Introduction Best WordPress 2017 Template Customizations
Over the past ten years, I have used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, that was pretty good. But I had to perform a great deal of customization to make it 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 finest WordPress theme I have found in 10 years. I had been blown away and am now moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I will enter exactly why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best WordPress 2017 Template Customizations
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, and so I have a tendency to dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of stuff on there isn’t that good, or not supported for long. However, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The motif currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So clearly Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes bought the superior version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking exactly how I was imagining a theme should work. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at a number of the features. I will be covering the superior version of the theme, because it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, in the event that you ever read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. 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 great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for greater results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using all the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t 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 popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these really are a terrific combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built-in.
A lot of filters and hooks that make it good for developers.
Great active support from the developer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be unbelievable. Besides have great documentation on their site, the theme has been around long enough that everything I Googled during the setup process was found within a few seconds in their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time for the fun part! I always 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 could 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 load time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but that is not the situation. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of files isn’t as important. However, the size is! Take a look at some 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
That is a developer that cares about performance! And I have Seen exactly the same throughout each the premium add-ons. They are literally as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file contained. And that isn’t even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving round the corner, we can anticipate this to get smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate anything you are not using to ensure they do not load on your website. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built, I felt right at home with this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You’re curious, I’m using the next add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is I no more need to use a Child motif . This makes my life much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally update my GeneratePress theme this exact minute and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on certainly can help make this possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best WordPress 2017 Template Customizations
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post that you have a lot of alternatives. You are able to 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 components.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these choices are enabled from the superior add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. However, allow me to show you couple 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 same developer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super easy way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Add Customized classes
Insert custom inline styles
Equal height columns
Here is An example under:
You May Want to Also catch his incredible WP Show Posts plugin also. View my featured posts on the sidebar of this website? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You might also get it show past modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium edition of GeneratePress lets you do all kinds of things in terms of design. Think of it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not just for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is running Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. However, as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For those Of those who are regular readers, you likely did not even notice that I changed the entire theme that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif that I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was already pretty fast, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I have 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 child theme. Each of 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 create a replica of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress site library. I’m pleased to allow you to know that you can now install my woorkup motif in your GeneratePress site with just a click! It is known as the Marketer motif. Get started with a fantastic blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum website, since I do not use it to get much. As you can see it loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to duplicate the entire appearance 100 percent in GeneratePress in under one hour. And since you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a couple plugins which weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our business website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum website, as we just use it to our LLC. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly. Best WordPress 2017 Template Customizations
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I needed it in under an hour. And as you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I managed to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page weight 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my sites for this (which comprises several EDD e-commerce sites). Once I have my 9 sites all running in GP with no child topics, my life is going to 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 isI finally have a thousand more options to choose from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal alternative for performance-focused users who want to have the ability to customize and control precisely how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform 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 fast.
Because Of that, those who build WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll typically pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Want something that will immediately look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you want to produce a fashion blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that’s developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a great deal simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you want it to, you’ll almost certainly need to go in and personalize things. And while the substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, especially casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are some of the particular features that clarify why GeneratePress is so common.
Plenty Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, which can be convenient as you’ll be able to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress gives you adequate options, but should you own GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize nearly all about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Layout area, you may configure detailed settings to your:
- Header — you can move your header around and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post design — like featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to add
Similarly, The Typography place lets you control the font to get every single element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also receive a detailed area to control the colour of every single element on your website.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization options in the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This level of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But as soon as you understand the way the settings come together, you will have complete control on how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its features, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The entire theme is less than 30 kB, which is about as small 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 has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Put That collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you a sense, I conducted a little test.
First, I put up an empty website utilizing a haphazard popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After testing its functionality 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 at all! But GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly the exact same test site without altering anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points greater
- 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 other themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is among the fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. Best WordPress 2017 Template Customizations
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature which allows you create customized hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page building. It permits you to create separate”sections” on a webpage, each with their own design and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular interface where you could pick and choose what characteristics you would like to trigger.
That Way, you do not need to slow your site down for a quality that you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The last, you needed to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, though, the developer added a fresh Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that allows you easily import any among the 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them directly from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a few buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most topics, every page and post will use the very same settings for the most part. You may have some custom formats or templates — however you don’t have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a brand new Design meta box for every single post and page:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (like altering 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
- Produce a special”container” for your own page builder
Where These controls are the most helpful is if you’re using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are in a position to produce the proper baseline for your own page builder layout, which makes it easy to create custom content as needed. Best WordPress 2017 Template Customizations
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress motif is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I feel you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so flexible. The free version does not give you almost as many settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also lose 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 continue receiving support and upgrades after the first year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress after the initial year without beating — you just won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You believe the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great value.
As I mentioned, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your needs for your market from day one.
However, If you are willing to spend time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to find a starter site that fulfills your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is one of the fastest-loading WordPress topics you will locate. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a great choice.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any difficulty making your site load in under one second. Best WordPress 2017 Template Customizations