2021 seems to start with everything: new wordpress, new image format AVIF, and the sophistication of the tools to measure and evaluate the speed of a site. On this occasion, we present yet another novelty: Astra 3.0, released with extensive performance improvements including a new visual builder for headers and footers. The mission? Make a Theme that is lighter, more agile, but, above all, with revolutionary changes when designing. Let's see…
What's new in Astra 3.0?
All the changes and improvements can be combined into three large branches that are the following:
- Theme Customizer load time has been greatly improved (it's actually 70% faster).
- Online content loading speed has been increased by 25% (yes, when you update your Astra Theme to the new version, your site will be 25% faster).
- A new builder for footers and headers has been developed. The interface is visual and intuitive so you can create creative designs in a matter of minutes.
Lets start by the beginning…
Accelerated Loading in Theme Customization
In Astra 3.0, working with the customizer has become faster 70% - it loads in about 1 second. It really is very little waiting time compared to the access to the customization that other Themes have (where it is normal to wait 4, 5 and even 7 seconds).
It must be taken into account that the experience of the designer/developer depends heavily on the latency time of an interface. When you start a site from scratch, or you need or want to change the appearance of your site, it is normal to run tests and therefore enter and exit the customization menu several times. Therefore, that the same loads in a second is really something significant. Thank you developers.
To achieve this leap in speed, Astra 3.0 embraced React JS.
Its virtues are: speed, scalability and ease to create interactive platforms. Although React was already present for certain aspects in Astra since version 2.6, in version 3.0 it has been fully adopted, being able to speed up the Customization load two seconds less.
But, in addition, the function of lazy loading for the content of the customizer, and thanks to this click on the button personalize and being able to see your screen now takes only 1 second.
Faster page load
We have already talked several times about the site load and its impact both in sales and in the positioning of search results in Google/Yahoo/Bing. But, of course, let's not forget that the loading speed and the fluidity of the interaction with the user are crucial in the browsing experience of every human being. That's why Astra 3.0 implemented substantial improvements in its code in order to allow faster speeds on sites using this Theme.
With factory settings and options, pages made with Astra now load in an average of 0.7 seconds.
It is not easy to achieve this: Astra really took care of debugging, optimizing and adjusting its HTML and CSS, since lighter codes (fewer lines of programming and styles) make sites faster both in downloading and in interaction with the Username. Bravo for Astra.
In the screenshots below we can see a comparison of an average site made in Astra before and after its new version 3.0
Visual Header and Footer Builder
Astra 3.0 now offers us a new Header and Footer designer with the benefits of modern visual interfaces, where elements are dragged and dropped. Flexibility, fluidity and intuitive design were sought, obtaining a powerful but easy-to-use final product.
Among its greatest advantages we find:
- I know drag and drop items from a widget repository. Placing the logo and the menu is now as easy as moving them where we want.
- can be built different headers and footers for different devices (something very useful for when trying to design alternatives for Desktop, Tablets and Cell phones).
- Headers can be expanded at will, in order to include more elements.
- The cart can be placed WooCommerce in the header.
We can never see all the elements of a menu in the horizontal header of a mobile phone (the navigation menu is usually activated by touching the famous 'hamburger' icon, that is to say three horizontal parallel lines). Now, Astra 3.0 allows us to decide what to show and what not on different screens (targeting by screen size). Thanks to the "mobile views" editor, we are allowed to add or remove elements according to the width of the display in turn. Now it is really easy to place network buttons, icons and other widgets because we will simply drop them where we like or need them to be. Same with WooCommerce cart, a big new in Astra 3.0
It is also possible to create a different menu to be seen only on mobile phones, and choose a toggle option between a slide-out menu, a drop-down menu, or a full-screen menu option.
We are also allowed further modify height, colors, backgrounds, and other design options in a mobile-only way.
Astra 3.0 is the effort to understand in greater depth that the web path requires intuitive, flexible and fast interfaces.. Today there are construction 'monsters' that provide all this (for example, Elementor) and if Astra wants to stay young and current, it could not be left behind.
When Astra improve the code of a Theme to make it lighter, is a clear sign that you value your buyers and intend to keep them happy, while your product continues to shine, stand out among other Themes and stay in the race.
Improving its interface load from 4 seconds to 1 is truly a feat and again speaks well of the developers behind Astra. We can assert that the path they are taking is the right one to continue being one of the three most used WordPress Themes on the planet. This is radical, especially when Hello Elementor He advances at a steady pace and leads a lot of fans of this powerful builder by the nose.
As a final piece of advice, and since Astra 3.0 is a giant update, we recommend that you backup your website before upgrading.
If you liked the note, we remind you that we include Astra PRO in our hosting plans Managed WordPress along with many other professional tools that return to a special site, fast and safe.
If you have any uncertainties or a particular question arises, do not hesitate to write to our Contact Form.
We wish you success in your endeavors, and thanks for reading.
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