Intro Best WordPress Theme Development Tutorial
Within the past ten decades, I have used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up until recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, that was pretty good. But I had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to do and work the way I needed it to. A few weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s by far the finest WordPress theme I have discovered in 10 years. I had been dismissed and am moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into exactly why in my in-depth GeneratePress review under. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi as well as many other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. Best WordPress Theme Development Tutorial
GeneratePress is a 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 realize that I am 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 is not that great, or not encouraged for long. However, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The theme currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. So obviously Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the motif and in a matter of 15 minutes bought the premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking exactly how I was imagining a theme should get the job done. And I’ll 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 . In fact, Tom, in the event that you read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java 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 greatest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for better outcomes in SERPs.
Dramatic integration with all the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan of the customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with all 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 individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built-in.
Tons of hooks and filters that make it great for programmers.
Great active support from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also unbelievable. Besides have good documentation on their website, the theme has been around long enough that everything I Googled throughout the setup process was found within a couple of seconds in their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time for the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right out of the box with no customizations to see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a great deal of what I can expect by the time that I add everything to it. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms load time. I was quite 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 this isn’t the case. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on making sure every record loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of documents is not as important. However, 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
That is a developer that cares about performance! And I have Seen exactly the same throughout each of the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file included. And that isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we could expect that to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to guarantee they don’t load on your website. Since the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built-in, I felt right at home for this. Everything should be made this way.
If You are curious, 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 have to use a Child theme. This makes my life much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress theme this very moment and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make it possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best WordPress Theme Development Tutorial
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a great deal of alternatives. You are able to change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page involving the default to a complete width page, in addition to disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, lots of these choices are permitted from the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. However, let me show you few which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also made by precisely the same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Add Customized courses
Insert custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You May Want to Also grab his incredible WP Show Posts plugin too. View my featured articles on the sidebar of this website? That is using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a particular”featured” category. You can also get it show past modified/updated articles, 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 in terms of design. Consider it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not just for blogs! I’m in fact using GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to look it over. However, as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For 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 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 theme was pretty fast, but I spent a great deal 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, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress theme I was able to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I do not have a child motif. 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 could make a copy of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress blog library. I am pleased to let you know that now you can install my woorkup motif on your GeneratePress website with only a click! It is known as the Marketer motif. Get started using a fantastic blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum website, since I don’t use it for much. Since you can see it already loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the whole appearance 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And since you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I was 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 business website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal website, as we simply use it for our LLC. Since you can see it already loaded pretty quickly. Best WordPress Theme Development Tutorial
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under an hour. And since you can view 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’t express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my sites for this (which includes several EDD e-commerce websites ). After I’ve got my 9 websites all running in GP without any child topics, my life is going to be a breeze! The programmer has restored my faith in multi-purpose subjects , which when done the right way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing is, I finally have a billion more options to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great 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 perform pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a fantastic base to make it load quickly.
Since Of that, people 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.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Combination If…
…you Need something which will instantly look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to produce a style blog, you might be happier choosing a niche theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a lot easier to use, thanks to its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll most likely will need to go in and customize things. And though the substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, don’t like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the particular characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is so common.
Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient as you’ll be able to see all the changes that you create in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress provides you adequate possibilities, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize nearly all about your website.
For Example, if you go in the Layout area, you can configure comprehensive settings to 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 use one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured picture dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like the number of widgets to include
Similarly, The Typography area enables you to control the font to get each and every element on your website, including buttons:
And You also get a detailed region to control the color of each and every element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you much more customization options in the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This amount of detail may be a little overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But once you understand how the settings come together, you will have complete control on how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Around All of its attributes, GeneratePress always includes a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The whole theme is less than 30 kB, which is 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 some badly coded topics can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That together, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you a sense, I conducted a small test.
First, I put up a vacant website utilizing a haphazard popular WordPress.org theme (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 asks
That is Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the exact same test site without altering anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance grade 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 that same test with different themes, you’ll continue to find that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. Best WordPress Theme Development Tutorial
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more style controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature that lets you create customized hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is kind of like lightweight page building. It permits you to create separate”sections” onto a page, each with their own layout 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 activate.
That Way, you don’t have to slow down your site for a quality which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The past, you needed to construct GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, though, the developer added a fresh Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any one of those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them right from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a few buttons to import a presentation 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 might have some custom formats or templates — however you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Design meta name box for each and every post and page:
You Can use 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 use
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, post featured image, article title, or footer
- Create a special”container” to your page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you are able to create the proper baseline for your own page builder layout, making it effortless to create custom content as needed. Best WordPress Theme Development Tutorial
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress theme can be obtained for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are serious about using GeneratePress, I believe you should purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so flexible. The free version does not give you nearly as numerous configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly reasonably priced. It costs just $39.95, and that provides you use on unlimited websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades following the first year (you can, of course, continue using GeneratePress following the first year without renewing — you won’t receive any more updates).
When You believe that the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic price.
As I said, I do not think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You want a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your requirements for your market from 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 sort of WordPress site. Or, you may even have the ability to locate a starter site that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It’s one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes you will find. Therefore, if you’re seeking the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a great decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, so you shouldn’t have any problem making your website load in under one second. Best WordPress Theme Development Tutorial