Astra and OceanWP are two of the ost popular WordPress themes available right now.
Astra and OceanWP both provide excellent designs, a plethora of customization possibilities, and compatibility for third-party WordPress plugins. The themes are free to download from the WordPress themes directory (use the search feature to locate them), however paid plugin extensions that extend functionality are available.
The quality of these themes is great, as seen by my extensive assessments of Astra and OceanWP.
The issue is, how do these popular WordPress themes stack up against one another?
In this post, I’ll examine Astra and OceanWP’s strengths and limitations, as well as where each theme thrives.
Astra vs OceanWP - Pre-Built Designs
OceanWP has 73 pre-made designs, however only 13 of them are accessible to free users.
To some extent, design is subjective, but in my perspective, the quality of designs accessible with Astra is somewhat higher than those available with OceanWP, and there is a broader choice of designs available.
Google has also identified Astra as an AMP-ready WordPress theme. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open-source HTML framework that allows you to construct user-friendly, fast-loading web pages. The fact that Google recommends the design on its official AMP WordPress website demonstrates Astra’s coding excellence.
Design quality is clearly vital to website owners, but so is the ability to customise the design.
Astra and OceanWP both feature the WordPress theme customizer, allowing you to make changes to your website’s design and see how they look in real time.
Without a question, OceanWP shines in this area.
OceanWP allows you to customise more sections of your design and provides a greater amount of settings to tweak. In comparison, Astra falls short.
When it comes to design, it’s impossible to identify a clear victor between Astra and OceanWP.
- The design quality offered by Astra is slightly higher.
- There are over 70 pre-made designs available in both themes. OceanWP, on the other hand, only provides 13 for free users.
- OceanWP provides you more design possibilities for your website.
Ideally, you should go over the designs for Astra and OceanWP and develop a list of the ones you like. After that, you may install them on a test website and spend time customising them to determine whether they match your needs.
Astra vs OceanWP - Features & Settings
Astra and OceanWP have a plethora of built-in features to assist you in creating a contemporary website.
Both themes have native WooCommerce compatibility, optimization for fast-loading websites, SEO-friendly markup code, and excellent support for drag-and-drop page builders.
The themes may also be translated and support right-to-left languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian.
As you can see, Astra and OceanWP have a lot in common when it comes to fundamental WordPress functionality.
However, the developers advertise various characteristics on their websites.
Astra, for example, emphasises that the theme was coded with hooks and filters to assist developers in creating websites. They further emphasise that no jQuery was used in the theme, and it just takes 50KB to load.
OceanWP’s developers are particularly proud of their ‘Market-Leading WooCommerce Integration.’ A native popup for your shopping cart, a floating add-to-cart bar, and a fast view option for goods are all included.
When it comes to fundamental WordPress functionality, Astra and OceanWP are nearly identical. OceanWP, on the other hand, allows you greater control over your website and its design.
The main Astra theme settings page is essentially a landing page that brings you to the WordPress theme customizer, plugin extensions that can be downloaded, and valuable internet connections like the Astra documentation section and Astra Facebook group.
Because all theme settings are handled through the WordPress theme customizer, everything on this page is a link to somewhere else.
In contrast to Astra, OceanWP offers a specific theme settings page in addition to the options available through the WordPress theme customizer (Ocean Extra needs to be activated for these to display, but more on this later).
The sections accessible in the customiser can be enabled and disabled at the top of the main theme panel. Links to typical website options in the customiser, such as uploading your logo and altering your header, are provided beneath.
This section also includes an integrations section. When you activate the theme, the API and list ID fields for MailChimp are visible; however, other options emerge as and when you integrate OceanWP plugin extensions.
For templates you’ve built, OceanWP provides a library page. This is a feature that I feel the majority of website owners will appreciate.
It enables you to generate material and store it as a template. The template may then be accessed through a shortcode in posts and pages. You could, for example, construct a newsletter template and insert it into blog entries, or you might develop a template that shows contact information.
OceanWP has a theme settings importer and exporter. This feature is also accessible in Astra with a free plugin extension.
Both Astra and OceanWP contain features that will assist WordPress users in building websites. Third-party plugins are well supported, ranging from WooCommerce to drag-and-drop website builders like Divi.
You can’t go wrong with any WordPress theme when it comes to creating a contemporary WordPress website. However, OceanWP provides far more website customization choices.
Astra vs OceanWP -- Free Plugins & Extensions
Four of the proposed free plugin extensions were created expressly for Astra, with three of them enhancing the theme customizer: Import/Export Customizer Settings, Astra Customizer Reset, and Customizer Search.
Astra Bulk Edit may be used to change the meta information of several posts and pages at once, which I believe most Astra users would find beneficial.
While I appreciate the necessity to keep the basic version of Astra lightweight, I feel it would be preferable to include these plugins directly into the theme rather than requiring extra plugins to be active.
The remaining five free plugin extensions are not tailored to Astra. They were created by Brainstorm Force, the Astra creators, although the plugins are just listed to assist them sell their goods.
Astra Widgets is a free plugin that provides widgets for lists, addresses, and social media accounts to your WordPress website. It, like Custom Fonts, Custom Typekit Fonts, Sidebar Manager, and Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg, may be used with any WordPress theme.
When you activate OceanWP on your website, you’ll notice a notification recommending that you install Elementor, Ocean Extra, and WPForms.
Keep in mind that Ocean Extra isn’t only a suggested plugin; it’s also essential. You won’t be able to execute the OceanWP setup wizard or access the main theme control panel until Ocean Extra is active. Meta boxes, an importer and exporter, and other features are also included with the plugin.
It’s a little strange that they’ve set it up this way. All of this functionality should be built into the primary theme.
OceanWP’s official extensions page contains 21 plugins. Eight of them are labelled as free, but because the functionality of Ocean Demo Import has been moved to OceanWP Extra, and that plugin is now needed, we’re left with six more free plugin extensions.
Stick Anything allows you to add anything to a website, Modal Window allows you to add modal windows, and Entries Slider highlights your blog posts in a slider.
Other free plugin extensions include the Custom Sidebar sidebar manager plugin and the Product Sharing and Social Sharing social media sharing plugins.
As with Astra, I feel that the majority of the functionality in these free plugin extensions could be merged into the main theme and enabled/disabled via the main theme settings panel.
Astra vs OceanWP -- Free Version Comparision
Everyone, including those who purchase premium extensions, must install the free versions of Astra and OceanWP. This is why the free WordPress.org versions are commonly referred to as the ‘core’ versions.
Many WordPress users will only utilise the core version because they lack the funds or inclination to acquire premium extension updates. So, how do Astra and OceanWP’s free versions stack up?
Both WordPress themes, as we’ve seen, have many of the same characteristics, such as fast-loading pages, WooCommerce integration, and support for the WordPress theme customizer.
Both themes also have a library of free pre-made patterns.
I feel the quality of pre-made designs available for both themes is great — albeit Astra has a little advantage in my opinion.
From a variety standpoint, Astra clearly wins because it provides 35 free theme demos over OceanWP’s 13 free theme demos. However, OceanWP provides a plethora of additional possibilities within the WordPress theme customizer.
However, OceanWP lags behind Astra in a few areas.
The OceanWP installation procedure, for example, must be reconsidered by the developers. At the present, after enabling OceanWP, a notification appears stating that Ocean Extra is a recommended plugin.
This implies that the plugin is optional, but if a user does not install it, they will be unable to utilise the setup wizard, import theme demos, or use the theme settings panel. All of which are required to use the theme.
The way OceanWP theme demos are set up is a major issue. As previously said, OceanWP provides 13 free theme samples, whereas Astra provides 35 free designs.
The issue with OceanWP is that all of its free themes require at least one paid plugin to work properly. Key components of the designs are missing without them.
Although the quantity of choices accessible in OceanWP’s WordPress theme customiser section is amazing, the execution of the theme demo system is fundamentally incorrect. If you wish to utilise an OceanWP free design, you must either acquire the appropriate premium extensions or accept the design with features that are lacking.
Due to these concerns, I feel Astra is a superior option for free users.
Astra vs OceanWP -- Plugins & Extensions
We’ve been focused on what’s accessible in the core versions of Astra and OceanWP thus far. Because these versions are free to download, they are more likely to be utilised by more WordPress users.
It is crucial to remember, however, that Astra and OceanWP are both freemium applications, and the creators rely on selling paid plugin extensions to stay in business.
You may unlock the full power of these themes by upgrading to Astra Pro or OceanWP’s Core Extension Bundle, which includes access to all paid theme demos and premium plugin extensions.
Let’s take a deeper look at the premium Astra and OceanWP extensions.
Astra Pro comes with 18 modules. These are not available for purchase separately. Instead, when you acquire an Astra Pro licence, all modules are unlocked.
Colors & Background, Typography, Spacing, Blog Pro, Mobile Header, Header Sections, Nav Menu, Sticky Header, Page Headers, Custom Layouts, Site Layouts, Footer Widgets, Scroll To Top, WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, LearnDash, LifterLMS, and White Label are the modules featured in Astra Pro.
As you can see, Astra Pro significantly improves the theme by introducing many more design choices and customization settings to the WordPress theme customizer – settings that the free version of Astra badly lacks.
Modules like Blog Pro, Custom Layouts, Site Layouts, and Page Headers provide even more options for designing unique website layouts.
Astra’s pro edition also includes some important modules for agencies and web design firms. White labelling allows you to rebrand Astra as your own, while modules like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, LearnDash, and LifterLMS make it easier to combine Astra with third-party plugins and services.
OceanWP supports a total of 13 premium plugin extensions. These can be purchased singly or as a set.
Full Screen, Cookie Notice, Popup Login, Instagram, White Label, Portfolio, Woo Popup, Sticky Footer, Ocean Hooks, Elementor Widgets, Side Panel, Sticky Header, and Footer Callout are the premium extensions.
A variety of OceanWP premium extensions allow you to customise the style of your website. Sticky Footer, Footer Callout, Side Panel, and Sticky Header are all included. As with Astra, there is a white labelling extension.
There’s also a portfolio extension that may be completely customised. Using shortcodes, you may add generated portfolios and customise the look in the WordPress theme customizer.
Some OceanWP paid extensions are good, however they aren’t particularly tailored to the theme. Consider the cookie notice and the Instagram WordPress plugins. They function great, but there are several alternatives available on WordPress.org.
One of the greatest extensions includes dozens of extra Elementor widgets to help you improve the appearance and feel of your content. OceanWP works nicely with various drag-and-drop page builders, but it’s no surprise that the creators favour Elementor throughout the installation process.
When comparing the premium modules and extensions available for Astra and OceanWP, I feel Astra Pro provides more because the plugins are more specialised to Astra.
In some respects, it’s dishonest to suggest Astra Pro is superior because the modules in Astra Pro address the free version’s lack of customising choices. However, if OceanWP wins the fight of the greatest features and settings, Astra Pro must take the lead in paid plugin extensions.
Astra vs OceanWP Pricing
Both Astra and OceanWP are free to use, however you won’t be able to access all of the theme demos if you use the free versions of these themes. Many helpful features and settings present in paid modules and extensions will also be absent.
While I understand why so many website owners choose the free versions of Astra and OceanWP, I would advise everyone to investigate the premium versions, which are both reasonably priced.
The Astra Pro starts at $59. This includes access to all Astra Pro modules as well as premium support and upgrades for an unlimited number of websites for one year.
For $169, you’ll get access to all 70 starting site theme samples, their portfolio plugin, and your pick of either Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder or Ultimate Addons for Elementor. A $249 expansion bundle is also available, which provides you access to more premium Brainstorm Force plugins.
All programmes are backed by a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Unlike Astra, the makers of OceanWP allow customers to buy premium extensions separately. All premium OceanWP extensions are reasonably priced at $9.99 a year, however I have no doubt that the OceanWP Core Extensions Bundle will be preferred since it provides superior value for money.
All bundle plans include the same benefits: 12 months of support and upgrades, access to all premium plugin extensions, and access to premium theme demos.
A single licence is $39, a three-website licence is $79, and an unlimited licence is $129.
All programmes have a 14-day money-back guarantee.
The premium plans for Astra and OceanWP are both quite affordable.
When you buy an Astra Pro subscription, you get limitless support and updates for your websites. To receive access to all Brainstorm Force theme demos and extra plugins, you must subscribe to a higher-priced subscription.
Purchasing an OceanWP plan, on the other hand, grants you access to all premium theme designs and plugin extensions – albeit you will need to pay extra to obtain maintenance and updates for additional websites.
OceanWP offers the cheaper pricing point at $39 for a single licence, and this plan unlocks all theme features. However, because there are no use restrictions, agencies and web design firms may choose Astra Pro.
Astra vs OceanWP - Conclusion
Both themes offer a lot of amazing features and inexpensive upgrade possibilities.
Because the free theme demos from OceanWP require paid plugin extensions to function properly, I feel Astra is the best free alternative. You may also access other theme demos. These critiques are rendered obsolete if you upgrade to the OceanWP Core Extensions Bundle, since all premium plugins and designs are unlocked.
Similarly, the free edition of OceanWP has far more customisation choices than Astra, so if theme customization is crucial to you, OceanWP may be the best option. Again, these critiques are less important if you plan to subscribe to Astra Pro, which provides hundreds more design and layout possibilities.
The reality is that most general WordPress users find it difficult to distinguish between Astra and OceanWP.
My advice is to install and properly try both themes to discover what they have to offer firsthand.
Check out my full reviews of Astra and OceanWP for a more in-depth look at these WordPress themes.
Have you used or are you using any of these two themes? Which do you consider to be the greatest, and why?