Background Astra WordPress Theme Review
Over the previous ten years, I have used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up until recently, I was using MyThemeShop, that was fairly good. But I had to perform a great deal of customization to allow it to perform and operate how I wanted it to. A few of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I’ve discovered in 10 years. I had been dismissed and am moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I will enter exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review under. And if you’re wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Astra WordPress Theme Review
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I have really seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, and so I have a tendency to dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there is not that good, or not supported for long. However, in this case, that was a mistake. The motif currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. So obviously Tom is doing something right here.
I Really set up the free version of the motif and in a matter of 15 minutes purchased the superior version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking precisely how I was envisioning a theme should get the job done. And I’ll go into that more below, but let us first look at some of the qualities. I’m going to be covering the superior edition of the theme, because it’s worth . In fact, Tom, in the event that you 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 only one of the biggest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration with all the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of this customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these are a terrific combo. I’ve also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font wonderful built-in.
Tons of hooks and filters which make it good for developers.
Great active support from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be incredible. Besides have good documentation on their website, the subject has been around long enough that what I wholeheartedly during the setup process was found within a couple of seconds from their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right from the box with no customizations to see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a great deal 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 load time. I was quite impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to generate a lot of big files, but this isn’t the case. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on making sure every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of files is not as significant. However, the size is! Have a look at some of the center 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
That is a programmer that cares about functionality! And I have Seen the same during all the premium add-ons. They are literally as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is most likely the biggest file included. And that isn’t even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we could anticipate that to get smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to ensure they do not load on your website. Since the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built-in, I felt right at home with this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You’re curious, I’m using the next add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is that I no longer have to use a young child motif . This makes my life so much simpler. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this exact moment and not shed a single customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make this possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress site. Astra WordPress Theme Review
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot of alternatives. You can alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default option to a full width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer choices is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these choices are permitted by the superior add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. However, let me show you few which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also created by the exact same programmer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or article. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert Customized classes
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You May Want to Also catch his incredible WP Display Posts plugin also. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You can also get it show past modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works great.
The Sections add-on in the premium edition of GeneratePress allows you to perform all sorts of things concerning design. Consider it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I’m in reality utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For all those Of you that are regular readers, you probably didn’t even notice I changed the entire motif that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme that I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop theme was already pretty quickly, but I spent a great deal of time customizing it. In fact, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all of my customizations. My advice today is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress theme I managed to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I do not have a child motif. All the customizations were made using the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have running on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he can create a replica of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress site library. I’m happy to allow you to know that you can now install my woorkup motif on your GeneratePress site with just a single click! It is known as the Marketer motif. Get started using a fantastic blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimum site, since I do not use it for much. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the whole look 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a few plugins that weren’t needed due to GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over our organization site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum site, as we just use it for our LLC. As you can see it already loaded pretty fast. Astra WordPress Theme Review
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking just how I wanted it in under one hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page weight 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I am moving over all my websites to it (which includes several EDD e-commerce websites ). After I have my 9 websites all running in GP without any child topics, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose subjects , which when done the correct way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing is, I now have a billion more options to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal alternative for performance-focused users that wish to be able to customize and control precisely how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the site that you build will have a great foundation to make it load fast.
Because Of that, those who build WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They will normally pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any kind of website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something which will immediately look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you wish to create a fashion blog, you might be happier picking out a market theme that’s developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a lot easier to use, as a result of its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones if you initially install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you will most likely will need to go in and customize things. And though the substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, particularly casual users, don’t like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are some of the specific features that explain why GeneratePress is so popular.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient because you’ll have the ability to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you adequate options, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you’ll have the ability to customize pretty much all about your site.
For Example, if you go in the Layout area, you may configure detailed settings to your:
- Header — you can move your header around and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like how many widgets to include
Similarly, The Typography place enables you to control the font for each and every element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also receive a thorough region to control the colour of each and every element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization options from the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This amount of detail may be a little overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But once you realize how the preferences come together, you will have complete control over how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Across All of its features, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The entire theme is less than 30 kB, which will be about as small as you’ll ever find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress topics are still 200+ kB. And a few poorly coded topics can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you a sense, I conducted a little test.
First, I set up an empty website utilizing a random popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After testing its performance with Pingdom, it:
- Had a performance grade of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 asks
That’s Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly the exact same test site without altering anything else. Here is how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points greater
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% quicker
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 requests, ~40% less
If You do that same test with other themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Astra WordPress Theme Review
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Past Giving you more style controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features such as:
- Elements — a exceptional feature which lets you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page construction. It permits you to create different”sections” on a page, each with their own layout and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular port where you could pick and choose exactly which characteristics you would like to trigger.
That Way, you don’t have to slow down your site for a feature that you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The last, you had to construct GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a new Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which lets you easily import any among the 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them directly from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a few buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most topics, each post and page will use the very same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — however you don’t have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Layout meta name box for every single post and page:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (like altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, such as your header, navigation menu, post featured picture, article title, or footer
- Create a special”container” for your page builder
Where These controls are the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re in a position to produce the proper baseline for your page builder layout, making it easy to create custom articles as needed. Astra WordPress Theme Review
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re serious about utilizing GeneratePress, I feel you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what produces the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you nearly as numerous settings in the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly affordable. It costs just $39.95, which gives you use on infinite sites. You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades after the first 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 usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a fantastic price.
As I said, I do not believe GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your requirements for your niche out of day one.
However, If you’re ready to spend time changing settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you may even be able to find a starter website that fulfills your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It’s one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes you will locate. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a good choice.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no difficulty making your website load in under one second. Astra WordPress Theme Review