HeatMap Theme Pro v5 review

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Overall Rating
Ease of Use
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HeatMap Theme Pro v5 (HMT Pro) is the latest premium WordPress theme specially designed and optimized for building Adsense-based sites with maximum speed and click-through efficiency.

It is also marketed as a perfect theme for affiliate sites, review sites or squeeze pages – any type of project where easy placement of ads and good click-through rates are important. Yet, for most people it is an Adsense theme.

When you buy HeatMap Theme Pro, you get the core theme which provide the functionality, plus a set of  10 authority skins and 25 classic skins to enhance the visual aspects of your site. They will help you build various Adsense niche sites without repeating your designs.

After your purchase, you will also get access to very comprehensive and up-to-date documentation which clearly explains all the features, and a very active community of users who share tips and their experiences – always a good sign of a healthy product.

How HeatMap Theme Pro works

The HeatMap theme is divided into three distinctive parts:

HeatMap Theme in the Appearance menu

  • HeatMap Options
  • HeatMap Ads
  • In-post/In-page options

HeatMap Theme Options

The HeatMap Options section, located in the Appearance menu of WordPress, provides access to the theme’s basic configuration options, logically split into subsections.

1. Home Page

In this section, you can configure the featured page, but with more features that the standard WordPress settings can offer you. For example, you can show or hide sidebars on the home page, hide other posts, hide post details, include or exclude certain categories, etc.

Home page settings

2. SEO

With HeatMap, you can get away without using any more advanced SEO plugins – all the basics are covered by the theme itself, such as home page meta description, meta keywords, options to assign H1/H2 tags to various items of your content.

HeatMap SEO options

However, if you want to use more advanced features offered by the popular SEO plugins, you may disable HeatMap’s SEO settings entirely.

3. Theme Structure

This is a simple submenu related mostly to your site’s layout. You can switch sidebars from one side to to another, turn them off completely, and also activate a squeeze mode, where the page is narrower. Squeeze mode combined with no-sidebar option is an easy way to build a landing page.

Theme structure settings

4. Header and logo

As expected, you can easily add your custom logo and favicon, as well as hide/show the header, title and tagline. Again, by hiding the header and tagline, you can very easily build a landing page.

5. Navigation

HeatMap is a pretty flexible theme when it comes to navigation configuration.

First of all, it is fully compatible with custom menus introduced in the WordPress 3.x. It means that you have a lot of flexibility in adding and removing menu items as you fancy. Two navigation bars are available – page  navbar and categories navbar.

You can move navbars below or above heard, and also hide them completely.

6. Pages and Posts

This section is used mainly to hide or show various elements (titles, meta information) on posts and pages, in category listings and in archives.

One noteworthy feature is “Title Safety Underlining” which helps you comply with the Adsense TOS if you display in-content ads directly beneath titles.

7. Footers

This section provides you with four fields to enter your footer content (left/right, subfooter), and also allows you to hide the footer entirely.

8. Featured Images

In this section, you can decide whether featured images are floated to the left, to the right, or not floated at all, individually for posts, pages, homepage and category pages.

9. Google

This section provides text fields for analytics tracking code, as well as Google’s custom search engine code.

10. Social network icons

HeatMap supports many social network, including the latest Google+. If you enter your IDs, it can neatly display Google, Twitter, Facebook and RSS buttons.

11. Header and Footer Locking

You can configure HeatMap so that all content scrolls beneath the header/footer which stay in fixed positions. Be sure to read the associated documentation (just click on “?” buttons next to each option) because there are some caveats regading compliance with te AdSense TOS.

12. Additional scripts and CSS

In this section, you’re provided with two text fields to enter any scripts or javascript code which should be embedded in the header of your site.

It is a quick and easy way to add a few custom CSS snippets to tweak your site without editing stylesheets directly.

HeatMap Ads

This is the second cornerstone of the HeatMap Theme Pro. Basically, you’re provided with 23 ad units, neatly grouped for easier access, plus 3 link units. For each unit, there’s a text field to enter your code, and a set of checkboxes to indicate where each particular ad should be shown (these include home page, pages, posts, category, search, archive).

As soon as you paste your code and save, a new widget is created which you can drag & drop into one of the theme’s 23 ad positions.

HeatMap Theme Pro - an Adsense theme for WordPress

This is definitely one of the strongest selling points of this theme – it offers virtually any ad position imaginable – in header, below header, above content, in-content, below content, in footer, in sidebars, etc. The positions are compatible with the popular ad formats, so you can mix-and-match various ad formats easily, achieving pleasing layouts and excellent CTR. Without a doubt, this is the Adsense ready theme.

In-Page/In-Post options

HMT button to ad in-post adsAs flexible as HMT Pro is when it comes to placing your ads, you may still feel the need for more optimization. Well, you’re in luck this time. HeatMap adds a very convenient button directly in the editor which can place any previously defined ad unit directly in the content, in a place of your choosing.

When you click the button, it simply shows you a drop-down with your ads available. You can place it anywhere and select its alignment.

More features

One advanced feature offered by HMT Pro v5 is the ad-rotation capability. For each ad unit, you can use simple syntax to place more than one ad invocation code. This feature plays nicely with various cacheing plugins which might be used on larger sites.

With this flexible solution, you can use the same ad spot for example to display Adsense ads, Amazon affiliate banners and Clickbank banners. This should definitely help combat ad blindness.

While you’re editing your page or post, you also have some additional options below the editor. Basically, what you can do is:

  • add an affiliate link to the WordPress featured image
  • add an affiliate “Buy now” type of button which will be displayed in an excerpt, next to the “Read more” link.

If you’re happy with your theme settings, you can export them, and later reimport to another site to immediately replicate the successful setup.

With a theme, you also get a special recent posts widget with some custom logic, for example it will not display posts which are already listed in the main content section. It also shows a thumbnail and a short description.

The results

It’s too early for me to talk about results in terms of monetization and CTR – I’ve installed HMT Pro on my two new niche sites which are being developed right now.

In terms of ease of use and speed of site building, HeatMap Pro really shines. I had my site setup virtually in minutes, with all ads in proper placements. With configuration export/import features, you can speed that process up even more.

Because the theme is already optimized for conversion, you can immediately focus on writing your content or developing your business, without tinkering with millions of customizations.

What I don’t like

While HMT Pro v5 works perfectly for its intended purposes, some may feel that the styling options are rather limited compared to some other premium themes. There is no easy way to configure default fonts, there are no fancy settings for different background etc.

However, this is onlya minor drawback. First of all, there are many subthemes available, so you will usually be able to find something which fits your needs.

If not, you can still simply edit your style.css file which is not that difficult if you want to just change some visual settings.

Pricing

HeatMap is fairly priced at $70 for a lifetime license, including authority and classic skins, and it can be used on an unlimited number of sites.

Given that the theme has been in the market for two years, and now is in version 5, you may be fairly certain that your investment in a lifetime investment will easily pay off.

Recommendation

It should be fairly obvious by now – if you’re into building Adsense or affiliate sites, HeatMap Theme Pro v5 will be a strong asset in your arsenal – I highly recommend it.

About Marcin

I'm passionate about technology, especially SEO. I love how fast-paced this environment is. I also love numbers, finding hidden gems in statistics, and coming with unexpected solutions to typical problems.

One Response to HeatMap Theme Pro v5 review

  1. Salman
    Twitter:
    January 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    Very well reviewed…

    This helped me to clear some doubts about the heatmap v5 theme…
    Salman recently posted..Can Microsoft Catch the Iphone?My Profile

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