Introduction Best Free Website Themes
Over the previous ten years, I’ve used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up until recently, I was using MyThemeShop, which was pretty excellent. However, I still had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to do and work how I wanted it to. A few weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s by far the best WordPress theme I’ve discovered in a decade . I had been blown away and am moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I will go into exactly why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as many other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Best Free Website Themes
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve actually 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 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 circumstance, this was a mistake. The motif currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. So clearly 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 superior version. I could tell right off the bat, the programmer was thinking precisely how I was envisioning a theme should get the job done. And I’ll go into that more below, but let us first look at some of the features. I will be covering the superior version of the theme, since it’s worth . Actually, Tom, in the event that you read this and are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you don’t need running. This is only one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Impressive integration using the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of this customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser support back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with all the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these really are a terrific combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built in.
Tons of hooks and filters which make it great for programmers.
Excellent active support from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have great documentation on their website, the subject has been around long enough that what I Googled during the setup procedure was found inside a few seconds from their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I test a new theme right out of the box without any customizations to see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a great deal of what I could expect by the time that I add everything to it. 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 generate a whole lot of big files, but that is not the case. You may tell that Tom literally worked hard on making sure that every record packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of documents is not as significant. But the size is! Take a look at a few of the center 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 performance! And I’ve Seen exactly the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the largest file contained. And that isn’t even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we can expect that to secure smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you are not using to guarantee they don’t load on your site. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script supervisor built, I felt at home for this. Everything should be made this way.
If You are interested, 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 theme. This makes my life much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I will literally update my GeneratePress motif this exact minute rather than lose a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make this possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best Free Website Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a lot of alternatives. You can alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page involving the default to a full width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these choices are permitted by 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 actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be created by the same programmer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super simple way to add responsive columns to any page or article. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Add Customized classes
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example under:
You May Want to Also grab his incredible WP Display Posts plugin also. View my featured articles on the sidebar of this website? That is using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You might also have it show last modified/updated articles, recent articles, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium edition of GeneratePress lets you perform all sorts of things concerning design. Consider it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not just for blogs! I’m in reality using GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) which is running Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For all those Of you who are regular readers, you probably did not even notice that I changed the entire motif that forces woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent annually customizing. Here is a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was already pretty fast, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In reality, 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 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 wonderful 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 can create a copy of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress site library. I am happy to let you know that you can now put in my woorkup theme in your own GeneratePress website with only a click! It is known as the Marketer motif. Get started with a great blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved within my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum site, as I don’t use it for much. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to duplicate the entire appearance 100 percent in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to eliminate a few plugins which weren’t needed due to GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our organization website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal website, as we just use it to our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly. Best Free Website Themes
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to move everything over and get it looking exactly how I needed it in under one hour. And since you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I managed to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my sites to it (which comprises some EDD e-commerce sites). Once I have my 9 sites all running in GP with no child topics, my life is going to be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose subjects , which when done the correct way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing isI now have a thousand more options to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users who want to be able to personalize and control exactly how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a great base to make it load quickly.
Because Of that, those who build WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll normally pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any type of site.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Combination If…
…you Need something which will immediately appear perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to produce a style blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While 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 want it to, you will most likely need to go in and personalize things. And while 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 That 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
Past Functionality, another area where GeneratePress does well is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this can be convenient because you’ll have the ability to see all the changes that you create in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you decent possibilities, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll have the ability to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For Example, if you go in the Layout region, you can configure detailed settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header round and change its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured image size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to add
Likewise, The Typography place lets you control the font to get every single element on your website, including buttons:
And You also get a detailed area to control the color of each and every element on your website.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization choices in the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This amount of detail may be a little overwhelming if you are a beginner. But as soon as you realize how the settings come together, you will have complete control on how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its features, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, which is about as small as you’ll ever 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 render obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That together, and you get a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you an idea, I ran a small test.
First, I set up an empty site utilizing a haphazard 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 is Not bad in any way! However, 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 requests, ~40% fewer
If You perform the exact same test with other topics, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Best Free Website Themes
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other helpful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature which 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 — this is sort of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create different”sections” on a page, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular interface where you could select and choose exactly which features you want to trigger.
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 Site
In The past, you needed 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, though, the developer added a fresh Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any among those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them directly from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a couple buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Detailed Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most themes, each post and page will use the same configurations for the most part. You may have some custom formats or templates — however you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a new Design meta box for each and every page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (like altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, like 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 useful is if you are using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you are able to create the correct baseline for your own page builder layout, making it effortless to create custom articles as needed. Best Free Website Themes
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress motif is available for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re seriously interested in utilizing GeneratePress, I feel you should purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what makes the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you almost as many configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly reasonably priced. It costs only $39.95, and that provides you use on unlimited websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades following the initial year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress after the initial year without beating — you just won’t get any more upgrades ).
When You consider the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, I don’t think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your requirements for your market out of day one.
But If you are willing to spend time altering settings, 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’s among the fastest-loading WordPress themes that you will find. Therefore, if you’re seeking the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a great choice.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no difficulty making your website load in under one minute. Best Free Website Themes