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Astra Theme Review

With over a million active downloads, the WP Astra is a popular WordPress theme with unique designs, built-in support for AMP plugins, and schema data structures. Get Astra Pro today and start building unique websites quickly.

Shamsudeen Adeshokan

Astra theme logo
Ease of Use
Clean Codes


Astra is an incredibly fast theme that integrates seamlessly with other WordPress products. It’s also mobile responsive, optimized for speed, UX, and high website performance. You should consider the Astra theme to build unique and stunning website designs with less effort.


It’s been an incredible journey with WordPress themes since I started blogging in 2012. From the popular Eleven40 Pro from StudioPress in the early 2010s to Astra Pro by Brainstorm Force, building websites with a WordPress open-source platform is a great feeling.

Having used Astra Pro for some time and experienced the theme features, function, and limitations firsthand, I think it’s time to write a detailed review of the Astra Pro theme based on personal experience. 

So, in today’s post – Astra Theme Review – I will show you why over a million people loved it, why it’s so popular, and why it is a strong competitor to Kadence, Divi, Elementor, GeneratePress, etc.

You will also learn what’s in the free Astra theme and why you may consider buying the Astra Pro plugin to bring more features and control to your website design. 

But just in case you’re new to digital marketing, let’s begin with the obvious question. 

What is Astra Theme?

Astra is a lightweight free WordPress theme that is flexible, fast-loading, mobile responsive, and offers endless customization possibilities. 

Over 1 million active downloads, a 5k+ five-star rating, and good customer support make Astra the most downloaded non-native WordPress theme ever. 

It integrates deeply with other popular WordPress platforms such as Woocommerce, LearnDash, Easy Digital Download, Lifter LMS, etc.

Astra themes can be used to build portfolios, ecommerce stores, personal blogs, affiliate sites, business websites, and more. 

It is SEO optimized, has built-in Schema.org integration, is compatible with AMP technology, and is template-based, making it compatible with most page builders like Elementor, Visual Composer, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg, Brizy, etc. 

Astra theme has free starter templates or predesigns fully customizable themes for most industries, allowing you to build incredible web pages in minutes without coding. 

Now that we’ve understood the Astra theme let’s get into the Astra Theme review properly. 

Before we review the Astra WordPress Theme, you can check out how to access the Astra Pro plugin 1-year legal license with premium support without paying. (Hint: I accessed Astra Pro using the method described in that post.)

Getting Started With Astra Theme

Downloading the Astra theme is straightforward. 

You can download it directly from wordpress.org or via your WordPress admin theme area. You could also download Astra in a zip file to your computer from the official WP Astra website. 

You’re good to go with the Astra theme, whichever way you prefer. 

However, Astra Free has limitations like access to premium support and website customization features unless you purchase the Pro addon plugin, which brings more features, customization, control, and flexibility to your website design. 

This post will explore the Astra Pro addon plugin’s endless design capabilities and the free Astra theme features. But first, let’s unravel the quality and customization possibility in the Astra theme straight out of the box. 

Astra Theme Customization 

Note my review of the Astra theme is based on version 4.2.1, which is the latest Astra theme version update when writing this review. You can check the latest version on the theme changelog page before buying.

With that out of the way, let’s jump in.

Astra Theme Customizer

The Astra theme customizer allows you to take control of most parts of your website design. You can tweak all design settings and site layouts, from its header, single post, and archive pages to the footer. 

The theme customizer has General and Design tabs for features that give the site structures and atheistic designs. 

The General tab is where you define structures, while in the Design tab, you can customize elements like font size, site color, spacing, margin, post meta info, paddings, etc.

Astra Pro customizer setting panel

The available customizer features/settings depend on whether you use the free Astra theme or the Pro plugin. 

For example, the features to set the author info box, turn off single post navigation links, auto load previous posts, and enable social share buttons are pro features. 

Astra Pro single post Pro features

As with all WordPress themes, changes you make in the customizer are previewed in real-time in the content area. Overall, the customizer is easier to use, and navigating and finding features is painless. 

Astra Starter Templates

One of the beauties of Astra’s theme is the starter templates, which make it possible for anyone to design a fantastic website quickly and with less effort. 

As of now, Astra has over 240 starters who predesign website templates for most industries. These templates are designed with page builders like Elementor, Brizy, Beaver Builder, and Gutenberg WordPress block editor using the Astra theme. 

Astra starter theme page

To install the starter templates, ensure the Astra theme is active on your website. Next, go to your WordPress admin area, hover on Astra> dashboard>, and click Starter Templates from the tab. Next, click Install & Activate on the popup box. 

Starter templates activation button popup notice

After installing the starter templates, you can search for your favorite theme based on your industry and the corresponding page builder. 

Here, I search for a theme suitable for a personal blogger website and design using the Elementor page builder plugin.

Starter templates design with Elementor

After selecting a theme, I need to enter the website logo or decide to do it later. 

Next, I must customize the website color or pick from the preset color scheme and font. Whatever you do here is not set in stone. You can change and customize your design later.  

Starter templates color preset options

In the next step, enter some info about yourself, like your name, website design experience level, email, and whether you’re designing for yourself or a third party. 

Review the settings on the page, such as importing demo content and widgets, installing required plugins, global customizer settings, and whether you want to share sensitive data with Brainstorm Force for development purposes. 

Astra starter templates setting box

Once you’re through, click “Submit & Build My Website,” and Astra will start building your website. This process should take one to three minutes maximum. 

You will receive this message and can begin customizing your website.

Congratulation notice - website ativated

Astra will install all the required plugins to edit and customize your starter templates based on the page builder plugin. In this case, my starter website was built with Elementor, so I used that to design my page using its drag-and-drop editor.

The Elementor plugin is preinstalled along with the starter theme I installed.

Elementor drag and drop editor interface for starter templates

Enjoy the ride from here and bring your fantastic website to life.

A critical piece of advice is that you will need to consider demo content, widgets, and pages imported with a starter theme. The contact, About, and Home Page will mostly be imported with your theme.

You’ll need to edit these pages with your content and information and customize their appearance to fit your website image and brand voice.

Astra Theme Performance 

Astra is built to provide fast loading, maximum user experience, responsive web pages, and optimized performance. 

It has a built-in feature for loading Google Fonts locally. Enabling this feature will download Google Fonts to your host server, reducing the number of HTTP requests for third-party resources and loading them faster for site visitors. 

Astra’s performance also includes Preloading local web fonts, making the fonts load quickly while the browser continues to download the HTML of the page. 

These features come with the free WP Astra theme. 

Astra setting page - performance tab

Though your website performance with Astra will depend on your website resources, Astra provides a solid foundation to make your website incredibly fast. 

Astra theme uses Vanilla JavaScript to code website interactive elements instead of JQuery. JQuery is known to be render-blocking and negatively impact website performance.

Vanilla JavaScript, which is much faster and helps with website performance, enables developers to write code without additional frameworks or code libraries like JS, React, JQuery, and Vue.

Additionally, the Astra theme is very lightweight, with less than 50kb and eight requests out of the box on a clean WordPress blog installation; your website is guaranteed to load extremely fast.

Astra Site Layout 

The site layout is an essential aspect of choosing WordPress themes for most users. 

You want a WordPress theme that allows you to display content in prominent places and gives you control over where you place content and how your site is structured.

In the Astra theme single post/page sidebar layout setting, you can choose content/sidebar, sidebar/content, or no sidebar. Each container layout can be customized to fit your design mission perfectly.

For example, you can select options for the site’s single post container layout – default, standard, full width, and narrow. Then select the container style to unboxed, boxed, or default. 

Astra single post setting panel

Within the sidebar section, Astra allows you to determine the sidebar style to boxed, unboxed, or default, and you can define content width in its container. 

Defining content area width is available for single posts on a blog page. These features allow you to customize the reading experience for users. 

You can set the content area to narrow, wide, default, or custom widths size for the content area, giving users unique and improved reading experiences across your pages.

Astra custom width setting cutomizer

However, the Astra theme has no option for sidebar/content/sidebar page and single post layout. This means you can not have a right and left sidebar single post layout with the content area in the middle of the page.

This is a feature I wish to see in subsequent significant updates to the Astra theme.

After selecting your option in the General tab’s single post or site layout, you can switch to the Design tab to customize elements like color, padding, font, margin, background color, border radius, icon size, spacing, etc.

You can create custom site layouts like Masonry (for archives pages), fluid and Grid layouts, blog content, and advanced header and footer customization using Astra Pro. 

Also, Astra Pro lets you add HTML codes, shortcodes, and width sections to the header and footer. And create a mobile hamburger menu, flyout header, breakpoints, dropdown menu, and more. 

I talked about the header and footer styling in the next section. 

Header/Footer Builder

Designing attractive headers and footers in the WP Astra theme is effortless. 

Astra lets you set the primary header that displays across the site, different headers for mobile devices, header logos for mobile and desktop, and header logos for retina devices.

You can set different header types like a sticky header, transparent header design, mobile header with a hamburger menu, off-canvas, and more. Astra also lets you set visibility status for the site title, logo, and inline site tile and logo.

The visibility option disables header and footer elements on specific devices while allowing them to be displayed on other devices.

Astra header and footer allow you to add elements in tri-layer settings. 

Customizing Astra header

Each section/layer can be created into multiple columns, allowing you to add several elements to the footer and header, provided you consider spacing. 

To add elements to the footer or header sections, hover your mouse on an area to reveal the + sign, click it, and make your selection from the available popup widgets panel. 

To open the setting panel for a section/layer in the footer or header, click the gear setting icon to reveal the General and Design tab.  

Astra heading setting and section setting gear

However, with the Astra Pro plugin, you can do more with your site header and footer section. 

Astra Pro allows you to create custom content or page layouts, such as page headers, footers, Hooks, page content, and 404 pages. The features are available on the Astra Pro custom layout page.

You can create custom headers or footers that only appear in specific post types or create content that injects into the content body based on conditions, like after a particular heading, block of text, etc. 

Also, you will need the Astra Hook plugin to add Google Analytics and other custom and third-party codes to your theme header, footer, and body section. The Hook plugin is accessible to free Astra theme users, as well.

Astra Page Level Setting Options

Astra provides page-level settings and customization for individual posts or pages, overriding the default or global customizer setting. 

A new Astra setting icon displays at the editor’s top when you create your post or pages in the WordPress editor. 

Page-level setting Astra panel

Click the icon to reveal the setting options. Within the settings panel, you can define a new page layout for the current post or page and turn off on-page elements like header, footer, and banner area.

You can override the default customizer page layout setting, choose between no sidebar, right or left sidebar, and even define the sidebar style – default, unboxed, and boxed. 

Moreover, the panel lets you set up advanced settings for page elements, like turning off the primary and mobile header and defining transparent and sticky header settings for the current page. 

Disabling advanced elements on page

Assuming you’ve set up custom page headers (Pro features) for this specific post or page, you can select it here to go along with it when you hit the publish button.

Astra Page Header setting option

This Astra page-level control setting also allows you to set the page template or canvas for building with page builders like Elementor, Brizy, Beaver Builder, and Divi

Astra Global Settings

WP Astra theme, like any other WordPress theme, allows you to set global or sitewide settings. 

In its global setting panel, you can control sitewide customization for typography, scroll to up button, Misc, buttons style, hyperlink color, H tags, containers and site layouts, Accessibility, and Block editor global padding. 

Astra Global setting panel

You can access basic header and footer features within the Global setting panel interface. 

To access this option, hover your mouse on an element in the header section to reveal the small edit button. This action will open the corresponding setting panel to design the header.

Astra basic option to set header in customizer

You can add elements to your website header section and customize it in the General and Design tab.


The WP Astra theme typography is another significant setting in the Global setting panel. 

Typography can make or break your site user experience (UX), so consider the web font style, color, and size you choose for your website.

Astra lets you pick a global web font for body content and headings tags. 

First, you can choose from a preset heading and body content web font style, automatically setting the global typography. As you hover over a font style, Astra reveals the font names (heading/body font) so you understand what you’re doing better. 

Global Astra web font setting

Moreover, you can customize the base font for your selection, giving you more control over sitewide typography. 

Customizing web font - font size, decorations, and family.

Astra also lets you pick your desired font family and weight, sentence case, and set global settings for font decorations. 

Astra web font setting panel - font family, font weights and case settings.

Also, Astra has hundreds of Google font typography in the free and Pro plans, though the Pro has more. Google Font is arguably the largest free resource for web fonts (800+); the Astra Pro is built-in with all of them. 

Astra Pro Support 

Based on personal experience, the team behind the Astra theme (Brainstorm Force) offers excellent support services for premium customers.

I have engaged the support on several occasions and received timely and helpful responses on each occasion. 

There was a situation where I had to seek advice on resolving the Astra theme header section, causing a high Cumulative Layout Shift in PSI. 

Not only did the support rep provide helpful advice, but he also logged into my site (with my consent) to troubleshoot the problem. When we couldn’t resolve the issue, he also provided another possible option, proving how helpful and supportive the Astra rep can be.

Read the content in the email image below.

Support email from Astra supports

That was indeed premium support. 

Beyond engaging support reps, Astra offers an extensive help documents library, video tutorials, hundreds of blog posts detailing how to get the best of the Astra theme, and many troubleshooting guides.

Astra provides support via ticketing, which you can submit by logging into your Brainstorm Force user account. 

Astra Pro Pricing

Suppose you have followed through with this Astra Theme Review. In that case, the free version has significant design and control limitations, making creating the website design of your dreams nearly impossible. 

If you need only a fast, lightweight WordPress theme with basic/decent features, Astra-free is sufficient for you. 

However, consider the Astra Pro plugin to take control, customize your website to the next level, and design a unique website. 

The Astra Pro license starts at $47 for annual billing, the Essential Bundle license costs $137 for 12-month billing, and the Growth Bundle is offered at $187 for a 12-month license. 

You can save money when you purchase a lifetime license for any of the plans, which gives you lifetime access to support, features, and product updates. 

If you’re considering getting the Astra Pro plugin, here are some reasons to consider, especially if you want to build a unique and powerful website design that represents your brand identity.

  • Built-in social sharing functions.
  • Custom layout and hooks for creating custom content.
  • Create page headers for different post types.
  • More control over customizations.
  • White labeling features for web development agencies. 
  • Access to premium customer support.
  • More integration with other WordPress tools, like LearnDash, Elementor, and Easy Digital Downloads.

Astra Pros and Cons

As with all themes, the Astra WordPress theme has pros and cons. Some of which you should know upfront before attempting to purchase the Pro plugin.


  • Astra is beginner-friendly.
  • Lightweight, fast, and built to improve website performance.
  • Regular updates.
  • The Astra theme is responsive to mobile devices and adapts seamlessly to user devices.
  • Astra is AMP-supportive.
  • Premium support for pro users.
  • Seamless integration with WordPress page builders. 
  • Develop with clean codes and optimized for SEO
  • Ecommerce integration and built-in features
  • Endless customization possibilities. 
  • Prebuild Starter templates.


  • Limited support for free users.
  • Some pro features can be freely accessible. 

Alternative Free Theme to Astra

If you only want to use the Astra theme for free without considering buying the Pro plugin, I suggest you get the free WP Kadence theme instead. 

Comparing the free features in both Kadence and Astra, Kadence comes out on top. 

Several advanced features in premium themes like Astra and GeneratePress are free in WP Kadence. 

For example, Kadence gives more control and flexibility over the blog archive page and its content layout display.

There are options to display archive content in columns, grid layout, set featured image size and aspect ratio, and customize the post title and content elements. 

Compared with Astra Free, customizing archive blog content layout, elements, and featured images is possible only if you use the Astra Pro addon plugin.

Kadence themes also have more customization features for single post layouts, like post meta info customization, post-last updates features, and adding an author image to the page title section. 

You can check out WP Kadence free from the developer website or get the Astra Pro plugin. Both Astra and Kadence are pretty fast and lightweight WordPress themes.

Conclusion…Astra Theme Review

Astra theme is one of the best and most downloaded WordPress themes. The free version offers customization features that allow anyone to build unique websites without touching codes or knowing HTML.

However, after discussing the Pro features not found in the free theme in this WP Astra theme review, you might consider buying the Astra Pro plugin, which brings more customization, features, control, and flexibility to design incredible web pages quickly. 

Also, if you need advanced features and ecommerce integrations, getting the Astra Pro makes more sense and is cost-effective.

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