Intro Best Lightweight WordPress Themes
Within the past 10 decades, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up until recently, I was using MyThemeShop, which was fairly excellent. However, I had to do a lot of customization to allow it to perform and operate the way I wanted it to. A few weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I’ve found in a decade . I had been dismissed and am now moving all my sites to GeneratePress. I will go into exactly why in my in-depth GeneratePress review under. And if you’re wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. Best Lightweight WordPress Themes
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve really seen it for years from the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I tend to ignore everything from the repository. Typically because a great deal of stuff on there is not that great, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, that was a mistake. The motif currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So obviously Tom is doing something 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 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 qualities. I will be covering the superior version of the theme, because it’s worth . In fact, Tom, in the event that you ever read this and are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you do not need running. This is one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration using the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan of the customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser service back to IE8.
It also works great with the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built-in.
A lot of filters and hooks that make it great for developers.
Excellent active support from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have great documentation on their site, the subject has been around long enough that everything I Googled throughout the setup procedure was found within a few seconds in their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I always test a new theme right out of the box with no customizations to 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 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 design was going to produce a lot of big files, but that isn’t the situation. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring that every file loaded in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the number of documents is not as important. However, the dimensions is! Have a look at some 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
This is a programmer that cares about functionality! And I’ve Seen the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file contained. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we could anticipate that to secure smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I’d call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to ensure they do not load on your site. Since the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script supervisor built-in, I felt right at home with this. Everything should be made this way.
If You are curious, I’m using the next add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is I no more 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 motif this very moment rather than shed a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make it possible. It permits you to add custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best Lightweight WordPress Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post that you have a lot of options. You are able to change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page involving the default option to a full width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these options are enabled by the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. But let me show you few which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also created by the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or article. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert Customized courses
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also grab his amazing WP Display Posts plugin too. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You can also have it show last modified/updated posts, recent articles, etc.. I am 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 concerning design. Consider it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I’m in fact utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to look it over. However, as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For those Of you who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the whole motif that forces woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif which I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop theme was pretty fast, but I invested a great deal of time customizing it. In reality, I’ve gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to publish all of my customizations. My advice now is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress motif I managed to achieve 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 using the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve running on woorkup? You’re 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 put in my woorkup motif on your GeneratePress website with only a single click! It is called the Marketer theme. Get started with a fantastic blog layout immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal site, since I do not use it for much. Since you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the entire look 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a few plugins which 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 is a pretty basic minimum website, as we simply use it for our LLC. As you can see it already loaded pretty fast. Best Lightweight WordPress Themes
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I needed 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 total page weight 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 websites ). Once I have my 9 sites all running in GP without any child themes, my life will be a breeze! The programmer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the right way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing is, I now have a thousand more options to choose from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal option for performance-focused users who want to have the ability to personalize and control precisely how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Since 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 website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something that will instantly appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you want to create a fashion blog, you might be happier picking out a niche theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a great deal simpler to use, as a result of its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones if you initially install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you want it to, you’ll almost certainly need to go in and personalize things. And while the significant advantage 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 some of the specific features that clarify why GeneratePress is so popular.
Lots Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this can be convenient as you’ll be able to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress provides you decent options, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize pretty much all about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Layout region, you can configure comprehensive settings for yourown:
- Header — you can move your header round and change its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured image size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like the number of widgets to include
Likewise, That the Typography place enables you to control the font for every single element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also get a thorough region to control the colour of each and every element on your site.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization options from the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This amount of detail might be a bit overwhelming if you are a beginner. But as soon as you realize the way the settings come together, you’ll have full control over how your website appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All of its attributes, GeneratePress always has a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The entire theme is less than 30 kB, which will be about as small as you are ever going to find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress topics are still 200+ kB. And a few badly coded topics can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you a sense, I conducted a little test.
First, I put up a vacant website utilizing a random popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After testing 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 asks
That’s Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the same test site without altering anything else. Here is how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance tier 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% fewer
If You do the exact same test with other themes, you are going to continue to find that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. Best Lightweight WordPress Themes
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other useful features like:
- Elements — a unique feature that lets you create customized hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is sort of like lightweight page building. It lets you create different”sections” onto a webpage, each with their own layout and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you can select and choose exactly which characteristics you want to trigger.
That Way, you don’t need to slow your site down for a feature that you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The past, you had to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the theme difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, though, the programmer added a fresh Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any among the 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 demo site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most themes, each page and post will use the very same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — but you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a brand new Design meta name box for each and every post and page:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain elements, like your header, navigation menu, post featured image, post title, or footer
- Create a special”container” for your page builder
Where These controls are the most useful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are able to create the proper baseline for your own page builder design, making it easy to create custom content as needed. Best Lightweight WordPress Themes
GeneratePress Replies: 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 utilizing GeneratePress, I feel you should purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what makes the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you almost as many settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you will also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly affordable. It costs just $39.95, and that provides you use on infinite websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and updates after the initial year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress following the initial year without beating — you won’t receive any more updates).
When You consider the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that fits your requirements for your market out of day one.
However, If you are ready to spend some time changing settings, GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress site. Or, you may even have the ability to find a starter site that fits your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics that you will locate. Therefore, if you’re seeking the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a good decision.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you shouldn’t have any problem making your site load in under one minute. Best Lightweight WordPress Themes