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Why You Should Avoid Avada

BEFORE YOU READ: Please note the publish date for this post. I have not used Avada since fall of 2014, so I cannot attest to what development has been done since then and what has been fixed. This post merely outlines my experience with Avada and serves as a good cautionary tale to theme development and selection. If you need support for your site running Avada, please go to the Theme Fusion website. My comment section is not an ideal Avada Support location.

Avada is the highest selling theme on Theme Forest, and with good reason. It’s attractive, responsive, supports retina displays and is jam packed with features. But underneath that beautiful exterior lies a dark truth. Avada is a nightmare for multisite. After a year of use, I’m trying to get as far away from Avada as possible, and if you run WordPress multisite, you should too.

Backstory

About a year ago, we began doing some long overdue cleanup on UNC Chapel Hill’s open WordPress multisite network, web.unc.edu. The network was started back in 2009, and for several years there was no real oversight or enterprise level planning to the project. As such, the previous administrators would install themes and plugins anytime they came across a new one they felt like they wanted. That led to there being almost 200 themes installed, only a handful of which were responsive and/or still in active development. I decided we needed to remove support for those old, crummy themes and look at modernizing our offerings.

We began looking around at the most popular themes to see what might be a good addition. We found Avada and on the surface it looked like a great option. Immensely popular, responsive, actively maintained, retina support, lots of customization options, etc. While I was somewhat nervous on the prospect of a theme with that much functionality in it (especially the bundling of plugins), we believed it would help our users have an extensive ability to customize their sites without feeling the need to ask us to install custom themes.

Well, I should have done more research. Avada, while extremely powerful, is led by developers who seem to have no regard for the effects their decisions have on their users. That is something that is difficult to grasp from just looking at a theme, but in hindsight, the signs were there and it is my fault for not thoroughly testing and reviewing all of the code. It’s a lesson I’ve learned and I will not make that mistake again.

Here is a list of a few of the issues with Avada that I’ve encountered.

Plugin Deactivation

After deploying the theme, things were going well. The users who had begun using it were happy to have so many options. But we began getting strange reports from some users that their plugins had all been deactivated. There didn’t seem to be any particular consistency to the reports, various active themes, various active plugins. Finally one day I noticed when switching my test site over to Avada to check something else out, the few plugins I had activated had somehow become deactivated.

Knowing that Avada had bundled plugins, I suspected it had a bug that was accidentally wiping the active_plugins field in the options table. I opened up the theme and did a search for ‘active_plugins’ to see if it was being touched by anything. What I found was shocking.

This is horrible for a number of reasons:

  1. In an effort to prevent conflicts with the plugins they had packaged into the theme, they were intentionally deactivating all plugins. Why you would ever think this was a good idea, I have no clue. Why not just target the plugins you are bundling?
  2. They wrote their own SQL to manipulate the active_plugins value in the options table instead of using the available core functions such as update_option(). This shows a lack of understanding of proper WordPress development techniques. It’s even more shocking since they use get_option() 2 lines before. Who knows what other best practices they are ignoring throughout the theme.
  3. This code was just loose inside functions.php, which means it fires on every single request to the Avada theme. This meant that even just previewing the theme caused it to deactivate all of your plugins (which explains why it occurred to people who were not even using the theme).

After discovering this, I simply commented out this section in my installed version and asked them to fix it for the next release. Their response was comical:

We need to access your website to diagnose the problem. Can you please set up an accessible server for us and reproduce this issue on it? So that we can have a look.

What? They wanted access to my server in order to replicate the fact that it deactivates all your plugins? It is abundantly clear from the code I pasted above that it did it, and even worse, it was by design!

Once they discontinued the bundling of plugins within the theme, they removed this code and resolved this issue, as they no longer needed this code to avoid fatal errors if the bundled plugin was already active. But this was just the first major indicator of problems with Avada.

Timeout Issues

We also had reports of some users not being able to access their dashboards. In some instances, these were on sites with zero active plugins, but the common denominator was always Avada. I began searching through our error logs for any type of indicator. There were a number of timeout errors that were the obvious culprit of the white screens, but nothing specific about where the timeouts were occurring. Then I happened to come across a few instances of this: Call to undefined function layerslider_activation_scripts() in /wp-content/themes/Avada/functions.php on line 133

I thought that was strange, and I still haven’t really figured out why it showed up because it definitely was available (Layer Slider is packaged in the theme) and being included a couple of lines before the call on line 133. But it gave me a place to start looking.

I opened up the code for Layer Slider to begin investigating and immediately found the culprit in activations.php.

On activation, Layer Slider was going through every single site on the network and attempting to create its required tables. This is probably fine on a small network with maybe a hundred sites. But we have over 8,000. It was obviously timing out. It also means that I then had hundreds of erroneous tables in my database. They should have checked to see if the plugin was network activated, not just if it was multisite. Anyway, I commented out the multisite portion and that solved the problem.

The bigger issue for me here is that these are a theme and plugin that both advertise multisite compatibility. I guess they are, as long as it isn’t a big network. This problem still exists in the latest available version of Layer Slider as of this post (5.3.2).

PHP Errors

I had a coworker do the local testing of this theme prior to installing on our dev server and eventually production server. I assume he did not have debug on when testing because a few months after we added this theme, I was asked to build some additional layouts into a child theme of Avada (pro tip: don’t bother). When I first activated the theme it blew up my screen with dozens of PHP warnings and errors.

They were mostly minor undefined index warnings, but they are triggered repeatedly on every page request front-end and back-end until you go the Theme Options screen and click save. It speaks back to the issues with plugin deactivation. It’s lazy programming. Why are you not checking to see if the index exists? Why don’t you set some default values when the theme is activated? These warnings are still happening in the latest version of Avada (3.6.2).

The Final Straw

We’ve been sitting on an older version for a while trying to figure out how to handle the decoupling of plugins.

On web.unc.edu there are a couple of hundred sites with Avada active, many of which are using at least one of the four bundled sliders. We already had Revolution Slider available to all users on the network, so that was our promoted slider of choice. I didn’t want to install 3 other sliders for everyone, because sliders are terrible and it’s dumb to offer four plugins that do the same thing.

Most people were using Revolution Slider and Layer Slider, so my solution was to support Layer Slider for those who were currently using it, and drop Flex and Elastic from the network at the same time as we updated Avada. I wrote a script to handle the Layer Slider activation on sites that required it, so that they wouldn’t break when it was no longer bundled in Avada.

On Wednesday, I attempted the update…and all hell broke loose.

Apparently the update to version 3.6 is not your usual WordPress theme update. You know, where you just update it and everything is cool. It requires extensive work if you want to maintain the current look and presentation of your site, outlined on their documentation site*. There are 7 major outlined changes that you will have to deal with when updating. That’s bad enough for one site, nevermind hundreds.

* Edited Note: This documentation has now been updated for version 3.7 which includes even more action items that you must do in order to prevent your site from looking different.

But that alone isn’t the only issue. There isn’t really any way to know those things need to happen unless you go actively searching for it. It wasn’t posted on their blog (assuming that anyone reads it). A link to the aforementioned update instructions is not present anywhere on the Theme Forest site. There are no notes about it in the changelog. Heck, it’s not even prominently featured on their documentation site. You have to go under Installation > Important Update Info.

Why would I re-consult the documentation to run a simple WordPress theme update? Something I do over and over again every single week. Why do they not default to the previous settings, with the option to enable the new ones?

One of the tenets of WordPress core development is it’s insistence on maintaining backward compatibility. Apparently the developers of Avada are not aware of this, or are not interested. Each release seems to include changes that require action by the user to simply maintain the appearance of their site.

Upon the realization that all of my users sites now looked drastically different, and in many cases were very broken, I had to revert back to the previous version of Avada. Then I made the mistake of reverting to an unpatched version that still had the plugin deactivation problem, so I spent the next couple of hours cleaning up sites and trying to determine what plugins they had previously had active, while at the same time trying to calm down angry users who were as surprised as I was that their sites had suddenly broken.

This was it for me. After a year of use, numerous issues, and no clear update path, I decided to drop Avada as an option for our users. I’ll apply any security patches as needed, but I will not try to do any further updates.

216 Comments

  1. Lasitha Fernando Lasitha Fernando

    Need to buy this Avada theme, so far it seems to be the best out there. My question is are we able to use this theme on multiple sites? or are there any bulk order deal for this type of?

    Thanks

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hello 🙂

      You can use it on multiple sites or a multi-site, but currently the Envato license rules requires one single license per unique site. So if you have 10 sites each with different content/url, then it would require 10 license purchases.

      Thanks!

  2. Dawn Dawn

    With regards multiple licences, remember the concept of GPL licences. If you want to pay for one licence in order to get yourself some support, do it. Support, if it is of good quality, is worth paying for.

    However, there is absolutely no reason for you to buy multiple licences, or even to pay for single themes like Enfold, Avada and so on.

    I’m not going to promote them but there are countless membership sites out there where you can pay a reasonable annual fee and then download the most popular themes and plugins for free.

    Where plugin or theme authors offer crap support or flakey coding, I’d never consider paying top money for it.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hi Dawn!

      Sorry for the late reply. In some ways I agree with you. However it all depends on the product you are talking about.

      Sure a membership site may offer 50 themes for one annual fee (which usually pay every year btw) and allow you to use any of their themes. But are those themes as powerful and flexible as a theme like Avada or Enfold? In our opinions no, they are not. And they are certainly not the most popular ones

      This is the main reason behind customers who buy 20, 30 or even 100 licenses of one theme.

      I do agree with you about bad support, that is not worth dealing with at all. Any product you buy that requires technical support must be top notch, or it’s a waste of money.

      Best to you!

  3. Aveda Continues to be the biggest pile of bloatware I have ever seen. Options, sure, performance and streamlining… ha!

    I inherited yet another aveda site this week… and I’d really like someone to tell me why on earth could aveda need to use 3 different sliders? And what’s with the fusion builder- compared to Visual Bakery, it is ARCANE..

    I’m going to try my darndest to get them to switch to the Genesis framework..

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hey Matt!

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      While you are entitled to your opinion, I’m afraid you have the definition of bloatware confused with useful features. That word is thrown around carelessly and often neglects it’s actual meaning.

      The definition of “bloatware” is … “software whose usefulness is reduced because of the excessive disk space and memory it requires.”

      This is in fact the opposite of what Avada does. It includes extra features for it’s extended usefulness 🙂 These are features requested and often demanded by our 250K+ strong user base. Yet even if you have a different option on that and still want to stick to your guns … you don’t need to use any of the slider if you do not want to, simply disable them, along with any other feature that is offered.

      Boom, they are gone and so are the resources they use … so that blows that excuse out of the water. And our upcoming Avada 5.0 is the lightest MP theme on the market, by far, and fastest. It can be anything you want it to be. Sure you can use every feature it includes and put a different slider on every page if you so desire, or you can slim it down by only choosing what you need.

      Those “features” that customers want and the reason why they buy Avada can be disabled, you just simply need to know how to use it and disable what you do not want. And more importantly, they allow you to build virtually any design you need to with one theme, without custom coding.

      It’s a multi-purpose theme, and therefor requires extra features to be the definition of a MP theme.

      The ironic thing that always comes to mind when this type of topic comes up is the fact that Avada is actually one of the lest packed MP themes out there, it just happens to be #1 for 4 years in a row so it gets most of the heat. But check around other MP themes, some of them include 3 builders! Now that is senseless and I’d fully agree with you.

      Including extra sliders is not because each offers VERY different features depending on the type of slider you want (simple, fully animated, multiple layers, etc) … i addition the # of sliders in Avada is going down because we are combining some of them via feature cross checking.

      About Fusion Builder, there is a brand new Fusion Builder coming out in 5.0 and in our opinions and our 300+ beta customers, it is very amazing and we feel will easily compete with VC. Entirely new UI loaded with useful, time saving features. https://theme-fusion.com/avada-5-0-building-the-future/

      I do implore you to check it out, you can signup for beta testing on our support forum here: https://theme-fusion.com/forums/topic/avada-beta-testing/

      It’s interesting that you choose to post about VC, yet complain about “bloatware” in Avada. But as I said, we are all entitled to our own opinions 🙂

      Cheers
      ThemeFusion!

      • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

        Please excuse my typos, it was typed on an ipad, see below.

        ———————————

        “The ironic thing that always comes to mind when this type of topic comes up is the fact that Avada is actually one of the LEAST packed MP themes out there, it just happens to be #1 for 4 years in a row so it gets most of the heat.

        ———————————

        “Including extra sliders is because each offers VERY different features depending on the type of slider you want (simple, fully animated, multiple layers, etc) … in addition the # of sliders in Avada is going down because we are combining some of them via feature cross checking.

        ———————————

        Cheers!

      • Adam Adam

        BOOM! Mic drop…..ThemeFusion walks off stage….

  4. MRC MRC

    i have been using Avada for a few years and have built over a dozen sites using it. all for small to medium sized businesses. i am familiar enough with the theme and modifying css that i can pretty much produce any design format provided by the customer. i have found the support from Avada to be fantastic and they are indeed constantly updating their product. this is essential given how often WordPress and other plugins also update. i have never come across a plugin that has conflicted with the theme – and i use a heap of plugins. too often in the past i have experienced themes that are abandoned and i have to rebuild them using a current, supported theme.
    to the author of this article – if you know so much about backend then i do question why on earth you went for an off-the-shelf product, especially one that does contain so many features that go unused in many sites. if i knew enough about PHP i would certainly do it myself, but i am predominantly a front-end user. i think it is wrong for you to publish an article specifically saying ‘avoid’ when in fact so many thousands of others have had nothing but great experiences. you should have known yourself with a bit of research that this product was not right for your requirements, especially given how many of your sites relied on it – sounds like poor planning to me – so don’t blame Avada. i highly recommend it and will continue to use them on all of my sites.
    thanks.

    • …to the author of this article – if you know so much about backend then i do question why on earth you went for an off-the-shelf product

      Literally the entire opening section explains this and I admitted it was a mistake. It came recommended by a new employee who had experience using it as a freelancer. Turns out he didn’t really know what he was doing and didn’t understand the complexity and risk involved with running a multisite network with 10,000+ sites on it. I made some incorrect assumptions about him and the theme and allowed it to be deployed without doing enough research.

      Also note that I wrote this blog post over 2 years ago. I have no clue what changes they have made since then. Maybe it’s better now. That’s why I added that warning at the beginning of the post. I had conflicts with at least 2 popular plugins and had to write some code to prevent activation of them at the same time, but maybe those are resolved now.

      FWIW, the ThemeFusion team has been VERY responsive about replying to issues people have posted here and I do think that speaks very highly of the lengths they will go to provide support for their product. It’s not for everyone, but it obviously works great for many people.

      • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

        Thank you William, appreciate the comment.

        Also, nice site change, looks good!

        Cheers
        ThemeFusion

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hi MRC,

      Thanks for being a repeat customer! We’re happy to have you 🙂

  5. Not sure how I found this post but I did and I wanted to jump in here. I personally have used the Avada theme about a half-dozen times. It’s enough for me to know I have no need for any other theme and will continue to use it on future projects! Seriously is the most stable theme out there with the most flexibility. The ThemeFusion support team are amazing, quick to respond, and very generous with their assistance. I do not know how Avada is with multisite, but I believe I read somewhere it is multisite compatible. Maybe someone else can jump in here and comment.

    All that said, based on what I read, it sounds like the network was a cluster%*@! from the beginning when it had over 200 themes installed and that may have been a contributing factor. Just saying that maybe a clean install might have been different. Even if not, I know ThemeFusion continues to make improvements on their theme and the DO listen to the feedback of their users. I’m an Avada groupie for life!

    • This network has over 13,000 sites on it and sits on self hosted enterprise level hardware (multiple web servers spread across 2 data centers, load balanced behind an F5). I can assure you it is not a clusterfuck.

      The other themes installed on the network had absolutely no bearing on how Avada functioned. Most of them were not in use by this point. WordPress.com has more than that on their install and it causes no problems. The way WordPress works, only one theme can be active on a site at any one time, so different installed themes cannot affect each other.

      As noted in the header at the beginning, this post was from several years ago and they may have fixed many of these issues since then. They have also been very responsive to people’s concerns here and have shown good customer service going above and beyond by responding to posts here.

      In my opinion, it merely serves as a good example of the importance of proper code review and analysis in theme and plugin selection, so I have left it up.

      • Adam S. Adam S.

        I have used Avada in Multisite. Not a lot of sites, but a few. It seems to work well. The key is to update plugins , etc in phases to cut back on the risk of something going wrong.

        The author started this blog stating there were a couple hundred sites, scroll further down in his replies ti has grown to 10,000, then to 13,000. LoL

        Sounds to me at the time Avada (as any other theme would be) was the bystander/victim of poor planning, and not using common sense. I would never “throw the switch” and change the theme for 100+ sites all at once.

        • A) This post was from 2 years ago. The network has grown continuously since then. We are now over 13,000 sites. Two years ago there were fewer but still thousands.

          B) Not all sites used this theme. The overwhelming majority use themes we built and manage ourselves. But we offer a few others as options. Avada was used by 100-200 of those sites.

          My point regarding updating was how can you trust an update across 100+ sites in a multisite install if they have breaking changes in every release? You easily can’t isolate the change and only update for one site at a time. WordPress core prioritized maintaining backward compatibility and most themes and plugins follow that philosophy. Avada did not. Perhaps they do now, I don’t know.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hey Toni, Adam, William,

      We appreciate the support 🙂

      As William stated, this post was written over 2+ years ago, and a lot has changed on both sides I’m sure.

      In regards to the issue William experienced, we posted our statement / answers / feedback back when the post was written. You can view our reply back when the comments first start.

      We take care of our customers and product. We have new customers who just need a site for their new business, and Universities and Govt agencies who use it on thousands of sites via multi-site.

      I think the bottom line here is nobody or no product is perfect, but what matters is taking care of things when they arise, educating and supporting customers and having goals to always improve in any way you can. This industry changes rapidly, and therefor those who are in it must also.

      Cheers

  6. John John

    It’s interesting that ThemeFusion have managed to turn this post into one of their own promotional outlets.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hi John!

      That is not something we’ve intended to do at all, we replied here as we felt the need since William was one of our customers.

      That is just how we operate, we do whatever we can to help customers and to reply to them when they post, regardless of the situation.

      Cheers!

      • I really think it does speak to the lengths they will go to for customer service.

        While not a good fit for our environment, I can see why the theme is popular for many situations.

  7. I don’t know about this. I’m not affiliated with Avada in any way. But the day I discovered Avada was a very good day in my life.

    First of all, you have complete demo sites you can import VERY EASILY. You can then edit the info to suite your needs. I have been able to make beautiful sites with Avada without any programming. It is a very good theme for a do it yourself person as well for an advanced web devoloper.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Thanks Rapid Express, we appreciate the feedback. 🙂

      Happy New Year everyone!

      • That’s a pretty awesome marketing department you have right there.

  8. New Avada user New Avada user

    I recently bought Avada because the blurb seemed just shy of amazing and have to say that although it has a lot of features, it’s not much chop for beginners and some of the bundled features are severely nobbled like slider revolution which does not have the functionality of the standalone product despite being the same code, so the blurt in the advert saying a saving of $19 is a farce given that I’ve since coughed up the full price for Slider Revolution because the Avada bundled one couldn’t; do some of the things I wanted. What shocked me the most is for all the plethora of gadgets and gizmos for creating pages, so far I have found nowhere to disable blogging across the entire site, I want Avada to build a website and have zero interest in blogs so want that completely obliterated despite wordpress originally being a blog engine, yet most themes present themselves as website builders rather than blog builders, but the real pain with Avada is despite it’s big range of tools for site building, it has stuff all when it comes to custom designing the header block. it comes with 7 templates that are similar in design but there’s no drag and drop construction of the header and what is there is extremely inflexible. What’s the point in a wondrous choice of tools to craft a website if the header is crap? My current obstacle is proving a simple way to force load another page after a timeout, like the “refresh” command in javascript.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hello There 🙂

      I do apologize but I’m not sure what you mean by the Revolution Slider, it is not the same code, it si not part of Avada … it is a premium plugin that costs $25 actually and is included with Avada due to a developer license. You do not have to pay for it, it comes with the theme. Avada would still be $60 even if it did not include it.

      And yes, it is the exact same product as if you were to buy it. My guess is you are referring to auto updates for the plugin? That is not needed, it is a message the plugin author puts in there for people who do buy it and want to auto update it. That has no bearing on functionality, it is the exact same product. There is no need to buy it by itself.

      Revolution Slider and Layer Slider are used for sleek, animated, complex sliders. As you can see on their demo pages. The other ones we include are more simplistic, you upload an image, you set a headline and subhead … done.

      There are no plethora of gadgets and gizmos for creating pages or posts. You create them one way, the only way WordPress allows you to make them. Through the “Add New Page” or “Add New Post” buttons in the pages or posts area.

      When you install WordPress it has a sample blog post, if you don’t want it, go to the post area and delete it. Done.

      For headers, they are pre-built for ease, you select the one you like and can customize the information in it like the logo, the spacing, the menu, contact info, etc. That is done to make it easier.

      We would highly suggest contacting our support team and also researching a bit about WordPress in general. Avada is a WordPress theme, and does not require coding. But does require the self hosted WordPress installed on your hosting provider, which also means a knowledge of WordPress in general is needed. That is true for any theme you use, free or paid.

      Contact our support team and we will gladly answer and explain any issues or questions you have.

      ThemeFusion

  9. Lam Lam

    I am a newbie. Have no idea about how to do web page. So, I hired a developer from fiverr because that’s what people told me to do.

    I discover that by letting someone do it for me, I am left out on the educational benefit of knowing that I can tailor and edit on my own.

    So, I decided to teach myself. But I did not use Avada. The theme I bought for $60 was overly complicated even though they made it look simple. The resources, user bases, and youtube videos were so little because I could not get the help I need.

    Until I saw on youtube how a doctor created his website using Avada. Now if it’s a doctor showing you how he developed his website, you better believe it.

    Avada is like the greatest invention since the slice bread. Avada goes out of its way to educate the users. There are so many users using it. There are instructions all over the place. Plus, the templates that they allow you to copy and replicate are fantastic. The demos are amazing.

    Now, I don’t know anything about html but I do know about copy and paste. Avada allow you to copy, save, and past columns, containers. Pure Awesomess..

    If you are a newbie and want to get a website going, go with Avada. Ignore the naysayers. For me, this is like a new toy. I am in love with it. I am still learning but the more I learn, the more I love it. That’s what the doctor said. He said the more he uses, the more he loves it.

    The other thing I found cool is that they even hired one of the popular users on their forum to be on their staff.. How cool is that?

    This is what happen to a company who listens to customers and responds to their needs.

    I just wish that they have a webinar for beginners or FAQ with the developers behind the template. Like Meet John Doe, the developer of Avada Classic. That would be magnificent.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Thank you for the comments 🙂 And for the webinar idea, we have discussed this with our team. We do feel it would be a great addition, we just can’t say exactly when it would be out.

      Thanks again 🙂

  10. Maybe this is a little bit to “new” for this forum but if someone finds it on the web then I think it will be helpfull. So – DON’T BUY AVADA. Altough it is a solid theme for those who doesn’t need too much customization (it is pretty good as a matter of fact so for most casual web developers it will be ok). But beware… THERE IS A TONS OF ISSUES WITH IT. My GOD! Breaking styles in custom CSS field (yup, “add here, nothing will happen – bang! whole style goes back to hell just because u reduced flipbox margin, wow, nice feature). Remember about cleaning revisions, fusion builder is not working from time to time which won’t allow u to make any changes unless u are familiar with php, bla bla (for me it’s ok – but for those who just “do” websites I can imagine it is a nightmare, not that it shouldn’t happen anyway). Fusion builder is a piece of shit compared to competition’s modules – try divi. Avada doesnt have nested divs, it just works on columns with some space, … Doing some CUSTOM CSS is like drinking a big jug of polish sour cabbage juice – when u feel u’r gonna fart u don’t know if ur not going to shit all over ur pants. Another pain in the ass – MICROTHEMER DOESNT COOPERATE WITH AVADA! Can u imagine?! “Check js errors on ur website” – sry ppl, this theme is a big pile of misunderstanding.

    Dont get me wrong – if u are a “casual guy” who does sites for non demanding customers – it is ok. But dont be fooled with the marketing – it is a very basic theme, maybe that looks like a pro but it is somewhat completely retarded when it comes to cooperation. If u r making a big website – DO NOT EVEN TRY TO GO AVADA, SERIOUSLY. Until it is ur website and u have months to do it (to sit for hours and look for solutions for every fkn error this unstable piece of shit generates) – dont even think that it can save u some time in front of your client. If u need 2 pages – or 5 pages with some gfx and text – ok. More? Forget it. Google maps is not even working, because – “JAVA SCRIPT” blablabla. I am so mad, today is my deadline and this fckr had reset all my styles because one “error” in CUSTOM CSS occured? (sry no error, just touched the thing it didn’t like). I have bought 3 license at a time because I thought AVADA would be the best choice – so many clients, support, so on… FORGET IT! I spit on it and I pray that it will last until I will finish all my webistes on it and won’t touch it anymore never ever in my lifetime. I am very dissapointed. And it is a real review. It works, ok, but want to sth more? Buckle up if u are not 100% familiar with this shit – u are going to have TONS of nightmare with it. Multisite? Better make a cross sign before u start working with it. Sory Avada, altough it a good one like Liptopn tea for massess it doesn’t have so much in common with a original tea. Sorry, because so much hassle with this shit is not worth 60 (yes, so small amount of money) bucks. It should go for 10. And only kids or people who learn doing wp sites would buy it. It is not a pro theme. IT IS NOT.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hello,

      We do apologize for stating this, but there are so many things in this post that are simply untrue. Some of the things stated show a lack of understanding as well.

      Nevertheless, we’d love to see your exact case, have you opened a support ticket or have a history with our support system? We will gladly look through this and give a detailed report on anything that was brought up.

      It could be a very good lesson to share.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Yes Fusion Builder has nested columns.

      No your custom css is not lost (unless you modify core files then overwrite them on update.

      If FB does not load, that is your server issue, try paying for slightly higher hosting or adjust your PHP configs.

      Google maps not working with the ““JAVA SCRIPT” blablabla” message you put is not because of Avada, it is because of a change Google themselves have made: https://maps-apis.googleblog.com/2016/06/building-for-scale-updates-to-google.html

      Styles do not get reset, especially because of an error.

      There is something not being done correctly, this is usually the typical case that ends in a “oh now I see!” moment … I would highly, highly suggest to get in touch with our support and we will gladly assist.

  11. Jannick Weitzel Jannick Weitzel

    Why is everyone talking about the Avada support as being a ‘must’ and it being such a shame that it costs money. (Not just people on this site saying it but people on more sites I visited)

    English is not my native language and i’m new in the website-building part of the internet, but isn’t the support nothing more then being able to contact Avada developers when having a problem and asking them for help?

    One more question which is something totally different, i’m a teenager and i’m interested in things like building websites, I’d say i’m kind of decently good at it. Now, I want to set up a small company and build websites for people to earn some money. Do you think the Avada theme is a solid theme to use for this? Also, would you say it’s basically possible to build about any website with this theme?
    Also about the Avada theme, should you use the Avada page builder or something like the SiteOrigin page builder?

    Any tips for me and my small company? 🙂

    Kind regards

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hello!

      We apologize, we missed some comments here, this was one of them.

      Support used to not be paid, September 1st 2015 Envato introduced paid support on their end. We sell on Envato so have to abide by their rules: https://themeforest.net/page/item_support_policy

      What we could do is for anyone who bought before that date, we were able to grandfather them in on our own request, which you can read about here: https://theme-fusion.com/avada-doc/getting-started/grandfathered-support/

      Support is contacting our team to ask questions and get help, we have an official avenue that is a ticket system where you work directly with one of our support experts, one on one support.

      There are also community forums, facebook groups, documentaion, knowledgebase and videos … all of which are free and accessible to anyone at anytime.

      A huge portion of our clients are doing exactly what you propose. They have their own business and use Avada exclusively for all of their clients. They build site after site. Avada gives you everything you need to do this, so you buy a copy of it for your client, then build the site with their content, and of course charge them for your time and effort.

      Hope this helps!

      ThemeFusion

  12. Lars Lars

    I jumped the Avada wagon years ago, had my problems when we first did a site for a Berlin based surgery clinic, but my background might have helped me thru difficult times. (I started out assembler coding in the late 70’s). Avada has changed a lot since. There was a period where we utilized DynamiX, but today I find myself advising my clients to buy Avada again since its very easy to setup. The new demo’s are awesome and easy to install.

    The core/code behind are definitely not the same, it look revised and they’ve done a good job “saving” its reputation. The above article is absolete in my opinion, which the author also stated several times. I recommend Avada all day, every night 😀

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hello!

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂 Avada is almost 5 years old now (coming up in August!) … any product with code needs continually refactored, and we always make that a priority.

      Our codebase has pretty much changed entirely over the last 2 years, it’s very modular, optimized and built for the future for easy maintenance, customizations and more.

      A few commence here talk about it being difficult to customize now which is a bit surprising, because it’s never been as easy to customzie Avada as it is now. A whole set of hooks, actions and filters have been added. It’s simply a matter of having the knowledge to customize it if you choose to mess with the code.

      You can customize it with our options network without touching code. Or if you wish and are a more advanced user who knows how to code, you can customize it even further and when done the correct way, nothing is changed during an update.

      Typically what we see when people complain about losing customizations, is very simple. They do not build a child theme, and they customize the core files. So of course when you update the theme, those files are overridden with the new ones.

      Thanks again for the comments, glad to see you’ve come back to Avada 🙂

  13. Justin Justin

    Avada may not be for everyone, the many features can be overwhelming but soooo worth it! I bought avada 3 years ago and have never looked at another theme since, also i’ll admit that i pirate just about everything software related, if i can find it free from torrent or whatever i will… but I was very happy to pay for my avada license and plan on buying another very soon for my girlfriends new site. Its just the best investement i have ever made, ill also note that i never post comments on this kind of stuff nor do i ever write reviews, im just a very proud avada user and really hope they continue to develope for many many more years to come.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Thank you very much Justin 🙂

  14. Robert Eetheart Robert Eetheart

    I’ve always had issues with Avada. Every single time I’ve used it. There’s ALWAYS something I’ll find that doesn’t work, missing, or is broken. Of course, for us tech-savvy developers it’s not more of a problem than to spend some extra time on implementing/fixing the issue in the Avada Child Theme (I’m a sucker for child themes).

    It also doesn’t help that I have a keen eye for spotting bugs that ordinary people usually don’t.

    That said, Avada is very shiny, pretty, and like 8/10 of our customers love it, so cheers for that.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hello,

      Thanks for the comments.

      We’d love to hear about what is broken or does not work, our team along with 300+ customers work hard at beta testing and ensuring things do. It would be foolish to say there are no bugs and we would never say that, they are part of software. But there should not be things as you’ve mentioned.

      Glad to hear you use a child theme and that your customers love it 🙂

  15. Jean Jean

    I have been using Avada for years (since version 3 to 4) and so far so good. I like the shortcodes, it makes my coding faster. But there latest version 5 is an issue if you upgrade from 4 below. They totally changed spelling of their shortcodes. When you upgrade the theme will do the “search & replace” for you but have some many bugs. And I have no time fixing the bugs for so many pages and 5+ sites!

    Anyway, I don’t think I will support this theme anymore as I can’t go forward from here. They also don’t keep a copy of their old theme version, so make sure you save a copy on your local file. And their support does not even help on this issue. You can’t also see an old shortcode list.

    So I say you need to avoid this theme. It might have been popular before but the version 5 just isn’t great.

    • Adam S. Adam S.

      Hmm, that is like buying a new car, then never changing its oil or other service needs. Any developer should keep his websites up-to-date; wordpress, plugins & theme. This prevents security issues, etc.
      Upgrading from Avada 3 to 5 is a long jump. Like throwing a 600hp engine in a Ford Focus but not upgrading the brakes, suspension or steering. Going to be skidding off the road real quick.
      If someone has a website with Avada 3 that they failed to maintain, then they ask you to update it. Then just charge accordingly for your time.

      Most “issues” or “complaints” I have seen on this blog about Avada are from people whom are not doing their homework or using common sense/preventative measures.

      User Error..Not Avada error….

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hi Jean!

      Thanks for the comments. There is some information in your comment that is a bit off or misunderstood, or perhaps I am misunderstanding you.

      Let me explain what went on, why it happened, and why it’s actually better that class names changed for both you as a customer and the longevity of the product. See #3 below.

      However first, let me clarify a few other things in your comment that are not correct or misunderstood, see #1-2 below.

      1. Yes we do keep old versions of the theme, in fact, if you submit a support ticket we will give you any version of Avada you ask for. Maybe you are referring to Themeforest? They only keep the latest live version of the theme, which is true for any theme on the marketplace. Hhowever if you ask our team (which is where you should go for support) for an old version, we will gladly give it and even install it for you and set it up.

      2. Also you can still see the old shortcode list, in fact, it has not changed, it only gets updated with new parameters that are added. That is in our docs and has not changed. I believe this is part of the confusion, you are referring to seeing old class names perhaps? That can easily be done, simply look at the previous version of the theme before 3.8, for which as described above, our team would gladly supply or you could check from a backup which should be made for any software update, all hosts we know keep daily or weekly backups, you can get it from your host also.

      3. When did class names change, why did they change and why is this a good thing? And what did we (ThemeFusion) do to help our customers and make them aware?

      First off, class names changed in Avada 3.8, not v4 or v5. And we listed this out in our docs, our forum, eBlasted it out and also put this in the important updates message to notify users. We did as much as we could to notify customers and, this was done for a very good reason.

      Avada 3.8 changed some class names which was done to prevent conflicts with other plugins. For example, many plugins and themes use common class names. For example “class=tabs” … that is bad practice, and you’d be surprised how wide spread it is, even with very well known themes and plugins. The resulting issue is if you use a plugin that has similar class name, styles can conflict leaving visual issues on the front end, or in some cases rendering a function or action useless. When we found out about it and how wide spread it was in other 3rd party plugins, we took action because we realized that we also had generic class names with some of our elements and we should not have.

      Any developer who realizes they have done this, and does not correct it, is not taking care of their customers or product. That is not how we operate, we do the opposite and do the right thing and ensure our customers are aware of it to the best of our ability.

      To fix this issue, and to also make it easier to maintain in the future for the longevity of the product, we added more specificity to our class names so they were no longer generic class names. For example “class=fusion-tabs” … classes we’re fixed with “fusion-” before them. That was the change.

      This would only be a factor for anyone who is using custom css. Further more, it’s a very easy change to correct because you simply need to add fusion- to any class you we’re using to customize.

      In addition, our staff has and will help with anyone who brought this up in our support system, although 3.8 was very long ago, about 1.5 years so we’ve not had any recent requests.

      We not only we’re preventive in notifying our customers about it through all various channels, we did so months in advance and then prepared for anyone who came to us through support to quickly help them modify it.

      4. Avada constantly improves, when we see something that can be improved, we improve it. Avada 4 brought an entirely new theme options panel that is significantly better than the previous versions. Avada 5 brought the brand new Fusion Builder that is such a different product that it can’t even be compared to the previous one.

      We do these things for you, our customers, and for the quality of our product. We are diligent in keeping up with modern trends and coding practices and will always do so. This class name issue you speak of is something that any good developer would of never left in their product once they realized it was there. We will always take extra precaution to make customers aware. Please sign up to our newsletter or check our community forum or FaceBook Users page, information is posted there all the time.

      Lastly may I say, whenever you do update any software, you really do need to take precaution and make a backup, check the changelog and developers notes as to what the new update contains. If that is done, everything will be fine.

      If you do need help with this, please do submit a ticket and our team will gladly help. I can also look up your account to see what you are referring to when you said our support would not help, that is not our policy nor should any of our staff of denied you in that. As mentioned, it’s a simple fix to adjust and we’d be happy to help you.

      Thanks
      ThemeFusion

  16. I simply agree. This theme is so difficult I have struggled 4 hours to Change the copyright footer background colour, and still not working!! . Also takes forever to make changes. I have to say the worst piece of software I have ever known

    • Hein Meyer, if it has taken you 4 hours to change the copyright footer background colour, you should stop building websites immediately and go do something else. Seriously, it takes 20 seconds to find and change the background colour of the copyright section. You clearly have NO idea how to use Avada. I’m so sick of all the comments on this post. So many of them are simply wrong. I won’t judge the multi-site issue, despite me having 15 sites succesfully on a multisite with Avada, but so many of the other “claims” are simply eroneous.

      • I had over 100 sites using it on a single multisite install (out of more than 10k sites on the network) and at that time every Avada update required manual interaction on a site admin’s part to maintain the existing presentation of the site. Their updates were not backward compatible and they didn’t write update scripts. Coordinating updates across that many sites was not realistic and we couldn’t just update and let people fix things without angering our site admins. Never good to have something about your site change without knowing or planning.

        Perhaps things have changed since then…it’s been quite a while (over 2 years). But I’m not bothering to try it again. If you’re happy with Avada on your sites, then that’s great. It just wasn’t a good fit for us and some additional due diligence on my part would have prevented the many headaches because I never would have allowed it to begin with. That’s the moral of the story and why this post remains.

        • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

          Hey William,

          Things have changed since then. We know customers who run dozens of Avada only multi-sites, some with 5 thousand+ sites on them, some larger universities, some government … they don’t have issues and are continued happy customers.

          To us, the moral of the story is that not everyone will be happy with every product. I can’t think of one that everyone loves. In addition, there are always several factors that go into things like this that make the difference in the story.

          As William has stated on his post, this is now going on almost 3 years old. Nor is this a place for customer service. Anyone that knows us knows we will gladly help in nay situation, resolve it and give detailed information as to why it may happen.

          It’s always best to allow us to do that first.

          Thanks

          • Thanks. Always tempted to shut down comments on a post this old, but figure it’s better to allow people on all sides to continue to chime in.

            For what it’s worth, I’m continually impressed with your customer service in response to people reporting issues here.

          • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

            Thank you

      • Dude you are welcome to log intoy site and see for yourself. I wanted it black I changed it to black at the footer styling tab and nothing shows on my site. Stop being a complete arse hole. If you can’t work with poeple what the hell are you doing here? And also note you stupid shit I have designed tons of websites with WordPress so go and.. You know what.

        • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

          Hello Hein,

          If the copyright background option does not work for you, something else is going on entirely. It is one simple option to change. you select the color, choose a new one and save it. Refresh your site and it will be the new color.

          Have you checked your cache settings? Plugin, server, browser …. css compiler option That would be the same for any theme if it’s cache and not related to Avada, I can’t think of anything else it would be.

          The best thing to do would ask first and try to get it resolved. I’m certain this is not an issue and something unique on your end or something simple. If an option such as copyright background did not work, we’d be in big trouble 🙂

          Our team will gladly help you out and show you that it does in fact work, will explain why it was not working and resolve it for you. Simply signup for our support and submit a ticket.

          Thanks

    • Paradise Video Paradise Video

      Sounds like you don’t know WordPress let alone HTML or css. Also, a better hosting company would go a lot further in solving your caching issues. Or you’re just a lazy cry baby.

    • Patrick Patrick

      Hein,

      What a load of bullocks. Do you know how to switch on your computer? Because that is more difficult than changing the copyright footer.

  17. Paradise Video Paradise Video

    What an asshat moron! You’d update this review if you were really an honest person you would revisit the theme, the current version being 5. 1. 6, and you’ll see how incredibly easy and intuitive it is to use. Just like WordPress itself things have changed in 2 years and Avada is a lot more streamlined, faster, smaller, and easier to use.

  18. I am using avada from 3 years
    fusion builder is much more faster than the visual builder. and fusion builder is also much more flexible also which means I can do a lot of things easily and timely using fusion builder rather than wasting time waiting for visual builder to save things 1 by 1.
    also fusion builder don’t result in loss of content but visual builder does.

    Visual composers them when send update its almost impossible to update but avada updates are easier to implement

  19. Tiredov Updates Tiredov Updates

    Nice post. Yes, outdated but, in defence of the author, if someone thinks avada is crap they’re hardly likely to buy a new copy of it to road test it and see if it’s still crap, in their eyes. I know that offends the avada fundamentalists, but that’s how life is.

    I have used avada on several projects over the years. It has its good points, and bad points too. Those bad points have prevented me from using it on new projects of late. Basically I’m sick of avada updates that break websites and eat up my time.

    One reason I look for multi-purpose themes is that they contain features I want and can adapt for specific sites and the actual theme is customised as required. Customised in the sense that I alter templates to allow me to display what I want. I’m not a high-level coder and my changes are generally superficial, not ‘significant’.

    Avada used to be customisable, but these days, customising avada is asking for trouble. Why? Well, the site that was working last week breaks this week when the latest update arrive (and in 2017 updates and patches have been arriving like flies in mating season).

    Okay, no big deal. Updates happen to all themes, and those for security to patch flaws and vulnerabilities are always welcome. But avada doesn’t only patch mistakes or defects, obviously.

    They updated to V5 last year and various forums began receiving floods ofplease for help from people whose sites had broken. In fact today, something like 10 months after that first change, updates are still breaking sites on a daily basis. Check your favourite forum for avada users and search for somethink like ‘update broke my site’.

    Yes, some of these breakages are casual users who make mistakes or don’t understand all the things you need to do in order to update. That’s not a reason to blame the unable updater, but to ask why the update process causes problems. Maybe some users need better instructions?

    In fairness, Mrs Smith, who bought a theme to make a website for her home-cooking services, shouldn’t need to have php or css skills in order to use or update her website – after all, it was sold on the basis that it can make a multitude of websites without needing technical skills. Like all themeforest themes, avada is aimed at the man on the street, not the pvp developer community – most of whom wouldn’t touch the average envato/themeforest theme in the first place.

    So you customised avada and made yor own website? Bravo!

    You use a customised portfolio? Sorry about that, avada decided to burn your customisations to the ground by doing away with the old method and have moved portfolio into our custom fusion builder. You’ll just have to start from scratch and rebuild everything. Need help? Pay to renew support for 6 months and they’ll have a look, then tell you it’s a customisation issue and therefore can’t help you fix what they broke.

    You want to use Woocommerce? Excellent. Avada is compatible. In fact, avada have decided that users no longer wish to be able to control their own shops, their design and so on, and have taken control of that too, customising and manipulating the woocommerce experience. What used to over-ride woocommerce coding may not work with avada now. Sorry about that. Pay to renew support and they’ll take a look and tell you it’s a customisation, so they can’t actually help you fix what they broke.

    You want to remove avada’s customised woocommerce experience? You can’t, you silly man! And why would you want to have control of your own ecommerce displays anyway? Avada knows best.

    Got problems with avada’s issues with ajax? Ah, renew your support and they’ll have a look. Unfortunately, the thing that is broken is a third party plugin, so you’ll have to speak to the plugin author. They say it’s the way avada uses ajax? Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they? Nasty people, plugin authors….always blaming theme devs.

    But it’s not all bad.
    Let’s be clear; for a first-time user who wants to build a website using one of the demos, and whose idea of customisation is changing the header color and reorganising things using fusion builder, avada is great. No matter what I’ve said here, I would still use it for something simple – like a site that doesn’t want template customisation, doesn’t use woocommerce and is basically a brochure site that is user editable. It allows me to do quite a few things fairly quickly.

    For anything else, there are way too many alternatives on the market. Building a custom site using avada is opening the door to a flood of future prolems – and your clients may well understand that avada is the problem and avada updates broke their site, but they’ll still blame you for saddling them with the theme that when it causes them problems.

    But really, the problem isn’t all down to avada. What is happening is, to a certain degree, down to envato looking for new ways to generate extra revenue streams for being middlemen – what else is envato? They don’t make anything, just suck money out of buyers and sellers by standing between them.

    Envato earns money from allowing authors to sell on their site. Some time ago, they realised that lots of people were buying themes and never coming back. They were one-shot buyers, commercial cul-de-sacs, and no seller likes that. They figured that with themes becoming ever-complicated and being ever-more breakable, there was a massive revenue stream to be gained by becoming middlemen at a support level. They sold the idea to theme authors with ease – why support your products for free when we can effectively get people to pay for their theme every year? “Oh, and we’ll take a percentage, obviously.”

    Easy money..

    Now, all theme authors who sell through envato need to do is issue regular updates which change how the theme works at a template or setup level, and people will need to pay to renew their support again to find out what the hell has broken their sites.

    Don’t just change template coding – that’s easy to sort out. Make major modifications – hide templates inside page builders and make stuff much harder for lower-level users to work out and you’ll increase your revenue per client by 40% in the first year and significantly more for users in their second or subsequent years (get money from folks who in the past would never have paid for support). Yay… we can all get rich by designing ways to build new pages that break old pages.

    Then, when users make negative comments on blogs, forums or social networks like facebook, get the avada fundamentalists (seriously, do we believe that normal users of a theme arrive in clusters to slag off those who don’t like a theme someone else built?) to slag off the person who expressed the opinion.

    If someone posts a negative comment on themeforest, post a stream of self-promotional comments and ‘user reviews’ after the negative item, to push such negative thoughts onto what will become the ‘previous’ page. Hide them. Seriously, go visit the comments page for avada on themeforest and see how often they post their own self-promotional bullshit in their own comments pages. Avada’s promoters appear to have a severe case of self-worship.

    But would I say it was a reason to not buy avada, and therefore agree with the original post?

    That depends. It does have good points and for a very simple, no special functions-required site, it is quickish (don’t let people say it’s the fastest or slowest; it’s neither) and the demos will undoubtedly help newcomers get something online fairly quickly.

    If you’re likely to want to customise things and don’t want to dedicate your time to repairing things on a regular basis, I’d say to look at alternatives. And find blog posts like this where users can express free opinions.

    • ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

      Hello There,

      I guess all we will say to this is you update the site and things break, something is not going right.

      Typically what we see if users update and rename the theme (menus/widgets drop out which is how WP works), they do not clear cache (plugin, server, browser, etc), they do not update the required plugins (fusion builder or fusion core … or it’s something to do with their own customizations that were not done right in a child theme.

      Now, I’m not saying that is what you are doing, but that is more than 95% of what we see and I know the people in our community can back that up as they deal with it in the community groups as well.

      Either way, we’d love to see your setup after an update, we will gladly look at it and see what is wrong.

      Thanks

  20. ThemeFusion ThemeFusion

    You said …

    “Sorry about that, avada decided to burn your customisations to the ground by doing away with the old method and have moved portfolio into our custom fusion builder. You’ll just have to start from scratch and rebuild everything.”

    This is 100% false. Portfolio is a custom post type, it is not burned into Fusion Builder, Fusion Builder simply now offers an element for you to use those post types wherever you wish. If you customized the CPT and it did not work, then I’m afraid to say, you customized it wrong.

    This is a good representation of misunderstood information.

    There are several more that are easily proved wrong in your post but unfortunately we won’t have the time to go through them and feel it’s unnecessary based off your reply.

    Best to you 🙂

    • I doubt anyone will bother to read his 10,000 word essay in a comment any way. I wouldn’t worry about it 😉

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