This is a sponsored post BUT the content and opinions are my own. I only tell you about the products I use and support. The links in this post are affiliate links.
Why Astra + WooCommerce
Why choose Astra for the theme you use on your eCommerce WordPress site? Thre are many themes out there to choose from but when it comes to choosing a theme always choose the best. The only theme Elkhound Technologies uses now for WordPress development is Astra. Astra is used because it is fast, It is responsive, it has many options, and for eCommerce, it has WooCommerce integrated at its core.
A little background on Astra is called for here. Astra, from BrainStorm Force, has become a dominant theme in our industry. Astra now powers 700,000+ WordPress sites (free version and Pro) and has earned over 3,300 whopping 5-star reviews in the repository. The saying is the proof is in the pudding, well Astra has the proof. A theme doesn’t get that kind of response by half efforts.
If you have ever used WooCommerce on a site you have experienced its power. Plus if you have used it you have most likely been frustrated because a theme style you loved just won’t work with Woo. I’ve been there with you. What is great about Astra is it has the Woo integrations built-in. You dont have to dive into your theme PHP files to make changes and pray you don’t screw up the thee doing it.
Another key advantage of using Astra is the customization you can do. Even if you don’t create pages with Beaver Builder using Brainstorm Force’s amazing Ultimate Addons plugin (You do have a copy of Ultimate Addons right? If you don’t get it now, do not pass go!). Even without using the page builder you can control your page width, the number of items shown per width, and the number per page. Plus, as mentioned before it is all responsive (You do want to sell to phone users right?)
Check out this image to see some of the layout options built into Astra.
Take a quick look at the complete list of WooCommerce integrations in Astra. Hurry back, I’ll wait.
Earlier I mentioned there is a Pro version of Astra. As a development company, we always use Astra Pro. A huge game changer you gain with the Astra Pro is the ability to do much more with product categories. If you have dreams of making your million bucks, you’re going to have categories. Here are some more of the added features with Astra Pro:
- Add a Sale Bubble and style it. Highlight those items and get that impulse buy!
- Grid and List view style for products on the shop page.
- Enhanced customization for individual products page –
- Product image gallery layout
- Add To Cart Styling
- Product Navigation
- Related & Up-Sell Products
- Add a Quick View option for products.
- Two-Step Checkout with Coupon Field and Distraction-Free Checkout option
- Custom styling for Checkout page
- Offcanvas Sidebar.
I know you are excited. Go ahead, check out this list of Astra Pro features. Hurry back, I have more to tell you!
What more could there be to share? You will like this.
Imagine you are sitting at your desk. You just had a great idea for a product to sell. You grab your laptop, buy your domain name (it is catchy and brilliant right?), contact Elkhound Technologies for hosting, install WordPress, and then you realize ‘I’m not a website designer! ARRRRRRGH!’
Don’t give up! There is hope. Yes, you could contact Elkhound Technologies for a custom-built site but you want to get your idea out there RIGHT NOW! What will you, our budding businessman, do? No worries. The Astra Starter Templates plugin in the repository has you covered for now. Install it and pick one of the many options of professionally designed templates. Click the install button and BAM! You have a new shiny eCommerce site powered by Astra and WooCommerce.
There are three details I want to touch on before you head off to buy Astra Pro and start the business of your dreams.
Remember, Astra is responsive and covers your platform needs. The theme has options for mobile, tablet, and desktop. Hit the preview button for each device and see how pretty your site looks on that device. If something isn’t exactly the way you want then jump in and fix that part.
Want to be in on a little eCommerce tidbit? Studies have found that your customers will leave if your site is slow. If a site takes more than a few seconds to load you may lose them. If you have a fast site with clean code and a fast host (check Elkhound Technologies out) they are more likely to wait, stay on your site longer and buy more. Take a look at the speed results from an Astra + Woo setup. The score is from GTMEtrix and they do a great job helping you know what needs to be changed to FAST.
At this point, you’re probably wondering about what is left to work on after your site is up and running. Other than good customer service, your biggest friend in growing your business will be search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is making sure that Google and the other search engines learn what products you have to sell so that recommendations can be made when a potential customer does a search. Astra has you covered here too! Astra is SEO friendly and has built-in scheme coding. Schema is a structured markup that helps search engines better understand what your website is about to display more relevant results to end-users; basically the search engines know what the searcher wants, it knows you have it, and it offers your site as a solution.
The last thing I want to leave you with is to tell you that support for Astra is amazing. Brainstorm Force is fast to respond and has helped me in some interesting situations. You won’t be disappointed.