Yet another piece of software testing. As usual, this review is unsponsored and unpaid. This review differs from my normal reviews as in this case the software is not free or reasonably priced. This is a premium product, that I have bought with my own money. As such my review is my thoughts only. You and others may have different responses with the software.
What is it?
BE Themes stands for Best Ever Themes and it is a plugin for WordPress that enables you to quickly and easily install stunning premade websites into your WordPress. It’s created by Muffin Group.
Where do you get it?
I bought my copy from envato https://themeforest.net/item/betheme-responsive-multipurpose-wordpress-theme/7758048 , but you can do a google search and find it easily enough. For that, you get the original BE plugin with 450 premade templates.
My cost was $79 US, so worked out to just over $100 AU. Which is a little dearer than average, but you are supposed to get some nice additional features such as the premade websites which may be useful.
Installation process is really easy, once you have purchased, download the zip file. Access the backend of your WordPress and install it as a new plugin. WP will unzip the files as part of the process.
This is where you might find the first error.
Seems the developers have put files within a folder rather than the root folder. This is simple to rectify. Simply, find your downloaded file, unzIp it manually (right click and extract) Make sure you know where you have extracted the files to and try the upload option again, this time pointing your WP to the extracted folder.
It should now have uploaded ok. Now you will need to activate the theme. For this you will need your license key to register the software. Again, this is fairly simple process.
You can only register the software for use on one website. If you need to use it on more than one website, you will need to purchase additional licenses and register them in turn. Muffin Group will allow you to transfer the registration key if required.
You need to register the software in order to be able to see the available templates. Now you will need to install the additional plugins that came with the theme. In your plugins page, there will be a list of plugins that is required by the software. Just install and activate the ones you need.
You will find your license key included in a file within your download, or if you purchased from Envata you will find your license key listed in the information on your purchases page.
There is a simple form to fill in to register the software, once done, you will now have access to the plugins features.
|Keep a record of this serial number as you may need it to contact support.|
First impressions of the setup – a huge comprehensive array of options. First off to YouTube to see what some of these things do. There seems to be no documentation or help with the plugin and the support forums seem to be full of unanswered questions.
Let’s have a play with the pre-set themes and see what they can do.
Choose a template you like and install – you are faced with 2 options.
- Install All Theme options
- Install Theme content only
Be warned, installing the default ALL THEME options will result in your existing webpage being overwritten by the software. You will loose any content on your home page and your menu system will change.
|They do suggest installing an additonal plugin that will restore your WP database back to default settings. This is not a good idea if you have been using WP for some time and have lots of content and other plugins already working. But it is a nice feature if you are just starting out, so please use discretion when making your choice.|
Once you have installed your required layout, return to the Settings page in your dashboard and finalise some options. You may need to have artwork such as your logo for both full screen and retina available as the software is responsive.
It was at this stage I found the biggest problem with the software. It was not working as I expected. I could not get the headers to work. Sliders did not work at all. WP Bakery page builder which costs $46US on it’s own just does not work.
We tried loading a premade template from their library and got the result that we had no content on the page (yet again). Tried loading blocks library, doesn’t work. Tried accessing the FrontEnd editor, again doesn’t work.
Returning to the Plugins page, I found some errors … the following plugins require a license to be able to use them. What … don’t they come with the theme?
Apparently not. While the premade templates were made with the theme, only the theme designer who made the template has the actual rights to the plugins. You need to purchase additional licenses for them. WP Bakery and the 2 slider plugins, plus whatever the other plugins were that came “bundled” with the software.
Confused, I scoured the support forums. Surely that’s not correct. If you pay for a bundle, it should include the plugins in said bundle.
No. Not this bundle. There is now information appearing in my Plugins page about the license requirement and what to do if you have purchased in a bundle. You still do not have a license for these plugins.
There are numerous posts about it on the support forums. But that wasn’t the end of it.
Reviewing my website (what was left of it after the fiddling), I found that there was a BUY NOW button clearly displayed in my menu. What the … it’s not in my menu selection options. IE There’s no way to remove it!
Nothing in widgets either. Nothing in the Control Panel Dashboard.
Beyond frustrated with the software now, I installed a different Theme and went through the process of creating all the content for my front page, re-creating the menu system and arranging the widgets to get the site back to a working state.
BE Themes includes pre made templates that you can install with one click. Be aware though that the special features such as sliders and page layout options will cost you extra.
BE Themes :$79
WP Page Bakery: $45
Slider Revolution: $26
And that’s just getting started. And then there’s the issue of the BUY NOW button that links back to the Muffin Group website.
I wish I could get my money back. There are better options than this – and free.
I have removed BE Themes and gone back to a free theme with some additional page building using a different plugin – more on that in another update.
BE Themes 0/5 stars. I’m still waiting for their support to get back to me incase it was something that I did wrong – but given the amount of support requests saying the same thing, I don’t think that is likely. I’m not impressed. Save your money.