Astra WordPress Theme Review (Free & Pro)

Is it just me or Astra WordPress theme seems to be taking over the world?

Everywhere I go to read about WordPress themes I come across it. Even the average guy who guides the viewers over at YouTube on how to make a WordPress website is using Astra to demonstrate how to set up a WordPress theme.

Astra here! Astra there! Astra everywhere!

Due to the hype about it and to see if it is really worth using, I decided to check it out myself.

And here’s my review on it.

First of all, you should know that Astra has a free version and a pro version. The free version is listed in the official WordPress theme directory. Anyone can download it and make use of its basic features.

As of writing, the free version of Astra is installed by more than 200,000 WordPress websites. And it has garnered 1,500 five out of five stars ratings.

I tried out both the free and pro version to make this review worthwhile.

To be frank, the free version is dope. The features and customization options are limited but, they are good enough to create a simple website or a blog. I mean what do you expect? A free pass to Disneyland? Hell no.

Speaking of Disneyland, with the free version it’s like you are going around Disneyland from the outside instead of getting to have fun with the rides along with other entertainment stuff. On the bright side, you are still on the grounds of Disneyland and get to see what’s going on with your very own eyes.

Here is the list of things you can do on a WordPress post or page with the free version of Astra:

  • Edit post or page layout to make it fullwidth or boxed.
  • Edit sidebar position.
  • Disable the primary header for a post or page.
  • Disable the title of a post or page.
  • Disable the footer bar for a post or page.
  • Disable breadcrumb for a post or page.

On top of that, there is also a dedicated theme panel called Astra Options where you can find useful links to the WordPress Customizer.

Astra is only meant to be customize in the WordPress customizer. Both free version and paid version utilises the similar way.

However, for the free version, you can only set the header, the logo, the fonts, the color and the layouts in a very basic way.

Fortunately, the folks at Astra are not as evil as the Big Bad Wolf.

Image Source: FANDOM powered by Wikia

They also offer some free plugins which can be activated from the Astra Options section. These free plugins can be used to extend the customization options and features of the free version of Astra.

As you can see from the screenshot above, there is the custom fonts plugin which allows you to add more fonts into the theme. There is the sidebar manager plugin which allows you to create custom sidebars and manage it in the website. There is the ultimate addons for Gutenberg plugin which adds more useful blocks to the Gutenberg editor such as Google Map block, Testimonial block, Post Timeline block and many more.

In an overview perspective, the free version of Astra has been crafted to be able to allow you to create literally any basic types of websites. Personal portfolio, business website, blog, you name it.

And if you think what is given in the free version is not enough, you can integrate it with page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, WPBakery, and Divi to make it do wonders.

Astra is also built with SEO in mind. The theme has been developed to make it as lightweight as possible and as fast as possible so that search engines will not have anything bad to say about the page speed score. The Schema.org code is also integrated in it.

After writing this far down, only now I begin to realize why more than 200,000 people use it. Even their free features and customization options makes me weak by just writing about it. And I haven’t begun explaining the capabilities of the pro version yet.

Hats off to the 45 team members working on the theme.

Now, I will dive in and share with you more on the pro version of Astra or otherwise called Astra Pro.

Astra Pro has three different pricing options for you to choose from. The standard one is priced at $59. There is the mini agency bundle which is priced at $169. And there is the agency bundle which is priced at $249.

The one I got was the standard one; Astra Pro.

And the following are the list of additional customization options and features it comes with compared to the free version:

If I were to go through all the additional stuff one by one, I would probably bore you to death. So, I’m just gonna touch on some of the ones which I think is worth touching.

To start off, I would like to touch on Blog Pro.

This one allows you to customize the single post page in a more detailed manner such as enabling or disabling the Author Info section, autoload previous posts, adjusting the standard featured image size and so on.

Other than that, there is the Colors & Background feature which gives you more control over the colors and the background of the theme.

To cut it short, the additional stuff let you go deeper in terms of the theme customization. If the free version lets you do this much, the pro version lets you do that much.

On top of that, it is also WooCommerce friendly.

It is not WooCommerce friendly in the free version.

Then, there is the LearnDash feature. This is a popular LMS plugin used by world renown universities. It allows you to create detailed online courses, complete with gamification, engagement triggers, and drip-fed content.

Whether you are going to use this feature to create online courses or just keep it for display, you should know that this feature does not come cheap. It is priced at $159.

But most importantly, this theme is also coded to work with online courses.

In other words, Astra Pro can also be used to create advanced websites such as websites for universities, colleges, online magazines, advanced blogs, and many more.

Speaking of advanced websites, Astra Pro also comes with more than 100 ready templates. The ready templates range from an online store template all the way to a basic eCourse website template. This makes building a website with Astra Pro much easier than it already is.

And now, I feel like I’ve been bashed to write about Astra Pro because everything I write about it is good. In fact, there is really no flaws.

So, I’m going to stop writing about it before it all sounds like a marketing gimmick.

To end this piece of review, I would like to also address it’s one-to-one support which is not 24/7 and not in the form of live chat, but, in the form of ticket submission. It’s not bad as they will attend to your technical difficulties in a matter of hours or matter of minutes (depends on the time differences). Better than nothing eh?

There’s also a closed group on Facebook with close to 8,000 Astra theme users which you can gain answers from.

And there’s a proper and detailed knowledge base section on Astra’s official website where you can access documentation on how to get started with the theme, how to customize it, how to use the features and many more.

Well done Astra!