Choosing a WordPress theme is one of the most important decisions you can make. If you’re looking for a lightweight, widely-used, and performance-focused option, then chances are you’re currently debating between Astra and GeneratePress.
Astra and GeneratePress are both great theme choices, so it’s a close call that may come down to personal preference. Astra offers more starter sites than GeneratePress. However, GeneratePress has a slight edge when it comes to support and performance.
That’s why we’ve created this guide to Astra vs. GeneratePress. By comparing and contrasting the features, support, and performance of these two hugely popular options, you can identify which theme is suitable for your site.
In this post, we’ll explore the crucial role that themes play in a website’s success. We’ll then pit Astra and GeneratePress against one another and find out which theme has the edge. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Astra vs. GeneratePress
Your WordPress theme dictates the overall appearance of your website. As such, it will play a huge role in your site’s branding and its success.
It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of finding your perfect theme. A professionally designed and fast-loading site will be great for your conversion rates. Your choice of WordPress theme will also impact your search engine rankings.
Naturally, you’ll want to get this decision right. When shopping around, we recommend carefully examining the features that each theme has to offer.
If you look at the numbers, then the similarities continue. When it comes to Astra vs. GeneratePress, both themes have racked up thousands of positive reviews. They are both also used by a countless number of websites:
Despite the overlap, there are some subtle differences between GeneratePress and Astra. By zeroing in on these minor variations, you can decide which theme is right for you.
Astra vs. GeneratePress: How to Choose the Theme for You
The perfect theme will set your site up for success. Get this decision right, and your WordPress website will instantly impress first-time visitors and drive conversions. With this in mind, let’s take a deep dive into Astra vs. GeneratePress so that you can make the best decision for your specific site.
Access to Starter Sites
If you want access to starter sites without paying for a premium theme, then Astra immediately has the advantage. The free version of Astra ships with pre-built importable starter sites, whereas GeneratePress does not.
Astra’s starter sites are some of its greatest strengths. Both the free and premium versions contain options for the native WordPress editor, Elementor plugin, Beaver Builder, and the Brizy website builder:
If you opt for Astra Premium, you’ll get access to over 180 ready-to-use starter sites. This number is far more than what you receive with GeneratePress Premium. However, you should note that this number includes duplicate websites created for different page builders.
GeneratePress doesn’t offer starter sites in its free version, although you can access them with the premium package. If you upgrade, you can use starter sites built for the native WordPress customizer. There are also six options built with Beaver Builder and 14 made for Elementor.
Variety of Features
For example, Astra includes multiple e-commerce starter sites:
Moreover, it offers a dedicated Easy Digital Downloads module. If you’re already using this plugin, then Astra may have the edge over GeneratePress:
White-labelling can be helpful if you’re designing or developing websites for a third party. Astra has a dedicated white-label feature, which GeneratePress currently doesn’t offer. Therefore, Astra could be a great choice for WordPress agencies or freelance designers and developers.
Overall, Astra is slightly more generous with its free features. However, GeneratePress still provides everything you need to create and run a successful WordPress site.
Furthermore, both themes have very similar general feature sets. Therefore, it’s essential to scrutinize each theme’s offerings and decide which one best fits your particular WordPress website.
Support for Developer Features
For anyone who wants to dig a little deeper, both themes offer some interesting developer-friendly features. If you install the Astra Hooks plugin, you can add hooks directly from the WordPress Customizer:
Unlike with GeneratePress, this functionality is free. However, the Astra Hooks plugin doesn’t have some of the more advanced features you get with GeneratePress Premium.
For example, the plugin has a limited range of display rules. With the free version of Astra, you’ll need to add these conditions manually. However, display rules are included in Astra Pro.
If you purchase the premium version of GeneratePress, you’ll also get access to an Elements module. It provides a centralized location where you can work with hooks and custom layout elements, including sidebars and footers.
Even better, GeneratePress lets you define display rules. This feature enables you to specify that content should only appear on certain parts of your site. Best of all, you can set it up without writing a single line of code.
Size and Performance
Poor code can also harm your site’s loading times. In turn, this can impact everything from your position in the search engine rankings to the user experience of your site and your conversion rates. With this in mind, it’s vital your theme boosts your performance rather than undermines all of your optimization efforts.
While both GeneratePress and Astra are lightweight themes, GeneratePress does have a slight performance advantage. Astra comes in at less than 50kb, but GeneratePress emerges as the winner at 10kb.
Both of these themes are widely recognized as high-performing, optimized, and lightweight. However, if you want to do everything in your power to boost your site’s speed, you may want to opt for GeneratePress.
Premium and Community Support
Both of these themes pride themselves on being easy to use. However, sometimes you may still need a helping hand.
GeneratePress and Astra both offer premium support. They also provide detailed self-help resources, including knowledge bases:
However, GeneratePress stands out as it offers detailed documentation for all of its features. It also has excellent community support. While you do need an active license to post on the official support forum, anyone can view its contents:
This open design makes the official forums excellent resources for anyone who is using the free GeneratePress theme. There’s also an official GeneratePress Facebook community, which at the time of writing has over 8,000 members.
Pricing and Subscriptions
WordPress themes aren’t always one-time purchases, so it’s wise to pay attention to pricing. Both Astra and GeneratePress are freemium options, meaning you can use free versions or upgrade to premium packages.
You can download a free version of Astra or purchase an annual subscription to Astra Pro for $47. A lifetime subscription is also available, priced at $249. If you plan to use starter sites, then you may be interested in the Essential Bundle ($169-$499), which includes over 180 templates:
Unlike GeneratePress, some Astra bundles provide access to additional tools, such as the Ultimate Addons for Elementor and the Convert Pro plugin. As such, this theme could be good value for money if you require these inclusions. However, the extra tools increase the theme’s pricing significantly.
Similarly, you can download a free version of GeneratePress from the official WordPress repository. Alternatively, you can purchase a yearly subscription for $59, while a lifetime subscription is priced at $249. Both of these subscriptions provide full access to the Site Library and a 30-day money-back guarantee:
Additionally, you’ll get access to premium support and complimentary updates throughout the licensing period. The GeneratePress lifetime and yearly licenses also give you the freedom to use this theme across up to 500 websites, making it perfect if you manage multiple sites. Therefore, GeneratePress could be a good choice for WordPress agencies.
If you’re debating Astra vs. GeneratePress, you may be facing a tough choice. Both of these are lightweight and high-performing themes that have clocked up thousands of positive reviews.
However, Astra has the edge when it comes to starter sites, particularly if you’re looking for a free theme. The base version also includes more features compared to the GeneratePress equivalent. Still, GeneratePress has the advantage with its level of community assistance and documentation. Crucially, this support is also free to access.
Do you have any questions about finding the best WordPress theme for your site? Let us know in the comments section below!