Astra is a lovely WordPress topic that can be used for portfolios, blogs, corporations, online stores, and more.
The free model is being used on greater than 1,653,898+ websites, and it has the first-rate assistance for page builder WordPress plugins — letting you customize your entire website via the WordPress subject matter customizer.
Providing you with the capacity to import dozens of notable internet site designs, Astra lets you transform your internet site at the clicking of a button.
You could enlarge the capability by way of upgrading to the seasoned version of the subject matter, however, some loose extensions also are to be had.
In this article, I’ll show you why Astra is so famous, walk you via the unfastened version of the plugin and provide an explanation for the advantages of upgrading to Astra pro.
What’s the Astra WordPress theme?
The Astra topic is an unfastened WordPress subject matter from Brainstorm pressure with a staggering 1 million+ users. It’s one of the handiest themes in records to surpass 1 million customers and nevertheless maintain an average five-megastar rating.
Its recognition is due to 3 main elements:
1. It’s particularly lightweight: It loads in much less than half a second and continues velocity at the same time as you develop your web page.
2. It’s incredibly customizable: not like maximum different fast topics, Astra remains exceptionally customizable. Generally, in case you want a fast web page, it must be a chunk “fugly”, you know? Astra is lightweight, however, feels almost like Avada or Divi.
3. Get a website in hours not days: organization proprietors love Astra because of its speed. And I don’t suggest loading time – I mean how quickly you can have a site. Astra’s pre-fabricated or “Astra sites” allow you to have a custom internet site in a few hours or much less and not using a headache.
Astra’s free version is sufficient to build a lovely custom internet site – no need to upgrade.
Astra can be upgraded to its top rate model by means of shopping the Astra pro-upload-on. It’s a plugin that lets you get entry to the top rate modules.
However what about the enterprise at the back of Astra, Brainstorm force? Are they a good supplier?
Brainstorm force is an Indian-based web improvement company. They’re a collection of professional WordPress builders that have advanced, apart from Astra, various other plugins.
A number of their well-known plugins are the remaining accessories for Beaver Builder and Elementor, and that they have also worked on Beaver Builder itself. They extend the capability of the stated web page developers by including new custom widgets, blocks, elements, or templates. (CollectiveRay has featured a gaggle of those plugins in this website in the WordPress > Plugins segment).
They’re additionally the team behind the popular final Addons for Gutenberg, which transforms the Gutenberg editor into what we can call a mini “native WordPress page builder”. It provides superior custom blocks with extended features and skills.
In quick, they have got been around some time, they’re a relied on and legitimate vendor with many successful products under their belt.
The Team Behind Astra WordPress Theme
Astra is advanced by means of Brainstorm Force — a WordPress development business enterprise that has been working for extra than ten years, and features over 60 personnel.
It’s no wonder that Astra integrates with page developers so efficaciously, as Brainstorm force launched the Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder and Ultimate Addons for Elementor plugin extensions, so have a sophisticated knowledge of the way popular WordPress web page builders work.
They’re also at the back of the email choose-in and lead-era plugin Convert Pro, the Schema markup plugin Schema pro, and the portfolio plugin WP Portfolio.
Brainstorm forces are exceptionally energetic in the WordPress network. They often attend WordCamps from around the globe and their loose WordPress plugins are updated regularly.
What Does Astra provide?
Astra is a quite customizable WordPress topic that has many exceptional functions.
It’s tremendous lightweight, and the developers say that, with default WordPress records, a website the use of Astra should load in less than half a 2nd. They’ve taken a number of steps to acquire this, including disabling jQuery and retaining resources underneath 50kb.
One thing that distinguishes Astra from many other designs is its local aid for popular WordPress web page developers. It integrates fantastically with web page developers together with WPBakery web page Builder (previously Visible Composer), Beaver Builder, Thrive, Architect, Elementor, Divi Builder, Brizy, and Gutenberg.
As you’ll see later, the starter web page device requires you to use Elementor, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg, or Brizy. However, you simplest want to apply this kind of 4-page developer if you’re uploading a website design.
The help of web page developers is a chief selling factor for Astra, as there are numerous WordPress subject matters that haven’t been designed with contemporary page developers in mind. This will result in situations where an elegant web page created via a web page builder doesn’t suit in nicely with the activated WordPress theme.
When you set off Astra, a brand new settings field becomes to be had while you edit posts, pages, and different custom post sorts. You may alternate many common page settings here, such as wherein the sidebar is displayed and whether or not the content is boxed or full width. Functions together with the header, web page identify, featured photo, and footer bar can be completely disabled from right here.
The extraordinary thing about this setup is you could customize how the whole thing appears on a web page-by means of web page basis.
When it comes to design, Astra has you covered. Every person, irrespective of their technical experience, can personalize their website design via the WordPress topic customizer.
One problem many WordPress customers — which includes me — from time to time face is that it is able to be hard to modify a theme’s layout for your liking. This isn’t something to worry about with Astra.
If you spark off the Astra Starter sites plugin, you can import some of the pre-constructed website designs.
Extra than 70 designs are to be had, and also you’ll find prebuilt alternatives for blogs, corporations, online shops, portfolios, and more.
For me, this is one of the fine reasons to apply Astra, as it basically makes it 70 WordPress themes in one (or 35 in a single if you’re using the unfastened model).
Astra turned into the design so beginners ought to create expert websites without touching any code. But, the theme has been created with developers in thoughts too.
It’s ready for custom submit types and has superb assist for WooCommerce. The theme follows WCAG 2.Zero standards and follows search engine optimization first-class practices. The design is likewise translation and RTL ready.
Hooks and filters permit developers to insert content into websites effortlessly, while non-builders can use the unfastened Astra Hooks plugin, which makes putting particular content and code into your website a breeze.
Astra is a hundred% open source, so, in case you want to study the topic’s code, you may achieve this on Github.
1. Constructed with page Builder Compatibility
Astra is designed with page compatibility integrated from the get-cross.
Most of the people of its starter sites are built with Elementor or Beaver Builder, two of the maximum famous web page builders. By the way, we’ve already reviewed them on CollectiveRay.
Astra is rather like-minded with page builders, which makes it convenient for busy organizations or builders with much less to enjoy.
2. Powerful Starter Websites
The Astra subject comes with an associate plugin called Astra Starter sites.
As soon as the theme is mounted and activated, you will have access to over one hundred pre-built internet site templates, most of which are unfastened. What makes them so desirable is that they may be now not simply unmarried web page templates, they’re entirely functional websites with all of the vital pages, plugins, and functions bundled into one bundle.
Starter sites are categorized by page builders.
There are templates constructed with Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Brizy; and there are also Gutenberg Starter WebSites too.
3. Extensive Customization functions and alternatives
As I referred to before, Astra is rather customizable without sacrificing speed.
In truth, this is one of the primary reasons it is emerging as so famous. In principle, you can construct out a large site entire with custom layouts, pics, fonts, and posts and nonetheless see less than 1-2nd load times.
Difficult to overcome that.
Within the seasoned model, the extended customizer options cover nearly every detail in your internet site. You could adjust the history color, set custom typography, trade the website online’s the layout, and so forth. Of virtually each a part of your web page.
Considering the fact that version 2.0, BrainStorm pressure’s team has completely transformed the customizer to make it simpler to layout and personalize your website. Its performance and value considerably improved and we’ll cover them in intensity in this review and we’ll also be which include an evaluation of the antique and the brand new customizer.
Even within the unfastened model, you continue to have a huge form of customization alternatives, which makes the Astra subject one, if not the most beneficial unfastened theme obtainable.
Now that we’ve got a widespread evaluation of what Astra is, within the following sections, we’re going to delve deeper into its features and abilities.
By the cease of the thing, you’ll be capable of making an assured decision about whether or not you can purchase Astra seasoned or not.
Astra can be downloaded from WordPress.Org, or from directly in the themes place of your WordPress admin region.
The subject doesn’t force you to install any WordPress plugins to work, however, you’ll need to install the Astra Starter sites WordPress plugin in case you need to import a layout into your website (more on this later).
You’ll discover the ‘Astra options’ page beneath the WordPress appearance menu.
This page is extra of a hub than a settings page, as all options for the theme are contained inside the WordPress topic customizer.
You’ll locate links to key alternatives, in addition to hyperlinks to free and top class plugins that increase Astra, while this page also hyperlinks to the Astra documentation place, FB institution, and make contact with page.
All customizations options can be observed within the WordPress subject matter customizer, which means you may preview any adjustments you’re making in actual time. You could additionally transfer the preview mode from the computing device to a tablet or mobile.
The options are unfolded throughout eight pinnacle-stage sections and many sub-sections. This uncluttered layout makes it easy to find the settings you want to trade, even though you do have the option of including a seek field in the topic customizer thru a plugin.
There are many useful alternatives inside the WordPress subject matter customizer.
For weblog posts, you can trade the structure and permit and disable meta statistics. Inside the footer, you can trade the format effortlessly and upload custom text.
Shades and typography may be modified effortlessly too, and there are quick hyperlinks to your WordPress menus and widgets.
Please be aware that the screenshots above exhibit what alternatives are to be had in the core version of Astra. If you improve to the seasoned model or install one of the many unfastened plugin extensions to be had, you’ll see many extra alternatives inside the WordPress theme customizer.
Astra Starter websites
The Astra Starter websites WordPress plugin is referenced inside the fundamental Astra options page on the proper-hand side. This plugin is unfastened to download.
When you’ve activated it, you’ll see a new page in the arrival menu called ‘Astra websites’.
You’ll be requested to pick out your preferred web page builder: Elementor, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg, or Brizy.
If you pick a design that uses, say, Gutenberg, you’ll want to have the Gutenberg page builder activated for it to work properly. That is because each layout becomes created by the use of web page builder factors from a specific web page builder plugin.
Whilst you’ve selected a web page builder, the starter website designs may be displayed with a note on what number of designs are to be had for it.
It notes that 70 designs paintings with Elementor and Beaver Builder, ten with Gutenberg, and 20 with Brizy. Those designs can be in addition filtered by using a form of design: All, blog, enterprise, eCommerce, unfastened and different.
Top rate designs are marked with an ‘enterprise’ label, which refers back to the Astra seasoned package deal applications.
At the time of writing, there were 35 free designs and 35 premium designs.
The standard of all designs, loose and top class, could be very excessive.
Brainstorm pressure has accomplished a wonderful activity with the whole machine.
When you select a layout, you’re proven a complete preview, and via surfing special pages you can get a feel for what the design can do.
At the left-hand aspect of the page is a listing of the plugins required for the design to work successfully.
For the Yoga teacher design you can see inside the screenshot beneath, i used to be required to install touch shape 7, Elementor, and closing Addons for Gutenberg.
The ‘installation Plugins’ buttons at the top and backside of the web page will install all required plugins.
I bumped into a moderate hassle at this degree as Elementor changed into already set up on my test WordPress website. Consequently, whilst the installer attempted to install the plugin, it stated the vacation spot folder already existed. To clear up the difficulty, I needed to delete Elementor in order that I should set up the plugin once more from this web page. That is virtually a trojan horse they want to address in a destiny replacement.
As soon as all plugins are mounted, the ‘install Plugins’ buttons will alternate to ‘Import This website’.
A caution seems while you choose to import a website design. That is a reminder that you shouldn’t perform the import on a live website and that copyrighted pix will now not be imported.
Once the website design has been imported, the button adjustments to ‘finished. View website!’. Clicking on this could load your internet site and let you see what the design looks like.
Other than more than one copyrighted icon and photo, my internet site is regarded as identical to the one displayed in the preview vicinity.
Take a look at the Astra Starter web sites web page on the reliable Astra website to look at a list of all of the designs that are available.
Extending Astra with Free Plugins
Within the Astra options web page, you’ll see a box that announces you could amplify Astra with unfastened plugins. A total of 12 plugins are listed here.
The Unlist Posts & Pages plugin became created through Nikhil Chavan, but all other unfastened plugins listed were created by using Brainstorm force.
Five of the unfastened plugins have been designed mainly for the Astra WordPress theme.
There’s a great argument for this extra functionality being incorporated into the primary subject matter, but I do appreciate that by means of preserving this capability separate they hold the middle model of Astra light-weight.
Astra topic visual Hooks displays all the hook locations inside the Astra topic. You may also see those hooks at the official Astra internet site.
You may recollect that earlier in this text I explained how meta settings, such as the page identify and the sidebar function can be configured for every web page on your internet site. The Astra Bulk Edit plugin allows reducing the time it takes to make changes for those settings on more than one page. You could follow changes for masses of pages at a time if you want.
The Astra Customizer Reset plugin adds a choice inside the theme customizer to reset all settings. It’s a useful plugin, although it does marvel me that this hasn’t been constructed immediately into the theme customizer.
Another cool Astra-handiest WordPress plugin is the home page Banner for the Astra topic. Because the plugin call shows, this provides an alternative in the WordPress subject customizer to feature a banner to your property web page.
It lets you trade the style of the banner, the photo, the textual content, padding, and extra.
The other free plugins work terrific with Astra, but can also be used with different WordPress topics.
Custom Fonts and custom Typekit Fonts can be used to install custom font files and Typekit fonts.
If you’re the usage of Gutenberg, you can want to provide closing Addons for Gutenberg a try. It adds 16 additional blocks in your web page builder, which include an information container, publishes layouts, and price listing. Check out their reputable internet site to see demos of each block.
Sidebar supervisor is a useful plugin too. It’s a lightweight solution that simplifies the system of creating new sidebars and dealing with them.
The Unlist Posts & Pages plugin may be used to hide positive pages for your internet site from engines like google. Customizer seek is a useful plugin too. As soon as activated, the WordPress subject customizer gets a search bar to help you to locate alternatives extra fast.
The ultimate unfastened plugin that’s advocated is Template. That is an exciting new plugin that permits you to shop your pages and templates inside the cloud. You could then export them to any internet site.
In the intervening time, it simplest works with Elementor. But, they’ll be adding support for Beaver Builder and Divi Builder inside the destiny. The service is unfastened till the giving up of 2019.
You can discover more approximately this plugin on the respectable Template website.
It’s smooth to peer why the unfastened version of Astra is installed on more than 300,000+ websites. It’s clean to apply and has an outstanding selection of website designs, and there are additional plugins available that expand functionality in addition.
If you need to release the overall potential of the Astra WordPress theme, you need to improve to the top-class model.
Further to receiving priority assist from the developers, Astra seasoned offers many new capabilities thru modules. Folks who buy one of the bundle programs may also advantage get entry to to the overall starter website online design library.
A complete of 18 seasoned modules are protected with Astra seasoned.
Maximum of the modules amplify and enhance the capability that’s available within the WordPress topic customizer, and you could prompt and deactivate modules as you spot match.
The colors & heritage module can be used to trade the shade of virtually any part of your layout, whilst the Typography module provides many greater alternatives for customizing and styling your fonts. The Spacing module adds greater options for margins and padding.
If you’re trying to alternate your blog or to archive pages more, you have to spark off weblog pro. It helps you to display a creator bio beneath blog posts, load a previous blog put up beneath the current one and eliminate padding from the featured photo.
Astra pro provides many extra format options too.
Cell Header permits you to display a custom header on responsive devices consisting of capsules and smartphones.
Header Sections add a new phase above and underneath the header, which is useful for including banners and other content material. You could also use the Sticky Header module to show a set header at the pinnacle of the web page.
The page Headers module lets you create more advanced headers. You can show the page identify towards a huge history photograph and display breadcrumb navigation links.
One of the coolest modules is Nav Menu, which helps you to transform your uninteresting vintage navigation menus into complex mega menus.
You could display menu gadgets in columns, use colorings, use background photos, spotlight labels, and extra.
These extra features can significantly improve navigation as you may display many more hyperlinks within the same menu.
The custom Layouts module gives you the potential to store custom layouts in your header, footer, 404 pages, and hook places. Layouts can be stored and without difficulty delivered into different regions of your internet site.
In comparison, the website online Layouts module enhances the WordPress subject matter customizer by using giving you more manipulate over the layout’s width and container.
Scroll To pinnacle lets you add a scroll to top button to the bottom-left or bottom-right of pages. You’re given full control over its styling and the icon sizes, in addition to whether it’s displayed on computers, mobile gadgets, or both.
Footer Widgets gives seven exceptional layouts to your footer area.
You’re given manipulate over the padding and width of the widget vicinity. Shade and typography settings are available too.
Integration modules are to be had for easy virtual Downloads, WooCommerce, LearnDash, and LifterLMS. Activating these modules will give you extra manage over how these plugins integrate along with your internet site’s format and styling.
The ultimate module is White Label, which you could use to rebrand Astra as your own product. That is something layout businesses will find beneficial because it stops customers from understanding what WordPress subject the organization is using to create their website.
I trust maximum internet site owners who use Astra will improve at one point as the extra modules unencumber loads of new options — especially as Astra Pro is available for only $59 per year.
Astra pro Pricing
Astro seasoned is a low-cost WordPress subject. People who want to improve can pick certainly one of three packages, all of which encompass the Astra pro modules I protected inside the final phase.
The Astra seasoned package deal charges $47 per year, the critical package fees $169 in line with yr, and the increased package deal prices $249 consistent with yr. These packages can be purchased on a lifetime basis without every-year charges at a price of $249, $499, and $699, respectively.
All applications come with a 14-day no fuss 100% cash-back assure, and there’s no restriction on how many websites you could installation the topic on.
The Astra seasoned bundle gives you all of the Astra seasoned modules and gets the right of entry to a top-class guide from the topic builders.
Upgrading to the vital package presents get entry to to all starter website online website designs and Brainstorm force’s WP Portfolio plugin.
You can additionally choose either final Addons for Beaver Builder or last Addons for Elementor. Both of those plugins paintings smoothly with Astra seasoned, so are an amazing addition.
On top of everything referred to above, upgrading to the entire boom package deal offers you each of these builder plugins together with Convert pro and Schema pro.
In other words, while you upgrade to the whole growth package deal, you benefit from getting the right of entry to Astra pro and all different Brainstorm force merchandise.
Which Astra Pro package Should You Choose?
Which Astra seasoned package is proper for you’ll depend upon your requirements and also your price range.
The access-stage bundle is perfect if you don’t need to get admission to additional starter website designs and don’t want to apply any of the extra plugins Brainstorm force sells.
On their personal, WP Portfolio retails from $49 per yr, last Addons for Beaver Builder from $69 consistent with yr, remaining Addons for Elementor from $49 in line with 12 months, Convert seasoned from $99 according to 12 months, and Schema pro from $79 in keeping with year.
If you’re already making plans on buying a number of these plugins, it makes experience upgrading to one of the higher-tier top-class bundles. If not, I’d endorse saving money and sticking with the entry-degree package deal.
Astra is definitely one of the excellent unfastened WordPress themes rounds.
The subject lets you easily import dozens of expert-looking website designs, and there’s a very good choice of loose plugins that extend functionality.
I’m positive maximum users will respect that every one alternative is contained in the WordPress subject matter customizer too because it makes customization easier.
In spite of the free model being strong, I agree with most WordPress customers who use Astra on a live internet site will eventually upgrade to Astra seasoned.
From the most effective $47 per 12 months, it offers you a premium guide and loads of recent styling and format alternatives. Folks who pick one of the better-tier top-rate package packages will also be capable of using the starter website’s internet site designs marked as ‘organization’ and be able to download other top-rate Brainstorm pressure plugins.
Note: in case you’re interested in looking through a few examples of websites truly the use of Astra, here’s an outstanding show-off.
Used/the usage of Astra? Mind?