Intro Best Responsive Free WordPress Themes 2016
Within the previous ten years, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress topics and have been really disappointed. Up until recently, I was using MyThemeShop, which was pretty good. However, I had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to do and operate how I wanted it to. A few of weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is by far the best WordPress theme I’ve discovered in 10 years. I was blown away and am now moving all my sites to GeneratePress. I will go into exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review under. And if you are wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as several other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Best Responsive Free WordPress Themes 2016
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created 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’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, so I have a tendency to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of stuff on there is not that good, or not supported for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The motif currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ active installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. So clearly Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the motif and in a matter of 15 minutes bought 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 some of the features. I will be covering the superior version of the subject, since it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, if you read this and are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees 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 of the devices.
Schema built-in, for better outcomes in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using all the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a fan of the customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser support back to IE8.
It also works great with all the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these really are a great combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built-in.
A lot of hooks and filters which make it great for programmers.
Excellent active support from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have great documentation on their website, the theme has existed long enough that everything I Googled during the setup procedure was found inside a couple of seconds from their own forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I test a brand new theme right from the box with no customizations to see how quickly the base is. This tells me a great deal of what I can expect by the time I add everything to it. Running the stock 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 layout was going to generate a whole lot of big files, but this is not the case. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on making sure that every record packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of documents is not as important. 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
This is a developer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They are literally as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is most likely the biggest file included. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving round the corner, we can expect this to secure smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate whatever you aren’t using to ensure they don’t load on your website. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt at home with this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You’re interested, I’m using the following add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is that I no longer need to use a young child theme. This makes my life so much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress theme this very moment and not shed one customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make this possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best Responsive Free WordPress Themes 2016
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a great deal of alternatives. You can 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 choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot 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 couple which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is your 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 incorporate responsive columns into any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Insert custom courses
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example under:
You might want to Also catch his incredible WP Display Posts plugin also. View my featured posts 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 can also get it show last modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you do all sorts of things concerning design. Consider it like a webpage builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not just for blogs! I’m in fact utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (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 those who are regular readers, you probably did not even notice I changed the whole theme that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif which I had spent a year customizing. Here is a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was pretty fast, but I spent a great deal of time customizing it. In reality, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all my customizations. My advice now is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress motif I managed to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I don’t have a child theme. All the customizations were made using 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 can make 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 in your GeneratePress website with just a single click! It’s called the Marketer motif. Get started using a great blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal website, as 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 percent in GeneratePress in under one hour. And since you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a few plugins that weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our organization website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal site, as we simply use it to our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly. Best Responsive Free WordPress Themes 2016
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to again move everything over and get it looking just how I needed it in under one hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page burden 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my sites to it (which includes some EDD e-commerce sites). After I’ve got my 9 websites all running in GP without any child topics, my entire life will be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
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 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 do pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the site that you build will have a great foundation to make it load quickly.
Since Of that, those who assemble WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll typically pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any type of website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Combination If…
…you Need something which will immediately appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to produce a style blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that’s developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress is becoming a great deal simpler to use, as a result of its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones if you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you will almost certainly will need to go in and personalize matters. And while the substantial advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, particularly casual users, do not 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 indeed popular.
Lots Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another area where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which can be convenient as you will be able to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you decent options, but if you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize pretty much all about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Layout region, you can configure detailed settings to yourown:
- Header — you can move your header round and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can use a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to add
Similarly, That the Typography place 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 provide you much more customization choices in the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This amount of detail may be a little overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But as soon as you understand how the settings come together, you’ll have full control on how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Around All its features, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on exceptional 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 does not have any code dependencies, which will help you avoid the render blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Put That collectively, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you an idea, I conducted a small test.
First, I set up an empty site using 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 asks
That is Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the same test site without altering anything else. Here is how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance tier 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 do that same test with different themes, you’ll continue to see that GeneratePress is among the fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Best Responsive Free WordPress Themes 2016
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 such as:
- Elements — a exceptional feature which lets you create customized hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page building. It permits you to create separate”sections” onto a webpage, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular interface where you can select and choose exactly which features you want to activate.
That Way, you do not need to slow your site down for a quality which you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The past, you had to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a fresh Site Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any among those 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 on a couple buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most themes, every page and post will use the same settings for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — but you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a brand new Layout meta box for every single post and page:
You Can utilize 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 utilize
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, article featured image, article title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to your own page builder
Where These controls are the most helpful is if you’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re able to produce the correct baseline for your page builder design, making it easy to create custom articles as needed. Best Responsive Free WordPress Themes 2016
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif can be obtained for free at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re serious about using GeneratePress, I feel you should purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what produces the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you nearly as many settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly affordable. It costs only $39.95, and that gives you use on infinite websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades after the initial year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress following the initial year without renewing — you won’t get any more updates).
When You believe the normal premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great value.
As I mentioned, I do not think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that satisfies your requirements for your market out of day one.
But If you’re ready to spend time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any type of WordPress site. Or, you may even have the ability to locate 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. Therefore, if you’re looking for 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 second. Best Responsive Free WordPress Themes 2016