Welcome to the latest Astra theme review.
The theme is one of the most popular, highest rated and fastest growing WordPress themes today, but is it the right choice for you?
It can never be stressed enough how crucial it is to choose the right theme for your website.
If you choose the wrong one, you are limiting what you can do with your website. And it will be like trying to build a skyscraper in a town with height restrictions.
So, we are here to tell you all about Astra to help you make the right choice.
With that said, Astra is an amazing WordPress theme that you can use for literally anything a website can handle: businesses, portfolios, online stores, blogs, etc.
Over the years, the theme has grown in popularity and has been used by over a million people. But there are reasons for its popularity and in this Astra WordPress theme review, we will see everything there is to know about it.
Astra, for example, has great support for page builder plugins, which allow you to customize your entire website through the WordPress theme customizer. It gives you the ability to import top-notch website designs and all this with one click.
It even does what the old generation of WordPress themes couldn’t do, which is combine design flexibility in a lightweight design.format, to avoid slowing down your website.
Even though the theme features tons of pre-built demo websites and so many capabilities in its WordPress Customizer, somehow your website loads fast.
With everything this theme has to offer, it is well worth checking out.
Let us begin.
- What’s the buzz with Astra Theme?
- What about Brainstorm Force?
- What does the Astra WordPress theme offer?
- Astra WordPress Theme – Deep Dive Features
- Astra Extension with Plugins
- Astra WordPress Theme Pricing Plans
- Is Astra Is it worth upgrading to the Pro plan?
- Which Astra Pro Plan is the best?
- Astra Alternatives WordPress Theme
- Frequently Asked Question About Astra Theme
- What is Astra WordPress Theme?
- How many sites can I use Astra?
- Is Astra Free WordPress Theme
- How much does the Astra theme cost?
- What is Astra Pro Version?
- What page builder can I use with Astra?
- How is Astra charged for Astra Starter Site?
- What kind of support can I expect?
- Is Astra WordPress Theme Worth Buying?
- Astra WordPress Theme Review – Summary
What’s the buzz with Astra Theme?
Astra by Brainstorm Force is one of the only themes in history to have 1,000,000 user sessions while maintaining its average 5-star rating .
It is popular mainly because of 3 main factors:
It is extremely light : Astra loads in less than half a second and maintains navigation and page speed even when you grow your website.
It’s amazingly customizable : Unlike other quick themes available, Astra still maintains its customization features. Usually, if you want a fast website, you have to give up aesthetics for an ugly one, but Astra solves this problem. Although it is lightweight, it almost feels like Divi or Avada.
Fast Website Response Time – Most agency owners opt for Astra because of its speed. And no, this does not mean that it is charging time. It is how fast you can have your website. Astra Websites or Astra Premade Sites allow you to create a custom website in a matter of hours with little to no headaches.
You don’t even have to upgrade to the paid version of the Astra pro theme to be able to create a gorgeous custom website. That said, to upgrade to the premium version, all you need to do is purchase Astra’s pro plugin. This is a plugin that allows you to access the premium models of the theme.
What about Brainstorm Force?
Brainstorm Force the company behind Astra – do they have a good reputation?
The brand is a web development company based in India. They consist of a group of professional WordPress developers who have created several other plugins besides Astra.
Some of the popular Brainstorm Force plugins are Ultimate Plugins for Elementor and Ultimate Plugins for Beaver Builder . Developers of this brand have also worked on Beaver Builder.
They amplify the capabilities of the mentioned page builders by including new custom widgets (header/footer widgets for example), elements, templates or blocks.
The Brainstorm Force team is also behind the well-known ultimate Gutenberg plugins that change the Gutenberg Editor into what can be called a small native WordPress page builder. Includes advanced custom blocks with additional capabilities and features.
In short, the makers of Astra WordPress theme have been around for some time; They are reputable and trusted vendors with numerous successful products tied to their name.
What does the Astra WordPress theme offer?
Astra WordPress theme offers users many capabilities, which we will see in a moment, but before we dive into the features, let’s have a general understanding of what this theme can offer:
1.Developed with compatibility with Page Builder
Astra was developed with built-in page builder support from the ground up. Most of their starter websites are built with beaver builder or Elementor, which are two of the most popular page builders.
The theme is extremely compatible with page builders and this makes it a great option as well as suitable for busy developers or agencies with amateur experience.
2. Astra Starter Websites
Your Astra theme will come with a tag-along plugin called Astra Starter Sites. As soon as your theme is successfully installed and activated, you’ll gain access to over 180 pre-built website templates, many of which are free. And what makes this so amazing is that they are not just single page templates, but fully functional websites that have the essential plugins, features and pages bundled together in one package.
3 .Categorized Page Builder for Starter Sites:
All Astra Starter sites are categorized based on page builder like Elementor,Brizy, and Beaver. There are different templates made with Brizy, Beaver Builder, and Elementor. Gutenberg Block starter sites are also available.
4.Easy Customization Options and Features
As we saw above, Astra is deeply customizable without losing speed. This is one of the main reasons Astra became so popular and preferred. You can create a huge website complete with images, posts, custom layouts, drag and drop features, and experience less than a second load time. That is extremely difficult to beat.
In the paid (pro) version, extended customization features handle all elements of your platform. You can change website layout options, set custom typography, etc. from anywhere on your website.
Even with the free Astra version, you have a wide variety of customization options and this makes the theme one of, if not, the most generous free WordPress site builder themes available.
5. Version improvements
The Brainstorm Force team since Astra version 2.0 has redesigned the customizer to be perfect for customizing and designing your website. Its usability and performance have improved dramatically and we’ll get to more of this in a moment
Astra developers claim that the size of the WordPress theme is less than 50 KB and this makes it extremely fast. The theme loads in about 0.5 seconds with standard WordPress data.
Astra WordPress Theme – Deep Dive Features
Now that we have an overview of what the Astra WordPress theme is, in this section, we will dive deeper into its capabilities and features.
1. Fast charging speed
One of the main reasons why Astra loads extremely fast (most of the time less than 0.5 seconds ) is that the theme doesn’t use jQuery. That said, the speed of your finished website depends on other factors, such as the plugins used, as well as your choice of hosting. Astra even gives you the ability to search for Google Fonts on your website and then store them on your server locally. The result of this is that it will improve your Core Web Vital Score and font loading speed as well.
The reason this works is that every time you use Google Fonts on your website, it requires a request to be sent to Google to search for that particular font every time a post or page loads. The impact of this on your CLS points with respect to Core Web Vitals is detrimental.
To help this situation the Astra Theme comes with a built-in Self-Google Font feature. All the user needs to do to enable this feature is one click. Upon activation, this feature sends only one Google Font API request that collects all font data and asset files from Google and stores it locally on your server.
All future requests will have the Google fonts loaded through the locally stored files. You also have the option to preload local fonts as well with one click. Normally your browser would have to wait to load a font file and this causes an issue where the browser is set to load the text of the website, but has to wait for the font file to download first because it isn’t ready yet. available. This causes your website page to load slowly and ends in poor user experience.
However, with the preloaded fronts feature in Astra you can tell the browser to import your fonts earlier, which means that the fonts are ready to display the moment the browser starts painting your text. The result is a tremendous impact on the speed and performance of a website. And all you have to do to enable this feature is to click the ” Preload local fonts ” setting.
2. Well coded
When trying to create a website, even if you decide to use a page builder to develop a major part of your website, it is good practice to use a well coded theme as your structure or backbone.
Astra is based on the Automattic underline theme, which is the foundation for most recent WordPress parent themes. This means that you can be sure that the code in this topic is planned in a logical and orderly way.
Because it is derived from underscores, Astra has most of the features that an accessibility-ready theme has, except for a few. For example, navigation links on the use of the keyboard, as well as underlined links in the main content. On the other hand, Astra offers keyboard accessible submenus and the user can also use navigation paths for smooth navigation.
This theme also offers numerous thematic links capable of benefiting developers who intend to include their content. Plus, Astra supports schema markup, which helps the SEO of your website.
3.Astra Quality documentation
It is extremely frustrating when you start with a new theme only to find out that there is a struggle to create your website due to poor theme documentation. Astra luckily offers a different case because of their knowledge base , that’s extremely comprehensive.
Many of the articles in Astra’s knowledge base include video tutorials and some have annotated screenshots. This is crucial and helpful for theme users as it ensures that you properly use the necessary features and get all the benefits the theme has to offer.
There’s even a whole section on Astra documentation on how to help you get Astra looking how you want it to appear via custom snippets that can be added to your website.
4. Astra Starter Sites
A primary way that Astra rises above its competitors is that it offers a large library of pre-built templates that are used by different page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy, or Gutenberg.
Starting your website development process using Astra Starter Sites saves you the stress of brainstorming about creating complex designs. He needs to change the images and content on the demo sites, but even with that, he can still create a professional-looking website in a quick period of time.
Imports are smooth and fast with all the necessary plugins automatically installed and activated. One great feature in this line that stands out is that you can import an entire website on the fly instead of a single page, which is the normal practice with other themes. This saves you hours and hours on WordPress.
Another great feature is that after installing a starter website via the Astra Starter Templates plugin you have automatic access to the entire Pixabay library, directly from your media library. This saves you time spent finding stock images for your website.
4. Deep customization
Astra has a customizer that offers users a lot of options. For example, you can change the main theme colors, change the layout of posts and pages, use Google Fonts, and much more. There are even header, sidebar, and footer widget customization options.
There are so many themes that only allow you to upload your brand logo and that’s it. Luckily, Astra goes way beyond that. You can include your logo to the right or left of the main menu, as well as center it just above the menu. Astra also allows you to change the width of your logo and upload different versions for mobile or retina screens.
Another major issue with most of the other themes that Astra addresses is that they make footer customization extremely difficult. Astra on the other hand, offers footer bar configurations, which allow you to have one foot or two foot bar sections. And each section can contain a widget or a footer or text menu. Fortunately, the Astra developers included a shortcode for the current year.
Then there is the transparent header that Astra offered as a free feature. This allows you to have your background image stretched in the header area of the website. And you can also apply a custom color and transparency to your header. You can even customize the mobile menu. There is also the option to change the breakpoint where the menu appears on your mobile device.
5. Popular Plugin Integrations
Astra developers have made sure that the theme is compatible with the most popular plugins. As already said in this Astra WordPress review the theme works extremely well with most of the page builders. And Astra theme has a right sidebar by default, but it can be customized and removed to ensure a full-width layout on your pages and other types of content or even the entire website.
With that being said, if you’re building an eCommerce website, Astra is a great option to use for your online store. For example, the Astra theme is built on the WooCommerce defaults to give you more control over your product pages and the overall look and feel of your store. Also, if you only have downloadable products, the theme is compatible with the “Easy Digital Downloads” plugin as well.
Even for those building a website in the E-Learning space, Astra seamlessly integrates with LMS plugins and LearnDash.
Astra Extension with Plugins
In Astra’s options page, you’ll find that it states that the theme can be extended with free plugins. Currently there are a total of 12 plugins listed.
All plugins listed are developed by Brainstorm Force, the creators of Astra except for the Unlist Posts and Pages plugin which was created by Nikhil Chavan.
5 of the available free plugins were created just for Astra WordPress Theme. That said, while there is a great argument for including this additional functionality in the main theme, it is appreciated that it is a separate feature as it helps keep Astra’s main version light.
Then there is the Astro Bulk Edit plugin. This plugin helps reduce the amount of time it takes to make adjustments to metadata settings such as sidebar position and page title for each page on your website. This allows you to apply such changes to hundreds of pages simultaneously if you wish.
Another plugin to extend Astra capabilities is the Astra Reset Customizer plugin. This plugin includes a “reset all settings” option in your theme customizer. It is a very useful plugin although it is quite surprising that it has not been integrated directly into Astra theme customizer.
There are so many other free plugins that can extend your Astra theme capabilities, for example, Templator is a great new plugin that allows you to save your website pages and templates in the cloud. This means that you can export them at any time to any website. Or the search for the customizer plugin which, once activated, replaces the search bar in the WordPress theme customizer to help you find options faster.
These available plugins help make the process of creating your website with the Astra theme much easier.
Astra WordPress Theme Pricing Plans
Astra WordPress theme free version has enough features to build a professional level website, without having to upgrade. But it has certain limitations that make it the ideal option for large companies. So if you intend to scale, you may need to upgrade to a paid plan.
However, before we get into the details of Astra WordPress theme pricing it is crucial for you to understand the following concepts:
Lifetime and annual licenses do not differ significantly over the term of the license. No functionality, bonus or feature is exclusive to any type of license.. No functionality, bonus or feature is exclusive to any type of license. That said, it is not good practice to pay annually as a business. Because as a business, opting for the lifetime subscription will save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in the long run and you won’t have to deal with renewal headaches.
With that out of the way, here are their pricing plans:
- Pro plan costs $59 annually and $249 for life.
- The Essential Package plan costs $169 annually and $499 for life.
- The Growth Pack plan costs $249 annually and $699 for life.
As you upgrade to higher plans, it becomes more necessary to use lifetime access. But if you opt for the annual payment you have a 20% discount on all your future renewals. For example, if your company opts for the lifetime rate on Astra the agency package plan instead of annual, you will save cash in about 2.5 years. So if you intend to stay in business for more than 2.5 years, you can save $249 annually for each year after that.
Is Astra Is it worth upgrading to the Pro plan?
Absolutely. You’ll unlock amazing value when you upgrade to Astra Paid WordPress Theme Plans, especially the white-label service and additional starter templates available.
With the white-label service, you can create custom websites for your clients in a matter of hours and then upload them just like you did custom from scratch.
That said, at the beginning of this section we mentioned that the free version works very well, but the difference becomes clear as you upgrade.
You get access to enhanced and additional controls, additional site layout, additional headers, custom blog layout for bloggers, updated WooCommerce functionality, unlimited typography and colors.
This makes this an obvious choice, especially if you have an eCommerce store. It’s like taking a best product and making it even better.
The option to upgrade becomes even clearer when you know that Astra has over 1,000,000 users, but almost all the successful businesses, agencies, and stores that use the theme are not on the free plan.
Finally, the Astra WordPress theme provides the 14-day money-back guarantee if you don’t like the results. There is nothing to lose by choosing the updated versions.
Which Astra Pro Plan is the best?
The Astra Pro package for you depends on your specific requirements as well as your budget. For example, the entry-level package is great if you don’t need additional access to Astra Starter Site Designs or extra Brainstorm Force plugins.
Astra Alternatives WordPress Theme
While this WordPress theme is great, this Astra Theme WordPress review will be incomplete without mentioning a few alternatives to choose from. Some of the great alternatives WordPress theme like Astra are OceanWP and GeneratePress
GeneratePress WordPress Theme
GeneratePress is a worthy competitor to Astra in terms of performance and speed. Both themes offer great features and GeneratePress also features modules that can be disabled or enabled at will.
However, the main point where GeneratePress earns more points is that its free version offers more features than Astra. But all of its premium and paid plans offer the same quality, core features, and results. Then, as far as support is concerned, Astra is a WordPress based theme whereas GeneratePress is built by divi dual developers Astra has its advantages there.
This GeneratePress theme also doesn’t have the same compatibility Astra has with page builders.But With Elementor and Thrive Architect page builder GeneratePress Theme work properly.
Like Astra, , OceanWP is designed with page compatibility in mind. However, this theme seems to be primarily built to be perfectly compatible with Elementor even though it works with all major page builders. It also offers many customization options and features similar to what Astra offers.
However, this theme is a great option primarily for eCommerce stores as it offers many features aimed at boosting cart and product pages.
It also offers a library of pre-built websites, but many of them require premium extensions to look as good as Astra’s options. So Astra wins here.
Frequently Asked Question About Astra Theme
Here are some frequently asked questions about Astra theme:
What is Astra WordPress Theme?
Astra WordPress Theme is a fast-loading and versatile WordPress theme created by Brainstorm Force, a team of developers. It powers over 1 million websites with 5 out of 5 rating scores from users.
How many sites can I use Astra?
You can use Astra and plugins on an unlimited number of sites you own.
Is Astra Free WordPress Theme
Absolutely. The Astra WordPress theme is free. However, there are paid Pro versions that include various premium features not included in the free plan and start at $49.
How much does the Astra theme cost?
Yes, Astra theme is totally free forever. Astra also has a Pro plugin that adds more features. Astra Pro pricing starts at $59 per year (or $249 for life).
What is Astra Pro Version?
Astra Pro is the premium version of the theme and includes a significant number of features like multiple website layouts, sticky headers, new header layouts, custom layouts, premium starter websites, additional color controls, white label service and many more. more features. Astra Pro pricing starts at $59 per year or $249 for life.
What page builder can I use with Astra?
Astra integrates with all major page builder plugins like Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, Elementor, Site Origin, Visual Composer, Thrive Suite and DV.
How is Astra charged for Astra Starter Site?
To load Astra theme starter sites, you need to install the plugin starter sites. Then go to Appearance > Astra Starter Sites . Next, choose the website you want to import. You will be prompted to install specially recommended plugins for the specific plugins startup site. As soon as the recommended plugins are installed, click on Import site to fully import the structure and content of the chosen starter website.
What kind of support can I expect?
You can get helpful help via WordPress.org when using the free version of Astra, or get personalized email support with the purchase of any premium Astra theme.
Is Astra WordPress Theme Worth Buying?
Taking everything we’ve seen in this Astra WordPress website builder review into consideration, the answer is Yes.
Astra is a simple, highly customizable and fast theme that allows anyone to create professional-grade and aesthetically beautiful websites in a couple of hours or less. Even if you have no coding experience or have built a website before. All free.
You can get access to amazing features for free, without any required upgrades or purchases of professional versions for quality functionality.
The Final verdict we can say Astra theme is worth buying.
Astra WordPress Theme Review – Summary
Ultimately, Astra is one of the best versatile WordPress themes on the market right now. It’s also built for SEO and speed. And to top it off, it is one of the most affordable. Because it’s free.
Astra WordPress theme builder comes with the ease of use that all themes should have, so novice site owners can create unique websites without any coding knowledge or technical skills. So, if you’re using the free version of Astra or Astra Pro, it’s worth considering for the next WordPress site you plan to build.