Astra Theme WordPress, the most customizable and powerful theme of the moment
Finding a simple, customizable, powerful WordPress theme without neglecting the design seems to be more and more difficult in 2019. Either you’re going to choose an ultra complete WordPress theme (not to say a gas factory) and spend hours customizing it for a more than uncertain result, or you’re going to choose a very simple template, too simple. Good news, there is a solution for us! We will review the Astra Theme WordPress and see why it is certainly one of the best themes of the moment! Click on the points you are interested in below to go directly to the section. Have a good read!
Why the Astra Theme WordPress?
If you follow a little the current events of WordPress, you know that things evolve very quickly. From being a simple blog editor in its early days, WordPress is now a great tool for building more complete websites for both beginners and more advanced users. One of the trends that has developed in recent years is the Page Builder. Behind this anglicism hides a palette of formidable tools. You can use advanced features to create fully customized pages and articles. Among the Page Builders, you obviously know Divi(which is a theme but also a plugin), Elementor, Thrive, Beaver Builder, … The list is long.
The only thing we can say, except for Divi which is already a theme, is that you still need a WordPress theme to use these tools. As always with the WordPress ecosystem, things evolve towards the new. So we’ve seen the emergence of a new category of WordPress themes, those that are optimized for Page Builder. Today we’re going to review one of them, the Astra Theme WordPress. As always, this review will be as unbiased as possible. I have been using the WordPress Astra theme for more than 18 months, in the Pro version (paid). I give you my opinion without hiding the flaws.
Free Astra vs Astra pro
When talking about the Astra Theme WordPress, and more generally about WordPress themes released in 2018 (those optimized for Page Builder are no exception), we have to distinguish between the free and the pro version. The strategy of Brainstormforce (publisher of the Astra theme) and most WordPress theme publishers is simple. They offer you a free WordPress theme with a nice design and more than interesting features but if you want to unlock even more features, you will have to subscribe or pay for these features at once. This system is called freemium and it is widespread to 90% of the WordPress themes on the market. This is not a bad thing in itself. The price of the Astra theme in its pro version is $59. For this price, you can install it on as many sites as you want and you get updates and support for one year. After one year, you will have to renew your subscription to get the updates, but it’s not mandatory.
The Pro version of Astra theme adds more features like advanced customization of font, colors, header, footer, woocommerce, …
Video of Astra Theme WordPress
For those who are lazy to read this detailed test of this excellent WordPress theme, I suggest you find related videos on YouTube!
The Brainstorm Force channel is active and shows you different tutorials.
The Astra theme offers a very simple contract: customization of almost every element. To get a clear idea of what you can do with this template, I’ll talk about the pro version, but you can already do a lot with the free version.
We’ll break down the features into three parts:
As you know, having a website that loads quickly, is light and adapted to good SEO practices will allow you, with some work, to have good positions in search engines. Too often, as is the case with the templates on Envato, the themes are not optimized. Too heavy, not respectful of SEO, … in short the list of bad practices is long. Astra promises the opposite of all this. With Astra you get a clean, light and therefore powerful theme. To have a precise idea of the performance, I suggest you to read the Performance section of Astra theme below.
The customization of the Astra Theme WordPress
Having a website has become a must for many businesses. As a result, the WordPress theme market is flourishing and that’s a good thing. The downside of this popularity is that we’ve all been there: you browse a site and you immediately recognize the WordPress theme because it is already present on thousands of sites. With Astra, you will be able to break this monotony and create a site that reflects your image. To get an overview of the customization options, read the paragraph on customization below.
Astra theme support
Changing your WordPress theme is often a stressful experience. Template too rich in features, poor documentation, … There are many problems. The advantage of Astra theme is its support, which is excellent. Responsive and friendly, the consultants respond quickly to your requests. In addition, you have a very rich text and video documentation.
Astra Theme Performance
As we have in the introduction of this article, the Astra WordPress theme promises prodigious speed. As you probably know, loading time is an important criterion in terms of SEO and starting with a good base is essential. The Astra theme respects its commitments and you will install a template that is very light, that integrates good SEO practices (semantic markup for example) and at the same time gets very good marks on the various testing tools!
Astra Theme Customization
The customization of the Astra theme header is relatively simple and complete. You can choose among the following elements:
- Sidebar aka Side Column
- Back to top
The header customization of the Astra theme is relatively simple and complete. You can choose among the following elements:
- Site identity: Choose the logo, its size, the slogan, the site icon, …
- Main header: Define the structure and positioning of your menu, the mobile menu, …
- Above the header : You have the possibility to make appear an area below the menu to give information
- Under the header: same as for the area above the header.
- Fixed header: With Astra, you have the possibility to set up a fixed menu, without adding any additional plugin.
- Transparent header: Choose whether or not to set up a transparent header.
Feature reserved for the pro version, the Mega Menu, as its name indicates, will allow you to set up menus rich in visuals (images, icons, …). Available since version 1.5 of Astra and 1.6 of the Astra Pro plugin, the Mega Menu is an option to be activated in the Astra dashboard and the configuration will be simple. This is a great feature because it allows you not to overload your website with yet another plugin to create mega menus.
Astra Theme Price
The Astra WordPress theme is free in its basic version. You can still use it without paying, it will work fine. However, if you want to have access to features like:
- Advanced customization
- Starters sites
- VIP support
You will have to opt for a license. The license of the WordPress Astra theme is available in three packages and this with an annual subscription or a lifetime license.
For a yearly subscription :
- Astra Pro: 59$.
- Mini Agency Bundle: $169
- Agency Bundle: $249
The difference between the different packs lies in two simple points: the number of site starters present and the addition of plugins such as Ultime Addon for Elementor, Convert Pro, Schema Pro, … (plugins developed by the creators of the Astra theme). If you don’t have the use of these add-ons, opt for the Astra Pro package, it does the job more than enough.
For a lifetime license:
- Astra Pro: $249
- Mini Agency Bundle: $499
- Agency Bundle: $699
The prices are clearly higher but you won’t have to renew your license. If you think you’re going to opt for the Astra theme for more than four years, you’re a winner.
Bonus For Astra Theme
Child Astra Theme WordPress
If you want to create a child theme for your website using the Astra theme, which I HIGHLY recommend, nothing could be easier. Brainstormforce offers a small tool, free, which will allow you to create your child theme in one click.
- Go to Astra Child Theme Generator
- Fill in the information and that’s it
If you want to customize sections of your WordPress template, there are no 36 solutions. Either you make the changes directly in the corresponding file (single.php for example), or you use the hooks.
The hooks are predefined places in the theme editor that allow you to add HTML or other code to add functionality or design to your site. With Astra theme, you have a wide choice of hooks location to customize the theme. So, why not add the newsletter subscription with the beginning of your articles? Or add an advertisement after the content? It’s all very simple.
The Astra WordPress theme hooks also have another great advantage: you can add your Google Analytics or Adsense code, or any other tracking code in the WPHead simply, without using a plugin!
Our Verdict On Astra Theme WordPress
It’s time for us to give our verdict on the Astra WordPress theme. As you could see through this detailed article, you can definitely opt for this WordPress theme. Versatile and powerful, it will allow you to build a project that suits you and lasts over time!
Is the Astra theme free?
The Astra theme is a freemium WordPress theme. You start with a free base, which has interesting but limited features. To have more features, you will have to opt for the plugin that makes Astra Pro
What is Astra Pro?
If you want to increase the functionality of the Astra theme, you will have to opt for the PRO version. This paid version of the Astra theme will allow you to benefit from advanced features such as: a MegaMenu, a total control of the theme layouts, to customize your header, footers, 404 pages, …
Does the Astra Theme WordPress include starter sites?
Starter sites are included in the Astra theme. You can import these layouts quickly and easily to start creating your website. Be aware that some starter sites are intended for paid versions of the Astra theme (Astra Pro). You can also import layouts via the dedicated plugin (Astra Starter Sites – Elementor, Beaver Builder & Gutenberg Templates)
Is the Astra Theme WordPress optimized for Page Builders?
The Astra theme was really designed to integrate perfectly with all Page Builders. Highly customizable, fast and light, Astra theme is officially recommended by Elementor, Thrive, Brizy, Beaver Builder, Divi Builder …