We compare two of the most popular WordPress themes for the construction of websites of the moment here. Astra and Blocksy have as well a free- as a pro version. Blocksy vs Astra, which is the better theme? We start with Astra which at this moment 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 Astra versus Blocksy comparison with the Blocksy Theme.
The Blocksy Theme
This Blocksy Theme Review will quickly explain why it is such an amazing theme. This theme can be used for building websites, blogs, and shops. This theme works flawlessly with Gutenberg. But it also works great together with all well-known WordPress pagebuilders like Divi or Elementor. Let’s have a look the free- and pro versions of Blocksy.
Blocksy has a free and a pro version. Both are immensely popular and receive top ratings. WordPress.org blocksy’s rating shows that all the raters gave 5 stars, with only 1 other rater giving 4 stars. It is difficult to get a better average rating than the one shown by Blocksy Theme.
Blocksy Theme's Loading Speed
The Blocksy Theme scores insanely well on every renowned speed test the internet has to offer. You can tune the theme yourself extra for speed by using a good cache plugin in it. That is always recommended for any theme, as well as using CDN if your website focuses on traffic from multiple countries.
It is always important for a theme to have a reasonable collection of demos, also called start sites. Nobody wants to build a site from scratch these days. People prefer to set up a demo to be able to work much faster. Blocksy offers a great collection of starter sites which is totally awesome. If you hover over the different demos on their site, you can see which page builders they can be edited with. Usually that’s for Gutenberg and Elementor.
4 Different pagebuilders
Not everyone has the same page builder as their favorite. However, the Blocksy Theme is suitable for almost everyone as it works perfectly with no less than 4 different page builders: Gutenberg, Brizy, BeaverBuilder and Elementor. My preference is for Elementor, an insanely good page builder.
We used to mess around with the headers and HTML knowledge was certainly needed to get the header exactly the way you wanted it. For a few years now, good themes have been provided with header builders that make styling the header a piece of cake. A young theme like Blocksy also immediately has a very good header builder.
Blocksy Footer Builder
What goes for both the header and footer builder is that you can build multiple different headers or footers and use them on different pages. The design possibilities are practically unlimited.
Blocksy Woocommerce Webshop
Blocksy has good demos for webshops and has a lot of great options that make your shop look really professional. Above you can see some of these options like Quick View, Floating Cart, Wishlist, Search by SKU and more.
Blocksy Theme Review Conclusion
This Blocksy Theme review shows that the theme has impressive options. This includes the 4 page builders that can be used with the corresponding demos. The demos themselves are of good quality and there are about 25 of them, a nice number. Even the free version is very good and offers many options that are improved a bit in the pro version. Blocksy is definitely recommended and it is not surprising that it has a practically flawless rating.
Blocksy vs Astra Conclusion
Blocksy and Astra have a lot in common. Both themes are offered for free via wp.org but also have a great pro version. Both themes have very good demos that were made for several page builders. Both themes also load very quickly. The difference is that Astra has been around for much longer and is therefore more developed and has more demos and gadgets. Blocksy is a very good theme, Astra is great.