Intro Best Free 2016 WordPress Themes
Over the previous ten years, I’ve used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I had been using MyThemeShop, which was fairly excellent. However, I had to do a lot of customization to allow it to do and operate the way I wanted it to. A few weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the finest WordPress theme I’ve discovered in a decade . I was blown away and am moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I’ve attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as many other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Best Free 2016 WordPress Themes
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I have a tendency to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of things on there isn’t that great, or not supported for long. However, in this circumstance, that was a mistake. The motif now 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 set up the free version of the motif and in a matter of 15 minutes bought the superior version. I could tell right off the bat, the programmer was thinking precisely how I was envisioning a theme should work. And I’ll go into that more below, but let’s first look at a number of the features. I’m going to be covering the superior version of the theme, because it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, in the event that you read this and are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you don’t need running. This is one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for better outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration with all the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of the customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser support back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with all the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these really are a terrific combo. I’ve also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built in.
Tons of hooks and filters which make it good for programmers.
Excellent active service from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have great documentation on their website, the subject has existed long enough that what I wholeheartedly during the setup process was found within a couple of seconds in their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I test a brand new theme right out of the box with no customizations to see how quickly the base is. This tells me a lot of what I could 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 generate a lot of big files, but that is not the case. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring that every file packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of files is not as significant. However, the size is! Take a look at a few of the core 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
That is a developer that cares about functionality! And I’ve Seen exactly the same throughout each the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file included. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the cornerwe could expect this to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I’d call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate whatever you aren’t using to ensure they do not load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built-in, I felt at home for this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You are curious, I’m using the following add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is I no more have to use a Child motif . This makes my life much simpler. No longer 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 helps make this possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best Free 2016 WordPress Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot 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 components.
The WordPress customizer choices is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, a lot of these choices are enabled from the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. But let me show you couple which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be made by precisely the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super easy way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid thickness
Insert Customized classes
Insert custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example under:
You might want to Also catch his amazing WP Show Posts plugin also. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this website? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a specific”featured” category. You might also get it show past modified/updated posts, recent articles, etc.. I am using the free version and it works great.
The Sections add-on in the premium edition of GeneratePress lets you perform all kinds of things concerning design. Think of it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not just for blogs! I’m in reality utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) which is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For those Of those who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the entire theme that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme that I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was already pretty fast, but I invested a lot of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I have gotten a lot 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 was able to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I do not have a kid theme. Each of the customizations were made using the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have working on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he can create a replica of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress site library. I am happy to let you know that now you can install my woorkup theme on your own GeneratePress website with just a single click! It’s called the Marketer motif. Get started with a great blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimal website, since I do not use it for much. Since you can see it already loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the whole appearance 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can view it loads even 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
Additionally, I Moved over our organization site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimal site, as we just use it for our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best Free 2016 WordPress Themes
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I needed it in under an hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my sites to it (which includes several EDD e-commerce websites ). Once I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP without any child themes, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the correct way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news is, I finally have a billion more choices to choose from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users who want to be able to personalize and control exactly how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a great base to make it load quickly.
Since Of that, those who assemble 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 site.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Fit If…
…you Need something which will instantly appear perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to produce a style blog, you may be happier choosing a niche 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 when you initially install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you want it to, you will most likely need to go in and personalize things. And though the substantial advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, particularly casual users, do not like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the specific features that explain why GeneratePress is so common.
Lots Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Performance, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which can be convenient because you will have the ability to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress gives you adequate possibilities, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much all about your site.
For Example, if you go in the Design area, you may configure comprehensive 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 a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured image size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like the number of widgets to add
Likewise, That the Typography area lets you control the font for every single element on your website, including buttons:
And You also receive a detailed region to control the colour of every single element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization choices in the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This level of detail may be a little overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But once you understand the way the settings come together, you will have complete control on how your website appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on excellent performance and clean code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, and it is about as little 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 themes 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 cites.
Put That collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you a sense, I conducted a small test.
First, I set up a vacant website utilizing a random popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After testing its functionality 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 at all! But GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the exact same test website without altering anything else. Here is how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance grade of 87, 10 points better
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 requests, ~40% fewer
If You perform the exact same test with other themes, you are going to continue to find that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Best Free 2016 WordPress Themes
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more design controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other helpful features like:
- Elements — a unique feature which allows you create customized hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is kind of like lightweight page building. It lets you create different”sections” on a webpage, each with their own layout and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could select and choose what features you want to trigger.
That Way, you don’t have to slow your site down for a quality that you’ll never 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 regardless of what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a fresh Site Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users which lets you easily import any one of those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them right from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a few buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Every Piece Of Content
With Most themes, each post and page will use the very same settings 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 giving you a new Design meta name box for each and every post and page:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (like altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, post featured picture, post title, or footer
- Create a special”container” to your own page builder
Where These controls are the most helpful is if you are using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you’re in a position to create the correct baseline for your page builder layout, which makes it easy to create custom articles as needed. Best Free 2016 WordPress Themes
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme can be obtained for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re seriously interested in utilizing GeneratePress, I feel you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what makes the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you nearly as numerous configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also 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 after the initial year (you can, obviously, keep using GeneratePress following the first year without beating — you just won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You consider that the normal premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, I don’t think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that fits your requirements for your market from day one.
However, If you are ready to spend time changing settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to find a starter website that fulfills your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It’s among those fastest-loading WordPress themes that you will find. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great choice.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any problem making your website load in under one minute. Best Free 2016 WordPress Themes