Intro Best WordPress Theme Journal
Within the previous 10 years, I have used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I had been using MyThemeShop, which was pretty good. But I still had to do a lot of customization to allow it to perform 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’s undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I’ve found in 10 years. I had been dismissed and am now moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I’ve attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best WordPress Theme Journal
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve really seen it for years in the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I have a tendency to dismiss everything from the repository. Typically because a lot of stuff on there is not that good, or not supported 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 clearly Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Really 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 precisely how I was imagining a theme should work. And I’ll go into that more below, but let us first look at a number of the features. I’m going to be covering the premium edition of the subject, because it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, in the event that you read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you do not need running. This is only one of the biggest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for greater results in SERPs.
Impressive integration using the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a lover of this customizer in the past, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser support back to IE8.
It also 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 people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built-in.
A lot of filters and hooks which make it great for developers.
Great active service from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be unbelievable. Besides have good documentation on their site, the theme has existed long enough that everything I Googled throughout the setup procedure was found within a few seconds in their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right out of the box without any customizations to just see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a lot of what I could expect by the time that I add everything to it. Running the stock GeneratePress WordPress motif on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms loading time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to generate a lot of big files, but that is not the case. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on making sure that every record loaded in GeneratePress is as little as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of files is not as significant. 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 functionality! And I’ve Seen exactly the same during all of the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as possible get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the largest file contained. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 arriving round the corner, we can expect this to secure smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I would call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate whatever you aren’t using to ensure they don’t load on your site. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built, I felt at home with this. Everything ought to be made this way.
If You are curious, I’m using the next 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 motif . This makes my life so much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I can literally update my GeneratePress theme this very moment and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on certainly can help make it possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best WordPress Theme Journal
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot of options. You are able to alter the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default to a complete width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these options are permitted by the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here all day. But allow me to show you few which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also created by the same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert custom courses
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You might want to Also grab his incredible WP Display Posts plugin also. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That’s using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a particular”featured” category. You might also get it show last modified/updated posts, recent articles, etc.. I am using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to do all kinds of things concerning design. Consider it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not just for blogs! I’m in fact using GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) which is running Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a site.
For those Of those that are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was pretty fast, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I’ve gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to print all of my customizations. My advice today 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 remember, I do not have a child motif. Each of the customizations were made with the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have working on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he can make a replica of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress site library. I’m pleased to allow you to know that now you can install my woorkup motif in your own GeneratePress site with just a click! It’s known as the Marketer motif. Get started using a fantastic blog layout instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved within my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal site, as I don’t use it to get much. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the whole appearance 100 percent in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to eliminate a couple plugins that weren’t needed due to GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over our organization site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal website, as we simply use it for our LLC. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly. Best WordPress Theme Journal
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I needed it in under one hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able 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 am moving over all of my sites to it (which comprises several EDD e-commerce sites). After I have my 9 websites all running in GP with no child themes, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The programmer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the correct way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing isI finally have a billion more options to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal option for performance-focused users who want to be able to customize and control exactly how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the website that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Since Of that, people who assemble 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 website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something which will instantly look perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to create a style blog, you might be happier picking out a market theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a lot simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones if you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll almost certainly need to go in and customize matters. And though the substantial advantage 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 specific characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is so common.
Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Performance, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient because you will have the ability to see all the changes that you create in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you adequate options, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much all 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 round and alter its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured image size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like how many widgets to add
Likewise, The Typography place enables you to control the font to get every single element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also receive a thorough region to control the color of each and every 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 amount of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But as soon as you understand the way the preferences come together, you will have full control over how your website appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its features, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on excellent performance and clean code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, and it 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 topics can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How fast? To give you a sense, 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 grade of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That’s Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the exact same test website without altering anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points better
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 asks, ~40% fewer
If You do the exact same test with different themes, you’ll continue to find that GeneratePress is among the fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Best WordPress Theme Journal
Other Helpful 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 exceptional feature which allows you create customized hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page construction. It permits you to create separate”sections” onto a webpage, each with their own design and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could select and choose what characteristics you want to activate.
That Way, you do not need to slow down your site for a quality that you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The last, you had to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which made the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a fresh Site Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that allows you easily import any one of 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 Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most topics, every post and page will use the very same configurations 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 Design meta name box for every single page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, post featured picture, post title, or footer
- Create a special”container” for your page builder
Where These controls are the most helpful is if you are using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you’re in a position to produce the correct baseline for your own page builder layout, making it effortless to create custom content as needed. Best WordPress Theme Journal
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif is available for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I believe you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is 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 lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly reasonably priced. It costs only $39.95, which provides you use on unlimited sites. You’ll also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to continue receiving support and updates after the initial year (you can, of course, continue using GeneratePress following the initial year without renewing — you won’t receive any more updates).
When You consider the typical premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I said, I do not think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your requirements for your market from day one.
But If you’re willing to spend some time altering settings, GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress site. Or, you might even be able to locate a starter site that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is among those fastest-loading WordPress topics that you will locate. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a good choice.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no difficulty making your site load in under one minute. Best WordPress Theme Journal