Background Best Free WordPress Blog Themes
Within 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, that was pretty good. However, I still had to perform a great deal of customization to make it do and work how I needed it to. A few weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I’ve discovered in a decade . I was dismissed and am moving all my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review under. And if you’re wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. Best Free WordPress Blog Themes
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I have actually seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know 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 things on there isn’t that great, or not encouraged for long. However, in this case, that 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 Actually installed the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes purchased the superior version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking precisely how I was imagining a theme should work. And I’ll go into that more below, but let us first look at a number of the features. I will be covering the premium version of the theme, since it’s worth . Actually, Tom, in the event that you read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. 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 results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using all the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a fan of this customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser support back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I have also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built-in.
A lot of hooks and filters that make it good for programmers.
Great active service from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be unbelievable. Besides have great documentation on their website, the theme has been around long enough that what I wholeheartedly during the setup procedure was found within a couple of seconds from their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I test a new theme right from the box with no customizations to see how quickly the foundation is. This tells me a great deal of what I can 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 very impressed.
One Thing I was concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to produce a lot of big files, but this is not the situation. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on making sure every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of documents is not as significant. But the dimensions is! Take a peek at some 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 the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file included. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving round the cornerwe could anticipate this to secure smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I’d call a modular layout. It is possible to activate/deactivate whatever you aren’t using to ensure they do not load on your site. Since the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script supervisor built, I felt at home for this. Everything ought to be made this way.
If You’re curious, I’m using the following add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is that I no longer have to use a Child theme. This makes my life much easier. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I can literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this very moment rather than lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make this possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best Free WordPress Blog Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a great deal of options. You can alter the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly 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! Bear in mind, lots of these options are enabled by the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. But let me show you few which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also made by precisely the exact same programmer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns to any page or article. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert custom courses
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. 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 specific”featured” category. You might also get it show last modified/updated posts, recent articles, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works terrific.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you perform all sorts of things concerning design. Think of it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I’m in reality utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) which is running Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For those Of those who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the whole theme that powers woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif which I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop theme was already pretty fast, but I spent a lot of time customizing it. In fact, I’ve 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
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 child theme. All the customizations were created with the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have running on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he can make a copy of woorkup for the new GeneratePress site library. I’m happy to allow you to know that you can now put in my woorkup motif on your GeneratePress site with just a single click! It is known as the Marketer motif. Get started using a fantastic blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal site, since 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 one hour. And since you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of 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’s a pretty basic minimal website, as we just use it to our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best Free WordPress Blog 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 an hour. And since you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page burden 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my sites to it (which comprises some EDD e-commerce websites ). Once I have my 9 websites all running in GP without any child topics, my life will be a breeze! The programmer has revived my faith in multi-purpose subjects , and that when done the correct way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing is, I now have a billion more choices to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal option for performance-focused users who want to have the ability to customize and control exactly how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a fantastic base to make it load quickly.
Since Of that, people who assemble WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They will typically pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Fit If…
…you Want something that will instantly appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to create a fashion blog, you may be happier picking out a niche theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress is becoming a great deal simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when 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 things. And while the substantial benefit 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 a few of the specific features that clarify why GeneratePress is so common.
Plenty Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another area where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which can be convenient as you’ll have the ability to see all the changes that you create in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress gives you decent options, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize pretty much all about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Layout area, you can configure comprehensive settings to your:
- Header — you can move your header round and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured picture dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to include
Similarly, The Typography area enables you to control the font to get each and every element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also get a thorough region to control the colour of every single element on your website.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give you much more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This amount of detail might be a little overwhelming if you are a beginner. But once you realize the way the settings come together, you’ll have full control on how your site looks.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Around All of its features, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The entire theme is less than 30 kB, and it is 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 topics can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which helps you avoid the leave obstructing 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 conducted a small test.
First, I put up a vacant website using a random popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After testing its functionality with Pingdom, it:
- Had a performance tier of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That’s Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly the same test site without altering 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% fewer
If You do the exact same test with different topics, you’ll continue to see that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Best Free WordPress Blog Themes
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature that lets you create custom hooks, page headers, or design 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 lets you create different”sections” on a webpage, each with their own design and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could select and choose exactly which characteristics you would like to trigger.
That Way, you do not need to slow down your site for a quality which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The last, you had to construct GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which made the theme difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer 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 site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a couple buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most themes, every page and post will use the same settings for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — but you don’t have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a brand new Design meta box for each and every page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (like altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, like your header, navigation menu, article featured image, article title, or footer
- Create a special”container” for your page builder
Where These controls are the most helpful is if you’re using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are in a position to produce the correct baseline for your own page builder layout, making it effortless to create custom articles as needed. Best Free WordPress Blog Themes
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress motif can be obtained for free at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you are serious about utilizing GeneratePress, I believe you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so elastic. The free version doesn’t give you almost as many settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you will also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly affordable. It costs only $39.95, and that provides you use on unlimited sites. You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades after the first year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress following the first year without beating — you just won’t receive any more updates).
When You believe that the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great price.
As I mentioned, I do not think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your needs for your market out of day one.
However, If you are willing to spend some time altering settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress site. Or, you may even have the ability to locate a starter website that fits your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It’s among those fastest-loading WordPress themes that you will locate. Therefore, if you’re seeking the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great decision.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, you should have no problem making your site load in under one minute. Best Free WordPress Blog Themes