These two themes are wonderful in the case of a versatile, multipurpose WordPress theme, so you’ll be able to’t actually go flawed both approach. Nonetheless, there are some variations between the 2 themes that may make yet another appropriate to suit your particular wants than the opposite.
In our Kadence Theme vs Astra comparability, I’ll assist you to perceive these variations so as to make the fitting alternative.
This isn’t about selecting a single winner as a result of, if I’m being sincere, I actually like each themes and I might fortunately use both. It’s nearly showcasing a number of the key variations that may tilt issues in a method or one other on your particular use case.
Sound good? Let’s dig in.
Fast Introductions to Kadence and Astra
To kick issues off in our Kadence Theme vs Astra comparability, let’s shortly go over the fundamentals of those two themes, together with the groups behind them.
Kadence Theme is the flagship theme from Kadence WP. Up till launching Kadence Theme, Kadence WP had solely targeted on plugins, with a lot of WooCommerce plugins together with the Kadence Blocks plugin.
In April 2021, Liquid Net acquired Kadence WP through its iThemes subsidiary (which Liquid Net additionally acquired in 2018).
In the event you’re not aware of Liquid Net, it’s a preferred net host that’s been happening a completely huge shopping for spree in the case of WordPress plugins and themes. Listed below are all the WordPress manufacturers that Liquid Net has acquired through its StellarWP subsidiary:
Principally, there are a variety of assets behind Kadence WP and Kadence Theme — Liquid Net is clearly invested in constructing out the theme/plugin a part of its enterprise.
Astra has achieved a really spectacular milestone:
It’s the one non-default WordPress theme to ever move the one million active install count on the WordPress.org theme listing.
For comparability, Kadence Theme has 100,000 active installs in response to WordPress.org.
Which means it’s additionally the preferred, non-default WordPress theme of all time at WordPress.org (and possibly general, although it’s exhausting to get precise utilization numbers for themes reminiscent of Divi and Avada).
It additionally has one other report — essentially the most five-star evaluations of any theme at WordPress.org.
Principally, lots of people like and use Astra.
Astra can be no slouch in the case of assets, because it comes from Brainstorm Power, a big WordPress growth firm.
Whereas the Astra theme is Brainstorm Power’s most well-known product, Brainstorm Power does make a lot of different well-liked plugins, together with the next:
Moreover, Astra’s huge success/recognition just about ensures continued help and growth.
Starter Websites and Demos
Whereas each themes offer you all the facility it is advisable to create a customized web site from scratch, in addition they provide importable starter templates that you should use to simplify the setup.
For each themes, the starter templates look superb. Significantly — I feel that Astra and Kadence are each on the prime of the sport in the case of the design high quality of the starter templates.
When it comes to amount, Astra is the winner because it affords extra starter templates.
Whereas Kadence Theme has been quickly including starter websites, it’s a youthful theme than Astra, and it nonetheless hasn’t fairly caught up.
Let’s undergo every theme in additional element.
Kadence Theme consists of demo websites constructed with two page builders:
- Native WordPress block editor (Gutenberg)
Nonetheless, not all starter websites can be found in each builders — Gutenberg has extra choices than Elementor.
You possibly can select your most well-liked builder within the top-right nook after which choose the demo web site that you simply need to import:
Once you open the importer, you’ll get a couple of choices. You possibly can select:
- A coloration palette
- A font pairing
- Whether or not to import the total starter web site or only a single web page
To see all the Kadence Theme starter websites, you’ll be able to click on the button beneath.
Whereas all of Kadence Theme’s starter templates are constructed utilizing the native WordPress block editor or Elementor, Astra enables you to select from three totally different builders:
Astra used to additionally provide Brizy templates, however not anymore.
So in the event you favor Beaver Builder, that’s an enormous level in Astra’s favor.
As with Kadence Theme, not all starter websites can be found for all builders. Elementor has essentially the most accessible choices.
First, you’ll select your most well-liked builder:
Then, you’ll be able to choose the demo web site that you simply need to import:
Then, you’ll get a brief setup wizard the place you’ll be able to:
- Add your emblem
- Select a customized coloration palette
- Select a customized font pairing
The 2 import processes are actually very related. In the event you’re questioning, Kadence Theme had its import course of first.
Each themes use the native WordPress Customizer for personalisation and embrace an enormous array of choices.
Actually, there are far too many choices in each themes to match intimately. Protecting all the things would take a ebook, so I’m not going to attempt to do this.
Up to now, I feel that Kadence Theme’s free model was once a bit extra practical than Astra. Nonetheless, I feel Astra’s latest modifications have beefed up the flexibleness of its free model and there’s not an enormous disparity anymore.
When it comes to different variations, they definitely exist, but it surely’s exhausting to provide you with one overriding theme. Some folks favor Astra and a few folks favor Kadence Theme — it actually simply comes all the way down to the particular customization choices that you simply’re in search of.
To present you an instance, listed below are the colour choices for the free variations of each themes.
Kadence Theme free coloration choices:
Astra free coloration choices:
After which listed below are the weblog archive choices for the premium variations of each themes.
Kadence Theme paid weblog archive choices:
Astra paid weblog archive choices:
Contained in the Customizer, each themes additionally provide drag-and-drop header and footer builders that can assist you customise these vital areas of your web site.
These builders work in just about the identical approach, so there’s little distinction for many customers.
Kadence Theme had its header/footer builder first, in the event you’re questioning. Astra’s builder is unquestionably closely impressed by Kadence Theme.
With Kadence Theme, you’ll get a grid on the backside the place you’ll be able to drag content material components to customise your header (or footer):
You possibly can design totally different headers for desktop and cell/pill.
You may as well arrange clear headers and sticky headers.
With the premium model of Kadence Theme, you’ll get entry to twenty+ new components to customise your header.
You additionally get a conditional header characteristic that permits you to create new customized headers and conditionally apply them to elements of your web site, which is one benefit over Astra (although most individuals most likely received’t use this):
Astra’s header/footer builder works just about the identical as Kadence Theme:
In the event you change the Customizer preview to cell/pill, you’ll be able to create a distinct header for cell/pill gadgets. You may as well arrange sticky headers and clear headers.
Web page-Stage Controls
That can assist you management the structure of particular person posts and pages, each themes include a lot of page-level controls.
These might be particularly helpful in the event you’re utilizing a web page builder. For instance, you possibly can change to a full-width canvas so as to management all the things utilizing your builder.
Each themes are fairly related by way of the principles, although every has a few distinctive choices. You possibly can see all the choices beneath.
Kadence Theme page-level controls:
Astra theme page-level controls:
WooCommerce and Different Integrations
When it comes to plugin integrations, each themes are fairly good.
Firstly, each themes have a local WooCommerce integration. In the event you’ve created an eCommerce store with WooCommerce, you’ll get particular choices within the WordPress Customizer to configure your retailer, together with different options like slide-down carts.
Past that, you additionally get integrations for some LMS plugins, membership plugins, and extra.
|Simple Digital Downloads||❌||✔️|
For informal customers, this part received’t curiosity you a lot. In reality, you would possibly need to simply skip it as a number of the terminology that I’ll use will get somewhat complicated.
However for builders/superior customers, each themes embrace choices to work with hooks or customized layouts.
In the event you’re not aware of this idea, the essential thought is that these options allow you to inject customized content material at totally different areas of your theme or fully redesign sure elements of your theme.
Kadence Theme calls these “Components” whereas Astra calls them “Customized Layouts”.
General, I feel that Kadence Theme now has a stronger customized structure characteristic, thanks partially to the template ingredient it added in December 2021.
Kadence Theme enables you to create 4 sorts of components:
- Content material part
- Fastened part
- HTML editor
Whereas all 4 ingredient sorts are helpful, the template ingredient is essentially the most attention-grabbing to me because it basically enables you to use the native block editor as a theme builder.
You possibly can customise your single submit templates, archive templates, and so forth. Or, you possibly can additional customise your header and footer.
You should use conditional guidelines to manage the content material for which you need to apply the template. You may as well go additional and set person guidelines to solely show the template for sure customers and expire guidelines to cease utilizing the template after a sure time.
For instance, you possibly can create a particular template to advertise a sale that’s solely seen to logged-in customers and expires per week after you publish it. Fairly cool stuff!
Observe — you want Kadence Blocks Professional to insert dynamic content material in your templates. However even with out Kadence Blocks Professional, it’s nonetheless a really highly effective characteristic.
Astra enables you to create 5 sorts of customized layouts:
- 404 web page
- Inside submit/web page content material
In comparison with most different themes, this may be a really robust characteristic. Nonetheless, it lacks the total template/theme constructing performance that Kadence Theme and Blocks affords, which is why I say that Kadence Theme has the sting.
Nonetheless, Astra could be very helpful right here. You should use conditional guidelines to solely apply the structure to sure content material in your web site and also you additionally get the identical person concentrating on and scheduling/expiration choices that Kadence Theme affords.
General, customized layouts in Astra are excellent…it’s simply that Kadence Theme is healthier.
I did not import a starter web site as a result of that may introduce too many variables. As an alternative, I simply examined the “bare” theme with the default “Pattern Web page”, which I feel is the one solution to obtain a good, apples-to-apples check end result. I used WebPageTest for the efficiency exams.
This isn’t a really practical check for a stay web site, but it surely ought to offer you an thought of the out-of-the-box optimization for every theme.
Listed below are the outcomes:
|Kadence Theme||0.588 s||43 KB||9|
|Astra||0.592 s||38 KB||6|
So which theme is the winner? The reply is that each of them are winners in the case of efficiency.
Each Kadence Theme and Astra are much more light-weight and performance-optimized than the common WordPress theme and each may help you construct fast-loading websites.
Principally, I don’t suppose efficiency must be a consider your determination as a result of each themes do an important job of conserving issues light-weight and performance-optimized.
When it comes to pricing, there are a variety of similarities between these two themes.
Each themes use a freemium pricing mannequin. For each, the developer makes the core theme accessible at no cost at WordPress.org after which sells a premium plugin add-on that extends the core theme with new options.
For the premium model, each themes allow you to use the theme on limitless web sites regardless of which license you buy.
Each themes additionally offer you two choices for upgrading:
- You should purchase simply the theme.
- You should purchase a bundle that features the theme and different plugins from the developer.
Lastly, each themes provide two license durations:
- You possibly can pay for one 12 months of help and updates. After the primary 12 months, the theme will preserve working however you’ll have to renew your license if you wish to proceed receiving help and updates.
- You possibly can pay for lifetime help and updates. Nonetheless, Kadence Theme solely affords a lifetime license for the total bundle.
When it comes to free variations, I feel that the 2 themes are fairly shut now.
Once more, Kadence Theme used to have the sting as a result of it gave you extra management over primary particulars reminiscent of typography and colours. Nonetheless, Astra has beefed up its free theme and now affords options like world colours even within the free model.
That’s to not say you received’t discover some particular characteristic distinction that issues to you. I simply don’t suppose there’s one clear-cut winner anymore in the case of free performance.
Each themes use evergreen “gross sales” on your first 12 months, so that you would possibly pay rather less than the record worth (although this solely applies to the primary 12 months for one-year licenses).
In the event you’re not within the Kadence Full Bundle, the truth that Astra affords a lifetime license for simply the theme can prevent a ton of cash long-term.
Kadence vs Astra: Which Theme Ought to You Use?
I might rank each of those themes on the prime of the sport, so that you received’t go flawed both approach.
In the event you’re particularly in search of a free theme, I feel the 2 themes are actually fairly shut by way of the flexibleness that they provide you. Kadence Theme used to be stronger, however Astra has improved the free theme customization choices to compete. For instance, the free model of Astra now affords world coloration palettes, similar to Kadence Theme.
When it comes to premium themes, one element that stands out to me in Kadence Theme is the facility of its new Aspect templates. In the event you’re a developer/superior person, I feel Kadence Theme’s Components are actually stronger than Astra Customized Layouts, and that is perhaps an vital differentiator for you.
Nonetheless, Astra additionally has a couple of edges:
- Extra importable starter websites. You may as well entry websites constructed with Beaver Builder, along with the native editor and Elementor websites that each themes provide.
- The Professional model of Astra is somewhat cheaper.
In the event you’re planning to pay, I might suggest basing your determination on the next:
- Which starter websites you want higher.
- Which plugins you’re planning to make use of. E.g. In the event you’re constructing an Simple Digital Downloads retailer, then Astra has the benefit, whereas Kadence Theme might need the benefit for a non-profit utilizing GiveWP.
- Your finances. Astra Professional is extra reasonably priced, particularly as a result of it affords a lifetime license for simply the theme (whereas Kadence Theme makes you buy the total bundle if you need a lifetime license).
- Any particular, nitty-gritty customization choices you completely will need to have.
- Whether or not you’re going to truly use the customized templates in Kadence Theme components. Whereas this can be a highly effective characteristic in Kadence Theme’s favor, most informal customers most likely received’t use it.
When it comes to efficiency, I don’t see any real-world variations between Kadence Theme vs Astra and you may construct lightning-fast websites with each. Each are additionally considerably sooner than the common WordPress theme.
Do you continue to have any questions on both theme or our Astra vs Kadence Theme comparability? Tell us within the feedback.