Making an attempt to decide on between Kadence Theme vs Astra because the WordPress theme in your subsequent mission?
These two themes are wonderful in terms of a versatile, multipurpose WordPress theme, so you possibly can’t actually go fallacious both method. Nonetheless, there are some variations between the 2 themes which may make yet one more appropriate to suit your particular wants than the opposite.
In our Kadence Theme vs Astra comparability, I’ll allow you to perceive these variations as a way to make the best selection.
This isn’t about choosing a single winner as a result of, if I’m being sincere, I actually like each themes and I’d fortunately use both. It’s nearly showcasing a few of the key variations which may tilt issues in a method or one other in 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 rapidly 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 completely centered on plugins, with various WooCommerce plugins together with the Kadence Blocks plugin.
In April 2021, Liquid Net acquired Kadence WP by way of its iThemes subsidiary (which Liquid Net additionally acquired in 2018).
In the event you’re not conversant in Liquid Net, it’s a preferred net host that’s been occurring a completely large shopping for spree in terms of WordPress plugins and themes. Listed here are the entire WordPress manufacturers that Liquid Net has acquired by way of its StellarWP subsidiary:
Mainly, there are numerous sources 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 cross the a million energetic set up depend on the WordPress.org theme listing.
For comparability, Kadence Theme has 100,000 energetic installs based on WordPress.org.
Meaning it’s additionally the most well-liked, non-default WordPress theme of all time at WordPress.org (and perhaps general, although it’s onerous to get actual utilization numbers for themes similar to Divi and Avada).
It additionally has one other report — essentially the most five-star evaluations of any theme at WordPress.org.
Mainly, lots of people like and use Astra.
Astra can also be no slouch in terms of sources, because it comes from Brainstorm Pressure, a big WordPress improvement firm.
Whereas the Astra theme is Brainstorm Pressure’s most well-known product, Brainstorm Pressure does make various different standard plugins, together with the next:
Moreover, Astra’s large success/reputation just about ensures continued help and improvement.
Starter Websites and Demos
Whereas each themes provide you with all the facility you should create a customized web site from scratch, additionally they supply importable starter templates that you should use to simplify the setup.
For each themes, the starter templates look wonderful. Significantly — I feel that Astra and Kadence are each on the prime of the sport in terms of the design high quality of the starter templates.
By way of amount, Astra is the winner because it provides 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 extra element.
Kadence Theme consists of demo websites constructed with two web 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 may select your most well-liked builder in the top-right nook after which choose the demo website that you just wish to import:
If you open the importer, you’ll get just a few choices. You may select:
- A colour palette
- A font pairing
- Whether or not to import the complete starter website or only a single web page
To see the entire Kadence Theme starter websites, you possibly can click on the button beneath.
Whereas all of Kadence Theme’s starter templates are constructed utilizing the native WordPress block editor or Elementor, Astra permits you to select from three totally different builders:
Astra used to additionally supply Brizy templates, however not anymore.
So should you desire Beaver Builder, that’s a giant level in Astra’s favor.
As with Kadence Theme, not all starter websites can be found for all builders. Elementor has essentially the most out there choices.
First, you’ll select your most well-liked builder:
Then, you possibly can choose the demo website that you just wish to import:
Then, you’ll get a brief setup wizard the place you possibly can:
- Add your brand
- Select a customized colour palette
- Select a customized font pairing
The 2 import processes at the moment are 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 in element. Overlaying all the pieces would take a e-book, 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 purposeful than Astra. Nonetheless, I feel Astra’s current modifications have beefed up the flexibleness of its free model and there’s not a giant disparity anymore.
By way of different variations, they definitely exist, but it surely’s onerous to give you one overriding theme. Some individuals desire Astra and a few individuals desire Kadence Theme — it actually simply comes all the way down to the particular customization choices that you just’re in search of.
To offer you an instance, listed below are the colour choices for the free variations of each themes.
Kadence Theme free colour choices:
Astra free colour 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 supply drag-and-drop header and footer builders that can assist you customise these essential areas of your website.
These builders work in just about the identical method, so there’s little distinction for many customers.
Kadence Theme had its header/footer builder first, should you’re questioning. Astra’s builder is certainly closely impressed by Kadence Theme.
With Kadence Theme, you’ll get a grid on the backside the place you possibly can drag content material components to customise your header (or footer):
You may design totally different headers for desktop and cellular/pill.
You can even arrange clear headers and sticky headers.
With the premium model of Kadence Theme, you’ll get entry to 20+ new components to customise your header.
You additionally get a conditional header function that permits you to create new customized headers and conditionally apply them to components of your website, which is one benefit over Astra (although most individuals in all probability 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 cellular/pill, you possibly can create a special header for cellular/pill units. You can even arrange sticky headers and clear headers.
Web page-Degree Controls
That will help you management the format of particular person posts and pages, each themes include various page-level controls.
These could be particularly helpful should you’re utilizing a web page builder. For instance, you possibly can change to a full-width canvas as a way to management all the pieces utilizing your builder.
Each themes are fairly related in phrases of the foundations, although every has a few distinctive choices. You may see the entire choices beneath.
Kadence Theme page-level controls:
Astra theme page-level controls:
WooCommerce and Different Integrations
By way of plugin integrations, each themes are fairly good.
Firstly, each themes have a local WooCommerce integration. In the event you’ve created an eCommerce retailer with WooCommerce, you’ll get particular choices in 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 truth, you would possibly wish to simply skip it as a few of the terminology that I’ll use will get a bit complicated.
However for builders/superior customers, each themes embrace choices to work with hooks or customized layouts.
In the event you’re not conversant in this idea, the fundamental concept is that these options allow you to inject customized content material at totally different areas of your theme or utterly redesign sure components of your theme.
Kadence Theme calls these “Parts” whereas Astra calls them “Customized Layouts”.
Total, I feel that Kadence Theme now has a stronger customized format function, thanks in half to the template ingredient it added in December 2021.
Kadence Theme permits 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 primarily permits you to use the native block editor as a theme builder.
You may customise your single publish templates, archive templates, and so forth. Or, you possibly can additional customise your header and footer.
You should use conditional guidelines to regulate the content material for which you wish to apply the template. You can even go additional and set consumer 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!
Word — 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 function.
Astra permits you to create 5 sorts of customized layouts:
- 404 web page
- Inside publish/web page content material
In comparison with most different themes, this may be a really robust function. Nonetheless, it lacks the complete template/theme constructing performance that Kadence Theme and Blocks provides, which is why I say that Kadence Theme has the sting.
Nonetheless, Astra may be very helpful right here. You should use conditional guidelines to solely apply the format to sure content material in your website and also you additionally get the identical consumer focusing on and scheduling/expiration choices that Kadence Theme provides.
Total, customized layouts in Astra are excellent…it’s simply that Kadence Theme is healthier.
To evaluate the efficiency of Kadence Theme vs Astra, I arrange a clean demo website with every theme.
I did not import a starter website as a result of that will introduce too many variables. As a substitute, 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 take a look at outcome. I used WebPageTest for the efficiency checks.
This isn’t a really sensible take a look at for a reside website, but it surely ought to provide you with an concept of the out-of-the-box optimization for every theme.
Listed here 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 terms of efficiency.
Each Kadence Theme and Astra are way more light-weight and performance-optimized than the typical WordPress theme and each will help you construct fast-loading websites.
Mainly, I don’t assume efficiency must be an element in your determination as a result of each themes do an ideal job of holding issues light-weight and performance-optimized.
By way of pricing, there are numerous similarities between these two themes.
Each themes use a freemium pricing mannequin. For each, the developer makes the core theme out there free of charge 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 provide you with 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 supply two license durations:
- You may pay for one 12 months of help and updates. After the primary 12 months, the theme will preserve working however you’ll must renew your license if you wish to proceed receiving help and updates.
- You may pay for lifetime help and updates. Nonetheless, Kadence Theme solely provides a lifetime license for the complete bundle.
By way of 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 similar to typography and colours. Nonetheless, Astra has beefed up its free theme and now provides options like world colours even in the free model.
That’s to not say you received’t discover some particular function distinction that issues to you. I simply don’t assume there’s one clear-cut winner anymore in terms of free performance.
By way of Professional pricing, Astra Professional is a bit cheaper, coming in at $59 vs $79 for Kadence Professional Theme.
Each themes use evergreen “gross sales” in your first 12 months, so that you would possibly pay rather less than the checklist value (although this solely applies to the primary 12 months for one-year licenses).
In the event you’re not in the Kadence Full Bundle, the truth that Astra provides a lifetime license for simply the theme can prevent a ton of cash long-term.
Kadence vs Astra: Which Theme Ought to You Use?
In relation to Kadence Theme vs Astra, I don’t assume there’s a transparent winner.
I’d rank each of those themes on the prime of the sport, so that you received’t go fallacious both method.
In the event you’re particularly in search of a free theme, I feel the 2 themes at the moment are fairly shut in phrases 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 provides world colour palettes, identical to Kadence Theme.
By way of premium themes, one element that stands out to me in Kadence Theme is the facility of its new Ingredient templates. In the event you’re a developer/superior consumer, I feel Kadence Theme’s Parts at the moment are stronger than Astra Customized Layouts, and that is likely to be an essential differentiator for you.
Nonetheless, Astra additionally has just a few edges:
- Extra importable starter websites. You can even entry websites constructed with Beaver Builder, in addition to the native editor and Elementor websites that each themes supply.
- The Professional model of Astra is a bit cheaper.
In the event you’re planning to pay, I’d 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 price range. Astra Professional is extra reasonably priced, particularly as a result of it provides a lifetime license for simply the theme (whereas Kadence Theme makes you buy the complete bundle if you’d like a lifetime license).
- Any particular, nitty-gritty customization choices you completely should have.
- Whether or not you’re going to truly use the customized templates in Kadence Theme components. Whereas this can be a highly effective function in Kadence Theme’s favor, most informal customers in all probability received’t use it.
By way of 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 quicker than the typical WordPress theme.
To see another nice choices, try our collections of the quickest WordPress themes and the quickest WooCommerce themes — each posts are based mostly on hands-on efficiency testing.
Do you continue to have any questions on both theme or our Astra vs Kadence Theme comparability? Tell us in the feedback.