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Astra vs Kadence Which WordPress Theme is Better

If you have ever searched for “What is the best WordPress theme?” on Google, chances are you have seen the Astra theme come up. Astra, made by Brainstorm Force, just surpassed 1,000,000 active installs which is the first non-default WordPress theme to have done that. Crazy impressive if you ask me!

As many people did, I jumped on the Astra bandwagon in 2019 and switched all of my WordPress sites to Astra after I purchased Astra Pro.

However, in 2020, another theme called the Kadence Theme created by the Kadence WP team snuck its way into the WordPress world of themes and started gaining traction extremely quickly.

In fact, the Kadence Theme won my award for the best free WordPress theme in 2020.

The problem is that tons of people online were raving about the Astra theme, but a ton of people were also raving about the Kadence theme. So therein lies the question – which WordPress theme is better, Astra or Kadence?

I jumped on Google and unfortunately didn’t find a lot of information comparing the Astra and Kadence themes in-depth, so, what did I do? I decided to do it myself.

Use the Astra vs Kadence guide below to jump around as you need:

Astra vs Kadence Video Comparison

If you’re a visual learner, here is the full Astra vs Kadence video showing side-by-side comparisons between both WordPress themes using real-world tests:

Speed Performance

Let’s start with my most important WordPress theme factor – speed performance.

In order to do this test, I grabbed a brand new domain and hooked it up to a SiteGround GoGeek web hosting account. I did a fresh install of WordPress on the site and installed zero additional plugins (no caching or optimization plugins).

I then installed the free version of the Astra theme and ran 9 consecutive tests against a sample page using Web Page Test and recorded the median result of all 9 tests to get an accurate representation of how well the free Astra theme performs out of the box.

After that was done, I uninstalled the free Astra theme and installed the free Kadence theme and ran the same 9 consecutive tests on the sample page.

Web Page Test

Check out the Web Page Test page speed comparison of Astra vs Kadence below:

ThemeMed. Load Time* (s)Med. Speed Index (s)RequestsPage Size (kb)
Astra0.8880.800950
Kadence0.8370.8001043

* The median result of 9 total speed tests.

As you can see, there are several interesting findings from the page speed tests.

First of all, when comparing Astra vs Kadence page speed, they both had the same exact speed index of 0.8 seconds.

Secondly, even though the Kadence theme has one more request out of the box, it had a smaller page size (50kb for Astra vs only 43kb for Kadence).

Lastly, the free Kadence theme loaded faster (0.837 seconds) than the free Astra theme (0.888 seconds).

The fact that the free Kadence theme loads faster than the free Astra theme is extremely impressive because, as you will read below, the Kadence theme has way more free features than Astra provides.

How does the Kadence theme with way more free features load faster than the notoriously fast Astra theme? Simple. Kadence is an all-around better theme than Astra with cleaner code and had performance in mind from the beginning.

GTMetrix Speed Test

Want more proof? Here is a GTMetrix page speed comparison of Astra vs Kadence using the same setup as earlier testing a sample page:

ThemePageSpeed ScoreYSlow ScoreFully Loaded TimeTotal Page SizeRequests
AstraA (100%)A (95%)1.0 seconds51.8 kb9
KadenceA (100%)A (93%)0.6 seconds44.8 kb10

Astra Theme GTMetrix Page Speed:

Astra Theme GTMetrix Page Speed Cornfed Sample

Kadence Theme GTMetrix Page Speed:

Kadence Theme GTMetrix Page Speed Cornfed Sample

Similarly to the Web Page Test results, GTMetrix shows a total page size of 51.8kb for the Astra theme with 9 requests and 44.8kb for the Kadence theme with 10 requests.

However, the only number that matters is the fully loaded time. GTMetrix shows the Astra theme loading in 1.0 seconds and the Kadence theme loading in 0.6 seconds which has the Kadence theme loading 0.4 seconds faster than the Astra theme.

Google PageSpeed Insights Test

One more test and I’ll be done, I promise. Let’s do an Astra vs Kadence speed comparison using Google PageSpeed Insights.

For the Google page speed test, I’m only comparing the mobile result because mobile page speed is becoming increasingly important and is usually where many themes fail to produce fast speeds.

Here’s a table showing the Google PageSpeed Insight comparison between Astra and Kadence:

ThemeMobile ScoreTime to InteractiveSpeed IndexTotal Blocking Time
Astra991.8 seconds1.9 seconds30 ms
Kadence991.6 seconds1.6 seconds0 ms

Once again, the Kadence theme is faster than the Astra theme using Google PageSpeed Insights as well which makes the Kadence theme the unanimous winner in all 3 page speed tests.

According to Google PageSpeed Insights, the Kadence theme has a 0.2 second faster time to interactive time (1.6 seconds for Kadence and 1.8 seconds for Astra). Secondly, the Kadence theme has a 0.3 second faster speed index (1.6 seconds for Kadence and 1.9 seconds for Astra). Lastly, the Kadence them had absolutely zero total blocking time whereas the Astra theme has 30 ms of blocking time for a theme right out of the box.

Here are screenshots from the mobile page speed results of Astra vs Kadence using Google PageSpeed Insights.

Astra Theme Google PageSpeed Insights – Mobile:

Astra Theme Google PageSpeed Insights Mobile

Kadence Theme Google PageSpeed Insights – Mobile:

Kadence Theme Google PageSpeed Insights Mobile

Kadence vs Astra – Which theme is faster? Out of the box, the Kadence theme is unanimously faster than the Astra theme in all 3 speed tests using Web Page Test, GTMetrix, and Google PageSpeed Insights. This is especially impressive considering the free Kadence theme has way more features than the free Astra theme and is also much easier to use for beginners (more on that below).

Ease of Use

Okay, so now that we’ve seen that the Kadence theme loads faster than the Astra theme when you compare Kadence vs Astra in GTMetrix and Web Page Test, which WordPress theme is easier to use?

Want a little teaser? The Kadence theme is the easiest WordPress theme to use that I’ve tried since I started blogging in 2014, so there’s that. Not only does it beat Astra with its ease of use, but every single other theme I’ve tried including GeneratePress, Neve, X Theme, and Divi.

However, you want some proof. That’s why you’re here, right? πŸ˜‰ Let’s get into some specifics.

For these tests, I took 3 common tasks that most first-time website builders would undergo and measured how long it took me to figure it out. Keep in mind that no page builders are used for these tests.

The 3 common website tasks I measured were the following:

  • Build a header with a logo, main navigation, social icons, a CTA button, and a search icon
  • Set up an attractive blog post layout showing the title, last updated date, and post author
  • Customize a color scheme to match a company’s brand and apply it throughout the site

Header Builder

Building my site’s header is the first task I usually tackle when building a new website. So, let’s first start with building my header using the free Kadence theme.

I need a header with my site’s logo, main navigation, social icons that link to my social pages, a CTA button for users to sign up for a membership, and a search icon.

Let’s get right into it.

I import a basic starter site using the fantastic Starter Templates by Kadence WP WordPress plugin so that I have all the appropriate pages I want and then dig into the header builder.

Kadence Header Builder WordPress Customizer

With the free Kadence theme’s drag-n-drop header builder, I built the exact header I wanted in a matter of 10 minutes. It had every single element I wanted even in the completely free version of the theme.

I dragged the logo, primary navigation, social, button, and search elements onto my main header bar and tweaked a few settings to get the colors to match up with my site and it was done in no time.

Kadence Header Builder Ease of Use Test

Here is the final result with the Kadence theme after 10 minutes of playing around:

Kadence Header Test Sample Membership Site

Okay, so Kadence makes building a header easier than any theme I’ve ever used. I feel like it will be hard to beat.

However, Astra is super popular and loved by many. Let’s see if Astra holds up to the challenge.

I import a basic starter site from Astra’s starter library and go to the header customization. Right now, I have a site logo, main navigation, and a button. Pretty good start!

Astra Header Test Sample Membership Site

I look for social icons but I’m not seeing an option to add social icons to my Astra header in the WordPress customizer.

So, I jump on Google and look up how to add social icons to Astra’s header.

After some research, it sounds like there is a separate plugin called Astra Widgets that you can install to add social icons to your header.

A separate plugin just to add some simple social icons to your header? Not my favorite option, but let’s see how it works.

I install the Astra Widgets plugin and start trying to figure out how to add icons to my header. It’s a separate widget and surprisingly a lot more difficult than you’d think for some simple icons.

Astra Widgets Social Icon Header Setup

That seems way more difficult to add icons in Astra than dropping a “Social” element onto your header using Kadence, doesn’t it?

But then I run into a problem… I find out that I can’t have social icons, a button, and a search icon all together in my header with Astra. In fact, I can literally only have one of these items. I can choose my last header option to be either a button, my social icon widget, or a search icon. I can’t have all three. Big yikes, Astra.

My desired header I want for my website can’t even be created in Astra without a bunch of hacked-in code that no website beginner would know how to do.

Now, I know people will say “You can just use Elementor or a page builder!” No. I’m not going to install a completely separate tool that I have to learn and bloat my header code just to get my desired effect. You shouldn’t need a page builder to get the desired header you want which would only slow your site down more.

Kadence vs Astra – Which theme is better for building headers? Kadence by a mile. Kadence is better than Astra in every single way when it comes to building your website’s header. Kadence offers a beautiful, easy to use header builder with more free elements than most paid WordPress themes offer.

Layout Customization

For the next test, I’m going to dig into the layout customization options between Kadence and Astra.

The ability to easily change your site’s layout around to whatever you need is extremely important for a WordPress theme. The more layout customization options, the more various sites you can build without needing a page builder.

The example layout I want to design is a typical blog layout with an attractive page header for the post title and meta information. Then, for the content, I want a content area of around 800px with a sidebar area on the right that is exactly 300px wide at all times (when showing) in order to comply with Google Adsense ad policies or another ad management company such as Mediavine.

Let’s see how easy it is to build with both the Astra and Kadence layout customization controls.

**Note: For these tests, I am using Astra Pro with every module enabled, so I’m paying $50/year for the Astra options you see. I am using the completely free Kadence theme, so I’m paying $0 for the Kadence options you see. Therefore, Astra should be much better. Hint: It’s not. πŸ™‚

I jump right into the Single Blog Post customization options for each theme.

Immediately I notice a number of things. Astra’s options seem very bare bones. I have several options for the structure of my blog post layout and my meta info, but all I can do is drag and drop them to switch the order and show/hide each option.

However, Kadence already has a plethora of options shown to me right off the bat. There are much more attractive layout options, the same drag and drop functionality for meta info with the ability to show/hide each element. As an added bonus, I can also expand each element and gain access to another array of options to fine tweak settings.

Astra Single Post Layout Options:

Astra Theme Single Post Layout Options 1

Kadence Single Post Layout Options:

Kadence Theme Single Post Layout Options 1

The header section I ideally want to build would contain the post title, the post category, the author, the last updated date (not the last published date), and the number of comments on the post.

It would be a bonus if I could include the author’s profile image so others can put a face to a name along with the ability to add a label before my last updated date such as “Updated on {date}”. I want it displayed in an attractive way that isn’t like every other boring blog.

I go to work and begin building a header section for my blog posts using both Kadence and Astra.

Kadence Single Blog Post Meta Options

If you extend the Meta section in the Kadence single post layout section, you can see the vast array of extra options that you get that Astra does not come with.

Even the two bonus features that I was hoping for are included above. The first one is being able to turn on the author’s profile image and add any label you want. The second one is having the option to turn on the last updated date instead of the published date.

I switch the toggle off for Show Date which turns off the published date and then I turn on the toggle for Show Last Updated Date which then gives me the last updated date. I can also put whatever label I want before the date, so I enter “Updated on“.

When I try to do this with Astra, I have a much harder time. First of all, I can’t show the author’s profile image at all.

Secondly, Astra doesn’t even give you the option to show the last updated date directly through the WordPress options. You can show it, but you have to use custom CSS to hide the published date and show the last updated date.

What?! Astra, one of the most popular themes to ever hit WordPress, can’t even natively show the last updated date through the WordPress customizer without using CSS? πŸ˜‚

To make matters worse, you can’t add any label to your date such as “Updated on” without tweaking theme PHP files in your child theme. Nothing about that is beginner-friendly.

With the free Kadence theme options, I find out that it’s easier than ever to create the exact blog header layout I was hoping to achieve.

In fact, I built the exact header section that I use for blog posts on Start Blogging 101 with Kadence. Once again, it took me 10 minutes to build my desired blog post header which looks way better than any other generic header from other free WordPress themes.

Kadence Blog Post Header Layout

In Astra, I can’t even figure out how to make the same blog post header section without installing a page builder. Even if I turn on Astra Pro which costs $50/year, I still can’t build a header like Kadence offers. Yet, the Kadence header came completely free without spending money on any pro features.

I spend hours trying to figure out my header using Astra and eventually settle with a very basic blog post header section.

Astra Blog Post Header Layout

Now let’s move on to the sidebar. Your sidebar can actually be a really powerful tool when paired next to your blog content. It can hold “About Me” sections, newsletter subscribe signups, related posts, blog categories, affiliate banners, ads, and much more.

One issue I ran into when my sites were running Astra was that I needed a sidebar that stayed fixed at 300px wide while it was showing. I needed this to comply with Mediavine ad policies. Mediavine is an ad management company similar to Google Adsense (but infinitely better than Google Adsense with insane revenues).

Let’s take a look at the sidebar width options for Astra and Kadence.

Astra Sidebar Width Options:

Astra Sidebar Width Options

Kadence Sidebar Width Options:

Kadence Sidebar Width Options

As you can see from Astra’s sidebar width options, there isn’t really much of an option at all. You can specify what percentage (%) of your content that you want your sidebar to take up. This is very nice for responsive screens for tablets and desktop. However, there’s no way to set a fixed width of 300px for the sidebar in Astra without more advanced custom CSS that I had to write. Without figuring that out, I wouldn’t have been able to run ads on my site.

When I discovered Kadence, I wondered if they had more options for sidebar widths to choose from. Sure enough, as you can see in the image, there’s several options to customize the sidebar width however you want. You can choose pixels directly from the dropdown and specify 300 and voila! In a few seconds, I had a 300px fixed width sidebar which allowed my ads to run perfectly. Huge win for Kadence once again.

Astra vs Kadence – Which theme has better customization options? The Kadence theme not only has significantly more layout options than Astra but also is much easier to use and figure out. You can achieve blog post layouts similar to those built with page builders quickly and easily. Also, Kadence puts the cherry on top by allowing you to show the last updated date for blog posts, include labels on your author name and dates, and much more without having to add additional CSS or tweak any theme PHP files.

Color Customization

My third and final test to determine ease of use is a color customization test. If you’re a new website owner, another one of the first things you should do is determine a color scheme to match your brand or company’s colors.

Once you have established a color scheme or color palette, you can then start applying colors throughout your site so that your header, content, footer, links, and CTA (call to action) buttons all flow together nicely which helps boost conversions and sales.

For this test, I’ll be digging into the color customization options for both Astra and Kadence and see which theme allows for better and easier color customization that can then be applied throughout my site.

**Note: I am using Astra Pro with the “Colors & Background” module activated which costs $50/year and I’m using the free version of the Kadence theme for these tests.

Astra Pro Color Customization Options:

Astra Pro Theme Color Customization Options

Kadence Color Customization Options:

Kadence Theme Color Customization Options

As you can see from the Astra vs Kadence color options comparison, the two themes handle theme colors pretty differently.

Actually, the way Astra handles colors is very similar to what I’ve experienced with any other WordPress theme. There is an array of colors for the theme color, link colors, link hover colors, and so on. Pretty basic.

Kadence, on the other hand, approaches colors in a completely new, intuitive way. Kadence offers a global color palette where you specify your colors and those global colors are then linked throughout your theme.

If you want to learn how to use the Kadence global color palette to supercharge your brand, make sure to check out my detailed tutorial. The global color palette is an incredible feature that I’m surprised other themes haven’t tried up to this point.

You specify your theme colors, text colors, and then background colors. In the Kadence image above, do you see the Globe icon over the Site Background and Content Background colors? That means that the color chosen is linked to the global color palette. Then, if you ever decide to change your theme colors, that color is changed in all of the globally linked areas which saves tons of time and headaches of going through and changing colors.

Obviously, every color in your theme doesn’t need to be globally linked. You can choose new colors that aren’t globally linked in pretty much any area of your website, but having globally linked colors saves website creators a lot of time.

When building a site through Astra and Kadence, I spent noticeably more time with the Astra theme. I had to continually set colors throughout my theme, copying hex or RGB values all over each area of my site. With Kadence, I set individual colors in some areas of my site, but once I had my global color palette set, it automatically went and updated those areas in my site without me having to do anything.

Astra vs Kadence – Which theme is better for color customization? The Kadence theme includes a new, intuitive global color palette that brings a whole new level to color customization. Therefore, the Kadence theme offers better color customization options than Astra which will allow you to spend less time setting up your site and more time on making content.

WooCommerce Integration

If you run a WordPress website running WooCommerce, you’re probably wondering whether the Kadence theme or the Astra theme has better integration options with WooCommerce.

To start out, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the WooCommerce Single Product options for both the Astra and Kadence theme:

Astra WooCommerce Single Product Options:

Astra WooCommerce Single Product Layout Options

Kadence WooCommerce Single Product Options:

Kadence WooCommerce Single Product Layout Options

Once again, take a look at the difference between the product elements. The Kadence theme offers noticeably more WooCommerce product elements than the Astra theme.

Not only does Kadence offer all of those additional elements, but they also offer drop-down arrows on several of the elements which open up a drawer of additional customization goodies.

Oh, and I forgot to mention one tiny little detail again. I’m using the $50/year Astra Pro add-on for this comparison and the completely free version of the Kadence Theme and the Kadence Theme still has way more options than Astra. Have I mentioned how amazing the Kadence theme is yet? πŸ™‚

For comparing the WooCommerce integration for Astra vs Kadence, I imported a demo WooCommerce site for each theme and played around with the given options.

Here’s an example of a single product page for both Astra and Kadence:

Astra WooCommerce Single Product Overview:

Astra WooCommerce Single Product Overview

Kadence WooCommerce Single Product Overview:

Kadence WooCommerce Single Product Overview

Looking at each of the single product overviews, it’s immediately clear which one I prefer. The Kadence theme product page looks way more professional right off the bat. It includes icons and messaging for satisfaction guaranteed, no hassle refunds, and secure payments. The Astra version just looks… boring. There’s hardly anything to it.

Not only that, but the Kadence product page also includes a really attractive Guaranteed Safe Checkout box with SVG images (much faster loading than regular images!) of the credit cards your site accepts. Naturally, of course, all of these options can be customized in Kadence along with turning on or off different payment options.

Kadence WooCommerce Free Payment Credit Card Options

You can choose a customizable icon for your features, toggle on/off various payments including Stripe, and also choose to show grayscale versions of the payment methods if you want the colors to be more neutral. All for free.

There are several more pages of options for WooCommerce, but trust me when I say that Kadence offers many more WooCommerce options than Astra. Actually, let me rephrase that. The free Kadence theme offers more than the Astra Pro WooCommerce add-on which costs $50 per year. So, save some hard earned cash and give the free Kadence theme a try to see for yourself.

Here’s one of those moments where the host on TV pauses and says “Wait! There’s more!” But for real. If you are impressed with the number of free options the Kadence theme provides for WooCommerce, then you’ll be ecstatic to know that there are some insanely awesome premium features included with the Kadence Pro Theme.

These options are discussed more in my Kadence theme overview article, but here’s a little sneak peek of the premium WooCommerce options included with Kadence Pro:

  • Quick view for product archives
  • Custom shop page that can be built with Gutenberg, Kadence Blocks, or your page builder (a groundbreaking feature that no other themes have done)
  • AJAX add to cart for single product page
  • Sticky add to cart at the top of the page as the user scrolls
  • Auto open side cart when product added
  • Shop toggle widget area

Astra vs Kadence – Which theme has better WooCommerce integration? The Kadence theme by far. The free version of the Kadence Woocommerce integration already has a number of advantages over Astra, but with the additional WooCommerce features that Kadence Pro offers, Kadence eats Astra for breakfast.

Free Features

I’ll make this section quick, but I think it’s important to write out just to see how many features Kadence offers for free.

If you purchase Astra Pro for $50/year, you get access to a list of Astra Pro features. The majority of these features are listed below.

What’s crazy is that ALL of the following Astra Pro features listed below are features that Kadence offers 100% free with their free theme:

  • Top bar, main bar, and bottom bar for the header
  • Sticky header (desktop and mobile)
  • Transparent header
  • Various page layouts
  • Better typography
  • More color controls
  • Scroll to top link
  • Footer widgets
  • Page headers
  • Spacing control
  • Navigation menu

Imagine paying $50 every year when you could get all of these Astra Pro features for free simply by switching to Kadence.

However, the free features that come with the Kadence theme don’t end there. In fact, check out the Astra vs Kadence free feature comparison table below where I list all of the features that come completely free with the Kadence theme.

Astra vs Kadence Free Features Comparison Table:

Free FeaturesAstraKadence
Sticky header (desktop)β¨‰βœ“
Sticky header (mobile)β¨‰βœ“
Sticky sidebarβ¨‰βœ“
Transparent headerβ¨‰βœ“
Various page layoutsβ¨‰βœ“
Better typography optionsβ¨‰βœ“
Global color paletteβ¨‰βœ“
Scroll to top linkβ¨‰βœ“
Footer widgetsβ¨‰βœ“
Page header layoutsβ¨‰βœ“
Navigation menuβ¨‰βœ“
Author bio boxβ¨‰βœ“
Related blog posts widgetβ¨‰βœ“
Lightbox for imagesβ¨‰βœ“
Locally host Google fontsβ¨‰βœ“
CSS Pre-loadβ¨‰βœ“

Astra vs Kadence – Which theme has more free features? There’s no surprise here based on the previous answers, but Kadence blows Astra out of the water when it comes to free features. In reality, Kadence offers more free features than all of the top themes out there right now and includes more free features than most paid themes offer.

Premium Features

Here are the following Astra Pro features that are not covered by the free Kadence theme, but all of these are included (or coming) with Kadence Pro:

  • Element hooks and filters
  • Custom layouts
  • Mega menu
  • Additional WooCommerce options
  • White label (coming soon!)

As you’re probably aware by now, though, the Kadence Pro features don’t end there. Check out the Astra Pro vs Kadence Pro paid features comparison table below:

Astra Pro vs Kadence Pro Paid Features Comparison Table:

Paid FeaturesAstra ProKadence Pro
Element hooks and filtersβœ“βœ“
Custom layoutsβœ“βœ“
Mega menuβœ“βœ“
Fixed elementsβ¨‰βœ“
Automatically expiring elementsβ¨‰βœ“
20 additional header builder elementsβ¨‰βœ“
Custom WooCommerce shop pageβ¨‰βœ“
Sticky add to cart bannerβ¨‰βœ“
Header/footer scripts in customizerβ¨‰βœ“

I go into these Kadence Pro features more in my Kadence theme overview article if you want to read more.

Not to mention, the Kadence theme has blown away the Astra theme in every one of my tests up to this point including being faster, easier to use, and having better WooCommerce integration.

Astra vs Kadence – Which theme has more paid features? The Kadence theme offers more paid features for the money than the Astra theme. Not only does the Kadence theme include additional paid features, but Kadence Hooked Elements (the equivalent of Astra Custom Layouts) is way more intuitive and more fully-featured, so you will be able to build better websites faster. The Kadence Pro theme is easily the most powerful WordPress theme on the market right now.

Support and Documentation

A WordPress theme would not be successful without fantastic support and documentation, right?

Well when it comes to Kadence vs Astra support and documentation, this is admittedly an area where both themes could make improvements.

Then again, I have experienced support from GeneratePress and that’s a support level that every WordPress theme should strive for. I have contacted the GeneratePress support team a few times late at night and received a response from a real person within 10 minutes. Impressive.

That all being said, considering Astra has been around for years, their support and documentation are as mediocre as it gets. Astra gets a solid 5/10 for support and documentation.

I have contacted Astra’s support team several times asking how to implement something and waited an average of 2 business days for a response. That’s unacceptable when you’re supposed to receive “priority support” for purchasing Astra Pro. Then, when they did respond, it wasn’t even a solution to my problem and something I had already tried. Obviously, YMMV.

As far as Kadence documentation goes, it’s a bit unfair to judge this right now since the Kadence theme is only a few months old. Therefore, there is very little actual documentation around the Kadence theme right now and so I have to rate Kadence documentation at 4/10 at the current time. However, their main Kadence WP site is currently being redesigned and much more documentation around the Kadence theme will be coming in the following months in which case I will change my rating as more gets added.

Kadence support is better than Astra support right now and is rated 7/10 currently which is honestly impressive considering Kadence’s support team is smaller than Astra’s. I always receive a faster response from Kadence than Astra and, better yet, I have received actual solutions to my issues.

The Kadence team doesn’t yet have the resources that the Astra team has, yet they still provide better support and they are growing so I’m willing to bet their support will only get even better with time.

Kadence vs Astra – Which theme has better support and documentation? This is a wash. Both themes could make improvements here. Right now, the Astra theme has more documentation because it’s been around much longer than the Kadence theme, but the documentation is still not great compared to a theme like GeneratePress. Kadence offers better support than Astra and their support is expected to get better as their team grows.

Pricing

Whew. By this point, you have now seen what both the Kadence theme and the Astra theme have to offer and have hopefully figured out which theme will be better for building your WordPress sites. However, the big question – what does each theme cost?

Well, both Astra and Kadence each have a free theme option that will cost you nothing. That being said, there’s a reason why the free Kadence theme won my award for the best free WordPress theme for 2020.

The completely free version of the Kadence theme offers more premium options than most paid WordPress themes do. It’s insanely impressive what you get for free with the Kadence theme. If you’re on a budget and want a free theme, it’s a no-brainer to go with Kadence over Astra.

Now, let’s go over the pricing for the paid themes for both Astra and Kadence.

Astra vs Kadence pricing comparison table:

Pricing PlanAnnual*Lifetime*
Astra Pro Theme$50$250
Kadence Pro Theme$59$229
Astra Mini Agency$169$499
Kadence Membership$139$489

* Prices may vary.

Astra Pro costs $50 per year or $250 for a lifetime deal. This includes all the Astra Pro features, free starter templates, and you can use Astra Pro on unlimited websites.

Kadence Pro costs $59 per year or $229 for a lifetime deal. This includes all the Kadence Pro features, free starter templates, and you can use Kadence Pro on unlimited websites.

As for Kadence, easily the best bang for your buck comes by buying a Kadence Membership. Why? Because the Kadence Membership includes every single theme and plugin they currently offer (including Kadence Theme Pro) plus any future ones they ever create along with unlimited website use, starter templates, and support.

Here is a condensed list of features offered with a Kadence Membership:

  • Use on unlimited sites
  • LIFETIME support and updates
  • Kadence Theme Pro
  • Kadence Blocks Pro
  • Kadence Woo Extras
  • All themes and plugins
  • Access to future themes and plugins (huge new plugin release coming in November 2020)

The Kadence Membership costs $139 per year or $489 for a lifetime membership*. Prices may vary.

Thankful Sale

Kadence currently has a Black Friday sale which has the Lifetime Kadence Membership priced at $399 which is the lowest price it will ever be. All other Kadence products are discounted as well. Discount applied at checkout.

Now, this may seem like Astra offers the better deal here, but not so fast.

The Kadence Membership includes the Kadence Pro theme along with Kadence Blocks Pro (and many other plugins).

Mark my words. With the coming updates through the year 2021, the Kadence Pro theme combined with Kadence Blocks Pro will be a more powerful combo than any WordPress theme has ever offered including groundbreaking features that have never been seen before.

Kadence Pro provides infinitely more value than Astra Pro. In fact, Kadence Pro + Kadence Blocks Pro will allow you to ditch your page builders that you’ve been using. Just ask anyone who has switched from Astra and Elementor to using Kadence and Gutenberg already!

Astra vs Kadence – Which theme offers more value? Even though the Astra Pro theme costs around $50 per year or $250 for a lifetime membership and the Kadence Membership costs $139 per year or $489 for a lifetime membership, the Kadence Membership offers significantly better value. The Kadence theme is faster, infinitely easier to use, offers much better customizations for your site layout and colors, better WooCommerce integration, and tons more. Plus, you get access to Kadence Blocks Pro to help you ditch your page builder. I was putting way too much time into issues when my sites were running Astra and I could never achieve the look I was going for. That all changed when I switched to Kadence.


So there you have it – a detailed comparison of Astra vs Kadence all based on personal experience with both themes. If you’re a dedicated Astra user, believe me, I’ve been there.

I was all aboard the Astra train in 2019 when its popularity was spiking like crazy. I switched all my sites over to Astra. However, I only kept the Astra theme for less than a year because I was immediately hooked when I saw the Kadence theme and all its benefits.

Call me a huge Kadence fanboy because it’s true. Kadence is better than Astra in every single way and hopefully this post helps open your eyes to the possibilities you will be able to achieve with Kadence.

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30 Comments

  1. I completely agree with most of your claims as I also recently switched from Astra to Kadence after watching Adam’s recommendations on his YouTube channel. I particularly prefer how my website looks on mobile on Kadence (With the sticky and transparent header) compared to that of Astra that doesn’t even have such options in the Pro plan. My only issue with Kadence is that of cost for the PRO feature. I think the price is on the high side. Other than that, I’m good with Kadence for good.

    1. Hey Destiny! You’re one of the many people who has recently switched from Astra to Kadence, and I’ve heard nothing but good things from people who have switched over. I checked out your site and really dig the sticky and transparent header! Isn’t that feature awesome? All of that in the free theme. Having a sticky, transparent header is almost always a paid feature on WordPress themes. The Kadence Membership is on the higher side compared to Astra, but the amount of time I’ve saved designing my site with Kadence is already worth the money I’ve put in. Plus, I’m really glad Kadence offers a lifetime deal so I can pay once and have the theme forever. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Thanks Jake great article, I do agree with all the points, especially talking about the header builder, woocommerce and single post.
    By the end of November I need to decide keep paying Astra Pro or move to Kadence.

    1. Hi Miguel! I appreciate the compliment, glad you enjoyed the article. Yeah, the Kadence header builder is a killer feature that has already saved me hours of time being able to drag and drop elements onto my header. You’ll have to let me know what you end up doing by that time. If Astra Pro is working out for you and you’re happy with it, no need to change. However, the Kadence theme is being updated very quickly with more features each week. The Kadence Pro beta was just released for members as well and I’ve played around with it… the “wow” factor is unreal. I can’t wait for the pro version to officially be released!

  3. Thank you for the breakdown and listing the differences. I’ve asked in several FB groups which one and why they think their choice is better, but nobody would step out and give an honest opinion.
    -Scot

    1. Hey Scot! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I wish I could say that I love Astra still, but I got so frustrated trying to get my site to look the way I wanted. I switched my entire site from Astra over to Kadence in a matter of 2 hours. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to design my site the way I wanted entirely with the free version of Kadence.

  4. Hi Jake,
    Thank you for this great and clear article.
    Do you know if Kadence is AMP compatible with its free version ? If not is this a feature coming with Pro version ?
    Regards Xavier

    1. Hi Xavier! I’m glad you enjoyed the article πŸ™‚ Kadence does have a plugin that provides support for AMP, although it isn’t free. You can find the Kadence AMP plugin here. However, if you own a Kadence Membership, you get all of their plugins that they offer included with the membership. Hope that helps!

  5. Hey,

    Really well done! I’m curious and you can email me directly if you prefer, if you took a look at Neve and what you liked/didn’t like.

  6. We have an e-commerce site built on the Shoptimizer theme which is Elementor based. I really like it but feel it’s time to look for a theme that is faster.

    How is Kadence with Mega Menus?

    1. Hey Sean, thanks for reaching out. Mega menus will be coming in Kadence real soon (expected release is September 8, 2020). The way it will work is you will create your mega menu using Elements. You will be able to create multi-column menus with icon items, etc. Then, you will hook your menu element into your menu once Kadence Pro is officially released. So it’s only 2.5 weeks away!

  7. Great article! Btw, Kadence works well with Toolset too πŸ™‚ Had some issues with the columns and Ben solved it for me

    1. Thanks a lot, Leo! Yeah, I’ve heard of several people who have had success with Kadence and Toolset. Ben is a fantastic guy who is always willing to help people with issues, so I’m glad to hear you were able to get a solution from him!

  8. Hi Jake,
    Do you have a comparison between Generate Press and Kadence?
    Also now that Kadence has release the pro version, any changes to your review?

    1. Hey there! No, I don’t have a comparison between GeneratePress vs Kadence yet, but it will be coming. As for Kadence Theme Pro now officially being released, it impressed me even more. The Kadence Team added some fantastic elements such as fixed elements which stay on your page as the user scrolls down, the option for a sticky sidebar, some more filter options for hooked elements, and quite a bit more. Plus more features keep coming every week!

      1. Cool. Will wait for your review and then switch. I know Astra is not that great for speed. And GP has a good history surrounding it compared to Kadence being the new kid on the block.

        1. Sounds good! I’m actually pretty excited to write the Kadence vs GeneratePress article. I think GeneratePress will be a better competitor against Kadence than Astra was especially in the page speed area, but I can already tell you that the Kadence theme will blow GeneratePress away in several areas.

  9. Great in depth article. I enjoyed reading every bit of it. I also liked your site design. I have 3 questions and am very curious for the answer.
    1. What plugin did you use to create those tables where you compare GTMetrix speed?
    2. What plugin did you use to make Kadence Theme Pro sticky banner that changes color as soon as we scroll?
    3. What plugin did you use to hide all the plugins you are using?

    1. Hey Hardy, thanks for the comment! Glad to hear you enjoyed how in-depth the article was because I didn’t want to bore people πŸ˜‰ As for your questions:
      1. No plugin needed! I simply used the regular table block that comes with Gutenberg.
      2. Also, no plugin needed! The sticky banner is all part of the free Kadence Theme and it can change color as you scroll. This feature would almost always only be found in a theme that costs $50+, but it’s free with Kadence.
      3. I’m not using anything to hide the plugins I use, so I’m not sure why they’re not showing up. I also run very few plugins because the Kadence theme covers the vast majority of what I want to do with my sites.

  10. Hi Jake,
    I really enjoyed your “Astra vs Kadence – Which WordPress Theme is Better?” article and I’d like to know if you used the Kadence theme to create this particular article’s web page. Along with the superb content, I absolutely love your choice of Segoe UI font and larger font size, as well as the very slightly grayed page background. It’s very easy on the eyes, which makes reading the article comfortable and more enjoyable. If possible, please kindly let me know the CSS for the page background and anything else related to the font that you would be willing to share. Keep providing great content, and we’ll keep reading! πŸ™‚

    1. Hey there Bernardo, this comment made me happy to read πŸ™‚ Compliments all around. Yes, I am using the Kadence theme (and Kadence Pro Theme extension) to create my entire Start Blogging 101 site. For the font, I have it set to “System Stack” which uses the default font for whichever system you’re on. I choose that for my Kadence theme typography and it’s done – no custom CSS or anything needed. This helps speed up page speeds as there are no Google Font calls to slow anything down. Are you planning on using the Kadence theme for a site of yours? If so, you only have to set the colors in your Kadence global color palette and it will apply the colors all throughout your site including your backgrounds and everything. The very light gray hex color is #F7FAFC. Thanks for the comment!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing those details, Jake! Yes, this article of yours has convinced me that the Kadence theme is the right choice compared to various other themes I had been considering. You’re awesome!

    1. No problem at all – happy to help! That’s awesome to hear. You won’t be disappointed. And as always, let me know if you have anymore questions that I can help with!

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