Introduction Better WordPress Theme
Over the past ten years, I have used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, that was fairly excellent. But I still had to do a great deal of customization to allow it to do and operate how I needed it to. A couple weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s undoubtedly the finest WordPress theme I have discovered in 10 years. I was dismissed and am now moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review under. And if you are wondering, yes I’ve tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Better WordPress Theme
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know 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 is not that good, or not supported for long. However, in this case, this was a mistake. The theme now has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star ratings. 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 premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking precisely how I was envisioning a theme should work. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at a number of the features. I’m going to be covering the superior version of the theme, since it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, if you ever read this and so are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you do not want running. This is only one of the greatest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for greater results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a lover of the customizer previously, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser service back to IE8.
It also works great with the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these really are a great combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built in.
A lot of filters and hooks which make it great for programmers.
Excellent active service from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be incredible. Besides have good documentation on their site, the theme has been around long enough that everything I wholeheartedly during the setup process was found within a couple of seconds from their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I always test a new theme right out of the box with no customizations to just see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a great deal of what I could 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 quite 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 this isn’t the case. You may tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring that every record loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of files is not as significant. However, the size is! Have a peek 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
This is a developer that cares about functionality! And I have Seen exactly the same throughout each of the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file included. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 arriving around the corner, we could anticipate that to secure smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate whatever you aren’t using to guarantee they don’t load on your site. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin that has a script supervisor built, I felt at home for this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You’re interested, I am using the next add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is I no more need to use a young child motif . This makes my life so much easier. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this very moment and not shed a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make it possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. Better WordPress Theme
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post that you have a great deal of options. You can change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page involving the default option to a complete width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, lots of these options are enabled by the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we would be here all day. But allow me to show you couple which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is your 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 simple way to add responsive columns to any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert custom classes
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You might want to Also catch his incredible WP Show Posts plugin also. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this website? That is using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You can also have it show past modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium edition of GeneratePress allows you to perform all kinds of things in terms of design. Think of it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I am in fact utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks like a blog.
For those Of those that are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the entire motif that forces woorkup.com. It just 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 older MyThemeShop theme was pretty fast, but I spent a lot of time customizing it. In reality, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all my customizations. My advice today is, simply 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 keep in mind, I do not have a kid theme. All the customizations were made using the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have working on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he could make a copy of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress blog library. I’m pleased to allow you to know that now you can put in my woorkup theme in your GeneratePress website with just a click! It is called the Marketer theme. Get started with a great blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimal website, as I don’t use it for much. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the whole appearance 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And since you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a few plugins that weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our organization website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum site, as we just use it to our LLC. Since you can see it already loaded pretty quickly. Better WordPress Theme
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’t express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my sites to it (which comprises some EDD e-commerce websites ). After I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP with no 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 isI finally have a billion more options to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal alternative for performance-focused users that want to have the ability to customize and control precisely how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform 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.
Since Of that, those who build WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They will normally pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Combination If…
…you Need something that will immediately appear perfect from the box.
For Example, if you know you wish to create a fashion blog, you may be happier picking out a market theme that’s developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a lot simpler to use, as a result of its pre-built Site 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 things. And though the significant advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, particularly casual users, don’t like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are some of the particular characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is so common.
Lots Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient as you will be able to see all the changes that you create in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you adequate possibilities, but should you own GeneratePress Premium, you’ll have the ability to customize nearly all about your website.
For Example, if you go in the Layout region, you can configure comprehensive settings for yourown:
- Header — you can move your header around and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured image size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like how many widgets to add
Similarly, The Typography area enables you to control the font for each and every element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also receive a thorough region to control the colour of every single element on your site.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization options in the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This level of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But once you realize how the preferences come together, you will have complete control over how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Around All its features, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, and it will be 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 does not have any code dependencies, which helps you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That collectively, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you a sense, I ran a little test.
First, I set up an empty website using a random popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After testing its performance 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 at all! However, GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the same test site without altering anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance grade 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 that same test with other themes, you’ll continue to find that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Better WordPress Theme
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more style controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature that lets you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is kind of like lightweight page construction. It permits you to create separate”sections” onto a page, each with their own layout and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular interface where you could select and choose exactly which features you would like to trigger.
That Way, you don’t need to slow your site down for a quality that you’ll never 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 install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a new Site Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users that allows you easily import any one of those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them directly from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this site 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 Each Piece Of Content
With Most topics, every post and page will use the very same settings for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — but you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Layout meta box for every single page and post:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, like your header, navigation menu, article featured picture, post title, or footer
- Create a special”container” to your own page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re in a position to create the proper baseline for your page builder design, which makes it effortless to create custom articles as needed. Better WordPress Theme
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress theme is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re serious about using GeneratePress, I feel you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what makes the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you almost as many configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly affordable. It costs just $39.95, which provides you use on infinite websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades following the first year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress after the first year without renewing — you won’t get any more updates).
When You believe that the normal premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, I do not think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your requirements for your market out of day one.
But If you’re ready to spend time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress site. Or, you might even have the ability to find a starter site that fulfills your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It’s one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes you will find. So if you’re seeking the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a great decision.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any problem making your site load in under one minute. Better WordPress Theme