With their new Marmot Theme, developers HQWebS have set out to solve a familiar problem: Creating an attractive, functional, and professional website with minimal -or even zero- budget.
To do that, they’ve ensured that this completely free theme is fully compatible with the free version of the popular Elementor Page Builder so that you’ve got everything you need to build your site quickly and effortlessly without compromising on quality.
And if you do need the kind of additional features that usually only come with a paid-for theme? There’s also an affordable pro version that packs in extra tools to make your site stand out from the crowd.
Below, we’ll talk you through the pros and cons of this new WordPress theme and explain how it fares in terms of ease of use, design quality, functionality, and value for money.
Marmot Theme Review
The free version of Marmot comes with practically everything you need to build an attractive, dynamic website that creates a solid first impression for your brand.
- 8 quality pre-built website templates so that you can set up a professional-looking website in minutes
- One-click demo installation to make it easier to customize your site to your liking
- Effortless integration with Elementor Page Builder templates
- Special widgets for adding dynamic data onto your templates
If you opt for the premium version, a single site license will cost you either $59 per year or $165 for a lifetime license. For unlimited sites, you’ll pay either $98 per year or $249 for the lifetime license.
When you consider how much Marmot bundles into their PRO plan, it becomes apparent that this represents good value for money.
Along with everything listed above, this plan also includes:
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- Marmot Enhancer PRO with 170 advanced widgets for added functionality and improved design
- 19 additional pre-built website templates
- Sticky headers to provide easy menu access from any part of the page
- Ability to add different headers and/or footers to other pages or posts
- Entry Animation Behavior
- Enhanced Woocommerce features
- Premium plugin bundle including LayerSlider Plugin, ElementPack, OpenTable, Easy Appointment, and more.
For the sake of this review, we’re going to use the premium version of Marmot so that we can show you the full scope of what it’s capable of, though there is very little reason why the free version shouldn’t be more than enough for most websites.
Ease of Use
Marmot’s creators HQWebS are a new breed of modern theme developers aiming to make their products so simple-to-use that even a beginner with limited WordPress experience can get a functional site up and running in minutes.
To do this, HQWebS start by inviting you to install their HQTheme Extra plugin. This is a complete package that gives you access to all those pre-built design templates, Elementor widgets, and other essential features.
Once that’s installed, you can run the helpful setup wizard, which will guide you through the process of getting your site ready to go.
First things first, the wizard will help you install essential plugins like Elementor Page Builder and the HQ Widgets plugin, which provides extra functionality and design features for said page builder.
After giving you the option to upgrade to the premium version, Marmot invites you to pick a pre-built website template and import the demo content for that template.
As we mentioned earlier, the free version gives you 8 templates to choose from, while the Pro plan ups that to a choice of 19 different options.
That’s far from the most template choices we’ve ever seen with a WordPress theme, but it’s clear that what HQWebS focuses on here is quality, not quantity.
All of the templates are very well designed, and we love the fact that there’s a template for almost any kind of website you can think of.
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The free version, for example, has options for a photographer’s portfolio, an eCommerce store, a real estate agent, a restaurant, lawyer, marketing agency, blogger, or just a standard business website.
The Pro version expands on this with ready-made templates that are perfect for schools, gyms, accountants, fast-food outlets, interior designers, and more.
In the end, we went with the Yoga Studio template simply because it’s the one that stood out the most to us as being the best example of how attractive these templates are.
With your template chosen and your theme installed, you can next navigate from the main WordPress Dashboard to your Theme Options menu, where you can toggle certain features on and off.
These features include:
- Popup for Elementor for creating popup boxes on your site
- WooCommerce Checkout to optimize the checkout process for your WooCommerce store
- Dismiss widget for creating elements such as upsells and advertisements that users can dismiss and hide from their main website content
- Dynamic tags and conditions to optimize the website experience for your users
- Ability to use shortcodes for added functionality.
All of these features are automatically turned on by default, and if you left it at that, it wouldn’t make much of a difference. However, switching them off may positively impact your website’s performance and may come in handy if your site is having issues.
Editing and Customizing Your Website
Regular WPLift readers will undoubtedly know that we’re big fans of the Elementor, and that’s partly what attracted us to Marmot in the first place.
The theme uses this popular page-building tool to give you complete freedom and control over every aspect of your website’s design.
To edit your pages, all you need to do is choose the page you want to work on, select ‘Edit With Elementor’ and then get to work using the simple drag-and-drop functionality to tweak, change, and fine-tune that website to your liking.
This is as simple as clicking on any existing element on the page and going through each of the customizable options, including text color, style, and font, images, backgrounds, size, and more.
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If there’s an element you’d like your page to have that isn’t already on the page, you can always simply select it from the left-hand panel and drag it into place.
Custom Headers and Footers
As if the ability to completely customize your main site content isn’t enough, the Marmot WordPress theme also gives you complete control over your website’s headers and footers so that you can create dynamic feature-rich components designed to deliver an optimum visitor experience.
You can even apply different headers and footers to different types of pages. For example, if you wanted one particular footer for your blog posts, another for your landing pages, and a third for your main homepage, the Marmot theme allows you to do that.
If you ask us, this is one of the theme’s most impressive features. OK, so it may not be the only theme on the market that lets you customize your headers and footers. Still, it is one of the very few we’ve come across that allows for multiple versions across the same site, and that can be incredibly useful if you’re using your site to target various audiences or serve multiple purposes.
Marmot Theme Design Options
We chose the Yoga Studio template for this review simply because it’s the one that appealed to us most and that we felt best showcased this theme’s quality. However, it’s far from the only impressive-looking template on offer.
Here are a few more of our favorites:
One Page Burger
Pet Care Pro
Marmot WordPress Theme – Proof That Professional-Quality Websites Don’t Require Big Budgets
Having spent quite a bit of time with the Marmot theme, we’ve ultimately found that there’s a lot to like about it.
The theme doesn’t offer the biggest selection of pre-designed templates but the ones it does include are of a superior quality to those provided by many similar theme packages. What’s more, we like that every single aspect of those templates -including the headers and footers- can be effortlessly edited with no technical know-how required thanks to Elementor.
Most of all, we love how all this comes together in a theme that is essentially free to use out of the box with a premium version that has a very modest price tag. All in all, that’s proof that you don’t need a huge budget, an advanced degree in web design, or anything else to create a dynamic, functional, and professional-quality website that truly reflects well on your business or brand.