Elementor Launches Hello Theme on WordPress.org

Elementor launched its Hello theme on WordPress.org this week. After just a few days in the directory, the theme already has more than 10,000 active installations. It is essentially a blank starter theme that offers 100% compatibility with Elementor.

Page builders with a large user base are in a unique position to influence the WordPress theme market. Loyal users will often select a page builder before choosing a theme from a limited pool of those that boast compatibility with their preferred plugin. Elementor is no exception, with more than 2 million installations and a 4.8-star average rating on WordPress.org.

Lately the trend with some of the most popular and intuitive WordPress themes is to offer a strong, niche design out of the box, where users don’t have to make too many choices or fiddle with settings. Hello takes a different path, opeorating as more of a conduit to the Elementor page template library.

The theme’s screenshot shows a home page designed in Elementor but the actual theme has very few styles and doesn’t look like anything out of the box.

Once installed, the first step is to create a page and select “Edit in Elementor.” From there users can select from a library of different landing page templates or start building their own layouts from scratch.

Hello is not a new theme. Elementor first released it on GitHub in March 2018. Hosting it on WordPress.org allows users to more easily install it and get automatic updates for improvements and security fixes.

“The plugin repository played a huge role in Elementor’s exceptional growth, and we hold similar high hopes for the Hello theme,” Elementor CMO Ben Pines said.

There are a few major drawbacks to using the Hello theme that may hinder its potential growth. Access to headers, footers, and widgets is restricted to Elementor Pro users. This seems like a confusing way to build a WordPress site and might be a useful detail to include in the theme’s description on WordPress.org. If there’s another way to access headers and footers without purchasing Elementor Pro, I wasn’t able to find it.

WooCommerce store owners should be aware that the Hello theme does not yet offer comprehensive support for WooCommerce page styles. Although the release post advertises the theme as having “out-of-the-box” compatibility with WooCommerce, the store pages are bare bones and not very attractive. One user commented that the checkout and cart pages do not look very inviting and asked if it will be possible to edit fonts and colors with Elementor.

Elementor representative Matan Naveh responded to multiple concerns about WooCommerce support and said that full compatibility is still in development:

WooCommerce is a highly complex plugin and any pages that rely on its basic elements (e.g. Cart, My Account, Checkout, etc.) are even more so. The level of complexity is such that changes in something as routine as a WooCommerce update could cause havoc on a layout, resulting in a devastating effect on the webpage’s functionality.

Currently, Elementor enables you to customize the areas surrounding the WooCommerce elements. Take the cart page, for example – You may not be able to customize the table itself, but you can customize the title or the area where the table is located. You can also insert your own images, backgrounds, and content according to your needs (e.g. adding an FAQ).

We are considering several options for achieving full compatibility with WooCommerce. But this is still in its development stages.

Some users who switched from the Astra theme, another one commonly used by Elementor users, have reported significant (50%) decreases in loading time on real world sites after switching to the Hello theme. Elementor claims that it is “the fastest WordPress theme ever created,” but the comparison benchmarks posted don’t include any themes that are known for high performance.

Elementor is working on creating a child theme for Hello. It is currently in development on GitHub and the team is working on getting it approved for WordPress.org.

The primary purpose of the Hello theme is to offer compatibility with the page builder, but it is not recommended for users who are not using Elementor.


13 responses to “Elementor Launches Hello Theme on WordPress.org”

    • No, it doesn’t!
      You can use Hello completely without Elementor, it will just have no styling…

      Headers, Footers etc. are meant as Theme Builder *templates* – and these are available with Elementor Pro. But that is totally optional. It is in NO way required.

  1. @Sarah Gooding
    Seems like you didn’t work with Elementor and Elementor Pro before?

    The access to Headers, Footers etc. is not restricted at all!
    The Theme has a header and footer like a regular theme.

    The Header, Footer etc. feature is Elementor’s Theme Builder – template based and completely optional. Hello theme is just fully compatible with it out of the box.
    This template builder is only available with Elementor Pro. But the theme can be fully used without it and even without Elementor itself.
    But once you have Elementor Pro active, you have access to pre-built Header and Footer templates for this Theme Builder.

    This should be updated in the post – since as of now this appears totally confusing.

    • It’s true, I’m not very experienced with Elementor. I tried to add a menu, etc in the customizer and was unable to add it. The announcement post said a few things that confused me: “Once you finish the activation, it’s time to start customizing your theme. Then it’s just a matter of setting your header, footer and content, using the lovely Theme Builder.” The theme builder is a Pro feature so it seemed header and footer editing would not be available. Also the post said, “Unlike regular WordPress themes that come with a generic header and footer design that runs across pages, with Hello you can designate a specific header & footer design per landing page, category or other condition.” I was unable to find where to create a header template or edit an existing one. Perhaps I misinterpreted the release post but it seemed the instructions were for using the Theme Builder to set the header.

  2. Is there a live demo of this theme (not just a “preview” on .org, but an actual dedicated demo site using the theme)? To see what can be achieved. I didn’t see one: would be great to include this in the post (if there is one), as without one it’s just really hard to get a feel for its potential.

  3. @Sarah, I think your confusion shows that the message around the theme is not clear and could be confusing for some users. It says it is made to work with Elementor, but should say it is made to work with Elementor Pro.

    I tried the Hello theme out on a test site. You are correct that there is no access to the footer. There is a PHP template file for the footer but it is empty and there are no footer options in the Customizer.

    In terms of the header, the Customizer has the WordPress site identity menu item where you can change the site name and add a logo. Also, I was able to add a menu. The PHP template file for the header includes these, but they show totally unstyled stacked down the page, not horizontally as one might expect.

    I guess there are no widget areas defined in the theme, so the customary widget management interfaces in the Customizer and under Admin / Appearance don’t exist.

    I installed Elementor Free as prompted. That did not change anything. I’m not sure why anyone would use this theme unless they were using Elementor Pro. If you are using Elementor Pro and want to totally style the theme, header and footer using Elementor Pro then it might be a good choice.

    It is a free theme, so you cannot complain :) If the marketing clarified that it is intended as a blank slate for use with Elementor Pro then I don’t see any issues.

  4. I’m from the Astra theme and a bit disappointed with this quote:

    Some users who switched from the Astra theme, another one commonly used by Elementor users, have reported significant (50%) decreases in loading time on real world sites after switching to the Hello theme.

    I think it is not OK to mention this in the article based on a random comment by a random person. Speed testing tools like GTMetrix show different results based on various other factors.

  5. I came across Elementor on one of my client’s websites. Initially I was sceptical thinking “oh, no, just another web builder” – but actually I discovered it wasn’t half bad. It’s actually part of my toolkit for quick sites that don’t need that level of bespoke attention. The Hello theme looks pretty decent, It’s got that very minimal current feel about it. Can’t get better than Free!

  6. Didn’t they acquire Layers. Why not build on that since it was modified to also be compatible with Elementor. The “Hello” theme come across as a framework almost rather than a theme for WordPress.org.


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