GeneratePress Vs Astra 2019

by Adam @ WPCrafter ย  | ย  Last Updated: June 30, 2019
Astra is a free WordPress theme that has excellent speed and simplicity. Pair it with Astra Sites (free plugin), and anyone can have a beautiful website with a few mouse clicks. There is also a Pro version available that makes Astra the perfect theme.
GeneratePress is a lightweight theme that can be extended with a premium pack of extensions. It will work with most page builders and has the most extensive documentation of any theme.
Current Pricing: Free to $59
Current Pricing: Free to $49

This is a very tough comparison because these are 2 of the very best themes for WordPress. For my sites, I choose Astra Theme, but it was a close call. Ultimately I like the direction Astra Theme is headed, how it was built from the ground up to be the fastest theme built for any page builder. There are many similarities, but I find that everything is easier to do with Astra Theme, but it's really hard to argue which is the better theme. At this point, GeneratePress has a larger userbase and much more documentation also v2 was just released with speed improvements. However, you are more likely to get new useful features from Astra because Tom, the GeneratePress developer, is too tight with what he will add to his theme. It's close, but I give the edge to Astra.

Astra Theme Pros

  • One Of The Fastest Themes Available
  • Over 100 Starter Sites (Most Are 100% Free)
  • Flexable Mega Menu Feature
  • Powerful Add-on Package
  • Extensive WooCommerce Support
  • Extensive LearnDash Support

GeneratePress Pros

  • Page Builder Compatibility
  • Many Customizer Options
  • Supportive Developer
  • Extensive Documentation
  • Large Userbase
  • Actively Developed

Astra Theme Cons

  • Loading The Customizer Is Slow
  • Lacking Header Style Options (Only 3)
  • Archive Page Styling Needs Improvement
  • Comments Need Style Improvement
  • Limited Blog Post Style Options

GeneratePress Cons

GeneratePress has been around for quite some time, and with that, there will be some things that don't make sense in the customizer. Mostly the way options are organized.Also, it was not initially designed to be a theme that works with any page builder, so with that there are options that you will not be using.My long-term concern is that the developer is not really a fan of page builders despite it being the main driver of sales. There are many things that would just be easier for the theme to have a setting for, but I fear the developer is overly conservative in what he will implement.

Ease Of Use

9.00/10
With all of the theme options in the WordPress customizer, Astra Theme is both easy to use and fast to get results.

Ease Of Use

10/10

Price / Value

10.0/10
Fantastic value for a multipurpose theme that can be installed on unlimited websites. Massive value with the free starter sites.

Price / Value

10/10

Support

8.50/10
Astra has received criticism with their support response time. However, I have not experienced a delay personally.

Support

10/10

67 thoughts on “GeneratePress Vs Astra”

  1. Hi, I liked your article. Do you use any cache plugin in your site? If yes, will you please let me know? I have found that the pages made with page builder are not much compatible for caching. Maybe I am wrong as well. I used wp rocket but there are problems, not with the design but the load time of different components. At first, an unprepared or messy version loads, then the original page. Sometimes the menu is not loaded properly, sometime sidebar loads later on. Thank! Would be great if you replied to my question!

  2. I need to develop a new website on Gutenberg editor. I am just wondering whether Generatepress is good choice for this? What are the top theme choices for Gutenberg editor?

    1. Both themes are great choices. I would personally prefer Astra because they also make the #1 most used Gutenberg addon, Ultimate Add-ons For Gutenberg, and they also have dozens of full websites built using nothing but Gutenberg, and they are all free.

  3. Excellent Comparison. Going to buy Astra via your link offcourse, However, I was wondering how you add these beautiful animated percentages.
    E.g Astra ease of use 100 percent while GeneratePress is 85. Would you like to reveal that to a noob like me ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. I used Beaver Builder for this page template and its a module in Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder. However, I am going to be changing it to Elementor soon and am not sure how I am going to get the same look.

      1. Disagree. Elementor Hello Theme is just empty canvas. It’s best choice if You want to use Elementor Pro for theming. I had many problem with Astra + Elementor when it came to detailed customisation, so I ended up with Hello theme which is super fast. My website has Google PageSpeed = 100%.

  4. Thanks for the review. I’m in the middle of comparing them as well. From first look Astra seems like a good choice and a great theme. But it appears the GeneratePress is less bloated code wise. For example if you view the page source – there is that astra-theme-css-inline-css section of code that consumes a big chunk of code. Did not notice that with GeneratePress – seems alot cleaner in that respect. What do you think?

  5. I am building a website for a friend, it will require woo commerce. Only 1 website, what is the big difference in the pricing that Astra offers? Is it just the additional items in the package and do I necessarily need those items?

    And one other question, I see woo commerce has templates/sites you can use, do those integrate into a site you build with astra and elementor? Those are the ones I want to purchase. We are making a decision this weekend, and I am confused on that pricing mostly.

    1. You could really get away with the free version of Astra. But the other Astra packages are bundles that include additional plugins.

      Now WooCommerce doesn’t have templates. They do have 1 theme but I don’t think it’s that great.

  6. To be more specific, what should we take in addition? Beaver Builder, Beaver Themer, Beaver Builder Theme (included in the 199 subscription)…not very clear for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hello, thanks a lot for this review! I have one question regarding Astra. When you acquire the theme, do you also need to take an extra license in case you wish to use Beaver Builder with? Or it is included…
    In case it is not mandatory, would it be recommended? Thank you!

  8. Great comparison Adam!

    Quick question – how do you build out these comparison pages? I love the side by side design. Do you use a page builder for these, or is there a premade template?

  9. Great article , I am going to use astra .

    By the way , how do you build this page ? I need the same for a news site .
    Thanks

  10. I am running tests on the Astra Pro starter sites, they load okay, averaging 1 or 2 seconds. But graded poorly. Is this something that is easy to amend once a clients site is built?

    I also tested Generate Press, the pages I built with Elementor Pro – and the template pages all loaded in under 1 second and were all graded A

    I also have Divi installed (inactive now)
    Earlier I tested pages loaded from the library and they loaded with equal speed or faster and were all graded A

    Performance grade
    E 59
    Load time
    1.34 s
    Faster than
    83 %
    of tested sites
    Page size
    835.4 kB
    Requests
    76
    Tested from
    Melbourne

    1. Those performance letter grades are mostly meaningless. What matters is the TTFB & load time. I have seen websites that take 15 seconds to load and are give A’s. I have seen websites load in half a second and received C grades. Those performance grades are so easy to game by theme authors.

  11. Adam, Elementor just released Elementor 2 Beta, and their Beta walkthrough video recommends Generate Press. It appears to me there is now significant overlap on custom headers with Astra Pro (which is not so straightforward for new users). So I’m wondering, if now, with the new features for Elementor 2 would there be easier, more intuitive, integration with Generate Press? What do you think? We want to not only quickly build great sites but also enable our users to easily and quickly build great sites.

    1. Personally, I don’t think so. Creating a custom head with Astra Pro is not that hard, just create a new custom layout, assign it to the header, choose where you want to use it (entire website), then click on the edit with Elementor button.

      I use Astra for other reasons.

  12. Hi Adam,
    I am in the process of designing an eCommerce site – there will be a fairly large inventory – almost 5000 items. As a newbie, I started out convinced that Divi was the way to go and then I jumped ship when I realized that if I ever needed to do some rebuilding, it would leave so much code behind. So, I pretty much decided on Elementor and OceanWP when I started reading more from you about Astra and it was looking better to me. At the same time, someone told me to check out the Flatsome ecommerce theme, which is almost exactly what I have been looking for. So, can I use Elementor Pro with Flatsome and WooCommerce? I’ve read this: “The developers of Flatsome Theme, (the best selling woocommerce theme on market), are planning to release in the near future a standalone builder of their theme. Basically they are separating Flatsome theme from their UX builder.” So, I really don’t want to make a big mistake right off the bat. Is it safer for me to use Elementor with Astra or can I assume that I can use Flatsome and it will be more customizable down the line? I am really confused about this. Can Flatsome work with Elementor? Thanks so much for your insight!

  13. Janice Morabeto

    Hi Adam,
    I used Generate Press with Elementor Pro to build a website using your tutorial. It turned out beautifully, but Generate Press stopped working and is now giving me some other problems. I haven’t found that the support is easy to get and haven’t had any luck getting any.

    I want to change to ASTRA for three reasons. 1. I am working with LifterLMS and they just gave it their blessing as a good theme to use. 2. The problems I am having with it. 3. Your recommendation and latest training video.

    Will changing themes cause me lots of problems? What should I look out for? Do you have a video on changing themes? I will certainly get ASTRA from you and look forward to your course.

    1. I am working on a video tutorial on how to change themes to Astra. It’s not that hard at all. You essentially need to reassign your menus and widgets. Then set your page builder built pages to full width.

      1. Hi Adam,
        Thank you very much for this. I’ll look forward to it. I did get Astra and working on the free version right now. Also, just last night I decided to go with In Motion for hosting per your advice. Been with hosfgator and am having so much trouble getting my SSL to work. They took my order over the phone but I told them your name and he promised to give you credit. Later today I’ll send you the receipt. Thanks for all you do. As an educator myself, I understand the commitment and hard work you put in.
        Janice

    1. I would encourage you to try the free version to see how options are organized in the customizer. Also in the premium version, some of the features are not as easy to use as they could be and will require some extra custom code. It’s still a great theme, well coded, but some things could be easier to use.

  14. Hi Adam,

    I am a confused buyer as well. I am in the way of starting a new online store and looking for the best solution for my professional shop! I have tested so many themes and plugins, and, with each and every test, I have got more and more confused!

    I have no problem of buying a ton of plugins, but, that would not be an optimized website! I have never found some forum or someone recommending a perfect combination for a perfect online shop!

    Could you please come up with some recommended, a to z (free/premium) bundles (combo) like:

    (Host) + (Builder) + (Theme) + (E-commerce) + (SEO) + (Security) + (Product Optimization) + (Analytics) + (Automation) + …

    Siteground + Elementor + Oceanwp + Woocommerce + Yoast + Sucuri + Woo Oroducts + Metrilo + …

    Thank you for the amazing guides and comparisons!

    1. Adam @ WPCrafter

      Well like anything, there are going to be many options to choose from. Your list there is a really good one. Looks like you have done your research well.

  15. Generate Press -5%?

    I am using Generate Press on my website, and I’ve found it capable of doing pretty much anything I’d want it to. Your article seems to suggest that Tom won’t implement feature X or Y because he is tight, but I have found GP to do anything that I have wanted. If it doesn’t come pre-installed, Tom invariably provides the code or plugin that adds the feature. I’ve found Tom’s careful decision making on avoiding the bloatware that plagues so many other themes to be a reason for the success and compatibility that Generate Press has.

    What does Astra offer that GP does not? The company that makes Astra, Brainforce often includes non mobile responsive features in it’s page builder add-ons like wpbakery and that was a big reason for me going with GP initially. Granted some of them look really nice, but some load with errors or slow down load time (especially on mobile), and that’s just not acceptable or responsible.

    I disagree with your distinction that Astra was built for Speed and GP was not. You didn’t exactly say that, but did directly imply it. Generate Press loads extremely quickly provided you properly optimize your site, and Tom has written various articles on how to do that easily. I think if you ask Tom, “Did you build Generate Press with a priority on load time?” He would of course say yes.

    All that said, I haven’t used Astra. I came to your webpage because I wanted to read your opinion on the differences between Astra and Generate Press. You didn’t do your readers justice in this article. If you have used both of themes extensively (e.g. +200hrs) development time, please provide your readers with some real information.

    You like Astra better, that’s cool. Tell your readers more. Why is it better? Because what you wrote above doesn’t support a conclusion that Astra is better.

    1. You are jumping to all sorts of conclusions here. Everything I said is 100% accurate and you make it out to seem that I am being down or harsh on your choice of theme to use. I have said why I prefer it, just because I didn’t write an encyclopedia on it doesn’t mean I am doing anyone a disservice.

      1. Adam,
        I do not know what is Paul’s agenda but we need more people like you that are unafraid of having a strong opinion. Too many companies are hiring bloggers to redeem their products when in fact they are not making their products as good as they could be. I have seen many of your videos and blogs and aplaud your effort to help us newbies.

    2. I felt compelled here to reply to Paul’s comment.
      I’ve been testing GP pro, with intention to use it on a couple of websites I’m building, for clients who are complete noobs.
      As I explored how I could do this or that in GP, I realized that my clients would NOT be able to follow those instructions and that the sheer number of choices, check-boxes etc, plus the explanation for each – would be too much for people who don’t want to spend hours or days to make a change to their website.
      For that reason, I started looking at alternatives and landed on this article, since I have Astra theme as one of the ‘contenders’ for the themes I use.
      So, I agree with Adam, regarding the RELATIVE ease of use – meaning when the 2 themes are pitted against each other.

      BUT, and it’s a BIG BUT, the real question for me – is how well a theme integrates with Elementor Pro.
      Like it or not, it appears that the Elementor page builder has effectively won the page builder war.
      I started using it ( the Elementor ), and it really is built properly – with consistent UX and ability to turn WP into a real CMS – with addition of custom fields and custom post types.
      So, for me – the criterion for selecting a THEME, then – is how well does it play with Elementor – and the less overlap between the settings of the theme and the builder, the better.

      1. I tend to think that Astra is the most page builder integrated because of 1 simple feature. And it’s because of this 1 feature that whenever you go to create a new page using Elementor if you notice Astra has the fewest options and that because Astra is aware of the page builder you are using and it and automatically makes all the needed adjustments for you. Personally, I really like that it does that. Some themes have 40 – 50 options there and its just cumbersome.

  16. Hi, can I make with both themes, without using any beaver/ elementor header layout plugins or fancy coding, a sticky header that shrinks when beginning scrolling down on the website? Thanks

      1. Thanks Adam, I just contacted Generatepress to know this.

        Besides, you also talked about the Genesis Framework theme, where more coding may be necessary for having customization that the 2 other mentioned before offer in their Customize editor. Now is there any plug-in I asked myself for Genesis that you know to have such layout customize options too without coding?

        Regards

  17. Pengedar Vivix Shaklee

    I’ll give a go for both

    i’ve been using lots of premium themes including Genesis, The7, DIVI,

    Finally i found Astra and Generatepress

    Both are awesome and can work with Elementor as well

  18. Hello ! And thank you for all the information you so generously share ๐Ÿ™‚ Warning : I am a confused newbie !
    I need to start a blog and shop site (the shop part will be in several months). I need it to be translatable as it will span Usa and Europe. I have been searching for themes for weeks now and almost bought at theme forest with hesitation considering reveiws..
    and then i found your site !
    Could Astra and Elementor be a good combination for a complete newbie like me needing a blog and shop site ?

    Thanks so very much for you suggestions ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Hi Adam, I have to replace Canvas. I have a WordPress.com site hosted by Blue Host. Can I change to Astra and stay where I am? Also, do you know if the WordPress.com premium plan would be possible with Astra? I’d like to have some of its features. I’m a beginner, but managed well with Canvas.

  19. Hi Adam, thanks for all the amazing info you give. I’m debating between these two to switch over to along with Elementor, from TA (and before that, Impreza with Visual Composer and before that TCB with Thrive themes).

    I checked out Astra’s roadmap on Trello and it looks like the two main functionalities I’m looking for should be added asap, blog layouts and woo compatibility and functionality. Have you seen any beta versions of these? Got any ideas or inside insight about how long you think it will be. I’m actually thinking I’ll probably want to sign up for your course and get the agency license. Those sites look great. Also, I’d love to chat about possibilities of making some funnel sets, kind of like Thrive Themes has as landing pages for Astra/Elementor, once I get rocking on those. I love designing templates. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I guess since I was a die hard Thrive fan, since the beginning, I’m also kind of curious how their new theme is going to be. Got any insight on that? Might it compare to Astra/Elementor or GP/Elementor?

    Thanks!!
    Jaya

    1. Happy to hear you are considering Astra for your website. I do know that the Blog Layouts extension is done and in beta testing. In fact, customers that email their support can ask for beta access.

      The WooCommerce customer is going to be 1 – 2 months. WooCommerce works fine with Astra, but if you want all the customization options without custom CSS, then you have to wait for the extension.

      The new Thrive Theme is going to take them some time to build. My guess would be 6 months to release. I think it is going to be hard to compare with Astra, but I do know they are going to try to make building a website with WordPress more intuitive.

  20. I checked their demo page again and have to say it was a mistake on my side. I have NoScript installed and one more script had to be allowed so that the demos become visible. You’ll understand that without any demo, just the text “No more sites!” visible on an otherwise seemingly blank page can irritate a visitor. After checking back because of your reply I now know I just had to allow one more script.
    So my criticism was unfounded. Apologies to the Astra team! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ahh, I was thinking you saw the sites, scrolled down and saw that message, then thought it’s not enough. Now your message makes sense, that you were not seeing any sites at all. Yea, but I am sure in the next 48 hours that message will change anyway. It could be worded in a much better way, and thanks to your input, it will be.

  21. Hi Adam,
    As for Astra, I considered buying a license, but all of a sudden, under the “Demos” menu, there is (and has been, for about a week already) just a very terse statement, “No more sites!” Nothing else, no explanation at all what that means for the different license packages. I guess that’s where they lost me as a potential customer. Also, very quiet website, no blog entry since September 22. But that’s just my personal experience, I know you are a big fan of them and I trust your judgement. Speaking of which, I just have to say I really, really like and appreciate your videos and other WordPress related contributions. Here’s a big thank you to you!

    As for the above subscription discussion, I agree with Scott, in many cases you are allowed to choose a payment once a year, without automatic renewal. I bought GeneratePress, paid for 1 year of support and updates and can choose to renew after one year. Same with Elementor, I bought the unlimited version and in my account, the expiration date (after one year) is shown and a button “Renew License” next to it. Like Scott, I prefer that to a subscription with automatic renewals.

    Keep up your amazing work!
    Thanks again,
    Peter

    1. Hmm, not sure how you are connecting the message at the end of the gallery of Astra Sites to be a statement that this is all that will be coming. In fact, in the last month, they added 3 – 4 new sites and they are consistently adding new sites each month.

      Regarding their blog being quiet, yes their last post was exactly a month ago, I would hardly call that being quiet. Also when you factor in that they have been celebrating Diwali, which can be described as Indias Christmas, I think they are doing incredible with announcements and new features. Despite all of that, if you look at the changelog, in the last month they have released 5 updates to the theme and 5 updates to the Pro extensions pack. The link to it is in the footer of their website.

      All that being said, I do think they could change the message at the bottom of the Astra Sites gallery and I am sure you may see that this week.

  22. Just to let you know. When you go to buy it, you are actually signing up for a yearly subscription. You have to contact customer support to remove the subscription. This is a little bit shady. It should allow you to buy just one year.

    1. Hey Scott, this is actually how it’s typically done with most WordPress products. There is nothing shady about it to me especially since Astra is doing a better job being transparent with their licenses regarding the 1 year of support and updates. Most products have that as a tiny line item if it is there at all. If you order Beaver Builder or Elementor, it’s the same things, auto-renewals. All the sellers use the sell e-commerce tool for selling their software.

  23. I have found your website and videos to be very helpful. I currently have Elementor Pro and Generate Press on my website. I am a published author and I am trying to understand why I may or may not want to switch to Astra Pro Theme. I guess your video tutorial is not up yet comparing the two. Obviously if you are using it on your stuff it must be special. In a nutshell, how would you compare them?

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