Astra vs. Kadence
Apart from the default WordPress themes, other non-default WordPress themes are rising in popularity. I am talking about Astra and Kadence. The two platforms have rapidly gained traction. For instance, in 2019, Astra was the first non-default WordPress theme to get to 1million downloads. In 2020, Kadence started getting prominence, and thus many people wanted to explore the unique features of each platform. I have the paid version for both Astra (AstraPro) and Kadence (Kadence Premium), and the following are my proven observations
Support and Documentation
One of the most significant considerations is the manufacturer’s Support you will receive when you are purchasing software. In case of any challenge, you should be able to go through the provided documentation (pdf, social media, or YouTube) to find ways to solve the anomaly.
Astra has been around for a while; as such, they ought to have better customer service. However, I would not say I liked their customer experience. Despite the fact that Astra has an extensive support team and is experienced, it will take you a minimum of 2 business days to get a response from them. For example, if your Astra theme caught a bug on Friday, and somehow you failed to solve it and decided to reach out to Astra Support, Tuesday is the earliest you can get a response. That said, the response might not be accurate, further increasing the lead-time, thus delaying your project. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate Astra support at 3/10.
Kadence has not been around for long. However, they have tried to provide excellent customer support in that short period. I am not vouching for them, but I have had an easy time dealing with Kadence than I have had to deal with Astra. For instance, they respond promptly to any challenge that a customer has from a real person. Reading the email, it has a personal touch, and you can feel valued as a customer. The maximum time I waited to receive a customer support response from Astra was 15minutes. This time can allow you to focus on your project and move quickly.
What is so unique about these different themes? It depends on what you are looking to have for your website and your project. The following are some of the various features that set these themes apart despite them serving the same purpose.
Both Astra and Kadence provide some quality features for your theme:
- Select free themes per industry
- Transparent header
- Sticky header
- Footer widgets
- Custom layouts
These are some of the features you get with Kadence. However, they are available to both Kadence and Astra. The only difference is that for Kadence, most of the features are free, and the customer support is prompt. On the other hand, you have to pay for all these features on Astra.
I am sure you have already seen what each theme offers up to now, and you are contemplating which one to use to make your WordPress website. Both themes have features that you can get for free. However, I had already indicated that Kadence’s free plan has many features that you can enjoy, unlike Astra.
Both Astra and Kadence have a paid plan.
Astra pro costs $50 per year with all the pro features alongside the free themes. It will cost $250 for a lifetime license and Support. You can use the features on as many websites as you like. In addition, Astra offers themes for resale, and you can acquire this package called Astra Mini Agency for $166 a year or $499 for a lifetime license. You will get access to all available Astra themes.
Kadence theme is one of the most affordable WordPress themes. To get the premium services, you pay $69 annually or buy a one-time license for $269. Therefore, you can get access to all Kadence starter templates and premium features and use them on unlimited websites. In addition, Kadence offers another powerful package called Kadence Bundle. The bundle costs $199 a year or $599 for lifetime licenses. However, it contains more features as listed below
- Kadence Blocks Pro
- Kadence Cloud
- Kadence Theme Pro
- Total access to all Kadence themes and Kadence plugins
- A lifetime of Kadence customer support
- Unlimited websites
- Unconditional access to future themes and plugins at no extra cost
- Kadence Shop Kit
Kadence has unique features such as cloud, blocks, and a shop kit to make your life easier. Therefore, the Kadence full Bundle might be the ultimate package if you are looking to keep on working on your project into the future.
One of the most significant features to consider is the speed of your website. In ecommerce, speed matters a lot; the customers need to get to see your products the moment they get to your website; otherwise, they will seek the services elsewhere. Therefore, I tested Kadence and Astra themes separately using the WebpageTest The results were not very much different, but I noticed Kadence was responding faster; it had a page size of 43KB and a load time of 0.837. On the other side, Astra slightly lagged with a higher page size of 50KB and a load time of 0.888. The results are also similar when you use another web speed-testing tool such as the Google Page Speed Insights However; those were free options for each theme; with most features in premium versions, the speeds might be different. Therefore, you might want to consider your options.