Are you looking for a WordPress theme that loads fast, comes with numerous features, and is multipurpose too? If Yes, then you are on the right page.
In this article, we will talk about the Astra theme and will do a comprehensive Astra Theme Review with all its pros and cons so that it is easy for you to decide if the Astra theme is right for you or not.
Astra is considered one of the best WordPress themes with excellent speed and is packed with tons of features needed for any WordPress site to look professional.
The Astra theme has two versions. One is the Astra free version and the other one is the Astra Pro version
Astra’s free version is fast, lightweight, and has all essential features, but if you need advanced features, then the pro version is the answer.
Astra free theme is used on over 1 Million websites to date and has an almost 5-star rating. That shows the popularity of this theme.
Astra Theme Overview
The Astra theme is developed by Brainstorm Force, the same team that developed plugins like Convert Pro, and Schema Pro.
Founded in 2009 as a web development agency, Brainstorm Force soon landed into the theme development business, and now they have a wide range of portfolios of WordPress themes and plugins.
The Astra theme is a minimalistic theme. That means you may not get all the features that a mainstream theme has. Astra is more of a theme framework rather than a full fledge theme.
The Astra theme free version is great to start with. It is sufficient to fulfill most requirements. However, the Astra pro version has a wide range of features that you may not like to miss.
Why Astra Is Considered As One Of the best WordPress Themes?
Over a million users are using Astra. So obviously, there is something special that Astra has in it. Here are the top five features that made Astra one of the best and most reputed WordPress themes.
As per Google Web Core Vital, speed is a ranking factor, and that is why Astra is so popular.
In Astra, you can enable and disable any features. So the page will be very lightweight and fast too.
What that means is that if you design a website in Astra for your client, you can remove all Astra branding. Clients will never come to know which theme you have used.
If you have a bit of knowledge about CSS and PHP, you can design any website with Astra. That’s the beauty of Astra.
Astra Theme Features
Astra theme has an impressive list of features in both the free and the pro versions. The best thing about the Astra theme is that you can toggle every feature.
What that means is that you can turn off features if you don’t need them. That is why the Astra theme is very fast and lightweight.
Below shows the key features of the Astra theme.
- Performance Features
- Design Features
- Site Layout Features
- Blog Layout Features
- Woocommerce Features
- Integration Features
- Custom Layout features
- Starter Sites
- Easy Customization
- Free Plugins
#1. Performance Features
Following are a few of the performance features that come bundled with the Astra Theme.
- Loads in less than half a seconds
- Page size is about 50 KB
- No jQuery
- Optimized code
Astra Is Fast ( Loads in less than 0.5 seconds)
47% of users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less. With Astra, it is possible. In fact, websites with Astra loads in less than half a second if it is optimized properly.
Lightweight ( Only 50KB)
As far as the size is concerned, Astra is just 50 KB with a fresh install. It is far less than many other popular themes, for which the size varies from 100 KB to 200 KB.
The Brainstorm Force team has followed the best possible coding practice to design the Astra theme. That is why you won’t see much difference between the raw codes and the minified code, as Astra theme codes are already minified.
#2. Design Features
Although there are many design features in the Astra theme, the following features are important in basic web design.
- Header and footer builder
- Sticky header
- Page headers
Header And Footer Builder
Starting from Astra 3.0, you will get drag and drop header and footer builder. You can add rows, columns, and widgets in the header and footer. Building the header and footer was never so easy with the Astra theme.
With Astra, you don’t need to write any code. It ensures building any headers and footers easily and effectively.
The Astra Drag And Drop Header builder will let you add the following widgets.
- Primary menu
- Secondary menu
- Sample Item
- HTML code
- Social icons
On the other hand, the Footer builder offers the following widgets.
- Footer menu
- Social icons
Astra also has a sticky header option. What that means is that the header remains in the same position when you scroll the page. You can even change the header logo in the sticky header.
Astra theme comes with dedicated layouts for single posts, blogs, and archive pages. You can even customize those as per your requirement.
In the Astra theme, you will get dedicated page headers for posts and pages.
#3. Site Layout Features
Following are the site layout features available in the Astra theme.
- Boxed site layout
- Full-width layout
- Padded layout
- Fluid Layout
- Spacing control
- Default Container
#4. Blog Layout Features
Following are the blog layout features available in the Astra theme.
- Grid Layout
- List Layout
- Masonry Layout
- Highlight First Post
- Date box
- Post Pagination
- Infinite Scrolling
#5. WooCommerce Features
Do you know that the Astra theme can be easily integrated with the WooCommerce plugin? You can create conversion-friendly online stores with Woocommerce and the Astra theme.
Following are a few of the WooCommerce features that are inbuilt into the Astra theme.
- Product as a grid
- Off-Canvas sidebar
- Gallery Options
- Sales bubble
- Quick view
- Dropdown cart
#6. Integration Features
No theme is perfect if it does not offer extensive integration features. Nowadays, people love to install page builders and plugins to extend the capabilities of WordPress.
Astra themes support numerous plugins and tools integration. Here are a few of those features.
- SEO Optimized
- Schema Optimized
- Pagebuilder Friendly
- LearnDash support
- LifterLMS support
Gone are those days when your blog can easily rank without doing SEO. Now, SEO is a must to outrank competitors. Without SEO, you can not expect traffic to your blog.
Astra is optimized for SEO. The coding followed the best SEO practice. Astra also supports Yoast SEO and Rank Math SEO plugin.
Below are some of the SEO features that the Astra theme has.
- Support meta tags for posts and pages
- Breadcrumb function
- Automatic HTML markups
- Custom 404 page
- Supports SEO Plugins
Schema.org (often called Schema) is a semantic vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that you can add to your HTML to improve the way search engines read and represent your page in SERPs.
Schema markup helps search engines better understand the website’s contents and deliver better search results. Websites with proper schema markups rank better on the search engine result pages.
Astra theme comes with the basic schema markup. If you want to implement advanced schema mark-ups, then you need to buy Schema pro developed by the same team.
Page Builder Friendly
Page builders are used to create intuitive pages and blog posts. Page builders enhance the capabilities of WordPress on top of the theme.
Most bloggers nowadays use page builders like Elementor, Thrive Architect, etc.
Astra supports almost all page builders. On top of that, Astra has many demo sites that are made using page builders. You can simply copy and edit those demo sites as per your requirement.
If you intend to create online training/coaching websites, LearnLMS is the best software.
Astra is one of the very few themes that support LearnLMS integration. Astra gives you several design options and features that focus more on providing a better learning experience.
#7. Custom Layout
One of the main complaints that Astra users always had is that Astra does not offer more customization options.
You will see many themes comes with a ton of post templates. The problem with those themes is that, due to many post templates, themes get heavy making your site slow.
Astra did a smart thing here. They have a module called Custom Layout which you can activate if you want.
With a custom layout, you can design any post or page very easily. The custom layout has different hooks and positions where you can insert your custom blocks or widgets.
Currently, Astra supports customizing headers, footers, 404 pages, page contents, and hooks using the custom layout option.
Hooks and layouts allow designers to add new functionalities to the Astra theme without touching a single line of code.
You can also integrate page builders functions with the Astra theme using different hooks and layouts.
If you are a newbie and want to have a visual reference of hooks while adding that in a custom layout, you can install this plugin from the BrainstormForce team
Here is a dedicated article on Custom Layout that you can refer to for a better understanding of how the custom layout works.
#8. Astra Starter Sites
To make your life easy, Astra comes with 240+ pre-built demos that you can download. Those demos are categorized based on different page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg, etc.
To download those starter sites, you first need to download the Astra Starter Sites plugin from the WordPress repository.
You can either download the whole site or only the home page. Once downloaded, you can modify it the way you want to meet your needs.
You can visit BeautifulPress to see some stunning websites created with Astra
#9. Easy Customization Options
Customizing sites is no longer a big deal if you have the Astra theme. You can customize almost everything on your website using the Astra theme.
With easy-to-use options and an intuitive interface, customizing sites with the Astra theme is fun.
The free version does not offer many customization options. However, if you purchase the Astra Pro add-on, you can seamlessly enjoy numerous customization options.
The best part of the Astra theme is that you can disable features that you don’t want. As you can see from the below image that there are many features that are deactivated because I don’t need those.
Due to this, your site becomes much faster as there is no unnecessary code loading at the backend.
#10. Free Plugins To Extend Astra Theme Capabilities
You can download a couple of free plugins to extend the capabilities of the Astra theme. All those free plugins are developed by the BrainstormForce team.
Spectra is a Gutenberg block plugin that comes with numerous blocks that you can use to decorate your sites.
If you install this plugin, you no longer need any other page builders like Elementor.
A few blocks like the table of content, review block, FAQ block, and styled list block are beneficial for a better website design and SEO. On top of that, Astra provides free support for this plugin.
Spectra also has a pro version that is available for free only with the Growth bundle.
How To Install The Astra Theme?
Installation of the Astra Theme is like any other theme and can be easily done by even a newbie.
Login To WordPress Dashboard
First of all, you will need to login into your WordPress Dashboard
Install New Theme
To install a new theme you can Go To Appearance-> Themes-> Add New and add the new theme.
Search For The Astra Theme
After you click on the Add New Button, search for Astra and install the theme. Please remember that, even if you buy the Pro version, you need to install the free version first.
Buy The Pro Version And Install The Pro Plugin
When you purchase the pro version, you will get the Astra Pro plugin. Install and activate the plugin. That will activate all the pro features of the Astra theme.
That’s it. You can now customize the Astra theme the way you want.
If you are not sure how to use the Astra theme and how to customize it, then the following video will be of great help.
How Fast Is The Astra Theme?
Speed is essential, and Astra is known for that. We have tested a demo site to check the speed and it really performed well as you can see in the test result.
Astra Free Vs Astra Pro
Astra Free version comes with all the basic features that you need to build a website. But if you want more advanced features or want to expand the theme capabilities, you should go for the pro version.
The pro version of the Astra theme comes with the following modules as shown in the image below.
Please make a note that, you can enable or disable any of the features.
So, do we need the pro version?
Yes, if you feel that you need to create a professional-looking blog and want most of the trending features then you need the pro version. Otherwise, the free version is more than enough.
Do you know that you can install the Astra Pro theme on unlimited sites?
So, if you plan to install the Astra theme on multiple websites, then a one-time investment in the Astra theme makes more sense.
If you want to know more about how the Astra Pro theme stands against the Astra free theme, then you can refer to this article.
Astra Pro Plans and Pricing: Astra Pro Theme
As I said earlier, The Astra free version is completely free and great for beginners. However, to unlock the limitless possibilities of Astra, you need to invest in Astra pro.
Astra offers yearly plans and lifetime plans. Lifetime plans are the ideal choice as you need to pay one time and you can use it on unlimited websites. If you are running an agency then a lifetime plan is a great deal.
You can also check Astra Theme Black Friday Deal, in case you want to save more. But that offer is only valid during Black Friday.
Below are the plan details of the Astra Theme.
Astra Theme Lifetime License Plans
Ultimate addon for Elementor/ Beaver Builder
Ultimate Addon For Elementor
Ultimate Addon For Beaver Builder
180+ Premium Templates
All future plugins
Astra Theme Yearly License Plans
Ultimate addon for Elementor/ Beaver Builder
Ultimate Addon For Elementor
Ultimate Addon For Beaver Builder
180+ Premium Templates
All future plugins
Astra WordPress Theme Positives And Negatives
- Fast and lightweight
- 100% accessibility-ready
- Child theme supported
- SEO & Schema optimized
- Numerous customizing options
- 240+ Demo sites
- Developer friendly
- Excellent documentation
- 14 days money-back guarantee
- Ability to create custom blocks
- Complete layout control
- Only email support
- Costly lifetime plan
Astra Pro Support: Astra Theme Review
Astra ensures great support to its users. Suppose you are using Astra’s free version, and in case you need any kind of support, you can take advantage of the WordPress support forums to find the answers to your queries.
If you purchase the Astra pro version, you will get free access to one-on-one email support. Besides this, premium users also get access to exclusive training.
Other than that, Astra also has a Youtube channel through which you can get ideas about different Astra features and customization tutorials.
Conclusion: Astra Theme Review
Undoubtedly, Astra is one of the best, most simple, easy-to-use, and most versatile WordPress themes around. It is known for its speed, SEO features, and great customer support
From importing high-quality dozens of sites to performing flawlessly with a platform like Woo Commerce shows how good this theme is for you.
Despite the Free version being good, I believe for people who love using Astra, the Pro Theme version is something to go with.
Another major highlight of Astra is, that it comes with lots of free templates. If you are a beginner and just started things, it’s better to use the free version before switching to the premium version.
Astra is one of the fastest, lightweight, SEO-friendly, and most versatile WordPress themes ever developed. You can literally design any kind of website using the Astra themes. Extensive trending features coupled with world-class support is something that is there in the DNA of Astra Theme.
Price Currency: USD
Operating System: Linux
Application Category: WordPress Theme
FAQ | Astra Theme Review
Can I use Elementor Or Thrive Architect With Astra?
Yes, Astra supports both Elementor and Thrive architects. If you want, you can use the Astra custom layout feature to blend the page builder with the Astra theme.
Does Astra Come With Pre-Built Demo Websites?
Yes, Astra comes with 240+ pre-built demo websites. The number varies based on what plan you buy.
For example, the Astra pro plan only has 100 demos but the agency plan has about 240+ demos
Does Astra Offer A White Labelling Feature?
Yes, Astra offers a white-label feature. You can remove Astra branding when you are building a site for your client.
How Is Astra In Terms Of Speed?
Astra is a great theme in terms of speed. A blank website with Astra theme loads in less than half a second and the page size is about 50 KB.
Does Astra Have A Lifetime Plan?
Yes, Astra has a lifetime plan, but the cost is a little high
Can I Use Astra Theme On Unlimited Websites?
Yes, You can install the Astra theme on unlimited websites and also get support for all those websites.
Astra Theme Alternatives
Two of the best alternatives to the Astra theme are GeneratePress and Kadence. Feature sets of both these themes are almost the same, except for some features and the pricing.
Astra directly competes against the GeneratePress theme. It is also a minimalistic theme, but it has relatively fewer features. GeneratePress theme is only available as a standalone theme, unlike the Astra theme where you can buy bundles with other plugins.
The speed is great and it outperforms Astra in most cases. GeneratePress theme is lightweight too.
The pricing of the lifetime plan is less than the Astra theme. However, you can install it only on 500 websites.
The Kadence theme is also a very good alternative to the GeneratePress theme. It is more feature-rich and comes with a lot of customization options.
Similar to Astra, you can buy Kadence as a standalone theme or as a bundle that carries some useful plugins like Kadence Block and Kadence Conversion.
The pricing is very decent and at par with other themes in this category. In terms of speed, it is equally good. However, since it’s a relatively new theme it is a little behind than GeneratePress but slowly getting its ground.