Grateful. Blessed. Thankful.
November is a time to be thankful.
A time to take a step back and appreciate all those who’ve enriched our lives.
This year we have a lot to be thankful for, but most importantly, I’m thankful for YOU!
Our customers. Our subscribers. Our product users.
Thank you for supporting us and being part of the Astra community.
Your feedback, reviews, comments, appreciation emails, and feature requests meant a lot.
It’s what motivated us to work even harder and improve everything about Astra and all our other products. We even launched some new ones!
Here’s a look at what we’ve achieved this year so far.
What we’ve achieved
With 2,369,964 (and counting) live websites and 7 million+ downloads, Astra is THE MOST popular theme in the WordPress repository.
We achieved 4976 5-star ratings on WordPress.org alone.
All this wouldn’t have been possible without your continued support.
Once again, THANK YOU!
Astra 3.9 WooCommerce update
We released Astra 3.9 earlier this year.
An update with major enhancements in the way you build WooCommerce stores.
The shop page, product page, cart, and checkout page were enhanced to offer the best shopping experience for your customers.
For instance, we introduced a brand new skin called Modern. This is in addition to the two default skin layouts, Grid and List, that the shop page comes with.
Not only does the Modern skin look amazing, it also enhances the entire shopping experience.
When you mouse over any product image, the ‘add to cart’ and ‘quick view’ options become available.
This way, your customers can purchase a product quickly without having to navigate to individual product pages.
Want to customize your shop page? No problem!
With the options available in the customizer, you have endless customization possibilities.
You’d probably agree that to sell more, your product images need to stand out.
Well, other factors, such as price, matter too. But you get the point!
To ensure your product images stand out, we’ve designed three new image gallery options.
We also introduced a ‘Sticky Add-to-Cart’ feature to make the entire buying process as simple as possible.
As the name suggests, this feature gives you an ‘add to cart’ button that sticks to the bottom of your product description page.
Prefer not to have this feature? No problem!
Disable it from your customizer. We’ve made it that simple!
We’ve also added some psychological triggers such as payment icons and shipping text to the product page.
All this should help increase your conversion and sales.
With so many improvements on the shop and product page, how could we leave out the cart and checkout pages?
We gave the cart page a modern new layout, introduced real-time quantity adjustments, a sticky cart totals sidebar, and an option to edit the text on the cart button.
We introduced a new Modern Checkout to the checkout page.
Cart abandonment is nearly 70% across all industries.
While the default WooCommerce checkout form gets the job done, it’s often criticized for being lengthy and unintuitive.
With our Modern Checkout, we’ve addressed both of these issues.
Modern Checkout brings in a fresh and modern look and feel. It’s faster, offers a frictionless checkout experience, and is optimized for higher conversion.
In short, the Modern Checkout significantly enhances the shopping experience!
We’ve also given the thank you page and ‘my account page’ a modern new look and feel.
We’ve left no stone unturned when it comes to delivering exceptional user experience for all WooCommerce websites.
In short, with the Astra 3.9 update, we are arguably the #1 WordPress theme for deep WooCommerce integration!
All-new block editor with Astra 3.8
Astra 3.8 was all about bringing in a whole new experience with the block editor.
Since its release in 2019, the block editor has evolved rapidly.
At Astra, we continue to make improvements to keep up with these changes and to give you the best experience possible.
With the 3.8 update, we redesigned block editor integration by using the latest APIs and features that WordPress offers.
Astra was one of the first major themes to fully take advantage of theme.json, which was released with WordPress 5.8.
With this, you can customize padding, margins, typography, layout, and borders easily for all supported blocks.
Want to customize individual blocks? No problem!
The update included deep design integration with all the blocks (new and old), allowing you to fully customize their design using Astra settings.
Astra page settings also saw some major improvements.
You can now customize the page layout, header, sidebar, and other settings on each page from within the block editor.
The settings are more visual, allowing just about anyone to easily understand them.
We also launched Spectra 2.0 this year!
If you are like us and have worked with page builders, you’d probably know that they can output poorly written code, hamper website performance and have compatibility issues with other third-party themes and plugins.
Not to mention, some page builders can be far too complicated for beginners and involve a substantial learning curve!
That’s why we built Spectra!
The team at Brainstorm Force has been working on this AWESOME product for over a year. We also had several WordPress enthusiasts beta test Spectra.
Here’s a HUGE shout-out and thank you to each and everyone involved.
Spectra is a beginner-friendly visual page builder built on top of Gutenberg, the default WordPress block editor.
With Spectra, you can now build ultra-high-performance websites without writing a single line of code. Spectra works perfectly with all WordPress themes.
Discover everything you need to know about Spectra 2.0 via this in-depth walkthrough video.
With Spectra, not only did we include 25+ new blocks to help you build interactive websites, we also introduced a visual page builder that helps you build ultra-high-performance websites quickly and easily.
Starter Templates 3.0
Starter Templates is our extensive library of professionally designed website templates. It has a pre-built website demo for just about any niche and industry.
All you have to do is import a template of your choice, customize it, and you are ready to launch!
With Starter Templates 3.0, we’ve taken the user experience a step further.
We now have a modern and beautiful interface with a powerful search.
Before importing a template, you can select the logo, color, and typography.
We’ve optimized the importer and made it faster and more intuitive.
In short, with Starter Templates 3.0, we’ve made the design process a whole lot easier!
69 new templates published
Our design team has been busy. And that’s evident with the number of brand new Starter Templates added to our ever-growing library.
What’s coming next?
At Brainstorm Force, we continue to build amazing products that help scale your online business.
While we have several launches and updates in the pipeline, here are two updates that we are super thrilled about.
We are super excited about the Astra 4.0 release.
Our team has made some amazing enhancements, and while we can’t reveal them all now, here’s a sneak peek into what is in store:
Redesigned admin dashboard
We’ve completely revamped the Astra admin dashboard.
Remember when you have to access ‘Astra Options’ from under Appearance? Now, Astra has its own dedicated tab on the WordPress dashboard.
Redesigned admin megamenu
The mega menu has been revamped to a brand new design, which can be found under the Astra mega menu settings.
Currently, the mega menu is shown as a modal. This has now been revamped to open as an off-canvas menu.
Additionally, the following features have been added to the mega menu items:
- Custom icon and position support
- Header color
- Background type gradient
- Divider color and styles
Narrow width layout
With Astra 4.0, we are introducing a new container layout, Narrow Width.
This provides a modern look and feel, which is best suited for creating elegant and minimalistic blog posts and pages.
You can either set the narrow width layout globally or specifically for blogs/archives, single blog posts, and also for pages using the customizer.
We’ve barely scratched the surface!
We’ve got a lot of exciting features and updates, such as Dynamic Customizer Parts, and WP-Preview Update, among several more with the Astra 4.0 release.
Stay tuned for more!
We’ve already seen what the free version of Spectra is capable of.
We know that the free version of Spectra is loaded with features and add-ons and that it is truly unmatched by any other free page builder in the market.
Now, it’s time for Spectra Pro!
With Spectra Pro, we’ve pushed the limits even more. We’ve ensured that you can do much more with your blocks.
Here are a few enhancements you’ll see in the pro version:
- Login block
- Register block
- Instagram block
- Dynamic content block
- Heading block (new animated heading feature)
- Image block
- Image gallery block
- Slider block
- Countdown block (new features)
And a lot more!
There are also a few more surprises in the pro version. Stay tuned for those!
Giving back to the WordPress community
In our effort to help the WordPress community, we provide products, tutorials, and guides completely for free. It’s our way of saying thank you to a community that has given us so much.
Free tutorials and guides
We continue to update the Astra blog with the latest WordPress guides, tutorials, product and service reviews, and business growth tips.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, you are missing out on a lot!
Considering a purchase or an upgrade? Now is the BEST time!
If you are an Astra user, you’d probably know the value it brings to your business.
With the Essential and Growth Bundle, in particular, you have a powerhouse of tools ready to scale your business.
The Growth Bundle includes incredible plugins and beautiful website templates that can help increase profits and save hundreds of hours of development time.
Not to mention, when you pick up the Growth Bundle, you get instant access to our SkillJet academy, worth $1199, for FREE!
SkillJet is our online learning platform that offers industry experts courses on how to build recurring revenue, advanced marketing and funnel strategies, and more.
Wondering if you should purchase or upgrade to the Essential or Growth Bundle?
If yes, now is the best time!
Our Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are live!
We are offering the biggest discounts ever of up to 50% off on all our plans and upgrades.
Save up to 50% on:
We also have a giveaway. One lucky winner could win a Macbook Air M2!
If you are interested, we’ve got some amazing deals and giveaways from our friends.
Check them out here:
Remember, these deals are for a limited period only. When the sale is over, the discounts are GONE!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remind each other of the many reasons to be grateful.
Once again, thank you for all your support and trust.
Hope you’re surrounded by the love of your dear ones this festive season.
From the team here at Astra, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving and holiday season!