Are you looking for an honest review of the Astra WordPress theme? Are you unsure whether to use Astra on your site? Then, this article will make everything clear for you.
As you might already know, Astra is one of the most popular WordPress themes available on the market. It’s 1+ million active installations and a 4.9/5 average user rating. That’s pretty cool, right?
Well then, does that make it the best theme for WordPress? Is it really a good theme to use?
Here, we’ll answer that! It’s our detailed review of the Astra WordPress theme. We’ll discuss its ease of use, installation, customization, performance, pricing, and lots of other features.
So, let’s start!
A. Astra Theme Overview
The theme offers tons of customizable features that make it possible to design a slick website. Moreover, the modern and elegant look of the theme is guaranteed to attract your visitors.
For a quick and easy set-up, you can find 180+ ready-to-import demo templates. You can choose one of them and apply on your site immediately. Just change some images, texts, and a few minor elements, and your site will be ready to be published in no time.
Moreover, it supports page builder tools brilliantly making it much easier to edit your site with your intuition.
As mentioned before, Astra has a whooping 1 million+ active installations with a 4.9/5-star rating from its users. This popularity and trust from the users show how excellent Astra is for providing its features and services.
This brings us to our next topic i.e. the features of the Astra theme that makes it better than the others.
B. The Key Features of Astra Theme
Astra is a very feature-rich theme. If you just look at its features in the free version, then you’ll find the capabilities that even some premium themes can’t provide. Further, if you have the premium version installed, then you get more of them.
So, here’re some of the remarkable features of Astra.
1. Good Performance
The first thing to know is that Astra is a very lightweight theme that’s proven to improve your website speed and performance. With a faster website, you’ll attract more visitors and enhance the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of your site.
The main reason behind the performance of the Astra theme is its clean and minimal code structure. The developers of Astra don’t use any heavy codes like JQuery. Also, the codes are written and structured in a very optimum way.
For better results in your performance, you can combine the Astra theme with one of the best web hosting services available.
If you want other tips, then you can check out our article on how to speed up your website.
2. Customization Capabilities
Customization capability is something that makes one theme better than the others. And, Astra has lots of customization options that enable you to personalize your site as you want.
In the free version too, the customization features are very generous. Additionally, the premium version has more extended editable options.
After you install the theme, you can see a lot of options in the WordPress customizer. There, you can find all the elements that your theme has editable.
For example, it lets you change the color of the theme, text, links, buttons, etc. to your matching brand color. Also, you can set the fonts and typography with various options that may be ideal for your target audience.
Additionally, you can change the layouts of your posts/ pages, header, footer, menus, and so on. In most themes, it’s difficult to customize your header and footers. But, Astra offers header and footer builders to completely edit them too.
3. Page Builder Compatibility
Page builders are WordPress plugins that offer to create and edit your web pages easily with dragging and dropping. Essentially, it converts your web page elements into draggable grids which you can place in your desired paces.
And, Astra has been built to be compatible with major WordPress page builder plugins that make editing your site very convenient. Some of the page builder plugins that Astra supports are Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Brizy.
Not just the simple integration, it has its own addons for these page builders. For example, you can check Ultimate Addons for Elementor and Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder. Astra works on top of these plugins and hence allows you to create anything you can imagine.
You don’t like using a page builder? No problem! It also has powerful options for the default Gutenberg WordPress editor. You can use their free plugin Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg and design your website.
4. Layout Options
With Astra, you get a handful of options on the site layout. As a result, it becomes easy for showcasing items for different types of information or products in different formats.
The available layouts are:
- Boxed: The boxed layout makes it possible to contrast important sections by displaying them in a box.
- Full Width: With this layout, you can display your site content in the entire screen width.
- Padded: It lets you set margins on the content to provide it some space from others.
- Fluid Layout: With the fluid layout, you can make your site content look good whether you stretch or contact your browser window.
- Spacing Control: It lets you give space and margins to all the elements.
- Default Container: This is the default layout that Astra provides.
Besides, you can choose whether you want to keep the sidebar on your site or not. If you want, you can choose the side you want it.
Header and footer builders are the latest features added in the newest version of Astra i.e. Astra 3.0.
The best thing about the header and footer builders is that they are visual builders. I.e. they let you create and edit by a drag-and-drop interface. With that, you can create professional headers and footers with the builder’s interface and place the elements in any order you like.
In your headers and footers, you can add various elements like texts, widgets, header menu, footer menu, social icons, links, etc. Moreover, changing the look of the header and footer is easy with the available layouts.
Also, you can design a custom header and footer for mobile with different elements and designs.
6. Demo Import
Demo import is an important feature a theme can have. A demo site is simply a premade website template created to showcase the features of a theme. And, good WordPress themes like Astra allow importing such a demo site to any WordPress installation.
With the demo import option, you can easily import the demo data with one click. Then, you can edit the content, change the images, texts, etc. and your site will be ready to publish. Saves a lot of time!
And, Astra is one of the themes that have a huge option on the premade demos. To talk numbers, it has over 180 importable starter templates. Of course, some are free and some are only accessible to premium users.
Since Astra is a multipurpose theme, the starter demos it offers are also for various purposes and niches. Whether you’re looking for creating an eCommerce, membership, portfolio, or business website, Astra has the demo templates for all.
WordPress plugins are the tools that you install on your WordPress site to add certain features. In some cases, WordPress themes don’t work well with those plugins leading to creating difficulties.
In the case of Astra, it has seamless integration with various WordPress plugins. Some of the plugins that it supports well are LifterLMS and LearnDash. Besides, it has deep integration with other popular page builder plugins, which we’ve already talked about.
These are some of the features that you get after installing Astra. Now, let’s go ahead and see how to install Astra.
C. Installing and Customizing Astra
As you might know, Astra has both free and premium versions available. Now, the process involved in installing depends on which version of the theme you want to install.
Anyway, installing both versions of Astra has some simple processes involved.
i. Installing the Astra WordPress Theme
Astra free can be installed directly from your WordPress dashboard with a few clicks. For that, log in to your WordPress site first. Then, go to Appearance > Themes, and click on Add New on the next page.
There, search for Astra, install it, and then activate it.
Installing & Getting Started with Astra Pro
To upgrade Astra to the premium version, you’ll have to install Astra Pro Addon. It’s the premium plugin that adds the features of Astra with which you can perform more site customization.
On the Astra pricing page, you can see different premium plans for Astra Pro Addon. From there, you can purchase any one of the packages you like.
After purchase, go to My Accounts > Downloads from the menu.
This will redirect you to your account on the Brainstorm Force site where you can see your product information and downloads.
From there, you can simply download the Astra Pro Addon plugin to add to your site.
To do that, simply go to your WordPress site’s dashboard. Then go to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin.
After that, upload the zip Astra Pro Addon file, and then click on the Install Now button. After installing, just click on the Activate button to activate the plugin.
After that, you can easily activate additional features that are available with this plugin. Some of them are Color, Typography, Spacing, Blog Pro, Nav Menu, Sticky Header, Custom Layout, etc.
Next, you’ll have to activate your product license in order to receive notifications, updates, and support. To do that, again go to the Brainstorm Force Account page, go to Licenses and copy the license key from there.
Then, head over to your WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Astra Options and paste the license on the right where it says ‘Astra Pro License’ and activate it.
That pretty much sums up installing the Astra WordPress Theme. If you want more details and other ways of installation, then you can check out the article on how to install a WordPress theme.
ii. Customizing the Astra Theme
After installing, you can start customizing Astra right away. To do so, go to Appearance > Customize.
Next, you’ll find all the editable options grouped in menus. Here, we’ll some of the main customizer options.
In the Global tab, you can find settings for
- Typography: Change font type, size, weight, line height, margin, etc.
- Colors: Choose colors for text, theme, link, link hover, headings, backgrounds, etc.
- Container: It’s the screen area where all your site content is present. You can set container width and choose a layout type for blogs, archives, pages, and the overall site.
- Buttons: Set button color, text color, button width, margins, etc.
With header builder, you can build a beautiful header that appears on the top of your site. You can add elements like menus, widgets, plain text, buttons, social buttons, accounts, etc.
You can drag the elements and place them in any order you like. For each element, you can customize basic settings. For example, you can set the icon size, spacing, background, etc. for social media icons.
It lets you set the appearance of your blogs and archives. If you own a blogging website, then managing these settings is essential.
The editable options are available for Blog/ Archive and Single Post. Some are
- Content Width: Set custom width or work with the default width i.e. 1200 PX.
- Post Structure: Show/ hide featured images and Title & Blog Meta. You can also drag their positions.
- Meta: Show or hide things like comments, category, author, published date, author, etc. Also, you can place them in the order you like.
If you want to have a sidebar on your site, then you can configure it from here. You can configure it to appear either on the left or right.
You can also pick the position of your sidebar for pages, posts, and archives differently. Also, you can hide it completely. Additionally, you can set the width of your sidebar.
Similar to header builder, you have a drag-and-drop interface to completely design your footer. You can easily add various elements like HTML text, footer menu, social icons, widgets, copyright, etc.
If you’re not happy with their positions, you can simply drag and place them somewhere else on your footer. You can edit the positions, margins, alignment, layout, etc. of every element separately.
Menus, Widgets, Astra Options & More
Other important customization options are creating and displaying multiple menus, widgets, etc. You can carry out those from their own sections on the Appearance menu.
Moreover, if you go to the Astra Options menu under Appearance, then you’ll see the features only the Astra theme provides.
You can see some more details from our article on how to create a website. There, we have demonstrated all the customization options of Astra Theme specifically.
These are some of the important customizations that you can have on Astra. However, if you don’t want to get in the mess, you can simply import a suitable Astra demo. This brings us to our topic on importing the Astra demo site.
D. Importing Astra Starter Sites
As we’ve said that Astra has a huge library of premade demos. To try and test them on your site, you’ll need to install a free WordPress plugin called Starter Templates.
Login to your WordPress dashboard and go to ‘Plugins>Add New‘. Then, search ‘starter templates’. Once you see it, simply click on the ‘Install Now‘ button. After that, you should also click on the ‘Activate‘ button.
After installing and activating it, you’ll see a new submenu on the Appearance menu named Starter Templates. Just click on it to see the available options.
The starter templates work well with specific page builder plugins. So, on the next page, select the page builder that you want to work with later. Then, you’ll see the available starter templates.
Just click on the one you like and then click on the Import Complete Site button. You can also select and import only some specific pages. Importing the content can take some time. After that, you’ll have it activated on your site.
The demo template will have images, menus, and other items that you’ll need to change. So, go to the WordPress customizer to change your site accordingly.
E. Astra Theme Support
Having support from the developers of the WordPress themes is very essential especially if you’re a beginner. As you know, Astra lets you build an entire website without having to touch any line of code. But, you’ll always have chances of getting confused and having technical difficulties. That’s when the technical support is useful.
Astra offers various modes for providing help and support to its users. The simplest way to find help is to go to the Astra support page and type in your question. The Astra knowledge base contains 300+ articles to help you. According to your query, it’ll show you relevant answers.
If you still need help, then you can submit a ticket. They offer ticket support to both free and paid users, however, more dedicated premium support is available for paid users only. After you submit your queries via a ticket, the support team will get back to you with a solution.
The process might be delayed during weekends but they’ll reply with your answer eventually.
In addition, you can find lots of video tutorials showing every process step-by-step. Just go to YouTube.com and search any query, it’ll show you easy tutorials from the Astra team itself as well as from other marketers.
Next, let’s see the pricing of Astra.
F. Astra Theme Pricing
Astra has both free and premium versions. Even the free version is so jam-packed with features that you can build a beautiful professional website with it.
If you want a premium version, then you’ll get more features. The best part is that it’s very affordable and reasonable for the features it offers.
As you can see on the screenshot above, it has 3 simple pricing plans which are
- Astra Pro: $59 per year
- Mini Agency Bundle: $169 per year
- Agency Bundle: $249 per year
All premium packages have a 14-day money-back guarantee if we wish to discontinue the service.
G. Pros and Cons of Astra Theme
It’s more than clear that Astra is a superb theme and some even claim it to be the best WordPress theme. Along with many advantages, it has some limitations. So, here’re some of the pros and cons of the Astra WordPress theme.
Pros of Astra Theme
- It’s a super-fast WordPress theme.
- It’s compatible with major page builders.
- More than 180 demo sites are available in its gallery.
- A large number of customization options are available.
- The pricing is very affordable.
- It’s updated regularly with bug fixes and new enhancements.
Cons of Astra Theme
- Beginners might feel lost at the start.
- Support is quite slow at weekends.
H. Astra Theme Alternatives
Along with Astra, you can find more brilliant themes that are popular among users. If you’re not satisfied with Astra, then you can go for other options.
So, here are some of the alternatives to Astra.
Divi is a powerful multipurpose WordPress theme that can be used to build websites in various niches. It’s based on Divi builder i.e. the visual drag-and-drop builder with which customizing the site becomes very easy. In addition, it offers hundreds of demo templates to create your site in no time.
In contrast to Astra, Divi is a fully premium theme. Moreover, you’ll have to purchase it as a package of the Divi theme and the Divi builder. Moreover, you’ll have over 40+ website modules like sliders, call to action, forms, testimonials, etc. that you can add according to your need.
Neve is another popular WordPress that focuses on website speed and performance and is built with lightweight codes. Being a multipurpose theme, it can be a fit for eCommerce stores, membership sites, blogs, news sites, and other various niches.
The special feature of Neve is its compatibility with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for speeding up your site on mobile devices as well. In addition, Neve makes your site accessibility-ready, meaning your site becomes accessible for people with special challenges.
OceanWP is a fast and feature-rich WordPress theme capable of building any type of professional website. It offers both free and premium versions that you can choose according to the features you want for your online presence.
If you’re looking to create an online store, then OceanWP has tons of options. Besides, it has support for RTL (Right to Left) language. And, it has good compatibility with many page builders and has special integration with Elementor.
So, these are some of the alternatives you might want to use instead of Astra. If you want to see for yourself, you can install WordPress on your localhost and test them.
That’s the end of our review on the Astra WordPress theme. From this article, we understood that Astra is known best for its page loading speed, customization ability, demo sites, page builder compatibility, and many more.
It’s no doubt that Astra is one of the best WordPress themes that you can build your site on. For these and many other reasons like affordable pricing, help, support, ease of use, etc., we recommend Astra to our readers.
If you have any confusion related to this review of the Astra theme, then you can use the comment box below.
Next, you can read our detailed review on WP Adminify, the powerful WordPress custom dashboard plugin.