If you’re using any of the popular page builder plugins, then GeneratePress and Astra are certainly on your list as these are the most popular themes in the WordPress marketplace right now. This is a tough comparison as both these are excellent themes for WordPress.
It’s impossible to say one is better than the other as each person would be looking at different needs. So, here’s a detailed review of both these WordPress themes in different sections with their pros and cons listed below.
1. Ease of Use
Both these themes perfectly beat every other WordPress theme when it comes to ease of use. The customizer feature coming with WordPress has been used explicitly by these themes. All their features have been neatly organized on one single page (Theme Customizer Page).
Both these themes follow a modular approach wherein a set of related features are grouped together as a module allowing you to enable or disable unwanted modules as per your requirements.
Both themes are very easy and flexible to use with their simplified settings. However, Astra deserves a plus one owing to its easy-to-use and intuitively organized theme customization.
2. Layout customization
Both these themes offer you with great tools to customize the layout of your site. GeneratePress offers some amazing features allowing you to tweak the width, padding, alignment, and toggle mobile header functionality, thus enabling you to tweak the site header.
Moreover, it also allows you to set a page header. Thus, you can set headers for individual pages, make them transparent, add image background, video, content, or use all possible elements in one go.
Whereas Astra themes come with add-ons. So, inside the customizer you’re provided with options to edit the primary header, make the header bar transparent or customize layouts below the header or above the header.
Unlike GeneratePress, Astra comes with a separate section for creating and managing page headers where you can create site headers, page headers, and set the display rules as well. This is much more powerful than setting page headers each time as in GeneratePress.
But when it comes to the footer section, both these themes have similar customization power. GeneratePress offers you options to set padding, custom text, and also select the number of widget areas in the footer bar. On the other hand, Astra allows you to choose from the available footer layouts and set custom texts for each of the available footer sections.
Using both these themes, you can use multiple widgets in the footer bar. Moreover, depending upon the site layout you’ve chosen, both themes will provide you with the same number of widget areas.
When GeneratePress and Astra are tested without any page builder installed, both are quite similar. However, Astra is very lightweight as it’s easy with queries and has a little edge over GeneratePress when used with an Elementor template.
It doesn’t make a big difference without page builders. But maybe due to Astra’s good track record with page builders, it has a little edge in yielding good results.
4. Color Customization
In the customizer page, both GeneratePress and Astra offer the exact same control for color selection. Using these themes, you can have access to a variety of colors to change the color of every aspect of your site from widget title to footer link color.
The best thing about these two themes is that every visual aspect of your site can be taken care of without touching a line of CSS for non-coders. But, if you have complex modifications to make, you can always make use of the custom CSS sections which are offered by both themes.
However, GeneratePress gives you an additional ability to tweak colors with a precision of form elements, slider elements, and menu elements.
5. WooCommerce Support
Almost 30% of the online stores are powered by WooCommerce, thus it is the most powerful e-commerce tool to integrate with. Astra offers seamless integration with WooCommerce owing to its faster loading time.
GeneratePress, on the other hand, offers a WooCommerce module as a premium feature helping you out with the colors, right mix of topography, and layout options. However, speed matters more than design for WooCommerce sites and thus Astra Pro paves the way for more sales by offering very fast loading time.
One of the major reasons why these two themes are so popular is because they’re developer-friendly keeping non-coders in mind. However, they offer great features for developers too. If you want to make CSS changes, both themes offer a custom CSS section as mentioned before.
There’s no need to create a separate child theme as they provide you with a section that adds hooks without touching the theme files. You can use this to add hooks to the header, body, or footer. Additionally, both these themes allow you to export or import theme settings, thus saving you from going through all those settings while creating your clients’ websites.
If you want to create a child theme, then you can do that too as both GeneratePress and Astra themes support the creation of child themes. Hence, both these themes are incredibly developer-centric giving you the ultimate freedom of building something amazing.
Both GeneratePress and Astra come with free and pro versions wherein the free versions are limited giving you no access to premium modules or add-ons.
The premium version of GeneratePress gives you access to 15 modules whereas Astra Pro gives you access to 16 add-ons, 2 of which are yet to come. It’s difficult to choose any one of the two based on the module approach as both offer easy to maintain, scalable, and easier to market modules.
However, Astra has scaled up a little by creating a separate add-on for a ‘Scroll to top’ button. In addition to this, Astra developers have released several free plugins to further extend their functionalities. The Sidebar Manager, Import/Export Customizer, Astra Bulk Edit, Customizer Search are some of the free plugins that are really helpful.
Yes, free plugins are available for GeneratePress as well, though the customization and flexibility offered by the Astra theme are impeccably taking it to a whole new level.
The free versions of both don’t come with many features, premium modules, and support. So, if you’re looking forward to getting the pro versions then GeneratePress will cost you $49.95 per year whereas WP Astra will cost you $59 per year.
However, you need to note here that GeneratePress will offer you 40% off on renewal. On the other hand, Astra will offer you just 20% off on renewal. Additionally, WP Astra comes with a separate agency plan for $249 per year giving you access to their add-ons for page builder plugins, Schema Pro plugin, and much more. It also gives you the ability to white-label the theme which lacks in GeneratePress.
GeneratePress does not have a separate agency plan and is quite affordable than Astra pro in terms of pricing.
Both these themes come with one year of free updates and support offering a ticket system where you can raise tickets for support. Besides the ticket system, they also have a dedicated support forum and a knowledge base.
However, the knowledge base of GeneratePress is growing now with GeneratePress 2.0 onboard. Moreover, Astra has received criticism regarding its support response time which is slower than other themes whereas GeneratePress has proved to have top-class support of all the themes.
By now, you would have understood that one of them is slightly superior to the other in a few aspects, otherwise, it’s a tie between the two. More importantly, customer experience will change from person to person. So, go for the one that’s best suited with your interest. Your opinions might completely contradict the others’. And here’s the final takeaway.
Pros of GeneratePress
- It has more customizer options
- Pricing is lower
- Good site templates
- Best support of any theme
Cons of GeneratePress
- No ability to design elements using page builders
- No white-label feature
- It’s a single developer, not a company
Pros of Astra
- Fast Pagespeed
- Get access to over 100+ starter sites
- White-label feature
- Superior mega menu features
- Page builder compatibility
- Custom Layouts option
Cons of Astra
- Support response time is slower compared to other themes
- Pricing is on the costlier side as compared to GeneratePress
- Color customization is done with precision