The Complete Astra Theme Review
WordPress is a free-to-use CMS for building incredibly customizable websites. It was released on May 27th of 2003 and has been a force to be reckoned with since. Astra is currently the most popular paid WordPress themes for pre-built websites, blogs, portfolios, and e-commerce stores. And so, we bring you the Astra theme review.(source)
The main features for Astra include the following:
- A fully customized website design (with no coding necessary)
- Fast performance
- Easy to customize with the visual theme customizer
- Stress-free managing of layout settings, including blog, header, pages, posts, and more
- Very detailed colors
- No jQuery (reduces performance)
- Integrates with a ton of web design tools
Developed by the company Brainstorm Force, Astra came out in 2019 to rave reviews, first establishing itself as one of the fastest themes in the market. After the initial 50,000 installs, Astra skyrocketed to become the first non-default WordPress theme to exceed a million installs.
Is Astra a Good WordPress Theme for Blogging?
Astra makes it easy to create blogs by offering a user-friendly platform for customizing blog designs without entering a single line of code. It’s great for beginners and when you need to put up a blog in under two hours.
Another reason to use Astra for your blog is that it’s very lightweight, meaning you won’t have trouble with load time. The creators also stand by their code and promise that users won’t encounter bugs.
You can use the Astra theme to create great-looking blogs in this easy-to-follow process:
Step one: Install the Astra theme.
Start by installing the Astra theme and the starter templates plugin – you will find the two extensions on the WordPress platform.
Step two: Choose a blog design from the templates.
In this step, you can preview the blog templates to find one that fits your blog nicely. When you find a design template that goes well with your blog, click on the “import site” button.
To do this, in the page builder selection, choose Elementor. It will give you a whole list of starter templates that you can work with to set things up. Using the premium Astra Pro package, you will have scores of starter templates that you can select from and preview. When you settle on one template, click the “import site.”
Step 3: Make changes to your blog with the customizer tool.
At this point, you’ve managed to import the site, and now you can make adjustments to give it some personality. It is where you get to use the Astra customizer features– It is now easier than ever because no coding is needed to customize your website. Using the customizer tools, start modifying different elements of your site, such as:
- Colors – pick out exact background colors for different pages and sections of your site.
- Select the right font for your content.
- Typography- Change how your posts appear to visitors.
The WordPress theme Astra and the builder tool ‘Elementor’ are great for creating a website because they give you much freedom to customize, even for people with no coding skills.
Astra Theme Review: Is Astra Theme Free?
The Astra theme is, for the most part, a free WordPress theme; however, they offer a premium version that adds more features and settings. The Astra Pro version costs $59 a year, with an option for a lifetime package worth $249.
A mini Astra version is also available that features over 50 starter sites plus a WordPress portfolio. The ultimate package, the Agency Bundle, costs $249 annually and contains dozens of features found in the Pro version.
Is Astra Theme SEO Friendly?
Astra is generally SEO-friendly. However, users need to understand several factors that determine whether or not a WordPress theme will boost or compromise a blog’s site rankings. Here’s how a WordPress theme influences a website’s SEO:
1. Schema Markup
Schema is an internal code that all themes have, and it is essential because search engines can access the code to gather information about a website. A schema code can have an indirect effect on site rankings, affecting thins like SERP results, and it can also lead to a higher conversion rate.
You probably know that page speed is one factor determining how well a website is ranked, and a slow theme can cause your website to face a downgrade by Google. Page speed is essential both for mobile and desktop sites, and apart from influencing website ranking, it also has a direct impact on user experience. If your theme takes longer than usual to load, it can reduce the average time people spend on your website, which for a web commerce site means a drop in revenue. It is why it’s essential to use a theme with very high page speed.
3. SEO-Friendly Header Tags
Astra theme review note: It comes with optimized header tags. Why is this important? Think of your blog posts and the headings you use. It is the first thing people see, and it’s also the first thing search engines scan when analyzing your site content. Header tags (H1, H2, H3, et cetera) are crucial for classifying and providing your content to web users.
Mobile optimization is the first thing Google looks at when indexing a website, ranking it, and when ‘crawling’ to offer users information. Because of this, your WordPress theme should have its foundations with mobile users in mind, which means combining high-quality design with fast mobile responsiveness.
In addition to having a decent schema markup, Astra also generates breadcrumbs for search engines to have an easier time grasping website structure and several other internal elements.
6. Accelerated Mobile Pages
AMP page is a new feature from Google that seeks to speed up mobile connectivity using the latest technology. AMP came out of a need for Google to meet the rising mobile user market, and it is yet another thing that will boost your site rankings. For this reason, your WordPress theme should integrate this feature in their code to boost SEO results for users.
7. “Last updated” feature
Website themes that show when the content was last updated tend to perform better with Google. If your WordPress theme doesn’t include information on when your page was last updated, it could affect your SEO results.
How Does Astra Perform In Terms Of SEO?
The Astra theme review would be complete without covering the SEO. Theme settings are inside the customizer for starters, and the theme can work with just about any page builder – many users prefer Elementor. Even the free version of Astra handles well in terms of SEO performance, and comes with these features:
- A built-in Schema markup – Astra provides schema markup for search engines, which indirectly improves SEO.
- Light theme, good performance – not many WordPress themes are under 50 KB, and the best part is, Astra doesn’t slow down by jQuery.
- Optimized site headers – Astra header tags are correctly optimized, so users don’t need to create title tags.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages – Astra themes include AMP compatibility when downloaded from the official WordPress platform, giving your blog an edge in mobile accessibility.
- Last updated – this feature is often overlooked but has a vital role in SEO. Astra’s schema shows dates for the last update; instead of showing only the date published.
Is Astra a Good Theme?
Astra is a beautiful theme, but more importantly, it is very customizable, with dozens of great website designs that you can import without technical knowledge. One of the things that make it stand out is how it works with WordPress builders such as Page Builder, Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Gutenberg.
Support is also an essential part of Astra’s overall appeal, as some websites can present challenges if they use older page builders.
The Astra Pro package provides developers with priority support and dozens of other features, including 18 pro modules and tons of widgets.
How Do I Add an Astra Theme to WordPress?
Choosing and installing a WordPress theme is pretty simple and straightforward. These themes play a vital role in how your website looks and how users interact with your content.
To install your official Astra Pro premium package, use this link – Get Astra Now.
Official WordPress themes have been tested and checked against WordPress’ theme standards. Read and follow any instructions that come with your Astra theme regarding installation, and if you have any concerns, reach out to their support desk for help. Or, if they’re too busy, as we’ve supplied this Astra theme review, you can always reach out to us for help as well.
What is Astra Child Theme?
The Child Theme is a duplication of the official Astra theme that takes all the styles and most of the functionalities of Astra Pro. As a developer, when customizing theme files, there is a risk that regular software updates can undo some of the changes, and the best way to avoid this is to use the Astra Child theme.
It provides the freedom to add new code, put in your theme templates, or play around with the functionalities in any way you want. (source)
To set up your child theme, start by;
- Typing your preferred name for the child theme
- The section “advanced” allows you to use custom branding for your child theme, so click on advanced and change the theme, author, description, et cetera.
- When complete with customizing, click on “Generate” to download your new theme onto your computer.
- You may move forward with the installation of your new theme, just like any other WordPress theme.
The Astra child theme will give you a new level of control over your blog’s theme, and it is merely one of the many features that come with Astra.
Is Astra The Fastest WordPress Theme?
We’ve reviewed a lot of themes. And the Astra theme review has shown us one thing:
Astra is, without zero doubt, one of the fastest WordPress themes, and at 50 Kb, it is lightweight.
When used as a standalone theme (without any of the starter site-packages), it clocks in under 1 second. The Astra website claims a speed of 0.4 seconds.
The load time for a “naked” theme is not an accurate representation of Astra’s looks and feels like in a fully-built website. However, Astra’s impressive is that the developers managed to keep the load time at well under one second, on a fully designed demo website.
Average Load Times
It’s important to remember that your Astra themed website’s average load time won’t be standard for every user. If, for instance, someone is using an Android phone on a 3G network, it’s going to take them a little longer than someone who’s using a Macbook on a strong LAN connection.
What most web developers aim for is load time of fewer than 3 seconds across most devices. There is no specific number for ideal load time, but most web users see the bounce rate increasing if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load a page.
Astra load time is among the highest for WordPress sites; however, to make sure your visitors experience high speeds across the board, use decent web hosting. If hosting is slow, there’s very little you can do to boost speed.
Here are a few more steps to reduce load time for your WordPress site:
- Server location – Select a server location close to your audience, as this will impact your site’s loading speed. Often, people don’t consider this, but it’s always worth considering the physical location of your servers.
- PHP – the more recent the PHP, the faster the loading speed, and the more secure your data is. To give you an idea, PHP 7.3 handles three times the number of requests as PHP 5.6. Also, using older PHP versions can you’re your site to security vulnerabilities because some versions are no longer supported.
- Allocating Resources – shared hosting can create problems for speed, especially if your host has a habit of overloading servers to reduce costs. Make sure their servers have good uptime, performance, and support. If they spend enough to keep their servers fast, they should also have decent enough security.
- Optimize images – images take about half of your website’s page size, and because of this, they can reduce speeds. It makes sense to reduce imager size, so your site doesn’t take too long to load. If you’re going to have 1,000 images on your site or blog, make sure they don’t come in a ridiculous file size of 4MB. Keep them small.
There are many other speed tricks that you can do to speed up your Astra theme, but you may need to get into some technical stuff.
Is Astra Theme Mobile Friendly?
Astra is mobile friendly, just like most of the WordPress themes that have come out in the last five years. Bloggers cannot overlook the value of having a mobile-friendly theme, especially when most site visitors are accessing content from mobile devices. Here’s how mobile adaptability affects your WordPress site:
There’s a massive difference in screen width between a desktop and mobile site, and what this means is that if you create large headers made for a desktop site, it’s going to lead to alignment problems on mobile devices.
To keep your header perfectly balanced on all devices, move it to the center, and repeat this process on all the pages on your site.
The margins on the sides of your site don’t look the same on different devices. Allocate enough space on all sides of your site and use larger margins for headers, widgets, and images. Fonts and spacing should also be just the right size so you can place valuable content at the heart of your pages.
If you’re using Elementor with Astra, they have a feature that you can use to split multi-column content into individual sections when viewed from mobile devices. This way, only one section appears at a time, covering the entire screen. There’s also a tool to make sure the columns don’t appear in reverse on mobile.
The Bottom Line
Let’s go over some key points of the Astra theme review.
Overall, Astra gives you all of the features you need and more to make sure your site looks the way you want. It has multiple features (and benefits) that you can use to switch things up whenever you want to.
Before we finish, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using Astra theme for your site:
- Astra is exceptionally lightweight, and because of this, it gives you some of the best performance stats for a WordPress theme.
- Astra’s developer team has made sure that users get access to hundreds of starter sites that work with the local block editor, Beaver Builder, Elementor, Brizy, and more.
- Astra offers elegant and detailed style controls that you can tweak in the customizer section, which is a useful tool for modifying and personalizing your site.
- Astra works with additional plugins like WooCommerce and LifterLMS, just in case you need to integrate new plugins.
- Installing and setting up an Astra theme takes a bit longer when you don’t use a starter site because then you will have to go to the WordPress Customizer to tweak things. That said, this isn’t a severe problem at all.
Astra is one of the most massively popular themes on the market, and this is because of its simplicity, speed, and the fact that it gives the user far more control than they’re used to when designing a website. It also works as a multipurpose theme so if flexibility is what you need, then try it out. Just keep in mind that adding page builder plugins will make it “heavier” than it is, but perhaps the visuals you get from it will be worth the tradeoff.