Astra Theme Review
Updated · Aug 03, 2022
Best for: Astra Theme is best for all kinds of WordPress users.
What Is Astra
Astra is a very powerful and customizable WordPress theme. It’s flexible and lets you build various types of websites.
Astra is multi-purpose that anyone can use to make a beautiful website. It’s the third most popular theme on WordPress, which powers around one-third of the world’s websites. Over one million people have downloaded Astra, implying that the WP community loves it.
What makes Astra popular? What are its features? Is it a good fit for me? Our Astra theme review will walk you through the answers to these questions. Firstly, let’s look at Astra's many features that make it so prevalent.
Here's what Astra has in store:
Astra Mega Menu
Astra lets you include a mega menu on your WordPress website. This is an expandable menu that displays many links in a two-dimensional dropdown layout. It’s the ideal design choice when your website has multiple pages you want to highlight for visitors. Basically, letting you fit your entire navigation into a single menu.
Astra Sticky Header
Astra lets you place a sticky header on your website. They let you keep the header in the same place while your visitors scroll through. It’s an excellent way to ensure they never get lost or run into a lack of options while on your site.
Astra Custom Layouts
Astra Custom Layouts is a module they offer that lets you customize your website’s look extensively. You can create a custom header, footer, 404 not found pages, etc. This feature also allows you to insert custom content and code.
Customizing your site the right way helps you look professional and makes visitors take you seriously. Professionalism often leads to good business.
Elementor is a prevalent WordPress page builder. Astra is compatible with it, so you can build beautiful pages by combining both tools. Together, they help you control every aspect of the looks and layout of your website.
This feature is valuable if you’re a capable designer. The extensive customizability lets you build websites to the best of your ability.
This plugin upgrades the Astra theme’s capabilities and adds more features. It comes with extra add-ons that you can activate or deactivate to match your needs. Hence, you can select the ones you wish to keep and switch off the rest.
Note that this feature is only available for Astra Pro users, not the free version.
Astra Hooks is a feature that lets you add extra functionality in various areas within the Astra theme. It does that by connecting to the WordPress Hooks API, hence its name. It’s your ideal tool if you have adequate programming skills to add certain features.
Astra has many features for WooCommerce, the foremost e-commerce plugin for WordPress users, powering over 4 million websites. They include:
Loads all your products on a single page infinitely as users scroll down. It’s a clever navigation tool to keep your users searching for more products to buy.
This feature lets your visitors glance at a product without opening a new page.
You can display all your products in a gallery on your Shop page.
A dropdown cart lets users quickly see the products they have added to their cart or edit their order.
Sales Bubble Style
You can display sales bubbles on your products to motivate visitors to buy.
These WooCommerce features are only available on the Astra Pro theme, not the free tier.
This plugin lets you create and add widgets to any part of your website. They allow you to add different functionality to your site without writing a line of code. Typical widgets include social links, business icons, trust badges, and customer reviews.
Astra is optimized for speed and performance. The team behind the Astra WP theme built it to be as lightweight as possible and require fewer computing resources to run. Hence, it ensures faster load times, taking less than 0.5 seconds to load in most cases.
Astra gives you complete control over the typography of your website. Its typography features include:
There’s a broad range of preset fonts readily available to choose from.
If you aren’t satisfied with the preset fonts, you can import and use any custom ones.
Astra lets you pick from 700+ Google Fonts to ensure you get the typography you desire.
Responsive Font Size
Astra lets you control your typography size according to the device a website visitor will view it on. For example, you can select smaller font sizes for mobile devices since they’re easier to read than on desktops.
Paragraph Margin Option
Astra allows you to manage the spacing between paragraphs.
Astra lets you manage your website’s text transform options. Usually, you’ll need CSS codes to do this, but Astra enables you to do it visually.
You should know that Astra starter themes have limited typography features, while Astra pro themes have all full features.
Astra provides a diverse range of pre-built web templates to select from. You can import them from its library instead of designing a new one from scratch. Many are available with the Astra free tier, while some are dedicated Astra Pro templates. The Pro ones usually have the best features and are ideal for most users.
Altogether, there are over 180 templates available. They include blog and e-commerce templates, landing pages, and more.
Colors & Background
You can manage the colors & background for different sections of your website. You can also customize it for different types of content.
Astra provides many tools to control your website’s design. Such as:
Global Color Palette
You can build your vibrant color pallette and control them across your website from one place.
You can display your website logo in your header in whichever position, either on the left, right, or center portion. You can also use the Astra sticky header here.
Logo placement is an essential aspect of website design.
Mobile Header Designs
You can adjust your header designs for mobile devices. For example, you can add breakpoints or display a hamburger menu for mobile users.
You can also add dynamic content to your site’s footer.
You can display content on your website just as you do with Facebook or Instagram Stories. This tool helps you display interactive content for your customers.
There are many prebuilt button designs you can use.
Astra offers integrations with some external tools to help you build an attractive website. These include:
The Schema Markup is the official language of search engines. It’s the code you place on your website to help search engines better understand your content. In this internet era, search engines are one of the most common traffic sources. Hence, it’s necessary to pay attention to search engine optimization.
Astra's Schema Markup integration helps search engines understand your website better and rank it well. This tool is essential when using Astra blog templates to highly rank your blog and generate traffic. The theme comes with inbuilt schema markups, making it SEO-friendly.
LifterLMS is a popular WordPress learning management plugin that lets you create and manage online courses. It integrates seamlessly with Astra themes to build a beautiful and distraction-free online course website.
LearnDash is another famous learning management plugin for WordPress. Astra integrates seamlessly with it to enable you to build user-friendly and attractive websites to offer online courses.
Toolset is a plugin that lets you create advanced WordPress websites with minimal programming work. Astra integrates with it to help you build WP sites with advanced features and beautiful design. Examples of things you do by combining both tools include;
- Custom searches
- Forms for submitting content and registering users
- Control access to your content through memberships
Toolset + Astra Hooks let you customize your website extensively.
Native AMP support
Astra themes have built-in support for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP is an open-source HTML framework optimized for mobile browsing and intended to help web pages load faster. Enabling it helps your site rank higher on search engines.
How To Use Astra Theme
Installing Astra Theme
The first step to using Astra is to install it. Like any other WordPress theme, you can install it through your dashboard. To do that, follow these steps:
- Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
- Go to Appearance > Themes > Add New
- Search for ‘Astra’
- Install Astra
- Activate it
Sometimes, installing the Astra theme through the WordPress dashboard might be challenging. If this means you, install it manually like so:
- Download Astra theme’s zip file from WordPress repository
- Unzip the downloaded file
- Open your site via File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
- From FTP, visit the root of your WP site
- Now visit wp-content folder > themes
- Upload the unzipped file from step 2
After installation, it’s time to build an attractive, functional website. The next step is to select the template you’ll model your site after. Astra has over 100 Starter Templates available to all users, although some are reserved for paid (Astra Pro) users only. The Astra Pro templates have the best look and feel.
Astra Child Theme
As the name suggests, it’s a sub-theme of the Parent. Your Astra theme is the parent which holds all the functionality and features of your site. You can picture the child as the outer layer around your parent theme (Astra), storing all your customizations.
It’s not mandatory to have an Astra child theme to create your website, but it helps customization. We recommend installing both of them at the very beginning.
Switching to Astra Theme
You may have a WordPress site already running with another theme but want to change it. Astra lets you do that easily. It has a “Bulk Edit” feature that enables you to update the meta settings of your posts and webpages in bulk. There’s no need to edit individual pages to be compatible with your new Astra theme.
If you built your site with a website builder like Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Gutenberg, it’s even better because Astra is already integrated with them. You’ll need a few edits and customization, and your site is good to go with Astra themes.
Ease of use
Using the Astra theme is easy. It’s quick and straightforward to install, set up, and customize to build enticing web pages. However, there’s a significant learning curve if you want to customize your site extensively. For example, you’ll need adequate programming knowledge to add extra functionality to your site with the Astra Hooks feature.
Astra provides 24/7 customer support through email. Free users can access customer support, but Astra prioritizes paid users. Astra has two support options; Premium Support and VIP Care. Premium support guarantees a response within a day while VIP care takes your issue higher up the queue. With VIP Care, you could get an answer within minutes.
Also, Astra has an online knowledge base and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for solutions to common problems.
If you check many Astra theme reviews, you’ll see that excellent customer service is a recurring highlight. The company scores very high in this criteria.
Astra Free vs. Pro
The pro tier lets you do many things you can’t do with the free version. There are many distinctions between the free Astra theme and Astra Pro theme, especially regarding features. Also, while the free and pro versions share some things, they’re often limited for the free tier. Hence, it’s ideal to pay for Pro to make the most of it.
Some features available on Pro but not the free version include:
24/7 Premium Support
With Astra Pro, you have access to customer support at all times. The company prioritizes your inquiries over that of free users.
Astra Pro lets you white-label your theme and hide that Astra developed it. Doing so makes you look more professional than the free tier with Astra branding.
The Astra Hooks feature that lets you add custom code to sections is only for Pro users. It means that free users can’t customize their websites.
Astra Blog Templates
Only paid users can access Astra blog templates and tools.
Without paying for Astra Pro, you can’t set up an online store with the WooCommerce plugin. In other words, you’re missing out on arguably the best Astra feature.
With these differences in mind, you can see why paying for Astra Pro is the best option.
Astra Theme Pricing
Astra’s pricing plans are a bit unique. You either pay for an annual license and renew it every year or invest a sizable sum for a lifetime license.
Annual $49/Lifetime $239
This plan grants you access to a wide range of Astra features.
Annual $169/Lifetime $499
This tier includes all Astra Pro features plus 180+ premium templates, a WordPress portfolio plugin, and a page builder addon.
If you can afford it, you should choose the lifetime license. It’s a steal compared to paying for the annual plan and renewing it every year.
We’ve provided a rundown of Astra’s features, pros and cons, pricing, customer service, and other factors. The final decision is yours, but on our end, we can tell you that Astra is an excellent choice. Hardly any other theme comes close to it in terms of functionality, versatility, and customizability.
The team behind Astra has done an outstanding job building a versatile WordPress theme. There are many Astra theme templates to pick from to build a site. You can use it for all varieties of websites, e.g., online store, school, SaaS landing page, etc.
Astra Hooks lets you add functionality through code. If you have features you wish to add, but they aren’t available, this tool can help. Likewise, Astra design tools let you build a beautiful and functional website. In short, Astra has a vast selection of features to serve every WordPress user.
However, you should note that the Astra theme isn’t a one-stop solution to build the perfect WP site. There are many other factors involved. For example, you need to pick the right web hosting provider. No matter how beautiful or functional your site is, it’s useless if it’s not accessible when needed. The good thing is that many web hosting options are available for WordPress. Some standard hosting providers are WP Engine, Kinsta, and SiteGround.
Another critical factor to pay attention to is the page builder you pair with Astra. The theme works best with page builders that it’s already integrated with, for example, Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, and Elementor. Some page builders may not be compatible with Astra, and you should avoid them.
Astra has many advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include being extremely fast, highly customizable, and excellent customer support. One can not overstate the benefits of having a super-fast website. Visitors are impatient, and slow sites drive them away. You should continually optimize your site to be as fast as possible, and Astra helps you do this.
On the other hand, Astra’s disadvantages mainly stem from its pricing plans. Unfortunately, using its free tier will leave you significantly limited compared to the paid option. For example, over 180 Astra themes are on the paid version and only around 100 on the free one.
In many Astra theme reviews, you’ll always notice pricing as a significant drawback. Astra’s pricing plans start reasonably but are pretty high on the other end. For example, the lifetime license for a Growth Bundle costs $699, which is a significant investment for a theme.
You may also find Astra confusing as a new user. The company provides technical support and an adequate knowledge base for such people. If it proves too difficult, you could hire an expert web designer to help you.
We hope our Astra Theme review has been helpful.
Is Astra a good theme?
Yes, It is. It’s flexible, lightweight, and very customizable. It has many features to make your WordPress site exquisite and professional.
Is the Astra theme free?
No, it’s freemium. There’s a free version, but it has limited functionality. You’ll have to pay to access its full features.
Is Astra SEO-friendly?
Yes, it is. Astra has many in-built tools for search engine optimization.
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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