OceanWP, Astra, and GeneratePress are three of the most popular, page-builder-friendly WordPress themes on the market-but which is best?
We’ll be looking at all the important stuff you need to know about each of these awesome themes to make an informed decision about which one to use, and comparing their performance in several key areas, including:
- Flexibility & customizations
- Demo sites
- Compatibility with all your favorite page builders
- Ease of use
- WooCommerce integration
Plus, we’ll also be looking at the different premium pricing plans available to find out which theme represents the best value-for-money.
- At a Glance
- About The Themes
- Demo Sites
- Page Builder Compatibility
- Ease of Use
- WooCommerce Integration
- Pricing Plans
- The Final Verdict
Ready? Let’s get started
OceanWP vs Astra vs GeneratePress: At a Glance
In case you’re short on time, here’s a quick comparison table that highlights the most important differences between OceanWP, Astra, and GeneratePress.
|Our rating||Best for WooCommerce||Best free version||Best performance (fastest)|
|Average user rating||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Supported page builders||Elementor , Brizy ,Divi , ThriveArchitect , Beaverbuilder, SiteOrigin, Visual Composer, King Composer||Beaver Builder, Elementor, Site Origin, Visual Composer, Divi, etc||Elementor, Beaver Builder, Site Origin, Divi, etc.|
|Ease of use||⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Free demo sites||15||100+||0|
|Total demo sites (inc. premium)||124||150+||~70|
|Premium pricing||From $39/year||From $59/year**||From $59/year|
*The page size and speed figure provided are according to data gathered by Kinsta.
**Astra Agency plan (starting at $169/year is required for access to premium demo sites).
Astra vs OceanWP vs GeneratePress: About the Themes
Right off the bat, I want to point out that every one of these themes is pretty great, so there’s no right or wrong answer as to which is best.
All three themes are lightweight, versatile, and have been built to work really well alongside page builder plugins. They’re ‘bare bones’ themes that provide a very basic foundation for you to build on.
They feature clean code, extensive customizability, SEO-rich features, and blazing fast loading times.
There’s no definitive answer as to which is best as they all have different strengths and weaknesses-it comes down to personal preference and individual site needs-but we’ll do our best to give you the information you need to find the right choice for you.
Let’s start by looking at a general overview of each of the themes.
OceanWP is one of the most popular free multipurpose WordPress themes around. It’s lightweight with a highly extensible codebase and an incredible number of customization options.
It also has deep WooCommerce integration and, for that reason, is a hugely popular choice for eCommerce stores.
OceanWP currently has over 3.5 million downloads, 700,000 active installations, and an average 5-star review based on over 4,500 reviews. It comes with a bunch of useful free plugins like:
- Stick anything (sticky content)
- Modal window
- Posts Slider
- Custom sidebar
- Social & Product sharing
Plus 12 extra premium plugins if you invest in the core extensions bundle.
Check out our OceanWP Pro Review to get the detail insights.
Astra is another popular multipurpose theme by Brainstorm Force built to work alongside popular page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder. It’s open-source and developed with the help of contributors on Github.
Astra wins the popularity contest. It has the most active installations of the three themes, with over 1 million users and over 4,900 reviews (and a 5-star average rating).
In fact, Astra claims to be the ‘most popular theme of all time’ – and they might be right!
It offers plenty of customization options, as well as an intuitive drag-and-drop header-footer builder.
Check out our Astra Pro Theme Review to get the detail insights.
GeneratePress is the dark horse of the three. It’s still very popular, albeit not quite as well-known as the OceanWP and Astra, with over 300,000 active installations and over 1,000 5-star reviews.
Again, as you probably guessed, it’s page builder friendly and built to play well with all your favorite page builder plugins.
It’s highly customizable, with adjustable colors and typography, individual page and site-wide layout controls, extensive hooks and filters, and more. It’s also the smallest of the three themes with a tiny footprint.
Astra vs OceanWP vs GeneratePress: Speed
Alright, let’s start by looking at arguably the most important aspect: speed.
Page loading times matter for both SEO and user experience. Faster page loading times mean lower bounce rates and a better chance of your website content ranking in the search engine results pages.
Even a few milliseconds can make a big difference.
With that in mind, we wanted to find out which theme loads the fastest: OceanWP, Astra, or GeneratePress. We could have tested each of them ourselves but fortunately, we didn’t have to-Kinsta has already done it for us!
They ran a fresh, clean installation of different themes through four thorough speed tests and compiled the results. We’ve pulled out the relevant data for OceanWP, Astra, and GeneratePress and compared the results below.
Speed Test Results & Rankings
|PageSpeed Score (GTMetrix)||98%||99%||99%|
|Fully Loaded Time (GTMetrix)||1.4s||1.5s||1.5s|
|Total Page Size (GTMetrix)||251 KB||52.5 KB||35.4 KB|
|Overall Score (PageSpeed Insights mobile-only)||86||99||99|
|Time to interactive (PageSpeed Insights mobile-only)||3.3s||1.7s||1.5s|
Related Reading: Use GTMetrix to Test Website Speed
Well, as you can see, all of the themes are very, very fast. However, when you look at all the data, it looks like GeneratePress and Astra outperform OceanWP in both speed and size.
And out of those two, GeneratePress eeks out a small victory as it has a smaller total page size and slightly lower time to interactive.
With that in mind, our speed ranking goes like this (fastest to slowest):
It’s worth noting, though, that speed tests aren’t always totally accurate, so take these results with a pinch of salt.
Speeds and page sizes differ depending on the test, and these results might not align with others.
For example, GeneratePress officially states on their website that a fresh install is under 10 KB in file size, whereas here it’s come back as around 35 KB.
Plus, while these results demonstrate how fast the theme foundation is, they’re unlikely to be the same speeds you get in a real-world application due to all the customizations and extra plugins and content on your site.
And if you wanted to, you could even make OceanWP run faster by disabling scripts.
Therefore, if performance is your number one priority, one of these two is probably the way to go.
OceanWP vs Astra vs GeneratePress: Flexibility / Customizations
Now, let’s talk about customizations. This is another one of the most important factors, especially for lightweight themes like these.
To cut straight to the chase: OceanWP wins when it comes to flexibility and customization options. It gives you tons of control over the layout, style, and functionality of your site, both at the site level and individual page level.
There’s a very lengthy set of options in the OceanWP WordPress customizer, and it gives you a lot of control over exactly how the different elements on your site look.
For example, the ‘Header’ section of the customizer gives you a ton of options for customizing your top bar and header.
You can choose from a bunch of premade styles and can change everything from the transparency to the padding on different devices.
This level of control over the header is especially useful when you’re using a page builder plugin as most page builders still can’t modify your header.
Likewise, in the ‘Blog’ area of the customizer, you can get really specific and change everything from the general layout to the order of different elements in your metadata.
On top of that, OceanWP also provides dev hooks for pretty much everything. If you’re a developer and need to insert custom code, OceanWP makes it easy.
It also offers some awesome mobile menu layouts right out of the box.
Ultimately though, all 3 themes are highly flexible. They all come with much more customization options than most other themes on the market.
OceanWP vs GeneratePress vs Astra: Demo Sites
One thing OceanWP, Astra, and GeneratePress all have in common is importable demo sites.
Demo sites are basically pre-built site templates that allow you to set up a beautiful site in minutes by automatically importing pages made by professional designers with a single, which you can then customize and fill out with your own content.
The free version of GeneratePress doesn’t include any demo sites, which is a real shame. You need to pay for the premium license to access their Site Library.
As such, if you’re looking for a free theme that gives you access to demo sites right out of the box, the choice is between OceanWP and Astra. We’d recommend Astra.
Astra includes the most free-to-use demo sites. Free users have access to over 100 options to choose from, and they’re all pretty great, so as far as we’re concerned, it’s the clear winner here.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how each of the three themes compares when it comes to demo sites.
OceanWP currently offers around 124 importable demo sites, of which 15 are available for free. The other 109 are only available to users who have subscribed to one of OceanWP’s paid plans.
There’s a good selection of demo sites on offer, each built specifically for different niches. For example, there are ecommerce-focused demo sites, restaurant demo sites, coaching demo sites, and more.
Within any given niche, there are usually a handful of different options to choose from, each with a slightly different look and feel. You can see the full list here.
Two important things to note about OceanWP demos are:
- Many of the demos sites-even the free demos-require you to activate certain plugins to look and work as intended. Some of these are paid plugins/extensions that are only available if you purchase the Core Extensions Bundle.
- All OceanWP demo sites are built using Elementor, so keep that in mind if you plan on using a different page builder
Astra offers by far the largest collection of free demo sites so, if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to fork out for a premium plan, it’s probably your best option.
If you don’t like any of the free templates and you’re willing to pay, there are 50+ more premium demo sites available if you subscribe to one of their agency plans.
But to be honest, the free templates are very high quality, and there’s just so much variety available in the free library that it should be more than sufficient for most users.
All Astra demo sites are built with one of four different page builders: Elementor, Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, or Brizy. You can browse the whole collection here and filter the results to your chosen page builder.
As I mentioned, GeneratePress doesn’t offer any demo sites for free.
However, if you‘re willing to purchase the premium plan, you’ll get access to their constantly expanding Site Library, which currently includes 70+ importable demo sites for you to choose from.
Unlike Astra, GeneratePress mostly offers versatile, general-purpose themes built to fit all manner of businesses, rather than segmenting them into different niches.
For that reason, most of the GeneratePress themes are given generic names like ‘Pixel’ and ‘Classic’, rather than niche-specific names like ‘Restaurant’ or ‘Online Furniture Store’
You can preview their full Site Library here.
OceanWP vs Astra vs GeneratePress: Page Builder Compatibility
Another thing all three of these themes have in common is that they all play well with page builders plugins like Elementor.
Therefore, I thought it’d be useful to compare exactly how well each of them integrates with different page builder plugins.
A theme that integrates well with page builders will give you lots of control over page-level settings that affect your page builders canvas, like the sidebar, page width/layout, header, title, etc.
Here’s our verdict: OceanWP and Astra seem to offer more control over your Elementor canvas than the free version GeneratePress, but they’re all pretty similar. And if you upgrade to GeneratePress premium, it’s a three-way tie.
If you install the free OceanWP Extras plugin, you’ll be able to control every aspect of individual posts and pages from a meta box at the bottom of the WordPress editor.
You can change all the things that matter to your page builder canvas. For example, you can:
- Change the layout (choose between a full-width or boxed layout, enable/disable sidebars, etc)
- Enable/disable the header
- Enable/disable the page titles and breadcrumbs
Plus, if you upgrade to the paid plan, you also get access to the Elementor Widgets plugin that adds a number of useful widgets to the Elementor page builder, like animated headings, accordions, banners, price lists, countdown timers, etc.
Check out our Elementor Pro Review to get the detail insights.
Astra has also been built to work with page builders and it integrates really nicely with all the most popular tools, like Divi, Elementor, SiteOrigin, and Beaver Builder. It gives you a bunch of pertinent page-level controls including:
- Sidebar placement
- Page width
- Enable/disable headers, titles, featured images, footers, and breadcrumbs.
- Enable/disable transparent headers
All of these settings can be adjusted from within the Astra Settings area of the sidebar within the WordPress editor.
If you upgrade to the Agency Bundle, you’ll also get access to the ‘Ultimate Addons’ for Elementor and Beaver Builder extensions, which enhance both plugins and add even more modules.
GeneratePress uses a modular design that works well with all major page builders. It gives you access to a Layout meta box in the WordPress editor that lets you control individual settings on posts and pages. You can use it to:
- Change the sidebar arrangement and general layout
- Enable/disable the post title
- Modify footer widgets
OceanWP vs Astra vs GeneratePress: Ease of Use
We found OceanWP, Astra, and GeneratePress to all be very easy to set up and use.
They’re all beginner-friendly and don’t have much of a learning curve to get up and running with, while also leaving room for more advanced customizations if you’re a developer or more advanced user.
GeneratePress and OceanWP are similarly easy to install. With GeneratePress, you have to install the free version first, and then, if you upgrade to the premium plan, install a plugin separately to your plugin folder.
Once the plugins installed, it’ll extend the theme’s functionality.
The same goes for the OceanWP premium plan. The theme itself is the same as the free version – you just have to install all the premium extensions separately.
You can download these as zip folders and install them to your plugins directory through the WordPress dashboard.
I won’t go into detail about exactly how to use each of the themes here once they’re installed as there’s just too much to cover, from installing the demo sites to using the WordPress customizer. Instead, I’ll just share my verdict.
Overall, I found Astra the easiest to use of the three. OceanWP and GeneratePress were tied in second place.
OceanWP vs Astra vs GeneratePress: WooCommerce Integration
If you’re building an eCommerce store on WordPress, it’s important to choose a theme that integrates well with WooCommerce.
The good news is, all three of these themes come with built-in WooCommerce support, so they should all be suitable.
That being said, OceanWP stands out in particular. It offers the deepest WooCommerce integration of the bunch and provides everything you need to build a high-converting online storefront right out of the box.
- Extensive shop & product page styling options
- Regular and multi-step checkout support
- Off-canvas filters
- Product quick view
- Dropdown cart
- Floating add-to-cart button
- And more
OceanWP also offers over 40 eCommerce demos and, if you purchase one of their core extension bundle plans, you’ll also get access to their WooCommerce popup plugin, which displays a popup when the customer clicks on Add to Cart.
And if that’s not enough, with the release of OceanWP 2.0, the developers introduced even more useful features for WooCommerce stores.
- The ability to enable or disable WooCommerce archive links
- Conditional logic for the Woo Price and Add to Cart buttons.
- New WooCommerce typography settings
Astra isn’t far behind WooCommerce when it comes to WooCommerce support. It also offers plenty of useful WooCommerce features, like:
- An off-canvas sidebar
- Product quick view
- Multi-step and distraction-free checkouts
- Dropdown cart
- Plenty of customization options in the theme customizer
You don’t need to install any plugins to enable these features and have pretty much everything you need to create a nice, conversion-optimized user interface right out of the box.
As a side note: Astra also has dedicated integrations for LearnDash and LMS. If you’re building and selling an online course with either of these plugins, Astra is probably going to be the best choice for you.
The free version of GeneratePress lags a little behind Astra and OceanWP when it comes to WooCommerce integration.
However, the premium version comes with a really great dedicated WooCommerce add-on which gives you lots of control over your WC elements.
Once it’s activated, you can use the real-time Customizer to:
- Add, modify, and customize a shopping cart to your primary navigation menu (including total price and a dropdown effect)
- Customize your product archive pages
- Set up a distraction-free checkout
- Change the custom styling of your WooCommerce content
- Enable or disable upsells and related products
OceanWP vs Astra vs GeneratePress: Pricing Plans
Before we wrap up, let’s talk money.
All three of these themes offer both free and paid pricing plans. You can install the core version for free but if you want to unlock useful extra features, you have to upgrade.
Whether or not it’s worth the investment will depend on your individual site needs and budget restraints.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the different pricing plans available:
|Price||From $39/year||From $59/year||From $59/year|
|Number of sites||1 ($129 for 25 sites)||Unlimited||500|
*Bear in mind these are only the prices at the time of writing so they may change in the future. The prices given above are also based on annual plans and don’t include any discounts or special offers.
If you only plan on installing it on a single site, OceanWP is the most affordable.
Just remember that the cost isn’t everything – and there’s really not a big price difference between each of these themes.
They’re all relatively affordable, so I’d suggest looking beyond the price and just purchasing the one you think is the best fit for your website.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at exactly what the premium version of each theme includes.
OceanWP offers three different paid pricing plans. All three of them give you access to their core extensions bundle, which includes:
- 12 premium extensions
- 109 pro demos
- 12 months of support and updates
- Plus everything included in the free version
The only difference between each of the plans is the number of sites you can use it on.
The personal plan is for 1 site costs $39/year or $159 for lifetime access. The business plan is $79/year or $319 for lifetime access, and the Agency plan is for 25 sites and costs $125/year or $519 for lifetime access.
If you’re running a large agency and need more than that, you may want to contact OceanWP to see if there’s any other custom plan they can offer you. Otherwise, you might just need to purchase additional plans.
The premium extensions included in the core extensions bundle are really useful. In fact, they’re almost essential as many of the demo sites require them to work correctly.
I also think access to the pro demos is a must as there are only just over a dozen free versions to choose from, so it’s not always possible to find the right fit for every kind of site.
Astra also offers three different pricing plans. These are:
- Astra Pro-$59/year
- Mini Agency bundle-$169/year
- Agency bundle-$249/year
All of the pricing plans-even the lowest priced option-include unlimited website usage, which is a big plus.
The Pro version gives you access to one-to-one support, extensive training, and the 100+ free starter templates (demo sites), but you’ll need to pay for one of the agency bundles if you want access to the 50+ extra premium templates.
The Mini Agency bundle also gives you access to a nifty WordPress portfolio plugin valued at $49 and one page builder add-on.
The Agency bundle offers all of the above plus the Convert Pro plugin, Schema Pro plugin, Skilljet Academy, and access to all future plugins.
GeneratePress has kept its pricing simple. They only offer one paid plan: GeneratePress premium. It costs $59 annually or you can get lifetime access for a one-time payment of $249.
Upgrading gets you access to:
- All the importable demo sites in the Site Library
- All premium modules and features
- 1 year of updates and premium support.
The premium features include 60 more color options, 70 more typography options, advanced elements and hook systems, richer WooCommerce integration, an upgraded menu system (sticky navigation, mobile headers, and more), the ability to disable more theme elements, and more.
You’ll also be able to replace the GeneratePress branded copyright messages in your site footer with your own branding, which is a must if you’re planning on offering white label web design services
You can use GeneratePress Premium on up to 500 sites which isn’t quite unlimited but unless you’re running a huge web design agency, you’re not likely to need more than that.
The Final Verdict: OceanWP vs Astra vs GeneratePress – Which One Is Best?
Alright, that’s pretty much everything you need to know about OceanWP, Astra, and GeneratePress. Overall, it’s tough to say which is definitively the best as it depends on what you’re using it for, but in our opinion:
- OceanWP is best for WooCommerce & offers the most customization options
- GeneratePress is the fastest theme of the three & offers the best overall performance
- Astra is the best for online course websites & offers the best free version (with the most free demo sites)
Hopefully, this will help you to choose the right theme for you. Good luck!
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