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Astra Theme Review Summary
- Astra is a freemium theme for WordPress
- You will get limited features in the free theme as to colors and backgrounds, typography, spacing, HTML elements and integrations with other plugins.
- If you upgrade to Pro, you will get full features like header and footer builder, page background styling, sidebar designing, more site layouts, custom layouts, blog layouts, custom 404 page, mega menu, sticky header animations, more templates for Gutenberg, Elementor, Beaver Builder, Divi Builder, Brizy, widgets, scroll to top, hooks and filters and many more.
- You will get full integration with WooCommerce, Lifter LMS, LearnDash and Easy Digital Downloads plugins.
- You will also get 24/7 Premium Support, White Label and CSS file generation for Speed optimization.
- The filesize of the theme is under 50 KB.
- It is great for website speed and mobile responsiveness.
- You can buy Astra on an annual basis or for lifetime
Astra theme review
I have been using the Astra theme for almost 3 years now.
I have used the default WordPress themes, Genesis, and many other free themes before.
All of them had their own advantages or disadvantages.
But what made me switch from one theme to another after all?
Well, themes are the foundations of a WordPress site, right?
They not only make your website look good and feel good, but it also has a very important task.
And that task is to make Google happy.
Google has switched to mobile-first indexing in 2019.
So, if your websites are not mobile responsive, you will find it hard to rank them.
Hence, it is very important for themes to be mobile responsive.
The second factor that Google looks for is speed.
They give it so much importance that they have built a tool for everybody to check the speed of their websites.
There are many factors to consider for improving the speed of your website.
The first place to investigate for fixing the speed of your website is your hosting company.
Then, you should look at the theme you are using for your website.
Most of the time, the codes that make up a theme, bloats the website and make it slow.
And it should be as light as possible in file size, mobile responsive, and should play well with the other codes of various WordPress plugins.
When choosing a theme, besides speed and mobile responsiveness, which are crucial for ranking my site, I always look for good customer support too.
I don’t want to get stuck when something goes wrong with my site.
Now, most of the free themes do not have professional support because they are built mostly by individuals doing everything like building the theme, supporting the theme, troubleshooting, marketing, etc.
It is very hard to get quick support from such theme developers, isn’t it?
So, if a theme developer does not respond quickly, you can lose a lot of traffic, money, and……peace of mind.
The themes that I used before all had these issues.
I had to search on Google or Youtube for solutions to the problems I had and wait for days to resolve them.
In fact, I spent more time on the technical issues of my websites than doing other productive work.
So, that was one of the major reasons which make me search for a better theme all the time.
I used many themes, including Astra.
And I am still using it.
I will try and analyze in this article, whether I should continue to use it or is it time for me to switch my theme again.
So, let’s dive in and find out.
What is Astra theme?
Astra is a WordPress theme developed by Brainstorm Force in 2017.
Brainstorm Force is a company located in Pune, India. It started operations in 2009.
Besides the Astra theme the company has other products like Starter Templates, Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg, Ultimate Addons for Elementor, Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder, Ultimate Addons for WPBakery Page Builder, Schema Pro, Convert Pro, WP Portfolio, Convert Plus, and Elementor – Header, Footer & Blocks Template.
Astra theme is by far the most popular product of the company having over 1+ million users across the globe.
Astra theme features
The Astra theme has a file size under 50 KB and claims to load at just 0.5 seconds.
The theme also loads Google fonts locally in the server itself, thereby increasing the speed of the websites.
It also does not render JQuery, thereby increasing loading speeds further.
Astra supports Gutenberg, Elementor, Beaver Builder, Divi Builder, Brizy, WP Bakery Visual Composer, Thrive Architect, WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, CartFlows, LearnDash, Lifter LMS, Tutor LMS, WP Rocket, Autoptimize, W3 Total Cache, LiteSpeed Cache, WP Fastest Cache, RunCloud, NGINX Helper, Yoast, Rank Math, SEOPress, WPML, Polylang, Weglot, Gravity Forms, WP Forms, WP Fluent Forms, Ninja Forms, Contact Form 7, Jetpack and AMP.
Astra is a freemium product.
This means you can use it for free for as long as you wish.
You may upgrade later to utilize many other premium features which are not available in the free version.
Let’s take a look at the free features of Astra first.
- You can build the header and footer section with the in-built header and footer builder options.
- You can customize the layouts of the different pages such as homepage, archives/category page and single pages/posts.
- You can use widgets such as Address Widget, Info List Widget and Social Icons Widget.
- You can customize colors, background, spacing and typography.
- You can customize the sidebar.
- You can build and design WooCommerce stores.
- You can customize the layout and look of related posts.
- You can display your website as Web Stories.
- You can implement basic schema markup.
If you upgrade or buy Astra Pro, you will get more features as below:
- You can customize the header with a sticky header with animations, Mega Menu, menu dropdown with templates built in Gutenberg, Elementor, Beaver, Divi and Brizy, widgets in menu, HTML codes in menu, fly-off menu and full screen menu.
- You can customize the headers of different pages separately.
- You can customize the header for mobile devices separately.
- You can customize the footer with HTML elements, button elements, divider elements and colors and typography.
- You can add HTML code, widgets, shortcode or text above and below the header and footer.
- You can build custom 404 page.
- You can add custom codes through Hooks.
- You will have more color, background and typography options for the entire site.
- You can use more layouts for the primary content like boxed layouts, full width layout, fluid layout and padded layout.
- You can change the layouts for your blog into Grid Layout, List Layout and Masonry Layout.
- You can have more features for your blog such as author box, post readtime meta, highlight first post, date box, read more customization, pagination styling, featured image size control, infinite loading of blog posts, control margins and padding of different elements, etc.
- You will have more features for WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Lifter LMS and LearnDash.
- You will have 24X7 premium customer support
- You can White Label the product.
Is Astra a good WordPress theme?
I have been using Astra for the last 3 years.
So I thought to test and see whether it is still good for me.
The first thing I did was to find the good and bad things from my experience on using it till now.
Here is what I found.
- Websites loads very fast
- Mobile responsiveness
- 180+ website templates
- Header customizations
- Footer customizations
- Sidebar customizations
- Pages customizations
- Layout customizations
- Blog posts customizations
- Custom 404 page
- Lots of addons
- Plays well with other plugins
- Customer support
Fig.3 Pros & Cons of Astra theme
It seemed that I still like Astra!
The next thing I looked for is what other users are saying about it.
Here is what I found from Trustpilot.
They gave a rating of 5 out of 5 stars for Astra.
That’s exactly what I thought it should be.
But let’s take another look at what the users in the WordPress community are saying about Astra.
WordPress users gave a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
Astra theme alternative
Now, I decided to look for some alternatives and see whether there is anything else that can beat it.
I have used many free themes before.
I also used one paid theme too called Genesis.
I didn’t want to go back to Genesis, because it has limited features compared to Astra.
And it is definitely not as fast as Astra either.
I also searched and found a theme cum page builder called Divi.
But Divi is a WordPress page builder and not just a theme.
I found GeneratePress to have more or less the same features as Astra.
So, I decided to compare Astra and GeneratePress side-by-side.
Now, Astra Pro is available with a bundle of other plugins.
I didn’t consider the plugin bundles in my comparison with GeneratePress because GeneratePress had only one plan which had everything; besides the lifetime payment option.
So, I decided to compare the standalone version of Astra Pro with the GeneratePress theme.
Here is what I found.
|File Size||Below 50 KB||7.5 KB|
|Custom Layouts & Hooks||✓||✓|
|Unlimited Website Usage||✓||✘|
Fig.6 Comparison between Astra Theme vs GeneratePress
The file size of the GeneratePress theme is absolutely stunning compared with Astra!
7.5 KB is really an unbelievable file size for any WordPress theme!
So, as far as speed is concerned both Astra and GeneratePress rocks.
As far as features are concerned, Astra has slightly more features than GeneratePress.
But most of the core features are there in both themes.
The prices are more or less the same too.
So, my opinion is, if you are looking to build just a blog, then both the themes will be good for you.
But, if you want to build brand websites or you want to design every aspect of your website or blog, you should use Astra Pro.
As for me, I am going to stick with Astra because there is no point in switching themes as both are more or less the same.
But, if you are looking for an alternative to Astra for any reason, go for GeneratePress.
Astra theme cost
Like I wrote before, Astra is a Freemium theme.
You can use it for free, with limited features, for as long as you want.
But, if you want a full-fledged theme, with everything that is necessary to build a professional website, you should buy Astra Pro.
If you decide to buy Astra Pro, you can buy it as a standalone product or you can buy Astra Pro along with some premium plugins as bundles.
There are two such bundles – the Essential Bundle and the Growth Bundle.
Here are the features of the three pricing options available for Astra Pro.
Astra Pro Pricing
Annual Payment Plans
- Astra Pro
- Astra Pro
- Sign Up
- Essential Bundle
- Astra Pro
- Starter Templates
- WP Portfolio Plugin
- Elementor/Beaver Addons
- Sign Up
- Growth Bundle
- Astra Pro
- Starter Templates
- WP Portfolio Plugin
- Elementor Addons
- Beaver Builder Addons
- Convert Pro Plugin
- Schema Pro Plugin
- Skilljet Academy
- All Future Plugins
- Sign Up
You can buy the above plans for Lifetime also at $523, $996, and $1893.
All the plans come with unlimited website usage, premium support, and 14 days money-back guarantee
How do you make a decision about whether to buy it?
I wholeheartedly recommend using Astra for every website just because of the fact that you can build blazing-fast websites.
I use Astra on all my blogs and they all load real fast.
But besides speed, the other factor for which I recommend Astra is because of its customization options.
You can practically customize every part of your website with Astra Pro.
And there is little or no learning curve like many other page builders.
I have actually used Elementor in the past and found that it has actually made my website slow.
I generally avoid using too many plugins because the more plugins you use, you run the risk of bloating up your site.
Now, with so many pricing options available for Astra Pro, you can easily get overwhelmed as to what is the best option for you.
The free version is good itself and can serve the purpose of most blogs.
But if you want to build professional websites or blogs for yourself or for your clients, then you should choose one of the Astra paid plans.
There is a wide choice available and there is a plan for everyone.
So, let’s try and see, how we can decide the best plan for us.
How to install Astra theme in WordPress?
You can install the free version of the Astra theme right inside WordPress itself just like any other theme.
Go to the Appearance section. Then click Themes and then Add New Theme. Search for Astra in the “Search themes…” box. Then click Install on the Astra theme to install it.
But, if you install Astra inside WordPress you will miss the cool bonuses that I am giving here.
So, my suggestion is you should install Astra, either the free version or one of the paid versions, by clicking on my link.
And if you upgrade later, you can get some guaranteed cool bonuses from me (See the “what do you get when you buy through me” section below).
Now, after clicking on my link, you will land on the Astra homepage.
Click on the Download button as shown in Fig.8.
On the next page, first, click on the toggle switch (see Fig.9) to choose whether to buy Astra on the Annual payment plan or for Lifetime.
Then choose a plan from Astra Pro, Essential Bundle, and Growth Bundle and click any of the Get Started buttons as shown below.
Then fill up your details and make the payment. You will get all the details on how to install Astra on your website by email.
If you do not want to buy Astra Pro right now for any reason, scroll down and click “Download Free Astra Theme.”
Enter your Name and Email to create an account and download it.
After downloading it, log in to WordPress and go to Appearance >> Themes.
Then click “Add New Themes”. Then click the “Upload Theme” button and select the theme you have downloaded.
Should you buy it directly from the company?
Never ever buy any of my recommended products directly from the company until you see what bonuses you are getting from me.
If you do not like my bonuses, then at least check whether other affiliates are offering better ones.
What do you get when you buy through me?
I always give cool bonuses if someone buys through my link as a Thank You gift.
Check out my bonuses below
I am using Astra for a long time and my test here shows that it is still good.
I do not use any other page builder for my blogs.
After installing Astra on my sites, all I do is install one of the templates from the Starter Templates plugin and customize every part of the website to my heart’s content.
Astra Pro has given me the power to build websites really like a pro, in as little as 10 minutes.
I am not a coder, but my sites are beautiful and load very fast.
I do not want to use a page builder just to make my blogs look beautiful.
All that really matters to me is to rank my blog.
Google wants mobile responsive sites with good speeds.
With Astra, I can have both and also design my sites with no learning curve.
I did not have a chance to contact their support much.
I think that itself shows, how good this theme really is.
It has not bloated my site and plays well with my other plugins too.
Please do yourself a favor and get Astra Pro if you want to have a pro website.