Disclaimer: This is a guest blog submitted by Lasha Chankseliani
Nowadays, there are hundreds of free and premium popular WordPress themes that make building a website very easy and intuitive.
Among them are Astra and OceanWP, two of the most popular and oldest themes to build WordPress websites.
Both themes provide professional designs, extensive customization options, and compatibility with third-party WordPress plugins.
But which one should you choose?
In this comparison, we will compare these two themes and will see what features they offer, how fast and lightweight both are, what pricing options they offer, and what benefits you get if you buy a premium plan.
Astra Theme: An Overview
Astra is a well-known WordPress theme that has been around for a long time and is highly favored by WordPress developers and designers. The team behind it is Brainstorm Force, which develops other WordPress themes and plugins.
It’s a fast and customizable theme that is perfect for different types of websites, such as blogs, portfolios, or e-commerce websites. Also, it’s SEO optimized and offers integrated schema markup code.
On the WordPress repository, it has over 1 million installs, 5000+ reviews, and 5/5 stars. Also, it gets constant updates and improvements.
Like many Classic WordPress themes, Astra offers free and premium options, where you get more features and customization with a premium plan.
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OceanWP Theme: An Overview
OceanWP is also a classic WordPress theme and a very popular theme that has improved over the years. There was a point when it was one of the most customizable themes, and many websites were built with it.
This is a lightweight and customizable theme that is great for every type of website – business, e-commerce, blogs, and so on. It’s fast, great for SEO, and compatible with RTL languages and translations.
The theme has 5/5 stars from 5000+ reviews and 700,000+ active installs, which is a great statistic for a WordPress theme.
Like Astra, OceanWP offers a really good free version and more feature-packed premium plans for different types of requirements.
Astra vs OceanWP: Features
So, both themes, Astra and OceanWP, are classic WordPress themes. Both have great reviews and thousands of active installs and offer free and premium options.
However, the more important thing is what features they offer and how customizable they are. If you want to build modern websites, you need a reliable theme but also all the customization options.
So now, we will discuss all the major features a good WordPress theme should have to be able to build beautiful and modern websites.
But before we dive deep into features, we have to mention that both themes have pre-made templates (free and pro) that can be imported very easily. You just need to change the default images and text with yours, and you will have a modern website in just minutes.
General features of WordPress themes include page layouts, container layouts, button customization, and similar things found in Appearance > Customize from the WordPress dashboard.
These features help you to customize your website’s global layout and various styles of elements.
Astra offers a wide range of customization options to customize different parts of the website and your desired styling.
Some of the general features you can customize with Astra are:
- Container layout
- Page layouts and styling
You can choose sizes, margins, paddings, layout options, container width, and other useful features such as accessibility, scrolling to the top button, etc.
OceanWP offers similar options. The customizer is divided into different sections. However, Astra Customizer has a better interface, and it’s easier to navigate.
With OceanWP, you can change settings for various parts of your website:
- Container layout
- Page titles
Additionally, it has some built-in SEO features such as schema markup and open graph, and it also allows you to enable/disable some performance features such as emojis, lightbox, scroll effects, etc.
Both themes offer all the necessary settings to change your website’s global layout and styling. However, the Astra customizer is a little bit clean and easy to navigate.
Color and Typography
Color and typography are important design aspects in websites, and if a theme doesn’t offer them in a free version, then you need to change the theme.
But that’s not the case in Astra and OceanWP because bot themes allow you to choose color palettes and fonts for different headings and paragraphs.
Both themes have dedicated sections for typography and color settings, and although they are similar, there are some differences.
With Astra, you can choose your desired font for the paragraphs and headings globally but also separately for H1-H6 headings. Of course, you can set font size, font weight, and other settings for desktop, tablet, and mobile.
But if you want to change fonts for the footer, header, and other sections, it’s in different sections.
In OceanWP, all the typography options are in one place, and you are able to change fonts for paragraphs, headings, navigation menus, page titles, and so on.
When it comes to colors, Astra is a little better. First of all, you can choose your color palette up to nine colors and then assign those colors to different elements such as buttons, links, headings, etc.
But in OceanWP, you just choose colors for those elements separately. Although it works, Astra is much cleaner and easier to change or update your color palettes.
Header and Footer Builder
Header and footer builders are essential for any WordPress website. If a theme doesn’t offer it, you’d have to install an additional plugin for it, which is not good.
However, this is not the case with Astra and OceanWP because both themes allow the configuration of website header and footer, but both do it differently.
Astra has a header and footer builder where you get three rows, each with three columns. You can add different elements to these columns and create a very complex header or footer.
On the other hand, OceanWP offers predefined layouts of the header and several settings to modify it. And for the footer, it has a widget system, which is not that intuitive.
For example, if you want to create a header with OceanWP, you have to choose between different styles such as minimal, transparent, vertical, etc., and that’s it. You don’t have many options.
So, when it comes to footer and header builder, Astra is the winner because it gives you the freedom and easy tools to build almost any type of header or footer.
Having a blog on your website is very important, especially for search engine optimization. Many SEO agencies use blogs to add more content to websites, which helps to rank in search engines.
So, a good theme must have good blog customization options, and both themes offer many options to create beautiful blog layouts.
Astra and OceanWP have similar blog customization options where you can customize not only blog archives but single posts, too.
For blog archives, you can choose container layout, article card options, column settings, sidebar options, and more. This works for both themes however, Astra is much more clean when it comes to customization.
The same goes for single-post customization; you can build beautiful, clean, modern single-post layouts and styles.
You can display or hide different elements, add a sidebar on the side, choose container width, add a related posts section, and so on.
Bot themes have very customizable options for blogs, and they are known for that, but Astra is more intuitive and has a slightly modern interface, which makes it easier to build blog sections.
Custom Post Features
When you build websites with WordPress, many times, it requires to have custom post types. For example, if you have a movie review website, instead of creating reviews in WordPress posts, you can create custom Movies posts with the help of a plugin.
Having a different layout and design for default articles and custom posts is always a good idea.
Astra has an advantage over OceanWP regarding custom post customization because it allows you to customize custom post archives and single posts separately.
A couple of other themes have this option, and Astra is one of them. Unfortunately, OceanWP doesn’t support custom post customization.
If you want to build a WooCommerce website with Astra or OceanWP, both themes would be a good choice because they offer various customization options for e-commerce websites.
Although both themes have similar settings for WooCommerce, Astra is again more intuitive and offers better options.
With Astra, you can display or hide different product sections, add a sidebar, and make the page look clean and modern.
Although OceanWP offers similar settings to customize product catalogs or single products, the design looks dated.
Here are some of the elements you can show on the product page with both themes:
- Product Title
- Product price
- Product Meta
- Product Description
Additionally, both themes have settings for various pages, such as product catalog, cart, and checkout.
Astra vs OceanWP: Speed
When it comes to WordPress websites, one of the downsides is the speed. Having a slow website is not good because you can lose traffic because of the slow website.
WordPress itself is not a slow CMS. Actually, it’s quite fast, but the speed of a website depends on many things, such as hosting, how well it was built, how many plugins it uses, and so on.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to choose the fastest WordPress hosting.
A WordPress theme is an important aspect of website speed, and you must always choose a lightweight and fast theme.
We did speed tests for both themes to figure out which theme is the more nimble.
We used GTmetrix and PSI for these speed tests, which are great tools to find out how fast a website is and what needs to be done to solve speed issues.
For better results, we did two types of tests:
- Clean Speed Test: We installed fresh WordPress without any plugins or content and installed only the theme we were testing.
- Business Template Speed Test: We installed fresh WordPress with the theme but imported one of their templates. Both themes had a similar layout and plugins.
For the server, we chose Cloudways WordPress Hosting with Digital Ocean:
- 1GB RAM
- 1 Core
- 25GB Storage
- 1TB Bandwidth
Let’s dive in and see the results.
Clean Speed Test
As we said above, for the clean speed test, we just installed the theme without any plugins, other themes, images, or content.
First, see the clean speed test of the Astra theme with GTmetrix:
As you can see, it loads in 0.7 seconds, which is very fast, the size of the page is only 25KB, and there were only 7 requests.
Google Speed Insights
Here is the result for the mobile and desktop versions with Google Speed Insights:
We can see from these speed tests that the clean Astra theme is very fast and lightweight.
Now let’s see the results for clean OceanWP with GTmetrix:
The results are almost the same. The only difference is that OceanWP was loaded in 0.8 seconds.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Here are the results with Google PSI:
There are almost no differences between Astra and OceanWP regarding clean themes. Both are very fast and lightweight.
Template Speed Test
Now let’s see how fast they are with a full website with content, pages, images, etc. Keep in mind that the images were not optimized, and no cache plugins were installed.
For OceanWP, we chose the Coach template, and for Astra, we imported the Limousine Rental Agency template.
Both have different sections with text, headings, and images (not optimized). Both themes use Elementor, WPForms plugins, and Starter Templates for Astra and Ocean Extra plugin for OceanWP.
Here are the results for the Astra theme with GTmetrix and PSI:
Here are the results for OceanWP with the same website speed tools:
As you can see, Astra has great results for desktops, and it’s slightly better than OceanWP. On mobile, both themes have some issues, but they are almost the same.
We conducted the tests without any cache plugin, and the images were high quality and not optimized. After you install the cache plugin and optimize images, the results will be much better.
But from these tests, you can clearly see that both themes are very fast, even with page builders like Elementor. However, the test showed that Astra is slightly faster than OceanWP.
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Astra vs OceanWP: Pricing & Plans
Astra and OceanWP offer excellent features and impressive speed for creating various types of websites, all available in their free versions.
However, they also provide premium plans with added features. The question is, is a premium theme necessary for constructing a contemporary website?
First of all, let’s see what premium plans they offer and what features are included in premium plans.
Both themes offer three plan tiers, and you can choose between annual and lifetime options.
Astra premium plans are Astra Pro, Essential Bundle, and Growth Bundle, and you can use the license on unlimited websites.
OceanWP plans are Personal, Business, and Agency, but you can use the license on several websites.
Here are some of the benefits you get with Astra Pro:
- Advanced header and footer builder
- More blog layouts
- White label
- Sticky header
- Mega menu
- Advanced typography
- Premium templates
The premium features OceanWP offers are not as impressive. Here are some of them:
- Pro demo templates
- Premium extensions
- Elementor section library
- Flaticon and Freepik icon import
These are some useful features, but as you can see, Astra offers many more features in their premium plans than OceanWP. You can see the full list on their website.
So, if you decide to upgrade to pro versions, Astra is much better regarding the features you get.
To sum it up, both Astra and OceanWP are excellent free WordPress themes. They provide a range of customization options, starter templates, and are known for their speed and lightweight nature.
If you want more features, you can always upgrade to the pro version.
But in our comparison, where we compared the free versions of both themes, Astra offers many more options.
Also, we have to mention that both WordPress themes work great with Gutenberg editor and Elementor page builder.
We hope you like this Astra vs OceanWP comparison. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.
|Lasha Chankseliani is an SEO specialist and WordPress developer. He has 5+ years of experience in the industry and currently works at SEO agency Alpaca. Also, he loves blogging and is interested in affiliate marketing.|
Abdul is a tech-savvy, coffee-fueled, and creatively driven marketer who loves keeping up with the latest software updates and tech gadgets. He's also a skilled technical writer who can explain complex concepts simply for a broad audience. Abdul enjoys sharing his knowledge of the Cloud industry through user manuals, documentation, and blog posts.