When you are about to start a showcase site, a blog or a ecommerce using the CMS WordPress, then you need a "theme" to create the layout and pages of your site (unless you create it "by hand" with code or with a Page Builder like Elementor).
When choosing a Theme for WordPress a good option is Astra (https://wpastra.com), designed to create through its layouts, or using it in conjunction with the main Page Builder, a fully customized website and especially professional appearance, as well as, as we will discuss in the next few lines, high performance.
But what are the main Astra features and how does it work? Let's start answering that.
What is Astra WP Theme and its main features
Astra (https://wpastra.com) is a theme created and designed by a company, which for about 10 years, develops various products for the WordPress platform, the Brainstorm Force.
Just because of their experience with WordPress, the Astra theme is capable of integrating with countless plugins and platform functions such as WooCommerce for the creation of your own custom ecommerce.
Astraprovides a basic plan, Starter Plan, completely free which allows you to create various pages of a website either by using the basic layouts available or through association with a Page Builder such as Elementor.
Astra's Pro Plan on the other hand has advanced features that not only give you access to a large library of layouts for your site, but also gives you access to advanced customization systems and more features including: color management, blog customization, multiple formats for layout and typography.
Finally, Astra's Pro Plan is also designed to work best with Page Builders such as Elementor, Divi and Beaver Builder.
How Does Astra Work? Free and Paid Plans
Installation and customization of Astra is very simple, just follow a few steps to upload it to the WordPress platform and start using it.
The first thing you need to do is download the theme Astra directly from WordPress.org, from the themes option of your WordPress platform or from the official website. Before downloading the theme I recommend that you evaluate the choice between the free starter plan but with limited functions and Paid Pro (https://wpastra.com), but with a margin of customization and more advanced tools available.
After downloading the theme, you must upload it to your WordPress platform by going to the themes section and choosing the Upload Theme or via FTP option. Now you can upload the ZIP file and proceed to install Astra.
Once WordPress has unpacked and installed the theme, you'll need to install the Astra plugin Starter Sites, to start customizing your site, choosing the layout, and creating all the pages and sections you need.
If you want to increase the performance of the Astra You can then make use of the countless plugins that work with the theme such as: Customizer Search, Astra Bulk Edit, Custom Fonts, Sidebar Manager, Ultimate Addons for Gutemberg.
Astra: SEO Performance and Page Speed Friendly
Astra is one of the WordPress themes most used of the moment not only for the countless functions for customizing and building a website, but for its performance optimized for SEO, loading speed and UX.
Astra in fact it also comes with the Markup and Integrated Basic Schema.
In addition to these features, Astra offers excellent performance including:
- Speed: the theme is designed and optimized to give the best performance in terms of speed. The theme in fact, is very light and can be loaded in less than 0.5 seconds and a weight for the recall of resources under 50 kb.
- Optimized code: as mentioned, Astra uses WordPress' default data and follows specific coding standards to ensure that every part of the code is optimized to the fullest.
Astra design and layout options
Astra is a theme that gives extensive layout modification possibilities and website design.
All of its features practically help you get the style you want for your site, even if you're not an experienced programmer.
The main design and layout options offered by Astra provide:
- Site layout management with customization systems for: header, footer, blog section, posts, single pages, ads section, home page.
- Transparent header can be used.
- Setting up a logo, various menu styles, colors, adjustment and customization of breakpoints.
- Creating a mega menu to include within your layout.
- Create specific sidebars on the website.
- Various header and footer options.
- Color Setting and Management of typography throughout the website.
- Box layout for main content.
- Possibility of inserting margins specific on the edges of the content.
- Check spacing, margin management, and default space settings.
Astra: functional advantages for ecommerce
Astra is a lightweight and easily customizable theme which allows you to get good results in conjunction with the WooCommerce extension for the creation of an ecommerce fast, beautiful, feature-rich and with a light configuration.
Using the design options and functions of Astra in conjunction with Woocommerce you can create an online store without the need to write a single line of code. But why choose this adaptable theme to be able to create a working ecommerce?
Surely, we can indicate 3 main advantages:
- The ability to customize your own e-commerce without putting hands on the code.
- Site speed and responsiveness from the perspective of SEO.
- Dedicated customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When starting an ecommerce Certainly one of the main difficulties you might run into are the technical ones related to code writing and management. With Astra and Woocommerce there will be no need for any PHP coding to customize the website, but just launch it and use the design tools compatible with the theme.
Astra, being fully compatible with WooCommerceIt offers many possibilities for editing and customization, tools that then also help you increase sales and user experience.
Between the main tools of Astra and Woocommerce we find:
- The ability to change the width of the content inserted in the page
- Choose the number of columns and best layout for each device
- Decide the number of products to view on each page
- Choice of sidebars on WooCommerce pages
- Set the option: add to cart in the menu or header of your site
- Customize your Woocommerce layout using the various Astra Dediacted design options
- You can insert the various icons where you prefer including the buy buttonor and "Add to Cart".
- Create countless adaptable layouts for smartphones, tablets and PCs
- Change the colors and typography of e-commerce
The second advantage of using Astra and Woocommerce to build your ecommerce is the speed of the site and its responsiveness that positively affect the SEO side.
Astra is a theme of fast, light and seo-friendly wordpress, perfect for the creation of an e-commerce customizable and easy to customize for the owner and to navigate for the user. According to statistics choosing the Astra design options combined with Woocommerce the loading of the site is fast and loads immediately.
Have a lightweight theme that loads quickly improves site quality and positively affects sales. In fact, users are more inclined to buy on an ecommerce where they find no impediments when scrolling through the pages and products featured.
Astra has a built-in support for Schema.org in this way you can optimize the site in the best way on the SEO side and you help search engines understand what products are on your ecommerce.
Also there are some features like:
- Infinite scroll
- Grid settings
- Customized use of the sidebar
- Access to various types of product catalogs
- Various payment options to be entered to give wide choice to the customer
Astra Woocommerce has predefined startup templates for quick, easy and fast e-ommerce implementation.
Finally, Astra's third advantage for the construction of ecommerce is given by the dedicated assistance offered by this specific theme. On the site you can find in-depth articles and video tutorials that explain every feature of the ecommerce. Email support is available 24 hours a day. Finally, you can find help in configuring the theme and various site layouts directly from Astra's Facebook group with 10 thousand members.
You can discover all of Astra's ecommerce features here: https://wpastra.com/woocommerce/
Astra: main integrations
Astra mainly integrates with three plugins that allow you to get advanced features for website creation.
The integrations that work best with Astra are WooCommerce for the realization of an e-commerce, Lifter LMS or Learn Dash for creating a website to create and sell online training courses.
Downloading the WooCommerce plugin and using Astra as your theme you can create your e-commerce and get a fast and high performing site. Astra's WooCommerce module allows you to to display products on a grid layoutso that you can customize it according to your needs. Using the theme together with this plugin you have several advanced features, for example you can create a sidebar out of area within the Shop page, to be activated by a link or a button.
Also very interesting is the gallery option which is used to create a gallery that shows all your products, or the main ones, on the Shop page, also you can choose to set the layout or list or grid.
To keep your customers happy and increase sales you can create attractive product pages that encourage quick purchases by customers.
The infinite scrollInstead, it allows you to load products all on one page, allowing customers to scroll quietly on a single page, making the site faster and more convenient. while also improving the user experience.
Astra is compatible with the LifterLMS WordPress plugin. Thanks to the wide possibilities of modification to the theme style offered by Astra you can create LifterLMS pages.
This plugin is made for WordPress and is used to create dedicated sections for online courses or access to educational content. Together, Astra and LifterLMS offer interesting features such as payment or free access to content with a simple subscription.
Finally, among the plugins fully compatible with WordPress we find Learn Dash. Learn Dash, like LifterLMS, is also the top choice among Fortune 500 companies, is one of the leading training organizations, universities and entrepreneurs around the world for selling or creating online courses. The integration between Astra and Learn Dash allows you to create sections for training courses.
Astra and Elementor PRO
Astra is a WordPress theme which gives its best in the field of website page optimization when used in conjunction with Page Builders.
Page Builders are plugins that can be integrated natively into WordPress and consequently allow for completely customized editing without intervening in the code by hand.
Page Builder support is one of the main strengths of the Astra theme, because on WordPress there are many themes that instead do not have native integration with these, making the page created with the page builder then it doesn't fit into WordPress and creates display problems.
The best pagebuilder to use with Astra is definitely Elementor Pros. Astra and Elementor Pro integrate perfectly with each other, and once you've installed the page builder you'll find new features to edit articles and pages, and create custom posts.
You can also change several common settings such as: where to display the sidebar, choose between boxed or full-width content. Or you can disable or enable features such as: page title, header, featured image.
One of the main advantages of using Astra with the Elementor Pro Page Builder so it is possible to customize the appearance of each page, in this way you will be able to achieve in an easier way: landing page without footer or header, or create posts more graphically appealing.
The main advantages of Astra
Astra, as we have seen, is a very complete theme that offers a lot of features to customize as much as possible your own website or ecommerce on WordPress.
I main advantages of this theme are:
- Its accessibility and following WCAG 2.0 standards. Meeting the double A level for usability of online sites.
- Astra's code built by experienced developers is clean, extensible and is one of the best for performance.
- The functions, performance and code of Astra make this theme "Seo Friendly" so it positively affects the ranking of the site.
- Ability to translate theme pages with .mo and .po files. You can also easily create a multilingual site.
- The theme is at 100% open source and is developed on GitHub, this means that anyone can contribute to its development and improvement.
- Compatible with the main Page Builders, like Elementor Pro, Beaver Builder, Site Origin, Visual Composer, Divi.
- Wide possibility of customization and construction of website pages .
Astra: Download and Demo
The Astra theme can be downloaded as a free download from the WordPress themes repository (https://it.wordpress.org/themes/astra/) while on the official website https://wpastra.com you can upgrade to the Pro version.
Price of Astra
Astra Starter version is completely free, but in this case the functions are very limited and designed mainly for beginners who are starting for the first time a site in WordPress.
For access to more advanced features you can opt for Astra's paid plans which you can find here: https://wpastra.com. These are:
- Astra Pro from $59 per year or $249 forever
- Astra Mini Agency $169 per year or $499 forever
- Astra Agency Package $249 per year or $699 forever
Although the costs in Pro version are much higher than traditional themes, you must consider that the service offered by this theme is clearly superior. Moreover, Astra Pro version gives you the possibility to customize your website in every detail.
Comments from Astra users are mostly positive, in fact this is one of the most used by SEO experts, but also by companies, businesses, web agencies that want to create a fast and high usability website.