iThemes has acquired Kadence WP, the Missoula-based makers of the Kadence Blocks plugin and its accompanying Kadence theme. Originally founded in 2008 as a themes company, iThemes became more of a plugin-oriented business over the years before it was acquired by Liquid Web in 2018. The company is returning to its roots with this acquisition and plans to make Kadence WP the official theme platform of choice for iThemes.
“It’s no secret that the ‘themes’ part of iThemes has been lacking for many years now,” iThemes general manager Matt Danner said. “While we got our start in WordPress themes in 2008, over the past 10 years, we pivoted to the more obvious needs of our customers (mainly WordPress security, backups, memberships and maintenance) as the theme marketplace got more competitive.
“Joining forces with Kadence WP means that iThemes can once again have an innovative and modern WordPress theme platform.”
iThemes announced it will be sunsetting its iThemes Builder theme framework and all of its legacy themes in 2022, in favor of supporting the Kadence theme which already has more than 50,000 active installations. Danner said the older themes “are no longer truly compatible with the future direction of WordPress.”
Kadence Blocks are even more popular than the accompanying theme, since they can be used in combination with any WordPress theme. The plugin has gained more than 100,000 users after its initial launch in August 2018. Kadence Blocks pioneered some of the first full-featured layout blocks in the early days of Gutenberg prior to its inclusion in core.
“This last year has marked some ridiculous growth for Kadence WP,” co-founder Ben Ritner said. “Only one year ago my sister Hannah (many users will know Hannah from our support channels) and I were the entirety of the Kadence WP team. It is hard to gauge user numbers with accuracy because of how many free products we have, but the amount of people using Kadence WP products has roughly quadrupled in the last 10 months! Our new Kadence Theme, which landed on the repo in November (only 160 days ago), now has more than 50,000 active users.”
Kadence WP will continue running under its same branding and as a separate company under the iThemes brand. Pricing will remain the same for existing Kadence WP customers. iThemes plans to raise its prices for its Agency Bundle on May 1, 2021, but renewal pricing will remain the same as long as the customers’ subscriptions auto-renew.
Kadence Blocks is adding dynamic content for its pro version in the next month. The team is also launching a new plugin called Kadence Cloud, which will allow users to create a pre-built cloud of content that they can pull down into any website. Both Kadence Blocks and the theme will also be rolling in many of the top-voted feature requests from its community. A major new product release is planned for Q4 2021.
iThemes will be hosting a townhall meeting Friday, April 9 at 11:00 am CST to address any questions or concerns that users and customers may have. They are also running an online training workshop titled “Learn How to Use Kadence WP” on May 5, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. CST.