Background Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes 2016
Over the past 10 years, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I was utilizing MyThemeShop, which was pretty excellent. However, I had to do a lot of customization to make it do and work how I needed it to. A couple of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is by far the best WordPress theme I have discovered in 10 years. I had been blown away and am moving all my sites to GeneratePress. I will enter precisely why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below. And if you’re wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes 2016
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I have really seen it for 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 dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there is not that great, or not supported for long. However, 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 ratings. So obviously Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Actually set up the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes bought 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 will go into that more below, but let us first look at a number of the features. I’m going to be covering the premium version of the theme, since it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, in the event that you read this and so are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you do not need running. This is only one of the greatest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better 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 right.
Compatible with 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 terrific combo. I’ve also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built in.
Tons of hooks and filters that make it good for programmers.
Great active support from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have good documentation on their site, 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.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time for the fun part! I test a new theme right out of the box with no customizations to just 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 stock GeneratePress WordPress theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms loading time. I was quite impressed.
One Thing I was concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to produce a lot of big files, but that isn’t the situation. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on making sure every file packed in GeneratePress is as little as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of files is not as important. However, the size is! Have a peek 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
This is a developer that cares about functionality! And I have Seen exactly the same during all the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In fact, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file included. And that isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the cornerwe can expect this to get 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 ensure they do not load on your website. Since the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script supervisor built, I felt right at home with this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You’re interested, I’m using the following add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is I no longer need to use a Child motif . This makes my life much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I will literally update my GeneratePress motif this exact minute and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make it possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes 2016
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post that you have a lot of alternatives. You are able to alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default option to a complete width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer options is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these options are enabled from the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we would be here all day. But let me show you couple which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be made by precisely the same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to add responsive columns into any page or post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid thickness
Insert custom courses
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also catch his amazing WP Display Posts plugin too. View my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That’s using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You might also have it show past modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you perform 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 utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) which is running Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For all those Of those that are regular readers, you probably didn’t even notice that I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme that I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I spent a lot of time customizing it. In reality, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to print all of my customizations. My advice today is, just 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 remember, I do not have a kid motif. Each of the customizations were created with the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve running on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he could create a replica of woorkup for the new GeneratePress blog library. I’m pleased to let you know that you can now install my woorkup theme on your GeneratePress site with just a click! It is called the Marketer motif. Get started with a great blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved within my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal site, as I do not use it for much. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the entire look 100 percent in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a couple plugins which weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our business site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum site, as we simply use it for our LLC. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes 2016
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under one hour. And since you can view it loads 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 finding GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my sites for this (which comprises several EDD e-commerce sites). Once I have my 9 websites all running in GP with no child themes, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the correct way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing is, I now have a thousand more options to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users that wish to have the ability to personalize and control precisely how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the site that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Because Of that, people who build WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They will typically pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any type of website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Combination If…
…you Need something that will immediately appear perfect from the box.
For Example, if you know you want to produce a fashion blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that’s developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a great deal easier to use, thanks to its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when you initially install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you want it to, you’ll most likely will need to go in and personalize matters. 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 .
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the particular characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is so common.
Lots Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, which can be convenient because you’ll be able to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress provides you decent possibilities, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize pretty much everything about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Design area, you can configure detailed settings for 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 utilize a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured picture dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to include
Similarly, The Typography place enables you to control the font to get every single element on your website, including buttons:
And You also receive a thorough region to control the colour of each and every element on your site.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization choices in the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This level of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you are a beginner. But once you realize the way the preferences come together, you will have complete control over how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Around All its features, GeneratePress always includes a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, which will be 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 themes 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.
Place That collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you an idea, I ran a small test.
First, I set up a vacant site using a haphazard popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its functionality with Pingdom, it
- Had a performance tier of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That is Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the same test website without altering 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% fewer
If You perform that same test with other topics, you’ll continue to find that GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes 2016
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more style controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other useful features like:
- Elements — a exceptional feature which allows you create customized hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a exceptional page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is kind of like lightweight page building. It permits you to create different”sections” on a webpage, each with their own design and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular interface where you could pick and choose what characteristics you want to activate.
That Way, you don’t need to slow your site down for a feature that you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The past, you had to construct GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a fresh Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which lets 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 few buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most themes, each post and page will use the same settings for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — but you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Design meta name box for each and every post and page:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (like changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, article featured image, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to 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 in a position to create the correct baseline for your page builder layout, making it effortless to create custom articles as needed. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes 2016
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress motif can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re serious about using GeneratePress, I feel you should purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you almost as many configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you will also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still quite affordable. It costs only $39.95, which gives you use on infinite sites. You’ll also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades after the initial year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress after the first year without beating — you won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You consider that the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a great value.
As I said, I don’t think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your needs for your market out of day one.
However, If you are ready to spend some time altering settings, GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress site. Or, you may even be able to locate a starter site that fits your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is among those fastest-loading WordPress themes you will find. Therefore, 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, so you shouldn’t have any problem making your site load in under one second. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes 2016