Introduction Best WordPress Theme Tech Blog
Over the past ten decades, I have used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up until recently, I had been using MyThemeShop, that was fairly good. However, I still had to do a lot of customization to allow it to do and operate the way I needed it to. A couple of 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 a decade . I was blown away and am now 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 attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as many other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best WordPress Theme Tech Blog
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I have really seen it for many years from the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, so I tend to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of stuff on there isn’t that great, 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+ 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 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 envisioning a theme should get the job done. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at some of the qualities. I’m going to be covering the superior version of the subject, because it’s worth . Actually, Tom, in the event that you ever read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you do not want running. This is one of the biggest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for greater outcomes in SERPs.
Dramatic integration with the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of the customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser service 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 really are a terrific combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built-in.
Tons of hooks and filters that make it great for developers.
Great active support from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have good documentation on their site, the subject has existed long enough that what I Googled during the setup procedure was found inside a few seconds from their own forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I test a new theme right from the box with no customizations to just see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a great deal of what I can expect by the time that I add everything for this. Running the stock GeneratePress WordPress theme 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 generate a lot of big files, but this isn’t the case. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of documents isn’t as significant. But the size is! Have a look at some of the core 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 developer that cares about performance! And I have Seen exactly the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as you can possibly get them. In fact, Font Awesome is most likely the biggest file contained. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving around the corner, we can expect that to get smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to ensure they don’t load on your website. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt at home with this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You are interested, I am using the next add-ons on this site:
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 easier. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally upgrade my GeneratePress theme this exact moment rather than lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make this possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best WordPress Theme Tech Blog
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a great deal of options. You are able to change the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page involving the default to a full width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, a lot of these choices are enabled by the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here daily. But allow me to show you few which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest 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 post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Add custom classes
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also grab his amazing WP Display Posts plugin also. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this site? 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 last modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium edition of GeneratePress lets you perform all sorts of things concerning design. Think of it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not just for blogs! I’m in fact 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 did not even notice that I changed the whole motif 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 under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was pretty fast, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all my customizations. My advice now is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress theme I managed to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I do not have a child theme. Each of the customizations were created using the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve running on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he can create a copy of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress site library. I am pleased to let you know that now you can put in my woorkup theme on your GeneratePress website with just a single click! It’s called the Marketer theme. Get started using a fantastic blog layout immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum website, since I don’t use it for much. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the entire look 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to get rid of a couple plugins which weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over our organization site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum website, as we simply use it to our LLC. Since you can see it already loaded pretty fast. Best WordPress Theme Tech Blog
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under one hour. And since you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of 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 my websites for this (which includes some EDD e-commerce sites). Once I have my 9 sites all running in GP without any child themes, my entire life will be a breeze! The developer has revived 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 option for performance-focused users that wish to have the ability to customize 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 foundation to make it load quickly.
Since Of that, those who assemble WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll normally pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any kind of website.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Want something that will instantly look perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you want 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 Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones if you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you will almost certainly need to go in and personalize things. And while the significant advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, particularly casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the specific features that explain why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Lots Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient because you’ll be able to see all of the changes that you create in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress provides you decent options, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For Example, if you go in the Design area, you can configure detailed settings to yourown:
- Header — you can move your header round and alter its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to include
Similarly, That the Typography area lets you control the font to get each and every element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also get a detailed region to control the color of each and every element on your website.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This amount of detail might be a bit overwhelming if you are a beginner. But as soon as you understand the way the settings come together, you will have complete control on how your site looks.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress always has a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, which will be about as small as you’ll ever find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress topics are still 200+ kB. And a few poorly coded themes can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Put That together, and you get a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you an idea, I ran a small test.
First, I put up an empty website using 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 requests
That is Not bad in any way! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the same test site without altering anything else. Here is how GeneratePress failed:
- 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% fewer
If You do that same test with different themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Best WordPress Theme Tech Blog
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more style controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other helpful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature which lets you create custom hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is kind of like lightweight page building. It lets you create separate”sections” onto a page, each with their own layout and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular interface where you could select and choose what characteristics you would like to activate.
That Way, you do not have to slow down your site for a feature that you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The past, you had to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, though, the programmer added a new Site Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any one of those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a couple buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Every Bit Of Content
With Most themes, every page and post will use the same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — but you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand new Layout meta name box for each and every page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (like 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 picture, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to your own page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you are using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re in a position to create the proper baseline for your own page builder layout, making it effortless to create custom articles as needed. Best WordPress Theme Tech Blog
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re serious about using GeneratePress, I believe you should purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what produces the theme so elastic. The free version doesn’t give you almost as numerous configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still quite reasonably priced. It costs just $39.95, and that gives you use on unlimited websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades following the initial year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress following the first year without beating — you won’t get any more updates).
When You consider the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a fantastic price.
As I said, I do not think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your needs for your niche from day one.
However, If you are willing to spend some time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to find a starter website that fulfills your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It’s among the fastest-loading WordPress topics you will find. Therefore, if you’re seeking the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a good decision.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no difficulty making your site load in under one minute. Best WordPress Theme Tech Blog