Introduction Best Free WordPress Themes In 2016
Within the previous ten decades, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, that was fairly excellent. But I had to do a great deal of customization to make it perform and operate the way I wanted it to. A couple weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the finest WordPress theme I’ve found in 10 years. I was blown away and am moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter precisely why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you’re wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as several other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best Free WordPress Themes In 2016
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I am pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I tend to dismiss everything from the repository. Typically because a great deal of stuff on there is not that great, or not supported for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, that was a mistake. The theme currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy matches, with over 500 5-star ratings. So clearly Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Actually set up 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 programmer was thinking exactly how I was imagining a theme should work. And I’ll go into that more below, but let’s first look at a number of the features. I’m going to be covering the premium edition of the subject, because it’s worth . In fact, Tom, in the event that you ever read this and so are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t want running. This is one of the greatest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for greater results in SERPs.
Impressive integration using all the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan 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 favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built-in.
A lot of hooks and filters which make it great for programmers.
Great active service from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have good documentation on their site, the subject has been around long enough that everything 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 always test a brand new theme right from the box with no customizations to just see how quickly 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 inventory GeneratePress WordPress motif 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 layout was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but that isn’t the case. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on making sure every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the number of documents isn’t as important. But the dimensions is! Have a peek at a few of the core 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 programmer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen the same during all of the premium add-ons. They are as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file included. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving around the corner, we can anticipate this to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I would call a modular layout. You can activate/deactivate anything you are not using to ensure they don’t load on your site. Since the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built, I felt right at home for this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You are curious, I am 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 motif . This makes my life much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally update my GeneratePress theme this very minute rather than lose a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make this possible. It permits you to add custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best Free WordPress Themes In 2016
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a great deal of alternatives. You are able to change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page involving the default option to a complete width page, in addition to disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these options are enabled from the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. But let me show you couple which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also created by precisely the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns to any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid width
Add Customized courses
Add custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example under:
You might want to Also grab his amazing WP Display Posts plugin also. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That’s using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You might also get it show past modified/updated articles, 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 do all kinds of things in terms of design. Consider it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not just for blogs! I am in fact 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 site.
For those Of those who are regular readers, you likely did not even notice I changed the whole motif that forces woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif that I had spent annually customizing. Here is a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop motif was pretty quickly, but I invested a lot of time customizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish 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 do not have a child motif. Each of 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 create a copy of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress blog library. I’m happy to let you know that you can now put in my woorkup theme on your GeneratePress website with only a single click! It’s called the Marketer motif. Get started with a fantastic blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal website, since I don’t use it to get much. Since you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to duplicate the whole appearance 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a couple plugins that weren’t needed due to GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over our organization site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum site, as we simply use it to our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly. Best Free WordPress Themes In 2016
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I needed it in under one 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 whole page burden 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my sites to it (which includes some EDD e-commerce sites). After I have my 9 websites all running in GP without any child topics, my life is going to be a breeze! The programmer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the correct way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing isI now have a thousand more options to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users who want to have the ability to personalize and control precisely how their site appears.
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 base to make it load fast.
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 Fit If…
…you Want something which will instantly appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to produce a fashion blog, you might be happier picking out a market theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a great deal simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you want it to, you’ll almost certainly will need to go in and personalize matters. And though the significant benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, especially casual users, don’t like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are some of the particular characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is so common.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, which can be 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 possibilities, but should you own GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Layout region, you can configure detailed settings to your:
- Header — you can move your header around and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post design — like featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to add
Likewise, The Typography place enables you to control the font to get each and every element on your site, including buttons:
And You also get a thorough region to control the color of every single element on your site.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you much more customization options from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other topics. This amount of detail might be a little overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But once you realize the way the settings come together, you will have complete control over how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Around All of its attributes, GeneratePress always includes a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The whole theme 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 topics are still 200+ kB. And some poorly coded themes can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How fast? To give you a sense, I conducted a little test.
First, I put up an empty 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 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That is Not bad at all! However, GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the exact same test site 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 requests, ~40% fewer
If You perform the exact same test with other themes, you’ll continue to find that GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Best Free WordPress Themes In 2016
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also 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 sort of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create separate”sections” on a page, each with their own design and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular interface where you can pick and choose exactly which characteristics you would like 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 Website
In The last, you needed to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, though, the programmer added a new Site Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any one of those 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them right 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 Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Every Bit Of Content
With Most themes, every page and post will use the very same settings for the most part. You may have some custom templates or formats — but you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Design meta box for every single post and page:
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 the number of footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, like your header, navigation menu, article featured picture, article title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to your page builder
Where These controls are the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are in a position to create the proper baseline for your own page builder design, making it easy to create custom content as needed. Best Free WordPress Themes In 2016
GeneratePress Replies: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re seriously interested in utilizing GeneratePress, I feel you should buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so elastic. The free version doesn’t give you almost as many settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still quite reasonably priced. It costs only $39.95, which 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 after the first year (you can, obviously, keep using GeneratePress after the initial year without beating — you won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You consider that the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic price.
As I said, I don’t think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You want a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that fits your needs for your market from day one.
But If you’re ready to spend some time changing settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress site. Or, you may even be able to find a starter site that fulfills your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes that you will locate. So if you’re looking for 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 website load in under one second. Best Free WordPress Themes In 2016