Why I no longer use Impreza by UpSolution for any of my websites, and why I think you shouldn’t either. This is my review of Impreza, and my reasons for now departing from it. Make no mistake, Impreza is a great theme to do anything, but there is one big elephant in the room as to why I will no longer have anything to do with it. The Impreza WordPress Theme was, until recently my go to theme. I had built multiple websites with it – ecommerce stores that converted, blogs, brand sites, all that looked great and worked well. I’ve moved them away from Impreza now though, which was a lot of time and effort.
Impreza is a WordPress theme to do anything. Everything you need is right there, and it is very easy to use. From 2019 through to 2020, 2021, and early 2022 I used Impreza because of it’s built in loop builder which works great with Advanced Custom Fields (you actually get ACF Pro bundled for free when you purchase Impreza).
Impreza Bundled Plugins
Premium Plugins are bundled with UpSolution Impreza WordPress Theme. They include:
- WPBakery Page Builder (Its fantastic)
- Bakery Ultimate Addons
- Slider Revolution (I don’t use it because of the SliderRevolution security incident)
- FileBird Pro
- WooCommerce Multi Currency
- WooCommerce Bulk Editor
- Font Awesome Pro Version 5
- Custom Post Type UI (Best WordPress Plugin of all time IMO)
You install the Impreza Theme by uploading the Theme files into WordPress. Once activated, you’ll be prompted to download the UpSolution Core Plugin, followed by some others. Whenever you update the theme, you need to update UpSolution core as well.
The magic with Impreza starts with Page Layouts. These are templates that you build for pages or posts. Using WPBakery, you layout your page, insert the page title, featured image, maybe a post categories menu, page navigation menu, custom HTML, an ACF filed such as second image or sub title, link to a store as a button, choose if the page will be full width or contained. It is easy to build any layout for a page you want with Impreza as the work is done with WPBakery either with the familiar block editor, or the Impreza Live Builder where you can preview and adjust your design for desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
Naturally, you can build one off pages, like a homepage, custom landing page or contact page as well.
Custom Grids and Category Pages
What I really like (liked) about Impreza was the Custom Grid Builder. For post or page cards/blocks, use custom grids to layout a featured image, excerpt, post title, sub title button link, whatever. I used these to build mega menus or category pages. No custom CSS was ever needed to do things like crop images to a specific aspect ratio, or give them a hover overlay. It was great. It gave me the freedom to be a designer without having to try and be a web developer.
Impreza’s Header Builder is Impressive
Let’s face it. Page headers in WordPress are hard. Especially in Elementor, and any theme builder I can think of. I’ve never been able to do it quickly or easily. Today, on this website, I use a header built with Elementor and Max Mega Menu, and it was not easy. So many fine adjustments to make. But with Impreza the process was…easy. I could build a brilliant header quickly. It integrates well with the WordPress Menu builder, and I could customise it for desktop, laptops, tablets and mobiles. It was even easy to have a different header on different pages or sections of the website.
Impreza’s theme settings make it easy to make universal text style, colour style and other changes to the website. Quickly, and easily I could make changes to my heading styles.
Impreza works great with WooCommerce. It’s sleek style, that helped me make a visually appealing eComemrce store just got the job done and gave me a fast, positive financial return with an ecommerce website that drove conversions. I liked Impreza for my WordPress Theme.
UpSolution’s support for their Impreza WordPress theme was/is excellent. Whenever I had an issue, I just raised a ticket and the question was answered generally within minutes. I’d say 9 out of 10 of the tickets I raised were because I needed help in doing something that the theme was capable of but I just needed to be pointed in the right direction. On the few occasions I had a technical issue due to a bug with an update, the issue was fixed with an update that happened quickly, or with a piece of CSS to drop in. They took ownership of things going wrong, never made excuses, and promptly fixed issues.
UpSolution’s support did go the extra mile for me. On some occasions I wanted to do something that needed custom CSS code, and while they didn’t have to, they still wrote it for me as a part of their excellent customer service for Impreza.
Up until a few months ago, this blog, which runs on WordPress, was built with the Impreza Theme. But now, I have rebuilt it using Elementor/Elementor Pro and the Hello Theme. It lets me do everything I want, but I still have a lot to learn with Elementor. I wish I was still on Impreza because it was easier. Probably more so as Elementor’s support I find slow, and Elementor doesn’t seem that fast in addressing bugs or other issues. And after raising a few tickets, I’ve seen their Elementor Support’s generic template replies a few too many times.
Why I will no longer use the Impreza WordPress theme
So, I get to the point you’ve been reading for: Why I no longer use Impreza. The Russian Invasion of Ukraine.
UpSolution is Russian. I have nothing against the Russian people, and have only had positive experiences with them on a 1 on 1 basis personally, but the Russian Government’s decision to attack the Ukraine has meant I can no longer support a Russian business, morally or practically. I do not want to support anything Russian as a part of my stand in stating I want to see Russia withdraw from the Ukraine.
I do not want to buy something from a Russian business where the Russian economy will benefit.
Let me make it clear, I support the Ukraine and am appalled by the actions of Russia in their attempt invade a sovereign nation, and the terrible actions of the Russian military against the Ukrainian people.
I cannot trust my online assets to a Russian company given the current events with Russia invading the Ukraine.
Could my websites be hijacked to spread pro-Russian propaganda? That is not a risk I am willing to take.
Could sanctions, imposed rightly so in my view, on Russia adversely affect UpSolution’s ability to offer support? Probably I think.
So, what if Digital Ocean in New York no longer does business with UpSolution? Upsolution’s ability to publish and supply updates for Impreza would be adversely affected.
I don’t know what the views are of the staff from UpSolution about these terrible events in the Ukraine. I don’t know if they support Vladimir Putin’s atrocious actions or not. They may be 100% against it (which I think any normal human being is/should be) in which case I feel very sorry for them.
I think the sanctions on Russia are needed. I don’t think they are an action against Russian creatives/developers like UpSolution, but more a move targeted against Russian Financial Institutions. I think the sanctions on Russia are required, although they will hurt/are hurting the Russian people, they are needed so the Russian people pressure the Russian Government to withdraw from the Ukraine, so that the world can get back to normal.
I, for one, want to see Russia withdraw from the Ukraine. I want to see a new government in Russia. One that compensates Ukraine, and helps them rebuild. Will you continue to support a Russian business? Can you given the sanctions? Let me know your thoughts.