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I found the perfect WordPress theme that is easy, intuitive and adaptable after testing and using themes that weren’t easy to configure or understand. I didn’t realize until using Astra how much easier creating WordPress websites would be with this super handy WP theme. It’s now my number one choice. The beautiful part of using Astra is that it is the easiest theme to customize that I’ve run across. In fact, I think this theme is so intuitive that I’d bet it’s one of the easiest WordPress themes for beginners to learn. In this post, I review why I think the Astra theme is the best WordPress theme available on the market.
It’s nice that Astra provides a free version of their theme for those who want to kick the tires. Just remember, while a free theme is nice, if you’re truly serious about an online business consider you should consider the paid version. Seriously, I’ve found from personal experience that the following criteria define how versatile the theme is. Themes that are modifiable and flexible will work no matter the niche or website requirement. Here are some general categories that versatile themes like Astra provide.
- Theme Configuration
- Theme Integration
- Theme Optimization
- Theme Support
Theme Configuration – less headache, more ease
Everyone loves free. I do too, but some of what makes Astra the most versatile WordPress theme isn’t all there in the free version although you do get some nice features. Let me explain what I mean by sharing a few experiences. The first theme I ever used was so limited in the configuration of fonts, colors, page layouts and headers that the only way to address the situation was to add additional CSS. Now that’s fine if you know CSS but not so great if you don’t.
My second theme was drag-n-drop but it took 40 seconds for the homepage to load because of bloated and poorly written code for the theme. And so the story goes. Other themes I’ve tried had non-intuitive configuration, requiring me to Google search for answers, use forums or send support multiple tickets. The bottom line; easy to use, easy to understand theme configuration will save you hours of time and many many headaches.
While Astra does offer a free version to get you started, the true power of this theme is in the Pro version. I’m using it on several sites and am quite impressed with the ease of what I can do quickly.
Theme Integration – a hidden gem no one mentions
I never thought much about theme integration until I found one that does it. You won’t see much mentioned about theme integration and you won’t find much about it if you Google search the topic. It is out there like a hidden treasure. There are a handful of themes written with integration in mind. The developers of these themes focused on making their theme integrate with page builders like Beaver Builder, Divi, Elementor and Thrive. Integration allows the theme to work seamlessly with the page builder. It may be in regard to handling page layouts, fonts and/or colors. This simple addition makes configuration and creation of your WordPress site so much easier. Since most bloggers and small biz owners build their own websites having a great theme that works with an easy to use drag-n-drop page builder is a real gem.
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Once I found that I realized how much easier it was to manage, fonts, styles, colors and more I couldn’t believe how much faster I could create what I needed. Since I’ve used both Elementor and Thrive, I can truly say from experience that these page builders work exceedingly well with Astra. I will mention however that Astra does integrate just a bit better with Elementor than with Thrive.
Theme optimization – fast and flexible
A good theme is optimized; it doesn’t have bloated code slowing it down. The most versatile WordPress theme has flexible page layouts allowing full width for home and sales pages and standard blog pages layouts. Versatility means that page headers can be created and used on all or some pages. Fonts are managed, header and footer scripts for Google Analytics, Facebook pixels and Pinterest tags can be easily added without the use of additional plugins.
Great versatility goes even further by allowing for managing headers, footers or sidebars and what shows when.
Frankly, the features of AstroPro are truly amazing. Most of my previous themes needed additional plugins to handle Google fonts and up until I found a plugin that would manage Google fonts locally, the use of Google fonts slowed down page speed because of scripts and calls to retrieve fonts while loading pages and posts. Astra has a built-in feature to manage Google fonts locally, saving valuable page loading time while integrating these local fonts for use with Elementor. I’ve never seen this with any other theme.
The other truly unique features of AstraPro allow for custom Headers and Footers that can be used on all pages or just a subset. Think of most “sales” landing pages. Default configuration has no header or footer, but with Astra that can automatically or selectively be applied. This allows creation of professional looking sales pages local to the WordPress site and eliminates those expensive $97/month drag-n-drop landing page services like Clickfunnels or Leadpages. That in itself saves hundreds of dollars by simply using Astra.
Another really useful feature is the Sidebar manager. I use to use a free plugin called “Content Aware Sidebars” to do what AstraPro has builtin by default. Basically, it allows creating sidebars that show different widgets depending on the page or post. This is quite handy for showing ads or call to action widgets related to certain pages or posts. One of the ways to optimize WordPress is to limit the number of plugins and with AstraPro, many of the plugins like Content Aware Sidebars that I use to use are now not needed. It makes optimizing and managing and maintaining WordPress much easier.
Theme Support – responsive and useful
This last requirement anyone who has worked with WordPress can relate to. Using software that has responsive support is essential. Because most of us using said software are not developers and don’t want to be. So when there’s an issue, we look for help and who wants an issue to take days to resolve. There’s not much more I could say except I think this theme is pretty darn amazing.
So take a closer look at what AstraPro could do for you. You might be pleasantly surprised.
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