We compare two of the most popular WordPress themes for the construction of websites of the moment here. Astra and Sydney have free- as well as a pro versions. Sydney vs Astra, which is the better theme? We start with Astra which does not mean it would be better.
The Astra Theme
The Astra Theme has been very popular for years. In other words, the free version of Astra is firmly in place on WordPress.org. In addition, Astra also has a very well-selling pro version which is mainly known for its beautiful demo websites that are pre-prepared for various page builders. Over a million websites currently run on Astra. Let’s start this Astra Theme review with its rating as I always do.
Astra's Rating 5/5
Below you can see the fantastic rating and comments that Astra gets from users. Where it says “Astra theme and Element” Elementor is of course meant, indeed a more than great combination to use Astra and Elementor together within 1 website. Obviously anyone giving a 1 star rating to the number one theme on WordPress.org has no clue about theme or works for the competition.
Astra Theme Review Demo Websites
Let’s go straight to one of the strongest points of the Astra Theme, namely the many demo websites. These demo websites, the so-called Starter Templates, are made to further embroider with your favorite page builder. The demos were made with Elementor, Beaverbuilder, Brizy and Gutenberg. Well, I’m not that impressed with the last one, but the others are 3 top page builders. This means that if one of these 3 is your favorite page builder, the Astra theme can be your favorite theme.
As seen above one can just choose for which page builder demo website will be shown. Astra has one of the best full website demo’s that I have ever seen in themes and plenty as for just elementor there should be like 180 different designs already.
Astra's Woocommerce Possibilities
The WP-Astra Theme was built from the start on having super fast loading times and it had to excel in the possibilities and beautiful designs for webshops and that intention has been successful. The options that Astra offers for E-commerce websites are unprecedented and practically surpass any other theme, including specialized Woocommerce themes.
Below I´ll show a few of the many features Astra offers for Woocommerce that make your webshop to a professional looking online store.
Off canvas sidebar
The Astra Theme has about 15 such features for webshops. It simply has all the gadgets one could wish for.
Astra comes with Schema Mark Up
WP-Astra comes standard with Schema Mark Up which adds rich snippets to your articles. That way your articles will be displayed in Google’s search result in a more effective way as seen in the image below, with or without Schema. I have tried it on an HTML-website, and implementing Schema by hand is just to much work and errors will be made. Astra adds the snippets automatically and if your article changes, so will the Schema Mark Up.
Do you want someting even better than Astra’s basic Mark Up, then go for the more professional version of it:
WP-Astra’s basic code is only 25kb which makes Astra one of the fastest themes out there, if not the fastest. Have a look at the images below, if necessary give them a click to enlarge them. On the left we see a speedtest done at GtMetrix with stunning results. On the right you see what one of the most famous SEO companies thinks of the speed of the Astra Theme.
Astra Theme Extra Info
If you are planning to set up a website with WP-Astra for teaching courses, it is good to know that the theme is fully compatible with Learndash and LifterLMS. In addition, Astra has an excellent SEO, is 100% responsive on all devices. It’s all too much to explain here in this review so I advise you to take a look at the Astra website itself.
Astra Theme Review Conclusion
The Astra Theme excels on several fronts, including speed, countless options for webshops, beautiful designs that can be installed with 1 click and that for 4 different page builders. In addition, Astra has built-in Schema as standard and is compatible with all commonly used plugins. This makes Astra one of the best-selling themes of the moment and I can recommend it to everyone, especially in combination with Elementor Pro.
Let’s continue this Sydney versus Astra Review with the Sydney Theme.
The Sydney Theme
Sydney's Rating 4.9/5
In the image below you can see that the numbers Sydney gets are more than good. The average rating is 4.9 out of 5, with which the theme scores in the top compared to other themes. Sydney has a free and a pro version, both versions are discussed here.
Sydney Theme Speed
Having a fast loading website is a must these days. Visitors stay longer on your site and you are found better in Google. That is why themes are becoming faster and faster in recent years, otherwise they will not sell well. With Sydney you can take a deep breath because the theme is one of the fastest sites out there.
Sydney Theme's Demo Websites
Six months ago I wrote an article about Sydney for another website of mine. I see that in that short time, 8 extra demos have been added. The Sydney demo websites are well constructed and very well maintained.
Sydney Theme & Webshops
The number of demos for webshops is still 2, they should work on that as soon as possible in my opinion, that is below average. The standard Sydney shopping theme is beautifully minimalistic and can be used for just about anything. A good shop can certainly be built with Sydney, because all possible shopping features are available so that shops look professional and have all the gadgets such as quick view, ajax cart and wishlist.
If my theme were recommended by Elementor, I would also put it on the site everywhere. This gives a lot of confidence to the theme because that means something. It also means that the theme will work perfectly with the Elementor page builder.
Sydney Theme comes with Schema
More and more sites have Schema built in as it offers great benefits for your site when it comes to being found in Google. The Sydney theme also has this. Rich snippets help Google understand your pages better and often display them in search results in special ways. If you are a Schema enthusiast, check out Schema Pro which I also use on this website.
Sydney Theme Integrations
A theme is usually automatically compatible with most plugins, but there are some commonly used more complicated plugins that definitely require theme customization. The Sydney theme is completely prepared for these plugins. Think, for example, of the Google AMP plugin, which is free and necessary to offer Accelerated Mobile Pages. Other Plugins are Polylang, WPML and LMS. Sydney has so much more to offer then I can explain in this review.
Sydney Theme Review Conclusion
Sydney Theme review, my opinion: The Sydney theme is recommended by Elementor for a reason, it is a very nice theme to work with. That applies to the free and pro versions. The pro versions have a standard price for good themes, $69. You can use the theme on an unlimited number of sites for this. However, an even better offer is $99 for all themes from aThemes. You immediately have the popular Botiga and Airi theme + about 20 less well-known themes.
Sydney vs Astra Conclusion
To start with, Astra and Sydney are both very good themes. Both are suitable for building web shops, blogs, portfolios or corporate sites. Astra and Sydney work with Elementor and even more page builders, the choice is yours. Overall, of course, Astra is a more mature theme and has a lot more to offer than Sydney, making it the better choice. Thanks for reading this Sydney vs Astra comparison to the end.