Background Best WordPress Theme Startup
Over the past 10 years, I have used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up until recently, I was using MyThemeShop, that was fairly good. However, I had to perform a great deal of customization to make it do and operate the way I needed it to. A few of weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s by far the best WordPress theme I’ve found in a decade . I had been blown away and am moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I will enter precisely why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as several other lightweight and heavier multicolored themes. Best WordPress Theme Startup
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I have really seen it for years in the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, and so I have a tendency to ignore everything from the repository. Typically because a lot of things on there isn’t that good, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The theme now has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So obviously Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Really set up 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 programmer 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 some of the features. I’m going to be covering the superior edition of the subject, since it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, in the event that you read this and are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and quick. 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 fantastic across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for greater results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using all the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan of this customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser support back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these are a terrific combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built in.
Tons of filters and hooks that make it good for developers.
Great active service from the developer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have good documentation on their site, the subject has existed long enough that everything I Googled throughout the setup process was found within a couple of seconds from their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time for the fun part! I always test a new theme right from the box without any customizations to see how fast the base is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time I add everything to it. 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 concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to generate a whole lot of big files, but that isn’t the situation. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring every record packed in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the number of documents isn’t as significant. But the dimensions is! Have a look at a few 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
That is a programmer that cares about performance! And I have Seen the same during all the premium add-ons. They’re as small as possible get them. In reality, Font Awesome is most likely the biggest file contained. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming round the cornerwe can anticipate this to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular layout. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you are not using to ensure they don’t load on your website. Since the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script supervisor built-in, I felt at home for this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You’re interested, I’m using the next add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is I no longer have to use a young child motif . This makes my life much easier. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally update my GeneratePress theme this exact moment and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make it possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best WordPress Theme Startup
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot of options. You are able to change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default to a complete width page, in addition to disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, lots of these options are enabled from the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here daily. However, allow me to show you couple which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also made by precisely the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to add responsive columns to any page or article. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Add Customized classes
Insert custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example under:
You May Want to Also catch his incredible WP Display Posts plugin too. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a specific”featured” category. You might also have it show last modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works great.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to do all kinds of things concerning design. Think of it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I am in fact using GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) which is running Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. However, as you can see below, it looks nothing like a site.
For those Of those who are regular readers, you probably did not even notice that I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme that I had spent annually customizing. Here is a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop theme was already pretty fast, 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 print all my customizations. My advice now is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress theme I managed to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I don’t have a child motif. Each of the customizations were made with the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve running on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he can make a copy of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress blog library. I am happy to allow you to know that you can now install my woorkup theme in your own GeneratePress website with only a single click! It’s called the Marketer motif. Get started with a great blog layout instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal website, since I do not use it for much. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the whole appearance 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And since you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to eliminate a few plugins which weren’t needed due to GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over our business site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal website, as we just use it to our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly. Best WordPress Theme Startup
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I needed it in under an hour. And since you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I managed to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my websites for this (which comprises several EDD e-commerce sites). After 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 subjects , and that when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news is, I now have a thousand more choices to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal option for performance-focused users who wish 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 functionality, the site that you build will have a great base to make it load quickly.
Because Of that, those who assemble WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll normally pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any type of site.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Combination If…
…you Need something that will immediately look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you want to create a style blog, you might be happier picking out a niche theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a great deal easier to use, thanks to its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when 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 substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many 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 particular characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Plenty Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient as you’ll have the ability to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress provides you decent options, but if you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll have the ability to customize nearly all about your website.
For Example, if you go in the Design area, you can configure comprehensive settings for yourown:
- Header — you can move your header around and change its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize 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 lets you control the font to get every single element on your website, including buttons:
And You also get a detailed region to control the color of every single element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This level of detail may be a little overwhelming if you are a beginner. But as soon as you realize how the preferences come together, you’ll have full control over how your site looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All of its features, GeneratePress always includes a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, and it will be about as little as you are ever going to find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress themes are still 200+ kB. And a few badly coded themes can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Place That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you an idea, I conducted a little test.
First, I set up an empty site using a haphazard popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its functionality with Pingdom, it:
- Had a performance grade of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 asks
That’s Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the exact same test website without changing anything else. Here is 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 asks, ~40% fewer
If You perform that same test with different themes, you are going to continue to find that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. Best WordPress Theme Startup
Other Helpful 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 such as:
- Elements — a exceptional feature which lets you create customized hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is kind of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create separate”sections” on a page, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could select and choose what characteristics you would like to trigger.
That Way, you don’t need to slow down your site for a quality which you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The last, you needed to construct GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a fresh Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users which lets you easily import any one of those 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them directly from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes this Website 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 Every Bit 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 — however you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a brand new Design meta 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 the number of footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, such as your header, navigation menu, post featured picture, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” for your page builder
Where These controls are the most helpful is if you’re using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are able to produce the correct baseline for your page builder layout, which makes it effortless to create custom content as needed. Best WordPress Theme Startup
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you are seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I believe you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you nearly as many settings in the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly affordable. It costs just $39.95, and that provides you use on infinite websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and updates after the first year (you can, obviously, keep using GeneratePress after the first year without beating — you won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You consider the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great price.
As I said, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that fits your needs for your market from day one.
But If you are ready to spend some time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you may even be able to locate a starter site that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics you will find. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any difficulty making your website load in under one minute. Best WordPress Theme Startup