Powerful options in the theme customizer, super-fast loading time, and SEO-friendly design make Astra a great choice for any kind of website.
Let’s see what Astra has to offer in detail here.
Astra Review: Getting Started With The Theme
The Astra theme offers free as well as premium versions to choose from. In this review, we will look at the premium version of the Astra theme.
To get started with the Astra theme, go to the home site for Astra and log in.
You will need to download three files.
Here is a great advantage of the Astra Theme. You can create a Child Theme with your own branding. the process is simple, you can just write your site name or anything that you would like to brand your theme as and download it.
Astra Theme Performance Test
We have been using the Astra theme for all our sites. We created a custom design for Begindot using Astra Pro and the Elementor website builder.
We are also using the Astra theme for this site without any website builder at the moment.
Let’s look at the performance of Begindot as it has a lot more content than this site. With so many articles and design elements, thousands of images Begndot still loads within 1 second.
Astra Starter Templates
If you are new to WordPress and didn’t want to start a blog from scratch, Astra offers you a big collection of starter templates that you can use to make your site ready instantly.
Now, you need to remember that Astra is one of the most preferred themes for website builders, so they have created a number of different templates to be suitable for each website builder.
If you don’t want to use a website builder you can import a template to work with Gutenberg which is the default editor for WordPress.
To import the starter templates to your site created with the Astra theme, you will need to install the Starter Templates plugin for the WordPress plugin repository, it’s a free plugin that you can download right from your WordPress dashboard.
Here is how to do it. Go to your WordPress dashboard, go to plugin >> Add New >> Find Astra Starter Templates.
Once you activate the plugin, you will get access to the available templates that you can use on your site.
Astra Theme Customization Options
As we already stated, the theme offers comprehensive customization options to help you design layouts for all sorts of niches. Take a quick look at all the options you will get to play with.
It is also one of the most customizable themes in the market. All the premade websites can be customized using any popular page builder plugin like Elementor, Beaver Builder, WPbakery Visual Composer, and so on.
It has complete support for all the popular page builder plugins in the market. The WordPress customizer is also jam-packed with a lot of options. So tweaking the style and adjusting the finer details will not be an issue either.
With all the design options, the Astra theme is an excellent option for webmasters who have a lot of different websites, from different niches, requiring different styles.
However, don’t think that the theme is simply style and no substance. Here is a list of all the features and functionalities the theme has to offer.
You have multiple headers and footer layout options so that you can make your site unique. The header section creates the first impact on the visitors, the Astra theme understands the importance of having a unique and professional-looking header design.
Hence, make it simple for the users just to drag things and create a custom layout.
The Astra theme gives you the option to change the overall layout of your site, you can make it boxed as well as full-width as per your requirement.
You also have different layout options for the blog section of your site. You can have a classic blog layout as well as a completely modern Masonry layout.
Customizing Your Blog
If you are not using a website builder, you can use the Astra theme customization controls to tune the design of your blog. You have multiple options to design the homepage post archive, single pages, and a number of other options.
Let’s look at the single post settings.
You have the option to enable or disable elements with just a click. You can change the layout as per your need and edit responsiveness to make your blog look good on all devices.
Astra theme comes with a custom header and footer builder with drag and drop interface to help you create a completely unique design for the header and footer without any third-party plugin or website builder.
You have the option to add any widget, HTML code, logo, text or anything else that you want to add to these important sections of your site.
Also, you can completely fine-tune the header and footer design for all different devices such as desktop, mobile, etc. You can check it while editing your site how it looks on different devices.
Even if you are not using any page builder, Astra gives you complete control over the header section to make sure that you are able to customize how the header section of your site looks.
It also gives you the option to control how it looks on different devices like Desktop, Tab, and mobile devices. You can control the responsive design right from the Astra settings dashboard.
Powerful Design Elements
With Astra, you will be able to create rich website layouts thanks to its collection of powerful design elements. Starting from the basic headers, footers, and sidebars, the theme packs in plenty of fanciful options as well. Just take a look yourself:
Comprehensive Control Over Site Layouts
Even without coding knowledge, the theme gives you comprehensive control over even the most minute aspect of your website.
Create a Blog
Astra is also an excellent theme for bloggers, with a number of features and functionalities which will help you create awesome blog layouts.
Color & Typography
A great deal about your site’s aesthetics demands color, background, and typography. The theme gives you a great level of control over all these aspects.
Comprehensive Color Options
Create Stunning e-Shops
The theme is WooCommerce-ready. You will also get many customization options and site-building features to create a stunning e-commerce shop. Here are all the design elements and options you will get to create your e-shop.
Up until now, we have seen how the theme can be used to create stunning website layouts, blogs, and even an online store. But there are few more integrations that can expand the use case of your websites.
LifterLMS is a learning management system plugin for WordPress websites. Aster is completely compatible with the plugin allowing you to create attractive and distraction-free online courses. This is great if you wish to create an online studying platform.
LearnDash is another LMS plugin for your WordPress website. You can use it to create a stunning interface for all the students that come to your site.
The Astra theme comes with dedicated settings and design options for the LearnDash-powered sites. You can have complete control over how you want your eLearning site to look and Astra provides you with everything that you need to achieve that.
For different pages on your LearnDash-based sites, you may need different layouts. You can achieve that on the Astra theme settings page, which gives you the option to have different container sizes for different pages like lesions, quizzes, etc.
You can make the layout boxed or full-width as per your preference.
Also, to help you out with search engines the theme offers basic schema markup implementation. You will notice enhanced SEO performances and attract a lot more organic traffic to your website.
Astra does currently have any custom widget support, but it is a feature that will be soon included in the theme.
You will get options to display your business address, social icons, and even add an info list using widgets on your website.
As you can see, Astra is a feature-packed WordPress theme with a focus on customization and design. And if you still feel a bit skeptical about whether the theme is right for you or not, you can go ahead and try out the free version.
Now it is a free version of the theme and not a trial version. You will be able to keep the theme for life, but the features included will be rather limited. To get access to all the options and functionalities, you will have to get the pro version.
However, the free version gives you a basic understanding of what to expect with the theme.