Intro Best WordPress Theme To Customize
Over the previous ten years, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up until recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, that was pretty good. However, I still had to do a lot of customization to make it perform and work how I wanted it to. A couple of weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I have found in 10 years. I had been blown away and am now moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I will go into precisely why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below. And if you’re wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Best WordPress Theme To Customize
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I have actually seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, and so I tend to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of things on there isn’t that good, or not supported for long. However, in this case, this was a mistake. The motif currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy 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 bought the premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking precisely how I was imagining a theme should get the job done. And I’ll go into that more below, but let’s first look at some 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 ever read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t need running. This is one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for better outcomes in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a lover of this customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser service 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 really are a terrific combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built in.
Tons of hooks and filters which make it good for programmers.
Excellent active support from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have great documentation on their website, the theme has existed long enough that what I Googled during the setup procedure was found within a couple of seconds from their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I test a brand new theme right from the box with no customizations to just see how fast the base 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 loading time. I was very 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 this is not the situation. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring that every file packed in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the number of files is not as significant. However, the size is! Have a peek at a few of the core 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 functionality! And I have Seen the same during all of the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the largest file contained. And that isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming round the cornerwe could expect that to get smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I’d call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to guarantee they do not load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt right at home with this. Everything should be made this way.
If You are curious, I’m using the following add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is I no longer need to use a Child theme. This makes my life much easier. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I can literally update my GeneratePress theme this very minute and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make this possible. It permits you to add custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Best WordPress Theme To Customize
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot of options. You can alter the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default option to a complete width page, in addition to disable components.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these choices are permitted by the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here daily. But let me show you couple which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also created by precisely the same programmer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super simple way to add responsive columns into any page or post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Insert custom classes
Insert custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example under:
You May Want to Also catch his amazing WP Display Posts plugin too. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this site? That’s using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You can also have it show past modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to perform all sorts of things concerning design. Consider it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not just for blogs! I am in reality using GeneratePress for our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is running Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to check it out. However, as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For those Of those that are regular readers, you probably didn’t even notice I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif that I had spent annually customizing. Here is a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I invested a lot of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all my customizations. My advice today is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress motif I was able to achieve 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 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 could make a copy of woorkup to your new GeneratePress blog library. I am pleased to allow you to know that now you can put in my woorkup motif on your own GeneratePress website with just a click! It’s known as the Marketer theme. Get started with a great blog layout immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum website, as 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 percent in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a few plugins which weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over our business site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimal website, as we just use it for our LLC. Since you can see it already loaded pretty fast. Best WordPress Theme To Customize
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking just how I needed it in under an hour. And since you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my sites to it (which comprises some EDD e-commerce sites). After I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP without any child topics, my life will be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose subjects , which when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news isI now have a billion more options to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect 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 because GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the site that you build will have a great base to make it load quickly.
Because Of that, those who build WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They will typically pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any kind of website.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Combination If…
…you Need something that will instantly appear perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to produce a style blog, you might be happier choosing a market theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a great deal easier to use, thanks to its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones if you initially install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll most likely will need to go in and customize matters. And though the substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, especially casual users, don’t like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the specific features 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 Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient because you will be able to see all of the changes that you create in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress provides you adequate possibilities, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Layout region, you can configure comprehensive settings for yourown:
- Header — you can move your header round and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post design — like featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like how many widgets to add
Likewise, The Typography place enables you to control the font for every single element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also get a thorough region to control the colour of every single element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization choices in the WordPress Customizer compared to most other topics. This amount of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you are a beginner. But once you understand how the preferences come together, you will have complete control over how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The whole theme is less than 30 kB, which is about as small as you are ever going to find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress themes are still 200+ kB. And some poorly coded themes can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you an idea, I ran a small test.
First, I set up an empty website using a random popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After testing its performance with Pingdom, it
- Had a performance grade of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 asks
That is Not bad in any way! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the same test website without altering anything else. Here is 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 the exact same test with different themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Best WordPress Theme To Customize
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Past Giving you more style controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other helpful features such as:
- Elements — a exceptional feature that lets you create custom hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a exceptional page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page building. It permits you to create different”sections” onto a page, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular port where you can pick and choose exactly which features you would like to trigger.
That Way, you do not have to slow your site down for a feature which you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The past, you had to construct GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which left the theme difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a fresh Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any among those 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them right from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a few buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most themes, each post and page will use the same configurations for the most part. You may have some custom formats or templates — however you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Layout meta box for every single page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain elements, such as your header, navigation menu, article featured picture, article title, or footer
- Produce 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 components, you are in a position to create the correct baseline for your own page builder layout, making it effortless to create custom content as needed. Best WordPress Theme To Customize
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress theme can be obtained for free at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you are seriously interested in utilizing GeneratePress, I believe you should purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what makes the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you nearly as many configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still quite affordable. It costs just $39.95, and that provides you use on unlimited websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and updates following the first year (you can, obviously, keep using GeneratePress after the initial year without renewing — you won’t get any more updates).
When You consider that the typical premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great price.
As I mentioned, I do not think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your requirements for your niche from day one.
However, If you’re willing to spend some time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you may even be able to locate a starter site that fits your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes that you will locate. Therefore, 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 shouldn’t have any problem making your website load in under one minute. Best WordPress Theme To Customize