Background Best Free WordPress Templates For Blogs
Within the past ten decades, I have used a great deal of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I had been using MyThemeShop, that was pretty excellent. However, I still had to do a lot of customization to make it perform 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 is by far the best WordPress theme I have found in a decade . I was dismissed and am now moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best Free WordPress Templates For Blogs
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve really seen it for years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know 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 things on there is not that good, or not encouraged for long. However, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The motif currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy installs, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So obviously Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually installed 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 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 features. I will be covering the superior edition of the theme, since it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, if you read this and 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 great across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for greater outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration using all the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t 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. Fantastic browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these really are a great combo. I have also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built in.
Tons of hooks and filters that make it great for programmers.
Great active support from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have good documentation on their site, the theme has existed long enough that everything I Googled throughout the setup process was found inside a few seconds from their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right from the box with no customizations to just see how quickly the base 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 load time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but this is not the situation. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring that every file packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of documents is not as significant. However, the size is! Take 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’ve Seen the same during all the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file included. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the cornerwe can anticipate that to get smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to ensure they don’t load on your site. Since the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt right at home for this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You are interested, I’m using the next add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is I no more have to use a Child theme. This makes my life so much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally update my GeneratePress motif this very minute and not lose one 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 WordPress Templates For Blogs
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post that you have a lot of alternatives. You are able to alter the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default to a full width page, in addition to disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these options are enabled by the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. However, let me 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 is also created by precisely the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super easy way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid width
Add custom classes
Insert custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You might want to Also grab his incredible WP Display Posts plugin too. View my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You can also have it show past modified/updated articles, recent articles, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium edition of GeneratePress allows you to do all sorts of things in terms of design. Think of it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I’m in reality using GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) which is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to check it out. However, as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For those Of those who are regular readers, you probably did not even notice that 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 under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop motif was pretty quickly, but I invested a great deal of time customizing it. In fact, I have gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to print all of my customizations. My advice today is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress motif I managed to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I don’t have a kid theme. Each of the customizations were created using the wonderful 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 could make a copy of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress site library. I am happy to let you know that you can now install my woorkup theme on your GeneratePress website with only a click! It’s called the Marketer theme. 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 theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal website, since 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 whole appearance 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a couple plugins that 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’s a pretty basic minimal website, as we simply use it for our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best Free WordPress Templates For Blogs
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 since you can see it loads 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 finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my sites to it (which includes several EDD e-commerce websites ). After I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP without any child topics, my life is going to be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the right way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing isI finally have a billion more options to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users who 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 website that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load quickly.
Because Of that, people who assemble 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.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something which will instantly look perfect from 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 has gotten a great deal easier to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you want it to, you’ll most likely will need to go in and personalize matters. And though the significant advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, particularly casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the particular characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is so common.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Functionality, another area where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses 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 variant of GeneratePress gives you decent options, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much all about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Design region, you can configure comprehensive settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header round and alter its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can use a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post design — like featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like how many widgets to include
Likewise, That the Typography area enables you to control the font for every single element on your site, 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 provide you much more customization options in the WordPress Customizer compared to most other topics. This level of detail might be a bit overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But as soon as you realize how the preferences come together, you’ll have complete control over how your website appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its features, GeneratePress always has a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The whole theme is less than 30 kB, which 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 themes can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Place That collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you an idea, I ran a little test.
First, I put up a vacant site utilizing a random popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After analyzing 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 asks
That is Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the exact same test website 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 themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. Best Free WordPress Templates For Blogs
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features like:
- Elements — a unique feature which allows you create customized 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 permits you to create separate”sections” onto a page, each with their own design and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular port where you could select and choose exactly which features you want to trigger.
That Way, you do not have to slow your site down for a quality that you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The past, you needed to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter 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 directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a few buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most topics, every post and page will use the very same configurations for the most part. You may have some custom templates or formats — but you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand new Layout meta box for every single post and page:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (like changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, like your header, navigation menu, post featured image, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” for your own page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are in a position to create the correct baseline for your page builder layout, making it easy to create custom content as needed. Best Free WordPress Templates For Blogs
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you are serious about using GeneratePress, I believe 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 settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly affordable. It costs just $39.95, which provides you use on infinite sites. You will also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades following the first year (you can, obviously, keep using GeneratePress after the initial year without beating — you just won’t get any more updates).
When You believe the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a great price.
As I mentioned, I do not believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that fits your needs for your niche from day one.
However, If you’re willing to spend some time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you may even be able to find a starter site that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is one of the fastest-loading WordPress topics you will locate. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great decision.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no difficulty making your site load in under one second. Best Free WordPress Templates For Blogs