Background Best WordPress Theme Starter
Within the past ten years, I have used a lot of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up until recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, which was pretty excellent. But I still had to perform a great deal of customization to allow it to do and operate the way I wanted it to. A few 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 10 years. I was blown away and am moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I will go into exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best WordPress Theme Starter
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I have really seen it for years from the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m 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. Nonetheless, in this case, that was a mistake. The motif now has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So clearly Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually installed 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 developer was thinking exactly how I was imagining a theme should work. And I will 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 subject, since it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, if you ever read this and are visiting 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 adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all 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 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 really are a great combo. I’ve also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built-in.
A lot of filters and hooks which make it good for programmers.
Excellent active service from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have great documentation on their site, the subject has been around long enough that what I Googled during the setup procedure was found inside a couple of seconds from their own forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I test a brand new theme right from the box without any customizations to just see how quickly 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 stock GeneratePress WordPress motif on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms load time. I was quite impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but that is not the case. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on making sure every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the number of files isn’t as significant. But the dimensions 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 programmer that cares about performance! And I have Seen the same throughout each of the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file included. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we can expect that to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular layout. You can activate/deactivate anything you are not using to guarantee they don’t load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built-in, I felt at home for this. Everything ought to be made this way.
If You are interested, I’m using the following add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is I no more have to use a Child theme. This makes my life much easier. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally update my GeneratePress theme this very moment and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make it possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best WordPress Theme Starter
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot of alternatives. You can alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default option to a complete width page, in addition to disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these choices are permitted from the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here daily. 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 can be made by the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to add responsive columns into any page or post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid width
Insert custom classes
Add custom inline styles
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You May Want to Also grab his amazing WP Display 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 show posts from a specific”featured” category. You can also get it show last modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium edition of GeneratePress lets you perform all kinds of things concerning design. Consider it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I am in fact using GeneratePress for 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 like a site.
For those Of you that are regular readers, you probably did not even notice I changed the entire theme that forces woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif that I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was already pretty quickly, but I invested a great deal of time customizing it. In fact, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all of my customizations. My advice today is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress theme I was able to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I do not have a kid motif. Each of the customizations were made using the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have working on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he could create a replica of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress site library. I am pleased to allow you to know that now you can install my woorkup motif in your GeneratePress site with only a click! It is called the Marketer motif. Get started with a great blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimum site, since I don’t use it to get much. As you can see it already loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to duplicate the whole look 100 percent in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to eliminate a couple plugins that weren’t needed due to GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our organization website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum site, as we simply use it for our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly. Best WordPress Theme Starter
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 see it loads faster! Amazing. I managed to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page weight 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my websites to it (which includes several EDD e-commerce websites ). Once I have my 9 sites all running in GP without any child topics, my entire life will be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the correct way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news isI now have a thousand more options to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal alternative for performance-focused users that want to be able to customize and control exactly how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform 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 quickly.
Since Of that, those who assemble WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll typically pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any type of site.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Fit If…
…you Need something which will instantly look perfect from the box.
For Example, if you know you wish to create a fashion blog, you might be happier picking out a niche theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a lot simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you want it to, you will most likely need to go in and customize things. And while 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 indeed common.
Lots Of Customization Options In 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 because you’ll be able to see all the changes that you create in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress gives you decent possibilities, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For Example, if you go in the Layout region, you can configure detailed settings to yourown:
- Header — you can move your header round and change its 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 how many widgets to include
Likewise, The Typography place enables you to control the font to get every single element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also get a thorough area to control the colour of every single element on your site.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This amount of detail might be a little overwhelming if you are a beginner. But once you realize the way the preferences come together, you’ll have full control on how your website appears.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Across All its features, GeneratePress always includes a focus on excellent performance and clean code. The whole motif 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 themes are still 200+ kB. And a few poorly coded themes can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which will help you avoid the render obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Put That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you a sense, I conducted a little test.
First, I put up a vacant website utilizing a haphazard popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After testing its functionality with Pingdom, it
- Had a performance tier of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 asks
That’s Not bad at all! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the same test site without changing anything else. Here is how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance grade of 87, 10 points better
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 requests, ~40% less
If You do the exact same test with different topics, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. Best WordPress Theme Starter
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other helpful features like:
- Elements — a unique feature that allows you create customized hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a exceptional page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is kind of like lightweight page construction. It permits you to create separate”sections” on a page, each with their own design and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you can pick and choose exactly which features you would like to trigger.
That Way, you don’t need to slow your site down 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 websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, though, the programmer added a fresh Site Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any one of the 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 a few buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most themes, each post and page will use the very same configurations for the most part. You may have some custom templates or formats — but you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a brand new Layout meta name box for every single page and post:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (like altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, article featured picture, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” for 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’re able to create the proper baseline for your own page builder layout, which makes it effortless to create custom articles as needed. Best WordPress Theme Starter
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress theme is available for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I believe you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you nearly as numerous configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still quite affordable. It costs only $39.95, and that provides you use on unlimited sites. You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades after the initial year (you can, of course, continue using GeneratePress following the first year without beating — you just won’t get any more updates).
When You consider the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You desire 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 willing to spend some time changing settings, GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you may even be able to find a starter website that fulfills your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It’s one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics you will locate. So if you’re seeking the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good choice.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any difficulty making your site load in under one minute. Best WordPress Theme Starter