OceanWP and Astra both have plenty of premium benefits, but which of these two freemium themes is the best for your needs?

OceanWP vs. Astra: A head-to-head comparison

OceanWP and Astra both have plenty of premium benefits, but which of these two freemium themes is the best for your needs?
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Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.

We’ve put together this guide comparing two similar themes from OceanWP and Astra, each with its own unique set of features, pros, and cons. In addition we’ll compare key aspects such as load speed performance, price point and more! This will help give you an idea which one might be best suited for your needs based on our research into both products’ strengths & weaknesses.

Comparing the Basics

OceanWP and Astra both have plenty to offer to WordPress users, but how do these two freemium themes compare? We looked at their basic features, advanced features, load time, plug-ins, pricing, integration, and customer reviews.

OceanWP

The OceanWP theme was initially released in 2016 by Nicolas Lecocq, owner and creator of the OceanWP Theme. OceanWP undergoes regular updates.

The OceanWP theme is a free multipurpose theme that is upgradable to a premium theme with a paid plug-in named “OceanWP Pro.”

According to the WordPress theme directory, more than seven hundred thousand people and businesses have downloaded the OceanWP theme giving it an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

Designed for customizability and ease of expansion through extension packs, OceanWP has a global theme editor for basic theme edits like typography.

For more significant changes, OceanWP also includes access to more than 130 demo options and 19 extensions. Of the 130 demo site designs available with OceanWP, each is Elementor-ready, and new demo designs are uploaded each week.

It is worth noting that free OceanWP users only have access to thirteen of the demo designs.

Astra

The Astra theme was initially released in 2017 by Brainstorm Force. Astra is also regularly updated, and the most recent update was just two days ago. The Astra theme is a free multipurpose theme that is upgradable to a premium theme with a paid Astra Pro plug-in. 

According to the WordPress theme directory, more than one and a half million people and businesses have downloaded the Astra theme giving it an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

Astra is designed for performance and customizability. The built-in visual customizer makes simple changes like colors and typography fast and easy. For more significant changes, Astra also includes access to more than 150 ready-to-import websites.

Of the 150 importable website designs, Astra includes designs for Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy, and Gutenberg builders.

Unlike free OceanWP users, free Astra users get access to over eighty templates.

Theme Features

OceanWP Top Features

  • WooCommerce Ready
  • RTL And Translation Ready
  • 7 Customizable Header Styles
  • 3 Mobile Menu Styles
  • Parallax Or Custom Footer
  • White Label Design

Astra Top Features

  • Leads In Under One Second
  • Requires Less Than 50KB Of Resources
  • Does Not Use jQuery
  • Header Footer Builder
  • Drag And Drop Builder
  • Live Editing
  • Clean Code
  • SEO Friendly Markup
  • Translation And RTL Ready
  • White Label Design

OceanWP and Astra both have some great features but picking the “winner” of the two themes in terms of their features is tricky. Overall, Astra has more features, but OceanWP has more customizability of features.

Choosing the best of these two themes depends on whether you want a more customizable website or if the number of features takes precedence. In our opinion, the number of features offered by Astra combined with everything else it boasts puts it at the top of the list. Plus, Astra can be customized manually in areas where it is not possible with global settings.

Integrations

OceanWP Integrations

OceanWp integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce, Yoast, Toolset, LearnDash, Easy digital downloads, Beaver Builder, LifterLMS Integration, Gutenberg Blocks, BBPress, and Elementor.

Astra Integrations

Astra integrates seamlessly with Yoast, Toolset, LearnDash, WooCommerce, Beaver Builder, LifterLMS Integration, Gutenberg Blocks, and Elementor.

OceanWP VS. Astra Integration

OceanWP and Astra both integrate easily with most major plug-ins, platforms, and systems. Since both themes are equally compatible, there is no clear winner in this forum.

Plug-ins

OceanWP Required Plugins

To function as it is intended to the WordPress OceanWP theme requires the following plug-ins:

The OceanWP theme includes the following free plug-ins:

  • Stick Anything
  • Modal Window
  • Posts Slider
  • Custom Sidebar
  • Product Sharing
  • Social Sharing
  • Ocean Extra

Purchasing the Pro version of OceanWP also requires

Other premium plug-ins for OceanWP Pro include:

  • Full Screen
  • Cookie Notice
  • Popup Login
  • Instagram
  • White Label
  • Portfolio
  • Woo Popup
  • Sticky Footer
  • Ocean Hooks
  • Elementor Widgets
  • Side Panel
  • Sticky Header
  • Footer Callout.

Astra Required Plugins

To function as it is intended to the WordPress Astra theme requires the following plug-ins:

The Astra theme includes the following free plug-ins:

Purchasing the Pro version of Astra also requires

Astra Pro also incorporates eighteen pro modules, including:

  • Colors And Background
  • Typography
  • Spacing
  • Blog Pro
  • Mobile Header
  • Header Sections
  • Sticky Header
  • Page Headers
  • Nav Menu
  • Custom Layouts
  • Site Layouts
  • Scroll To Top
  • Footer Widgets
  • Easy Digital Downloads Integration Module
  • LearnDash Integration Module
  • LifterLMS Integration Module
  • White Label

Installing templates or “sites” through the Astra Sites feature will also prompt you to install the required plug-ins for those templates to function properly.

OceanWP Vs. Astra Plug-ins

Both OceanWP and Astra require a similar number of plug-ins to function correctly, so there is no significant difference here. There is a difference between the number of plug-ins that each theme comes with.

OceanWP Free and Astra free both come with seven free plug-ins.

OceanWP Pro comes with fourteen premium plug-ins.

Astra Pro comes with seventeen premium plug-ins/modules.

Comparing the two themes based on the number of plug-ins they include does not tell us much about the themes themselves, but it is important to look at the quality of the plug-ins included.

OceanWP free and pro both incorporate some great feature-rich and feature-enhancing plug-ins; however, those plug-ins are not customized to the OceanWP theme specifically.

Compared to OceanWP, Astra free and pro also both have some great features, plug-ins, and modules, but unlike OceanWP, many of these are customized to the theme itself. This customization is worth noting because as the theme gets updated, the customized plug-ins also get updated—such symbiosis results in less risk of errors and compatibility problems.

Theme Load Time

A full demo version of OceanWP loaded for us in 0.93 seconds.

A full demo version of Astra loaded for us in 0.86 seconds.

Adding a page builder plug-in does add to the load time of both themes, but not drastically.

There is not enough of a difference in the two load times for any clear winner. Both themes are fast-loading.

Pricing

OceanWP Pricing

OceanWP offers a free version of their theme that comes with limited functionality.

OceanWP sells for $39 for one personal site, $79 for three sites, and $129 for twenty-five sites when paid annually. A lifetime license for OceanWP sells for $159 for one personal site, $319 for three sites, and $519 for twenty-five sites.

Astra Pro Pricing

Astra offers a free version of their theme that comes with limited functionality.

Astra Pro has three Pro theme packages available, but their pricing is based on the number of features each package offers and not how many site licenses you purchase.

The Astra Pro bundle includes the Astra Pro add-on, free starter templates, and premium email support.

The Astra Pro mini agency bundle includes the Astro Pro add-on, WP Portfolio, Ultimate Add-Ons for Elementor OR Beaver Builder, free starter templates, agency starter templates, and premium email support.

The Astra Pro agency bundle includes:

 the Astra Pro add-on, WP Portfolio, Ultimate Add-ons for Elementor, Ultimate Add-Ons for Beaver Builder, Schema Pro, Convert Pro, SkillJet Academy, free starter templates, agency starter templates, access to future plug-ins, and premium email support.

The Astra Pro basic bundle sells for $47, the mini agency bundle sells for $169, and the agency bundle sells for $249 when paid annually.

A lifetime license for the Astra Pro theme sells for $249, the mini agency bundle sells for $499, and the agency bundle sells for $699.

The Astra Pro theme can be installed on an unlimited number of websites.

If you are purchasing a theme for a single personal website, the most affordable option is OceanWP. If you want a theme that you can use on an unlimited number of websites, Astra Pro is a much better choice.

Reviews

How do OceanWP and Astra compare according to user reviews?

OceanWP Reviews

The overall user rating for OceanWP is 4.9 out of 5 stars. Of a total of 4,685 user reviews on WordPress.org, OceanWP has 4,566 5-star reviews, 56 4-star reviews, 10 3-star reviews, 11 2-star reviews, and 42 1-star reviews.

The top-rated features of OceanWP according to users include

  • Ease of use/beginner-friendly
  • Flexibility
  • Custom widgets
  • The number of features on the free version
  • Ecommerce compatibility
  • Theme builder features

The most frequent complaints regarding OceanWP according to users include

  • Customer support
  • Refund policy
  • Difficulty with license recognition
  • Coding bugs/compatibility issues
  • Lack of notices with updates

Astra Reviews

The overall user rating for Astra is 4.9 out of 5 stars. Of a total of 4,921 user reviews on WordPress.org, Astra has 4,797 5-star reviews, 71 4-star reviews, 12 3-star reviews, 4 2-star reviews, and 37 1-star reviews.

The top-rated features of Astra according to users include

  • User friendly
  • Flexibility
  • Elementor compatibility
  • SEO-friendly
  • eCommerce compatibility
  • Free template availability

The most frequent complaints regarding Astra according to users include

  • Disappointing customer service
  • Compatibility with AMP
  • Admin dashboard advertisements
  • The number of plug-ins required
  • Refund policy

OceanWP and Astra both have high customer ratings and the majority of reviews are glowing in praise of the customizability of each theme.

When it comes to the drawbacks or complaints that customers have regarding both themes, customer service and difficulty with refund policy are the chief complaints. Other complaints about OceanWP center on compatibility issues and code bugs, where other complaints about Astra center on advertisements in the admin area and the number of plug-ins the theme requires to function properly.

Money Back Guarantees

All OceanWP pro plans and Astra pro plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Although both themes cite a 14- day money-back guarantee, customers have complained about problems getting each company to honor their guarantee.

Free Comparison

How do the free versions of the two themes compare?

To get the most out of each theme, it is recommended to invest in the pro version, but if your budget is limited, how do the free versions of these themes compare?

OceanWP and Astra are similar in terms of their free features, they are highly customizable, include template site designs, and are fast-loading.

Despite similarities, however, Astra Free has more to offer for the free user.

Astra Free includes more demo designs and their designs have a slightly sharper edge to them. OceanWP does have some well-designed options, but many of the free options require that you invest in a premium extension, so they are not technically free.

OceanWP does outshine Astra in terms of how customizable the theme is overall, but customizability just does not make up for the shortfalls of the theme.

Pro Comparision

How do the pro versions of these two themes compare?

Both OceanWP Pro and Astra Pro have many great features and are easily integrated with most major plug-ins, builders, and systems. Of the two pro themes, Astra takes the edge again.

OceanWP does have some valuable extensions that the pro theme depends on, but since they are not built specifically for the theme, there is no synchronicity between updates.

The premium extensions that come with Astra Pro, however, were created specifically for Astra. This customization makes Astra plug-ins a more seamless fit and, more importantly, creates less concern over compatibility issues. The benefit of not having to worry about compatibility with every plug-in update with Astra is invaluable.

Comparing the two pro themes is not just about the features, though, cost is also a factor. As we mentioned above when looking at pricing specifically. Fortunately, Astra Pro is also the best financial decision since it allows for unlimited installations where OceanWP requires a license per site.

About Lori Ballen

I teach bloggers how to grow their blog, and make money through multiple streams of income. From affiliate marketing, to building courses, I share 7 income stream strategies through blogging.

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