Avada is the best selling WordPress theme on ThemeForest, with nearly half a million installs. It’s a very robust design tool and is constantly being updated, with new demo content released with every major iteration. Two Hats has been following Avada since 2.0 (circa 2014) and as of this blog entry, we are now at version 5.5.2. In that time, we have seen lots of things change and have recognized some potential pitfalls when updating your older theme.

A major change was that the short coding system used in early versions of Avada was modified to include the word “fusion” as a prefix for all of the short code names, to avoid conflicts with other plugins that might use the same coding syntax. Also, the column system which used to assign a yes or no value for the last column in a row, was changed so that all columns are wrapped in a “fusion_row” short code. Similarly, inner columns are wrapped in a “fusion_inner_row” short code.

Thus, a conversion must take place when updating older versions to Avada 5.0. This is where the trouble begins…

Things to consider before updating Avada

  • Do not attempt on your live site!
  • Backup your database. You will want to run the update in a development environment (make a site copy). This way if something breaks you can fix it at your own pace, or start over if you have to.
  • Halt posting on your live site (so you don’t have to re-do work later) – blogs, etc.

Short Codes (aka Elements)

Avada uses short codes (which it is now calling “Elements”) to accomplish it’s array of design options, and many short codes have been deprecated or the names have changed over time. New elements are also being added with each iteration of Avada. For a complete list of all of the elements, visit this page. Newer elements must be turned “ON” in Fusion Builder settings.

First you will want to go through your code and lookout for short codes nested inside divs. Fusion Builder will wrap all div tags inside the “fusion_text” short code during the conversion–thus potentially breaking the div (i.e. closing tag is no longer in the same container).



To fix, close out your div tag:

Lookout for HTML comments as the fusion builder will read short codes and ignore the HTML comments. By default, it wraps opening and closing HTML tags in the “fusion_text” short code – similar to the div issue above.

I suggest removing the comments and then storing old content via the new “Library Element” feature of Fusion Builder, after conversion.


Some of the selector names may have changed/deprecated if you are converting an older Avada install, which may cause custom CSS to break. You will want to update your selector name.



Theme Options

Several new features get added every time Avada jumps a version, so defaults may have to be set for those new elements (fonts, colors, etc.)

Typography settings sometimes have to be reset after the conversion.

Some custom settings may reset to default. Example: Content Box Columns reverted to default of 6 – Re-add desired column number “3” etc. to fix

Premium Plugins

Avada comes with several premium plugins. We have noticed that older versions of Revolution slider may break the site upon activation, and new plugin files may need to be re-uploaded via FTP (using FileZilla, Coda, or similar program).

To Wrap it up

These are some of the major things to keep an eye out for when updating your theme, but not all. If you are trying to update your Avada install and would like some professional help, please contact us for more information. We’d be happy to assist! 🙂