Background Best Free Themes For WordPress Websites
Over the past ten decades, I have used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I was utilizing MyThemeShop, which was fairly good. However, I still had to perform a lot of customization to make it perform and operate the way I needed it to. A few weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I have found in a decade . I had been blown away and am now moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review under. And if you’re wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Best Free Themes For WordPress Websites
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 realize that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I tend to dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of stuff on there is not that great, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this case, 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 clearly Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the theme 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 envisioning a theme should get the job done. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at a number of the qualities. I’m going to be covering the superior version of the theme, because it’s worth . In fact, Tom, in the event that you read this and are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you do not want running. This is one of the greatest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for greater results in SERPs.
Impressive integration with all the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of the customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser service back to IE8.
It also works great with the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like 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.
A lot of filters and hooks that make it great for programmers.
Excellent active service 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 Googled during the setup procedure was found within a couple of seconds in their forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right from 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 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 worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to generate a whole lot of big files, but this isn’t the case. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring that every file loaded in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of documents is not as important. However, 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
This is a programmer that cares about functionality! And I have Seen exactly the same during each the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the largest file included. And that isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we could expect that to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I’d call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to guarantee they don’t load on your site. Since the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script supervisor built, I felt right at home with this. Everything should 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 that I no longer need to use a young child theme. This makes my life much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress theme this very moment rather than shed a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly can help make this possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best Free Themes For WordPress Websites
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot of options. You can change the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly 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! Bear in mind, lots of these options are permitted by the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here daily. But let me show you few 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 exact same programmer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns to any page or article. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert Customized courses
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You May Want to Also catch his amazing WP Display Posts plugin also. View my featured articles on the sidebar of this website? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You can also get it show last modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to do all kinds of things in terms of design. Consider it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only 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 did not even notice I changed the entire motif that powers woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif which I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop theme was already pretty fast, but I invested a lot of time customizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to print all of my customizations. My advice now is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress motif I was able to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I don’t have a child motif. All the customizations were made with the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve running on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he could make a copy of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress blog library. I’m pleased to allow you to know that now you can install my woorkup motif on your own GeneratePress website with only a click! It’s known as the Marketer theme. Get started with a great blog layout instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal site, as I do not use it for much. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the entire appearance 100 percent in GeneratePress in under an hour. And since you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to get rid of 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 was using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum website, as we simply use it to our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best Free Themes For WordPress Websites
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I needed it in under one hour. And as you can see 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 finding GeneratePress and I am moving over all my websites for this (which comprises several EDD e-commerce sites). After I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP without any child themes, my life will be a breeze! The programmer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the correct way, can actually perform faster.
And The best news isI now have a billion more options to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal option for performance-focused users that wish to have the ability to customize and control precisely how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the site that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load quickly.
Because Of that, people 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 website.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something which will immediately look perfect from the box.
For Example, if you know you want to produce a style blog, you may be happier picking out a market theme that’s developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a great deal simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones if you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll most likely need to go in and personalize things. And though the significant advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, particularly casual users, don’t like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are some of the particular characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Plenty Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Performance, another area where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient because you’ll be able to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress gives you adequate options, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize nearly everything about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Design region, you may configure comprehensive settings to your:
- Header — you can move your header around and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to add
Likewise, The Typography area enables you to control the font to get each and every element on your website, including buttons:
And You also receive a detailed region to control the colour of every single element on your site.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization options in the WordPress Customizer than most other themes. This amount of detail might be a bit overwhelming if you’re a beginner. But once you understand how the settings come together, you’ll have complete control over how your site looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All of its features, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, and it 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 some badly coded themes can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you an idea, I ran a little 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 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That’s Not bad in any way! However, GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly the same test website without altering anything else. Here is how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance grade of 87, 10 points greater
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 asks, ~40% fewer
If You do that same test with different topics, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Best Free Themes For WordPress Websites
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 lets you create custom hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page building. It lets you create separate”sections” on a page, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular port where you could pick and choose what characteristics you want to activate.
That Way, you don’t have to slow your site down for a quality which you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The last, you had to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a new 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 couple buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Each 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 — but you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a new Design meta name box for every single 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 how many footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, article featured picture, article title, or footer
- Create a special”container” for your page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you are using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you’re in a position to produce the proper baseline for your own page builder design, making it easy to create custom content as needed. Best Free Themes For WordPress Websites
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I feel you should buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you nearly as numerous settings in the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still quite reasonably priced. It costs just $39.95, which provides you use on infinite sites. You’ll also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to continue receiving support and updates after the first year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress after the first year without renewing — you won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You believe the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a fantastic price.
As I mentioned, I do not think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You want a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that fits your requirements for your market from day one.
However, If you’re ready to spend time changing settings, GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to find a starter site that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It’s one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics you will find. So if you’re seeking the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a great choice.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty making your site load in under one second. Best Free Themes For WordPress Websites