Astra Theme Review: Is It the Best Theme For Beginners?

Are you a beginner who is looking for an in-depth Astra theme review? Then, you landed on the right page.

Astra is a beautiful WordPress theme that anyone can use for portfolios, blogs, businesses, online shops, and more.

Astra free version is used by over 1+ million websites, and it has amazing support for page builder WordPress plugins. This allows you to customize your whole website via the WordPress theme customizer.

Astra allows you to easily change the appearance of your website by letting you import dozens of high-quality website designs.

You can expand the functionality by upgrading to the theme’s pro version. However, many free extensions are also available.

In this Astra theme review, we’ll explain why Astra is so popular compared to its strong competitors, like Divi and Elementor. Then, discuss the free version of the plugin and explain why you should upgrade to Astra Pro and how much it will cost you.

The Team Behind Astra Theme

The Astra theme was built by Brainstorm Force, a company that has been in business for over ten years.

Astra WordPress Theme

Brainstorm Force also launched the Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder and Ultimate Addons for Elementor plugin extensions, so we have an advanced understanding of how popular WordPress page builders work.

They’re also behind the email opt-in and lead generation plugin Convert Pro, the Schema markup plugin Schema Pro, and the portfolio plugin WP Portfolio.

What Does Astra Offer?

The Astra theme is highly customizable and has many outstanding features.

It is also a super lightweight theme. Astra should load a website in less than half a second when using the default WordPress data. The loading speed is obtained by disabling jQuery and keeping resources under 50kb.

Astra offers native support for many WordPress page builders, which sets it apart from many other designs. It works well with page builders like Visual Composer, Beaver Builder, Thrive Architect, Elementor, Divi Builder, Brizy, and Gutenberg.

Astra’s support for page builders is one of its most vital selling points. Many WordPress themes were not developed with modern page builders in mind. As a result, a stylish page built by a page builder may conflict with the active WordPress theme.

Astra Customization Options

When you install and activate Astra, a new settings box becomes available. This settings box will be shown when you edit posts, pages, and other custom post types.

You can change many standard page settings here. You can change the position of the sidebar and whether the content is boxed or full-width.

Additionally, you can completely disable elements like the header, page title, featured image, and footer bar.

This setup is great since you can customize how everything looks on a page-by-page basis.

When it comes to design, anyone, regardless of technical knowledge, may customize their website look using the WordPress theme customizer.

One issue that many WordPress users, like myself, have is that it can be challenging to change the style of a theme to your taste. This isn’t something to be concerned about with Astra.

When you activate the Astra Starter Sites plugin, you can import a selection of prebuilt website designs.

There are over 180+ designs, and you can find prebuilt options for blogs, businesses, online stores, portfolios, and more.

Astra Templates

Astra was created so that beginners could make professional websites without touching any code. However, the theme was also designed with developers in mind.

It is ready for custom post types and has excellent WooCommerce support. The theme follows WCAG 2.0 guidelines and SEO best practices. Additionally, the design is RTL and translation ready.

There are hooks and filters that allow developers to insert content easily into websites. In contrast, non-developers can use the free Astra Hooks plugin to easily insert unique content and code into your website.

Since Astra is 100% open source, you can analyze the theme’s code on Github.

Customizing Astra

You can download Astra through WordPress.org or the themes section of your WordPress admin area.

The theme does not force you to install any WordPress plugins to function. But, you will need to install the Astra Starter Sites WordPress plugin if you wish to import a design into your website.

You will find the Astra Options page in the WordPress appearance menu.

Since all these options are contained within the WordPress theme customizer, this page is more of a hub than a settings page.

This page includes links to key options and free and premium plugins that extend Astra. Also, you will see links to the Astra documentation page, Facebook group, and contact page.

Astra Options

All customization options are available in the WordPress theme customizer, allowing you to preview any changes you make in real-time. Additionally, you can change the preview mode from desktop to tablet or mobile.

The options are divided into eight top-level sections and many sub-sections. This clean design makes it simple to find the settings you want to change.

Within the WordPress theme customizer, there are a lot of useful options.

You can change the structure of blog posts and enable and disable metadata. You may easily change the layout of the footer and add custom text.

Colors and typography can be readily changed, and there are quick links to your WordPress menus and widgets.

Astra Starter Sites

The Astra Starter Templates WordPress plugin is featured on the right side of the main Astra Options page. This plugin is available for free download.

When you activate it, you’ll see a new page in the Appearance menu called Starter Templates.

Next, you’ll select a page builder from Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Block Editor.

Select Page Builder for Your Templates

Following that, you will see available templates of the page builder you chose. After you’ve selected your template, you’ll be asked to upload a logo and adjust its width.

Upload Logo and Adjust Width of Your Templates

After that, you can select from the default color and font options or customize them.

Choose Color and Fonts for Your Templates

Finally, you can enter your personal information and import Customizer settings, widgets, and content for your starter site.

Astra Template Installation

Astra will then import the starter site and its content.

Astra Building Website

Once finished, you should see a success screen and a demo video. You may visit your new website by clicking View Your Website button.

Then, using the proper page builder plugin, you may start customizing your site. Since we built our starter site with Elementor, we’ll start by clicking Edit with Elementor » Site Settings.

This will launch the Elementor plugin. Here, you can customize your templates to meet your specific needs.

Customize Templates With Elementor

Extending Astra with Free Plugins

Astra also offers nine free plugins that can expand its functionality. In fact, it encourages you to use them. You can find these plugins on the Astra Options page.

Here’s a quick summary of the recommended plugins:

  • Import/Export Customizer Settings: It is an easy-to-use plugin for the Astra theme that lets you import-export customizer settings.
  • Astra Customizer Reset: It provides a “Reset” button in the customizer. Clicking this button will set Astra theme customizer options to default.
  • Customizer Search: Search within the Customizer settings without opening tabs manually.
  • Astra Bulk Edit: Edit several Astra posts and page layouts at once.
  • Astra Widgets: It lets you create widgets for addresses, social icons, list icons, and more.
  • Custom Fonts: This plugin helps you easily embed custom font files (woff2, woff, ttf, svg, eot, otf) in your WordPress website.
  • Custom Typekit Fonts: This plugin helps you embed adobe fonts easily in your WordPress website.
  • Sidebar Manager: It allows you to create different sidebars and display them conditionally in certain locations on the website.
  • Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg: Access exclusive Gutenberg blocks (such as Star Ratings, Forms, and Tabs) and starter sites.

Remember that these plugins are not required to use Astra. However, they can be useful if you want to optimize your design workflow and get the most out of the theme.

Astra Pro

So you can see why the free version of Astra is installed on more than 1+ million websites. It’s simple to use, offers a wide variety of website designs, and has additional plugins that increase functionality.

However, to fully utilize the Astra WordPress theme, you must upgrade to the premium version.

In addition to getting premium support from the developers, Astra Pro offers a lot of extra functionality via modules. Those who buy one of the bundle packages will also get access to the full starter site design library.

A total of 15 pro modules are included with Astra Pro.

Astra Pro Modules

Astra Modules

The Colors & Background module allows you to modify the color of almost any design component.

The Typography module gives many more possibilities for customizing and styling your fonts. The Spacing module expands the margin and padding settings.

If you want to change up your blog or archive pages more, you must use Blog Pro. It allows you to display an author bio below blog posts, load a previous blog post under the current one, and remove the padding from the featured image.

The Nav Menu allows you to change your plain old navigation menus into complex mega menus.

You may display menu items in columns, apply colors, background images, and highlight labels.

The Custom Layouts module lets you save custom layouts for your header, footer, 404 pages, and more.

The Page Headers module lets you design more advanced headers. You can set the page title against a big background image and add breadcrumb navigation links.

You may also use the Sticky Header module to display a fixed header at the top of the page.

The White Label module lets you rebrand Astra as your own. This is useful for design agencies since it prevents clients from learning what WordPress theme the agency is using to develop their website.

And many more modules available that you can use to expand the Astra theme functionality.

Since Astra Pro starts from $49 a year, we think most website owners who use Astra will upgrade at some point because the extra modules open up hundreds of new options.

Astra Pro Pricing

The Astra Pro comes in three packages:

Astra Pro Pricing

  • Astra Pro: It costs you $49 per year, where you’ll get all Astra Pro modules and premium support from the developer.
  • Essential Bundle: It costs you $169 per year, where you’ll get all Astra Pro features with 180+ premium starter templates and WP Portfolio Plugin. Alternatively, you can choose between Ultimate Addons for Elementor and Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder. Both of these plugins work well with Astra Pro and are worthwhile additions.
  • Growth Bundle: It costs you $249 per year, where you’ll get all Essential Bundle features together with Convert Pro and Schema Pro.

However, these packages can be purchased on a lifetime basis with no yearly fees at $239, $499, and $699, respectively.

Which Astra Pro Package Is Best for You?

Which Astra Pro package is best for you depends on your needs and budget.

The entry-level package is ideal if you don’t require access to additional starter site designs and don’t want to use any of the extra plugins that Brainstorm Force sells.

The WP Portfolio costs $39 per year; the Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder start at $59; the Ultimate Addons for Elementor start at $59; Convert Pro is $89, and Schema Pro costs $79 per year.

If you’re already planning on purchasing some of these plugins, upgrading to one of the higher-tier premium bundles makes sense. If not, we recommend you save money and remain with the entry-level package.

Astra Theme Review Final Thoughts: Is It Worth It?

Astra is, without a doubt, one of the best free WordPress themes available.

The theme allows you to simply import dozens of professional-looking website designs, and there is a good variety of free plugins that increase functionality.

Although the free version of Astra is good, we believe that most WordPress users who use it on a live website will eventually subscribe to Astra Pro.

You can get premium support and hundreds of new design and layout options for just $49 per year. Additionally, those who choose one of the higher-tier premium bundle packages will get access to various premium Brainstorm Force plugins and the starting site’s website designs labeled as premium.

So what are you still waiting for?

Click Here to Get Started With Astra Pro Today!

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