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Kadence vs. Astra WordPress Theme

Kadence vs. Astra: Which WordPress Theme is Best for You?

If you’re looking for the best WordPress themes, you’ve no doubt come across the Kadence vs. Astra conversation. They’re two of the most popular theme choices in the WordPress world – and they’re both strong choices! 

Spoiler alert: there’s not one quick-and-easy answer to whether Kadence WP or Astra theme is the absolute best. It’s all about weighing the similarities and differences between the two, so you can make the right choice for your website and needs.

So, if you’re trying to choose between the Kadence vs. Astra theme for your website, this post is for you! We’ll break down the details of features, performance, and differences between the two. We’ll also share which one we prefer to use at Southern Creative. Pour a cup of coffee and pull up a comfy chair, because we’re about to get techy in this deep dive on Kadence vs. Astra.


What is a WordPress theme?

If you’re new to WordPress, you might be asking yourself “what is a WordPress theme?” 

The TLDR is that a WordPress theme is a head start on building your website by helping you customize the look and feel. Think fonts, colors, page layouts, and branding.  

The longer version is that WordPress is a lot more customizable and flexible than pretty much every other website builder on the market. That means you get to choose almost every aspect of your website to fit your unique needs, from hosting to plugins to themes.


A theme is a collection of templates, code files, and stylesheets that affect how a WordPress website displays. What it doesn’t do is change any of the core software or code that makes a website run. 

There are thousands of different themes on the internet! Anyone can download or buy a WordPress theme directly from WordPress or from a designer or developer (like Southern Creative – we customize our own full website and one-page website templates for clients!) 

You can also use a core theme (aka a “parent theme”) – like Kadence or Astra. Parent themes often come with access to multiple themes with different aesthetics. These are called “child themes” and they operate with Kadence, Astra, or another parent theme as a backbone. That way, you get all the functionality and updates, without risking losing your site design in the process.

Pro tip! Not all themes are created equal – and that’s why you have to research topics like Kadence vs. Astra. For starters, food bloggers, travel agents, and pottery studios all have different website design needs. When it comes to website design, DIY-ers and seasoned developers have different usability needs. So choose carefully!

Learn more about WordPress themes here!


Kadence vs. Astra

Let’s get to the comparison of Kadence vs. Astra. They’re both flexible, lightweight themes that can serve as a solid starting point for any WordPress website. 

You can think of choosing between Kadence vs. Astra like like laying the foundation for a house.

No matter how your website eventually looks and feels, Kadence or Astra is the underlying supportive theme your site is built on. This foundation will affect the overall speed and performance of your website, which building tools you have on hand, and ongoing security & support access. So, you should consider your unique needs when choosing between Kadence vs. Astra. Let’s break it down!


Kadence WP vs. Astra feature comparison

We could write a literal book about ALL of the features and tech specs of these two themes, but let’s keep it simple with a few main points of comparison between Kadence vs. Astra that matter to most people.



While both themes are extremely popular, Astra is the most widely used theme, with over a million active installations and thousands of five-star reviews. By comparison, Kadence has 300k downloads.



With WordPress, ongoing development and support is SO important. The internet is constantly changing, and strong product support and ongoing updates protect users from security risks, site outages, and bugs along the way. 


Both Kadence and Astra have strong resource libraries and active product development behind them. Whichever one you choose, you can have confidence that your bases are covered when it comes to ongoing updates.

Choice of starter sites & page builders

While Kadence and Astra give you the basic building blocks of a website, a starter site theme can give you a head start vs. building from the ground up.

Both themes offer plenty of starter sites, but Astra provides more options. Astra also supports more page builders than Kadence. Kadence only supports Elementor and Gutenberg; Astra supports both of those, plus Beaver Builder (our favorite!)

However, neither theme supports every page builder for all starter sites. If you only want to work with an Astra starter site that you can customize with Beaver Builder, you’ll need to filter your options to Beaver-Builder-compatible sites.

Important note: Neither Kadence nor Astra comes with Elementor or Beaver Builder built-in – you’ll need to purchase those builder plugins separately! 



Kadence and Astra both allow extensive customization of colors, typography, and layout elements. However, Astra has a slight edge on customizable elements and user-friendliness (their setup wizard is amazing!)

Also, we think Astra’s compatibility with Beaver Builder gives it a huge leg up over Kadence. Beaver Builder is our pick for making site customization easier.



Both themes are designed to be fast and lightweight, so your site will have great functionality (which is ideal for SEO).



Both Kadece and Astra follow a “freemium” model. That means the core theme with basic features and site starter selections is available for free on 

Advanced features and extended starter site selections are available with a premium upgrade plugin. 

Astra Pro is slightly more affordable than Kadence. For one year, you’ll pay $59 (though sometimes they run first-year promos for $49). Kadence is $79/year.

When to choose Kadence

If you are absolutely tied to using the Gutenberg page builder with Kadence blocks, then Kadence is the choice for you. 


Is Kadence better than Elementor?

We hear this question often, so we wanted to address it here! Kadence blocks and Elementor are both drag-and-drop style builders (and you can use either one with Kadence themes). We’re all about user-friendly options and giving clients a WordPress site that they can navigate with ease. With that in mind, Kadence is easier to use. If you’re a developer who needs access to advanced features, then Elementor might be worth your time and energy; otherwise, stick with Kadence.


When to choose Astra

If you’re like us and Beaver Builder is your go-to page builder, Astra is for you. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for a price-conscious and popular choice with excellent features and support.


Our pick: Astra

Our current choice and recommendation is the Astra theme with a custom child theme on top. We LOVE using Beaver Builder to build fully customizable sites; working with Astra allows us to do that. 

Another reason we love Astra is that it’s incredibly lightweight. This allows us to design our own custom themes on top of the Astra framework without slowing sites down. If you want full design freedom without feeling stuck in a box, Astra is definitely the way to go.


Best WordPress Themes for Service Providers

If you want more support and flexibility than you get with a pre-designed theme, our Launch Week service is for you! You can get a ready-to-launch, five-page website with all the hosting, plugins, and tech set up for you.

All of our sites are built on the WordPress Astra and Astra Child themes. From there, we’ve built custom page templates designed by a professional designer and marketer (that’s Steph!) Each one is made specifically for entrepreneurs and service-based business owners and packed with marketing strategy for a proven client journey that converts website visitors into paying clients.

We customize each site with a client’s unique branding, images, and copy – then make sure they have everything they need to keep up with updates on the new site. Beaver Builder makes no-code updates easy and our Launch Collective resources cover the most common post-launch tech questions. 


Psst! Not ready for a five-page website? Check out our Scalable One-Page Websites!

Choosing the right WordPress theme is just the beginning!

After choosing between Kadence vs. Astra themes, it’s time to build a strategic, SEO-ready website that converts visitors to paying clients.

Ready to build a website that looks great and performs well in search engines? Book your Launch Week now!


Steph O'Keefe, SEO strategist and WordPress designer sitting at desk wearing a white shirt in Raleigh, NC.

I'm Steph!

I'm the Founder and creative Director behind Southern Creative, a.k.a. your SEO strategist and web designer.

My passion is crafting websites rooted in strategy so you can put your focus where your heart is while we launch your dream website that shows up online.