What is Astro?

Daniel Kolb
Daniel Kolb
June 11 · 3 min read
Astro Landing Page

What is Astro?

Astro is a relatively young web framework for creating websites and web apps. In fact, it was first released in version 1.0 in April 2022. Despite its young age, over 100,000 teams and software developers are already using the framework. Supporters include Google, Netlify, NordVPN, The Guardian, and Trivago. Astro offers some new and unique approaches that can greatly improve the development of web applications and websites. In the following, we will take a closer look at some of the advantages of using Astro.

Zero JavaScript

The top priority of Astro is to send as little JavaScript as possible to the user's browser (client). This leads to extremely short loading times for the application/website. However, JavaScript is sometimes necessary to create interactivity on the website. Astro has a solution for this: during development, you can define which elements should use JavaScript and which should not, so that as little JavaScript as possible is output to the user. This selective selection of individual components is called "Astro Islands," which we will describe in more detail below.

Astro Islands (BYOF)

Astro Islands allow you to integrate a selection of the most popular frontend frameworks into your application (BYOF = Bring Your Own Framework), all at the same time. For example, on a single page, you can write a header in React.js, a side navigation in Vue.js, the content in Markdown, and the footer in plain HTML. This enables a completely new approach to traditional web development. Teams can now use their preferred framework depending on the feature on the website, instead of being limited to a single technology.

SSR & API Endpoints

Similar to Next.js, Astro also offers the ability to not only generate pages statically but also to render them server-side. This also comes with the ability to use API routes, which are server-side functions that can be called. This means that Astro is not just a client-side JavaScript framework but can also handle most common server-side tasks such as authentication or sending emails.


One of the most important advantages of Astro has already been mentioned: a technology-agnostic approach to web development. Nearly all well-known frameworks can be combined in an Astro application. Additionally, using as little JavaScript as possible leads to minimal loading times for a website or web application, which noticeably affects user experience and conversion.


Astro's biggest disadvantage is its young age, which means that there are few third-party packages available, and many features require custom development. For example, at the time of writing this blog post, there is no native Astro library for Auth0. However, this disadvantage can be mitigated by using Astro Islands, which allow for the use of many technologies with large ecosystems.

For which projects is Astro suitable?

Astro is especially suitable for new projects where a team of developers with different frontend frameworks collaborate. Thanks to Astro's SSR/API route features, entire applications, including most requirements, can be implemented. It is also possible to easily host Astro projects with popular hosting providers like Vercel. Large enterprise projects that require a proven technology with a large ecosystem may not be the best fit for Astro. If the development team specializes in a specific technology like React.js or Vue.js, using Astro may only make limited sense and needs to be carefully considered.


Astro is still very young but has already made a name for itself with its appealing features. Its young age comes with a few drawbacks, such as a relatively small ecosystem and a lack of reference applications. However, both of these issues are likely to be resolved in the near future.

Looking for an Astro agency?

We have already extensively explored Astro. If you are also considering Astro for your project, feel free to contact us.

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Daniel Kolb
Written by

Daniel Kolb

Product Development @ Especial

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