Background Best Free WordPress Website Themes
Over the previous ten years, I have used a lot of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, that was fairly excellent. However, I still had to perform a great deal of customization to allow it to do and work the way I wanted it to. A few weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I have discovered in 10 years. I was dismissed and am moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I will enter exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi as well as many other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best Free WordPress Website Themes
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I am pretty picky when it comes to web performance, and so I tend to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there is not that good, or not supported for long. Nonetheless, in this case, that was a mistake. The motif currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ active installs, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So clearly Tom is doing something right here.
I Really set up the free version of the theme 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’ll go into that more below, but let us first look at some of the qualities. I will be covering the superior edition of the theme, because it’s worth . In fact, Tom, in the event that you ever read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you don’t want 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 the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan of the customizer in the past, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with all the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these are a terrific combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built in.
Tons of filters and hooks which make it great for developers.
Great active support 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 what I Googled during the setup procedure was found inside a few seconds from their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I test a brand new theme right out of the box without any customizations to see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time that I add everything to it. Running the stock GeneratePress WordPress motif 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 layout was going to produce a lot of big files, but that isn’t the case. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring that every file packed in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the number of files is not as important. However, the size is! Take a look at a few 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
This is a programmer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen exactly the same throughout each of the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is most likely the biggest file contained. And that isn’t even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving round the cornerwe could anticipate that to get smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate whatever you aren’t using to guarantee they do not load on your site. Since the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built-in, I felt right 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 I no longer have to use a young child theme. This makes my life so much simpler. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally update my GeneratePress theme this very minute and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make it possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best Free WordPress Website Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot of alternatives. You can alter the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page involving the default to a complete width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these choices are enabled by the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. But 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 precisely the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to add responsive columns into any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert Customized courses
Add custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also catch his incredible WP Show Posts plugin also. View my featured posts on the sidebar of this site? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a specific”featured” category. You might also have it show last modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you do all kinds of things in terms of design. Consider it like a webpage builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For all those Of those who are regular readers, you probably did not even notice I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif that I had spent annually customizing. Here is a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop theme was pretty quickly, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to print all my customizations. My advice now is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress motif I was able to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I do not have a kid motif. All the customizations were made using the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve running on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he could make a copy of woorkup for the new GeneratePress blog library. I’m pleased to allow you to know that now you can put in my woorkup motif on your own GeneratePress site with just a click! It is known as the Marketer motif. Get started using a fantastic blog layout immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly 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 was Able to duplicate the entire appearance 100 percent in GeneratePress in under an hour. And since you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a few 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 was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal site, as we just use it to our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best Free WordPress Website Themes
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I wanted it in under one 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 total page weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my sites to it (which comprises several EDD e-commerce websites ). Once I’ve got my 9 websites all running in GP with no child themes, my entire life will be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the correct way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news is, I now have a billion more choices to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal alternative for performance-focused users who wish to have the ability to customize and control exactly how their site looks.
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 fast.
Since Of that, those who build WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They will typically pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Combination If…
…you Want something that will instantly look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you wish to produce a fashion blog, you may be happier picking out a market theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a lot simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones if you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you want it to, you will almost certainly will need to go in and personalize things. 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 themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the particular features that clarify why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Performance, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, which can be convenient as you will have the ability to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress provides you decent possibilities, but should you own GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much all about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Design region, you may configure comprehensive settings to yourown:
- Header — you can move your header around and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post design — like featured image size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to add
Similarly, 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 colour of each and every element on your site.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization options in the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This amount of detail might be a little overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But as soon as you realize the way the preferences come together, you will have full control on how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Around All its features, GeneratePress always has a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, which 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 a few poorly coded topics can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you an idea, I ran a little test.
First, I set up a vacant website utilizing a random popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After testing its performance with Pingdom, it
- Had a performance tier of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That’s Not bad at all! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly the same test site without changing anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- 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% less
If You do that same test with different themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Best Free WordPress Website Themes
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other helpful features like:
- Elements — a unique feature which lets 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 sort of like lightweight page construction. It permits you to create different”sections” on a webpage, each with their own layout and column preferences.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could pick and choose exactly which features you would like to trigger.
That Way, you don’t have to slow your site down for a feature that you’ll never 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 no matter what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, though, the developer added a new Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which allows 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 few buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Detailed Control Over Every Bit Of Content
With Most topics, each post and page will use the very same settings for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — however you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand new Layout meta name box for every single page and post:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your website 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 picture, article title, or footer
- Create a special”container” for your own page builder
Where These controls would be the most helpful is if you are using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you’re in a position to create the correct baseline for your own page builder layout, making it effortless to create custom articles as needed. Best Free WordPress Website Themes
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif is available for free at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you are serious about utilizing GeneratePress, I believe you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what produces the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you almost as numerous configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still quite affordable. It costs only $39.95, which gives you use on unlimited websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and updates following the first year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress after the first year without beating — you just won’t get any more upgrades ).
When You believe that the typical premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a fantastic price.
As I mentioned, I do not think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your requirements for your market from day one.
However, If you are willing to spend some time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you may even have the ability to find a starter website that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It’s one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes you will locate. So if you’re seeking the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good choice.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no difficulty making your website load in under one minute. Best Free WordPress Website Themes