When it comes to building a website with WordPress there are so many options. You can go for a page builder like Elementor or choose a super customizable theme like Astra.
In this post I’ll explain the difference between these 2 and how to choose the best one for your needs.
First of all, just for you to know the main difference – Elementor is a WordPress page builder while Astra is a WordPress theme.
They also have Pro versions, if you need more customization options and advanced features.
Let’s dive into details and see the difference between these two.
1. Editing experience
Astra Pro is a highly customizable WordPress theme. It works in the native WordPress Customizer, which allows you to adjust your website in the front end.
Once you launch the Customizer (WP admin – Appearance – Customize), you’ll be able to adjust your website as you wish. You can customize your header, footer, typography, colors, sidebar, background and plenty of other elements.
Elementor Pro works in the front end as well. You only need to click on “Edit with Elementor” on any page or blog post to be able to adjust it. Once you’re in the edit mode, you can see all the changes in real time.
It offers you a set of predefined widgets which you can easily drag and drop on your page and edit them right away.
If you buy Astra Pro, you’ll get access to powerful features and integrations. Some of these are:
- Sticky Header
- Mobile Headers
- Page Headers
- Mega Menu
- Colors & Typography
- Boxed Layout
- Full Width Layout
- Fluid Layout
- Spacing Control
- Grid Blog Layout
- List Blog Layout
- Masonry Blog Layout
- Infinite Loading
- Mobile Header Designs
- Above & Below Header Content
- Custom Header & Footer
- WooCommerce options
- Display conditions
- Hooks & filters
- Custom layouts
Update: in January 2021, the team launched Astra 3.0 which has a header/footer builder. Now you can adjust your header or footer directly in WordPress Customizer. This is a free option.
This new option allows you to drag & drop different elements or widgets in your header, make it transparent or sticky, add your menu or phone number and even add multiple headers on your site.
In the Pro version you can add even more elements to your header like: 4 widgets, 3 HTML widgets, 3 dividers, language switcher, buttons and more.
The same options are available in your footer builder, including the ability to add multiple columns and choose different sizes for those columns.
The recent version of Astra Pro includes a new feature – call to actions (custom layouts). You can design and add them anywhere on your pages or posts. These sections can be displayed sitewide and multiple display conditions are available.
Custom layouts is one of my favourite features as it gives you plenty of new possibilities in terms of design.
You can add various elements on different areas of your website:
- Entire website
- Archive pages
- Single posts/pages
- All posts/pages
- Before or after header/footer
- Before or after sidebar
- Before, after or inside content area
- Custom placements
With the help of Hooks, you can create and place custom elements on on your website and even add custom code. This powerful option extends the functionality of Astra theme and is a must have for advanced users.
Update: in July 2022, the team released a huge update for Astra theme (version 3.9). They have worked on this major release for the last 6 months.
Astra 3.9 is the most powerful version yet. It focuses on 2 main areas:
- Improved Customizer
- Advanced WooCommerce Features
The new customizer has been enhanced and provides a better user experience, a smoother interface and more default options. It will be further improved in the upcoming releases.
This one is pretty impressive. We all know that by default, WooCommerce has certain limitations and requires lots of tweaks via 3rd party plugins or custom development.
The team behind Astra theme did a great job by creating and delivering those exact ecommerce features that shop owners need to improve the default shopping experience.
Here are some new WooCommerce options available with Astra Pro:
- New Modern design skin
- New design for filter panel
- Sticky filter sidebar
- Sticky add to cart bar
- 3 new gallery layouts for single product – large image, horizontal/vertical slider
- Payment methods icons and custom shipping text
- New layouts for product description
- New modern design
- Sticky totals sidebar
- Custom text for checkout button
- Slideout cart
- New modern design
- Skeleton loader
- Sticky order review panel
You can access all these preferences by going to Appearance – Customize – WooCommerce.
Elementor Pro is packed with an impressive set of advanced options. Here are some examples:
- 300+ Pro Templates & Blocks
- Custom Fonts & Adobe TypeKit
- Motion Effects
- Slides & Carousels
- Custom CSS
- Scrolling Effects
- Popup Builder
- Sticky Elements
- Social Buttons & Integrations
- Social Proof Widgets
- Action Links
- Form Widget
- Call to Action Widget
- Evergreen Countdown
- Theme Builder (header/footer builder)
- Dynamic Content
- WooCommerce options
The theme builder option allows you to create your custom header or footer and display it on the entire website or on specific pages (display conditions option). Learn how to add and edit headers and footers in Elementor.
You can also create diverse page designs and assign them to single posts, archive posts, search pages, and many more.
The latest version 3.2 of Elementor Pro includes a set of new premium features. Here are a few of them:
- Form submissions
- Paypal button widget
- Sticky layouts
Have a look at the full list of features here.
Update: in June 2022, Elementor launched their Cloud solution, with integrated hosting, Elementor Pro plugin and all its features on a pre-installed WordPress website.
This means that you now have 2 options to set up your site with Elementor:
- Self host – use a hosting provider at your choice and install WordPress and Elementor plugin on it
- Host with Elementor Cloud – get everything from Elementor (except the domain name). This includes hosting, Elementor Pro plugin, Hello theme, WordPress CMS – all pre-installed on your website.
Learn more about Elementor Cloud here.
Astra Pro is compatible with most popular page builders like: Elementor, Beaver, Brizy and Gutenberg.
On the other hand, Elementor Pro works with most of WordPress themes, but is not fully compatible with all of them. It depends on the theme provider and whether they made their themes compatible with Elementor.
4. Built-in templates and widgets
Depending on the plan you choose, Astra Pro offers you more than 100 starter templates, which are ready made page templates that you can import on your site and customize.
If you go for one of their Agency plans, you will also get access to Ultimate Addons for Elementor or/and Beaver (a set of predefined widgets to further enhance your website).
Astra theme provides plenty of starter templates for the native editor Gutenberg, so you can easily import a theme of your choice and adjust it directly in WordPress editor. You can import a complete template or just a page.
To benefit from these pre-made designs you need to install their Starter Templates plugin.
You can also use Gutenberg block patterns, which are pre-made sections that can be added to any page of your site. Once added, these sections will inherit the style of your current design (colors, typography, layout settings, etc.).
Additionally, to speed up the process of building new layouts, Astra providers more than 56 wireframe blocks. These are available within the Starter Templates option as shown below.
With Elementor Pro you’ll get more than 50 premium widgets on top of around 30 widgets (available in the free version). Also, you’ll get access to their Template Library which includes more than 100 pre-designed pages.
Update: Website kits are now available in Elementor Pro 3.3. This means that you can import a full website kit and launch a functional website much faster. Learn more about Elementor site kits.
There are 3 plans offered by Astra Pro:
|Astra Pro||Essential Bundle||Growth Bundle|
|$59 / year||$169 / year||$249 / year|
|All Astra Pro Features||All Astra Pro Features||All Astra Pro Features|
|100+ Free Starter Templates||150+ Premium Starter Templates||150+ Premium Starter Templates|
|One-to-One Support||One-to-One Support||One-to-One Support|
|Extensive Training||Extensive Training||Extensive Training|
|Unlimited Website Usage||Unlimited Website Usage||Unlimited Website Usage|
|WP Portfolio Plugin||WP Portfolio Plugin|
|One of the Following Addons:||Ultimate Addons for Elementor|
|Ultimate Addons for Elementor||Ultimate Addons for Beaver|
|Ultimate Addons for Beaver||Convert Pro Plugin|
|Schema Pro Plugin|
|All Future Plugins|
Currently, Elementor Pro provides 5 plans. This new plan structure was designer to cover a broader range of users: from website owners to agencies.
|$49 / year||$99 / year||$199 / year||$499 / year||$999 / year|
|For 1 Site||For 3 Sites||For 25 Sites||For 100 Sites||For 1,000 Sites|
|90+ Widgets||90+ Widgets||90+ Widgets||90+ Widgets||90+ Widgets|
|300+ Pro Templates||300+ Pro Templates||300+ Pro Templates||300+ Pro Templates||300+ Pro Templates|
|Theme Builder||Theme Builder||Theme Builder||Theme Builder||Theme Builder|
|WooCommerce Builder||WooCommerce Builder||WooCommerce Builder||WooCommerce Builder||WooCommerce Builder|
|Popup Builder||Popup Builder||Popup Builder||Popup Builder||Popup Builder|
|Support for 1 Year||Support for 1 Year||Support for 1 Year||Support for 1 Year||Support for 1 Year|
|Updates for 1 Year||Updates for 1 Year||Updates for 1 Year||Support for 1 Year||Support for 1 Year|
|100+ Website Kits||100+ Website Kits||100+ Website Kits|
|VIP Support||VIP Support|
|Experts Network||Experts Network|
6. Performance and SEO
It also has some cool SEO features like: built-in schema markup, built-in AMP compatibility, built-in breadcrumbs, optimized header tags and more.
Elementor Pro doesn’t have so many built in SEO and performance features, but it’s compatible with most popular speed optimization plugins like: Autoptimize, WP Super Cache, WP Rocket, Shortpixel, Imagify, etc.
Also, it’s compatible with most popular SEO plugins like: Yoast, Rank Math, All in one SEO, etc.
Astra Pro has the following integrations:
- Easy Digital Downloads
- Convert Pro
- Schema Pro
On the other hand, Elementor Pro has an impressive list of integrations:
- Campaign Monitor
- Adobe TypeKit
- Facebook SDK
The bottom line
Both products are great and super powerful. So, there is no perfect setup or choice.
If you like building websites from scratch and want a granular control over every aspect of your site, then Elementor Pro might be a great option.
If you want more built in options and like customizing an existing theme in WordPress Customizer, then Astra Pro is the way to go.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Absolutely, it works just fine with both free and premium versions of Elementor builder.
There is no need to use both of them (however, this is possible). If you like building things from scratch then use Elementor Pro. If you’re more comfortable customizing an existing theme, then go for Astra Pro.
Yes, it’s worth getting it, if you need more advanced functionality like: header/footer builder, form builder, WooCommerce builder, advanced animations, popup builder and many more.
Yes, it’s worth getting it, if you care about your site’s SEO, performance and need advanced options like: page headers/footers, WooCoomerce integration, white label, better typography, etc.
The Pro version of Elementor can work with almost any WordPress theme. Even so, it’s better to choose a fully compatible theme for the best experience.