There are thousands of free and premium magazine themes available for WordPress sites. However, only few of them will catch your eyes and stop you to look at the details. Pixwell is one such a modern magazine style theme for WordPress. If you are looking for purchasing pixwell theme, here is a genuine review based on the usage in one of our sites.
Purchasing Pixwell Theme
Pixwell is a premium only theme available in themeforest marketplace. The theme was first published in October 2019 and being there for the past few years. It has almost 5 star ratings with around 5K sales. You can purchase pixwell theme for $59 which includes lifetime updates and one year of free support.
After purchasing, you can download the zip file containing theme, child theme, required plugins and demo content.
The price is in line with any other premium magazine style themes available in marketplaces.
Installing Theme and Getting Updates
You can extract the downloaded file from themeforest and upload the pixwell.zip file into your WordPress site. The installation will take few minutes of time as the theme contains plugin files also. You may need to temporarily disable Cloudflare’s automatic WAF rules and run the site with sufficient PHP memory limit / file upload size to successfully upload the file. The theme zip file size is more than 7MB as it also contains core plugins. If you are not able to upload the theme, extract the zip file and delete the plugins folder (or the Pixwell Importer plugin which is 4.3MB in size). Again, zip the content and try to upload it. In this case, you need to upload the plugins separately through “Plugins > Add New” section or use FTP to upload remotely.
After installing the theme, simply activate it to start using on your site. Surprisingly, you do not need to activate the license key from themeforest. Some users do not like this as this can cause no difference between using nulled and purchased versions.
Required Plugins List
Most of the Pixwell theme’s demo pages are made with Elementor plugin, though you can use the in-built Ruby Composer instead. The choice of page builder plugin will affect the layout of pages as you see in their demo. Here are the plugins required by pixwell theme:
- Elementor – optional to build home and archive pages for most of the demo concepts.
- Pixwell Core – mandatory plugin comes in-built with theme contains Ruby Composer.
- Contact Form 7 – optional to create contact forms.
- Pixwell Importer – mandatory and in-built plugin, you can delete this one after importing demo content.
- Post Views Counter – helps to show post views and popular posts widget, optional.
- Breadcrumb NavXT – optional to show breadcrumbs in post layouts.
- Pixwell Deal – optional plugin to create deals as a custom post type.
- Envato Market – connect your themeforest account and get automatic theme updates. Otherwise, you may need to manually delete the old version and upload the new version every time.
In addition, you need to install Mailchimp for WordPress plugin for adding subscription sections. Though the list of required plugins is big, all plugins are optional except Pixwell Core. Even you do not need Elementor for using beautiful demo like their marketing concept.
Importing Demo Content
As mentioned, the Pixwell Importer plugin is of 4.3MB in size containing all demo content. Pixwell offers more than 30 predefined demo layouts which you install by navigating to “Appearance > Ruby Import Demos”. You can see the list of plugins required for using each demo. It is possible to install and activate the plugin right from the demo import page without navigating to plugin section.
If you do not like to use heavy weight plugins like Elementor, then go for marketing or any other demo concept that only needs built-in Ruby Composer. Since Ruby Composer is a mandatory plugin, using Elementor will result in having two page builders on your site. If you want to use a demo style on your existing site, make sure to only select theme options and widgets. Otherwise, your existing content will get affected if you select all demo content option.
Remember, as per the envato marketplace guidelines, the authors will not supply the copyrighted images shown in the demo sites. Therefore, you will get a blurred images when you import demo content.
Customizing Theme Settings
If you have not used complex premium themes before, you will get lost with tons of available options with pixwell. You can navigate to each section and choose the desired settings for customizing. For example, you can choose the boxed or fullwidth layout under “Styles & Design” section.
The best way here is to import a demo setting you like and start using it by changing the logo and other details. Otherwise, you may need a week time to navigate through each setting and change as per your need. However, you have to understand the “Module Design” section which has option for customizing the modules used by the page layouts and widgets. Though you can’t disable the modules, you can disable the featured image sizes under “Featured Image” section if you are not using certain modules. This will help to avoid unnecessary thumbnails stored in your site without any use in the frontend.
If you messed up the settings, click on “Reset Section” button to restore the settings for that section or reimport the demo settings.
Using Ruby Composer
Ruby Composer is the default page builder plugin for pixwell theme. You will see a button in pages to create layouts using this composer and the page will have additional meta boxes to customize the layout.
Clicking on “Ruby Composer” button will show you an option for selecting fullwidth or content with sidebar section. You can select one of this and then choose the pre-defined blocks to create a beautiful layout.
However, you can also continue to use the default Gutenberg or Classic Editor for creating your pages.
Post Meta Settings
Similar to pages, posts will also have a “Pixwell Post Options” meta box to override the global settings. Here, you can enable review, add affiliate banners (using shop the post option) and make the sponsored post settings.
It is also possible to change the post layout to choose a different one from your choice in the theme panel.
Sidebar, Header and Footer Widgets
Pixwell uses the old widget editor and offers handful of custom widgets. You can insert advertisements, social profiles, newsletter signup form to make your sidebar content appealing to readers.
SEO and Theme Speed
Theme panel offers few options for SEO and performance settings. You can enable lazy loading, schema markup and Open Graph under these sections. You can easily get 90+ PageSpeed score and pass Core Web Vitals by using the default plugins.
Documentation and Support
The documentation comes with the theme file will redirect you to the developer’s documentation website. You can find solution to most of the generic issues you may face during installation and using the theme. If you have site specific problems, then you can raise it from the themeforest support page.
Now, you got the overall options available in pixwell theme and here are some of the notable features.
- Bookmarks – theme allows users to add posts in a bookmarks list so that they read it later. This option needs you to create a page assign in the settings section. However, it does not need any registration or login in the frontend by your readers.
- Advertisements – you can insert ads in the header, widgets and before/after content area. In addition, you can insert affiliate banners and WooCommerce products list before/after content in a post using “Shop The Post” option.
- Custom sidebars – you can create unlimited number of sidebars and assign the required one in the post editor.
- Review – easy to enable review option from post meta box and add schema supported review settings.
- Table of content – you can enable for site wide or use it only on certain posts.
- Infinite scroll and sticky sidebar – infinite scrolling will increase your page views. It is also possible to make the sidebar sticky so that the last widget will show floating while users scroll the content.
- Dark mode and trending articles – you can add dark mode and trending icons in the header allowing users to switch the mode and view popular articles.
- Deals, Portfolio & Galleries – while portfolio and galleries come in-built with pixwell theme as custom post types, you can use Pixwell Deal plugin to create deal pages.
- WooCommerce – custom shop and product layouts for your WooCommerce store.
Challenges When Using Pixwell Theme
Here are the challenges you will face while using the pixwell theme,
- Huge theme panel – the problem is that the menu is so long it will disturb when you want to go to other default WordPress menu items from the sidebar. Normally, theme options menu items should be only available in the settings panel. However, with pixwell, it will be annoying to see such a long menu list appearing in the sidebar, inside theme panel and also in the default customizer. In addition, you will have the links for custom post types like portfolio, galleries and deals in the sidebar making the admin panel filled with menu items.
- Font settings – pixwell theme does not offer an option to use system font stack. In addition, you need to navigate through different sections to customize settings as the dedicated “Typography Settings” does not contain all settings.
- Two page builder plugins – Elementor will be overhead as Ruby Composer is a mandatory plugin.