Both Astra and Kadence are two solid themes for your WordPress website and are perfect if you’re just getting started and want a free but beautiful and functional theme. So, if you’re having some decision-making issues trying to choose between these two, this article might help. Let’s get right to it.
Astra WordPress Theme is a gorgeous theme that can be used on your portfolio, blogs, business, shops, and anything else. Brainstorm Force, the team behind Astra, did an excellent job on it, and the users agree. With more than a million active installations of the free version alone, Astra is the ultimate choice of many to completely transform their website in just the click of a button. Sooner or later, you will want to opt for the premium version to use the free extensions and additional features.
Kadence WordPress Theme might be relatively new but lightweight, flexible, and exceptionally customizable with a premium version with added goodies. Recently we covered a detailed review of Kadence theme which received unprecedented response from all readers.
The theme welcomes you with its bright colors and various visuals, which are inspired by the rivers and mountains of Montana – the State it is made in. The creators of Kadence made it in such a way that it will fit perfectly on your blog, shopping site, course portal, and a ton of other niches.
Astra vs Kadence Comparison Review
Every single feature these two themes have to offer is of no use if the theme itself is laggy and slow. So, let’s start this comparison with the most important factor of every WordPress theme – Speed.
Here’s the table with all the necessary data to determine which theme comes on the top as the fastest. The data below is the median of a total of 9 tests.
|Theme||Load Time||Speed Index||Requests||Size in Kb||Link|
As we can see, with the number of requests being low and total page size high, Astra seems to take 0.888 seconds to load the full page, while Kadence maintains the median load time of 0.837 while having a smaller page size and a higher number of total requests.
It is essential to consider the fact that Kadence provides more free features and loads faster than Astra. So it is clear who dominates when it comes to speed and performance.
#2. Theme Header
Header in Kadence
The Kadence theme has an inbuilt drag-and-drop header builder feature for Desktop and Mobile separately. It has excellent features or options like 3 Header Bars to activate and customize with various essential Logo Manager, Primary Menu, Search Bar, Header Button, Social Icon, Cart, and Custom HTML.
Header in Astra
On the other hand, Astra has a more straightforward header editor with three styles for Desktop and 2 for mobile, which is for free. In Astra Pro, you get three more options: Before Header, After Header, and Sticky Header. If you are one of the people who prefer to have a transparent header, Astra even has an option for that in the free version.
If I were to compare Astra vs Kadence in the header part, I would see Kadence having more options and features. Still, for some people, more features mean even harder to use, as for Astra sees that it has ways to make the WordPress Page Header transparent or more straightforward to use seems also an attraction point for some.
Footer has identical or the same role as the Header does. But what the footer does contain are the links, sponsors, logos, etc. These links and logos signify or give the viewers the feeling that the website is trustworthy and genuine. It also increases the percentage of conversion and returning visitors to the website.
Similar to the Header builder Kadence has a drag and drop feature for the footer as well. They have three-footer bars, and each one of them can be customized separately or independently. Like the header, all the widgets are available to be used on the header and the footer.
Astra theme does not have any drag-and-drop footer builder feature. They do have a lot of footer widgets in their premium Add on as previously mentioned. The footer editor that they provide in compensation is simple and has almost all the customization and essential features such as Custom Widget, Footer menu, etc.
In terms of the footer design, it’s a tie between both Kadence vs Astra. The reason for a tie is because Astra provides more customization options, while Kadence makes the customizations simple by having a drag and drop feature.
#4. Theme Layout
It’s always a good thing to have a proper or good-looking blog page and shop page. This reduces the rate of bounce back and helps to increase user engagement as well as conversion. So, let’s talk about the theme layout of both the themes.
There are many designing features in the Kadence theme for the blog page, Archive page, and Shop page. The user can control almost everything of the layout – Page Container Width, Title Look, Content padding, Feature image size, Breadcrumb Layout, Category Look, Meta, and everything else.
Astra has been one of the oldest themes out there. As it has been in the scene for such a long time, the users have expectations of Astra being consistent with being a great theme. The Astra layout allows the user to have access to everything that the theme deems necessary for the user’s use. Astra also does not allow all the functionality for free either.
In the layout part, it seems Kadence is much better than Astra. Kadence allows the users to access nearly everything for free, while Astra has a few features tucked behind a paywall.
#5. Widgets and Sidebars
The ability to customize Widgets and sidebars are very crucial for any theme. Having a wide variety of customizability also means that the users will have a lot of ease using the theme itself. The widgets and sidebars are mainly used for easier navigation and to make the user have a better experience while using the theme.
Kadence Widgets and Sidebars
There are two sidebars to use in Kadence without an off-canvas panel or extra widget panel. Both of these panels can be used separately. This independent use helps to create two different types of widget sidebar for different targeted visitors. There are no other widget options as most of the widgets can be used in the Header and Footer builder themselves.
Astra Widgets and Sidebars
Astra has one dedicated sidebar with an off-canvas panel that can be used as a secondary sidebar for navigation. Astra does not offer any header builder. But there are some other widgets like two after the header, two before the header, and two footer bar widgets that are available additionally. But the features mentioned above or widgets, or sidebars are only available for the Astra theme’s premium users.
#6. WooCommerce Features
WooCommerce is a plugin that makes eCommerce websites use WordPress. Thus, it is a critical topic to talk about for the integration and feature in Kadence and Astra.
Kadence WooCommerce Features
Kadence is a multipurpose theme and thus has focused on WooCommerce features as well. Kadence has various modules and components in the WooCommerce Customization menu, such as Payment Security Badge, Rating, Distraction-free checkout, and much more. These modules additive to a single product page, checkout page, and shop page help in conversion by giving a professional view of the website to the visitor.
Astra WooCommerce Features
Like Kadence, the Astra theme also focuses on WooCommerce designs and layouts that help users design an eCommerce website that looks refined and beautiful. But Astra does not have many additional features added to the WooCommerce page, such as a shop page or a product page.
The necessary buttons and controls such as Title, Pricing, Rating, Description, add to cart, and Meta is available. It is up to the user to choose to show these options or not.
In terms of the WooCommerce section, Kadence is still better than Astra. Kadence has multiple features to make the eCommerce website better and function appropriately than Astra’s features.
#7. Free Features
As we have been effectively talking about both Kadence and Astra. Kadence also provides the features that Astra provides. Furthermore, after looking a bit more into the matter, it seems that Kadence already provides the Astra pro features that cost you 50$/ year for free.
Here is a list of all the features that Kadence provides for free that Astra charges $50 from you:
- Top bar, main bar, and bottom bar for the header
- Sticky header (desktop and mobile)
- Transparent header
- Various page layouts
- Better typography
- More color controls
- Scroll to top link
- Footer widgets
- Page headers
- Spacing control
- Navigation menu
#8. Premium Features to be added to Kadence in the Future
The features mentioned above are for free users, but as we know, Kadence has a premium membership as well. In this membership, there are a few new features that are to going to be added or have already been added. The features are listed below:
- Element hooks and Filters
- Custom Layouts
- Additional WooCommerce options
- White Label (Future Feature)
#9. Additional Plugin Compatibility
Nowadays, most of the software allows the use of third party plugins to make the work of the users and consumers easier. In the case of Kadence and Astra, it’s no different. The use of Additional plugins gives the users the ease to feel that they are doing their work more efficiently and quickly.
Kadence theme integrates perfectly with Elementor builder plugin. It even comes with dedicated features for Lifter LMS and Learn Dash to improve the User Experience on your website. Several other dedicated features can help you improve the course page, Course list, Course designing, and many more.
Astra Pro also has dedicated features for plugins like Easy Digital download, Lifter LMS, and Learn Dash.
#10. Support and Documentation
Support is an area where many users believe both Kadence and Astra can work on. As Astra has multiple years of experience, you will likely find a specific type of template that suits your taste. This is mainly because Astra has been in this field of expertise for more years than Kadence. This allows the users to have a wide array of choices from which they are easily using a template that had been made previously. This also means that users can easily make templates faster and more convenient.
While on the other hand, Kadence might not have such a facility but what Kadence can offer is that they get back to the users within two to three days of creating a support ticket. This is especially great as in this current time; people value customer service a lot more than they used to in the past.
On the support and documentation side, it’s unfair to judge them both as Astra has a vast resource of years of experience while Kadence has only been in the field for a few months.
Nonetheless, Kadence is growing and has far better support than Astra. Only time will tell which one is better in giving their customers the quality service they deserve.
Astra vs Kadence – Which theme to Choose?
On an ending note, most of the sections have favored Kadence heavily over Astra. The main fact that everything that Astra provides as a premium is provided by Kadence for Free. Though, as said before, as time passes and Kadence gains more experience, we can be sure that Kadence might take the lead over Astra.
Astra has a lot of features tied behind a paywall. And in the current time when a theme such as Kadence is providing all the premium features of Astra for free, it’s hard not to have the thought that maybe Astra might need to change up how they provide its services.
So, as the final verdict, It seems Kadence is better than Astra, solely because, Kadence provides what Astra is providing in premium for free.