Intro Best Free WordPress Themes Ever
Over the previous 10 decades, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up until recently, I had been using MyThemeShop, that was pretty good. But I had to do a great deal of customization to make it perform and operate how I wanted it to. A couple of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is by far the best WordPress theme I have found in a decade . I had been dismissed and am moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter exactly why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best Free WordPress Themes Ever
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for many 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 from the repository. Typically because a great deal of stuff on there is not that good, or not supported for long. Nonetheless, in this case, this was a mistake. The motif now has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So clearly Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Really installed the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes bought the premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking precisely how I was envisioning a theme should get the job done. And I will go into that more below, but let us first look at a number of the features. I’m going to be covering the superior version of the theme, because it’s worth . In fact, Tom, if you read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t need running. This is one of the biggest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration with the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of the customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with the favorite 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 individuals using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built in.
A lot of hooks and filters that make it good for developers.
Excellent active support from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also unbelievable. Besides have great documentation on their website, the theme has existed long enough that what I Googled throughout 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 brand new theme right out of the box with no customizations to just see how quickly the base is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time I add everything for this. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms load time. I was quite impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to generate a lot of big files, but that isn’t the situation. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on making sure that every record loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of files isn’t as important. However, the size is! Have a look 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
That is a developer that cares about performance! And I have Seen the same throughout all of the premium add-ons. They are as small as you can possibly get them. In fact, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file contained. And that isn’t even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we can anticipate this to get smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I would call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to guarantee they don’t load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built-in, I felt at home with this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You’re interested, I am using the next add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is that I no longer need to use a Child theme. This makes my life much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this very moment and not shed a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make it possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best Free WordPress Themes Ever
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post that you have a great deal of options. You are able to change the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default option to a full width page, in addition to disable components.
The WordPress customizer choices is 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 would be here all day. But let me show you couple which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be created by the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super easy way to add responsive columns into any page or article. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Insert Customized 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. See my featured posts 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 have it show last modified/updated articles, recent articles, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you perform all kinds of things concerning design. Consider it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I am in fact using GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to look it over. However, as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For all those Of those who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the whole motif that powers woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I invested a great deal of time customizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to publish all my customizations. My advice now is, simply 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 keep in mind, I don’t have a child motif. Each of the customizations were created with the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve working on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he could make a copy of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress site library. I’m happy to allow you to know that now you can put in my woorkup motif on your own GeneratePress site with only a click! It’s called the Marketer theme. Get started using a great blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum website, since I don’t use it for much. As you can see it loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to duplicate the entire look 100 percent in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was even able to get rid of a few plugins that weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our business site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum site, as we just use it to our LLC. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly. Best Free WordPress Themes Ever
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under an hour. And since you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page burden 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my sites to it (which includes some EDD e-commerce sites). Once I have my 9 websites all running in GP without any child topics, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The programmer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing isI finally have a thousand more choices to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users who want to be able to customize and control exactly how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the site that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Since Of that, those 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 type of website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Want something that will instantly appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to produce a style blog, you might be happier picking out a niche theme that’s developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a great deal simpler to use, as a result of its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones if you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you want it to, you’ll most likely need to go in and customize things. And though the significant benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, particularly casual users, don’t like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are some of the specific features that clarify why GeneratePress is so common.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient because you’ll be able to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress provides you decent possibilities, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much everything about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Layout region, you may configure comprehensive settings to your:
- Header — you can move your header round and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post design — such as featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like how many widgets to include
Similarly, The Typography area enables you to control the font to get each and every element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also get a detailed region to control the color of each and every element on your site.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will provide you much more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer than most other themes. This amount of detail might be a little overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But as soon as you understand the way the settings come together, you will have complete control on how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The entire theme 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 poorly coded themes can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which will help you avoid the render blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That together, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you an idea, I conducted a little test.
First, I put up an empty site utilizing a haphazard popular WordPress.org theme (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’s Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the exact same test website without altering anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- 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 requests, ~40% less
If You do that same test with other topics, you’ll continue to find that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. Best Free WordPress Themes Ever
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features such as:
- Elements — a exceptional feature which allows you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is kind of like lightweight page building. It permits you to create different”sections” on a webpage, each with their own design and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular port where you can select and choose what features you want to activate.
That Way, you don’t have to slow your site down for a quality which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The past, you had to construct GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, though, the developer added a fresh Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users that allows you easily import any among those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a few buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most themes, every post and page will use the very same settings for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — but you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand new Layout meta name box for every single page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, like your header, navigation menu, post featured image, article title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” for your page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you are in a position to produce the correct baseline for your page builder layout, making it easy to create custom articles as needed. Best Free WordPress Themes Ever
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress theme can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I believe you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you nearly as many configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly reasonably priced. It costs only $39.95, and that gives 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 following the initial year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress following the first year without renewing — you won’t get any more updates).
When You believe the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic price.
As I said, 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 from day one.
But If you are willing to spend time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to locate a starter website that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is one of those 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 decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, you should have no problem making your site load in under one second. Best Free WordPress Themes Ever