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Selecting an ideal WordPress theme on your weblog or enterprise web site isn’t a simple process. There are numerous themes on the market, which can look good, however while you begin utilizing it, you understand it isn’t your cup of tea.
None the much less, a number of theme builders suggest their very own theme framework, which can be not an idle selection, as after a yr or two, the framework turns into outdated attributable to lack of standard replace.
That’s the reason, it’s of utmost significance for you to concentrate on these themes, and frameworks, that are going to exist for years. For a protracted time period, Genesis was once one such framework, and now I really feel it’s the period of Astra themes.
I just lately used the Astra theme on one among my area of interest web sites (I shifted from Genesis to Astra), and it turned out to be an awesome choice. I really feel now if it’s a must to choose a theme on your subsequent mission, Astra needs to be your selection.
Nicely, you will discover it quickly…
At present, I’m sharing an in depth evaluate of the Astra WordPress theme, and I’ll make it easier to resolve whether or not Astra is that theme on your web site.
The most effective half about Astra is, it’s a free WordPress theme, and run by among the smartest of us of WordPress trade. The staff relies out of Pune, and I additionally occurred to spend a while studying about their inspirational story.
I’ll share the story within the days to return, however for now, lets be taught extra about Astra WordPress Theme.
You’ll be taught extra about among the largest the reason why Astra is so common. Then, I’ll take you hands-on and present you the way it works, in addition to make it easier to resolve between Astra free vs Professional.
Introducing the Astra Theme
Astra is among the hottest free WordPress themes in existence. In truth, for those who go to the WordPress.org theme listing, Astra is the highest-ranking third-party theme – the one themes in entrance of it are the default WordPress themes:
Astra is a multipurpose WordPress theme, which implies that you utilize it for nearly any sort of WordPress web site. You should utilize it for a know-how weblog or a trend retailer or a guitar class…it might probably do something you want it to.
In my view, there are 4 components that specify Astra’s success:
- Efficiency – Astra is among the quickest WordPress themes on the market. Having a fast-loading WordPress web site is important, so this alone is already an enormous profit.
- Starter websites – Astra comes with a whole bunch of importable demo websites that make it easier to shortly get began. That is a part of what makes Astra so versatile.
- Customization choices – Astra permits you to customise all the things about your web site utilizing the real-time WordPress Customizer. This enables for straightforward, code-free customization.
- Integrations – Astra is constructed to pair properly with WordPress web page builders. It additionally contains detailed integrations with common plugins like WooCommerce, Learndash, and Elementor.
Astra Theme Pricing
The Astra theme is offered at no cost at WordPress.org.
If you need extra options, you should purchase Astra Professional, which is an official plugin that extends the free theme with new instruments, type choices, and layouts.
Astra Professional prices $59, which helps you to apply it to limitless web sites.
Later on this Astra theme evaluate, I’ll present you the brand new options that you simply get with Professional and make it easier to resolve between Astra free vs Professional.
4 Causes to Love the Astra WordPress Theme
On this part, I’ll broaden on the 4 options that I believe make Astra so common. Then, I’ll take you thru how the Astra theme works within the subsequent part.
As your web site’s basis, your theme performs a big function in how shortly (or slowly) your WordPress web site hundreds.
Due to that, one of many first issues that you need to take a look at with any theme is its efficiency optimization.
And in the case of efficiency optimization, Astra is among the quickest WordPress themes that you simply’ll discover.
Astra is beneath 50 KB, follows coding and efficiency finest practices, and makes use of no jQuery. For reference, most “common” WordPress themes are someplace between 250-350 KB.
To evaluate Astra’s efficiency, I arrange a take a look at web site and ran efficiency checks for 2 situations:
- The out-of-the-box theme after first putting in it on a contemporary WordPress web site.
- One among Astra’s free importable demo websites.
For every take a look at state of affairs, I ran six separate checks with WebPageTest and took the median web page load time.
With its out-of-the-box settings, Astra loaded in simply zero.769 seconds and got here in at 52 KB (for all the web site):
These web page load occasions are spectacular. Nevertheless, it’s not a really reasonable take a look at state of affairs as a result of Astra’s preliminary settings are fairly fundamental. On an actual web site, you’ll have much more content material.
To raised assess Astra’s efficiency in a “real-world” state of affairs, I imported the Journey Weblog demo web site constructed with the native WordPress block editor.
With the complete demo web site, my take a look at web site nonetheless loaded in simply 1.377 seconds with a web page measurement of 1.720 MB and 50 HTTP requests.
All in all, Astra is among the quickest WordPress themes on the market.
I’ve examined some themes which might be a little bit sooner than Astra. Nevertheless, while you mix Astra’s flexibility with its performance, I believe you’ll battle to seek out one other theme that gives a greater mixture.
2. Starter Websites
Most individuals don’t have the time or data to design their web sites from scratch.
That will help you shortly launch a great-looking web site, Astra contains a whole bunch of pre-built demo websites that you would be able to import with only a few clicks.
The distinctive factor about Astra’s starter templates is that they’re constructed utilizing both a web page builder or the native WordPress block editor.
This implies that you would be able to simply customise all the demo content material utilizing a visible, drag-and-drop editor – no code required.
Most of Astra’s starter websites use the Elementor web page builder. Nevertheless, there’s additionally a wide variety of starter websites powered by:
In whole, the Astra theme provides you entry to 280+ importable demo websites (although a few of these demo websites are duplicated throughout the totally different instruments).
You will discover demo websites for every type of niches and use instances. For instance:
- Journey weblog
- Digital company
- WooCommerce retailer
- …many extra
If you wish to see what your choices are, you possibly can discover all the demo websites right here.
three. Customization Choices
Astra is a multipurpose WordPress theme, which implies that you need to use it for all the things from a weblog to an eCommerce retailer to a web based course and extra.
What’s extra, you possibly can adapt it to totally different niches – Astra can work simply as properly for a trend and life-style weblog as it might probably for a know-how weblog.
So how can Astra be so versatile?
You already discovered one a part of the puzzle – the a whole bunch of importable starter websites. However the different factor that makes Astra so versatile is its detailed choices within the native WordPress theme customizer.
Within the Customizer, you’ll get a ton of choices for controlling your web site’s:
- Weblog posts (and weblog listing)
- Content material width
- And so forth.
As a result of all of those settings can be found within the real-time WordPress Customizer, you’ll have the ability to see how every selection that you simply make impacts your web site utilizing a stay preview:
four. Web page Builder Integration
Astra is constructed to pair properly with WordPress web page builder plugins, which supplies you the choice to design your content material utilizing drag-and-drop.
Everytime you create a brand new submit or web page, Astra provides you detailed choices that allow you to management the canvas on your web page builder.
First, you possibly can select between totally different layouts. For instance, you possibly can disable your sidebar and use a full-width canvas so that you could take over all the things along with your favourite web page builder.
Second, you possibly can disable particular components of your submit, just like the submit title or your web site’s header.
All in all, if you wish to use a web page builder plugin comparable to Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy, and so forth., then Astra’s page-level controls make it easier to get essentially the most out of your chosen plugin.
How Astra Works – Palms-On With the Theme
Now that you realize among the standout options of the Astra theme, let’s make this Astra theme evaluate a bit extra hands-on.
On this part, I’ll present you ways the Astra theme works on an actual WordPress web site.
Importing a Starter Web site
After putting in Astra, one of many first issues that you simply’ll need to do is import one of many a whole bunch of starter websites.
The interface for importing demo websites is user-friendly and provides you some handy choices for selecting what to import. For instance, you possibly can:
- Select particular pages to import. E.g. you might import the homepage and about web page, however not the contact web page.
- Solely import the Customizer settings. This is able to allow you to make your theme’s header, footer, and basic format/type choices seem like the demo web site. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t import the demo content material itself.
To entry the starter websites, you’ll want to put in the separate Starter Templates plugin from WordPress.org.
From there, you possibly can go to Look → Starter Templates.
First, you’ll be requested to decide on your most well-liked content material editor. If you happen to resolve to import the demo content material on your web site, it is going to be constructed with the editor that you choose:
The listing of starter websites is not the identical for every software – Elementor has the biggest assortment of starter websites by a very good margin. If you wish to, say, use the native WordPress block editor, you gained’t have fairly as many selections.
As soon as you choose your content material editor, you’ll see an inventory of all of the starter websites which might be accessible for that software.
You should utilize the filter and search field on the high to assist slender down the starter websites
When you discover a design that you simply like, you possibly can click on on it to open a bigger preview and think about the import choices.
As I discussed earlier, you possibly can both:
- Import the complete demo web site by clicking the Import Full Web site button.
- Select a selected design from the Web page Templates listing and simply import that Elementor template.
If you happen to select to import the entire web site, you’ll additional get some choices to decide on precisely what to import:
Utilizing the WordPress Customizer
When you’ve imported a demo web site (or determined you need to design your web site from scratch), you possibly can handle all of Astra’s different settings from the real-time WordPress Customizer:
This allows you to simply change up your web site’s design with no need to know any code. As you make modifications, you’ll immediately see these modifications seem on the stay preview of your web site.
For instance, for those who open the settings on your header, you possibly can select from a number of totally different format choices:
There are a number of choices right here, so that you’ll need to absolutely discover this space.
That is additionally one of many components of Astra that may really feel a bit overwhelming as a result of there are such a lot of choices.
Reasonably than attempting to configure all the things from scratch, I’d suggest discovering a pre-made starter web site the place you want the fundamental design. Then, you possibly can import simply the WordPress Customizer settings for that demo web site.
After getting these Customizer settings as your basis, you possibly can simply go in and make small modifications as wanted.
Exploring the Premium Options
If you happen to improve to Astra Professional, you’ll get entry to a variety of new options. All of those options are modular, which implies that you would be able to allow/disable every characteristic.
This modular strategy helps maintain the Astra theme light-weight, by letting you disable options that you simply aren’t utilizing.
To regulate which options to allow, you possibly can go to Look → Astra Choices:
For instance, for those who allow the Weblog Professional module, you’ll get new layouts and choices to manage how your weblog archive web page appears to be like.
You get three totally different layouts, together with choices to allow sure metadata, management featured picture sizes, and extra:
Different Professional modules provide the same stage of customization choices for:
- Navigation menus
Astra Free vs Professional: Which One Do You Want?
As I discussed earlier, the Astra theme is offered at no cost at WordPress.org.
Then, you even have the choice of buying Astro Professional, which is a plugin that extends the theme with new options and choices.
So…which must you use in the case of Astra free vs Professional?
Nicely, you possibly can actually use the free model to create a great-looking web site. The free model continues to be performance-friendly and provides you entry to an enormous variety of starter websites.
If you happen to, for instance, discover a free running a blog starter web site that you simply love, there’s no purpose that it’s good to improve to Astra Professional.
So what are some causes that you simply may need to improve to Astra Professional, then?
First, if you wish to construct your personal design from scratch, otherwise you need to closely modify one of many starter websites, then Astra Professional simply typically provides you much more flexibility in the case of:
- Different type choices
- Layouts (for weblog posts, header, footer, and so forth.)
For instance, the Professional model comes with plenty of new weblog layouts, which supplies you extra management over what your particular person weblog posts and weblog listing appears to be like like.
General, if you wish to customise your web site past what’s accessible within the free starter websites, you’ll be rather a lot happier with the Professional model.
The second massive purpose to improve to Astra Professional is for the integrations.
You’ll completely need to improve to Astra Professional for those who’re constructing a web site primarily based on:
Whereas the free model provides you restricted integrations for all of these plugins, the additional options and integration capabilities in Astra Professional are undoubtedly well worth the value.
Lastly, for those who’re a developer, Astra Professional provides you another helpful choices, like the power to inject code into Astra’s many hooks.
You’ll be able to view an in depth comparability of all of the options in free vs Professional on this web page.
Astra Theme Assessment Last Ideas
General, there’s a purpose why the Astra theme has grown so shortly to turn into lively on over 800,000 websites whereas sustaining a excellent 5-star score on nearly four,000 opinions at WordPress.org.
Obtain Astra theme at no cost
It’s multipurpose, quick, versatile, and integrates with common web page builders and plugins.
One factor to think about is that, for those who don’t see a demo web site that you simply love, it might probably really feel a bit overwhelming to attempt to arrange all of Astra’s customization choices by your self.
If you first set up the Astra theme, it appears to be like very fundamental, which might confuse some individuals. You gained’t have a lovely theme proper out of the field with Astra.
If you happen to’re not going to make use of a demo web site, which means you’ll want to speculate a while into exploring all the choices within the WordPress Customizer.
Nevertheless, that truth can be an enormous a part of what makes Astra so common:
You should utilize it to create any sort of web site as a result of it’s so versatile.
If you happen to really feel overwhelmed by Astra’s many customization choices, you possibly can import one of many a whole bunch of pre-built demo websites to simplify the setup course of. With only a few clicks, you’ll have that stunning web site that you simply imagined.
Or, if you need full management, you possibly can management each little bit of your theme utilizing the real-time WordPress Customizer. It takes a while to discover all the choices that Astra provides you, however you’ll have the ability to customise nearly all the things about your web site with out writing a line of code (particularly with Astra Professional).
All in all, for those who’re on the lookout for a high quality WordPress theme, you gained’t go incorrect with Astra.
Have you ever used Astra theme? Share your evaluate of Astra theme within the remark part beneath.
Listed here are a number of extra WordPress themes that I’ve reviewed just lately: