First of all, this isn’t a comprehensive review. Far from it, it’s a quick and dirty analysis – we didn’t even buy the theme to test it. But we did a good enough analysis of all the info that’s available out there, that might save someone else some time or money. Here it goes.
Steps we took to investigate the Acabado theme:
- studied its features, benefits and settings using their landing page info + this training video (where you see most of its settings)
- reviewed 10+ other websites that use the Acabado theme – not just the ones that the authors refer to, but we found many other websites too
- speed tested all these sites and compared their design against each other (in other words, we confirmed that they all look the same)
We’re not saying that Acabado theme isn’t good. We just spent some time analysing its results and compared it to some free alternatives and found that you don’t really need it. But if you really like what Acabado theme authors Income School are doing, or the theme’s features, then go ahead and purchase the theme. They seem like a good bunch and based on a very thorough review of IncomeSchool (authors of the Acabado theme) by Ebizfacts.com, they know what they are doing.
TLDR; – You can get very similar results by using the free GeneratePress theme. A hidden benefit is that it looks much better than the Acabado theme and has more built in customisation options. You can see the limited Acabado customisation options here and GeneratePress Free in this video and Premium options in this one.
Acabado theme (short) analysis
First, we checked other websites that use the Acabado theme (not only the ones featured on their pages) and can confirm that the theme is fast. These sites were getting above 80/100 on Google PageSpeed insights. And that’s without us knowing how many other plugins they have installed. So far so good.
Then, we looked at about 10 different sites using it. Just looked at their homepage. They all look the same and fairly ugly. Guess that’s because there’s not much customisation options and the target audience isn’t the CSS and HTML savvy one. You can click to a better design using GeneratePress Free theme, or if you prefer even more options, GeneratePress Premium. Acabado theme is so focused on speed, that it had to let go of certain design features – what they call clean, I call bare. Again, great from a speed perspective, not so much if you want your site to also look nice.
We have found the websites just by a quick Google search for “themes/acabado” – see for yourself.
If the aim is to have a theme that is fast and doesn’t require much setting up and you don’t care much about how it looks (or you don’t know CSS), then Acabado theme is a good enough option. Basically install it, fill in some basic settings and you’re set up – just fill it in with content. Best fit: pure affiliate websites that are primarily about content and don’t care about custom / distinguishing design.
But… if you want a FREE theme that is also fast, doesn’t require much setting up AND looks good (and lets you customise itself to some extent), then the free GeneratePress theme is your best call. And of course, it’s premium version will boost all these benefits further (although the general rule is that the more addons you activate, the slower any site will get).
It’s possible to have a fast site without sacrificing too many features – here’s a website we built that runs Elementor, Mailchimp forms and yet scores 84/100 on Google Pagespeed mobile and 98/100 on desktop (if our hosting isn’t playing up and TTFB jumps up sometimes).
Other themes we looked at
- Hello theme from Elementor – it’s a very stripped-down theme that’s very fast, but also doesn’t look very good (it’s meant to be used together with Elementor page builder which itself is a great addition, you can build the entire website, including headers and footers very quickly and it’s fast enough too (but it does add additional .js and .css files, so your Google PageSpeed performance will be worse, make sure you use it in combination with a very fast and reliable theme).
- OceanWP theme – it has more customisation options, is still quite fast, but not as fast as GeneratePress. It achieved 73/100 compared to 97/100 of GeneratePress. But it looks much better and with 73/100, might be a winner if you need better design options without a builder.
- Ascend theme from KadenceWP – we’ve been working with Ascend or KadenceWP’s other themes for years now, they are pretty flexible, reliable and have good support. Speed-wise not as fast as GeneratePress or OceanWP, but close enough. It all depends on how many features you turn on or off – even OceanWP theme can get slow if you use all add-ons.