So you can't decide between Astra vs OceanWP, right? We don't blame you!
Astra and OceanWP are two of the most popular WordPress themes in the market today. At the time of writing, Astra boasts over 1,000,000 active installs while OceanWP has over 600,000; both flaunt thousands of 5-star reviews in the WordPress theme repository, which further proves how good they are.
Their premium versions are also among the best of the best. Both have extensive customization options allowing anyone to design their website the way they want without writing a single line of code. Their WooCommerce support is top-notch and the page builder integration they offer is of a high standard. You can’t go wrong with either.
While they’re both great, there are some key differences between the two. These differences will heavily affect your final choice. The aim of this comparison between Astra vs OceanWP is to walk you through those key differences allowing you to understand what a theme is best used for so that you can pick the perfect one for your needs.
Let’s get started!
Just a reminder, we’re strictly comparing their premium versions only. This means that many options and items we’ll cover here will not be present when you try out their free versions.
Before we thoroughly compare Astra vs OceanWP, here’s a summary:
There’s no clear winner between the two since their differences balance out evenly. In the end, it will depend on whether you’re an individual user whose focus is to build an e-commerce website or a developer or enthusiast wanting to build multiple websites for their clients or personal needs.
To help you better understand why we made this decision and conclusion, read on.
One of the main reasons for purchasing a premium theme is the feature set. In this section, we’re going to tackle both theme’s unique features.
Both OceanWP Pro and Astra Pro boast a significant number of features, many of which you’d expect from a paid theme. For example, they both have an extensive premium customizer, excellent support for WooCommerce, tight integration with page builders, and a wide selection of starter templates or demo sites to help you quickly build a site from scratch.
Since this is a comparison article to find how if OceanWP or Astra is the better choice, we’re not going to do a complete tour of each and every feature and option they have.
With that in mind, we’re going to direct our focus into describing the unique features, options, and settings of each theme and what one theme does better than the other. If you want an in-depth dedicated review and guide for each, we do have one for both, so definitely check them out!
Now that everything’s clear, let’s get started!
Astra Unique Features
Astra prides itself as a theme that can meet the needs of everyone. The theme’s developers continuously add new features to improve it in order to meet the demands of its users. They also continuously overhaul existing features to further improve them from time to time, making the theme better with every update.
Here are some of Astra’s unique features that you can’t find on OceanWP:
- LearnDash, LifterLMS, and Easy Digital Downloads integration
- Deep integration with Elementor and Beaver Builder (via Ultimate Addons in Mini Agency or higher plans)
- Large selection of demo sites (most are available starting in the Mini Agency plans)
- Fast and very well-organized customizer
- Unlimited website usage
OceanWP Unique Features
OceanWP is also a powerful multipurpose theme that caters to the needs of both developers and hobbyists. They claim to have the market-leading WooCommerce integration — which shows. This makes them one of the best themes for setting up an online store.
- Here are some of OceanWP’s unique features that you can’t find on Astra:
- Deep integration with WooCommerce
- Native popup login
- In-depth page-level customization
Page Builder Support
The continuous growth in the popularity of page builders have made many themes, both free and premium, to include support for them. Naturally, both Astra and OceanWP have included incredible support for them as well. This is noticeable on their demo sites where the majority were built using the help of a page builder.
A page builder, by default, can support almost all themes in existence. However, the difference between a theme that doesn’t include explicit support for a page builder and one that says it supports it is night and day.
Anyway, let’s take a look at both Astra and OceanWP’s page builder support.
Astra Pro Page Builder Support
Astra is built with page builder support in mind. In fact, its developers even built extensions for Elementor and Beaver Builder (the Ultimate Addons plugin), two of the most popular page builders in the market today. These add-ons give users additional page builder elements and section blocks that you can utilize to further enhance your designing experience. However, you’ll need at least the Mini Agency plan to gain access to these.
One way to check a theme’s page builder support is by the number of page-level customization options it has. The ability to disable certain page elements such as the sidebar, footer, header, etc. so that the page builder can come in and do its thing is important. Things such as page-level custom layouts, custom width, etc. are also important.
Astra comes with decent page-level customization. For example, you can disable the header or use a boxed layout on a certain page.
You can see from the screenshot above (taken from an Astra Pro install) how much flexibility you have when it comes to single page customization. This allows you to further enhance your page when designing it with a page builder. With this, you can easily create unique pages for specific purposes.
OceanWP Pro Page Builder Support
OceanWP is also built to be compatible with page builders. However, it seems that it heavily favors the Elementor page builder above others.
Their demo sites are almost all built with it, plus they have a premium add-on (included with OceanWP Pro) called “Ocean Elementor Widgets”, which adds a boatload of new elements that you can use.
One of the major advantages of OceanWP over Astras is its page-level customization options which far surpasses that of Astra’s.
There’s a large variety of options and features that will allow you to build a beautiful and elegant page effortlessly. The number of settings is enough to make a truly unique page for a very specific purpose.
The number of options, as you can see from the screenshot above, is enough to write a separate guide about. You have options for configuring almost anything such as the header, logo, breadcrumbs, footer, etc.
One of the most interesting and powerful features here is the shortcodes section. This will allow you to insert shortcodes generated by the theme or by an external plugin to specific parts of the page, opening up a vista of customization and design capabilities and options.
Astra has an impressive library of starter sites built with different page builders along with the Ultimate Addons plugin, but OceanWP’s page-level customization and deep integration with Elementor is not something to be set aside.
There’s a big difference between Astra and OceanWP’s user interface. Both their customizer and theme options pages are very much different from one another.
Let’s take a look.
Astra’s Options Page
Astra’s main options can be accessed via Appearance > Astra Options.
The page displays all information you need about Astra and links to various customization options and external help pages related to the theme. This is also the page where you can view and control your premium modules.
OceanWP’s Options Page
OceanWP’s main options page can be accessed through the Theme Panel menu item in the left admin navigation sidebar.
The page has two tabs: Features and Integrations.
The Features tab contains various theme options such as the toggle for certain customizer sections, white labeling settings, etc. There are also shortcuts that will lead you directly to a certain section of the theme’s customizer.
The Integrations tab contains integration options and configuration for MailChimp, Google Maps, and Google reCAPTCHA.
Astra Customizer Page
Astra’s customizer page is one of the cleanest and most organized in the market today. Since its version 2.0 release, its developers updated its customizer, optimizing and decluttering it.
The developers were able to avoid clutter by utilizing a simpler layout tab, hiding more options behind a pencil icon, as seen below.
OceanWP Customizer Page
OceanWP’s customizer page is a bit all over the place contrary to Astra’s. They are still grouped together, but not as intuitive as Astra’s.
Depending on how many active premium addons you have, this customizer can grow even larger.
Compared to Astra, however, OceanWP’s customizer is filled to the brim. You can customize almost all elements using the theme’s built-in customizer. There’s no need to write a single line of code at all.
The downside is the learning curve and performance. With so many options available, it can be a little bit hard to navigate and will take some time to learn and get used to. In addition to that, the performance can suffer as well.
It’s mostly about personal preference but overall we like Astra’s customizer more than OceanWP, mostly due to its usability. However, in terms of available options, OceanWP far surpasses Astra’s. From a feature standpoint, OceanWP definitely comes out on top.
Speed & Performance
The speed and performance of your website are extremely important. Your audience will leave and probably will never come back to your website again if it takes it forever to load.
Your site’s performance is affected by many factors and your theme is a major one. Even if you have a blazing fast hosting, optimized server, lightweight images, but if your theme is poorly coded, it will single-handedly drag down your site’s overall performance. Therefore, it’s important that the theme you choose is built with performance in mind.
Thankfully, both Astra and OceanWP are well-optimized and built to ensure blazing fast load times and performance.
To find out which theme has better performance, we ran two different tests on both themes. The first run is the default installation without any content. The second run contains some demo content imported from their respective demo collections. All tests are performed using Pingdom Tools.
Let’s take a look at the results.
Astra Performance Test
We’re going to take a look at Astra first. The test was run in two phases: bare-bones installation with WooCommerce and demo data and full install with demo content (and whatever plugins the demo content requires). Each phase was run three times and we’ve picked the best results to showcase here.
- Starter Templates
- WooCommerce with demo data
- Astra Pro with the following modules activated:
- Colors & Background
- Blog Pro
- Mobile Header
- Header Sections
- Nav Menu
- Sticky Header
- Page Headers
- Custom Layouts
- Site Layouts
- Footer Widgets
- Scroll To Top
- White Label
- Starter Templates
- WPForms Lite
OceanWP Performance Test
Next, we’re going to test OceanWP. Similar setup with Astra. The test was run in two phases and each phase was run three times. The first page is the default no content installation and the second phase is the demo version populated with demo content along with whatever plugins are required by said demo.
- OceanWP Extra
- WooCommerce with demo data
- Ocean Cooking Notice
- Ocean Custom Sidebar
- Ocean Elementor Widgets
- Ocean Extra
- Ocean Footer Callout
- Ocean Full Screen
- Ocean Hooks
- Ocean Instagram
- Ocean Modal Window
- Ocean Popup Login
- Ocean Portfolio
- Ocean Posts Slider
- Ocean Pro Demos
- Ocean Side Panel
- Ocean Social Sharing
- Ocean Stick Anything
- Ocean Sticky Footer
- Ocean Sticky Header
- Ocean White Label
- Ocean Woo Popup
- WooCommerce with demo data
- WPForms Lite
You can see how Astra performs better in both phases. In speed and performance, it's clear that Astra outperforms OceanWP. However, OceanWP comes with a feature allowing users to toggle certain scripts and styles to reduce its weight, thus potentially improving its performance.
A theme truly gives you flexibility if it comes with tons of developer features, allowing you to further extend it or implement specific additional features that you want.
Astra Developer Features
There are dozens of custom hooks that developers can use to insert custom code snippets in various areas of the theme. It comes with a visual representation that you can view here.
In addition to that, they have an extensive API documentation here detailing all hooks, functions, and classes that Astra uses.
OceanWP Developer Features
Like Astra, OceanWP also comes with custom hooks that allow developers to insert custom code and functions in various areas of the theme. You can find OceanWP’s custom hooks documentation here.
There’s also developer-centric documentation here detailing all hooks and functions that OceanWP uses. There are also sample complete code snippets that help you alter how the theme looks like or how it functions.
There’s also a visual representation of hook location that you can access when you’re viewing your site’s front-end while logged in.
WooCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world. Naturally, most, if not all, premium and top WordPress themes will offer a degree of support for it; that means both OceanWP and Astra offer not only good but exceptional support for WooCommerce.
If you’re looking for a theme that’s highly compatible with WooCommerce, then there will be no wrong choice between OceanWP and Astra. However, there’s a big difference in their WooCommerce customization features that is not something you can just shrug off.
Astra WooCommerce Support
Once you’ve activated the WooCommerce module, going to Appearance > Customize > WooCommerce will give you new items to play with, giving you more control over how your WooCommerce shop appears.
You will have additional control over your shop’s layout, colors, typography, and product metadata structure.
Astra gives you generous control over your shop’s design and behavior. You have control over your product catalog page, allowing you to alter its layout, how the products are displayed, etc.
There are also settings for customizing a single product page’s design. For example, you can rearrange the product’s metadata structure:
Overall, you can customize almost everything on your WooCommerce shop with Astra, provided that you have the WooCommerce module activated.
OceanWP WooCommerce Support
OceanWP is one of the best themes for WooCommerce. It comes with tons of customization for your WooCommerce shop, even on its free version.
It has far more options and settings that you can tweak compared to Astra. With OceanWP, you have fine-grained control over your shop’s looks and even behavior.
Almost all Astra’s WooCommerce features can be found in OceanWP plus a whole lot more. The advanced styling section alone gives you plenty of control over how your shop appears without writing a single line of code (pardon the colors - GIFs have limited color capabilities).
The demo above only shows a small portion of customization options available in the advanced styling tab. There’s plenty more here, which basically gives you customization options for almost all elements that you can see on the page.
If you want better WooCommerce customization options, OceanWP is the better choice.
Customization and Integration
Astra and OceanWP both boast impressive customization options. Their premium versions have everything you’d expect from a paid theme. You can control your site’s layout, colors, typography, and many other sections. In addition, they support major page builders and work well with many of the top plugins in the market.
Unique Customization Features
In this section, we’re going to compare their customization options and out of the box integrations. We’ll mainly be focusing on each theme’s advantages instead of having to go through each and every option and comparing them since that would take forever due to their sheer number.
Let’s have a look:
- Better page builder integration
- More pre-designed templates
- Cleaner and easier to use customizer
- Customizer search feature (free add-on)
- Better page-level customization
- Much more customization options
- In-depth WooCommerce customization options
- More responsive customization options
Astra comes with excellent integration with Elementor and Beaver Builder, which is evident with its Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder and Ultimate Addons for Elementor plugins.
In addition, they also have integration with both LifterLMS and LearnDash. This will help you build an online course site much easier, making Astra the better choice if you plan to do so.
OceanWP doesn’t have as many featured integrations as Astra have, but they do have one that’s certainly among the best: their WooCommerce integration.
As you’ve previously seen, OceanWP gives you total freedom on how to design your WooCommerce shop and its pro version comes with even more features such as the Woo Popup.
If you intend to use page builders for multiple clients, Astra is your best choice. OceanWP’s WooCommerce features, however, are unmatched and you might want to consider it over Astra if you want to focus on building e-commerce websites.
The number of starter sites (aka starter templates and demo sites) Astra has beats OceanWP by a mile. As you’ve seen in the summary section earlier in this comparison, you learned that the former has 133 unique starter sites compared to the latter’s 73 unique ones. That’s almost twice as much!
Let’s take a better look.
Astra Starter Sites
Astra’s starter sites can be categorized into two groups: free and premium. The latter can only be used if you have at least the Mini Agency Bundle plan. That means even if you have Astra Pro, the majority of their starter sites (the ones marked with “Agency”) won’t be available to you.
Right now, Astra has:
- 133 built with Elementor
- 105 built with Beaver Builder
- 40 built with Brizy
- 52 built with Gutenberg (with help of their free plugin called “Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg”)
Just a reminder that there are only 133 unique starter sites.
OceanWP Starter Sites
Like Astra, OceanWP has both free and premium starter sites, but the latter’s are available to you no matter the plan you choose.
One thing to note here is that while OceanWP is compatible with many different page builders, most of their starter sites were built with either Elementor or Gutenberg. If you’re using a different page builder, you will have to build your site from scratch.
Right now, OceanWP has:
- 73 demos built with Elementor
If you want to take advantage of OceanWP’s starter sites, you’ll want to use Elementor (Elementor Pro is not needed for any of their starter sites).
Which one’s better?
Astra is the winner here in terms of the number of available starter sites, however, do keep in mind that most of them are locked behind a higher plan. OceanWP has fewer starter sites, but it doesn’t lock any of them to a particular plan.
Overall, if you’re using Elementor as your page builder, either Astra or OceanWP will be a good choice, if you’re looking for a cheaper option for Elementor, then OceanWP wins.
However, if you’re using multiple page builders (i.e. you’re building sites for multiple clients or as a living), Astra will come out as the superior choice due to the unlimited website usage and more starter templates to choose from.
Support and Documentation
No matter how good a theme is, there’s a chance that you can encounter problems, which requires you to contact support. In addition to that, given how there are so many options to configure, having proper documentation is also a must.
They won’t belong to the top themes if they didn’t have good support and documentation. Both Astra and OceanWP are known to have great support and have the most extensive documentation in the market today. But how do they compare with one another? Let’s find out.
Astra Support and Documentation
Astra’s support is great, but there are reports of users experiencing slow response times from its dev’s support team compared to others.
Their documentation is one of the most extensive in the market. With over 300 help articles, you can certainly find answers to the majority of questions you may have.
Their doc homepage is well organized. Articles are cleanly filed under different categories allowing you to browse the documentation with ease.
They also have a YouTube channel for those who love video tutorials and help.
And you can also quickly Google your question and the top links will direct you to the specific official documentation page.
OceanWP Support and Documentation
OceanWP’s support is great, but there are times where issues aren’t resolved as fast as possible.
There are three tiers of support: Free, Regular, and Priority. Free support is for the free version of the theme, regular support is for users of OceanWP’s premium version, and priority support is a special paid support that costs either $29 for three months or $99 for a year.
OceanWP’s documentation is very extensive as well. Their doc homepage is neatly organized, with similar articles filed under appropriate sections.
Astra’s regular pricing comes into three yearly pricing tiers: $59, $169 and $249. There’s also lifetime pricing of $249, $499 and $699 respectively.
- The $59 tier, called Astra Pro, comes with all pro features unlocked, including one year of updates and support
- The $169 tier, called Mini Agency Bundle, has everything from the previous tier plus WP Portfolio Plugin and a page builder addon of your choice, which is either the Ultimate Addons for Elementor or the Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder
- The $249 tier, called Agency Bundle, has everything the previous two tiers offers plus both page builder addons, Convert Pro, Schema Pro, SkillJet Academy and any future plugins they will have
All plans can be used for unlimited websites, making it an excellent choice for developers if they plan to use Astra as a base theme for their clients.
One thing to keep in mind is if you want to use their premium starter sites, you will need to get at least the Mini Agency Bundle. The first tier, Astra Pro alone, only includes the free starter templates.
Similar to Astra, OceanWP also has three pricing tiers: $39, $79 and $129 and a lifetime pricing of $159, $319 and $519 respectively.
Unlike Astra, however, OceanWP’s pricing tiers all include the same set of features. The big difference is you can only use OceanWP pro on a limited number of websites. One site for tier one, three sites for tier two and twenty-five sites for tier three.
This pricing model can be a bit more expensive if you plan to use OceanWP for your clients, but if this is a personal project or for a single client only, this is definitely cheaper compared to Astra.
Choosing between Astra vs OceanWP is a tough choice. Both themes offer an impressive set of unique features and you can’t really go wrong with either. Their pricing models, at a first glance, one’s a better choice than the other but the terms make it hard to make the best choice.
Overall, Astra is aimed for developers who need unlimited website usage. Their mini agency and agency bundles give users the ability to built many websites with ease, thanks to the wide selection of starter sites.
However, that’s not to say that Astra isn’t a good choice for individuals. Astra Pro’s impressive feature set, good WooCommerce support and ease of use makes it a great choice for individuals and one time projects.
OceanWP on the other hand is the theme for those who want to set up a WooCommerce shop. The impressive customization options for WooCommerce allows anyone to customize their shop without writing a single line of code.
In addition, OceanWP is cheaper than Astra for single site usage ($39 vs $59), and even on the lowest tier plan, all premium starter sites are available to you. However, keep in mind that the starter sites all use Elementor, so if you plan to use a different page builder, you might want to consider Astra instead, or you can just build your dream site from scratch — which should be easy thanks to OceanWP’s impressive number customization options.
The final choice is yours. Think about what type of site you want to build, how many sites you want to use the theme on, and whether you want to focus solely on WooCommerce or not and the answer should be within your grasp.
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