Astra theme is a super-fast, highly customizable, stylish WordPress theme developed by Brainstorm Force. Astra theme has over 700,000 downloads, making it one of the most used WordPress themes of all time.
Astra is a beautiful WordPress theme that can be used for portfolios, blogs, businesses, online stores and more.
The free version is used on more than 200,000 websites, and it has support for most popular page builders – it allows you to customize your entire website through the WordPress theme Customizer.
One of the most prominent features of this theme is the ability to load sites in less than half a second. This is because of its super light nature (less than 50KB). It also offers both free and paid versions, depending on your need. Astra is SEO friendly and is made to work with different web manufacturers to make the website development journey much easier. If you’re after a multi-purpose theme, Astra is exactly what you need.
Let’s get started with the Astra theme review.
Table of Contents
About Astra Theme
Astra is developed by Brainstorm Force, a WordPress development company that has been operating for more than a decade and has over 60 employees.
It is not surprising that Astra theme integrates so effectively with page builders, because Brainstorm Force is the creator of Ultimade Addons for Elementor and Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder, so they have an improved understanding of how popular WordPress page builders work.
Astra is a highly customizable WordPress theme with many amazing features.
Super lightweight and developers say a website using Astra with default WordPress data should load in less than half a second.
To achieve this, they took a series of steps, including disabling jQuery and keeping resources below 50 kb.
One thing that sets Astra apart from many other designs is its native support for popular WordPress page builders.
Asra Theme integrates beautifylly with WPBakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer), Beaver Builder, Thrive Architect, Elementor, Divi Builder, Brizy and Gutenberg.
Astra Theme Features:
- Free Astra Theme:
- Nicely Designed
- 48 free demo sites
- Mobile friendly
- RTL Support
- Transparent header
- Color variations
- Schema integrated
- SEO Optimized
- Plugin Compatibility
- Design and Customization
- AMP Ready
- Astra Pro (All features in free Plus followings)
- Sticky Header
- Mega Menu
- Post Paginations
- Infinite Loading
- Off-Canvas Sidebar
- Custom Header and Footer
- Complete Theme options
What does Astra Pro theme’s full package come with?
For installing Astra pro theme, you need to first install Astra free theme and then upload the Astra pro plugin in plugins section.
Once you installed and activated Astra Pro plugin, you will be able to import Agency Demos and, of course new customizability options will be added.
Getting Started with Astra
For using Astra theme no matter which version free or pro you will first need to install Astra free theme. Installing Astra free theme is very straight forward, just go to Appearance, then Themes, click on Add New and search for Astra.
While activating Astra free theme you will not be asked to activate any plugin. Once you activated Astra them this is how your website will look like.
As you can see the styling is incredibly simple, this is what makes Astra, one of the fastest WordPress themes.
Keep in mind that if you use Elementor or other page builders to make complicated design layouts, your site speed may fall again. This is the rule of WordPress sites, the simpler the faster.
Astra Free Theme Customization
After installation of Astra theme, in the Appearance section an Astra Options menu is added. This menu shows the Astra free theme options.
The settings in the Astra Options menu are all links to Customizer Settings. Once you click on any of the options it will open the option in The Customize page.
As of now there are 48 ready to use demo sites for Astra free theme. For using one of the demo sites you need to install Astra Starter Templates Plugin.
Once you installed and activated the plugin you can click on the See Library option of the Plugin. After that, you will be asked to choose your page builder (Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy, or Gutenberg).
In the new tab there are both the free and Agency demo sites. You can import a free demo site by clicking on it and then clicking on Import Complete Site there is also the option to only Import Home Template.
The customizability of Astra free theme is not bad and in fact you can build a very nice site just by using the available options.
But, there is also the option to upgrade to pro and increase the available options.
Upgrading to Astra Pro
As stated above, for upgrading to pro you will need to upload the Astra Pro Plugin (which you can download it once you buy it) in plugins part.
Once you activated Astra pro plugin you will have access to Astra theme Agency demos and the Premium theme options.
As I checked right now Astra pro theme has 66 Agency Demos, if you recall it also had 48 free demos that together this theme will give you the option to choose from 114 ready to use demos.
Astra Pro Theme Options
Astra is one of the fastest WordPress themes and what made Astra fastest was its lack of complexity, the simple website (simple but beautiful).
However, if the Astra theme also added many theme options and customizability then its speed would have fallen too. The simpler the faster.
This is the customizability page of Astra Pro theme, as you can see it is consisted of 8 sections including Additional CSS.
The first section is Global which includes Typography, Colors, Container and Buttons.
The second part is Header, this part includes Site identity, Primary Header, Primary Menu and Transparent Header.
In the third part there is Breadcrumb which you can activate and choose its position.
The fourth part is settings related with Blog and Posts.
In the fifth section you can choose how and where you want to display your sidebar. And the sixth part includes footer settings.
The Menus, Widgets and Additional CSS parts are also there to customize.
Astra Pro Theme Speed Tests
As of Google’s July 2016 update, too many sites lost their rankings due to very high loading times, especially on mobile devices.
However, Astra theme is for sure one of the fastest WordPress themes. But, we will check and challenge this theme.
We installed and activated the Astra Theme on an empty site with a default Hello World post and ran some tests.
Astra Pro Theme SEO
Both Astra Pro and Free themes are SEO Optimized. Plus, google loves to rank speedy sites higher and with this fast WordPress theme your SEO will be boosted.
Astra Pro Theme SEO Features:
- Schema Integrated
- AMP Ready
- Rank math, Yoast SEO, Breadcrumb NavXT Support in Breadcrumb
- Speed bonus for SEO
Astra Pro Theme Summary
Astra theme is a super-fast and light theme. The theme focuses on simple, beautiful and fast websites. With more than 40 free demos and more than 60 Agency demos it has a great collection of ready to use demos.
Astra theme has good customizability and lets you build a beautiful and fast website very easily.
The theme is SEO Optimized and its speed will also do a great job for boosting its SEO.
Theme is compatible with all modern page builders including these 4 most popular: Elemetor, Gutinnburg, Brizy and Beaver Builder.
Editors Idea about Astra Theme
Its speed is really lovely, when I was testing its speed with Google PageSpeed Insight the scores were shocking.
I couldn’t believe it when first I saw the results so I analyzed again and the score didn’t change and to be more sure I even analyzed the theme for the third time and yet the scores were 99 for mobile and 100 for desktop. I need to admit, if someone uses this theme in its proper way it will not be only fast but also unbeatable for SEO.
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