Introduction Best Free Themes For WordPress 2016
Over the previous ten years, I’ve used a great deal of different WordPress topics and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I was using MyThemeShop, which was pretty good. However, I had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to do and operate the way I needed it to. A couple of weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s by far the best WordPress theme I’ve found in a decade . I had been blown away and am now moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I will go into precisely why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Best Free Themes For WordPress 2016
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve really seen it for years in the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, and so I tend to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of stuff on there isn’t that great, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The motif currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star ratings. So obviously Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Really installed 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 will go into that more below, but let’s first look at some of the qualities. I will be covering the premium edition of the subject, because it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, in the event that you ever read this and are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, java 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 biggest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for greater outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration with the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a fan of this customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with all the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I have also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built-in.
Tons of filters and hooks that make it good for programmers.
Excellent active support from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be unbelievable. Besides have great documentation on their website, the theme has been around long enough that everything I wholeheartedly throughout the setup procedure was found within a couple of seconds in their forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I always test a new theme right out of the box without any customizations to see how fast the base is. This tells me a great deal of what I could expect by the time I add everything for this. Running the stock GeneratePress WordPress motif 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 design was going to generate a whole lot of big files, but that is not the case. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring every file loaded in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of files isn’t as significant. However, the size is! Have a look at a few 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
This is a programmer that cares about functionality! And I have Seen exactly the same throughout all of the premium add-ons. They’re as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the largest file contained. And that isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 arriving around the cornerwe can anticipate this to get smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I would call a modular layout. You can activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to ensure they do not load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt right at home for this. Everything ought to be made 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 more have to use a Child motif . This makes my life much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally update my GeneratePress theme this exact moment and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make this possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best Free Themes For WordPress 2016
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post that you have a lot of alternatives. You can alter the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default to a complete width page, in addition to disable components.
The WordPress customizer options is where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these options are enabled from 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 really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also created by the same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns to any page or post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid thickness
Insert custom classes
Insert custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also grab his amazing WP Show Posts plugin also. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this website? That’s using the WP Display 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 am using the free version and it works great.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to do all kinds of things concerning design. Consider it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not just for blogs! I’m 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 nothing like a site.
For those Of you that are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It just 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 old MyThemeShop theme was pretty quickly, but I invested a lot of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I have gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to publish all of my customizations. My advice now is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress theme I was able to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I don’t have a child motif. 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’re in luck. Tom asked if he could create a copy of woorkup to your new GeneratePress blog library. I am happy to let you know that you can now put in my woorkup motif in your own GeneratePress site with just a single click! It’s known as the Marketer motif. Get started with a fantastic blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum site, 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 replicate the entire look 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And since you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to eliminate a couple plugins that 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 pretty basic minimum site, as we just use it to our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best Free Themes For WordPress 2016
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under an hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page weight 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my sites to it (which includes several EDD e-commerce sites). Once I have my 9 sites all running in GP without any child themes, my life is going to be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose subjects , and that 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 earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users who want to be able to personalize and control precisely how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the site that you build will have a great base to make it load quickly.
Since Of that, people who assemble WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They will normally pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Fit If…
…you Want something which will immediately appear perfect out of 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 fashion bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a lot simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll most likely will need to go in and personalize things. And though the substantial 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 a few of the particular features that clarify why GeneratePress is so popular.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another area where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient because you will be able to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress provides you decent options, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Design region, you may configure detailed settings to yourown:
- Header — you can move your header around and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like how many widgets to add
Similarly, The Typography place enables you to control the font to get every single element on your website, including buttons:
And You also get a thorough region to control the color of each and every element on your site.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you much more customization options from the WordPress Customizer than most other themes. This level of detail might be a little overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But as soon as you realize how the preferences come together, you will have full control over how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Around All its attributes, GeneratePress always includes a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The whole theme is less than 30 kB, which 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 a few badly coded topics can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Put That collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you an idea, I ran a little test.
First, I set up a vacant website using a haphazard popular WordPress.org motif (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’s Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the same test website without changing anything else. Here is how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points greater
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 requests, ~40% less
If You perform that same test with different themes, you are going to continue to find that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. Best Free Themes For WordPress 2016
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much 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 that allows you create custom hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a exceptional page header on 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 provides you a modular port where you could pick and choose what features you would like to activate.
That Way, you do not have to slow down your site for a quality which 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 set up.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a new Site Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any among 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 a couple buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most topics, every page and post will use the very same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — however 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 use this meta box to:
- Change how many 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, like your header, navigation menu, post featured picture, article title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to your page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you’re in a position to produce the proper baseline for your page builder design, which makes it effortless to create custom content as needed. Best Free Themes For WordPress 2016
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re serious about utilizing GeneratePress, I feel you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what produces the theme so flexible. The free version does not give you nearly as many configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still quite affordable. It costs just $39.95, which gives you use on infinite websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades following the initial year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress after the initial year without beating — you won’t get any more upgrades ).
When You consider the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great price.
As I said, I don’t think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that fits your requirements for your niche from day one.
However, If you’re willing to spend some time changing settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you may even have the ability to find 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 seeking the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty making your website load in under one second. Best Free Themes For WordPress 2016