Background Best Completely Free WordPress Themes
Within the past 10 years, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I had been using MyThemeShop, that was pretty good. However, I had to do a lot of customization to allow it to perform and work how I needed it to. A few of weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I have discovered in 10 years. I was dismissed and am now moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. Best Completely Free WordPress Themes
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve really seen it for many years from the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I am fairly picky when it comes to web performance, and so I have a tendency to dismiss everything from the repository. Typically because a great deal of stuff on there is not that good, or not supported for long. However, in this case, that was a mistake. The motif currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. So clearly Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Really set up the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes bought the premium 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 a number of the qualities. I will be covering the superior edition of the theme, since it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, in the event that you read this and are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t want running. This is only one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Impressive integration using the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan of this customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with all the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these really are a terrific combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built in.
Tons of hooks and filters which make it great for programmers.
Great active support from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be incredible. Besides have great documentation on their website, the subject has been around long enough that what I Googled throughout the setup process was found within a few seconds from their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time for the fun part! I test a brand new theme right from the box with no customizations to see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time that I add everything to it. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms load time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but this is not the case. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring every record packed in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of files is not as significant. However, the size is! Have a peek 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
That is a programmer that cares about performance! And I have Seen the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In fact, Font Awesome is most likely the biggest file contained. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we can anticipate that to secure smaller too.
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 this perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built-in, I felt at home with this. Everything ought to be made this way.
If You are interested, I am using the next add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is 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 upgrade my GeneratePress theme this very minute and not lose a single customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make this possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best Completely Free WordPress Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post that you have a great deal of options. You are able to change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default to a full width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these choices are enabled from the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here daily. But allow me to show you couple which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also created by precisely the same programmer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid thickness
Add custom classes
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example under:
You might want to Also grab his incredible WP Display Posts plugin also. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a particular”featured” category. You can also have it show past modified/updated posts, recent articles, etc.. I am using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium edition of GeneratePress allows you to perform all sorts of things in terms of design. Think of it like a webpage builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I’m in fact utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For those Of you who are regular readers, you probably didn’t even notice I changed the entire motif that forces woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif which I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I invested a lot of time scrutinizing 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 motif I was able to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I don’t have a child theme. Each of the customizations were made using the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have working on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he can make a replica of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress site library. I am pleased to allow you to know that you can now put in my woorkup motif in your GeneratePress site with just a click! It is known as the Marketer theme. Get started with a great blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum site, since I don’t use it for much. As you can see it loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the entire look 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a couple plugins which 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 motif from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimal website, as we just use it for our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best Completely Free WordPress Themes
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to again move everything over and get it looking just how I needed 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 weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my websites to it (which comprises several EDD e-commerce sites). Once I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP with no child themes, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The programmer has revived my faith in multi-purpose subjects , and that when done the right way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing isI finally have a thousand more choices to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users who wish to have the ability to personalize and control exactly how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Since Of that, those who assemble WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They will typically pair it with a WordPress site 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 realize you want to produce a fashion blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that’s developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a lot simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones if you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you want it to, you’ll most likely will need to go in and customize things. And while the significant benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, particularly casual users, don’t like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the specific characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is indeed common.
Plenty Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Performance, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient as you’ll be able to see all of the changes that you create in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress gives you decent options, but should you own GeneratePress Premium, you’ll have the ability to customize nearly everything about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Layout area, you may configure comprehensive settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header round and change its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can utilize a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like the number of widgets to include
Similarly, That the Typography area enables you to control the font for every single element on your website, including buttons:
And You also get a thorough region to control the colour of every single element on your site.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other topics. This level of detail might be a bit overwhelming if you’re a beginner. But once you realize how the preferences come together, you’ll have full control over how your site looks.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Around All of its attributes, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on excellent performance and clean code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, which will be about as little as you are ever going to find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress themes are still 200+ kB. And some poorly coded themes can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Put That together, and you get a superfast-loading motif. How fast? To give you a sense, I ran a little test.
First, I put up an empty website using 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 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 asks
That is Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly the same test site without changing anything else. Here is how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points better
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 asks, ~40% less
If You do that same test with different themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. Best Completely Free WordPress Themes
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other useful features like:
- Elements — a unique feature which allows 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 permits you to create different”sections” onto a page, each with their own design and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular interface where you can select and choose what characteristics you would like to trigger.
That Way, you don’t need to slow down your site for a quality which you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The past, you needed to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, though, the developer added a new Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any among those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a couple buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Every Piece Of Content
With Most topics, each page and post will use the same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — however you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Layout meta box for each and every page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain elements, such as your header, navigation menu, article featured picture, post title, or footer
- Create a special”container” to your page builder
Where These controls are the most useful is if you are using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are able to create the correct baseline for your page builder design, making it easy to create custom articles as needed. Best Completely Free WordPress Themes
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress motif is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I believe you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you almost as numerous settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you will 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 unlimited websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and updates after the first year (you can, of course, continue using GeneratePress following the initial year without renewing — you won’t get any more upgrades ).
When You believe the normal premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great value.
As I said, I do not believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your needs for your market out of day one.
But If you’re ready to spend some time changing settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you might even have the ability to find a starter website that fits your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is among the fastest-loading WordPress topics you will find. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best performance possible, using 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 minute. Best Completely Free WordPress Themes