Do you need a WordPress theme that is truly multipurpose, loads blazing fast, and comes with all the design elements you could possibly need to create a standout online shop, blog, business, or portfolio? Then Astra is the WordPress theme you need!
Astra Theme Review Summary (Key Points)
In the past, you may have found it hard to find a great theme. After all, there are some amazing multipurpose themes in the market today boasting a heap of features. But the problem is, many of these sacrifices your site’s speed and performance to give you everything you need (plus some).
Until now that is.
Astra is a multipurpose WordPress theme created by Brainstorm Force and is used by 600,000 people and counting. The team behind Astra has been in business for a decade and is made up of passionate developers, designers, writers, and marketers that know what it takes to create products WordPress site owners need and love.
And to prove to you that Astra is worth considering for your website, we’ll start by sharing that it’s part of the top 5 most popular themes in use right now.
But don’t worry, there’s more to this flexible theme than just popularity. And today we’re going to take a look at why this WordPress theme is worth a look and how it can help you meet your goals.
What is Astra?
Astra is a WordPress theme that offers site owners of all kinds a simple, affordable, and easy way to create any type of website. Whether you’re uber professional and want a clean and minimal style or are an artist that oozes creativity and color, Astra has what you need to achieve your goals.
Astra recently crossed 600,000+ active installations with almost 3,200+ five-star ratings on WordPress.org.
Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to get when you use Astra:
- Super fast performance
- Page builder integration
- User-friendly interface
- WooCommerce compatibility
- Accessibility ready
- SEO friendly markup
- Translation and RTL ready
- 100% open source
With so many WordPress themes out there, what makes Astra stand out from the competition?
“Speed – Astra is made for speed. It is the most lightweight theme available in the market and offers unmatched performance. With default WordPress data, Astra loads in less than a half-second even with all modules enabled. It is built for speed and fully optimized for performance. Size – It needs less than 50 KB of resources whereas most of the other WordPress themes require at least 300 KBs. 200+ starter sites – The Astra theme is perfect for someone who’s getting started. Not only can you easily control the look and feel of the site through the settings in the WordPress Customizer; but you can also import a complete starter site for free using the Astra Sites plugin. Easy customization – Without any coding knowledge, anyone can change the design very easily through WordPress customizer. It’s the best theme for popular page builder plugins like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Thrive Architect, Gutenberg & others. Astra Pro comes with the white-label option. This is very helpful for agencies to do their own custom branding. This is an option that’s something that’s rare to see in the pro version of the themes. Code quality – Astra is very well coded and the team behind it is great at support. It also works perfectly with WordPress’ new block editor as well as Beaver Builder and Elementor, so it’s a great option no matter how you build your content. Astra provides professional, one to one support to our customers through the ticketing system.”
Sujay Pawar – Co-founder of Brainstorm Force
Now let’s take a deeper look at all these core features.
Astra’s Best Features
Super Fast Speed and Performance
As one of the most lightweight themes in the market, Astra takes the lead as one of the fastest loading multipurpose themes around. In fact, Astra was designed with speed in mind.
It comes in at 50KB, which is far less than most WordPress themes which hover around the 300KB mark with no site content. Plus, it scores well on speed tests like Pingdom, Google Page Insights, and GTmetrix.
As you can see here, even with some demo content, Astra loads in nearly one second and earns an A on Pingdom:
The developers of Astra also disabled jQuery, which can get in the way of your external speed optimizations. And while using Astra won’t guarantee you the fastest load times on the internet, if you pair it with other speed and performance optimizations, you’ll never have a problem.
Page Builder Integrations
Not only does Astra work well with plenty of WordPress plugins, but it was also designed specifically to work well with page builder plugins like Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, Elementor, Site Origin, Visual Composer, Thrive Architect, and Divi.
In fact, Astra integrates seamlessly with:
- Ultimate Gutenberg Blocks Library: take advantage of the powerful Gutenberg blocks library to customize your site using the WordPress Gutenberg editor. Add things like an information box, buttons, a team section, price list, social share buttons, and even testimonials, all without any code.
- Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder: enjoy 60+ modules, 200+ row sections, and 100+ page templates in the Template Cloud (which is a flagship feature of Astra) to customize your site. Not to mention, you can use the white label feature, which is great for building a reputable agency.
- Ultimate Addons for Elementor: this plugin comes packed with unique Elementor themes and widgets that add the functionality to your site to improve the user experience and boost conversions. It has endless design options, helps you build your site faster, is WooCommerce compatible, and is translation ready.
When using the Astra theme, you can even customize things on a page by page basis if you want to. This is because when Astra is activated, a new settings box in the editor appears (regardless of the page builder you use), giving you the control you need to create a site that represents your brand.
WordPress Customizer and Real-Time Changes
To customize the Astra theme itself, it uses the real-time native WordPress Customizer. The changes you make to your website are seen in the preview panel in real-time, so you always know how your site will render before clicking “Publish”.
And while this may seem like a generic feature, since most WordPress themes provide this type of access, the thing that sets Astra apart from the rest is that there are so many dang customization options available.
For example, you can globally customize things like typography, so your website has a consistent look and feel.
Or, you can change the way your sidebars appear, enable breadcrumbs, or even make changes to single posts in terms of the featured image, title and blog metadata, comments, category, and even author.
In the end, Astra is an adaptable WordPress theme that gives site owners easy ways to make the changes needed to create the perfect website.
Ready to Import Starter Sites
Astra comes with 100+ pre-designed websites to help you build your own site. And to access them all you have to do is install the free Astra Starter Sites plugin.
But before you do that, Astra gives you the option to choose which page builder you’d like to use to build your site. This is a feature not seen in many other themes in the market.
Once you choose a page builder, you’ll have access to the Astra Starter Sites, all of which are broken down into categories like blog, business, and eCommerce to make your search easier.
And if you find a template you like, importing it is as easy as clicking “Import Site”.
Though Astra is made for beginners (meaning, you never have to touch any code), it’s good to know that Astra is also suitable for experienced developers too. There are plenty of hooks and filters for adding site content with ease. Astra is also 100% open source, so if you want to look at theme code, you can on Github.
And just in case a non-developer wants those same kinds of features, there’s always the Astra Hooks plugin for creating unique content and code without having any other technical knowledge.
You can also extend Astra with plugins, there are loads of free plugins on WordPress.org specifically made for Astra that you can use.
Astra: Free vs Pro
Astra is completely free of charge – now and forever. That said, if you want to tap into to exclusive extra features, there is an affordable premium version of the theme that comes with things like:
- Additional import-ready demo sites
- Access to all developer plugins – Schema Pro, Convert Pro, and WP Portfolio
- Extra header customization such as mobile, sticky, and mega menu headers
- Increased typography and color control for the footer, sidebar button, blog, and content sections
- More layout options like masonry, excerpt content, post pagination, and infinite loading
- WooCommerce specific functionality like 2-step checkouts, Ajax carts, quick view, infinite scroll, and more
- Integration with powerful plugins like LearnDash, LifterLMS, and easy Digital Downloads
- One to one email support
So, if you need a little extra, investing in Astra Pro might be the right choice for you.
Astra’s free theme is – free, but what are the major benefits of getting the Astra Pro version?
“The Astra theme is a free WordPress theme with all the necessary features you need to build a website. Whereas, the Astra Pro addon adds more advanced features and functionalities to save you time. With Astra Pro, you will get a variety of site layouts to choose from. You also get better typography, multiple colors & background options, sticky header, multiple blog layouts, unique features in WooCommerce integrations, custom layouts, and much more.”
Sujay Pawar – Co-founder of Brainstorm Force
Plans and Pricing
Astra is free to download from the WordPress Repository. It always has been, and always will be – now and forever.
That said, there are a few premium plans available for those that want Astra Pro:
- Astra Pro ($59): all pro features, 20+ free starter sites, one to one email support, extensive training, unlimited site use
- Mini Agency Bundle ($169): all Astra Pro features plus 60+ free starter sites, WP Portfolio plugin, and the choice between Ultimate Addons for Elementor or Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder
- Agency Bundle ($249): all Mini Agency Bundle features plus 60+ Agency starter sites, all developer plugins, SkillJet Academy, and any future plugins
You’re protected with a 14-day 100% money-back guarantee, just in case you decide Astra (and everything you get with it) aren’t just what you need.
Here’s a roundup of some of the most frequently asked questions about Astra:
- Is the Astra theme free? Yes, the Astra theme is forever-free. There is also an Astra Pro addon which adds more features that start at $59 per year (or $249 for life).
- What page builders can I use with Astra? Astra integrates with all the major page builder plugins like Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, Elementor, Site Origin, Visual Composer, Thrive Architect, and Divi.
- What is Astra Pro addon? Astra Pro ($59 per year or $249 for life) is an addon that provides more features such as sticky headers header designs, multiple website layouts, premium starter sites, custom layouts, typography and colors, white-labeling, and more.
- How many sites can I use Astra on? You can use Astra and plugins on an unlimited number of sites you have.
- What kind of support can I expect? You can get helpful support via the WordPress.org forum when using the free version of Astra, or receive one to one email support with any premium Astra theme purchase.
- Do I have to renew my theme license each year? No, Astra will continue to work after your initial one year purchase. You only need to renew your license each year if you want to continue to receive updates and support.
- Is there a money-back guarantee? There is a 14-day money-back guarantee if you’re at all not satisfied with your purchase.
- Can I use my bundled plugins on sites that don’t use Astra? Yes, you can use our plugins on any site, without or without the Astra theme.
- Which page builder plugins are used with website demos? Elementor, Beaver Builder or Gutenberg are used to create a site using a demo site.
Astra Theme Review – Summary
The Astra WordPress theme builder comes with the ease of use all themes should have, so beginner site owners can create one-of-a-kind websites without having any coding knowledge or technical skills.
And thanks to the pre-built demo starter sites, anyone can have a fully functional website up and running in no time. To make it a more versatile theme, Astra also comes with plenty of built-in developer functionality, which makes it a perfect option for those who like to code or build complex sites for clients.
So, whether you’re using the free version of Astra or Astra Pro, it’s worth considering for the next WordPress site you plan to build.