Background Best Free WordPress Themes Journalists
Over the past 10 decades, I have used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, that was pretty good. However, I had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to do and operate how I needed it to. A couple weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I’ve found in a decade . I was blown away and am now moving all my sites to GeneratePress. I will enter exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. Best Free WordPress Themes Journalists
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve really seen it for many years from the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I am fairly 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 great, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, that was a mistake. The theme currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active installs, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So obviously Tom is doing something right here.
I Really 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 programmer was thinking exactly how I was imagining 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’m going to be covering the superior version of the theme, because it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, if you ever read this and are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you don’t want running. This is one of the biggest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for greater outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration with all the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a lover of the customizer in the past, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser service 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 really are a great combo. I’ve also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font wonderful built in.
Tons of filters and hooks that make it great for developers.
Excellent active service from the developer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also unbelievable. Besides have great documentation on their website, the theme has been around long enough that what I wholeheartedly during the setup process was found within a couple of seconds from their own forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I test a new theme right out of the box with no customizations to just see how fast the base is. This tells me a great deal of what I could 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 case. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring every record loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of files isn’t as important. But the dimensions is! Take a peek at some 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
That is a developer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen the same during each 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 isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we can anticipate that to get smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular layout. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you are not using to guarantee they do not load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built, I felt at home for this. Everything ought to be made this way.
If You are curious, I am using the following add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is that I no more need to use a Child theme. This makes my life so much simpler. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this exact minute and not 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 Journalists
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 between the default option to a complete width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer choices is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these choices are permitted from the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. But allow me to show you few which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest 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 to any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Insert custom courses
Add custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example under:
You May Want to Also grab his incredible WP Show Posts plugin also. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this website? That is using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You can also have it show past modified/updated articles, recent articles, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works great.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you perform all sorts of things in terms of design. Think of it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I’m in fact using GeneratePress for our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) which is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For all those Of those that are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice 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 under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop theme was pretty quickly, but I spent a great deal of time customizing it. In fact, I’ve 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 attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I do not have a kid motif. Each of the customizations were made with 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 replica of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress blog library. I’m happy to allow you to know that you can now install my woorkup motif in your own GeneratePress website with only a click! It is called the Marketer theme. Get started with a fantastic blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimal site, since I do not use it to get much. Since you can see it already loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to duplicate the whole appearance 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I was even 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 website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been 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 already loaded pretty fast. Best Free WordPress Themes Journalists
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking just how I wanted it in under an hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my websites to it (which comprises some EDD e-commerce websites ). After I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP without any child themes, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the right way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing isI now have a billion more options to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users who wish to have the ability to customize and control precisely how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the site that you build will have a great base to make it load quickly.
Since Of that, people who build WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They will normally pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any kind of website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Combination If…
…you Want something which will instantly look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you want to create a style blog, you might be happier picking out a market theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a great deal easier to use, as a result of its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones if you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you want it to, you’ll most likely will need to go in and customize matters. And while the substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, don’t like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the particular features that clarify why GeneratePress is so popular.
Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this can be convenient because you’ll be able to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you adequate options, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize nearly everything about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Layout area, you may configure detailed settings to yourown:
- Header — you can move your header around and alter its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to add
Similarly, That the Typography area lets you control the font for every single element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also receive a thorough area to control the colour of every single element on your site.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer than most other themes. This level of detail may be a little overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But once you understand the way the settings come together, you will have full control over how your website appears.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Across All its features, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, and it will be about as small as you are ever going to find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress themes are still 200+ kB. And some poorly coded topics can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That together, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you a sense, I conducted a small test.
First, I put up an empty website using a random popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its performance with Pingdom, it:
- Had a performance tier of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- 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 exactly the same test website without changing 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 asks, ~40% fewer
If You perform that same test with other topics, you are going to continue to find that GeneratePress is among the fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. Best Free WordPress Themes Journalists
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 helpful features like:
- Elements — a unique feature that allows you create customized hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a exceptional page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is kind of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create separate”sections” on a page, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could select and choose what features you want to trigger.
That Way, you do not have to slow down your site for a feature which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The last, you had to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a new Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any among the 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them right from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a couple buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Every Piece Of Content
With Most themes, every page and post 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 giving you a new Layout meta name box for every single post and page:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, such as 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 helpful is if you are using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re able to create the correct baseline for your page builder design, making it easy to create custom articles as needed. Best Free WordPress Themes Journalists
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you are seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I feel you should purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you nearly as numerous configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly reasonably priced. It costs just $39.95, and that provides you use on infinite sites. 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, obviously, keep using GeneratePress after the first year without beating — you just won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You consider the typical premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, I do not believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your requirements for your market from day one.
However, If you are ready to spend time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to locate a starter website that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It’s one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes you will find. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great choice.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty making your site load in under one minute. Best Free WordPress Themes Journalists