If you had to make a choice in the Generatepress vs. Astra debate, which one would you go for?
Seeing that you’ve landed on this blog, we understand that the answer is a difficult one.
There are lots of factors to consider, such as your budget, needs, and blog itself.
Since we’ve used both themes, we will walk you through all the key features and discuss how they fare against each other so you can make better decisions.
Let’s dive in.
Generatepress vs. Astra User Base
Astra is a theme created by Brainstorm Force, the same company that develops popular WordPress products such as Schema Pro, Ultimate addon, Convert Pro, and WP Portfolio.
With more than 1 million active installations, an average of 5,000 daily downloads, and over 5,000 five-star reviews, it’s undeniable that Astra ranks on the top of the popularity list.
In fact, that’s a great achievement for a non-default WordPress theme and a milestone in WordPress theme history.
Unlike Astra, Generatepress is mainly developed by a solopreneur, Tom Usborne.
Since he was 11 years old, Tom has been creating websites and has more than a decade of experience in WordPress development.
According to WordPress.org stats, Generatepress has more than 4 million downloads, over 500,000 active installations, and an average of 1,500 downloads per day.
No doubt, Generatepress is one of the most popular WordPress themes in the market and a great alternative to Astra.
In terms of popularity, both themes receive great user support. But looking at the numbers, Astra stands ahead of Generatepress and has a larger user base.
Astra’s mission is to be your one-stop solution for all website design needs.
In its latest release, 3.9.2, Astra has improved the following areas:
- Woocommerce features
- A bigger collection of ready-to-go starter templates
- White label
- Integration with Elementor, Divi, and Beaver page builders
- More powerful, faster, and more organized customizer
- WPLM support for dynamic cart input
When it comes to features, Generatepress focuses on simplicity and stability to support other WordPress products.
The developers aim at making Generatepress compatible with the majority of WordPress plugins and page builders.
But this has come at a cost. Generatepress fell behind on unique features for the sake of simplicity and compatibility.
Currently, GeneratePress has improved the following features:
- A cleaner and more optimized base code
- Hooks and theme filters
- Page headers
- Sections design
- Page elements
Comparing both themes, Astra is certainly the winner. It focuses on delivering a one-stop solution to all website needs.
Although Generatepress’s premium version has done quite well, it does not match what Astra offers.
One of the best things about Astra is that there are a large number of pre-built sites in its free and premium plans.
It also works seamlessly with popular page builders like Elementor, Beaver, Gutenberg, WPBakery, Brizy, and Divi.
However, it is hard to know the exact number of Astra free starter templates, as there are overlaps in the themes available in the page builders.
For example, you will find the same site built with both Elementor and Gutenberg.
But according to its developer, there are over 280+ prebuilt demo sites in the free plan alone.
To access the starter sites, download the plugin from your WordPress admin plugin area and upload it to your sites.
Activate the plugin, and you’ll be able to browse through all the themes within your WordPress blog.
You can search for themes based on business category and whether they’re free, premium, popular, or most recent.
When you find a theme that fits your blog’s needs, click it to preview and customize the settings. On the last options page, you can then:
- Choose whether to import the theme customizer setting or not
- Import widgets
- Import demo content
- Share anonymous and sensitive data with the developer
After making your selection, click on the “Submit and Build My Site” button.
Your new templates will override any existing ones on the blog, and you can begin with full customization.
The thing about Generatepress is that there are no starter sites on its free plan.
However, you can build its premium versions with Gutenberg, Elementor, and Beaver builders.
You don’t need an account with either of these page builders to use the Generatepress starter sites. The only requirement is a Generatepress premium account, and you’re good to go.
At the moment, there are 92 Generatepress premium starter sites you can use to design and customize your website without any coding knowledge.
While it looks like Astra is the clear winner here, things are not as simple as that.
An experienced website designer can build identical websites using page builders with either Astra or Generatepress.
This is because both themes are compatible with the majority of WordPress page builders.
However, if you want to jumpstart your design project as quickly as possible with pre-built demo sites, Astra makes it easier and gives you far more options than GeneratePress.
With the WordPress native customizer, you don’t need to save and refresh each time you make changes to your website design. Instead, you can preview changes in real time from the customizer.
For example, this is what you’ll see when you install Astra for free and visit the options page from your WordPress admin area:
Here, you can install and activate plugins that further extend the functionality of your free theme.
For example, you can activate the Spectra page builder plugin to bring more design elements to your WordPress blog.
There are also links to specific customizer settings.
Another thing that makes the Astra customizer excellent is that it offers a robust and visually appealing user experience.
For example, when you select a layout for a single post page or custom page type, there are setting options available in the design tab.
You can also define settings such as spacing, font size, color, and container width.
This is what will show up when you install the Generatepress free theme:
As you can see from the image above, Generatepress tries to keep things as simple as possible.
It categorized its settings into four groups: site identity, color option, typography system, and layout options.
You can link directly to the specific customizer setting from the “Open options” button on the page.
For example, when selecting the header preset, you only need to make a selection from a dropdown list.
There are no additional settings for things like spacing, fonts, and color. You’ll be able to do that in the global setting option.
If you like to explore things and learn new ideas, you’ll love Astra’s approach.
It gives users more control, greater flexibility, and the option to make the theme completely their own, even when using the free version.
Its free plan is rather basic and doesn’t allow for absolute control over its themes.
However, if simplicity is more important for you than having more options, you’ll love Generatepress.
Still, if we have to choose between Generatepress and Astra customizers, it would be Astra for us because of its flexibility, ease of use, and greater control.
Stability and Performance
When it comes to performance and stability, which is better: Astra or Generatepress?
Turns out, both can make a legitimate case.
So, to make it a fair contest, we put both themes on a clean and new WordPress installation.
The test site has a published post, two live images, and no active plugin. And we didn’t import starter sites for this test.
To be fair, many variables would go against each other if we did. The site will become heavier, and it will be harder to judge.
We wanted to see how both themes perform straight out of the box on a clean WordPress blog.
Below are previews of our performance test from Pingdom and Gtmetrix.
This is where the Generatepress simplicity and light theme pay off.
As you can see, Generatepress has a slight edge over Astra in terms of page size: 37.4 kb against Astra’s 49.2 kb.
In terms of performance, they both score an impressive 100% and 98% respectively.
However, Generatepress’s LCP score is slightly better than Astra’s in Gtmetrix.
Support for WooCommerce
Astra offers dedicated WooCommerce add-on features that help you sell and manage your store more efficiently.
Aside from its WooCommerce-specific features, Astra also offers dedicated modules for Easy Digital Download, LifterLMS, and LearnDash.
In Astra’s 3.9.2 updates, most of the improvements focused on WooCommerce features. You can learn more about the updates on its change log page.
Here are some WooCommerce-specific features you’ll find:
- Infinite scroll – Products load until users scroll to the viewpoint
- Off-canvas sidebar – A sidebar filter that helps users find products quickly
- Dropdown cart – Shoppers can look at their cart from any page in the store
- Customized sales bubble – Grab user attention with a customizable sales bubble display
WooCommerce integration and add-on. You’ll find most of its store options under color, typography, and layouts.
But aside from its built-in WooCommerce function, Generatepress doesn’t offer dedicated features for WooCommerce.
However, it does offer a few cool feature, such as:
- Flash sale display
- Display product on image hover
- Product count display
- Product ratings
- Display the cart in the menu
- Distraction-free checkout page
While these features look impressive, they are not unique to Generatepress alone.
Astra is the undisputed winner if you want to start a serious eCommerce store.
It offers advanced and unique features dedicated to WooCommerce than what is available on Generatepress.
When it comes to third-party integration, Astra has a clear and flawless integration with Easy Digital Download, WooCommerce, LearnDash, and LifterLMS.
This means that with LearnDash and LifterLMS, you can build online course websites with the Astra theme.
On the other hand, you can sell digitally with Easy Digital Download and WooCommerce integrations.
Generatepress doesn’t clearly showcase what third-party integration service it supports.
The best guess is that Generatepress is compatible with well-coded plug-ins and the majority of page builders.
But, it doesn’t offer exclusive support for third-party tools, as described by Tom Osborne, who is the lead developer, in this forum post:
“GeneratePress tries not to integrate with any third-party plugins by default, as that is how bloat starts to creep into a theme.”
Once again, Astra is the clear winner. In today’s marketing world, there are too many tools to run a business, and having a system that allows seamless access to third-party features is vital.
Generatepress allows third-party integration, but it’s not as seamless as you’d expect, especially if you’re not a developer.
For paid users, both Astra and Generatepress offer premium support. You’ll get answers to your queries from different support channels.
However, Generatepress seems to have an edge here. Here’s why…
On the website, Astra has hundreds of help documents to resolve most issues.
There are also over 60 YouTube videos tutorial on how to use the Astra theme.
Also, there’s a Facebook group of over 48k members which serves community support for Astra users.
If you still can’t find the answer to your issues, you can submit a support ticket on the website and wait for a response via email.
What’s great about Generatepress is that it also offers an extensive library of help documents.
In most cases, you will get solutions to your query by going through the help content.
For community support, Generatepress operates a private Facebook group of over 9k members. But, only members can view the content.
If you prefer email support, Generatepress offers support via its contact page.
In addition, there’s a support forum that serves as a one-on-one help center. It’s run by dedicated support staff, and sometimes, you’ll find its lead developer answering questions himself.
Anyone can read the forum content because it’s set to public. Even a Google search for related topics might return pages from the forum.
Astra and Generatepress both offer great customer support where you can get help and quickly resolve issues.
However, Generatepress has a slight edge with its forum support.
Beyond getting help, the forum serves as a learning center for Generatepress users.
For this reason, Generatepress gets the thumbs up here.
Both Generatepress and Astra themes offer everything you need to build your website. However, they both have a few advantages over one another.
If you want to build a simple website, such as a portfolio, personal blog, or content-focused one, it doesn’t matter which option you take.
But for small businesses and solopreneurs with a demand for advanced website features, Astra makes the best choice.
Generatepress vs. Astra Pricing
Astra and Generatepress offer identical pricing options. Customers can choose between an annual or a lifetime plan.
Still, there are significant differences.
You have three different pricing for Astra:
- Astra Pro – $47 per yr or $227 for the lifetime deal
- Essential Bundle – $137 per yr or $677 for the lifetime deal
- Growth Bundle – $187 per yr or $937 for the lifetime deal
One advantage of Astra’s premium version is unlimited website usage. There is no restriction to how many sites you can use it with.
To access the premium starter templates, ultimate add-on, and WP Portfolio plug-in, you need the Essential Bundle plan.
The Growth Bundle gives you everything in the Essential plan. It also includes ready-made websites, with all the plugins required to build those websites.
This makes it a good option for agencies.
Like Astra, Generatepress also offers an annual and lifetime deal.
But instead of different tier plans, there are only two options:
- Yearly – $59
- Lifetime – $249
There are no feature advantages to choosing one over the other, except for yearly or lifetime access.
Unlike Astra, Generatepress has 500 website limits. If you’re an agency serving hundreds or thousands of clients, this could be a major issue.
There are several factors at play here, and they all depend on your needs.
If premium starter sites are part of your requirements, Astra offers that in its Essential and Growth Bundle.
Astra Pro is cheaper compared to the Generatespress annual plan, but it does not offer advanced features and premium site templates.
Final Thoughts About the Generatepress vs. Astra Debate
Both Generatepress and Astra are good themes for WordPress users.
But if you can’t decide which between the two you should go for, the explanation above should be a good starting point.