Astra Theme Review- Is It The Best Theme For Beginners?
Lately, the Astra theme has been highly popular among beginners. Some of you still don’t know about this theme’s facilities, so we have made an Astra theme review.
Astra is one of the fastest-growing and highest rated WordPress themes right now. Any web designer would recommend you to use this theme but does it meet your requirements?
There are many limits in choosing the right theme for you. Some themes might not have the options you want for your dream project. So, we would inform you of every little detail and features Astra WordPress theme that you can use and how they work.
We would also share our user experience of using Astra themes for different sites and review its deepest features. If you have a plan to use Astra pro, then we are also covering its pricings and we would help you buy the ideal plan for you.
What is Astra Theme?
Before reviewing Astra themes features, we want you to know what the Astra theme exactly is! Astra is a free WordPress theme from brainstorm force company. This highly popular theme has more than 1 million users but it still has managed to get a 5-star average rating.
Astra is mainly reliable for these three factors:
- Light Weighted Fast Loading:
Unlike other slow themes, Astra lets you load your site in less than half a seconds. These speeds would still be maintained after you customize further and grow your site.
- Convenient Customization Options:
When you look at other fast WordPress themes, you get disappointed due to their poor customization features. But Astra has maintained both speed and customization options for your site. You would get a lot of magnificent options to customize your site that very few free WordPress themes provide.
- Easy To Use:
Building a custom website is so easy with Astra that you can make a website within hours. Astra has a feature with prefabricated designs called ‘Astra sites’. This will help you choose a website design instantly and make a website within a short time without taking any pressure at all.
Why Should You Choose Astra WordPress Theme?
You would often find WordPress themes with more functionalities than Astra which might change your mind. Before changing your mind, we want you to know that those sites are not built for speed like Astra. Those themes only provide functionalities that are not enough for a website.
If you work for an agency then you must know how many clients complain about the site being slow. No matter how highly you customize your site, if it doesn’t load fast then its bounce rate would increase rapidly. Besides, you would have to do a lot of work if you want to speed up your site after completing all the designs.
You can easily customize a fast theme but you can increase a slow theme’s speed no matter how great they are. So, you should choose Astra themes for their fast development perspectives and conveniently customize options.
Special Features Of Astra Theme
Astra theme elements and features are appreciable. This free WordPress theme provides versatile customizations options and page building features. If you are a beginner who doesn’t know to code then the Astra theme would be the right choice for you as you can customize your site without code.
Now, we are going to review all the incredible features Astra provides. No matter how aesthetic design you want for your site, Astra themes design features, layouts, and fast performance would make it the right choice for you.
Page Builder Compatibility
Astra theme comes with a highly compatible page builder facility. You can easily build your site’s pages as Astra comes with built-in page compatibility. Most of the starter sites of Astra built with Elementor or Beaver. These two builders are the most popular and reliable page builders for both professionals and beginners.
Thus, you can easily build pages for your site without any pressure even if you are a beginner. You won’t have to face any problems with your themes page builder compatibility if you are using Astra. This makes it even more convenient for agencies with busy scheduled orders and beginner website designers
Starter Sites From Astra
Starter sites are pre-built website templates that you can use for your site. Astra comes with a companion plugin called Astra starter sites that offers hundreds of free starter sites. These starter sites would let you easily build a site with ready to go templates.
What makes Astra starter sites special is that it covers entire site functionals with all the essential pages, plugins, and other packages. Some premium starter sites are not free as they offer amusing starter site template designs and premium customizations.
Customization options & Features
Customization and speed are the main factors that made Astra so much popular. You can build a massively designed site with an Astra theme without losing speed.
You can customize your site with many amusing features and make your site massive by including layouts, images, fonts, and still experience Astra themes fastest loading time. After the update, Astra 2.0 version has been completely reworked as the customization options have been made even easier. Usability and performance have also improved as you can now easily change previous designs just like the Astra pro theme.
If you want to use the Astra Pro theme, then you would get extended customizable options. You would be able to change the layouts, fonts, background colors pretty easily. Setting custom typography is also really easy with the Astra pro theme. This means that you can change or customize almost every part of your website.
Since there are lots of customizable options, we don’t want you to miss any part of it. So, we are going to inform you about all the customizable options of Astra with an even deeper explanation. This will help you understand if the Astra theme is good for you or not.
Customize Astra Theme Without Code
As we have informed you before the Astra theme comes with in-built page compatibility. This means that you can customize this theme without writing any code. Writing codes for building a site is a hard task for beginners and it consumes a lot of time. Using the Astra theme makes this task easier and saves a lot of time as you can customize everything with its page builders.
You can mix and match page builders and customization settings according to your choice and comfortably complete all necessary customizations. If you don’t want to use the page builders then you can also customize your site with the default theme. With the default theme, you can still customize colors, typography, layout, and every other element of your site. When using the Astra Pro theme, page builders are not even necessary.
After the Astra 2.0 update, customizing without codes has become even easier. Page builders and customization options have been reorganized for easy accessibility. Now, you can easily find all the necessary options and without more scrolling and clicking. You can also create professional web pages without writing codes if you use Ultimate addons with Astra.
Global Design & Layouts
The global design contains all the necessary design options you need to have for customizing your website. It shows all the global options of your WordPress theme. You can use global settings for configuring typography, color, etc. This means that you won’t have to change your WordPress themes screens to find all the options. Here are the main options you will get in global designs.
The global layout controls the typography settings of your webpage. This setting applies to the typography that you want to use for your entire site. Base typography and headings are both available in this layout.
Base typography offers customization options for the content body such as font size, font-weight, font-variant, etc. You can choose any font you want among the fonts that are available on your device. Headings customization settings let you change the headings’ typography.
Color settings would allow you to change the color of different sections of your site. You would get two color customization options which are base colors and content colors.
Base color redirects to Astra themes default colors. This includes theme color, link color, and hover color. You change these colors with just a click with Astra themes easy options. You can also change your background color and picture background color with base color options.
Contents color options allow you to change the background color. You can also change your contents heading color separately.
Global container settings include container and layout related settings. You can adjust your page’s layout, width, size, and space customization.
Adjusting your page’s space outside the body is also really easy with container settings of the Astra theme. You can adjust site layout from max-width, full width, padded, fluid, and many other options.
With the Astra WordPress theme, placing your site’s buttons according to your will is easy. Global layouts button options contain buttons color, border, and typography settings. You can separately choose different options for different buttons on your site.
- Scroll To Top
Customizing the scroll to top button is often a very confusing task with other WordPress themes. Astra themes global settings have very easy options to build your sites scroll to the top button. You can choose if you want to show it on mobile, desktop, both, or neither. You can place it according to your convenience and add colors and borders with its easy to use options.
- Header Design & Layouts
Astra theme comes with some astonishing header design options. Here are some of the main features for header design that Astra offers:
- Site Identity
Your site’s identity is mainly known by its logo settings and its customization. Astra themes site identity settings provide different layout options for the site’s logo, logo width, size, and icon.
You will also get settings for site tagline, title, and space management. Thus, you can easily create a unique identity motto for your site with the Astra WordPress theme. You can also design them with your chosen colors and formats.
- Primary Header
Primary header options contain settings for the primary header and its layout. You can customize with fonts and colors according to your will and control its spacing.
You would also get settings for primary headers border and width. You will also get an option that allows you to choose between two mobile header layouts which seem impressive.
You can easily choose any layout you want with just a click from the options without any adjustments required.
- Primary Menu
Primary menu layout settings offer some amusing customizations for your site’s main menu. You will get a lot of options to set your main menu color customization.
Main menu typography options are also located in this section. Main menu space management is also really easy with these options. You can choose from a lot of menu styles and select your preferred toggle color.
- Above Header
Abode header options would let you customize two different sections of content with different customizations. You can add a call to action or social media buttons with the above header options. It has two layout options which are layout 1 and layout 2.
Layout 1 allows you to display two different sections on the left and right side just as you want. Layout 2 will allow you to show only one section above the header or at the center. You can separately customize these sections with layout, size, width, border, and color options.
- Below Header
The below header is also available just like the above header. This works the same way as the above header but its contents are shown right under the primary header.
- Sticky Header
Sticky header settings are a great feature of the Astra theme. It is a great option that allows your site’s primary header to be visible even if the viewer scrolls down. This task looks admirable and tough but Astra 2.0 theme has made sticky header customization very easy and accessible.
You will get different settings to place your sticky header and manage its space. You can also design the sticky header differently from the primary header and choose different colors.
- Transparent Header
Making your website’s header transparent is also an easy task with Astra themes transparent header. You can create many beautiful headers and use them as your site’s transparent headers with this option. There are easily accessible options for color and layout customization of this header. Typography and alternate logos for your transparent header can also be customized in this section.
Sidebar & Footer Designs
There are two different sections for sidebar and footer customizations. Let’s get to know in detail about them in this Astra theme review.
Astra themes footer design options are found in the footer section. This section includes footer widgets and footer bar options. You will get 7 different options of footer layout to choose from. All of these layouts are free and you can easily use them just by clicking their face buttons.
When you select your desired footer layout, you can also customize its additional appearance. You can change its width, padding, colors, and border sizes from vast options. Just like header options, you will also get background color and typography customization options for the footer layout.
There are two types of layouts available for footer bars. You can choose from any of these two layouts. After choosing one layout, you will find additional settings for that layout. However, footer widget settings and layout options are decorated just like the footer bars.
Just like the page header, the footer bar can also display two different sections on the left and right sides. You can also customize both sections separately. You can display a custom menu, widget, or text individually on each side.
Individual settings and options for customizing size, width, font, color, and styles are also available for footer design. Space management, typography, content backgrounds can also be individually designed.
You might need different sidebars for each section of your page’s contents as you scroll down. Astra has added options for adding sidebars and customizing them accordingly on the left side, right side, and even no sidebar at all.
You will be able to set individual sidebars for posts, pages, blogs, and post archives. Each sidebar would come with separate customization options such as size, color, background, and typography.
Astra Theme Responsive Options
Almost all of the customizations you can have from the Astra theme comes with an incredible responsive system. This responsive option defines how your webpage layouts would appear on different devices. The difference between typography and color is the most common customization in this section.
Many beginners still don’t understand how responsive options work. It means that you can use a red page header for desktops and a white page header for mobiles. For each header and section, you will have separate options for customizing responsive options. You can also optimize different imageries for different types of devices.
Customizing fonts and border sizes for different responsive options is also really easy with Astra themes. Depending on the device’s screen size, you can also change your site’s padding and width very easily.
Blog Design & Layouts
Blogs are very important parts of a site that should be customized properly. If your WordPress theme doesn’t have the ability to customize a blog properly then it’s of no use. Astra theme provides a wide range of designs and customization options for blogs.
Astra theme has two different options for blogs. These two options are for single posts and blog/archives. Blog and archive options come with layout designs, color options, and size adjustments of your blog posts. You can customize blogs on different pages with different options. You can change the blog’s background colors, typography, and many more with just a few clicks.
The single posts blog option is for single posts that only need one page’s customization. Single posts layout options also have the same features just like blog posts. You can manage its spacing accordingly to look well structured on your site and also design them as you want.
Customizing blog posts were really tough previously. After the Astra 2.0 update, it has made blog customizations so much easier and accessible for everyone. Now, you can easily customize any part of a blog or single post very easily within a very short time.
Free Add-Ons From Astra -
Astra theme comes with 9 free add-ons. This is absolutely a great offer as these add-ons are rarely seen in free WordPress themes. Here are the 9 free add-ons you will get:
1. Import/Export Customizer
This add-on feature allows you to import customization settings from other sites. You can also export other sites’ settings. This helps a lot if you are working in an agency for building sites.
2. Astra Customizer Reset
Astra customizer reset add-on function allows you to mess around on your site and reset everything back to normal. This add-on is mostly used for test sites.
3. Astra Bulk Edit
Astra bulk edit feature is used for editing meta settings. You can edit mass-sized pages or multiple pages together such as: disabling or enabling titles for multiple pages.
4. Astra Widgets
Astra widgets add-on has three widgets that are often needed. These widgets are address, list icon, and social profiles which are often required to customize your site.
5. Custom Fonts
Custom font add-on allows you to add your fonts on the Astra theme. You can use any font that is supported on your device with this font( This only works with a few plugins and themes).
6. Customizer Search
Customizer search would help you to find the customizer option you are looking for with its search bar. This add-on is added as beginners can hardly find the options they need.
7. Custom Typekit Fonts
Custom Typekit font add-on is similar to Astra custom fonts. This one uses adobe for fonts instead of device fonts. Custom Typekit font also supports a very few similar plugins and themes.
8. Slidebar Manager
Sidebar Manager allows you to manage different sidebars with different customizations altogether. It can display different themes with management settings.
9. Ultimate Add-ons For Gutenberg
Ultimate add-ons for Gutenberg are used for adding new blocks in Gutenberg. These new blocks are very much powerful.
Astra Theme Free Vs Pro
Asking if Astra’s pro theme is better than the free one is just foolishness. Astra WordPress theme free version might be convenient. But once you start using the Astra pro version, you will regret why you haven’t used it earlier. Astra pro theme adds some incredible features that are not available on the free version which are worth its value.
If you want to design a website, Astra’s free WordPress theme is enough. But using the Astra Pro theme gives more advanced tools, unlimited color options, typography, and upgraded Woocommerce. You will also get some additional site layouts that are advanced in all terms. The Astra Pro version also has a faster site loading speed than the Astra free version.
You would get upgraded templates with Astra pro theme along with ‘white label’ service. This service lets you make websites for customers within hours and bill them as you want.
Which Astra Pro Package Is Right For You?
There are three different Astra pro theme packages available that can get you confused. If you think that you are going to use Astra pro themes for your site only then you can go for the Astra pro annual or lifetime package. This package is more than enough for customizing all parts of your site.
You can get the mini agency bundle if you want to try working on making websites for others and getting paid. This has all the Astra pro features along with WP portfolio plugins.
However, there is an agency package that has even more pro features such as pro plugins, ultimate addons, and Astra theme elements. You can get this package if you want to work professionally for building sites within a short time. We would suggest you take the annual packages from all three bundles as they would start saving your money after 2.5 years.
Performance Of Astra WordPress Theme
If you want to know how an amazing Astra theme performs, there is no better way than using it. However, we still want to share some amusing performance statistics from our user experience. Astra themes developers claim that its themes sizes are less than 50 kb which are small-sized.
These small-sized pages load within half a seconds as claimed. A highly customized site at such a small-sized file is excellent. You can customize your webpage with high-end customizations but it would still loaf within half seconds which is magnificent.
We are going to test Astra themes performance in different modes and show you how it performed. If you are thinking about going for Astra pro theme then you can also look at the following statistics of Astra pro these test:
Default Astra Theme Test
As the default Astra theme, we have used the Astra 2.0 free theme to test its performance. We have installed a few pages, starter sites and activated a few plugins before testing. We were amused to see that the page size was just as they claimed. It was a little less than 40 kb which is fascinating.
The page loading speed we observed was not half a seconds but a little more than that. When we tested the same procedure once again with high-quality hosting, Astra 2.0 theme performed perfectly and the page loading time was exactly around half seconds.
Default Astra Theme Test ( With Modules Activated)
If you want to know how default Astra themes would perform in a real scenario then this test will say it all. We are going to activate the majority of modules before loading a page and see the results. We have installed a few starter sites and add-ons along with starter templates.
After activating the majority of modules, Astra themes performance was a- grade with 76 points. It had to load a page around 5 MB and it did perform quite powerfully. Astra 2.0 theme loaded this 5 MB page within a second. Its speed was 918 ms.
However, Astra themes claim of storing pages within 40 kb and loading within half seconds was not seen with this performance. Though, the speed was enough as it loaded a 5 MB page within a second.
When we did the same test with the Astra themes older version, the result was 1.6 seconds. This shows how much the Astra theme has advanced after the 2.0 update.
Astra Pro Theme Test ( With Modules Activated)
While testing the Astra pro theme, we understood that it had further better storage efficiency. Despite having some advanced layouts and settings, the default Astra pro theme could still keep the page size under 100 kb. We performed this test after activating almost all modules and elements.
Astra pro theme loaded all the pages within 600 ms which is close to half seconds even though the pages were somehow bigger. We appreciate how great it performed with a performance grade of 84.
Testing the older version of Astra pro was dissatisfaction as it performed similarly to the latest free Astra theme. There is no way you should ever consider the older version of the Astra theme even if you get the pro version for free.
frequently asked questions
Astra is comparably one of the fastest WordPress themes with amazing customizing features and settings.
The Elementor is one of the high-end features of Astra availing the users a superior page builder function with other advanced options for a unique website.
Precisely, you can easily use the Elementor with any other WordPress themes you got other than Astra.
Yes, you can use some of the additional and essential plugins of Astra without purchasing the Astra Pro. However, to get access to all the plugin modules you must buy the Astra Pro version.
Astra Pro is the premium version of the WordPress theme, Astra. Well, the Astra is available for free as well and that is the Astra Core version.
Final Words on Astra Theme Review
We have illustrated the Astra theme review with all the necessary information you might need. Along with the Astra theme demo, we have also shown its performance test so that you don’t have to think twice.
After using and observing Astra WordPress themes, we can surely tell you that it is one of the best WordPress themes you can use. Astra 2.0 free version and Astra pro are both perfect on their terms. You can go for any of them depending on your requirements.