Choosing the perfect theme for your blog or website is not easy and time consuming. You have to choose from 1000s of options and when you make up your mind on one theme then you may find that the particular theme has some things which you don’t like. So, you start searching for themes again.
I have recently switched to Astra theme on one my my websites and it turned out to be the best decision ever. I think you should give Astra a try if you are looking for a theme. The best part about Astra is that it’s free.
Astra is one of the most popular free themes in the WordPress themes repository. It is also the highest-ranking third-party theme.
There are three things due to which Astra is so much popular:
- Performance – Astra is one of the fastest loading theme out there. Google is stressing website speed more than ever before. So, the fast speed of Astra is highly beneficial for SEO.
- Starter Sites – Astra comes with 100s of importable demos that help you get your site up and running quickly.
- Customization Options – Astra has a lot of customization options. You can customize almost every part of Astra without having to code.
Astra is available for FREE from the WordPress theme repository. But, if you want more features, then you have purchase Astra Pro plugin for $59. One license lets you use it on unlimited sites.
Astra is a super-fast theme. It weighs just under 50KB, follows best coding practices and doesn’t use jQuery.
To find out how much better Astra performs, I ran two tests on WebPageTest – One with default Astra settings and another with one of the demos imported.
With this setup, the site loaded under 1 sec. But this is not a realistic scenario as a live site will have at least some content.
With one of the demo sites, it loaded in just under 1.5 secs (which is impressive to say the least).
This proves that Astra is one of the fastest theme around there for WordPress.
To help you launch your site quickly and easily, Astra has a lot of starter sites to choose from. The best thing about them are that they are either built with WordPress editor or with a page builder.
This means you can customize content using a drag and drop interface without any coding knowledge.
Astra starter sites have templates for three page builders:
- Beaver Builder
ALSO READ: How to Install a WordPress Theme
Astra is a multipurpose theme meaning you can use it for anything from a simple blog to something as complex as an eCommerce site.
In the customizer of Astra, you will get tons of options which will help you to customize almost every aspect of the site:
- Blog posts (and blog list)
- Content width
Astra Pro Addon
If you upgrade to Astra Pro, you will get access to a number of new features. You can enable/disable these features individually which will improve site speed by disabling features which you are not using.
One of the new modules that you will get with the pro module is Blog Pro. This will enable you to furthur customize your blog archive page.
Some other customization features that the pro modules add are:
- Navigation menus
Astra Free vs Pro
If you are okay with the customization options found in the free version of the theme, then there is no reason to upgrade to the pro version. But, if you need more customization and flexibility, then you can upgrade to the pro version.
Another reason to upgrade to the pro version is the integrations. You will want the pro version if you are using WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads or LearnDash. While the free version has limited integrations for all these plugins, the pro version is definitely worth the upgrade.
Astra is one of the best, lightweight, fast WordPress theme. On top of all, it’s FREE to download from the WordPress repository. Most of the people won’t feel the need of the pro plugin but in case one needs to buy the pro plugin, it’s only $59 for for a license which can be used on unlimited number of sites. Overall, I highly recommend this theme for anyone who is looking for a beautiful and fast theme for their WordPress site.
If you have any queries or suggestions, then please let me know in the comments down below.
ALSO READ: How to Start a Blog