Astra theme

Astra is currently one of the most popular, fastest growing and highest rated themes in the WordPress repository today and there’s a reason why. Actually, several reasons why.

In this article, we are going to explore Astra and find out the reason(s) behind its the popular demain. We will then look at its premium version and make a decision whether we believe it is worth the money or not, based on the findings of our review.

We've used this super-popular, highly-rated theme multiple times, for several websites, and have managed to deliver awesome web designs and can tell you ALL about it - in a true, honest and unbiased review.

But before everything else, check out our rating: 

 

Summary

Price

From free, Astra Pro starts at $59

Free Trial

No but core theme is free

Pros

 Ease of use - getting up and running is very simple

 

 Performance – The theme is very fast even with all modules enabled

 

 Quality Starter Sites templates – Tens of starter sites to get up and running quickly

 

 Price – The core theme is free and PRO starts at a very reasonable price.

 

 Customization – Extensive customization options, for anything and everything you need.

Cons

 No comment layout and styling options

 

Header layout and styling options are a little lacking

 

WooCommerce support is a little lacking compared to other themes

Features

 5/5

Ease of use

 5/5

Performance

 5/5

Support

 4/5

Value for money

 5/5

Overall

 4.8/5
  Download theme now

 

The ratings look promising, isn’t it? Let’s begin!

What is Astra?

Astra wordpress theme

Astra is a free WordPress theme developed by Brainstorm Force. It is incredibly lightweight and loads in less than half a second, very easy to customize and has grown to an active install base of more than 300,000 in less than 1 year with an average 5-star rating.

BrainStorm Force is an Indian-based web development company. They are a group of professional WordPress developers that have developed, aside from Astra, a lot of different plugins.

Some of their well-known plugins are the Ultimate Add-ons for Beaver Builder and Elementor. They extend the capability of the said page builders by adding new custom widgets, blocks, elements or templates.

They are also the team behind the popular Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg, which transforms the Gutenberg editor into a what we can call a mini “native WordPress page builder”. It adds advanced custom blocks with extended features and capabilities.

Astra can be upgraded to its premium version by purchasing the Astra Pro add-on. It’s a plugin that lets you access the premium modules.

Before you continue, have a quick look at this short video with an Astra Quick Start Guide.

1. Built with Page Builder Compatibility

Astra has built from the get-go with page builder compatibility in mind. In fact, the majority of its Starter Sites, were built using either Elementor or Beaver Builder, two of the most popular pagebuilder plugins we have already reviewed on CollectiveRay.

Brainstorm Force, the theme’s developer, is also a contributor to Beaver Builder itself. One can easily infer that given how close they are with the development of the plugin, they fully understand how the page builder works at its core, allowing them to easily implement and develop features in their theme to make it highly compatible with page builders.

2. Powerful Starter Sites

Astra comes with a companion plugin called Astra Starter Sites. Once it's installed and activated, you will have access to over a hundred pre-built website templates, most of which are free. What makes them so good is that they are not just single page templates, they are entirely functional sites with all the essential pages, plugins and functionalities bundled into one.

starter sites

Starter sites are categorized based on the page builder used to build them. There are templates built with Elementor, Beaver Builder and Brizy; and there are also, at the time of this writing, 21 Gutenberg Starter Sites.

Check out all the Starter Sites Now

3. Extensive Customization Features and Options

In addition to the starter sites, the extensive customization features and options Astra offers in both the free and premium versions have garnered a lot of praise attracted a lot of users.

In the pro version, the extended customizer options cover almost every element on your website. You can alter the background color, set custom typography, change the site’s layout, etc. of almost every part of your site.

Even in the free version, you still have a wide variety of customization options, which makes Astra one, if not the most generous free themes out there.

Customize Everything

Now that we have a general overview of what Astra is, in the following sections, we are going to delve deeper into the features and capabilities of it. By the end of the article, you will be able to make a confident decision about whether you should purchase Astra Pro or not.

Performance

According to the developers of the product, the size of the Astra is less than 50KB which makes it super fast. They claim that it loads in just 0.5 seconds with default WordPress data.

various metric scores

 

We're going to put that in test right here.

We’ll be using a shared hosting test server located in Germany and testing Astra several times. We’ll be using Pingdom Tools for the test with the test server set at North America, Washington DC, meaning a transatlantic trip for our website.

Default Astra Theme Test

For this first test, we installed Astra, created a bunch of empty pages and added dummy text content. Astra Starter Site plugin is also installed and activated, but we didn’t import a template.

Here’s the result:

performance 1

We weren’t able to meet the 0.5s (500ms) load time with the default installation, but that’s understandable since we’re using a cheap shared hosting service to test this. In the end, this is still a spectacular performance.

The page size is even smaller than what they advertised.

But let's run a test, from Germany, instead of from Washington DC. This mimics a person accessing your site from your own country, or accesing the site through a CDN.

test germany to germany - less than 200ms

Isn't that absolutely beautiful? Less than 200ms, for a fully-loaded site, and a top performance grade to boot. That's just 1/5th of a second...impressive!

Default Astra with Astra Pro But No Modules Active

For the next test, we’ll be testing the same site but this time, with Astra Pro installed, however, we will not activate any modules.

The results:

performance 2

The number of requests, page size, and load time increased. It seems that just installing Astra Pro, even without activating any modules at all, added some sort of code in the theme, which is understandable, but we can see that it is still as lightweight as ever.

Default Astra with Astra Pro and the Majority of Modules Active

We’ll be testing the same site for the third time but this time, all modules are active, except for the following:

inactive modules

The reason is that we’ll need to install prerequisite plugins for these to be activated. Our goal here is to test the performance of only Astra and its direct Add-Ons.

Here’s the result:

performance 3

The page size almost doubled but the load time and the number of requests have only slightly changed. So far, excellent results!

Astra Starter Site with the Majority of Modules Active

For the final test, we’ll be able to have an insight as to how Astra would perform in a real-world scenario. We’re going to import one of the sites from the Starter Site library and check its performance.

Overall, this test site will consist of the following:

  • Astra Pro with almost all modules activated
  • Astra Starter Site plugin
  • Astra theme
  • Elementor
  • Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg
  • WPForms Lite
  • Starter Template called “BBQ Restaurant”

And the result:

performance 4

The result is pretty impressive! The site loads in under 2 seconds and generates ONLY 86 requests. Any time a sites achieves a loading time of under 2 seconds, it is rated as very fast. 

But, remember that our test setup is realistic, rather than optimized to show great results.

We are testing using a shared hosting server in Germany and our Pingdom test server is in Washington DC. The site still managed to load in under 2 seconds! The page size and the number of requests are expected and are probably even lower than your average website.

Overall, Astra’s performance is absolutey top-notch. Even on a dirt-cheap hosting service, it was able to perform very well. So far, we can say that Astra Pro is definitely worth it.

Let's now take a quick tour of Astra Pro’s features.

Features

Astra comes with a massive array of features, especially in the pro version, which we’ll explore in this section.

Let’s begin!

Customize without Code

Since the theme is built with page builder compatibility in mind, it can be easily customized without having to write a single line of code. You can do all customization via page builders, or mix and match Astra customizer settings with the page builder of your choice.

If you don’t want to use page builders and just want the default theme itself, its powerful customizer features let you customize the colors, typography, layout, and many other settings of almost every element of your site, especially in the pro version.

And with the help of the Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg, you can create professional web pages as if they were built using page builders.

Customizer Options

Astra has one of the most extensive customizers.

It lets you customize your site’s colors, layout, footer, header, background, etc. It extends the default WordPress customizer and adds a massive amount of new options and additional features.

customizer options

In addition to the theme customizer, you also have the ability to control layout and design options per individual posts and pages via the meta settings. You can specify sidebar options or hide the page title, etc.

meta settings

With Astra Pro, you can extend the theme customizer options to the next level.

Astra Pro will let you access the modules found in Appearance > Astra Options.

As of the time of this writing, the following PRO modules are available:

  • Colors & Background
  • Typography
  • Spacing
  • Blog Pro
  • Mobile Header
  • Header Sections
  • Nav Menu
  • Sticky Header
  • Page Headers
  • Custom Layouts
  • Site Layouts
  • Footer Widgets
  • Scroll To Top
  • WooCommerce
  • Easy Digital Downloads
  • LearnDash
  • LifterLMS
  • White Label

 

astra pro modules

Each module can be activated separately. Some of them require prerequisite plugins to be activated first before you can access them such as WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, LearnDash, and LifterLMS modules.

With this level of control, you can activate only the modules you need, reducing server stress and thereby increasing your site’s performance.

Global Design Options

There a dedicated global design option in Astra, but each module or customizer option has what we can call global defaults.

Some of the settings where you can configure global defaults are the following:

  • Colors & Background > Base Colors
  • Typography > Base Typography
  • Layout > Container

colors

These global options let you give your site an overall feel or what we call an identity. Of course, anything you set per module or per post will override these defaults.

Keep in mind that page builder settings will also override these defaults.

Colors and Typography

The colors and typography give personality to a website and Astra provides you with enough options to help give your site the personality you want.

Enabling the Colors & Background and the Typography modules will allow you to access a bunch of new selection of colors, background, and typography customizer options.

Colors & Background

Once the modules are activated, you can go to Appearance > Customize and then Colors & Background. You can now configure colors for almost all elements of your site.

You can apply custom colors and background to breadcrumbs, headers, sidebars, footer, etc. If you have WooCommerce installed and activated, you can also access extra WooCommerce color settings.

colors background

Some elements have responsive color options.

For example, for the header element, you can choose to have different background colors for mobile and desktop. You can define custom colors for desktop, tablets and mobile devices.

You can do that by clicking on the device icon found in elements that support custom responsive options.

responsive colors

There’s one little tricky thing here. If you’re using the scroll to top module, one of the things you might notice is that you can’t configure its color options. You might think that it has a fixed appearance, but it doesn’t. You can define your own colors for it.

scroll to top colors

This module’s color settings are in the Layout category. You can access its color settings via Appearance > Layout > Scroll to Top.

Site Layouts

One of the best features of Astra is the ability to fine-tune your site’s layout to your heart’s content.

You can control the layout of many elements of your site including the header, breadcrumbs, blog, sidebar, footer, container, etc.

Let’s explore various layout controls we can find in Astra Pro.

Header

For the header, you have controls various header types. There are layout controls for the different header parts such as the primary header, above header, below header, sticky header, transparent header, etc.

header layout

Each of them comes with advanced layout controls that let you enable/disable certain items, control the size, padding, alignment, add content, etc.

Breadcrumb

Breadcrumb layout controls include positioning controls and the option to set them where and when they should appear. For example, you can disable them on the homepage and 404 pages.

breadcrumb layout

Blog

The powerful blog layout controls let you customize a lot of things on your blog page and single post pages.

blog layout

You can choose your blog layout, select how many columns will be displayed in the grid layout, enable or disable certain elements, etc.

One of the interesting options here is the ability to rearrange blog meta and customize the post structure. You can drag and drop them to rearrange them.

blog meta restructuring

Other options you can configure in the blog layout customization section are the spacing, featured image size, excerpt count, read more text, and many others.

Sidebars

Next up are the layout controls for sidebars. At the very top, you can see the option to set the default layout. This is where you define the default sidebar layout for your entire site here.

sidebar layout

Going down you can set different sidebar layout for posts, pages, blog post archives, etc. which will override the defaults.

WooCommerce

If you have WooCommerce installed and activated, you can see also see additional sidebar options for your WooCommerce pages.

Other things you can set are the spacing, sidebar width, etc.

If you want to have a special sidebar setting for a post or page, you can override customizer via its meta settings, which we already saw earlier.

In the footer layout options, you can define how many footer widgets you want to be displayed and also adjust the width, padding, spacing, etc.

footer layout

In this section is where you can also customize the contents of your footer bar. You can either put a footer menu, a custom text, a widget or disable it entirely.

Scroll to top

Then we have the scroll to top options, which will only appear here if you’ve enabled its module. We’ve already discussed it for a bit earlier; aside from colors, you can also customize its positioning and control whether it will appear in desktop, mobile or both.

Container

Finally, the container layout options will define the “global” layout defaults. You can set your site layout to either full width, max-width, padded, fluid, etc. It also gives you separate options for pages, blog posts, blog archives, etc.

container layout

Overall, the layout controls are pretty much exhaustive. Want to change that widget’s layout? Go here.

There’s almost no element whose layout you can't change with Astra Pro.

Page Headers

The Page Headers module allows you to design custom page headers and control where and when they would appear.

With this, you can add attractive page headers above your content and below your navigation.

You can access page headers via appearance > page headers. From there, you can now create as many page headers as you like.

page headers

You can finely control their display settings. You can choose to display them on your entire site or you can choose to display them on a specific page when a user is logged in with a specific role.

If you want, you can also merge your page header with the site header.

Wait, what is the difference between page and site header, you ask? Page header appears below the site header and before the content and is dynamic. They can change depending on what page the user is in. Site header, on the other hand, contains your site logo, navigation menu and perhaps other stuff like the shopping cart button, search button, etc. It remains static and is displayed on your entire site. Basically, page headers are page-specific while site headers are site-wide.

page header demo

In the image above, from the top, we can see the site header, which contains the logo and the menu, then the page header with the word “About” with an arrow pointing to it, and finally, the content.

Other page header settings you can customize include color options, size, background color/image options, and more.

Responsive Options

The majority of the items in the customizer comes with powerful responsive controls. For example, you can define custom typography and color for each device.

For example, your page header can have a blue background in desktop, green in tablets and violet on mobile.

You can also define custom sizes per device. You can define padding and width for desktop and for mobile.

You can access these responsive options by clicking on the device button found on many items in the customizer.

responsive controls

Some elements have advanced options for desktop and mobile. One example is the header element which comes with two sections of customization settings. The first one is for desktop and the second one is for mobile.

advanced responsive controls

WooCommerce Ready

Astra is WooCommerce compatible out of the box, and they have customization options available if you have it installed and activated.

From within Astra’s customizer, you can access various design and layout settings for your WooCommerce pages.

After installing and activating WooCommerce, you will see additional customizer settings exclusive for WooCommerce.

One of the most prominent ones is in Layouts where you can customize WooCommerce pages’ layouts. You will be able to customize the product structure just like in the blog customization settings, control how many products are displayed per page, how many shop columns you want, etc.

woocommerce layout

There are other additional customization options for WooCommerce scattered in the customizer. For example, in the Customize > Layout > Header > Primary Header, you will now be able to choose the shopping cart icon as the last item in your menu.

woocommerce header

In addition to that, there is an independent sidebar control for WooCommerce pages via Layout > Sidebar. The two additional options will let you customize sidebar position for all WooCommerce pages and for single product pages. These options override every other sidebar setting you defined.

woocommerce sidebar

Of course, this isn’t complete if you can’t define custom colors for your e-commerce pages. Color settings can be accessed via Colors & Background > WooCommerce.

woocommerce colors

The color palette looks a bit messed up since GIFs has limited colors.

Lastly, as with other pages, you can access individual layout options per WooCommerce pages via meta settings. The settings here, especially the sidebar settings, will override all other settings you defined.

woocommerce page meta

Add-Ons

Aside from the Ultimate Pagebuilder Add-ons, Astra comes with tons of other free add-ons which can be accessed via Appearance > Astra Options > Extend Astra.

free addons

There are currently 9 free addons:

  • Import / Export Customizer Settings allows you to import your Astra customization settings to other sites or export Astra customization settings from another site.
  • Astra Customizer Reset is great for test sites where you are messing around. Lets you quickly reset Astra to default.
  • Customizer Search helps you find customizer options more easily by searching for the setting you are looking for. With the massive array of customizer settings, this is very handy.
  • Astra Bulk Edit helps you mass edit Astra Meta settings.
    • Can, for example, enable or disable page title on multiple pages.
  • Astra Widgets adds three new widgets: Address, List Icons, and Social Profiles.
  • Custom Fonts lets you upload your own fonts for use on your site. However, it only works with a limited number of themes and plugins as of the moment:
    • Astra Theme
    • Beaver Builder Theme
    • Beaver Builder Plugin
    • Elementor Page Builder
  • Custom Typekit Fonts works similarly as the Custom Fonts but this time, its for Adobe Fonts. Currently also only compatible with similar themes and plugins as custom fonts.
  • Sidebar Manager gives you advanced sidebar management options such as the ability to display different kinds of sidebars depending on the page.
  • Ultimate Add-ons for Gutenberg adds powerful new blocks in Gutenberg Editor.

 

While we actually weren’t able to cover the entire feature set in thorough detail, because it would literally take us forver, with the above you should have a broad overview of what Astra has to offer.

Most of all, you can understand the extensive extendibility (pun intended!) options the theme has to offer.

Next up, let’s check out their support and documentation.

Support and Documentation

Aside from features and pricing, another important thing for premium products is support and documentation. A product can only be so good. People will still have questions. People won’t magically thoroughly understand your products or services.

If you experienced a problem and you needed help, how fast can the team respond to you? Can they even help you?

Is the documentation good? Can you easily find what you are looking for? Can you clearly understand what’s written?

Those questions will help us know 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 they have and check out if their documentation is good or not.

Let’s begin!

Documentation

Their documentation is one of the most extensive. 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 doc. It has a search, a sidebar and a nice categorized grid of menus as its index page.

documentation page

If you want a really quick way of accessing the doc, 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.

google search

You basically 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.

documentation screenshot

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 lets you jump around faster and quicker. There’s also a sidebar on the right containing links to other articles in the documentation.

Video Documentation and Tutorials

Aside from their text documentations, they also provide video documentation and tutorials on their own YouTube channel. For those who are more into video demonstration and tutorials, you’ll find this very helpful.

Their YouTube channel also contains information about general WordPress usage. And they have videos not only for Astra but also for their other products like the Ultimate Addons, Convert Pro, etc.

Support

They offer three types of support: pre-sale, pro and free. If you access their support page, you’ll be greeted by this:

support page

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 unnecessary step.

While their support can be considered as one of the best in the market, there’s still a handful of records of them being slow to respond, which is evident in their Facebook Page.

complaint

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 slow response time during those days. We can say that they don’t have 24/7 support. This is why our rating for their support is the lowest in our table at the beginning of the article.

This is one of the areas they should improve. As a company serving hundreds of thousands of customers, they should be ready to answer questions as fast as possible, no matter the day.

Next up, pricing!

Pricing

Astra itself is free. If you would like to see the Astra Pro options, here they are in a nutshell:

  • Astra Pro - $59
  • Mini agency bundle - $169
  • Agency bundle - $249

Let's explain in detail what each of them offers.

To activate its premium features and functionalities, you have to purchase a license for their Astra Pro Addon, a plugin which has a starting price of $59 a year.

There are two other plans available: the Mini Agency Bundle, which costs $169 a year and the Agency Bundle, which costs $249 a year. It’s possible to upgrade from a lower tier to a higher plan but not vice versa.

Renewals on all annual plans come with a 20% discount.

annual pricing

If you'd rather not pay an annual price, you can buy a lifetime license instead. If, however, you are already in an annual plan and decided to you’d rather want a lifetime license instead, you can easily upgrade.

The price for a lifetime license is $249, $499 and $699 for Astra Pro, Mini Agency Bundle and Agency Bundle respectively.

Annual and lifetime licenses don’t have any differences aside from the duration of the license. There is no feature, functionality or bonus that is exclusive to either license type.

lifetime pricing

All of their plans, annual or lifetime, come with a 14-day, no questions asked, money-back guarantee.

What are the differences between the plans?

The Astra Pro plan only includes the Astra Pro plugin that lets you access premium features and functionalities including one-to-one support, extensive training, and unlimited website usage.

The Mini Agency Bundle includes everything in the Astra Pro Plan with the addition of WP Portfolio Plugin and plus your choice of premium Ultimate Add-on (Ultimate Addons for Elementor or Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder). The addons enhance Elementor and Beaver Builder respectively by adding custom widgets, modules or elements. You will also have access to the premium site templates in the Astra Starter Site Library in this bundle.

Finally, the Agency Bundle includes everything from the Mini Agency bundle, including both Ultimate Addons with the addition of Convert Pro, Schema Pro along with any of their future plugins.

No matter the plan you choose, your license can be used on an unlimited number of websites.

Each bundled plugin, e.g. Schema Pro, WP Portfolio, etc. has their own license keys which let you use them even on a website that’s not using Astra.

Overall, Astra offers flexible pricing plans that let you choose what you need depending on your budget.

Check out all the pricing options

Coupon Code / Discount

Every so often, BSF will have a sale or we could work with the vendor to get an Astra discount, which we will add here. 

Click here for the lowest price on Astra until

Next, let’s see what users think of Astra.

Testimonials / User Satisfaction

We found out that their support can be a bit iffy during weekends, but nevertheless when the time is right, their support is exceptional. Perhaps they should invest more time or hire additional workforce to ensure they can provide true 24/7 support.

The perfect 5-star rating and the high number of raters in the WordPress theme repository reflect how satisfied users are with Astra.

As of the time of this writing, Astra is rated 5 out of 5 stars by 2215 raters. If you had to check it out today, you'll probably find that the number has grown significantly!

wordpress ratings

The number of users who rated it 3-stars and below is so low they are clearly insignificant and would probably stem from something which the company has no control over.

Chris Lema, the influential founder of Liquid Web and a top consultant on WordPress had this to say:

chris lema testimonial

And the founder of WP Beginner, Syed Balkhi, also had great things to say:

syed balkhi testimonial

Let's have a look at some Astra reviews from WordPress:

wp testimonial 1

Source

wp testimonial 2

Source

wp testimonial 3

There are also dozens of reviews from their Facebook page which you can find here. As of the time of this writing, the theme has 4.8 out of 5 ratings based on the opinion of 40 people on Facebook.

fb ratings

Some of the Facebook reviews are as follows:

fb review 1

fb review 2

fb review 3

While there are negative reviews here and there, the massive majority of people are clearly satisfied with Astra right now. The extensive free features and the powerful pro upgrades make it one of the best choices for building your WordPress site.

Alternatives

While we love Astra, we don't believe this Astra review would be complete without sugguesting some alternatives from the many there are to choose from. Some of the best alternatives to Astra are GeneratePress, OceanWP, and Neve.

GeneratePress

GeneratePress rivals Astra in terms of speed and performance, perhaps even surpassing it by a small margin. Both of them offer very similar premium features. GeneratePress also has modules which you can activate or deactivate at will.

We have reviewed GeneratePress here on Collectiveray.

generatepress

One major difference between Astra and GeneratePress is that Astra offers more features in its free version. But in both premium versions, you can’t go wrong with either of them.

GeneratePress wins hands down, however, in terms of performance when it comes to both premium version. Since GeneratePress doesn’t need to make use of third party page builders to create beautiful websites, it requires fewer resources than Astra with Page Builders.

Further, GeneratePress support team is a step ahead of Astra’s. They have a public support forum where you can actually see how responsive they are and both their WordPress support forum and their own dedicated forum are monitored and actively visited by the GeneratePress team.

The only downside of this theme is that it doesn’t have the same level of compatibility to page builders as Astra.

OceanWP

This one, like Astra, is also built with page builder compatibility in mind. This one, however, seems to be mainly fine-tuned to be perfectly compatible with Elementor. It still works very well with other major page builders though.

It also comes with tons of customization features and options that rivals that of Astra.

We've also reviewed OceanWP here on Collectiveray.

oceanwp

OceanWP is perhaps the best choice for e-commerce websites since it has functionalities targeted for improving product and cart pages.

Further, OceanWP comes with powerful hooks for developers, making it more developer-friendly than Astra.

It also comes with a library of pre-built websites, but the majority of them requires premium extensions to look exactly the same.

One of the interesting features of OceanWP is the ability for you to enable or disable certain CSS and JavaScript files from loading, giving you fine-grained control over your site’s performance.

Neve

Another excellent alternative is Neve. While this is probably the least popular of our alternatives with currently only 40,000 active installs, it still rivals the more popular theme in terms of features.

It’s a relatively newer player, much newer than Astra - only 10 months old.

neve

Neve comes with its own Site Library built with either Elementor, Brizy or Gutenberg. They match Astra’s Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg with a third party plugin called Gutenberg Blocks and Template Library by Otter, which offers a little bit better editing experience than Astra’s Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg.

In terms of customizer options, it rivals that of Astra and others in this list. It has extensive customization options which are largely similar to what the others have in this list.

While its a relatively young theme, its actively developed and has gotten better over time and pretty soon, it will join the ranks of the top tier most downloaded themes in the market and like Astra, it’s backed by a team of professional developers, ThemeIsle.

Next, let’s check what the Astra Starter Site library has to offer!

21 Best Astra Child Theme / Examples

Now that we’ve reviewed the theme’s features and offerings and saw its support and documentation, it’s time to take a look at some of the best Astra Starter Site examples.

If you made it here, it's highly likely that you already had your mind set on using Astra for your website or next project. To further solidify it, we’re going to give you a tour on 20 of the best Astra Starter site templates.

There are currently over 100 templates available in the Site Library; 103 for Elementor, 93 for Beaver Builder, 21 for Gutenberg, and 45 for Brizy.

The following demos are what you can create/import with Astra and page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder and, at times, Gutenberg and Brizy.

1. Pet Services

sample site 01

 

The Pet services stater is excellent for any kind of pet-related services such as dog grooming, vets, dog walkers, pet shops and others/ Requires Elementor or Beaver Builder. Check out the live demo by clicking above.

2. Custom Printing

sample site 02

The requires an Agency license, and either Elementor or Beaver Builder - it's a perfect option for a tshirt shop or other similar concepts, such as posters and large products which require great imagery to sell. Check out the live demo above.

3. BBQ Restaurant

sample site 03

An food based website, for any kind of catering establishement requires the use of great imagery related to the food served. BBQ is a perfect example of this used well. The starter uses Beaver Builder, Elementor or Gutenberg. Check out the live demo. Can you smell the barby cooking?

4. Accountant

sample site 04

Pefect for service-related industries such as financial and legal, though it could work for any service-related professions. Requires Beaver Builder or Elementor.

5. Organic Store

sample site 05

Food and / health shop, health related productsm even makeup and other beuaty products would fit nicely in this starter. Requires either Beaver Builder or Elementor. Live demo here.

6. Health Coach

sample site 06

This Elementor exclusive starter and one of the great Astra examples which are perfect for coaching professions, such as health, fitness, dance or yoga, business coaches, and other coaching or instructor-based services. Requires Agency license. Click to access the live demo above.

7. Wanderlust Travel Diary

sample site 07

Travel blogging has been growing and growing for the last few years and shows absolutely no sign of stopping. With cheap air travel and more and more people taking a sabbatical to travel, there will be no shortage of travel blogs (and this Astra example fits perfectly in this niche). This template is different since it has a noticeable difference between its Beaver Builder and Elementor versions. The screenshot above shows the Beaver Builder version of the template. Requires Agency license.

8. Photographer

sample site 08

We can't have a listing of Astra examples without featuring a photographer template. We love this one because it's a great showcase which makes it's selling through the photos which are displayed, keeping it minimal in the process. A Gutenberg exclusive template. See how beautiful this template is; you thought it was built with a page builder, didn’t you? Check out the demo above.

9. Plumber

sample site 09

Plumbers and localized skill or service industries are always hot. They are also a great market for SEO, something which this theme des A full-width template, Plumber is available for Elementor, Beaver Builder and Gutenberg. Check out the Gutenberg live demo on top.

10. Freelancer

sample site 10

Perfect for Freelancers, this template is available for Brizy, Beaver Builder and Elementor. Requires Agency license. Checkout the Brizy version demo.

11. Wedding Invitation

Specialized for Wedding and can be reused for other similar events, this template is available for Beaver Builder, Elementor and Brizy. Check out the Beaver Builder version demo here.

sample site 11

Specialized for Wedding and can be reused for other similar events, this template is available for Beaver Builder, Elementor and Brizy. Check out the Beaver Builder version demo above.

12. Charity

sample site 12

Available in Elementor, Beaver Builder and Brizy versions. Requires Agency license. Check out the Brizy version demo from the above link.

13. LearnDash Academy

sample site 13

Available for Beaver Builder, Elementor and Gutenberg. Check out Gutenberg version here, this is an excellent astra child theme if you want to build an online course.

14. Shoe Store

sample site 14

Available for Beaver Builder and Elementor. Requires Agency license. See the live Beaver Builder version here to see the excellent Astra child theme to use if building a product online store.

15. Growth Marketer

sample site 15

Template catered for blogging specifically for marketers, this is available for Elementor, Beaver Builder and Gutenberg. Check out the Elementor version demo here.

16. Agency

sample site 16

As the name implies, this template requires the Agency license. Available for Elementor, Beaver Builder and Brizy. Also, if you notice, this is similar to Astra homepage’s template. Check out the live Brizy version of this template here.

17. Disc Jockey

sample site 17

Elementor exclusive template. Requires Agency license. Check out the demo here to see how nicely this dark background theme fits with the niche.

18. Swimming Pool Services

sample site 18

Another Elementor exclusive, this template or Astra child theme also requires Agency license. Check out the demo here for another example which is great for local services.

19. Gym & Fitness

sample site 19

Geat premium template that requires Agency license. Available for Elementor, Beaver Builder and Brizy. Check out the Beaver Builder version here.

20. Travel Blog

sample site 20

This beautiful template is exclusive for Gutenberg. Check out the demo above.

21. Fashion Lifestyle Blog

fashion lifestyle blog

 

Another hot niche, fashion and lifestlye blogs are all the rage and you'll never have a shortage of demand for such sites. Check out the above demo which fits nicely with this niche.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Astra theme free?

Yes, Astra theme is free. There is also an Astra Pro version which adds a number of features which starts at $59.

2. What is Astra Pro?

Astra Pro is the premium version of the theme. Astra Pro adds a significant number of features such as sticky headers and other header designs, multiple site layouts, access to premium starter sites, custom layouts, better typography, more color controls, white-label and plenty of other functions.

3. How do I load starter sites on Astra?

To load starter sites you need to install the Starter Sites plugin. You can then go to Appearance > Astra Sites, select a website you wish to import. You will then be prompted to install a number of recommended plugins for that starter site. Once these recommended plugins are installed, click on Import Site to fully import the content and structure of the starter site you have chosen.

4. Does Astra support pagebuilders?

Yes, Astra supports the most popular pagebuilders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg, Brizy and others. It has very good integration with Elementor, and makes for a very good combination with it.

5. What are the best themes to use with Elementor?

Astra is surely one of the best times to use with Elementor. But there are also a number of other themes which we mentioned as alternatives above which have excellent support for Elementor too.

Conclusion - Should You Buy Astra Theme?

Astra’s rapid growth and rise in popularity are fueled by its powerful Starter Sites which contains beautiful full website templates, which many, perhaps about 80% of them, are free.

Since the boom of the internet and the need for businesses and individuals to have a website of their own, Astra’s offerings are too irresistible. And while many free versions are so trimmed down that you’ll have to pay for an upgrade to be able to create a “useable” website, Astra is different. With it, you can have a premium website for free.

Of course, if you need even more powerful customization features and extensions, there’s Astra Pro. It makes building a website so easy that even a middle school student can create a professional-looking website.

There, Astra Pro is definitely a must-have if you want to maximize its customization potential. The annual license is cheap and should you decide to change to lifetime license, it can be easily done at a prorated rate. Plus, your license can be used on unlimited sites.

The Mini Agency Bundle is the best bang for your buck if you are using either Beaver Builder or Elementor to build your site. The powerful Ultimate Add-ons make these already powerful page builders even more powerful. What’s best about this pricing plan is that you don’t have to purchase the premium versions of the page builders, thanks to the Ultimate Add-ons. So, you don’t actually have to purchase and manage separate licenses for your sites.

As for their support, it still needs improvement. It’s evident that they are slower during weekends and possibly even during holidays (which is still understandable). However, support is one of the most important things customers look for when buying a premium product, so they should work towards improving their support. If you were to open a ticket or contact their support on weekdays, however, you shouldn’t have any problems. In the end, their support is still great compared to many others (which are often slow no matter the day or time of year it is).

Astra Pro is certainly worth the money, especially if you are using Beaver Builder or Elementor. It’s great for users who want to be able to design their own site without the help of a web designer. The page builder compatibility paired with very extensive customizer features and powerful add-ons gives you the complete set of tools that will enable you to craft beautiful, compelling and professional websites with ease. So while they are a little lacking in the support side, the extensive feature set makes up for it and it’s not like they have very bad support either.

So go ahead, you won't regret you've launched your next site on the Astra theme!

Download Astra Pro at the lowest price until

One more thing... Did you know that people who share useful stuff like this post look AWESOME too? ;-)
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