Astra WordPress Theme Review – Fat Stacks Blog

With a view to take a look at the Astra theme, I needed to set up it onto certainly one of my websites.

Upon putting in it, my PageSpeed scores jumped 10 factors.

We’re off to a very good begin right here, people.

Desk of Contents

PageSpeed?

pagespeed astra theme

For those who haven’t heard, web page load pace is kind of essential with the current Google algorithm replace.

It’s robust. We needed to grind to get our hastens.

We lazy load photographs. We guarantee all photographs are small. We defer CSS and JavaScript.

In the end, although, you gained’t get it proper until your weblog is constructed on a strong foundation.

The theme is fairly essential on this regard.

Astra is sweet as a result of it avoids jQuery (yuck).

jQuery sucks. I’m glad it’s going out of vogue in 2021. jQuery is the equal of bringing a printed dictionary simply to examine just a few phrases.

Astra says the theme will load in lower than half a second and has a low payload of lower than 50KB.

Starter websites

astra starter theme

For those who have a look at Astra’s portfolio of internet sites, you’ll discover that they’re all fancy company web sites.

With a view to set up one of many 150 starter templates, you need to set up a plugin that can assist you to import a demo web site.

These starter websites enable you to get a web site up actually shortly if you happen to just like the templates and if you happen to simply need to change particular components somewhat than re-do the pages.

The starter templates differ primarily based on the web page builder you’re utilizing. For those who use the Elementor plugin, you’d get a unique set of templates as in comparison with Beaver Builder (or Brizy).

The plugin additionally has a function to make use of plain outdated Gutenberg.

Most templates, no matter web page builder, do comply with a structure sample: navigation bar, hero, playing cards, icons.

That is very true with the Gutenberg-primarily based structure designs. They strictly comply with the confines of Gutenberg’s column system.

astra starter template elementor

Nonetheless, when you have a web page builder like Elementor or Beaver Builder, you’ll be able to notice extra difficult designs equivalent to photographs overlaid on headings, or overlapping photographs.

I’d say that is very spectacular.

Constructing from scratch

WordPress is standard for non-running a blog functions regardless that it began as a running a blog platform.

Elementor, Beaver Builder or some other web site might help you construct skilled no-code web sites.

However the issue is that they’re susceptible to breaking and they’re gradual. The latter is especially essential nowadays due to the newest Google algorithm replace.

The Gutenberg replace has actually introduced numerous options into WordPress’s fold. For instance, columns make it simpler to create a grid structure.

However one factor that hasn’t been potential is modifying the header and footer with out going to into the PHP information.

astra header customizer

Astra means that you can modify the header by dragging and dropping components.

Within the Customise menu, you’ll be able to select Astra Choices and Header. You might be then introduced with a grid the place you’ll be able to drop or transfer your header components into.

This implies you’ll be able to put a emblem on the left, centre or proper. It’s also possible to put menus and buttons on the header.

It’s the identical system with the footer builder. You possibly can add widgets and copyright textual content amongst different issues and rearrange them in keeping with your desire.

Now, this isn’t as highly effective as modifying the header.php or footer.php information, however for most individuals, having the ability to drag and drop a structure is simply plain handy and simple.

Modifying kinds

Say you could have a longtime model and you want to comply with the color schemes and official fonts.

Astra makes it straightforward by permitting you to vary colors, fonts, structure (full width vs restricted width).

That is GREAT since you not have to jot down customized CSS which might take numerous reality discovering and trial and error.

These are solely the fundamentals…

astra pro modules

When you have Astra Professional, you’ll discover much more methods to reinforce your WordPress web site.

There’s no distinction between the Astra theme whether or not professional or free. Nonetheless, Astra Professional means that you can obtain just a few modules to additional modify colors, background, typography, create a sticky header, customise layouts and add a scroll to high button, amongst different issues (like integrating into WooCommerce or some studying administration system).

These plugins make your life quite a bit simpler. If you recognize what it’s like programming a scroll to high button or a sticky header, you’ll know that it isn’t very onerous, but when there have been a approach to create a customized structure in only one click on, you’d take it.

I’m a blogger, ought to I exploit Astra?

Infinite scroll

All proper. In case your predominant supply of revenue is running a blog, then you definitely’d most likely be very eager to have your readers keep in your posts for so long as potential.

We discovered Astra Professional’s weblog plugin to be very helpful on this regard due to the power to allow infinite scroll with just some clicks.

Infinite scroll actually has elevated our time on web page for our readers.

I imply have you ever ever been on Fb, Twitter or Reddit? Surprise why they’re so addictive?

As a result of there’s no finish to the content material they’ll generate.

When you have numerous posts that your readers might get pleasure from, infinite scroll could be a win-win.

Notice that infinite scroll solely works on the primary weblog record web page, however not on the publish’s web page.

Enabling associated publish

astra enable related posts

One setting that I assumed was an important function is the power to examine a field known as “Allow Associated Posts”.

This injects a container with associated posts on the backside of your weblog publish.

That is actually useful in serving to you improve your readers’ engagement by serving to you do automated inside linking.

You possibly can modify the variety of posts and the kind of posts that Astra generates by means of altering the parameters of Posts Question.

This lets you show posts primarily based on classes, tags and the way they’re ordered.

Beauty contact-ups

On each weblog publish, you could have a bunch of customization choices that assist you to decide the meta that you just’d like displayed. Amongst different choices are whether or not you need the featured picture, learn time and publish date.

Putting in the Astra Professional plugin

astra pro download

Astra is superb and all, however I simply have to vent in regards to the plugin set up.

If you consider putting in a plugin, do you ever consider logging in, discovering a ZIP file to obtain after which importing it by means of the plugin part of WordPress?

No. You’d assume it’s all out there on the WordPress repository of plugins, accessed by means of the WordPress dashboard.

Sadly, whereas Astra makes all the things straightforward, this is among the most annoying elements about upgrading to Astra Professional.

I hazard to say that this may make Astra somewhat complicated for much less technologically inclined people.

Verdict

There’s a purpose why we’ve moved all our websites to the Astra Professional theme.

The plugin is simply superb. Even with the free model of the Astra WordPress theme, I’m discovering it so significantly better than any equal theme with the identical form of look.

The starter template choices are additionally equally superb for individuals who need to get a web site up shortly, fantastically and in a no-code form of approach. The theme authors actually have made numerous effort to make their choices excellent.

The choices you get within the Customizer get near the standard of a theme builder, particularly if you happen to pair it up with a web page builder plugin, and transcend the free theme choices.

It’s an superior WordPress plugin. Paired with its Final Addons Gutenberg blocks, you’ll be within the enterprise of making lovely web sites in report time with a excessive degree of management.

Lastly, I’d say an important half for search engine marketing is the truth that the Astra theme may be very environment friendly from a PageSpeed viewpoint. That is nice.

Astra helps you with PageSpeed (by means of being quick) after which it extends your readers’ time on web page with its glorious inside linking options.