What is Astra ?
Astra is a WordPress theme that offers site owners of all kinds a simple, affordable, and easy way to create any type of website. Whether you’re uber professional and want a clean and minimal style or are an artist that oozes creativity and color, Astra has what you need to achieve your goals.
- Accessibility Ready : It is accessible and follows WCAG 2.0 standards. It meets the AA level which is essential for usability.
- Translation & RTL Ready : You can translate Astra in your own language with .po & .mo files. You can even create multilingual websites.
- Hooks & Filters : Developers will find Astra to be one of the best themes to work with for its clean and extendable code.
- Developed on Github : It is 100% open source and developed transparently on GitHub. Anyone can join the development and contribute.
- SEO Friendly Markup : Astra’s codebase architecture follows best SEO practices. It even comes with the necessary Schema.org markup you need.
- Made for Page Builders : Astra is made to work with Page Builders like with Beaver Builder, Elementor, Site Origin, Visual Composer, Divi, etc.
Astra Theme Features
Super Fast Speed and Performance
As one of the most lightweight themes in the market, It takes the lead as one of the fastest loading multipurpose themes around. In fact, Astra was designed with speed in mind.
- It comes in at 50KB, which is far less than most WordPress themes which hover around the 300KB mark with no site content. Plus, it scores well on speed tests like Pingdom, Google Page Insights, and GTmetrix.
- As you can see here, even with some demo content, It loads in nearly one second and earns an A on Pingdom:
- The developers of Astra also disabled jQuery, which can get in the way of your external speed optimizations. And while using It won’t guarantee you the fastest load times on the internet, if you pair it with other speed and performance optimizations, you’ll never have a problem.
Page Builder Integrations
Not only does Astra work well with plenty of WordPress plugins, but it was also designed specifically to work well with page builder plugins like Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, Elementor, Site Origin, Visual Composer, Thrive Suite, and Divi.
In fact, It integrates seamlessly with:
- Ultimate Gutenberg Blocks Library: take advantage of the powerful Gutenberg blocks library to customize your site using the WordPress Gutenberg editor. Add things like an information box, buttons, a team section, price list, social share buttons, and even testimonials, all without any code.
- Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder: enjoy 60+ modules, 200+ row sections, and 100+ page templates in the Template Cloud (which is a flagship feature of Astra) to customize your site. Not to mention, you can use the white label feature, which is great for building a reputable agency.
- Ultimate Addons for Elementor: this plugin comes packed with unique Elementor themes and widgets that add functionality to your site to improve the user experience and boost conversions. It has endless design options, helps you build your site faster, is WooCommerce compatible, and is translation ready.
When using the theme, you can even customize things on a page-by-page basis if you want to. This is because when Astra is activated, a new settings box in the editor appears (regardless of the landing page builder you use), giving you the control you need to create a site that represents your brand.
WordPress Customizer and Real-Time Changes
- To customize the Astra theme itself, it uses the real-time native WordPress Customizer. The changes you make to your website are seen in the preview panel in real-time, so you always know how your site will render before clicking “Publish”.
- And while this may seem like a generic feature, since most WordPress themes provide this type of access, the thing that sets Astra apart from the rest is that there are so many dang customization options available.
- For example, you can globally customize things like typography, so your website has a consistent look and feel.
- Or, you can change the way your sidebars appear, enable breadcrumbs, or even make changes to single posts in terms of the featured image, title and blog metadata, comments, category, and even author.
- In the end, Astra is an adaptable WordPress theme that gives site owners easy ways to make the changes needed to create the perfect website.
Ready to Import Starter Sites
- It comes with 230+ free pre-built starter templates to help you build your own site. And to access them all you have to do is install the free Astra Starter Sites plugin.
- But before you do that, Astra gives you the option to choose which page builder you’d like to use to build your site. This is a feature not seen in many other themes in the market.
- Once you choose a page builder, you’ll have access to the Astra Starter Sites, all of which are broken down into categories like blog, business, and eCommerce to make your search easier.
- And if you find a template you like, importing it is as easy as clicking “Import Site”.
- Though Astra is made for beginners (meaning, you never have to touch any code), it’s good to know that It is also suitable for experienced developers too. There are plenty of hooks and filters for adding site content with ease. It is also 100% open source, so if you want to look at theme code, you can on Github.
- And just in case a non-developer wants those same kinds of features, there’s always the Astra Hooks plugin for creating unique content and code without having any other technical knowledge.
- You can also extend Astra with plugins, there are loads of free plugins on WordPress.org specifically made for Astra that you can use.
Astra Free vs Pro
It is completely free of charge – now and forever. That said, if you want to tap into to exclusive extra features, there is an affordable premium version of the theme that comes with things like:
- Additional import-ready demo sites
- Access to all developer plugins – Schema Pro, Convert Pro, and WP Portfolio
- Extra header customization such as mobile, sticky, and mega menu headers
- Increased typography and color control for the footer, sidebar button, blog, and content sections
- More layout options like masonry, excerpt content, post pagination, and infinite loading
- WooCommerce specific functionality like 2-step checkouts, Ajax carts, quick view, infinite scroll, and more
- Full integration with powerful plugins like LearnDash, LifterLMS, and Easy Digital Downloads
- One-to-one email support
So, if you need a little extra, investing in Astra Pro might be the right choice for you.