Background Best WordPress Themes Of 2018
Over the past 10 years, I have used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I was utilizing MyThemeShop, which was fairly good. But I still had to perform a great deal of customization to make it perform and work the way I needed it to. A few weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is by far the finest WordPress theme I have found in 10 years. I had been blown away and am moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter exactly why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I’ve attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Best WordPress Themes Of 2018
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve really seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I am pretty picky when it comes to web performance, and so I tend to dismiss everything from the repository. Typically because a great deal of stuff on there isn’t that great, or not encouraged for long. However, in this case, that was a mistake. The motif currently 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 Actually set up 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 programmer was thinking precisely how I was imagining a theme should work. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at some of the features. I will be covering the premium edition of the subject, because it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, in the event that you read this and are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you do not want running. This is one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using all the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a lover of this customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with all the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a terrific combo. I have also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built-in.
Tons of filters and hooks that make it great for developers.
Great active service from the developer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be incredible. Besides have great documentation on their website, the subject has been around long enough that everything I wholeheartedly during the setup procedure was found within a few seconds in their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I always test a new theme right from the box without any customizations to see how quickly the base is. This tells me a great deal of what I can expect by the time I add everything for this. Running the stock GeneratePress WordPress motif 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 design was going to generate a whole lot of big files, but this isn’t the case. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring that every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of documents is not as important. However, the dimensions is! Take a look at some 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
This is a programmer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen exactly the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They are as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file included. And that isn’t even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving round the cornerwe could expect that to get smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I would call a modular layout. You can activate/deactivate whatever you aren’t using to ensure they do not load on your website. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built-in, I felt at home with this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You are curious, I’m using the following add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is that I no more have to use a young child theme. This makes my life much simpler. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally update my GeneratePress theme this exact moment rather than shed a single customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make it possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. Best WordPress Themes Of 2018
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a lot of alternatives. You are able to alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default option to a complete width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these options are permitted from the superior add-ons. I can’t 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 suggest grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also made by the exact same programmer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to add responsive columns to any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid thickness
Insert Customized classes
Insert custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example under:
You might want to Also grab his incredible WP Show Posts plugin too. View my featured posts on the sidebar of this website? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You can also have it show last modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you perform all kinds of things in terms of design. Think of it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) which is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks like a blog.
For all those Of those who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice I changed the entire motif that powers woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent annually customizing. Here is a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop theme was pretty quickly, but I invested a great deal of time customizing it. In reality, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to print all of my customizations. My advice today is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress motif I was able to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I do not have a child motif. Each of the customizations were created with the awesome 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 could make a copy of woorkup for the new GeneratePress site library. I’m happy to allow you to know that you can now install my woorkup motif in your GeneratePress site with just a click! It’s known as the Marketer theme. Get started using a great blog layout instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved within my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum site, since I do not use it for much. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the whole appearance 100 percent in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can see 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 website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal site, as we just use it to our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast. Best WordPress Themes Of 2018
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under an hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my total 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 several EDD e-commerce sites). After I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP with no child topics, my life will be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news isI finally have a thousand more options to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal option for performance-focused users that want to have the ability to personalize and control precisely 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 fantastic base to make it load fast.
Because Of that, those who build WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll typically pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any kind of website.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Combination If…
…you Want something which will immediately appear perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to create a fashion blog, you may be happier picking out a market theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress is becoming a great deal simpler 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 will almost certainly will need to go in and customize things. And though the significant benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are some of the specific characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is indeed common.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this can be convenient as you’ll be able to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress gives you adequate possibilities, but should you own GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize nearly everything about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Layout area, you may configure detailed settings to your:
- Header — you can move your header round and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post design — such as featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to include
Similarly, The Typography place lets you control the font for each and every element on your website, including buttons:
And You also receive a detailed region to control the colour of every single element on your website.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give 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 newcomer. But once you realize how the preferences come together, you’ll have complete control over how your website appears.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The whole motif 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 topics are still 200+ kB. And some badly coded topics can even surpass 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 get a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you an idea, I conducted a small test.
First, I put up a vacant website utilizing a haphazard popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After testing its functionality with Pingdom, it:
- Had a performance tier of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That is Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the same test website without altering anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points better
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 asks, ~40% less
If You perform that same test with different topics, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Best WordPress Themes Of 2018
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Beyond 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 that allows you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page building. It lets you create separate”sections” onto a page, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular interface where you could select and choose what characteristics you want to trigger.
That Way, you do not have 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 Website
In The last, you needed to construct GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, though, the programmer added a new Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that allows you easily import any among those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them directly from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a couple buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Every Piece Of Content
With Most topics, every post and page will use the very same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — but you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand 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 (such as altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain elements, like your header, navigation menu, article featured image, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to your page builder
Where These controls would be the most helpful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re able to produce the correct baseline for your page builder layout, which makes it easy to create custom content as needed. Best WordPress Themes Of 2018
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme is available for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are seriously interested in utilizing GeneratePress, I believe you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so flexible. The free version does not give you nearly as many settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly reasonably priced. It costs only $39.95, which provides you use on unlimited websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades after the initial year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress after the initial year without renewing — you won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You consider that the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a great price.
As I said, I do not think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that fits your needs for your market from day one.
But If you’re ready to spend time changing settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you might even have the ability to find a starter site that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It’s among those fastest-loading WordPress topics you will find. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any problem making your website load in under one second. Best WordPress Themes Of 2018