Introduction Best WordPress Free Themes 2016
Over the past ten decades, I’ve used a great deal of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up until recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, which was fairly good. However, I still had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to perform and work how I wanted it to. A couple weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is by far the finest WordPress theme I’ve discovered in a decade . I had been dismissed and am now moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I’ve tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi as well as many other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Best WordPress Free Themes 2016
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I have 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, and so I tend to dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of things on there isn’t that great, or not supported for long. However, in this case, this was a mistake. The theme now has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. So clearly Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Really set up 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 developer was thinking exactly how I was envisioning a theme should work. And I will go into that more below, but let us first look at a number of the features. I will be covering the superior edition of the theme, because it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, if you ever read this and so are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you don’t need running. This is only one of the biggest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for greater results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration with 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 the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a terrific combo. I have also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built in.
A lot of filters and hooks which make it great for developers.
Great active support from the programmer. 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 throughout the setup process was found inside a few seconds in their forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time for the fun part! I test a brand new theme right out of the box with no 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 for this. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms loading time. I was quite 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 literally worked hard on making sure every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of files is not as important. But the dimensions is! Have a peek at some of the center GeneratePress files under:
/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 the same during all of the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the largest file contained. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we can anticipate this to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I would call a modular layout. You can activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to guarantee they don’t load on your website. 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 following add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is I no longer have to use a Child motif . This makes my life so much easier. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress theme this exact minute 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 WordPress Free Themes 2016
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post that you have a great deal of options. You are able to change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default option to a full width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer options is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, lots of these choices are permitted by the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here all day. However, allow me to show you couple 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 programmer as GeneratePress. It enables 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 classes
Insert custom inline styles
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You might want to Also catch his incredible WP Display Posts plugin too. View my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a particular”featured” category. You might also have it show last modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium edition of GeneratePress allows you to perform all sorts of things in terms of design. Think of it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I’m in fact using GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. However, as you can see below, it looks like a blog.
For all those Of those that are regular readers, you likely did not even notice that I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif which I had spent a year customizing. Here is a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was pretty fast, but I invested a lot 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, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress motif I managed to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I don’t have a child theme. Each of the customizations were made using the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have running on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he can make a copy of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress blog library. I am pleased to allow you to know that now you can put in my woorkup theme in your own GeneratePress site with just a 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 within my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum site, since I don’t use it for much. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to duplicate the whole appearance 100 percent in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to get rid of a couple plugins which weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our business site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum site, as we simply use it to our LLC. Since you can see it already loaded pretty fast. Best WordPress Free Themes 2016
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking just how I wanted it in under an hour. And since you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page burden 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my websites to it (which comprises several EDD e-commerce sites). After I’ve got my 9 websites all running in GP with no child themes, my life will be a breeze! The programmer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news isI finally have a billion more choices to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal alternative for performance-focused users who wish to have the ability to personalize and control exactly how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a fantastic base to make it load fast.
Because Of that, those who build WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll typically pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Combination If…
…you Need something that will immediately appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to create a fashion blog, you might be happier choosing a niche theme that’s developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a lot simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks 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 customize matters. And while the substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, particularly 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 clarify why GeneratePress is so popular.
Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization choices.
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 version of GeneratePress gives you adequate possibilities, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Design region, you may configure detailed settings for your:
- 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 a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post design — like featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to include
Similarly, The Typography area lets you control the font to get each and every element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also receive a detailed region to control the colour of every single element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization choices in the WordPress Customizer than most other themes. This level of detail might be a bit overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But once you realize how the settings come together, you will have full control over how your site looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The whole 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 some poorly coded themes can even exceed 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 get a superfast-loading motif. How fast? To give you an idea, I ran a little test.
First, I set up an empty website 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 requests
That’s Not bad at all! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the exact same test website without changing anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- 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 the exact same test with different themes, you are going to continue to find that GeneratePress is among the fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Best WordPress Free Themes 2016
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Past Giving you more style controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other useful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature that allows you create custom hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a exceptional page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create different”sections” onto a page, each with their own design and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular port where you can pick and choose exactly which characteristics you would like to trigger.
That Way, you do not have to slow down your site for a feature that you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The last, you had to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which left the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a fresh Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users that allows you easily import any among the 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them directly 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 Detailed Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most topics, each page and post will use the very same settings for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — however you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a new Layout meta name box for every single page and post:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, article featured picture, article title, or footer
- Produce 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 elements, you’re in a position to produce the correct baseline for your own page builder design, which makes it effortless to create custom articles as needed. Best WordPress Free Themes 2016
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress theme can be obtained for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re serious about utilizing GeneratePress, I believe you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what makes the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you nearly as many configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still quite affordable. It costs just $39.95, which gives you use on unlimited sites. You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and updates following the initial year (you can, obviously, keep using GeneratePress following the initial year without renewing — you just won’t get any more upgrades ).
When You believe the normal premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a great value.
As I mentioned, I do not think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your requirements for your market out of day one.
But If you are ready to spend some time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to find a starter site that fulfills your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It’s among the fastest-loading WordPress topics you will find. 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 Free Themes 2016