Background Best WordPress Themes Blog 2018
Over the past ten decades, I have used a lot of different WordPress topics and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I was utilizing MyThemeShop, that was fairly excellent. However, I had to perform a great deal of customization to allow it to do and work the way I needed it to. A couple weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I have discovered in 10 years. I was blown away and am now moving all my sites to GeneratePress. I will enter precisely why in my in-depth GeneratePress review under. And if you are wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. Best WordPress Themes Blog 2018
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme made 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 am pretty picky when it comes to web performance, and so I tend to ignore everything from the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there is not that good, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, that was a mistake. The motif currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So obviously Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Actually set up the free version of the motif 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 envisioning a theme should work. And I’ll go into that more below, but let us first look at some of the qualities. I’m going to be covering the premium edition of the subject, since it’s worth very penny. In fact, 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 things you don’t need running. This is one of the greatest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Impressive integration with the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan of this customizer in the past, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser service back to IE8.
It also works great with the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I’ve also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font wonderful built-in.
Tons of filters and hooks that make it good for developers.
Excellent active service from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be unbelievable. Besides have good documentation on their site, the theme has been around long enough that what I Googled throughout the setup procedure was found inside a couple of seconds from their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time for the fun part! I test a new theme right from the box without any customizations to just see how quickly 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 theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms loading time. I was quite impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to generate a lot of big files, but that is not the case. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring every record packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of documents is not as important. But the dimensions 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 functionality! And I’ve Seen the same during all the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as possible get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the largest file contained. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 arriving round the cornerwe could expect that to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate whatever you aren’t using to ensure they do not load on your website. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt right at home for this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You are interested, I’m using the next add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is that I no longer have to use a Child motif . This makes my life so much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress theme this very minute and not lose a single customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make this possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best WordPress Themes Blog 2018
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a lot of options. You are able to alter the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default option to a complete width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer options is where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these options are enabled by the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. But let me show you few which actually 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 exact same developer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid width
Add Customized classes
Insert custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You might want to Also catch his amazing WP Show Posts plugin also. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You can also have it show past modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you do all kinds of things concerning design. Consider it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not just for blogs! I’m in reality utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) which is running Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For all those Of you that are regular readers, you likely did not even notice that I changed the whole theme that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme that I had spent a year 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 reality, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to print all of my customizations. My advice now is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress motif I was able to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I don’t have a kid theme. Each of the customizations were created using the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have running on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he can create a copy of woorkup to your new GeneratePress blog library. I’m happy to let you know that now you can put in my woorkup theme on your own GeneratePress website with only a click! It is known as the Marketer theme. Get started using a fantastic blog layout instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal site, as I don’t use it to get much. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to duplicate the entire look 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And since you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even 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 organization site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal website, as we simply use it for our LLC. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly. Best WordPress Themes Blog 2018
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I wanted it in under an hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page burden 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my sites for this (which includes some EDD e-commerce websites ). After I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP with no child topics, my life is going to be a breeze! The programmer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing isI now have a billion more choices to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal alternative for performance-focused users that want to have the ability to customize and control exactly how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a great foundation 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 website.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Fit If…
…you Need something that will instantly look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you want to create a fashion blog, you might be happier picking out a market theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a lot easier to use, as a result of its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you want it to, you’ll most likely need to go in and personalize things. And while the substantial benefit 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 some of the particular characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Performance, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, which 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 gives you adequate possibilities, but if you have GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize nearly everything about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Layout area, you can configure comprehensive settings for your:
- 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 design — like featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to include
Likewise, The Typography place lets you control the font for 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 website.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization choices in the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This amount of detail might be a bit overwhelming if you are a beginner. But as soon as you understand how the preferences come together, you will have complete control over how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress always includes a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, which is about as little as you are ever going to find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress topics 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 leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Place That together, and you get a superfast-loading motif. How fast? To give you a sense, I conducted a small test.
First, I put up a vacant site using a random 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 is Not bad at all! However, GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly 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% fewer
If You do the exact same test with other topics, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Best WordPress Themes Blog 2018
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features like:
- Elements — a exceptional feature that allows you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is kind of like lightweight page construction. It permits you to create different”sections” onto a webpage, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular interface where you can pick and choose what features you want to activate.
That Way, you do not need to slow down your site for a quality which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The past, you had to build 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 new Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any among the 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 few buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most topics, every page and post will use the very same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — but you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Design meta box for every single post and page:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (like changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, post featured image, post title, or footer
- Create a special”container” to your page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you are able to create the proper baseline for your page builder layout, making it easy to create custom content as needed. Best WordPress Themes Blog 2018
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress motif can be obtained for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re serious about utilizing GeneratePress, I feel 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 just $39.95, which gives you use on infinite websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and updates after the initial year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress following the initial year without renewing — you won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You consider that the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I said, I do not believe GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your needs for your market from day one.
But If you are willing to spend time changing settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress site. Or, you might even be able to find a starter site that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It’s among those fastest-loading WordPress themes you will locate. So if you’re seeking the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great decision.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you shouldn’t have any problem making your site load in under one second. Best WordPress Themes Blog 2018