This Astra Pro theme review takes a deep dive into a theme that’s touted as blazing fast and filled with customization options and beautiful starter templates.
It’s easy to understand why the Astra Pro WordPress theme has thousands of 5-star reviews and a large community of devoted users.
It all starts with the basic Astra theme. Developed and maintained by Brainstorm Force, the theme offers a free and efficient way to launch a website, considering it’s a multi-purpose theme that you can transform for any industry.
But there’s more to the story. Brainstorm sells a premium version of the theme, with a myriad of extra tools ranging from improved site layouts to better typography.
We know the free Astra theme has its advantages, but now we want to run through the pros and cons of the premium version in our in-depth Astra Pro theme review.
In this Astra Pro theme review we outline all the benefits and features from Astra Pro, the premium add-on you can purchase as an addition to the Astra theme.
We’ll highlight everything from pricing to the beautiful starter templates, and customer support to the user interface.
So, let’s drive into the details.
Astra Pro Theme Review: Affordable Pricing With Many Free Add-ons
The free Astra theme is – you guessed it – free. After that, you may decide you need extra features or layouts to improve upon your current design. That’s where Astra Pro comes into play.
Luckily, for one of the most impressive themes on the market, Astra Pro sells at an affordable price, with several packages that make it even less expensive for agencies and those who need extra starter templates or training.
Here’s what to expect to pay for Astra Pro:
- Astra Pro Bundle – $59 per year for all Astra Pro features, one-to-one premium support, extensive training, over 100 starter templates, and theme usage on as many sites as you want. They offer a lifetime package for a one-time payment of $523.
- Mini Agency Bundle – $276 per year for everything in the previous plan, over 1,500 starter agency templates, the WP Portfolio plugin, and the option to choose a page builder add-on (Elementor or Beaver Builder). The lifetime pricing is $996 (one-time payment).
- Agency Bundle – $523 per year for all features and offerings in the previous plans, both page builder add-ons, the Convert Pro plugin, Schema Pro plugin, SkillJet Academy, and access to all future plugins. The lifetime pricing for this bundle is $699 (onetime fee).
Keep in mind that Brainstorm lists steep discounts for Astra Pro on a regular basis.
For instance, at the time of this Astra Pro theme review the Astra Pro plan has a lifetime price of $249, significantly decreased from the regular pricing. So keep your eyes open for the deals!
Click here to check pricing details.
Astra Pro Theme Review: The Best Features
One way to get a true feel for the best features in Astra Pro is to eliminate the ones that already come with the free Astra theme.
That way, we can take a look at the what really makes the Astra Pro add-on special, then compare it to the general premium WordPress theme market to see why those features matter.
You may not use every feature offered through Astra Pro, but it’s a good idea to take a look at what’s offered.
That way, you might find that a feature you hadn’t needed before but could need in the future is there, especially if you’re paying for a theme, and you plan on using it for clients. After all, each web design client will have different requirements.
Take a look at our favorite Astra Pro features, all of which are only available in the Astra Pro add-on:
Blogging Essentials You Can’t Get Anywhere Else
The main reason WordPress exists is because of blogging. So it makes sense that WordPress themes stick to that original functionality and improve upon the wonderful world of WordPress blogging features.
In Astra Pro, you gain access to several blog stylings and layouts, from post content layouts to post grid control tools.
The page formats include features for infinite pagination, color and typography options, and a masonry layout.
The list goes on and on, making it clear that the Brainstorm development team knows the value of flexibility for bloggers.
Advanced Headers and Footers
Headers and footers often cause problems for WordPress users. They’re notoriously inflexible, often require coding knowledge to manipulate, and sometimes don’t even look right when you do know how to code.
As a reprieve, Astra Pro provides both header and footer enhancements, turning both areas into highly customizable modules.
Let’s start with the headers. You can add a mega menu, sticky header animations, and a full-width menu drop-down. There are header templates for Gutenberg and Elementor, along with the various other page builders like Beaver Builder and Brizy.
The fly-out off-canvas menu is a nice touch, and we can’t say enough about the various search tools for adjusting what your search bar looks like.
As for the footer enhancements, Astra Pro provides the following:
- Various HTML elements for full flexibility.
- Several button elements to change around sizes and colors and shapes.
- Color and typography options.
- Lots of divider elements to break up the footer into different sections.
A Dynamic Content Builder for Custom Elements: An Astra Pro Theme Review Top Feature
Tying into the custom footers and headers, all of these areas in Astra Pro get customized with the help of a dynamic content builder.
The builder gives you control over the header and footer, and you can also customize your 404 page, make multiple page headers, and create hooks for custom coding.
Outside of the hooks, each part of the dynamic content builder functions without the use of custom coding.
That way, you can change around sizing, logo uploads and menu options in the header, or completely revamp the 404 page instead of sticking to what’s provided by default.
Simple Site Layouts
The Astra Pro theme offers impressive advantages in the world of site layouts. The many starter templates are sure to make designing a website easier, but it’s important to remember that the Astra Pro site layouts make for an even more flexible design experience.
The layout of your website dictates how all site content appears on user screens. Many WordPress themes only have one or two layouts, such as full width and padded.
However, Astra Pro includes four customizable site layouts for stretching all content to fill the screen or make it more compact with the use of padding or small widths.
The layouts include: Full width, max width, padded, and fluid. Our Astra Pro theme review showed that these types of simple features, often missing in other themes, take Astra to a different level.
The first three are fairly self-explanatory. Full width takes up most of the screen, max width covers the entire screen, and the padded format adds some space around the content, often allowing for a custom background.
A fluid layout, on the other hand, adapts to screen sizes, as opposed to sticking with static widths or designs.
A fluid design is helpful in making your site mobile-responsive, but there are some downsides in that you don’t always know how your content will appear on each screen.
Luckily, that’s why Astra Pro gives you other layout options in case you’d rather a more predictable approach.
Improved Design Options: An Astra Pro Theme Review Top Feature
The free Astra theme version offers quality features for improved typography, spacing, and colors. Yet when compared to Astra Pro, it’s limited.
Upgrading to the Astra Pro add-on opens up several design advantages for adjusting backgrounds, sidebars, colors, and more.
For instance, the color panel in the WordPress customizer includes options for the overall theme color, link colors, background colors, and heading colors.
It offers a few more, but we like how Astra Pro organizes these colors into one area and cuts it down to the essentials, as color customization isn’t always the easiest in WordPress themes.
The more advanced color and background features include background and heading colors for specific content and background images, and gradients as well.
Another example pertains to fonts and typography. Astra Pro provides a Base Typography section to establish fonts and sizes and line heights for all body and content elements throughout the website.
You also receive a separate settings panel for headings, where you can choose from a long list of premium font families and styles for each of your heading tags.
Shortcodes provide flexibility when implementing specific design items anywhere on your site. They’re a tried-and-true design ally, which is why we’re glad to see the Astra Pro theme has many of them.
To begin, you receive shortcodes for all the following:
- Search boxes
- A WooCommerce mini-cart
- An Easy Digital Downloads mini-cart
- A Lifter LMS profile area
- A LearnDash profile area
As you can see, most of the shortcodes cater to online stores, seeing as how you can turn on breadcrumbs and search boxes for improved navigation within a larger store.
We also like that all four of the primary Astra integrations receive some love in the shortcode area.
You’ll learn more about the integrations in the following sections, but it’s nice to see that a website owner can improve their profile module if running an online school, or they can incorporate a smaller cart section inside an online store.
White Labeling and CSS File Generation: The Final Top Features for Our Astra Pro Theme Review
Two final features, which may occasionally go unnoticed, but definitely make work easier for some developers, are the white labeling and the CSS file generation.
White labeling removes all instances of “Astra” or “Brainstorm” on Astra products you plan on repackaging and selling to web design clients. This means that any plugin, theme, or add-on you include on a client’s site has the option for rebranding.
Almost every element within Astra Pro has a field within the settings to change things like the name of the plugin, its description, and even the author URL.
Let’s say you created a website for a client and would rather it looked like you completed all the development processes instead of having Astra branding on there.
You can go in the settings and add the Agency Author, Agency Author URL, and a link to your website. You can even change the theme branding with a completely new name and screenshot.
Finally, the CSS file generation is a solution from Brainstorm to help developers who noticed dynamic CSS being added to all pages on a website whenever you made changes.
This isn’t all that uncommon for WordPress themes, and it tends to make the code bulkier and potentially slows down the website.
Therefore, the CSS File Generation tool makes sure inline CSS doesn’t appear in the source code whenever you make a change to the website, leading to cleaner code overall.
A Review of the Astra Pro Theme User Experience
As we take a look into the Astra Pro interface, it makes sense to start from the beginning of a standard web design process.
The only somewhat confusing part is the fact that you must first install the free Astra theme, even if your end goal is to utilize Astra Pro.
After installing Astra, you buy and download the Astra Pro add-on and install it like a regular WordPress plugin. Therefore, Astra Pro isn’t really even a theme, but a plugin that supports an already existent theme.
Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with that, but we want you to understand the process to avoid confusion.
After installation, most Astra Pro settings and features show up by going to Appearance > Astra Options in the WordPress dashboard.
You’ll also notice extra pages for things like Custom Fonts and Sidebars depending on which add-ons you activate.
It’s easy to understand and move around the Astra Pro interface, seeing as how much of it remains within the same area. The primary Settings page lists links to all Customizer Settings such as:
- The Header Builder
- Footer Builder
- Layout Options
- Blog Layouts
- Upload Log tool
- Set Colors option
- Customize Fonts
- Sidebar Options
Click on any of these to go to another area for editing, usually the WordPress Customizer.
It’s worth mentioning that they advertise many of the Astra Pro modules as features that come with the add-on, but you still have to activate them within the dashboard.
However, these all get listed within the same Astra Options page, and they have an Activate All button to make things easy.
Overall, it’s best to test out the Astra Pro modules one-by-one to figure out which options make your design life easier.
For instance, you may find that the Colors and Backgrounds are fine the way they are, but maybe you have been looking for a way to better customize your WooCommerce checkouts or page headers.
The list here gives you a wonderful example of the power that’s packed into the Astra Pro add-on, and it’s all available right from the same page in the dashboard.
Scroll down on that page to see several more free plugins to extend the functionality of Astra Pro. This area includes options for custom fonts, bulk editing, sidebar management, and more.
Again, it’s necessary to activate the ones you want.
The right side of the Astra Options page provides a few other helpful links and modules, most notably the Starter Template Import. You can also find several links to support resources, which we’ll highlight further down in this Astra Pro theme review.
Speaking of starter templates, this is where Astra Pro shines. The templates serve as the ultimate web design tools for rapidly turning your boring WordPress site into something spectacular and professional.
The starter templates give you options to populate your website with content and design elements without having to do more than click a button.
You can upload a starter template for your homepage or import an entire starter template website.
Keep in mind, to import Astra Pro starter templates, you must first install and activate the free Starter Templates plugin. It doesn’t come attached to the Astra Pro add-on.
Regardless, this plugin is free, and it has plenty of excellent reviews. You can find a complete list of starter templates on the Astra template gallery, as it includes options for multiple page builders, and industries ranging from music to marketing.
Once you have the Starter Template plugin installed and activated, a Starter Templates button shows up when you go to the Appearance menu.
The starter template importer takes no more than a minute to run through, and it provides options to choose your page builder, from the likes of favorites such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg, and Brizy.
Related Reading: Astra Pro Theme vs Elementor Pro
It allows you to filter and browse these templates and select or preview one from the convenience of your dashboard.
For this Astra Pro theme review I’ll select a template that offers WooCommerce features and a beautiful homepage, About page, and Contact page.
As mentioned, you can opt to either import the complete site or only configure the homepage.
And that’s all there is to it! One push of a button and your website transforms into a stunning, fully-functional site that’s ideal for running an online store, starting a blog, or tweaking and then selling to web design clients.
As for further customizations, your primary hub remains within that Astra Options page.
Whenever you click on a Customizer Setting link it typically brings you to the WordPress Customizer, yet with added features you wouldn’t get with other themes.
As you can see, I clicked on the Customize Fonts link and it sent me to the WordPress Customizer module, showing a Base Typography panel with options to adjust everything from font families to sizes and line heights.
Even more impressive are the Header and Footer Builders.
Also placed in the WordPress Customizer, these options offer deep integrations with WordPress to customize individual aspects of the header and footer, with drag-and-drop builders to shift around elements like your logo, cart icon, and primary menu.
As you can see, I quickly modified the header, made the logo a little bigger, and changed the shopping cart icon.
It’s tough to cover all the little surprises with Astra Pro.
From shopping cart customizations to beautiful blog layouts, the theme and add-on reveal a seemingly endless supply of features and settings for customizing elements that usually require custom coding.
Overall, the user interface gets a big thumbs up in our Astra Pro theme review.
A Review of Astra Pro Extensions and Starter Templates
The primary integrations you receive with Astra Pro include:
You may think some of those plugins are already free and included with the basic Astra theme. Yet, that’s not entirely the case.
The basic Astra theme provides limited integrations for all listed above, only opening up premium tools and unique features when you upgrade to Astra Pro.
All of the extensions must be installed in their original forms. After that, you can activate the extra features added for each one by Astra Pro.
Here’s a look into what each plugin enhancement offers:
- WooCommerce – Since WooCommerce itself offers few Customizer settings, Astra Pro takes it a step further by providing options to change your store notice, the product catalog, single products, and more. You can customize most aspects of the cart and checkout, while also working on product images directly from the WordPress Customizer.
- LifterLMS – The LifterLMS plugin by itself provides amazing online course and learning management tools for running a website with courses and selling those to customers. The Astra Pro add-on gives several boosts, with settings for membership columns, course columns, checkout customizations, and student viewing. Along with a much longer list of excellent features, you receive settings for enabling instructor details, setting a progress bar, and changing buttons.
- LearnDash -This is yet another learning third-party learning management plugin that benefits from Astra Pro improvements. Some highlights include distraction free learning mode, student gravatars in the header, customizations for the table of contents, and color modifications.
- EDD – The Easy Digital Downloads plugin works similar to WooCommerce except it empowers you with better features for selling digital products like eBooks and videos. It’s a rather powerful plugin by itself, but Astra Pro adds a few settings for single products, the checkout page, the product archive, and general settings like a new product cart icon.
Overall, we recommend Astra Pro primarily for its starter templates and rapid customization options, but if you already use one of the four plugins above, Astra Pro makes them much sweeter.
The Main Reason We Love the Astra Pro Theme: Starter Templates
We showed how to install and activate the starter templates in the interface section above, but now it’s time to take a deeper look into the types of starter templates provided and how they function for your website.
The templates are separated between free and agency templates, as the agency ones are only provided if you sign up for one of the Agency pricing plans.
As of this article, the Astra Pro add-on offers over 100 free starter templates. The Agency plans include over 150 templates.
Specific types of templates include options for outdoor adventure, pet care, baby stores, and more. With a quick glance through the library during my Astra Pro theme review, I stumbled upon all the following templates:
- Digital marketing
- Furniture store
- Health coach
- Coffee shop
- Baking store
- Yoga studio
- Food truck
- Roofing services
- Freelance copywriting
- Travel agency
And that’s only a small fraction of what’s available.
Not to mention, every starter template from Astra Pro has its own unique page templates. Therefore, you may see extra pages for things like online shops, company information, pricing, and contact forms.
Feel free to only choose the pages you like or import them all as a full website.
Top-notch Customer Service (and a Nice Community) with the Astra Pro Theme
Running one website is tough enough, so it helps to have a premium theme that comes with quality customer support.
In this Astra Pro theme review we’ve looked at the features, the interface, and the starter templates that make design so easy, but what can you expect when something goes wrong with your design or you can’t figure out how to use one of the many Astra Pro tools?
Let’s start with what’s in the dashboard. Instead of forcing you to search for a Support link on the Astra website, the Astra Pro add-on presents several modules to the right for either speaking with someone about your issue, researching the problem yourself, or seeing what other users have to say.
Those modules include:
- Knowledge Base
- Astra Community
- Ticket Support
So, we know that you can send in an email ticket and get a reply from a representative. There doesn’t appear to be a chat box or phone number to call, but the ticketing system allows for questions about sales, technical support, and more.
It’s also worth mentioning that one-to-one support is provided for those on the Pro version of Astra, along with extensive training to get you or your team up to speed.
The knowledgebase has a search field to type in your issue and receive links to articles that may help. Astra Pro also comes with various video tutorials and written articles covering topics from hooks to header customizations.
Finally, the Astra Community comes as a private Facebook Group. It boasts over 19k members and touches on a wide range of subjects that come right from users like you.
This way, you can get more immediate answers and either help others out or resolve your own problems with conversations being had in real-time or from the past.
Pros and Cons of the Astra Pro Theme
After our thorough Astra Pro theme review, it’s tough to highlight many downsides to using Astra Pro. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and provides top-notch starter templates for many industries.
However, we did notice a few areas that could use some improvement. Keep reading to see our list of Astra theme pros and cons.
- Multiple site layouts and header sections for maximum flexibility while designing the intricate parts of your site.
- Numerous header and footer tools, expanding upon the rather weak header and footer settings that come with the WordPress core and most other themes.
- Powerful complementary features for popular plugins like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and LearnDash.
- Better typography and color controls, all of which are merged into the WordPress Customizer.
- Beautiful starter templates that activate with the click of a button and cover a wide range of industries and web design needs.
- White labeling to take complete control of your agency operation and put your own name and links on features throughout the dashboard.
- Excellent online support through the Astra knowledgebase, a ticketing system, online videos, and a Facebook Group.
- Fast performance reports from reviewers around the internet.
- A free version (called Astra WP) that’s highly regarded and useful for running sites if you’re either not ready for the premium version or don’t need all the tools.
- Although the customer support options are solid, it would be nice to see a chat box or a phone number within the dashboard, at least for paying customers.
- The initial setup is the only slightly confusing part, seeing as how Astra Pro requires the free Astra WP theme first, then you install Astra Pro as an add-on, not a WordPress theme.
Conclusion: Is Astra Pro the Right Theme for You?
This isn’t really a fair question since Astra Pro is technically right for any type of web designer, online store owner, or business owner with a website.
The collection of starter templates turns any non-developer into a design whiz, and the wide variety of customization tools and plugin enhancements turn simple WordPress integrations and features into much more than what you usually get.
The only minor downside we could see is that Astra Pro is a premium add-on, yet it’s only around $50 for the entire year, and if you’re really strapped for cash, you can opt for the regular Astra theme and upgrade if you need it.
Other than that, we highly recommend Astra Pro as a theme and add-on for agencies, web design pros, and the casual bloggers and business owners out there.
It’s puts you on a fast track to making a beautiful website and gives you the support resources needed if something goes wrong.
If you have any questions about this Astra Pro theme review, let us know in the comments below!
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