[Support request] What's the Benefits of GeneratePress Premium over Astra Pro?

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  • #950956
    Luke

    I’m sure most people are aware that GeneratePress Premium and Astra Pro are two of the best, lightweight WordPress themes available.

    I’ve bought both, and am trying to decide between the two (for long term use for myself and for clients).

    What are the benefits or advantages of using GP Premium over Astra Pro?

    I notice Astra Pro has some seemingly good features that I can’t determine whether GP Premium has inbuilt, including:

    – Mega Menu option, https://wpastra.com/docs/nav-menu-addon/
    – WooCommerce integration, such as Quick View, https://wpastra.com/docs/quick-view-for-woocommerce-products/;
    Off Canvas Sidebar (for product filters), https://wpastra.com/docs/off-canvas-sidebar-for-woocommerce-shop-page/; Mini Cart in Header, https://wpastra.com/docs/add-woocommerce-mini-cart-to-header/

    Love to hear any direct benefits of GP Premium over Astra Pro.

    Cheers,

    Luke

    #950986
    Adam

    Not spending 4 billion hours trying to manually get the spacing between elements even was what drove me away from Astra.

    #951273
    Tom
    Lead Developer
    Lead Developer

    Hey Luke,

    I can’t comment on Astra Pro much, as I’ve never experienced their support/product.

    When it comes to GeneratePress, there’s a handful of things that I think makes us stand out.

    1. We take a lot of pride in our support. We try to answer everything within 24 hours (usually within 12 hours), and even try to answer non-GeneratePress questions the best we can.

    2. We put a lot of focus on stability. Making sure nothing breaks on your/your clients websites when you update is super important to us. We want people to feel confident that when we release an update, it’s just going to work. No headaches or extra work.

    3. When it comes to updates, we try not to spam you. No one wants to log in and update their plugins/themes every 3 days. We intentionally have a slower release cycle to reduce the amount of work our users need to do on a week-by-week basis.

    4. Behind support, performance is our number one priority. If we add a new feature, we find something else to optimize so performance doesn’t suffer. Everything we code is carefully reviewed and profiled to ensure quality.

    5. We hate bloat and work really hard to prevent it. GeneratePress is 5 years old and is still one of (if not the) lightest theme out there. Over time, themes (and plugins) add more and more features, and those features inevitably cause bloat. Before we add a feature, we make sure it’s something that will continue to be useful well into the future. It’s not possible to remove features (without breaking existing websites), so those features should be carefully considered before being added in the first place.

    On the surface, that may look like another theme has more features and is better. However, all it means is that we care about the long term health/size of the project. We could add 100 new features in our next version and blow the competition out of the water, but it wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing.

    In some cases, CSS/PHP (which we help write in these forums) is the better way solution than adding something to the theme.

    As for your specific feature questions:

    1. A mega menu option is something we considered, but we decided to leave it as CSS for now: https://docs.generatepress.com/article/building-simple-mega-menu/

    This is one of those options we almost added and decided not to. There are tons of advanced mega menu plugins out there that work great, so it seemed wasteful to include a bunch of CSS in the theme that many people won’t use.

    2. We have lots of WooCommerce features (https://generatepress.com/woocommerce), but we haven’t included Quick View yet. This is something we have planned for the near future.

    3. You can use our Off Canvas Panel to achieve this (we have a Site Library site being released soon that does this). Implementing a WooCommerce-only panel (so you can use the panel for other things as well) is something we’ll be adding along with Quick View.

    I hope this post helps with your decision! Sorry for the length of it!

    #951642
    Luke

    Thanks for the response Adam.

    This sounds like something that could drive one crazy.

    It’s always good to hear of others experience using the product.

    I wonder if this is a common thing with other Astra Pro users? As I haven’t read about this issue before.

    Thanks again for sharing. 👍🏼

    #951659
    Luke

    Hey Tom,

    Thanks for your detailed reply.

    I have great confidence in your theme, and your team, based on your reply and my experience to date.

    I totally hear you on the stability and performance vs features trade off.

    And great to hear of your excellent level of support for your customers.

    Cheers,

    Luke

    PS. I would like the option of a Mega Menu that can include HTML (non-text only) or widget options, however, you make a good point that one can download an existing Mega Menu plugin for this feature (I suppose I’m unaware and thought that some third party plugins, that offer this Mega Menu, may be extremely bloated and nowhere near as lightweight and performance oriented as a super lightweight theme like yours, or Astra Pro – but it appears that it may be so lightweight from decisions like these – although if it were an option, and one had the option disabled, wouldn’t it NOT add bloat to the loaded page?).

    Also, the special WooCommerce integration features that Astra Pro provides (Quick View, Mini Cart in Header with option to display both Total $ and Item Quantity, Horizontal / Vertical Gallery, inline validation of fields, local storage to avoid data loss, as per https://wpastra.com/astra-pro-module-woocommerce/) are really appealing for my client website use. Great to hear you are looking to add Quick View soon. Do you already have or think you will add any of these other WooCommerce features? I couldn’t see them listed in the WooCommerce video overview.

    Also, is there any functional items where GeneratePress Premium really shines over Astra Pro? (I’m really just looking here for a reason to choose your theme over theirs, but sounds like you may not personally be across your competitors too much?)

    Thanks again.

    #952132
    Tom
    Lead Developer
    Lead Developer

    Mega Menu plugins shouldn’t really add all that much bloat unless they’re poorly coded. I definitely suggest trying a couple and seeing if that add much weight. It definitely could be something we add to GP Premium as an option one day.

    We already have a mini cart feature (in the navigation) for WooCommerce. We have a lot more WooCommerce features on the way as well, likely in GP Premium 1.10.

    I’m not familiar enough with their theme to say, but I think overall it should depend on your needs. Since you have both, you should just play with them and see which product works better for your specific workflow.

    #957005
    freeform1999

    I’m in same boat as Luke…
    Mainly comparing WooCommerce features for a future project so hope those features come soon.

    I love GP for being stable, lean & having the best support I’ve ever experienced on net by far!
    THX!

    #957202
    Tom
    Lead Developer
    Lead Developer

    More WooCommerce features definitely on the way. Also adding more WooCommerce sites to the library (we added a new one named Niche yesterday), which have custom features 🙂

    #957220
    freeform1999

    THX!

    #969018
    moderndev

    Hey Tom,

    As you are aware from my other posts I am keen to see some of the mentioned features you have coming in GPP 1.9 and 1.10.

    Do you have any time line on these releases? It would help me to decide how I am going to solve issues.

    i.e. should I wait for the native GP solution or look for a more immediate solution via CSS or a plugin.

    Any advise here would be great.

    Best,

    Peter

    #969160
    Tom
    Lead Developer
    Lead Developer

    We’ve scheduled GPP 1.9 for September. We should at least have a beta version out by then 🙂

    #994764
    Steve

    Hey Luke

    I know you asked this question a while ago but just came across it while wondering what Tom had in mind for GPP 1.9

    I’ve had the very same dilemma you are experiencing. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed my mind about which of the themes to use as our main theme.

    I can tell you no matter how many times I’ve tried Astra or other themes I keep coming back to GeneratePress and honestly use it for pretty much all our sites and prefer it over Astra for the following reasons:

    1. I find GeneratePress much easier to use. My experience with Astra is similar to Adams, I end up searching quite a bit to find ways to make a change in Astra that is obvious in GeneratePress.

    2. In all the tests I’ve done comparing the speed of GeneratePress with that of Astra, GeneratePress is usually faster, on average a half second or less, but still faster.

    3. I can do more customizations for WooCommerce with GeneratePress than with Astra, like colors on the Cart and Check Out pages, aligning the Select and Add to Cart buttons on the products page, etc. Yes, Astra has a few more features, but other than possibly quick view and the off canvas filter have not found a situation where I’ve needed them. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Quick View that Tom is working on. However have found Quick View plugins that work fairly well GeneratePress to use for right now.

    4. Astra is limited in header options, at least for now. So more flexibility with headers with GeneratePress.

    5. We have Astra on a development site, just to keep track of what they are doing. On one occasion one of the updates would not work well with Elementor, the page builder we use. We contacted support, and even though we found others were experiencing the same issue, I was told by Astra support there was no issue. Problem was resolved in the next release of the theme, but I’ve become very cautious about updates to Astra since.

    5. This is probably the biggest point for me. You can’t beat the support that Tom provides. Astra support usually gets back to you with 24 hours, but most of the time you’ll need to go back and forth several times to get an issue resolved, which can take several days. Not the case with Tom.

    Hope this helps some.

    Steve

    #994771
    Leo
    Staff
    Customer Support

    Thanks Steve 🙂

    Really appreciate the kind words and feedbacks!!

    #994775
    freeform1999

    Wow, thanks Steve!
    That answered some gnawing thoughts I’ve been having about GP vs Astra. The main issue to me is more Woo support like Quick View, sidebar etc. but I guess that’s coming .
    So I guess I’ll hang tight with GP since I know it well, with the great quick support I can always css or code my way through anything un-usual I might want (which scares me with Astra’s support), it’s not bloated and it’s a solid mo-fo. 😛
    Cheers
    Rand

    #995213
    Luke

    Hey Steve,

    Thanks for your reply on this.

    Always great to hear of others experiences.

    That’s great to hear about point 3, with the extra customizations for WooCommerce.

    When you say Astra is limited in header options, are you able to give an example? I was not aware of this, but interested to know more. I’m currently playing with Astra Pro headers and Elementor Pro, using hooks to insert fully customisable content.

    Agree the support with Tom and Leo is top notch – fast, helpful and love that it is within a support forum format (so you can view and search for answers to others questions too). Astra Pro email support has proven to be hit and miss – depending who you get. GeneratePress is just nicer. And feels like family.

    Thanks again for your reply, and love to hear the info about the headers.

    Cheers,

    Luke

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