Introduction Best WordPress Theme Plugins
Over the past ten years, I have used a lot of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I was using MyThemeShop, that was fairly good. But I still had to do a great deal of customization to make it do and work how I wanted it to. A few weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I’ve found in 10 years. I was dismissed and am now moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review under. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and heavier multicolored themes. Best WordPress Theme Plugins
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I have actually seen it for years from the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I tend to dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there is not that good, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this case, that was a mistake. The theme currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. So obviously Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually set up the free version of the theme 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 work. And I’ll go into that more below, but let’s first look at a number of the features. I’m going to be covering the superior version of the subject, since it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, in the event that you read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t need running. This is only one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for better outcomes in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using 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.
It also works great with all the favorite 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 good for programmers.
Excellent active service from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also unbelievable. Besides have good documentation on their site, the theme has existed long enough that everything I Googled during the setup procedure was found within a few seconds in their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I test a brand new theme right out of the box with no customizations to see how fast the base is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time I add everything for this. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress motif 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 layout was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but that isn’t the situation. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring every file packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the number of documents is not as significant. However, the size is! Have a look 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 have Seen exactly the same throughout all of the premium add-ons. They are as small as possible get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the largest file included. And that is not even his. Together 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 layout. It is possible to activate/deactivate whatever you aren’t using to guarantee they do not load on your website. Since the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script supervisor built, I felt right at home for this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You’re interested, I am using the following 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 Child theme. This makes my life much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I will literally update my GeneratePress motif this exact minute rather than lose a single customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make it possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best WordPress Theme Plugins
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a great deal of options. You are able to alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default to a complete width page, in addition to disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, a lot of these options are enabled from the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here daily. However, let me show you few which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be made by the exact same developer 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
Add custom courses
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You might want to Also catch his incredible WP Display Posts plugin also. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this website? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a particular”featured” category. You can also get it show last modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works terrific.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you do all sorts of things concerning design. Consider it like a webpage builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) which is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For all those Of you who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the whole theme that forces woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent a year customizing. Here is a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was pretty fast, but I invested a great deal of time customizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all my customizations. My advice today is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress motif I managed to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, 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 running on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he can make a copy of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress blog library. I’m pleased to allow you to know that you can now put in my woorkup motif in your GeneratePress site with only a single click! It is called the Marketer theme. Get started with a great 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 site, since I do not use it to get much. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the whole look 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a couple plugins that weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our organization website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum website, as we just use it for our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best WordPress Theme Plugins
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I wanted it in under one hour. And as 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 finding GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my sites to it (which includes some EDD e-commerce websites ). Once I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP with no child themes, my life is going to be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing is, I finally have a billion more choices to choose from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal alternative for performance-focused users who wish to be able to personalize and control exactly how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the website that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Because Of that, people who build WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll normally pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any kind of website.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Fit If…
…you Want something which will immediately appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to create a style blog, you may be happier choosing a niche theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a lot easier to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones if you initially install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you will almost certainly will need to go in and personalize matters. And while the significant advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, do not like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the specific characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is so common.
Plenty 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, and this is convenient because you will be able to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress provides you decent options, but if you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll have the ability to customize pretty much everything about your website.
For Example, if you go in the Layout area, you can configure comprehensive settings for 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 layout — such as featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like how many widgets to include
Likewise, That the Typography place enables you to control the font to get every single element on your website, including buttons:
And You also get a thorough region to control the color of every single element on your site.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This amount of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But once you realize how the preferences come together, you’ll have full control on how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress always has a focus on excellent performance and clean code. The whole theme is less than 30 kB, which will be about as little 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 will help you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Put That collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you an idea, I ran a small test.
First, I set up a vacant website using a random popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its performance with Pingdom, it
- Had a performance tier of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That is Not bad in any way! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the same test site without changing anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress did:
- 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 perform that same test with other themes, you’ll continue to see that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Best WordPress Theme Plugins
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other helpful features like:
- Elements — a unique feature that lets you create customized hooks, page headers, or layout 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 different”sections” on a page, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you can pick and choose what features you want to activate.
That Way, you do not have to slow your site down for a quality which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The last, you needed to construct GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which made the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a new Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which lets you easily import any among those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them right from your 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 Give You Comprehensive Control Over Every Piece Of Content
With Most themes, every post and page will use the same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — however you don’t have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a new Layout meta name box for every single post and page:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site 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, article featured picture, article title, or footer
- Produce 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 in a position to produce the correct baseline for your page builder design, which makes it easy to create custom content as needed. Best WordPress Theme Plugins
GeneratePress Replies: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress theme is available for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are serious about using GeneratePress, I feel you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you nearly as many 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 gives you use on unlimited sites. You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades following the first year (you can, obviously, keep using GeneratePress after the first year without renewing — you just won’t receive any more updates).
When You consider that the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic price.
As I said, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You desire a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your needs for your niche out of day one.
But If you’re willing to spend some time changing settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to locate a starter website that fulfills your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes that you will locate. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good choice.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no problem making your website load in under one second. Best WordPress Theme Plugins