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WPZoom Review: Clean, Well-Organized Designs, Yet Slightly Pricey

WPZoom

founders

WPZoom, headquarted in Chisinau, Moldova, was founded in April of 2008 by Pavel Ciorci and Dumitru Brinzan.

While currently only a 7-person team, they have developed over 70 themes since opening five years ago. They currently maintain roughly 55 of those themes.

Cost

Single

Individual themes are $75 each. Support and updates are included for 12 months, and you are free to use the theme on multiple domains.

Extended

pricing2

The “Extended License” is $125, and this option includes picking up a second theme for free. And so, in essence, it’s two themes for $125. PSD Photoshop files are included with this option. 12 months of support and updates are also included, and you can use the themes on multiple domains.

Membership

A “WPZoom Membership” is $199 + $19/mo. This gives you access to all 53 themes plus at least one new theme per month. PSD Photoshop files, support, and regular updates are also included; however, if you cancel your membership, then updates and support are terminiated.

Features

zoom-collection

Of the 50-some active themes at WPZoom, 26 are responsive. Given the importance of mobile these days, I personally only consider mobile themes when looking at a theme developer’s offerings. You may disagree with that approach, but there it is. And so the info below pertains to the 26 mobile themes.

WPZoom Framework

Every WPZoom theme comes with the WPZoom Framework built in. While this will allow you to control some basic settings, it doesn’t go so far as to allow dragging and dropping, for example. You do, however, get the choice of a full-width layout, even with Posts.

framework

To give you an idea, here’s a partial list of some things you can control through a theme’s settings pages:

  • featured slider
  • excerpt length
  • thumbnail displays
  • font control
  • banner areas
  • basic SEO
  • header and footer code areas
  • slideshows

You’ll notice above things like “featured slider” and “slideshow.” These built-in functions tend to be very nice in WPZoom themes.

Here’s an example.

featured-slider2


Shortcodes

Some don’t like to use shortcodes provided by themes. If you ever change your theme, all that breaks. But WPZoom offers the following shortcodes.

  • button creation
  • icon links
  • info boxes
  • column layouts
  • special list styles
  • social buttons

Content-Rich Designs

WPZoom seems to shine especially bright when handling a lot of different content in a small space. Magazine-type themes, for example, come to mind. Somehow they manage to pack in the content while still seeming clean and ordered.

A quick glance at their collection also confirms that many of their themes fit this style of designs for content-heavy sites.

That’s not to say that their more minimalistic themes are of a lesser quality. It’s just to say that compared to many other themes out there that attempt to work in this style, WPZoom appears to be one of the better ones.

Using  sliders, galleries, featured images, tabbed sections, and the like with an artistic eye is both art and function.  And WPZoom seems to do it on a regular basis.

Aesthetics

As mentioned several times already, WPZoom stands out when working with content-heavy designs.

Here is a look at a few of their designs.

Horizon: Info | Demo

wpzoom-theme4

Petit: Info | Demo

wpzoom-theme3

OriginMag: Info | Demo

wpzoom-theme6

Seasons: Info | Demo

wpzoom-theme2

Insider: Info | Demo

wpzoom-theme5

They are also good at paying attention to little details. For example, for their recipe theme, you get a specially-designed section for recipe ingredients and as well as specially-designed numbers for the steps in the cooking process.

wpzoom-recipe-ingredients-directions


Usability

WPZoom themes are easy to use. The settings, while mostly basic, let you easily do things that many people want, such as enable a featured post area, activate slideshows, turn dates on or off, etc.

About as complicated as WPZoom controls get are with things such as controlling a slideshow or creating a button with the built-in shortcode function.

Here’s a look at the slideshow controls. Pretty easy.

slideshow-controls2

And here’s a look at building a button. Equally easy.

button-creation2

In order to help you get started, one nice thing they do is provide you with demo content specific for each theme you buy.

As many people find a huge divide between what they see on demo sites and what they see on their own sites once they buy a theme and get it loaded up, this demo content (which is the same content you see on their demo sites) helps you to bridge that gap and lets you see the possibilities of your own site more clearly.

theme-demo-content


Customer Service

Support is offered mainly through a support forum. I asked several questions in the forum, and I also asked a presales question through email.  In both cases I received a prompt reply.

I asked questions both on the weekend and during the week, and in my case anyway, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Once I received an answer with 25 minutes. Another time it was answered within 5 ½ hours.

Although only a staff of 7, never did it take more than 12 hours to get a question answered.

 

Speed

In order to test the speed, I ran a few themes through Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. These tests should be taken with a grain of salt. Some of what it measures may have little to do with the theme.

That said, the few themes I checked out did very well. Google says that a score over 85 is very good. Many themes I’ve tested in the past haven’t come close to that. But WPZoom’s themes not only came close, they even surpassed it in some cases.

Here’s a look at the speed for the Prologue theme.

speed-prologue2

 

And here’s a look at the speed for the Seasons theme.

speed-seasons2

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, if WPZoom’s style appeals to you, then they just may be worth their slightly expensive price. With clean and well-organized themes, backed up by a lean team eager to serve its client base, WPZoom appears to provide what you’d expect when you sign up for a premium theme service.

The Good

  • Professional, polished designs.
  • Lots of little things done right
  • Lots of content well-organized, especially magazine style themes.
  • Relatively quick support.

The Bad

  • The price for one theme is a little expensive at $75. That will get you one year of support and updates.
  • The extended/developer license for one theme (+ another theme for free) is $125. Again, that will get you one year of support and updates.
  • You can get all their themes for $199 + $19 a month. While you get a new theme every month, if you cancel your membership, you lose access to support and updates.

Theme Ratings

  • Cost:
  • Features:
  • Aesthetics:
  • Usability:
  • Customer Service:
  • Speed:
  • Overall: