Intro Best Blog Themes
Over the past 10 years, I have used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up until recently, I was using MyThemeShop, which was fairly good. However, I had to do a lot of customization to make it do and work how I needed it to. A few weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is by far the best WordPress theme I’ve discovered in 10 years. I was blown away and am now moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I will enter exactly why in my in-depth GeneratePress review under. And if you are wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best Blog Themes
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve really seen it for many years from 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 ignore everything from the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there isn’t that good, or not encouraged for long. However, in this case, this was a mistake. The theme currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star ratings. So obviously Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the motif and in a matter of 15 minutes bought the premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the programmer was thinking exactly how I was imagining a theme should get the job done. And I will go into that more below, but let us first look at a number of the qualities. I will be covering the superior version of the theme, since it’s worth . Actually, Tom, if you ever read this and so are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t need running. This is only one of the biggest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all of the 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 all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser support back to IE8.
It also works great with the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I’ve also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built-in.
Tons of hooks and filters which make it good for developers.
Great active service from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be incredible. Besides have good documentation on their site, the subject has existed long enough that what I Googled throughout the setup process was found within a few seconds in their own forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right from the box with no customizations to see how fast the base is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time I add everything for this. Running the stock 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 design was going to produce a lot of big files, but this isn’t the situation. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring every record packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of documents is not as significant. But the size is! Take a peek at some of the center GeneratePress files below:
/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 programmer that cares about functionality! And I have Seen the same throughout each the premium add-ons. They are literally as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file included. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 arriving around the cornerwe could anticipate that to secure smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I’d call a modular layout. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to guarantee they do not load on your website. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built, I felt at home with this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You are interested, I’m using the next add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is that I no longer need to use a young child theme. This makes my life so much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I can literally update my GeneratePress theme this very minute rather than shed a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make this possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best Blog Themes
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 to a full width page, in addition to disable components.
The WordPress customizer choices is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, lots of these options are enabled by the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. However, allow me to show you few which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also made by precisely the same developer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super simple way to add responsive columns into any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert custom classes
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also catch his amazing WP Display Posts plugin also. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this website? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You can also get it show past modified/updated posts, 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 do all kinds of things in terms of design. Consider it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) which is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a site.
For those Of you who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the entire motif that powers woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was pretty quickly, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to print all my customizations. My advice now is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress theme I managed to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I don’t have a kid theme. All the customizations were made using the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve working on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he can make a copy of woorkup for the new GeneratePress site library. I’m pleased to let you know that you can now put in my woorkup motif in your GeneratePress site with only a single click! It is known as the Marketer motif. Get started using a fantastic blog layout immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal site, as I do not use it for much. Since you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to duplicate the whole appearance 100 percent in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a couple plugins that weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over our business website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal site, as we simply use it for our LLC. Since you can see it already loaded pretty fast. Best Blog 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 as you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I managed to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page burden 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my websites for this (which includes several EDD e-commerce websites ). After I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP with no child themes, my life is going to be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing is, I now have a billion more choices to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users who want to have the ability to customize and control exactly how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a fantastic base to make it load quickly.
Because Of that, those who assemble WordPress websites 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 Fantastic Fit If…
…you Want something which will immediately look perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to create a fashion blog, you may be happier choosing a niche theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a great deal simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones if you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you want it to, you will almost certainly will need to go in and personalize matters. And though the significant advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are some of the particular characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is so popular.
Lots Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient because you will be able to see all of the changes that you create in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress provides you decent options, but should 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 region, you may configure comprehensive settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header around and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like how many widgets to include
Likewise, The Typography area enables you to control the font to get every single element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also get a detailed region to control the color of every single element on your site.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you much more customization choices in the WordPress Customizer than most other themes. This level of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you are a beginner. But once you realize the way the settings come together, you’ll have full control over how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Around All of its attributes, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, which is about as little as you’ll ever find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress themes are still 200+ kB. And a few badly coded topics can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That together, and you get a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you an idea, I ran a small test.
First, I put up a vacant site utilizing a random popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its performance with Pingdom, it
- Had a performance grade of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 asks
That is Not bad in any way! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly the same test website without changing anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance grade of 87, 10 points better
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% quicker
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 asks, ~40% less
If You do the exact same test with different themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Best Blog Themes
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features like:
- Elements — a exceptional feature that lets you create custom hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page building. It lets you create different”sections” on a webpage, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular interface where you can pick and choose exactly which features you would like to trigger.
That Way, you do not need to slow your site down for a quality which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The last, you had to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a new Site Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any one of the 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them directly from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a couple buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most themes, each page and post will use the same configurations for the most part. You may have some custom templates or formats — however you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving 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 use
- Disable certain elements, like your header, navigation menu, article featured image, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” for your own page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are able to produce the proper baseline for your page builder layout, which makes it effortless to create custom content as needed. Best Blog Themes
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I feel you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you nearly as numerous configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly reasonably priced. It costs only $39.95, which gives you use on unlimited websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades after the first year (you can, obviously, keep using GeneratePress after the initial year without renewing — you just won’t get any more upgrades ).
When You consider that the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a great value.
As I mentioned, I do not believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You want 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 are willing to spend some time changing settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any type of WordPress site. Or, you may even be able to locate a starter site that fulfills your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes you will find. Therefore, if you’re seeking the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any difficulty making your site load in under one minute. Best Blog Themes