Intro Best WordPress Blog Template Free
Within the past 10 years, I’ve used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I was using MyThemeShop, which was pretty good. However, I still had to perform a lot of customization to make it perform and operate how I wanted it to. A couple of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I’ve discovered in a decade . I had been dismissed and am now moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter precisely why in my in-depth GeneratePress review under. And if you are wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best WordPress Blog Template Free
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for many years from the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, so I tend to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of things on there isn’t that great, or not encouraged for long. However, in this case, this was a mistake. The motif currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So obviously Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Actually set up the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes purchased the superior version. I could tell right off the bat, the programmer was thinking precisely how I was envisioning a theme should get the job done. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at some of the qualities. I will be covering the superior edition of the theme, because it’s worth . In fact, Tom, if you ever read this and so are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you do not need running. This is only one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Impressive integration with the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a fan of the customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser support back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with all the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want 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.
Tons of hooks and filters that make it good for programmers.
Excellent active service from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also unbelievable. Besides have great documentation on their site, the theme has existed long enough that everything I Googled during the setup procedure was found inside a few seconds from their own forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right out of the box with no customizations to just see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time that I add everything for this. 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 design was going to produce a lot of big files, but this isn’t the case. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring every record packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of files isn’t as significant. But the dimensions is! Take a peek 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 developer that cares about performance! And I have Seen exactly the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They are as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file contained. And that isn’t even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming around the cornerwe could anticipate this to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular layout. 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, I felt at home with this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You’re curious, I am using the next add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is that I no more need to use a young child motif . This makes my life much simpler. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally update my GeneratePress motif this exact moment and not shed one customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make this possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best WordPress Blog Template Free
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post that you have a great deal of options. You are able to alter the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default to a full width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is really 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 couple which actually 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 developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to add responsive columns into any page or post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Insert Customized courses
Add custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You might want to Also catch his amazing WP Show Posts plugin too. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You might also have it show past modified/updated articles, recent articles, etc.. I am using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium edition of GeneratePress lets you do all sorts of things concerning design. Consider it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not just for blogs! I’m in fact 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 nothing like a site.
For those Of those who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the whole motif that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif which I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was already pretty fast, but I invested a lot of time customizing it. In fact, I have gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to print all of my customizations. My advice today 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 remember, I do not have a kid theme. All the customizations were made with the awesome 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 copy of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress blog library. I am happy to allow you to know that now you can put in my woorkup motif on your GeneratePress website with just a single click! It is known as the Marketer theme. Get started with a great blog layout immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum website, since I don’t use it for much. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to duplicate the entire look 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a few plugins which weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over our business website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum site, as we simply use it to our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best WordPress Blog Template Free
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I needed it in under one hour. And since you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my websites to it (which comprises some EDD e-commerce sites). Once I have my 9 websites all running in GP without any child themes, my life is going to be a breeze! The programmer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the correct way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing is, I finally have a thousand more choices to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users who wish to be able to personalize and control precisely how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the site that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Because Of that, those who build WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They will normally pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Want something that will instantly look perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to produce a style blog, you might be happier picking out a market theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a great deal simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones if you initially install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll most likely need to go in and personalize things. And though the substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, especially casual users, don’t like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the specific features that explain why GeneratePress is so popular.
Lots Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another area where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient as you will be able to see all the changes that you create in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you adequate possibilities, but if you have GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much all about your site.
For Example, if you go in the Design region, you may configure detailed settings to your:
- Header — you can move your header round and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post design — such as featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like how many widgets to include
Similarly, That the Typography place enables you to control the font to get each and every element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also receive a thorough area to control the color of each and every element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization options from the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This level of detail may be a little overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But as soon as you understand the way the preferences come together, you’ll have complete control over how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its features, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on excellent performance and clean code. The whole theme is less than 30 kB, and it will be 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 topics can even exceed 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 collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you a sense, I ran a small test.
First, I set up an empty 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 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That is Not bad at all! However, GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the same test website without changing anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance grade 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 one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. Best WordPress Blog Template Free
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more design controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other useful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature which allows you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a exceptional page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is kind of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create different”sections” on a webpage, each with their own layout and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you can pick and choose what features you would like to trigger.
That Way, you don’t 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 last, you needed to construct GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, though, the programmer added a fresh Site Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users that allows you easily import any one of those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them right from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a few buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most topics, each page and post will use the same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — but you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Layout meta name box for each and every post and page:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change the number of 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 elements, like your header, navigation menu, post featured image, post title, or footer
- Create a special”container” to your own page builder
Where These controls are the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re able to produce the correct baseline for your page builder design, making it effortless to create custom content as needed. Best WordPress Blog Template Free
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress theme can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re serious about using GeneratePress, I feel you should buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what produces the theme so flexible. The free version does not give you nearly as numerous configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still quite reasonably priced. It costs only $39.95, which provides you use on infinite websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and updates after the first year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress after the initial year without renewing — you just won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You consider that the normal premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a fantastic value.
As I said, I don’t think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that satisfies your needs for your niche out of day one.
However, If you are ready to spend time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you may even be able to find a starter website that fulfills your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It’s among the fastest-loading WordPress themes that you will find. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a good choice.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any problem making your website load in under one second. Best WordPress Blog Template Free