Astra Theme Review: Is It Worth the Hype?

Michal Kaczor Avatar



Last Updated on February 13, 2024

Are you looking for a fast but flexible theme? Do you have unique needs in web design, or are you searching for the perfect e-commerce solution? Every site creator makes different demands of their development platform, but does Astra live up to the hype that’s built up around it. Find out in our comprehensive Astra theme review. 

Astra review (illustrative image)

Since first hitting the WordPress theme circuit, the Astra theme has found its way into the hearts of web developers and bloggers worldwide.  Even if your foray into WordPress has been brief, you have likely come across the praises of the Astra WordPress theme wherever themes are discussed online. Stay with us as we explore whether Astra is the right theme for you.

How Astra Got Its Start?

Brainstorm Force is a development team that made their mark with popular lead generation software “Convert Pro” and are also behind “Ultimate Addons” for Beaver Builder and Elementor Pro. They first released the Astra theme for WP in 2017. 

In 2020, the Astra Theme was the only non-default WordPress theme to exceed 1 million active installations. This achievement is no small feat, considering that over eleven thousand themes are available through WordPress, and even more can be purchased from third parties. 

Astra has gone from strength to strength, and the free theme now boasts more than 11 million downloads while maintaining a perfect 5-star rating. The team claims their theme is the most popular and best WordPress theme and these incredible figures suggest it’s not just marketing spiel boasting.

Astra’s popularity is often attributed to its user-friendly features, performance-focused design, and compatibility with page builders. That’s a lot of boxes that need ticking, so let’s see if Astra is the best theme for your website in our latest WordPress theme review. 

Astra Theme Features

Astra is worth a look if you are the type of website developer needing tons of customization options. While the free version is functional, it can be pretty limiting and sometimes causes frustration when you bump against the paywall during customization.  

A paid Astra account removes all limitations to deliver a wealth of options to customize every aspect of your site and get your branding just right. Here are a few more features to get you excited about using this full-featured theme for your next site. 

Prebuilt Website Demos

Astra has over 250 pre-build website templates covering everything from portfolios and online courses to e-commerce stores and blogs, ensuring you can give your website the best start. 

Templates streamline the design process, which is fantastic for newcomers who would rather not waste days or weeks getting a business online. You don’t need advanced skills to create an attractive website, and Astra’s extensive customization options mean your online presence will be unique to your brand. 

Integration with Popular Builders and Plugins

All the website builders work perfectly with the Astra theme, whether you use Elementor, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg, Divi Builder, or Brizy. WooCommerce also works like a charm, and LearnDash, the much-favored LMS (Learning Management System), is also well-supported. 

If you don’t have access to any of the above, the Pro version of Astra has its own website builder, which could help save on costs. 

Performance and Speed

As your SEO skills grow, you will quickly realize you have made the best choice in a theme that focuses on delivering fast download speeds to enhance the user experience. The typical page on Astra sites weighs in at a feather-light 50 KB, and pages load in less than half a second. 

Of course, speedy delivery will depend on your WordPress hosting provider and other optimizations, but an Astra-built site is an excellent foundation. 


The Astra theme is fairly easy to use, with most settings available from the WordPress customizer. If you are familiar with this WordPress feature, you will feel right at home. After installing Astra, heading to Appearance > Astra Options and clicking on Starter Templates will get you off to a running start, with more than 180 starter websites ready to go. 

Templates are divided into categories for different use cases, such as Business or Blog. After making your selection, you will be prompted to upload a logo. As you work through the design process, you will choose your colors and font options and finish by filling in your personal or business details. 

After a couple of minutes, Astra will have your starter site ready, complete with filler content. Now, you can have some fun with the integrated page builder to tweak your website to your heart’s content. 

SEO Friendly Features

Other SEO features you will come to rely on with the Astra theme are compatibility with AMP (Accelerate Mobile Pages),  optimized header tag structures, responsive design, and built-in SEO titles and description control, many of which are available in the free Astra theme. 

You will also appreciate how Astra automatically updates the schema for the last updated date, ticking one more item off your to-do list when updating your content to keep it fresh. 

Benefits of Using the Astra Theme 

Whether you stick with the free version or upgrade to Astra Pro, this theme removes much of the stress of creating a WordPress site. Here’s why we love it and think you will, too. 

Flexibility and Customization

Astra is one of the most flexible and customizable themes available, giving web developers almost infinite design options for creating a unique online brand. There’s global color palette management, typographic presets, and your choice of more than 800 Google or custom fonts. Developers are empowered to develop fast, attractive sites that don’t compromise speed or usability. 

Regular Updates and Support

The WordPress platform is nothing if not dynamic. It’s constantly receiving updates and improvements, and all good plugins and themes must keep up with the changes, or they will eventually break and introduce security holes.

Fortunately, the team behind Astra Pro is passionate about their project and is known for keeping up with WordPress’s rapid pace. This commitment to regular updates ensures the theme remains secure and that all its bells and whistles function as expected. 

Affordable Pricing Options

Astra makes it easy to explore its main features before you spring for the pro version. This system is straightforward, so you can quickly get a grasp on how it works and see how you like it before you invest any of your hard-earned money. 

The great thing about the free version is there is no time limit, so you can keep using it for as long as you like while also enjoying the regular updates. 

Pricing starts at $59/yr for the basic Astra Pro version. For twenty dollars more, or $79/year, you will get the page builder, Elementor addon, and premium starter templates. 

Business users can opt for the Business Toolkit for $149/year, which provides access to even more great features such as SureFeedback, a system that makes it easy to capture customer feedback, and SureWriter – Pro, a powerful AI assistant to speed up content creation. 

You also get SureTriggers Pro automation, CartFlows sales funnel builder, ZipWP Pro, and AI website builder, and access to courses through SkillJet Academy to add to your skill set. These are all great tools to have in your arsenal, but keep in mind that these bonus features are only available for 6 months rather than the full year. 

All paid plans give you access to premium support, while free users are left to their own devices or trawling through community posts for help. 

The free version of Astra delivers enough features for users to create a fully functioning website and may not need more if you just need a basic blog and are happy to sort through any problems yourself. However, the Pro version delivers many more customization options that will make it worth the investment, including:

  • Customizable footer layouts
  • Customizable header designs 
  • Google fonts
  • Color and background customization
  • Plugin integration
  • e-commerce support with better checkouts, different layouts, and upselling features
  • White labelling for agencies

What’s Not To Like

While Astra is well-loved in the WordPress website community, some drawbacks exist. For starters, the free version is frustratingly limited. It doesn’t take long for new users to butt up against the paywall when trying to access advanced features.

For example, there are no customization options for the footer, and you don’t get access to Astra’s integrated page builder. However, you can still use the Gutenberg editor. Plugins like Astra Hooks and Spectra can extend the functionality of Gutenberg with feature-rich blocks, which may be enough for some users. 

Conversely, new users opting for the Pro version can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of design choices available. Page speed delivery is another thing to consider. Gutenberg-based pages are usually lighter and faster than those built with Astra’s integrated page builder. 

Can the Astra Theme Lead You to WordPress Mastery?

When you decide to use Astra to create your website, it will quickly become apparent that even the free WordPress theme is a powerhouse of flexibility, speed, and customization for churning out good-looking websites. Its feature set is straightforward enough for novices while keeping enough power under the hood for when you are ready to explore its more advanced features. 

Its lightweight and fast performance is a breath of fresh air in a marketplace filled with themes that can bog your site down and keep it from reaching its full potential. And you get all this in a highly customizable theme that works with all popular builders and plugins. For example, the Divi Builder works well with the free version of Astra if you want to go that route. 

In short, Astra shines with unique features that won’t compromise your ability to craft quality experiences for your visitors, so why not take it for a spin today? 

Frequently Asked Questions