Background Custom WordPress Theme
Over the previous 10 years, I have used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I had been using MyThemeShop, which was pretty good. But I still had to perform a lot of customization to make it do and operate the way I wanted 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 found in 10 years. I had been dismissed and am now moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into precisely why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I’ve tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. Custom WordPress Theme
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I have actually seen it for years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I tend to dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of stuff on there is not that great, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this case, this was a mistake. The motif currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star ratings. So clearly Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the motif and in a matter of 15 minutes bought 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’ll go into that more below, but let us first look at a number of the features. I’m going to be covering the premium version of the subject, since it’s worth . Actually, Tom, in the event that you ever read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you do not want running. This is one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for greater outcomes in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using all the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan of the customizer in the past, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser support back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with all the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these really are a great combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built in.
A lot of filters and hooks that make it great for programmers.
Great active service from the programmer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be unbelievable. Besides have good documentation on their website, the theme has existed long enough that everything I Googled throughout the setup procedure was found inside a few seconds from their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I test a new theme right out of the box with no customizations to see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time I add everything for this. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress motif 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 design was going to generate a lot of big files, but that isn’t the situation. You may tell that Tom literally worked hard on making sure that every record loaded in GeneratePress is as little as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of documents is not as important. But the size is! Take a look at a few of the center 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 developer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen exactly the same during each of the premium add-ons. They’re as small as possible get them. In reality, Font Awesome is most likely the biggest file contained. And that isn’t even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming round the corner, we can expect that to get smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to guarantee they do not load on your website. Since the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script supervisor built-in, I felt at home with this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You are curious, I am using the next add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is that I no longer have to use a young child motif . This makes my life much simpler. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I will literally update my GeneratePress theme this exact moment and not shed a single customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make this possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Custom WordPress Theme
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post that you have a lot of options. You can change the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default to a complete width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, lots of these choices are permitted from the superior add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. However, allow me to show you couple which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be made by the exact same programmer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns to any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Add custom classes
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You might want to Also grab his incredible WP Display Posts plugin too. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this website? 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 articles, etc.. I am using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to do all kinds of things in terms of design. Think of it like a webpage builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I’m in reality using GeneratePress for our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is running Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For those Of you that are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the entire motif that powers woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I spent a great deal of time customizing it. In reality, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all of my customizations. My advice now is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress theme I managed to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I do not have a kid motif. Each of the customizations were made with the wonderful 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 can make a copy of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress site library. I am happy to allow you to know that now you can put in my woorkup theme on your GeneratePress website with only a single click! It is called the Marketer motif. Get started using a great blog layout instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimum site, as I do not use it to get much. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the whole look 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to get rid of a couple plugins that 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 simply use it for our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly. Custom WordPress Theme
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I wanted it in under one hour. And since 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 weight 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I am moving over all my sites for this (which comprises several EDD e-commerce websites ). After I’ve got my 9 websites all running in GP with no child themes, my life will be a breeze! The programmer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the correct way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing isI now have a thousand more choices to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal alternative for performance-focused users that wish to be able to customize and control exactly how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the website that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load quickly.
Because Of that, people who assemble WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll typically pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any type of site.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something which will immediately look perfect from the box.
For Example, if you know you wish to create a style blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that’s developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress is becoming a great deal easier to use, as a result of its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll most likely will need to go in and personalize things. And though the substantial advantage 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 features that explain why GeneratePress is so common.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this 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 provides you decent options, but should you own GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize nearly everything about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Layout region, you can configure comprehensive settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header round and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can use a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to include
Similarly, That the Typography area lets you control the font for each and every element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also receive a thorough region to control the colour of each and every element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization choices in the WordPress Customizer compared to most other topics. This level of detail may be a little overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But as soon as you realize the way the preferences come together, you will have full control on how your website appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Around All of its attributes, GeneratePress always includes a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, and it is about as little as you’ll ever find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress themes are still 200+ kB. And a few poorly coded themes can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render obstructing 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 ran a small test.
First, I put up a vacant website using a haphazard popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After analyzing 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 requests
That’s Not bad at all! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly the same test website without changing anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points better
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% quicker
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 requests, ~40% less
If You perform that same test with other topics, you are going to continue to find that GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Custom WordPress Theme
Other Useful 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 unique feature that lets you create customized hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is kind of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create different”sections” on a webpage, each with their own design and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular port where you could select and choose exactly which features you would like to trigger.
That Way, you do not have to slow your site down for a quality which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The past, you needed to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a new Site Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any one of the 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 on a couple buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Every Bit Of Content
With Most topics, each page and post will use the very same configurations for the most part. You may have some custom formats or templates — however you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a brand new Layout meta name box for each and every page and post:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (like altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, article featured image, article title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to 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 produce the proper baseline for your own page builder design, making it easy to create custom articles as needed. Custom WordPress Theme
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re serious about utilizing GeneratePress, I believe you should buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you almost as numerous configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you will also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly affordable. It costs only $39.95, and that gives you use on unlimited sites. You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades after the first year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress after the first year without renewing — you won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You believe the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that satisfies your needs for your niche out of day one.
However, If you are willing to spend time changing settings, GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you may even have the ability to find a starter website that fulfills your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes that 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 combine it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any problem making your site load in under one minute. Custom WordPress Theme