Background Best Free WordPress Themes University
Within the past 10 decades, I’ve used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I had been using MyThemeShop, that was pretty good. But I still had to perform a great deal of customization to make it do and operate how I needed it to. A couple weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s undoubtedly the finest WordPress theme I’ve discovered in a decade . I was dismissed and am moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into precisely 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 many other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. Best Free WordPress Themes University
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I have actually seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I am fairly picky when it comes to web performance, and so I have a tendency to dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there is not that great, or not supported for long. Nonetheless, in this case, that was a mistake. The theme currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ active installs, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So clearly Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Actually set up the free version of the motif 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 will go into that more below, but let us first look at a number of the features. I will be covering the superior version of the subject, since it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, if you read this and are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you do not need running. This is only one of the biggest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all devices.
Schema built-in, for greater outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration with all the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a fan of this customizer in the past, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser support 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 are a terrific combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built-in.
A lot of hooks and filters which make it great for developers.
Great active service from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also unbelievable. Besides have great documentation on their website, the theme has been around long enough that everything I Googled during the setup process was found inside a few seconds in their own forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I test a new theme right from 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 loading time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but this isn’t the situation. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on making sure that every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the number of files is not as significant. However, the size is! Take a look 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 developer that cares about performance! And I have Seen exactly the same during all the premium add-ons. They’re as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is most likely the biggest file included. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming round the corner, we can expect 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 whatever you are not using to guarantee they don’t load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built, I felt at home with this. Everything ought to be made this way.
If You are curious, I am using the next add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is that I no longer need to use a young child motif . This makes my life much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress theme this exact moment and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make this possible. It permits you to add custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best Free WordPress Themes University
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post that you have a lot of alternatives. You are able to alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default to a full width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these choices are permitted from the superior add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here daily. However, let me show you few which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be made by the same programmer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to add responsive columns into any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid thickness
Add custom classes
Insert custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also grab his amazing WP Display Posts plugin also. View my featured posts on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You might also have it show past modified/updated articles, recent posts, 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 kinds of things concerning design. Think of it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I’m in fact utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) which is running Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. However, as you can see below, it looks nothing like a site.
For all those Of you who are regular readers, you likely did not even notice that I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif that I had spent annually customizing. Here is a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I spent a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all my customizations. My advice now is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress theme I was able to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I don’t have a kid theme. Each of the customizations were created with the awesome 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 can create a copy of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress blog library. I’m happy to allow you to know that you can now install my woorkup theme in your own GeneratePress site with only a single click! It is called the Marketer theme. Get started with a great blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved within my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum site, as I don’t use it for much. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the whole look 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And since 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
Additionally, I Moved over our organization website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum site, as we simply use it for our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best Free WordPress Themes University
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under an hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my websites to it (which comprises several EDD e-commerce websites ). Once I have my 9 websites all running in GP without any child themes, my entire life is going to 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 isI finally have a billion more choices to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users that want to be able to personalize and control exactly how their site looks.
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.
Because Of that, people who build WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll normally pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any type of website.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Want something which will immediately look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to create a style blog, you may be happier choosing a niche theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a lot simpler to use, as a result of its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you will almost certainly need to go in and customize matters. And though the significant benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, especially casual users, do not like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the particular characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this can be convenient because you will have the ability to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress provides you decent possibilities, 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 region, you can configure detailed settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header around and change its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — 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
Likewise, That the Typography place lets you control the font for each and every element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also get a thorough region to control the color of each and every element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you much more customization options from the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This level of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But once you understand how the preferences come together, you’ll have full control over how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its features, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The whole motif 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 topics are still 200+ kB. And a few poorly coded themes can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which helps you avoid the leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That collectively, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you a sense, I conducted a little test.
First, I put up a vacant website using a haphazard popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its performance with Pingdom, it:
- Had a performance grade of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That’s Not bad at all! However, GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the same test site without altering anything else. Here is how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance grade of 87, 10 points better
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% quicker
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 requests, ~40% less
If You do that same test with different themes, you’ll continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. Best Free WordPress Themes University
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features like:
- Elements — a exceptional feature which lets you create custom 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 permits you to create different”sections” on a page, each with their own design and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular port where you can select and choose exactly which features you would like to activate.
That Way, you don’t need to slow your site down for a quality that you’re never going to 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 motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a fresh Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users which lets you easily import any one of those 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a couple buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most themes, every post and page will use the very same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — however you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Layout meta box for each and every page and post:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, like your header, navigation menu, post featured image, post 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 site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you are able to create the correct baseline for your page builder layout, which makes it easy to create custom articles as needed. Best Free WordPress Themes University
GeneratePress Replies: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress motif is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are serious about using GeneratePress, I believe you should buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you almost as many settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly affordable. It costs only $39.95, and that provides you use on infinite websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and updates following the initial year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress following the first year without renewing — you just won’t receive any more updates).
When You consider that the normal premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a fantastic price.
As I mentioned, I don’t think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your requirements for your niche from day one.
However, If you’re ready to spend some time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode 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 among those fastest-loading WordPress themes you will find. 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 shouldn’t have any problem making your site load in under one second. Best Free WordPress Themes University