time in front of your screen, tweaking this and that. I don’t want to tweak a thing. I want to spend one hour from the time I uploaded the theme to the moment when I can say:”My new site looks great, I am ready to receive the orders!”
So, let’s begin, shall we?
Ah, the price of X Theme is kind of a symbolic price, compared to what you get. Right? Wrong. You know why? Because you are not getting anything you expected. You don’t get the awesome graphics (I will tell you about this later in the post), you don’t get one-click installs and you don’t get what you paid for.
The price is (currently) $63plus PayPal fees (if you are paying with PayPal).
Now, what else can you get yourself with $63?
- Yearly ElegantThemes subscription (80-plus themes) with unlimited website usage. Even though they could produce more themes, their single Divi 2.0 theme is better and easier to set than X-theme. X-theme comes with a very limited usage. Besides having a ThemeForest purchase code you need to register at theme.co to gain their API, and only with this API you get access to all features of the theme that you already have a purchase code for. This is just on one site. If you want to use X-theme on another site…you need to buy it again.
- For almost $63 plus PayPal fees, you can also get membership at MyThemeShop and receive their 80-plus themes to use at an unlimited number of websites. Have you never heard of MyThemeShop before? Well, they just produced a theme that ViralNova (yes, that ViralNova)used to reach the Mount Everest of Buzz Media.
- If you don’t like membership sites, but you do like premium WordPress themes then just head on over toThemeForest and choose any WordPress theme. I bet it will be cheaper than X-theme.
Design (or should I say lack of it)
I think it was the design of the X-theme home page that was the final push. I really like how they created that home page, and I was already imagining myself having something similar on one of my sites. Later, I figured this landing page is just too complicated to recreate. It was too much drama and so many layers. Here’s an example: agigantic sales page taking you all the way down to the Order Here button.
Moreover, I saw all those templates, and I said to myself:”OMG, I can create about 30-plus websites with just one theme, and all these sites would look different.”No, don’t be like me. You can’t create 30-plus sites with this theme because all of these templates are too basic, so boring and you think they did a good job just because of the enormous amount of hype.
There is nothing spectacular there. All these templates (four basic templates with roughly 10 variations for each of those) are nothing new. They market themselves as first of its kind. No, that’s not the truth. There is nothing new there.
However, there is one thing about design that is quite obvious. You can get all these X-Theme templates free of charge. Let me paraphrase this: You have free WordPress themes that look almost exactly the same. Or, let’s say similar. Let’s take one of four X-Theme templates called Ethos
When I saw this for the first time I had that strong déjà vu sensation. Afterwards, I remembered this free theme from Anders. Just add that dubious carousel at the top and you have a same theme. Of course, the Hemingway theme from Anders looks much cleaner and it is easier to use. That’s called the Scandinavian design.
One more, OK? This is the X-theme Integrity template. I don’t see anything new or groundbreaking here, let alone something that should cost more than “buy me a beer Donate button.” A female hand holding a SmartPhone? Wow. Never seen before. This pretty much looks like some random free WP theme from the WordPress repository. Here is one free of charge that is similar (but better). It took me four-and-a-half minutes to find this, and I am fastidious.
The main thing about design is…there is no design! What? How? Well, here is the deal: you don’t get design, you don’t get images, you don’t get cool graphics, you don’t get anything but HTML code.
Yeah, just code. Nothing else. Now, I know that you purchased the theme and the first thing you wanted to do was to upload all those fancy demo templatesso you can see how well it looked on your new domain. Well, there was a small surprise
This is how ICON5 X-Theme demo template looks like when you visit their sales page:
And this is what you actually get:
I am going to put aside the fact that this design looks like nothing to write home about. I am going to focus on a fact that this is just an HTML code. Was it that hard to design a couple of graphics (same graphics used across all X-theme templates) that will come together with the theme? Why do we have to leave the work behind so we go browse Graphic River or some other stock site to find a perfect fit for your template? Do I really need to add $50 to fill in the blanks in your template?
Of course, it’s not just the money.It’s the time I need to spend to find 600×750 (or whatever the size is) graphic that will fit my so-called premium WordPress template.
That stupid hand holding a Smartphone is around $5 at GraphicRiver. I bet they could have arranged with this designer to sell them an extended license for $200 to $300. Do I really need to search for graphics that will fit a $70 theme? Also, each template needs 10-plus graphics.
Customization and Visual Composer
Honestly, the first thing that comes to my mind is the Divi 2.0 theme from Elegant Themes. I used their variation of Visual Composer (called The Divi Builder) a year ago for the first time, and it looks so much better and so much easier to use than this piece of crap that comes with X-theme. Please do pardon my French.
With Divi 2.0, you get 18 pre-made layouts and it takes you 2.5 seconds to load a layout. All the layouts look stunning.
With X-theme, you get Visual Composer that looks like something that was supposed to be a wild card for X-theme, but it actually looks like a project that ran out of funds before they ended it. Evidently, they just delivered an almost finished project. I tried to use it, but 38 seconds later I got bored and annoyed.
This website (NenadSEO) was running on Divi theme before re-design (by the way, sorry if you got numerous post notification from us two days ago, we were testing themes, X-theme was one of the themes) and we wanted to change the look completely. We bought a couple of themes to see which one would be the best fit for our site. X-theme was among these themes.
Besides Visual Composer and those pre-made layouts, you also get a few sets of HTML code with X-theme. These are HTML codes for the “About Us” page,pricing tables and FAQ (if I remember correctly). This is just an HTML code delivered in .txt file, nothing fancy.
So, you have three options when making sites with X-theme
- Pre-made templates (no meat on those bones)
- HTML code for a couple of pages
- Visual Composer (drag and drop kind of a deal)
Does this sounds groundbreaking to you? I thought so. Same here.
How X-Theme became what it is now?
Probably the best part of the X-theme story is the part that they don’t talk about.
Indeed, their sales page and all content on their site is a top-notch product. Someone who knows his business was the writer for their site. I suck at writing, they don’t. But what I don’t suck at is finding a story behind a link profile.
A lot of money went into this project. It was too big to fail. It was not meant to fail. Every detail was well planned. PR guys (or girls) working on this project did a great job. SEO guy or anyone who was in charge of link building did a great job acquiring dozens of valuable domains. These domains were later redirected to the X-theme website.
All ofthese domains were in WordPress niche. If someone who was curious about old WP themes wanted to visit XYZ domain then they were automatically redirected to an X-theme domain. Thousands of people learned about X-Theme this way. Myself included.
This is how it works. You click to visit XYZ site, but it redirects you to theme.co. You scroll around a bit to see what it is and then you leave. You won’t make a first purchase then and there. A few weeks later, you try to visit RandomWPTheme site but you get redirected to an X-theme site again…and this where you say:”Hey, I know this theme, I was here already.” And it happens again and again…and then you read a random review on some design site, and another one and another one…Then affiliates start jumping in with their reviews and so on. Buzz is created.
All of a sudden, X-theme becomes the most popular theme on ThemeForest. But the truth is, you are now reading the only real review about X-theme. I don’t earn money by inserting affiliate links in my texts.
Look at this review.
First, that’s not a review, it is just some guy talking about what you get with X-theme, pretty much a list of things that you can see at ThemeForest or theme.co. Guess what? He is ranked on first page of Google when you search for X-theme reviews!
Second, he used affiliate links. This means that his credibility equals zero. Simply put: that review is fake. It is there only so you click his affiliate link. That’s how he earns money. I have nothing bad to say about the way he earns money, though.
Another review can be found here.
Same thing all over again. It starts off well by saying how there is a lot of hype, but the article continues with praise and how you should check out the theme (using his affiliate link of course).
It’s a good PR lesson for all of us and a reminder to stay away from X-theme. Have I mentioned that my short and negative comment about X-Theme on ThemeForest was not approved?
It’s an interesting move I must say. It looks like Envato is there to approve only positive comments. How would they sell so many themes if there were negative comments? In actuality, I wrote in the comment section that this theme is a huge disappointment and inquired about refund policy.
You know what? Ten minutes later, I received an answer from X-Theme support on my Gmail. It looks like Envato decided to show the comment to people behind the theme, they answered my question privately and deleted the comment from ThemeForest.
If you have anything negative to say about X-theme feel free to do that in the comment area. We won’t delete the comment. We won’t delete positives either, but these positives will probably come from bots hired by theme.co.