Are you looking for an Astra review, to help you decide whether it’s the right multipurpose theme for you?
Astra is a lightweight, flexible theme that’s suitable for all kinds of blogs, websites, and online stores. It comes with a ton of ready-made starter templates and integrates seamlessly with the top WordPress page builders, so you can create a professional-looking website with ease.
In this Astra review, we’ll take a closer look at this popular multipurpose theme, to see whether it’s right for your WordPress website.
What is Astra?
Astra is a multipurpose WordPress theme that you can use to create any kind of website, blog, or online store.
It comes with 250+ pre-built websites that you can install with just a few clicks. This allows you to create a great-looking website, without having to hire a WordPress developer.
To help you create custom layouts and designs, Astra integrates with many popular drag and drop page builders including SeedProd.
If you don’t have access to a page builder plugin, then Astra comes with its own Site Builder so you can still edit your site’s footer, header, 404 page, and more.
Astra is SEO-friendly and optimized for performance, so it promises to increase your blog traffic and improve the visitor experience. It’s also translation ready with full support for RTL languages, which is useful if you’re creating a multilingual WordPress site.
If you’re looking for a free WordPress theme, then you can download the lite version of Astra from the official WordPress repository.
This free theme is designed to be lightweight and fast, and comes with a ton of customization settings that you can access directly in the WordPress Customizer.
You can choose between multiple blog layouts, sidebar styles, and site layouts, and then fine-tune the typography, colors, and more.
However, if you upgrade to the premium theme then you’ll get access to the powerful Site Builder, Astra’s mega menu tool, additional layouts, and more.
Although the free theme integrates partially with many popular WordPress plugins and tools, the premium theme integrates fully with WooCommerce, LearnDash, and Easy Digital Downloads.
Astra Review: Why Use It in WordPress?
Choosing the right WordPress theme is one of the most important decisions you can make. If you use the wrong theme, then you’ll struggle to create a site that looks great, keeps visitors engaged, and ranks highly in relevant search results.
With that in mind, let’s see if Astra is the right theme for your WordPress website.
1. Optimized for Speed and SEO
Do you want to use custom fonts on your WordPress website? Unfortunately, fetching custom fonts from third-party services can slow down your site.
The good news is that Astra comes with a self-hosted Google Fonts feature. This allows you to use custom fonts without affecting your site’s loading times.
In addition, Astra can download the font in the background while the rest of the page is loading. By preloading these files, the font will be ready to display as soon as the browser starts painting your site’s text.
These features improve the visitor experience, but they can also boost your WordPress SEO. Search engines such as Google use speed as a ranking factor, so a fast theme like Astra can help your site appear higher in the search results.
2. Over 250 Starter Website Templates
To help you create a beautiful website fast, Astra comes with over 250 website templates.
These cover all kinds of niches, including small business websites, online stores, and personal WordPress blogs.
For example, Astra’s e-Book template is perfect for author websites as it has clear typography and lots of white space.
3. Schema Markup
Astra adds schema markup to your site, including SiteNavigationElement, SearchResultsPage, and BreadcrumbList.
This helps the search engines understand your site’s content, so they can index it correctly and then show it to people who are looking for content just like yours.
Schema can also increase your chances of getting rich snippets, which typically get more clicks and engagement in the search results.
4. Multiple Site Layouts
With Astra, you can easily manage your site’s overall layout. To start, you can choose between full-width, max width, padded, and fluid layouts.
Another option is using the Custom Layouts module to create a totally custom header, footer, 404 error page, and more. You can even create layouts for specific devices, show different content based on the date and time, or create unique layouts for specific user roles.
5. Design Completely Custom Layouts
Astra also comes with its own Site Builder that allows you to create custom headers, footers, 404 error pages, single and archive templates, and more.
You can edit any of your existing layouts, or create an entirely new layout.
When designing a layout, you can choose whether to use it across your WordPress website or on specific pages only. You can even insert the layout inside your page or post content.
This is useful if you want to use the same content in multiple places. For example, you might design a ‘Subscribe to our email newsletter’ call to action and add it to all your blog posts.
You can even create different layouts for different users, such as a unique design that’ll only appear to logged-in users on your membership website.
The Astra Site Builder even supports hooks, so you can inject custom code into your layouts.
6. Multiple Blog Layouts
Do you run a WordPress blog?
Astra comes with multiple blog layouts so you can show off your latest posts with ease. These options include grid, list, and masonry layouts.
After choosing a layout, you can control what content Astra shows on the blog page.
For example, you can add a date box, excerpt count, or display related posts.
If you have lots of content, then you can even enable pagination or infinite scrolling. This encourages readers to explore more of your posts, without overwhelming them by showing all your articles on a single page.
7. Custom Typography and Colors
Apart from looking good, custom typography and colors can make your site easier to read, strengthen your branding, and generally improve the visitor experience.
Astra’s global typography module allows you to customize the typography of your entire website from a single location.
It also comes with 6 presets so you can change your text with a single click.
After that, you can select different font sizes for different devices, or you can set a fixed font size using PX or EM unites.
Beyond typography, Astra allows you to customize the colors used in different areas, including the header, blog, archive pages, and the sidebar. You can even show different colors to mobile and desktop users.
When creating a color scheme, consistency is key. To help you out, Astra has a Global Palette where you can define a color scheme and then use it across your entire WordPress website.
You can even create unique color schemes for different promotions, special events, holidays, and more. If you’re a WordPress development agency, then you can also save time by creating presets and then applying them to multiple client websites.
8. Custom Headers and Footers
There are lots of ways to make your site’s headers and footers more useful to visitors.
Meanwhile, many visitors will check the footer when they’re looking for your contact information, or links to other important pages.
The good news is that Astra comes with a drag and drop Header and Footer Builder. This allows you to add buttons, logos, social media links, and other widgets to these important areas.
You can also make the header sticky, create a unique layout for mobile devices, and show different headers on specific pages and posts. For example, you might create a unique header for a recent landing page.
You can also make the header transparent. After enabling this setting, Astra will make your primary header background transparent so the top part of the page content acts as the background instead.
9. Create Multiple Sidebars
Sometimes, you may want to create unique sidebars for specific posts and pages. For example, you might display ads that are more relevant to a particular page, in an attempt to get more clicks and engagement.
To start, Astra comes with a right sidebar, left sidebar, and an option that removes the sidebar. After setting these defaults, you can create unique sidebars that override the default sidebars on your pages, blog posts, and archive pages.
Depending on the plugins you’ve installed, you may also be able to create unique sidebars for your WooCommerce and LearnDash pages.
10. Support For Mega Menus
Mega Menus allow you to arrange dozens or even hundreds of links into columns and rows, so they’re perfect when you have a lot of content. For example, if you create an online marketplace then you might arrange all your product categories and subcategories in a mega menu so shoppers can see everything at a glance.
You can then add rich content like images and videos, to make your mega menus even more helpful. With Astra, you can easily add a mega menu on your WordPress site.
In the Astra Menu Options panel, simply enable the ‘Mega Menu’ slider.
You can then organize your content into columns and add background images, custom text, shortcodes, widgets, and more.
11. Additional Widgets
If you run a business website, then Astra has a useful Address widget. This allows you to show your contact information in the footer or similar section, in a structured layout.
Astra also has a Social Icons widget, so you can promote your Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other profiles without having to install a separate social media icons plugin.
12. Support For Web Stories
Stories are a popular short-form content style used by social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube.
These third-party platforms can help grow your audience and generate a buzz around your business. However, all the engagement happens on the third-party platform, rather than your WordPress website.
To fix this, you may want to use Google Web Stories. This allows you to create stories in the WordPress dashboard and publish them on your site. Since they’re hosted on your WordPress website, they can boost engagement and keep people on your site for longer.
Even better, Google Web Stories can be indexed and may appear in the search results and Google Discover.
If you do create stories, then Astra integrates with the Google Web Stories plugin. Simply enable the ‘Web Stories Options’ in the WordPress Customizer and Astra will show the latest stories above your site’s header.
With that done, you can set the number of stories to display, control their size, manage the order of stories, display the story title, and archive links for all stories using Astra’s settings.
In this way, visitors will see your latest stories as soon as they arrive at your website.
13. WooCommerce Ready
Astra integrates with WooCommerce so you can build a custom online store directly in the WordPress Customizer.
Astra also has features that can get you more sales. For example, it can load all your WooCommerce products on a single page using infinite scroll. It also has a ‘quick view’ so shoppers can take a closer look at a product without opening its page.
In addition, Astra adds a dropdown cart so shoppers can easily see all the items in their basket. It can even add sales bubbles to your products, which is useful if you run regular discounts or similar promotions.
14. Integrates with Popular Course Builders
15. Community and Professional Support
The Astra theme is designed to be easy to use, and integrates perfectly with the WordPress Customizer. However, if you need some extra help then there’s a ton of additional resources.
To start, there’s the knowledge base where you’ll find detailed step-by-step tutorials, custom code snippets, and a troubleshooting guide.
Astra also has an active Facebook community where you can ask questions and get help from other Astra users.
All the premium Astra plans come with professional support, so you can submit a ticket and a member of the Astra team will get back to you as soon as possible. However, if you upgrade to Essential Toolkit or Business Toolkit then you’ll get access to priority support, so your tickets will get answered more quickly.
Astra Pricing Plans
If you’re looking for a free WordPress theme, then you can download the lite version of Astra from the official WordPress repository. However, the premium theme lets you create completely custom headers, footers, 404 pages, blog pages, archive pages, and hooks.
It also integrates seamlessly with many popular WordPress plugins, including WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and LearnDash.
If you upgrade, then you can choose between three plans:
- Astra Pro. Priced at $49, this plan unlocks the Site Builder so you can create all kinds of custom layouts without having to write a single line of code. It also integrates with WooCommerce so you can customize every part of your online store including your single product pages, checkout form, and shop page. With its code-free builder and WooCommerce support, Astra Pro is a flexible and powerful multipurpose theme that’s suitable for all kinds of blogs, websites, and WooCommerce stores.
- Essential Toolkit. Do you have Elementor installed on your WordPress website? For $79, Essential Toolkit comes with over 200 Elemetor templates, plus Ultimate Addons for Elementor. This popular addon has 40+ widgets and 200+ pre-built blocks, so you can create all kinds of designs. If you don’t already have a page builder, then Essential Toolkit also comes bundled with Spectra, which enhances the default WordPress block editor. With that in mind, Essential Toolkit is a great solution for anyone who wants to use Astra in combination with a page builder.
- Business Toolkit. Priced at $149, this plan includes everything in Astra Pro and Essential Toolkit. It also comes with SureFeedback, which helps you collect feedback on websites and designs, and the SureWriter AI-powered assistant. This AI tool can generate content such as blog posts, emails, and social media posts. These additional tools are ideal for WordPress development agencies or anyone who manages multiple client websites.
Conclusion: The Right Multipurpose WordPress Theme for You?
After looking at Astra’s features, support options, and pricing plans, we’re confident that Astra is a great multipurpose theme for all kinds of websites.
If you’re building a new site, then Astra Pro has a ton of starter templates to choose from.
You can also create completely custom headers, footers, layouts, and sidebars, and then control exactly where these designs appear on your WordPress website. Its advanced display rules allow you to show different content based on user roles, so it’s also a good option if you allow user registration and want to create members-only content.
If you use Elementor, then Essential Toolkit has 200+ Elementor templates and the Ultimate Addons for Elementor. This means you can use Astra with your existing page builder plugin.
It also comes with Spectra, so we also recommend Essential Toolkit to any website owner who wants to use Astra theme with a page builder, but are unsure where to start.
Finally, Business Toolkit comes with additional tools that can help you communicate with your clients and generate lots of content quickly, using artificial intelligence.
With that said, this is a great all-in-one toolkit for anyone who designs, develop, or provides website maintenance services for WordPress.
We hope this Astra review helped you decide whether it’s the right multipurpose WordPress theme for you. Next, you may want to see our guide on how to create a contact form in WordPress, or check out our expert pick of the best WordPress landing page plugins.