Avada vs X Theme vs RT Theme 18 – Theme Review

Avada vs X Theme vs RT Theme 18 – Theme Review

Best Multi-Purpose Responsive Themes Review – the Big Three

There are countless WordPress themes out there that claim to be multi-purpose and fully responsive. Today we are looking at Avada, X Theme and RT Theme 18 – the three highest rated and most downloaded premium multi themes available. I have extensive experience using all three of these themes. Having said that, each of these themes have their advantages and drawbacks, and I will do my best to point these out here. If you know of another theme that should be included here, let me know and I will update the post.

Here we go…

 Avada by Themefusion


This, (and 110,000 others agree), is the best premium WordPress theme of any kind available today. In the last two years, I have built approximately 45 sites with this awesome theme, ranging from one page scrolling sites, to portfolio sites, to perfectly integrated Woocommerce sites and more. There is literally nothing you cannot do with this theme. It integrates perfectly with every plugin I have tried, and displays perfectly across every platform and browser. For beginners, there will be a bit of a learning curve as you navigate the Fusion Builder page builder, but that is only because you literally have limitless options for how you want your page to display. The developer, Themefusion, is actively engaged in a great support forum, response to service requests is fast, and the theme is consistently and automatically updated through the WordPress dashboard. All of the premium sliders (Revolution, Flex, Fusion) are included, as well as a large number of pre-built slider templates, so you can simply insert your own media and publish. There are an astonishing 28 pre-built pages of every conceivable layout, so most site designers will only have to insert content. Additionally, you can literally customize this entire site without knowing one bit of code.

Avada – $58 – Top Features

  •  Amazing support – over 25000 threads solved
  • Over 110,000 downloads
  • Advanced theme options – unlimited colors and settings from the dashboard
  • Headers and menus – Five distinct headers and Megamenu
  • Sliders – Layer, Revolution, Fusion and Elastic
  • Translation – Seamlessly integrates with WPML and qTranslate
  • 6 blog layout options
  • Woocommerce integrated
  • True one click demo import

RT-Theme 18 by stmcan

rt18 theme

RT-18, the latest addition to the RT themes, comes fully loaded right out of the box (so to speak). It also comes with an impressive list of included premium plugins, and complete, easy to populate demo content. The support is world-class, and it is actually the highest-rated of the three themes (but they are so close as to be insignificant). I have developed dozens of websites with this theme, along with the last version, and it works seamlessly. The design is geared slightly more towards portfolio, product showcase, and Woocommerce, but for these segments, it is probably the best of the three themes. There are unlimited sidebars, extended styling options, and unlimited content areas. You can easily create and insert individual headers and footers throughout the entire website and unlimited colors and styling can be controlled for the theme, or for individual pages. There is very clear, carefully written documentation with screencast tutorial movies, and a comprehensive template builder (along with a good number of prebuilt templates and sliders)… but… the template builder is not as intuitive as Avada, and the shortcodes as well. Therefore, a beginner is going to have a slightly harder time at first building custom pages.

RT-Theme 18 – $58 – Top Features

  • Create unlimited templates – insert into any post/page
  • Numerous prebuilt templates
  • Unlimited sidebars left/right
  • Multiple menu and header options
  • WPML and RTL ready
  • Floating sidebars/sticky main nav
  • Demo content included

X|The Theme by Themeco

x theme

X is the breakout challenger of 2014-2015, and is in fact the second-fastest WordPress theme, behind Avada. I have only used this theme a few times, but the more I use it, the more I appreciate the unique structure of the design. The design is based on “stacks”, which are multiple, completely unique designs for different purposes – Integrity (business and general purpose), Renew (mainly for blogs), Icon (I am not really sure, very minimalist) and Ethos (which appears to be for news, magazine, or media-intensive sites). There are over 30 custom plugins (called extensions) and all of the WordPress plugins I installed have also worked perfectly. Theme options are controlled through the Customizer, with live preview, and it also has a Page Builder, but it is the least comprehensive and intuitive of the three. Demo content is included, and it comes integrated with both BBpress and BuddyPress. X is a nice theme, and one of the easiest for a beginner to get running, with a load of premium plugins included – but this comes at the price of less flexibility and less apparent uses than Avada or RT-18. If you want customization, especially if you are not comfortable with shortcodes and editing .php files, this theme is not for you. Avada or possibly RT-18 is a better choice.

X The Theme – $63 – Top Features

  • Stacks – Multiple unique layouts and designs within the same theme
  • More custom extensions and premium plugins than the other themes
  • Customizer – Make changes to your site and preview live before publishing
  • Page Builder for custom pages and complex layouts
  • Megamenu
  • Woocommerce ready
  • bbPress and BuddyPress ready
  • Included page templates with demo content

Conclusion: Avada is simply the easiest to use, the best-selling, the best-rated theme you can buy. Regardless of the type of site you want, Avada is flexible enough to deliver. Of the three, it is the clear champion. If you want something a little more geared towards portfolio or Woocommerce sites, RT Themes-18 is a great theme. You will find plenty of page options and display options that allow virtually unlimited layouts for your products or portfolio, and it is fairly intuitive for someone new to WordPress. Though X-Theme is the up-and-coming hot seller right now, I would stay away from this theme if you are new to WP, and you should have a good grasp of CSS and a great grasp of shortcodes if you want to customize anything at all on this theme.

That is it, so go to work. For 99% of websites, really any of these three themes will perform outstanding. What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

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26 comments on “Avada vs X Theme vs RT Theme 18 – Theme Review”

  1. Mike says:

    Great post. I really enjoyed reading about the comparisons between the top themes.
    I’ve used Theme X but not Avada or RT-18. However, I’m looking forward to trying them as well.

  2. Dave says:

    Just letting you know you spelled the Avada name wrong in your conclusion. Great article, thanks.

  3. Scott says:

    I was hoping for some real meat on the bone with this article when I searched for comparisons of X and Avada, specifically which of the two are the lightest/fastest based on their code inclusions of everything but the kitchen sink.

    1. Terp says:

      Scott, did you get a response on this? I read somewhere else that one drawback to multipurpose themes like this is the amount of bloatware — lots of code required to be “multi”-purpose that you will likely not need.

      1. stephen higginbotham says:

        Hey, Terp.
        In theory, you are correct.. some of the multi themes are bloated and have less than optimal load times. The three themes in this comp are probably three of the fastest, plus you have to consider the following:

        You need to use a good WP hosting provider, not the free or almost-free hosting.
        Use a caching plugin such as W# Total Cache free to speed up loads.
        Optimize your images.
        If you are content-heavy, consider using a CDN like Cloudflare.

        We will be updating this post in a few days for new update releases, and I will include side-by-side load times. Check it out.

    2. stephen higginbotham says:

      Scott, please check back here next week for an update on this theme comparison to include the new theme updates as well as side-by-side speed and performance comps. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Matt says:

    Thanks Dave. We got that fixed!

  5. Gustavo says:

    I try twice to use X , to complicated is like the Iphone ( Avada ) vs Android ( X ) , Avada is in my opinion much easier to work with their builder is so intuitive there is no learning curve , I giving up on X to much learning with Cornerstone.

    1. s. higginbotham says:

      I agree with you on that, Gustavo. If you learn X first, then it does not seem as complicated. However, if you learn Avada first, the simplicity and flexibility makes X seem much harder.

  6. Julius says:

    Avada is best for me. I’ve been using it multiple times for different websites and I can come up with different design and styles.

  7. modernoliver says:

    The updated X theme has drag and drop, no need for shortcodes or whatever. ANYMORE!

    1. stephen higginbotham says:

      Thanks for your comment, and we will have an update to the review posted shortly, with the updated themes. check it out and let me know what you think.

  8. jennifer says:

    thanks for review

  9. Lawrence says:

    Stephen, I’m looking at Avada vs. the Genesis framework + FlexPro child theme. I like the idea of easy updating or switching themes with Genesis, but love the idea of Avada’s flexibility and full complement of features. It also could be that Avada is too full-featured for the site I want to use it for. I’m a bit concerned about updates to Avada breaking things… What’s your opinion?

  10. nik says:

    Thanks for this review which affirms and answers my questions re Avada vs X, but the 3rd popular framework I am trying out now is Elegant Theme’s Divi – which I am finding a little frustrating after working with Avada – yet it seems so highly praised I though t to give it a try – anyone with a little more comparative experience on this one? Am I being impatient after having become too comfortable with Avada!?

    1. stephen higginbotham says:

      No, Nik, you are not alone. Check back next week, as we will be doing an in-depth comp between the big four – Avada, Divi, X, and the new Monstroid. I, too have become very (too) comfortable with Avada, and feel like we need to see if we are missing something. We will be doing speed tests, installation, and customization on each theme.

      1. ponchojack says:

        Stephen, did you ever do this comparative review?

  11. Florian says:

    I am thinking about changing theme to Avada. Does this theme implementing meta scheme? and how about support of WPML? Cheers, Florian

    1. stephen higginbotham says:

      You will find it integrates well with just about any setup, Florian. Write back and tell us how it goes with Avada!

  12. Debs says:

    Hi Stephen.
    Thank you for the review. I bought ENIGMA premium theme I’m sure you is the worst WordPress premium theme ever.
    Now i want to try theme Avada i don’t know much of coding.
    What will you advice me to go for it or not?

  13. Sadek says:

    I own both Avada and enfold, yet to try out X ?
    So what do you think which one is best among Avada, enfold and X?

    1. stephen higginbotham says:

      I lean towards Avada, but it is really a personal choice. Let us know which one you chose, and how it went!

  14. David says:

    How many websites can you use it on, or is it like all the others that clobber you for each web site?

    1. stephen higginbotham says:

      Hey David, you can use Avada on one site, or on multiple sites on subdomains or subdirectories. I am not sure how charging for each install (and the support, and updates, etc) is being “clobbered”. There are many free themes available, so maybe check some of those out.

  15. Charlie Shread says:

    Thank you! This was really helpful knowledge to know! We have now decided to use Avada for our website after reading this and taking so long to figure out which is right for us!

    1. stephen higginbotham says:

      Thanks, Charlie! We will be doing another comparison as soon as Avada 5.0 is out of beta.

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