The popular free Astra WordPress theme has just been updated to version 3.8.0, delivering faster performance on both backend and frontend, improving workflow to make it easier and faster to design a website while making design commands more intuitive and powerful.
Free Astra WordPress Theme
Astra is a free WordPress theme that has a rare five-star rating on the official WordPress theme website.
According to the Astra theme homepage, it is trusted by organizations like Stanford University and NASA and used by over 1.6 million websites.
Its popularity is due to the ease of design while being light on code to improve performance.
It’s designed to be SEO-ready right out of the box, including Schema.org’s structured data code built into the theme itself.
Astra also works well with all major page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Divi, Visual Composer, SiteOrigin, WooCommerce and many more.
One of the main reasons for its popularity is the ability to import ready-made starer templates that suit different industries and uses.
The free version of the Astra theme has been updated to version 3.8.0.
There is also a paid pro version of the theme and it has been updated to version 3.6.8.
Simplified design flow
The revamped Astra theme now features a simpler design flow that helps editors and designers make websites faster.
Thoughtful improvements to the Latest Posts block automate design features so they look right without having to worry about small design details.
Headers, link colors, and fonts all come with default states based on theme style settings.
The Pull Quote block and Quote block have also been improved, fixing a styling issue that kept text left-aligned even when the text in the quote was centered.
Astra’s announcement explained:
“Previously, when you moved the quote to the middle-centered or right-centered position, it always showed as left-aligned. This has now been changed and looks much better.”
More control over design elements
In addition to making certain style elements automatic, Astra now provides more freedom to change the appearance of the page design.
For example, the recently updated theme lets users change link colors, makes it easier to change margins and padding, and adds more control over borders so they can be styled based on width, the color and even the radius preferred by users.
Astra added the ability to disable the header area at the top of the page on a global/site-wide basis.
Design controls have been updated to make them more intuitive and easy to use. For example, drop-down controls are now available through button selection controls.
There is also a new way for publishers to adjust the default content width to the desired size by adding a filter to the child theme.
“…you now have better control over the sidebar and content layout with visual layout designs to choose from right in the block editor.
Page elements where the number of toggles have been reduced or will appear conditionally, which will load the page faster. »
Astra continues to focus on creating its theme faster than before. While the performance improvements may seem small, even small improvements can lead to more sales, conversions, and pageviews. It is therefore a step in the right direction.
The improvements made concern the backend for users who design and also the frontend where site visitors will have a better experience.
According to Astra:
“A study indicates that the use of CSS on your website is directly proportional to the speed of your website. The more CSS you use, the slower your website will load.
Since website speed is one of the main ranking factors, it is very important to minimize the use of CSS.
That’s what we did with the block editor. We used WordPress built-in CSS and reduced the use of CSS in the theme.
On the backend, Dynamic CSS has been reduced from 21.4 KB to 7 KB. Static CSS is reduced from 21 KB to 15 KB, and page size on the backend is reduced from 588 KB to 547 KB.
On the frontend, the CSS has been reduced from 9.77 KB to 4.44 KB and the page size has been reduced from 111 KB to 106 KB.
Other backend changes include moving font customization controls to React JS to make it faster to use.
Astra theme keeps getting better
The free Astra theme is trusted by nearly two million websites worldwide as it makes website design easy, especially with the built-in template importer.
With improvements in site performance and design features, Astra continues to earn the position of being one of the most popular WordPress themes in the world.
Read the official Astra theme changelog
Changelog for Astra Free Version 3.8.0
Read details of theme improvements
Improved block editor experience with Astra
Official Astra WordPress Theme Page
Astra by Brainstorm Force