Intro Free Lightweight WordPress Themes
Within the previous ten years, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I was utilizing MyThemeShop, that was pretty excellent. However, I still had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to perform and operate the way I wanted it to. A couple of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is by far the best WordPress theme I’ve found in a decade . I had been dismissed and am now moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I will go into exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review under. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi as well as several other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Free Lightweight WordPress Themes
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I have really seen it for years from the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, and so I tend to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there isn’t that great, or not supported for long. However, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The theme currently has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star ratings. So clearly Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Really set up 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 precisely how I was envisioning a theme should get the job done. And I’ll go into that more below, but let’s first look at a number of the qualities. I’m going to be covering the superior version of the theme, since it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, if you read this and are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you don’t want running. This is only one of the biggest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Impressive integration with all the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a fan of this customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser service back to IE8.
It also works great with all the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these really are a great combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built-in.
A lot of filters and hooks which make it great for developers.
Great active service from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be unbelievable. Besides have good documentation on their site, the subject has existed long enough that what I wholeheartedly during the setup process was found within a couple of seconds in their forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right out of the box with no customizations to just see how quickly 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 inventory GeneratePress WordPress motif on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms load time. I was very 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 that is not the case. You may tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring every file packed in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of documents isn’t as significant. But the size is! Have a look 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 developer that cares about performance! And I have Seen exactly the same during each of the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the largest file included. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving around the corner, we can expect that to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular layout. You can activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to ensure they do not load on your website. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built, I felt at home with this. Everything ought to be made this way.
If You’re interested, 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 more have to use a Child theme. This makes my life so much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this exact moment rather than lose a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make this possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Free Lightweight WordPress Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot of options. You can alter the sidebar design 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 where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these options are permitted from the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. But let me 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 created by precisely the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super easy way to incorporate responsive columns to any page or post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert Customized classes
Insert custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also catch his amazing WP Show Posts plugin too. View my featured articles on the sidebar of this website? That’s using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a specific”featured” category. You can also get it show past modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works great.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to perform all kinds of things concerning design. Think of it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I’m in reality using GeneratePress for our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks like a blog.
For all those Of you who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice I changed the whole motif that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was pretty fast, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I’ve gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to print all my customizations. My advice now 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 kid theme. All the customizations were created with 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 site library. I’m pleased to let you know that now you can put in my woorkup theme in your own GeneratePress website with just a click! It is known as the Marketer theme. Get started using a great blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimal site, as I do not use it for much. As 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 faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a couple plugins which weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our business website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal website, as we just use it to our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly. Free Lightweight WordPress Themes
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to 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 whole page burden 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my websites for this (which includes several EDD e-commerce websites ). Once I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP with no child topics, my entire life will be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news is, I finally have a thousand more choices to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users who want 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 site that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Since Of that, those who assemble WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll normally pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any kind of website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Fit If…
…you Want something which will immediately look perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to create a style blog, you might be happier picking out a niche theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a lot easier to use, as a result of its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you want it to, you will almost certainly need to go in and customize things. And while the significant advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, especially casual users, don’t like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are some of the particular features that explain why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Plenty Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another area where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient because you’ll have the ability to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress provides you adequate possibilities, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Design area, you can configure comprehensive settings to 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 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
Likewise, The Typography area enables you to control the font to get every single element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also get 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 topics. This level of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you’re a beginner. But once you realize how the preferences come together, you’ll have complete control over how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Around All its features, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on excellent performance and clean code. The whole theme 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 topics can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you a sense, I conducted a small test.
First, I put up a vacant website utilizing a random 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 asks
That is Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the exact same test website without altering anything else. Here is 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 asks, ~40% fewer
If You do that same test with different themes, you’ll continue to find that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Free Lightweight WordPress Themes
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other helpful features like:
- Elements — a exceptional feature which allows you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — this 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 gives you a modular interface where you could select and choose what characteristics you would like to trigger.
That Way, you don’t have to slow your site down for a feature that you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The last, you needed to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a fresh Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users that allows you easily import any among those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them right 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 Comprehensive Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most topics, every page and post will use the very same settings for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — but you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand new Layout meta name box for every single page and post:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain elements, such as your header, navigation menu, post featured picture, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to your own page builder
Where These controls are the most helpful is if you are using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you are able to create the proper baseline for your page builder design, making it effortless to create custom content as needed. Free Lightweight WordPress Themes
GeneratePress Replies: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif is available for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re serious about using GeneratePress, I feel you should buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what produces the theme so flexible. The free version does not 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 reasonably priced. It costs only $39.95, which gives you use on infinite sites. You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to continue receiving support and updates following the first year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress following the initial year without renewing — you just won’t get any more updates).
When You believe the typical premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a great price.
As I mentioned, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your requirements for your niche from day one.
But If you’re ready to spend time altering settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to find a starter site that fulfills your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes you will locate. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty making your site load in under one second. Free Lightweight WordPress Themes