Introduction Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes
Over the past ten years, I’ve used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, which was fairly excellent. But I still had to do a great deal of customization to allow it to perform and work how I needed it to. A couple weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s by far the finest WordPress theme I have discovered in a decade . I had been blown away and am moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review under. And if you are wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as many other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme created 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 am pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I have a tendency to ignore everything from the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there is not that good, or not supported for long. Nonetheless, in this case, that was a mistake. The motif currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. 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 premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking exactly how I was imagining a theme should get the job done. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at some of the features. I’m going to be covering the superior edition of the theme, because it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, if you ever read this and are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you do not want running. This is only one of the biggest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great 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 the customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser service back to IE8.
It also works great with all the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built-in.
Tons of filters and hooks that make it great for developers.
Great active service from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also unbelievable. Besides have great documentation on their site, the subject has been around long enough that what I wholeheartedly during the setup process was found inside a couple of seconds from their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right out of the box with no customizations to see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a great deal of what I could expect by the time I add everything to it. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress motif on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms load time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to generate a whole lot of big files, but this isn’t the situation. You may tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring that every file loaded in GeneratePress is as little as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of documents isn’t as significant. But the size is! Take 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 developer that cares about performance! And I have Seen exactly the same during all of the premium add-ons. They are as small as you can possibly get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file contained. 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 setup in what I would call a modular layout. It is possible to activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to guarantee they don’t load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script supervisor built, I felt right at home with this. Everything ought to be made 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 I no more need to use a young child motif . This makes my life much simpler. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally update my GeneratePress motif this exact moment rather than shed a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make it possible. It permits you to add custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a lot of alternatives. You can change the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page involving the default option to a full width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these options are enabled by the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. But allow me to 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 is also made by the exact same programmer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super easy way to add responsive columns into any page or post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert Customized courses
Add custom inline styles
Equal height columns
Here is An example under:
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 show posts from a particular”featured” category. You might also get it show past modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works terrific.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to do all kinds of things in terms of design. Think of it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I am in fact using GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) which is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to look it over. However, as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For those Of those that are regular readers, you probably did not even notice I changed the whole motif that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to print all my customizations. My advice now 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. All the customizations were made with 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 could make a replica of woorkup to your new GeneratePress blog library. I’m happy to let you know that you can now put in my woorkup theme in your GeneratePress site with just a single click! It is known as the Marketer motif. Get started using a great blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal website, as I don’t use it to get much. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to duplicate the entire look 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And since you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I was 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 business website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum site, as we just use it to our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I needed it in under one hour. And since you can see 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 finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my websites for this (which comprises some EDD e-commerce sites). After I have my 9 websites all running in GP without any child themes, my life will 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 thing isI now have a billion more options to choose 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 appears.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the site that you build will have a fantastic base to make it load fast.
Since Of that, people who build 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 Combination If…
…you Want something that will immediately appear perfect from the box.
For Example, if you know you wish to produce a style blog, you might be happier choosing a niche theme that’s developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a lot simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones if you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you will almost certainly will need to go in and customize matters. And though the substantial advantage 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 some of the specific characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is indeed common.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this can be convenient as you’ll have the ability to see all of the changes that you create in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you decent options, but should you own GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much everything about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Design region, you may configure detailed settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header round and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to include
Similarly, The Typography area enables you to control the font for every single element on your website, including buttons:
And You also receive a detailed region to control the colour of each and every element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization choices in the WordPress Customizer compared to most other topics. This amount of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But as soon as you realize how the settings come together, you will have full control over how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Around All its attributes, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, and it is about as small 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 topics can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which helps you avoid the leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That together, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you an idea, I conducted a little test.
First, I set up an empty site using a random popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its functionality 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 do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on 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% faster
- 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 find that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other helpful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature that 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 — that is kind of like lightweight page building. It lets you create different”sections” on 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 exactly which features you want to activate.
That Way, you don’t have to slow down your site for a feature that you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The last, you needed to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, though, the programmer added a fresh Site Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that allows you easily import any among those 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them right from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a couple buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Detailed Control Over Every Bit Of Content
With Most topics, each post and page will use the same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — but you do not have very much control beyond 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 the number of sidebars your website 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, post featured picture, article title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” for your own page builder
Where These controls are the most helpful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re in a position to create the correct baseline for your page builder layout, making it easy to create custom articles as needed. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif is available for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are serious about utilizing GeneratePress, I believe you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what makes the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you nearly as numerous configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still quite reasonably priced. It costs only $39.95, and that gives you use on infinite sites. You will also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and updates following the initial year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress following the first year without renewing — you won’t receive any more updates).
When You believe the typical premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a great price.
As I said, I do not believe GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You desire a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that satisfies your requirements for your market from day one.
However, If you are willing to spend some time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort 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 is among the fastest-loading WordPress topics you will find. So if you’re seeking the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good decision.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you shouldn’t have any problem making your website load in under one minute. Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes