If you have been browsing the WordPress theme market in search of the right theme for your website, chances are you have come across Bridge – the creative multipurpose theme for WordPress. First released in 2014, this theme has managed to become a behemoth among multipurpose themes on ThemeForest, where it currently sells for $59. Bridge has been among the top bestsellers there almost continuously since its release, which is why we decided to check it out for ourselves and see if it lives up to the hype.
It’s hard to keep track of Bridge. Not only do its sales maintain a steady upward trend, but the team behind the theme, Qode Interactive, keeps putting out new demos at head-spinning speeds. Right now, Bridge comes with 500+ demos for seemingly any niche you can possibly think of. Combine this with the fact it has been purchased 141.5k times and it’s obvious we’re dealing with a pretty serious WordPress player here!
Let’s see what is it that makes Bridge so popular across the globe. We will be checking out the following criteria:
- Bridge Demos
- Bridge Modules
- Premium Plugins
- Page Builders
- eCommerce Functionality
- Design and Responsiveness
- SEO, Social Connectivity and Marketing
- Speed, Performance and Reliability
- Ease of Use and Support
“Is this theme a good fit for my business/website/blog?”
That’s the first thing potential buyers want to know when checking out a multipurpose theme. Multipurpose means it doesn’t fit just one kind of website but rather combines a set of design solutions and functionalities that can be used for anything from a personal blog to a complex ecommerce website, and even powers some big-time company websites, like Payoneer for example.
Bridge has managed to push the envelope when it comes to versatility, offering a staggering 500 (and counting) demos designed for specific niches.
These can be roughly divided into business, creative, portfolio, blog and shop demos, and each category is, in turn, divided into specific (and hyper-specific) niches. There are demos for creative agencies, festivals, branding specialists, consultancies, law offices, honeymakers, barbers, auto repair shops and, of course, all sorts of ecommerce demos, from fashion to gadgets.
However, no matter how extensive this demo selection is, there’s bound to be a niche that’s not specifically represented. This may discourage potential users wooed by the number of demos.“500 demos and not a single one for my XYZ website?” (although with a theme that has a demo for, say, a honey-making business or one for electric scooter rental, that chance is pretty slim).
The thing is that with Bridge you can not only customize each demo to fit the purpose in need, but it’s also possible to mix and match different layout elements from different demos, thus creating a completely unique website. It may not be as easy as the basic customization of an imported demo, but with a little patience and some guidance from the developers’ Help Center, it’s actually highly doable.
Note that one license is good for one website only. If you’re in the business of making websites for a lot of different clients, you can take advantage of the sheer number of available demos and use this theme for all sorts of different projects, as none of them will possibly look alike.
Another strong selling point for Bridge is its collection of practical modules. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a module is a set of functionalities designed for the purposes of a specific field. For instance, the Magazine Module features various news layouts, with posts arranged in engaging galleries and sliders. The Restaurant Module comes with working hours, booking, menu layouts. The Photography Module includes proofing galleries, various portfolio layouts, lightboxes and more.
In addition to these, Bridge also includes LMS, Music, Listing, Membership and several other useful modules.
In short, thanks to these modules, you get “packages” with almost all the functionalities you may need in your industry or line of business. This reduces the need of extending your website’s functionality by installing plugins. Sure, there’s a chance they don’t offer a module for your field specifically, but considering the customization options available and the fact you can really combine anything between different demos, it doesn’t appear to be a real concern.
That’s not to say you won’t be using plugins at all with Bridge. WordPress theme developers usually throw in a couple of premium plugins for free, to spice up the offer and make things easier for the users. With Bridge, these include two plugins for creating sliders – Slider Revolution and LayerSlider, as well as WPBakery page builder and Timetable Responsive Schedule for event management, booking and reservations.
You get them bundled with Bridge, and considering the fact that their total value adds up to $144, this is actually a pretty sweet deal.
Another thing worth noting is that Bridge is also compatible with many of the most popular free plugins you may wish to add to your website, from Contact Form 7 to WooCommerce and YITH (but more on that in a bit). And if you want to make your website multilingual, Bridge is also fully compatible and works great with the Weglot translation plugin. In fact, there’s even a helpful tutorial on creating a Bridge-powered multilingual site with Weglot that’s a must-read for anyone using Bridge for their website that’s looking to expand to additional languages.
WPBakery and Elementor Page Builders
We mentioned earlier that Bridge comes with WPBakery bundled for free. This popular page builder has been ruling the WordPress world for a long while and for a number of good reasons. It is easy to use, pretty intuitive, lightweight and well-maintained.
However, to make things even easier for the users with little or no WordPress experience, the creators of Bridge decided to include another page builder – Elementor. This fantastic page builder offers a front-end editing experience, meaning everything you set can be instantly previewed in the same screen. And this is just one of the many benefits of this increasingly more popular page builder.
As of right now, Bridge has 128 Elementor-built demos and the developers plan on putting out new ones regularly in order to accommodate the users who prefer this powerful page builder.
It’s not very common for WordPress themes to offer this sort of flexibility when it comes to page builders, so this is definitely another big plus for Bridge.
Full ecommerce Functionality
Ecommerce is on an upward rise and doesn’t show any signs of stopping, so shopping functionality is the next thing you will want to check out when picking a theme.
Like we mentioned earlier, Bridge is fully compatible with the powerful WooCommerce plugin for ecommerce. In case you’re not familiar, this is, hands down, the best WordPress ecommerce plugin on the market, packed with all the essential functionalities needed for creating a full-fledged online store of literally any kind. Full cart and checkout functionality, variable and grouped products, shipping and inventory management – it’s all there.
On top of that, the Bridge demo collection currently features 80+ demos created specifically for ecommerce, all with a variety of product layouts and lists, galleries and carousels, custom checkout pages and so on.
Contemporary Design and Responsiveness
While they say that quantity often affects quality negatively, it doesn’t seem to be true when it comes to Bridge and the design of its demos. Despite the fact there are so many of them, each demo has its unique, niche-specific design that has obviously been carefully thought out to the tiniest detail and executed by seasoned designers who are familiar with the latest web design trends.
From animated, split-screen and vertical sliders, to vector illustrations, custom icons and exceptional typography, CTAs, pop-ups and fullscreen menus, the design of these demos clearly shows great skill, competence and, from what we could tell, a spirit of innovation, setting Bridge apart from many of the cookie-cutter multipurpose themes out there.
More importantly, all Bridge demos are 100% responsive and retina-ready, guaranteeing each page element will look and work perfectly on different screen sizes and devices.
SEO, Social Connectivity and Marketing
Another litmus-test for WordPress themes is how equipped they are with all the essential tools for maintaining a strong online presence, good ranking and traffic.
While a theme itself can’t do the SEO work for you, it can include certain things that make it easier for search engines to notice a website, pick it up and rank it higher in search results. Bridge offers quick and easy solutions to add meta tags to each page, post and image, reducing the workload and guaranteeing proper page indexing. In addition, it is compatible with both Yoast SEO and Rank Math plugins, which are, according to many experts, the best SEO plugins for WordPress at the moment.
This theme also helps you connect with your audience across all major social networking platforms thanks to neat social media icons and buttons that you can easily add using a custom widget. In addition, you can display your Instagram or Twitter feed so visitors can check them out without actually navigating away from your website. We also liked the fact that Bridge allows you to offer the social login functionality to your users.
We mentioned earlier that Bridge is compatible with Contact Form 7, a free plugin for creating impressive and converting forms for collecting emails and leads. If you don’t mind spending a few dollars, the theme is also compatible with the premium Gravity Forms plugin. Finally, there are customizable CTA buttons that you can place anywhere on your pages and posts as needed.
Speed, Performance and Reliability
Luckily, it turns out this isn’t as big of a problem as it might seem. You are in no way obliged (nor is it advised) to actually activate all the features, modules and plugins – just the ones you actually need. By turning off all the unnecessary things, you will speed up your website noticeably and achieve excellent loading time, as we witnessed during our multiple tests on actual websites using Bridge.
The theme developers guarantee that the code is 100% validated and clean, promising a reliable, bug-free experience. This is something that can only be tested and proved through extensive use, but considering that Qode Interactive is a trustworthy ThemeForest contributor with a lot of achievement badges to show off for, we are inclined to take their word for it.
Ease of Use and Support
The creators of Bridge have recently introduced a brand new demo import module as part of their ongoing improvements to the Bridge user experience. The old demo import was simple enough but the whole process is now even more straightforward, leaving virtually no room for error. So if you’re a first-time theme user, this is something you will definitely appreciate.
And with WPBakery or Elementor, depending on what you choose, you will have an easy time customizing the demo content and making the website your own and fully personalized.
As for the help and support, we have to say that the theme documentation is quite a handful. For the first-time user, it can be a turn-off, as it covers loads of topics and just the sheer amount of data can seem overwhelming. The documentation goes through each and every theme option and setting, resulting in a massive corpus of material you likely won’t ever need. Of course, this is actually a good thing since you definitely want your possible questions and dilemmas to be covered. Plus the documentation is quite user-friendly and easily searchable, so you can always jump straight to the section you’re interested in.
In addition to the documentation, which is a standard thing to offer, Bridge also comes with video tutorials on a number of topics, from how to install WordPress and set Bridge up to how to customize the page header or create different kinds of menus in Bridge. It’s precisely this sort of extra mile that makes the difference and has to be at least one of the reasons for the massive popularity of Bridge among old and new users alike.
Everything about this powerhouse of a theme is pretty impressive: its massive collection of pristinely designed demos, its modules, premium plugins it comes bundled with, the stellar support, the super-easy demo import and setup.
Another thing that vouches for the quality and reliability of Bridge is the reputation of its developers. Qode Interactive has been around for quite a while now, with 400+ premium WordPress themes under its belt, so you know it won’t just disappear from the face of the earth, leaving you without support and updates.
One possible downside we can think of could be precisely the fact there is so much of everything there, so many features, so many demo designs. Such ambition can sometimes be perceived as pretentiousness, but in our opinion, you’ll find that it’s actually their dedication once you actually dig in.
One can easily get lost in such variety, especially if all you needed in the first place was a simple solution for a simple website. But Bridge is actually tailored for everyone, being highly scalable and flexible. It can serve those who need a huge, robust website or a modest personal blog just as well. Plus, the fact that you can actually combine elements from so many different demos makes Bridge a unique, all-in-one solution, and that’s not a small feat for a WordPress theme to achieve.