Introduction 2016 Best Free WordPress Themes
Within the previous ten years, I have used a great deal of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I was using MyThemeShop, that was fairly good. However, I had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to perform and work the way I needed it to. A couple of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s by far the finest WordPress theme I have found in a decade . I was dismissed and am now moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I will go into exactly why in my in-depth GeneratePress review under. And if you are wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi as well as several other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. 2016 Best Free WordPress Themes
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve really seen it for years from the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I have a tendency to dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of things on there is not that good, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this case, this was a mistake. The theme currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ active installs, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So clearly Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes purchased the superior version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking exactly how I was imagining a theme should work. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at some of the features. I will be covering the superior version of the theme, since it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, in the event that you ever read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you do not want running. This is one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for greater outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration using the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan of this customizer in the past, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser support back to IE8.
It also works great with the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built-in.
A lot of filters and hooks that make it good for programmers.
Excellent active service from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be incredible. Besides have great documentation on their website, the theme has existed long enough that everything I wholeheartedly during the setup process was found inside a couple of seconds from their own forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I test a new theme right from the box with no customizations to just see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time that I add everything for this. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms loading time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to generate a whole lot of big files, but that is not the situation. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of files is not as significant. But the size is! Take a look at a few of the core GeneratePress files under:
/generatepress/css/unsemantic-grid. min.css 2.9 KB
/generatepress/style. css 7.1 KB
/generatepress/css/mobile. min.css 1.6 KB
/generatepress/js/navigation. min.js 1.1 KB
/generatepress/js/dropdown. min.js 1.5 KB
This is a developer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen exactly the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They are as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file contained. And that isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 arriving round the corner, we could expect this to secure smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to ensure they don’t load on your website. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built, I felt at home for this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You are curious, I am using the next add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is that I no longer need to use a Child motif . This makes my life so much simpler. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally update my GeneratePress theme this exact minute rather than shed a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make it possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress site. 2016 Best Free WordPress Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a lot of alternatives. You can alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page involving the default option to a complete width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these options are enabled by the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here all day. However, allow me to show you few which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be made by precisely the same programmer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to incorporate responsive columns to any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid thickness
Add Customized classes
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example under:
You May Want to Also catch his amazing WP Show Posts plugin too. View my featured articles on the sidebar of this website? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You might also get it show last modified/updated posts, recent articles, etc.. I am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to do all sorts of things concerning design. Consider it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not just for blogs! I am in fact using GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to look it over. However, as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For those Of you that are regular readers, you likely did not even notice that I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent annually customizing. Here is a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was pretty quickly, but I invested a lot of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all of my customizations. My advice now is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress theme I managed to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I don’t have a child theme. Each of the customizations were created with the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve running on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he could create a replica of woorkup to your new GeneratePress blog library. I’m pleased to let you know that now you can install my woorkup motif on your own GeneratePress site with just a single click! It’s called the Marketer theme. Get started with a fantastic blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal site, as I do not use it for much. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the whole look 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was even able to get rid of a few plugins that weren’t needed due to GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over our organization website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum site, as we just use it for our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly. 2016 Best Free WordPress Themes
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under one hour. And since you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page burden 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I am moving over all my sites for this (which includes several EDD e-commerce websites ). After I’ve got my 9 websites all running in GP without any child topics, my entire life will be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news isI finally have a thousand more options to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal option for performance-focused users who want to be able to personalize and control precisely how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the site that you build will have a great foundation to make it load fast.
Since Of that, people who build WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll normally pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something which will instantly appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you want to produce a fashion blog, you might be happier picking out a market theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a great deal simpler to use, as a result of its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones if you initially install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you want it to, you will most likely need to go in and customize things. And though the significant benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, particularly casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are some of the particular characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another area where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient as you’ll have the ability to see all of the changes that you create in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you decent options, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Design region, you can configure comprehensive settings to yourown:
- Header — you can move your header round and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured image size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to include
Likewise, The Typography place enables you to control the font for every single element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also get a detailed region to control the color of each and every element on your website.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer than most other themes. This amount of detail might be a bit overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But once you realize how the preferences come together, you’ll have complete control on how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress always has a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, and it will be about as small as you are ever going to find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress topics are still 200+ kB. And some badly coded topics can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That together, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you an idea, I conducted a little test.
First, I set up an empty website using a haphazard popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After testing its functionality with Pingdom, it
- Had a performance grade of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That is Not bad in any way! However, GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the exact same test website without altering anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points greater
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 requests, ~40% fewer
If You do that same test with different themes, you’ll continue to find that GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. 2016 Best Free WordPress Themes
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other helpful features like:
- Elements — a unique feature which lets you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is sort of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create different”sections” onto a page, each with their own layout and column preferences.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular interface where you could select and choose what characteristics you want to trigger.
That Way, you do not have to slow down your site for a feature which you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The last, you needed to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a new Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any one of those 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them directly from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a few buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Detailed Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most topics, every post and page will use the very same configurations for the most part. You may have some custom formats or templates — but you don’t have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Design meta box for every single page and post:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain components, like your header, navigation menu, article featured image, article title, or footer
- Create a special”container” for your page builder
Where These controls are the most helpful is if you’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re in a position to create the proper baseline for your page builder design, making it easy to create custom articles as needed. 2016 Best Free WordPress Themes
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress theme is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re seriously interested in utilizing GeneratePress, I believe you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so elastic. The free version doesn’t give you almost as numerous configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you will also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still quite affordable. It costs only $39.95, and that provides you use on infinite sites. You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades following the initial year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress after the first year without beating — you just won’t get any more updates).
When You believe the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, I don’t think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your requirements for your niche from day one.
However, If you’re ready to spend some time changing settings, GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any sort of WordPress site. Or, you may even be able to find a starter site that fits your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is one of the fastest-loading WordPress topics that you will find. So if you’re seeking the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great choice.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, you should have no problem making your site load in under one minute. 2016 Best Free WordPress Themes