Astra WordPress Theme Review
You may have heard in regards to the Astra WordPress theme, however you’re not sure whether or not it’s the appropriate are compatible on your subsequent WordPress website online. This mighty theme has garnered numerous consideration. In reality, it’s probably the most standard issues to be had: over 900,000 websites are the usage of it, and it’s were given an outstanding five-star ranking over 4109 reviews.
With stats like this, the builders at the back of Astra have delivered one thing particular. But, does it reside as much as the hype? Certainly. So, what’s all of the fuss about?
Well, relatively so much because it occurs.
Astra is a WordPress theme concerned about velocity. It’s featherlight — coming in at simply 50 KB whilst maximum issues require no less than 330 KG— it’s lightning-fast and nonetheless come what may jam-packed with options to make any form of website online. It’s additionally probably the most beginner-friendly and customizable unfastened issues to be had.
This publish takes a have a look at the daring claims and lines that have made Astra so standard. We’ll stroll you via create an Astra website online with a starter template, and canopy get the most efficient out of it on the subject of web hosting, and whether or not it’s possible you’ll get pleasure from a top rate model.
The Brains at the back of Astra
Astra is a Brainstorm Force venture. They’ve been within the WordPress recreation for over a decade and made a reputation for themselves construction world-class merchandise which are helpful, dependable, and above all, usable for all ranges of experience. Brainstorm is made up of a passionate staff of builders, designers, entrepreneurs, and extra, that know the WordPress platform and ship merchandise its customers want — and love.
With Astra, Brianstorm Force used to be on a project:
“To help you, our valued customers to cut down your website development time by half and help you build awesome websites that perform for your business.”
The takeaway? Any website online constructed with Astra is in protected fingers. With that, let’s center of attention on why else it’s possible you’ll believe Astra, over the opposite hundred thousand issues (and counting).
What’s Inside Astra?
Astra is penned as “the fastest, fully customizable & beautiful theme suitable for blogs, personal portfolios, and business websites” according to the developers.
It’s tremendous light-weight. Astra web sites will have to load in beneath .5 seconds. Another factor that distinguishes Astra from different issues is strengthen for all of the most well liked web page builder plugins together with Divi, Beaver Builder, and Elementor. It’s additionally solely well suited with WordPress’ content material editor, Gutenberg.
If you don’t fancy making a website online from scratch, Astra has your again. The Astra Starter Sites assist you to import a complete website online design in a single click on. It’s the quickest approach we’ve observed to construct a pro, running website online. These website online templates take the thriller determine of enhancing issues in WordPress.
Take your select from designs catering for the whole thing from portfolios, companies, blogs, and extra. And there’s lots of them—over 70. The starter website online templates for me are the most important reason why to make use of Astra. Beginner or no newbie, they’re an enormous time saver, albeit on the sacrifice of one thing 100% unique.
That’s no longer all. When you employ Astra you’ll be expecting:
- Full get entry to to inspect the theme’s code — it’s 100% open supply
- E-commerce waiting with WooCommerce — the most well liked e-commerce plugin
- Plenty of Astra-compatible plugins to increase your website online, without spending a dime
- search engine optimization pleasant markup to stay the various search engines satisfied
- Translation-ready theme to create a multilingual website online
- Exclusive time-saving options with the Astra Pro improve
How do those options translate to a full-blown website online? For some real-life examples of web sites the usage of Astra, check out this show off from WPDonuts.
Now you’ve were given a coarse thought what Astra is ready, let’s start our Astra theme evaluation!
Astra Standout Features
We discussed that the Astra Theme comes with numerous options. In the next sections, we’ll discover them in nearer element.
Built for velocity and function
Let’s speak about website online velocity first. Right out of the field, Astra is among the quickest issues to be had. It’s well-coded and in spite of all it’s options, it’s tremendous light-weight.
Website efficiency research persistently display that sooner pages lead to higher conversion charges. Page velocity is very important for all sorts of web sites.
People care about sluggish loading pages. Slow pages result in deficient person enjoy, and when other people stumble upon them, lose persistence and go away, briefly. In reality, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Why would they hassle sticking round? It’s no longer sudden that search engines like google aren’t concerned about serving up sluggish pages.
Aside from the scale of your WordPress website online, the web hosting you select on your WordPress website online performs a big function in its velocity and function. Among your choices, I’d suggest going for a Managed WordPress web hosting. This sort is constructed to strengthen WordPress websites. Today, ProWP provides the quickest Managed WordPress web hosting in the marketplace, from as low as a buck. Combined with Astra you’re shopping on the maximum cost-effective and fastest resolution on your WordPress website online.
Ranks nicely in Google
All WordPress issues make daring claims about their seek engine friendliness. Few can again them up with options that meet trendy search engine optimization requirements.
We know that Google cares about web page velocity and that Astra is lightning instant. The Astra theme additionally advantages from Schema markup. Schema is a structured markup that is helping search engines like google higher perceive what your website online is ready to show extra related effects to end-users. With Astra, Schema is added to each web page on Astra web sites by means of default.
Page builder integration
One of the most important ‘plus’ issues that makes Astra issues stand out for us is that it really works nicely with WordPress, and lots of WordPress plugins. Specifically, it’s well suited with maximum primary web page builder plugins. It integrates superbly with:
- Gutenberg — While no longer strictly a page-builder plugin, Astra works seamlessly with WordPress’ block editor
- Beaver Builder
The level of web page developers is that you’ll customise on your center’s content material with no need to write down a unmarried line of code. That mentioned, in case you’d be at liberty to run with Astra default theme, with no web page builder, you’ll make customizations the usage of its personal robust customizer options. And with the assistance of the Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg, you’ll create reliable internet pages as though they have been constructed the usage of web page developers with out in fact the usage of one.
Powerful starter websites
Astra Starter Sites is a plugin that includes dozens of pre-built entire websites with designs catering for explicit niches. Astra developers needless to say construction a website online from scratch is a ache, noting that
“We believe creating beautiful websites should not be difficult or time-consuming. Why start from scratch when you have professionally designed sites just a click away?”
With those pre-built templates, you’ll start customizing your website online in a couple of clicks. Astra starter websites save numerous time looking to determine how other parts create a posh format. Instead, you’ll switch to your personal pictures, and write over the demo content material to construct a professional-looking website online very quickly.
With some issues you get a unmarried web page temple. With Astra you get a fully-functional website online with important pages, plugins, and lines. Web design with WordPress couldn’t be more uncomplicated.
By providing those starter websites, Astra claims to provide the vastest library of pre-built WordPress website online templates. You’re sure to search out one thing to suit.
The starter site system calls for you to make use of Beaver Builder, Elementor, WordPress editor Gutenberg (in case you’re working WordPress 5.0 or upper , you have got Gutenberg by means of default), or Divi. This is as a result of each and every starter website online design is created to paintings with one for my part.
An exquisite design template isn’t all you get. When you put in a starter website online, you free up all of the Pixabay image library without spending a dime from inside of your Media Library, saving time on the lookout for good-quality, unfastened, pictures.
If you’re heard sufficient already and suppose Astra is a superb are compatible on your website online and need to use it now. I’d recommend you download it now, with out spending a cent, and observe the remainder of the theme evaluation.
Let’s get began the usage of Astra.
Using Astra Starter Sites
We’re now going to obtain the Astra theme, make a choice a starter website online template, and try how you’ll start to customise your new Astra website online.
Install and turn on
- First up, Install and turn on the Astra theme from the WordPress Themes library
- Now it’s time so as to add a starter website online as the foundation on your website online design. For that, you want to obtain the Starter Templates plugin.
- Once activated, you’ll discover a new ‘Astra Sites’ menu within the Appearance menu. Navigate to Appearance -> Astra Sites.
- You are actually introduced with the choice to select which web page builder you might be the usage of to construct your website online. Not many different issues in the marketplace supply this feature. Select a web page builder to preview the Astra Starter Sites templates that paintings with it. For this case, I’ve decided on Gutenberg.
Select your design
Select a design to open a preview. You too can browse between other pages to get an actual sense of what the website online can do, out-of-the-box.
If you’re no longer waiting so as to add Astra but, you’ll browse in the course of the Astra Starter Sites page at the legit Astra website online for a listing of all the website online designs recently to be had.
Once you discover a design template you’d like to start customizing, click on “Import Complete Site”. It’s that simple. (Alternatively, you’ll ‘Import Home Template’.) For this demo, we’ll import all the website online.
Now, Astra gets to paintings on construction your website online.
Import your new website online design template
You’ll know your starter website online has imported effectively while you see a message “Hurray! The Website Imported Successfully!” as displayed underneath. Now, simply hit the blue button to ‘View Site’ to open your new website online.
On first impressions, my new website online seems just like the demo model. It’s relatively exceptional, and a novel enjoy in comparison to downloading a theme and questioning make it appear to be the instance variations.
Customization in Astra
Whether you’re running from an imported Starter Site, or you make a decision to design your website online from scratch, you’ll get entry to Astra’s surroundings from inside the WordPress customizer.
Thanks to the WordPress visible theme customizer, you have got complete keep watch over to make your website online glance precisely how you need it to the short and simple approach, with none coding essential.
As you’ll see within the screenshot, the customization choices are well arranged in sections together with Sidebar, Header, Footer, Menus, and so forth. The choice of customization choices in each and every of those sections is amazing.
For instance, if you choose header, you’ll play with the surroundings and choose between the next format choices:
As you’re making adjustments, you’ll straight away see the ones adjustments seem at the reside preview of your website online — for this case, I’ve long past with the e-commerce theme ‘BrandStore’. Here’s a preview of the way it seems within the demo model.
In a couple of clicks, I’ve modified the textual content and added a brand new symbol.
If you improve to Astra Pro, you’ll prolong the Astra theme additional, and free up quite a lot of new options.
Extend Astra with Plugins
Thanks to a few foresight from the staff at Brainforce, there are some additional gear that play nice with the Astra theme.
From your WordPress, Admin, Appearance, make a selection Astra Options. Then, scroll down the web page for the ‘Extend Astra with free Plugins’. Here you’ll in finding the next unfastened plugins.
Many extra unfastened plugins in particular made for Astra can also be discovered on WordPress.org. One notable instance is WooCommerce, WordPress’s hottest e-commerce plugin.
If you want e-commerce capability, Astra is a smart possibility mixed with the WooCommerce plugin. What’s extra, in case you be offering downloadable merchandise, Astra works seamlessly with the Easy Digital Downloads plugin too.
Support, Documentation, and Tutorials
No topic how nice a product is, other people will nonetheless run into issues, or have questions they want answering. There’s not anything extra irritating than beginning out with a brand new theme after which discovering that you just combat to set it up since the documentation is deficient.
Fortunately, Brainstorm Force documentation is complete. Their knowledgebase is massive and if that wasn’t sufficient, articles have annotated screenshots, and a few have video tutorials. They additionally supply video documentation on their very own YouTube channel.
It’s no longer conceivable to hide each and every function intimately inside of a unmarried evaluation. Hopefully, you have got an affordable review of what Astra has to provide and really feel empowered to make use of this theme, figuring out how simple and easy it’s to customise and prolong.
To shut issues out, let’s communicate cash.
Plans and Pricing
Astra itself is unfastened and can stay so — now and without end. However, 3 top rate plans make up the ‘Astra Pro’ series. All-Pro plans come with the next unique options:
Among the 3 ‘Pro’ variations you get some extra choices and prolonged options, on a sliding scale. Whether or no longer you want those non-essential perks will assist you make a decision whether or not Astra Pro is for you.
For peace of thoughts, paid plans are safe by means of a 14-day 100% money-back ensure. This approach you’ll check out before you purchase, and cancel, in case you make a decision the top rate isn’t what you want.
Final Thoughts on Astra
Road-testing Astra used to be an eye-opener. Even for any person like me who’s skilled in WordPress, the method of surroundings a website online used to be that a lot smoother.
There’s no genuine finding out curve to construction a website online when you’re taking a pre-built starter website online and switch to your personal pictures, emblems, and content material. Even much less ‘learning’ is essential while you care for customization with a web page builder plugin. The proven fact that with Astra, you get each without spending a dime is lovely superior.
I applaud the paintings that’s long past into Astra’s tough documentation and strengthen channels. It’s no marvel this theme is ranked so nicely within the theme depository; in case you do get caught, assist is handy. With Astra, there’s no preventing any person, whether or not technically-inclined or no longer, from growing one thing relatively superb.
It’s no longer simply how a website online seems that’s essential. All issues being equivalent, Google prioritizes websites that load the fastest. We know Astra is instant. But in case you’re on the lookout for further velocity for that aggressive edge, glance no additional than ProWP WordPress web hosting. ProWP, which simply so occurs to be the quickest WordPress web hosting in the marketplace, works completely with Astra.
ProWP comes with unfastened Supersonic CDN to ship your pictures, movies, and different content material for your website online 68% sooner, and unfastened Positive SSL to stay your website online protected, and your guests satisfied. We can take your website online reside in beneath 90 seconds, and we will do it excited about you in a single click on.
ProWP isn’t just instant, simple, and full of the options you want to get your website online off the bottom, it’s essentially the most reasonably priced supplier round. Right now, you’ll get began for simply $1/month making it the most suitable choice to couple up with the Astra theme.
Have you attempted Astra? What do you suppose? Let us know within the feedback underneath.