The way you look and your appearance in public seek volumes about you. Like it or not, most of the time, you are judge from the way you dress. This even applies when seeking employment in an organization. Immediately the employer sets their eyes on you, they can decide on whether to hire you or not. The decision is based purely on your dressing even before reading your resume.
The same applies when it comes to your website. The themes you use determines how attractive your site will be and the traffic. Therefore you cannot use any common theme to build your site. You need a unique and user-friendly theme, which attracts traffic to your blogs.
At Pixel2Pixel Design, we understand this. Hence we recommend using the Astra Pro WordPress theme. It is a unique theme that transforms your website with a click of a button. In this article, we’ll discuss the theme and learn how it works. That said, let’s dive in and learn more.
What is Astra Pro WordPress Theme?
Astra Pro Theme has one of the amazing tools to use in developing and customizing a website. Brainstorm Force developed Astra in 2017 and the idea behind its birth was to provide users and businesses with reliable themes.
It is one of the most popular WordPress themes with its free version gathering over 1,000,000+ active installations. That’s huge!
The theme is user friendly, elegant, stylish, and attractive to ensure a website is ranked on top in Google search engine. Furthermore, you won’t have to learn any coding to use the Astra free theme. Hence, with a click of a button, you can customize your site according to your needs.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert on WordPress, Astra is a theme you need to develop your site. Though it is one of the many free themes available on the internet, it has unique features that make it stand out.
The reason why it stands out is because of the theme’s ability to integrate perfectly with most popular page builders available in the market. The Page Builders include Gutenberg, Elementor, Beaver Builder, Divi Builder, Site Origin, and Visual Composer.
Brainstorm Force team has also developed some of these well-known plugins the Ultimate Add-ons for Beaver Builder and Ultimate Add-ons for Elementor. They extend the capability of the said page builders by adding new custom widgets, blocks, elements or templates.
It’s also SEO friendly to ensure your site is ranked the best in the webpages. Therefore, incorporating the theme in your blogs, business, or personal portfolio gives you an added advantage.
You might opt for the Free version when building your site, but if you want to unlock extra amazing features. Astra Pro is the perfect theme for the job.Get Astra Now
Before you continue, have a quick look at this short video with an Astra Quick Start Guide.
Astra Theme Features
The Astra theme allows you to do more without learning to code. Once your site is set up, you’re good to go. All the features that the theme comes with enable you to customize and build the website easily.
In this section, we are going to discuss the amazing features and their purpose.
# Pre-Built Starter Sites
Gone was the day when one had to build a website from scratch. In the past, one had to go through vast volumes of coding data to build their desired site.
Today, vendors sell websites that have Pre-Made Website templates. The Starter Templates or Starter Sites are developed to target a particular niche.
Astra themes come with 100+ Stunning Elementor Templates (Free + Premium) ready to import. Hence, one will only need a template that targets their needs perfectly.
Astra Starter Templates library has a number of templates, some are FREE (without any tag) while some are marked with AGENCY tag. You have to upgrade to Astra Pro if you want to use their Agency templates.
Some of the templates that might come in handy when building your site are:
- Education and courses
- Fitness and Sport
- Food and drinks
- Different types of online stores
- Freelancers, bloggers, artists, and photographer
- Service providers such as plumbing, electricians among others
- And many more
It is essential to note the Starter templates need certain page builders to work effectively. You can use either the Elementor, Brizy, Gutenberg, or Beaver Builder to develop the site.
It is important to note you won’t access certain page builders starter template if you don’t upgrade to the Premium packages.
# Customization Options Without Coding
However, thanks to tech advancement, one can develop a site without learning any programing language. Businesses, organizations, bloggers, and affiliate marketers can set up a website within hours and start earning from it.
Plus, you’ll not need a professional to update and maintain the site since it’s a simple process. Furthermore, the page builders help you to customize, maintain, and update your site. This, in turn, saves you money, since you won’t have to hire a professional to handle the work.
# Learning Management System (LMS) Integrations
There are other plugins that you can use in WordPress to customize your site. Some of the plugins include LearnDash and LifterLMS. With the help of this, you can create your own Learning Management System (LMS) and start offering an online course.
The Astra + LearnDash Integration makes it easier for you to create and design a beautiful website for offering an online course. Astra gives you several design options and features that focus more on providing a better learning experience.
Want to create a distraction free, conversion oriented website for your next online course with LearnDash? Combine that with Astra and explore many customizations that will help you do so.
We have written a detailed article on Best WordPress LearnDash Themes. You can check that out too if you want to build an online course offering WordPress site.
# Site Layouts
This feature helps the user select the type of layouts from the Max Width, Full Width, Fluid Layouts, Boxed, or Padded.
The layouts come with formatting tools to adjust the spacing to suit your needs. The amazing thing is that one can use the Site Layout Module to customize your overall website appearance as well.
# Multiple Header and Footer Layouts
The theme also comes with variety of header and footer customization tools. This helps in formatting your page content, making it more appealing. This feature is found in both Astra Free and Astra Pro.
You will get an extended header version when you upgrade to the Astra Pro theme. The Astra Pro theme has advanced options such as the Sticky Header, Below Header Content, Above Header Content, Transparent Header, and Mobile Headers.
# Better Typography
When it comes to typography and fonts, the theme gives you full control. This means you can change the typography size and even the Fonts. Hence, you can customize them according to your taste and preferences.
Plus, you gain access to 700 and more Google Fonts to work with when developing your site. On the other hand, the typography also gives one access to additional transformation options such as Font-size in EM or PX and also in Text Transform for headings.
# WooCommerece Integration
It is a feature that allows an individual or a firm to set up an online shop.
The integration comes with unique attributes such as Grid layouts for products, Dropdown shopping cart, Gallery options, Sales Bubble Style, Quick view option for product images, "click on the button", and infinite scroll among others.
These features help the users to navigate easily through the webpages and order for what they want or need.
# Colour and Background
The color you set as your background matters a lot. This is because most people are attracted to what they see. Hence, having a vibrant color for your background is not an option.
Astra Pro theme understands this. Hence you are provided with different colors to use in customizing your site according to your needs.
# Blog Layout
For the bloggers and Marketers, the Brainstorm Force didn’t forget to add a few features to boost your business.
This is because the way your post appears impacts on the traffic and how long the visit will stay on the page.
Hence, the theme comes with different layouts such as list, date box, masonry, and grid to choose from. This makes your blog stylish.
# Global Design Options
The way one designs a website determines how attractive it will look.
Hence, you need to use the designing tools to make your site exceptional. For example, when designing a brand, you might decide to left-align, right-align, or even center align. Additionally, the features can also be used to customize your mobile device to have similar or different designs.
# Widget Optimized
The theme comes with a fully optimized widget which is free for you to use. The feature is what you will use to display additional information on your site. The widgets have been divided into three major sections to give you an easier time when using them. The sections are:
Social icons widget: The best way for one to connect to people is through social media platforms. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Tik Tok among others. This is why you need the social icons on your page. The widget allows you to add social platforms according to your needs. This enables the users to reach your site faster within a click of the icon.
Address widget: If you are running an online store and still have a physical address then you need to use this feature. Not everyone loves to buy products online, some want a physical address where they can come and sample the goods. Hence, you need to create your business address using the widget and adding it to your page.
Information List widget: Information provided on your sight determines how long the visitor will be on your website. If you provide little information, then the users will move to other sites that can offer them a one-stop-shop. No one wants to go through several web pages looking for certain information or product. Therefore, we recommend you to use the tool to add information on your site.
Plus, the icons can be used to create an attractive list where the user can find the information need. Always remember, the outlook of your site determines your traffic flow.
# Mobile Device Integration
The theme comes with responsive design option to make your website Mobile Friendly. This allows the users to access the site from their handset anytime and anywhere. Moreover, they’ll maintain the same level of experience since no information will be omitted due to screen size.
# Page Builders Integration
Astra Theme integrates with all the popular available WordPress page builder plugins perfectly. This gives you a chance to design your content using “Drag and Drop” features. The moment one creates a page, Astra Theme gives you control of the builder.
Hence, you can choose what to use among the different layouts. One can opt for the sidebar or full-width canvas when building a website and still get the desired outlook.
The disabling feature is also something that makes the theme worthwhile. You’ll be able to disable a specific part of the post, which could be the website header or post title.
Hence if you don’t want to include the sections in your blog, you can remove them. The changes are reflected immediately.
How Astra Works?
Astra Pro Theme is user-friendly; hence it is easy to use. Now that you understand the basics, we will see how you use the theme to customize your site.
Here is how Astra works
# Importing a Starter Site
This is the first step after installing Astra free theme. You’ll be required to install a Starter Site. This is what determines how your site will look like. As we discussed before, a Starter Site refers to a template developed for a particular niche.
For example, if you’re running a restaurant website, you’ll require a Starter Template covering this field. Therefore, choose a template and install what fits your site.
The restaurant templates homepage and about page had to be created from scratch in the past. But, now all you do is select the one that fits your site and install it.
However, you shouldn’t import the contact page, since you require to create it in line with your site. The page shall include your personal information and contact details. Hence, importing it is never a good idea.
The outlook of your blog depends on the Starter Site you use to develop it. For example, if one chooses to use a Beaver Builder, the site will be developed using its features. The page builder will give you a list of options and features to use in developing your site.
The features can be seen from the designs, background color, typography, Headers, and Fonts among others. Remember that each page builder, whether the Elementor page, Brizy, Gutenberg, or Beaver Builder, has unique attributes.
Whether you’re importing a site or developing one from scratch, you need to customize it. This is where WordPress customization tools come into the picture. The tool gives you a chance to edit and build your website designs without learning any coding language.
The changes you make using the tool will reflect immediately. This is why we recommend using the Pre-made templates than building one from scratch. It saves you time and money as well.
# Premium Features
Though Astra comes with two versions, we recommend the Astra Pro. This particular version gives one access to new modular features. This means one can opt to enable or disable the features anytime. This, in turn, makes the Astra Theme lightweight and easy to use.
You must also explore all the premium features available before picking the best for your site. Thus, making your site user-friendly, stylish, and attractive.
Some of the Astra Pro Theme Modules you can choose from are
- Mobile Header
- Nav Menu
- Easy Digital Downloads
Astra Free Vs. Astra Pro
Astra comes with two versions of the Astra Theme to choose from. What you choose for your site is entirely up to you. However, you must understand what you’re getting into, you wouldn’t want to be left hanging in the middle.
Astra Free and Astra Pro have unique attributes that we’re going to discuss.
Some of the features that differentiate the two include the following.
The Astra Pro requires one to make annual or lifetime payments to access the extra features. In contrast to the Free version, which does not need any payments, though it has limited features.
# Exceptional Layouts
A business site requires one to gain trust from the clients. The more your clients trust you, the higher the sales you make. This is why you need to use the Pro theme. This is because it presents you with clean and functional layouts that are user friendly.
Additionally, Pro theme layouts make navigation easier since it provides you with call-to-action features and easy to read font. When it comes to Astra Free, these particular features exist with limited features. Therefore, making it hard for one to compete with their competitors online.
Astra Free comes with limited options making it harder to customize your site. For example, you might want to build a custom header and footer for your site. This particular feature does not exist in the Free version. Hence you need the Astra Pro, which gives you access to page builders such as the Elementor. The page builder helps with the customization of the header and footer.
Astra Pro is faster compared to Astra free. This is because of the theme allows one to disable features that are not needed. Hence ensuring the website is firing unused code whenever a page is loaded.
# Header Styles
The free version gives you a chance to put a Sticky header using the Cascading Style Sheets code (CSS). The Pro version comes with added features that make the Header more personalized and unique.
Astra pro theme comes with WooCommerce integration. The feature offers one infinite scrolling, leading to an increase in time spent on page matrix. This, in turn, increases sales when running an only store. This is a feature you can only find in Pro.
Next, let’s check out Astra Performance.
WordPress theme usually has a huge size which in turn slows down the page speed. This is something the users found unreliable and time-consuming. However, when it comes to Astra Pro theme the narrative is different.
The theme performs super-fast and better than any other, WordPress theme. With default WordPress data, Astra loads in less than a half-second. It is built for speed and fully optimized for performance.
This is what makes the theme stand out from the rest, and marks as a unique selling point. The Pro theme works under three principles which ensure performance and loading time.
# Astra Performance-Lighting Fast Page Speed
The lesser the amount of KB resources used the faster the theme becomes. This is the reason why Astra’s performance is faster than other WordPress themes. Astra uses less than 50KB of resources which makes it’s fast while other WordPress takes more than 300KB. Hence, the users will see the page quickly when using the Pro theme.
# Perfect Coding Standards
When it comes to coding the theme strictly follows all the rules and regulations. There were no shortcuts since that interferes with its performance. Moreover, the coding used mergers with the WordPress data perfectly for optimized performance.
Next, let’s check out Astra Theme Demos.
Astra Pro Theme Demos
The theme comes with various Starter Templates that fit your website needs. All you have to do is pick out the right demo for your site. Here are some templates that increase your online presence and make you competitive.
# LearnDash Academy
Online courses are on the rise, especially during this pandemic. COVID-19 has forced learning institution to close to keep their students safe. This has forced them to move to online classes just to keep up with their studies and continue with their studies.
This, in turn, earns the individual running the websites extra cash. Hence, if you’re thinking of starting an E-learning site, Astra pro theme free download is the tool to use. The theme comes with a LearnDash template that builds your site according to the user’s needs.
For those looking to set up an online shop, this is the ideal template for you. The BrandStore comes with features that enable one to split their products into different sections. Just like in the supermarket where there is a section for groceries, clothes, and drugs. You will be able to organize your products in a similar manner.
Art is something that speaks for itself. For example, when you put up a painting, people will come up with a different opinion. The way they interpret the painting is according to their understanding and personal experience. Hence, your gallery needs to have ample space to display your artwork.
This is something the template offers. It uses a style that blends in with your work. It has a big white space around the piece, which focuses on the painting and not the site.
Having an online presence is critical for business if they want to remain competitive. This is something the pandemic has proven without any reasonable doubt. Therefore you need an eCommerce template to ensure you build a suitable site for your consumer. This allows them to order and make payments despite their location regionally or globally.
# Fitness Center
Covid-19 still proves to be a thorn in the flesh. We are not allowed to go to the gym to work out. However, that should not hinder us from working out. Gyms have now moved their services online. Using these templates, fitness trainers can offer their services as normal.
Plus, research has proven eating healthy, and exercising keeps your body in shape. Therefore, if infected, you won’t experience the acute symptoms but mild ones. If you’re looking to start a fitness website, Astra premium is the answer.
The theme comes with the Astra Photographer feature, which focuses on the image on the site. Additionally, the template can also be used as your portfolio theme. Hence if you’re a photographer, this the tool to use to take your art to a whole never level.
# Food and Drinks Blog
Blogging has taken a new direction, and free templates are not ideal for such a blog. You need a template developed and designed for the food or drink you are talking off. Hence you’ll be changing and customize your site in line with the content being talked about. This is what attracts visitors to your site.
Next, let’s check out their support and documentation.
Astra Support and Documentation
Aside from features and pricing, another important thing for premium products is support and documentation. In spite of how great a product is, people will still have questions.
So a critical question is: if you experience a problem and you need help, how fast can the team give you a satisfactory reply? Can they even help you?
Is the documentation any good? Can you easily find what you are looking for? Can you clearly understand what’s documented?
Those questions will help us understand whether a company or team is dedicated to serving its customers.
Therefore, in this section, we are going to find out the kind of support Brainstorm Force has and check out if their documentation is good or not.
Their documentation is one of the most extensive we’ve ever seen. They both have videos and articles that thoroughly explain every item in detail.
Their documentation contains over 200 articles discussing and detailing each feature the theme has to offer.
It’s very easy to navigate around their docs. There is a search form, a sidebar and a nice categorized grid of menus as its index page.
If you want a really quick way of accessing the documentation, you can just type in whatever you want to lookup for followed by the keyword “Astra” in Google and, most of the time, the top results will link to the official documentation.
You have two ways of accessing Astra’s documentation.
You can either bookmark their documentation page so you can easily access it or you can just open up a new tab and then type whatever you are looking for, followed by the “Astra” keyword and let Google guide you to the relevant documentation page.
The actual documentation is easy to understand. It’s clear, concise and well-structured.
Above is a screenshot of their documentation page for the Colors & Background module.
See how there’s a breadcrumb underneath the title which lets you know where you currently are and trace back to previous sections? There’s also a sidebar on the right containing links to other articles in the documentation.
Video Documentation and Tutorials
Aside from their text-based documentation, they also provide video documentation and tutorials on their own YouTube channel. For those who are more into video demonstrations and tutorials, you’ll find this very useful.
Their YouTube channel also contains information about general WordPress usage. They have videos not only for Astra but also for their other products like the Ultimate Addons, Convert Pro, etc.
They offer three types of support: pre-sale, pro and free. If you access their support page, you’ll be greeted by this:
Their support page will first attempt to direct you to their documentation by asking you what kind of problem or question you have. If there are no results based on your question, you can then access their actual support page (the button to submit a ticket will still appear even if there are results based on your question).
One downside here is that there’s no way to go directly to the actual support page without having to type something in the box. It’s an extra step.
While their support can be considered as one of the best in the market, there’s still a handful of people saying they are slow to respond, which is evident in their Facebook Page.
For the majority of the complaints like this, however, we can see a common pattern. The tickets of complainants were almost always sent during holidays or weekends. We can, therefore, say that you can expect a slower response time during these days. This is why our rating for their support is the lowest in our table at the beginning of the article.
If we had to nitpick and find something where there is room for improvement, this would be it. As a company serving hundreds of thousands of customers, they should be ready to answer questions as fast as possible, no matter the day.
Now let’s check out Astra Pro Pricing.
Astra Pro Pricing
Astra comes in two versions that you can choose from. The Astra Free version is downloadable from the WordPress.org directory. Hence you can access it easily but with limited features. On the other hand, when it comes to Astra premium, you need to part with cash. This unlocks you an unlimited number of features.
The Pro pricing packages that one can opt for includes
- Astra Pro: The basic package costs $ 59 annually. You might as well opt for the lifetime package for $249. Once you have paid the amount, you’ll access all the Astra Pro modules. You will have access to All Astra Pro Features, 20+ free Starter sites, One-to-one Support, Extensive training, and Unlimited Usage.
- Mini Agency Bundle: This is the second-best package that you can upgrade to from Astra Pro. It will cost you $169 annually, and you can opt for a lifetime payment of $499. This gives you a chance to access extra features such as 50+ readymade Starter Templates, Ultimate Addons for Elementor, and Beaver Builder, among others.
- Agency Bundle: The package includes all the features from Astra Pro and Mini Agency Bundle. However, you’ll need to part with $249 annually or opt for a lifetime package that costs$ 699.
Astra Theme Pros and Cons
Like any other product in the market, Astra’s pro-themed free download has a positive and negative side. Therefore, it is good to weigh your options before installing the theme on your website.
- The theme comes with customized layouts.
- It has a faster loading speed.
- There is a free version that you can opt for and still enjoy unique features.
- It has a clean design and easy to configure, making it user friendly.
- It comes with a Pre-made designs template suitable for customizing your site.
- Astra theme is compatible with other page builders and free Demo sites.
- Fully extended version costs money.
Now let’s answer some of the question you may have.
1. Is Astra theme Free?
Yes, Astra is entirely free to download and use it to customize your site. However, you will only enjoy the basic feature from Astra Free version. If you want extra features, you’re required to upgrade to the Astra Pro Theme.
2. Is Elementor a Theme or a Plugin?
No, Elementor isn’t a theme but a WordPress plugin that works well with any theme. The plugins allow you to customize your theme without learning any programming language.
3. Is there a money-back guarantee after purchase?
Yes, there is a money-back policy that allows you to receive the cashback within 14 days; therefore, if you are not satisfied with theme services, you are guaranteed your money.
4. How to choose a WordPress theme?
To select a theme, you must know what your site needs to function properly. Here are some of the things to do to ensure you pick out the right theme.
The first step is making a list of the features you would want before picking a theme. The next step is checking the responsiveness of the theme. Is it compatible with your handset and computer? Is it user- friendly? These question you need to answer before installing the theme.
The theme color also matters when deciding on the template to use. If you choose a dull color, it will affect your traffic. Pick a vibrant color. We also recommend checking how much the theme costs since you’ll need to upgrade at some point. Lastly, test the desired theme to see if it meets your needs.
5. What is the Astra Child theme, and when to use it?
A child theme refers to the theme that one uses to edit some parent theme files. This, in turn, customizes your site, making it unique and user friendly. It is important to note that you’ll use the child theme only when you want to edit the theme parent files and not when customizing the site.
One of the benefits of using a child theme is, it will not overwrite your changes when you apply the theme update whenever the theme developer release theme update.
6. How to install Astra Theme?
Installation of the theme is a simple process. All you need is to log in to your WordPress admin panel and go to the DashBoard. Then click the "themes" link from the left-hand side menu panel and then search for Astra. This takes you directly to the Astra theme, click Install, and start the installation procedure. This takes only a few minutes of your time, and you are done.
7. How to build a WordPress site with Astra and Elementor?
Building your site has become a simple process that needs only a few hours. Thanks to the Astra WordPress theme, which gives you all the needed features. Plus, the theme is compatible with the Elementor page builder. Hence, all you have to do is install both Elementor plugins and Astra free theme and start designing your site.
8. Which is the best theme version between Astra Free and Pro?
The two versions work just perfectly since they are the most reliable themes in WordPress. The themes give one a chance to optimize their site, making it user friendly, fast, and effective. However, if you want to experience extra features, we recommend the Pro Version.
9. Which page builder plugins are used with Astra theme demos?
The page builders that are used in website demos include Beaver Builder, Gutenberg, and Elementor. These plugins customize the templates to fit your user’s needs. There is no need to learn any coding languages.
10. Does one need to renew the Astra theme license yearly?
No, one doesn’t need to renew their licenses annually. The theme will continue to work just like before after the initial one year purchase. However, you won’t be able to gain access to the support or even receive updates. Therefore, to ensure you have a fully functional website, ensure you make your payments on time. This prevents your account from being hacked.
11. How many sites one can create with the Astra theme?
One can create unlimited sites with Astra Pro. This is what makes it unique among other themes in the market.
Final Word – Is it worth the money?
WordPress is a website builder that has been in the making for long. This has given them an upper hand in marketing their products and even improving it.
One of the improvements that have made the site efficient is the introduction of the Astra premium theme. This particular tool has made the site more effective and efficient. Whether you chose to use the Free or Pro version, you will still feel at home.
However, it would be wise to upgrade to the Astra Pro theme for your site to work perfectly. It might cost you a bit of cash, but it is worth every penny.
Do let me know if you find this Astra theme review helpful. Do you want us to compare the Astra theme with some other popular themes like GeneratePress, Genesis Themes or Divi? We will highly appreciate your comments and reviews about this article. Kindly leave your comments below and help us to make this article better.Get Astra Now
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