Background Free Site Themes
Over the previous ten years, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress topics and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, which was pretty excellent. But I had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to do and work the way I needed it to. A few of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I have discovered in 10 years. I was blown away and am now moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter precisely why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. Free Site Themes
GeneratePress is a 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 realize that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I have a tendency to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of stuff on there isn’t that good, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The theme now has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ active installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. 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 purchased the premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the programmer 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 some of the features. I’m going to be covering the premium version of the subject, since it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, in the event that you read this and are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you do not need running. This is only one of the biggest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for greater outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration with the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a fan of the customizer in the past, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser support back to IE8.
Additionally, it 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’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built-in.
A lot of hooks and filters which make it great for developers.
Great active support from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have great documentation on their site, the theme has been around long enough that what I wholeheartedly during the setup process was found within a few seconds from their forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I test a brand new theme right from the box without any customizations to see how fast the base is. This tells me a lot of what I could expect by the time that I add everything to it. Running the stock GeneratePress WordPress theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms load time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to produce a lot of big files, but that is not the situation. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring that every file packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the number of files is not as important. But the size is! Take a peek at some 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
This is a programmer that cares about performance! And I have Seen exactly the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file contained. And that isn’t even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving round the corner, we can expect this to get smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to ensure they do not load on your site. Since the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin that has a script supervisor built, I felt at home with this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You’re interested, I am using the following 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 theme. This makes my life so much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress theme this very moment rather than shed one customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make it possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Free Site Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a lot of options. You are able to change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default to a complete width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, a lot of these options are permitted by the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. However, let me show you few which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be made by precisely the same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to add responsive columns into any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Insert Customized classes
Insert custom inline styles
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You May Want to Also catch his incredible WP Show Posts plugin also. View 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 particular”featured” category. You might also have it show past modified/updated posts, recent articles, etc.. I am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you perform all kinds of things concerning design. Think of it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not just for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is running Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a site.
For those Of you that are regular readers, you probably did not even notice I changed the whole motif that powers woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme that I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop motif was already pretty fast, but I invested a lot of time customizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all my customizations. My advice today is, just 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. Each of the customizations were made using the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve running on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he could create a copy of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress blog library. I am happy to let you know that you can now install my woorkup motif on your GeneratePress site with only a click! It’s called the Marketer theme. Get started using a great blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal website, since I don’t use it for much. Since you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the entire appearance 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a few 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 theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal site, as we just use it to our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. Free Site Themes
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I needed it in under an 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 am moving over all my websites for this (which comprises some EDD e-commerce sites). After I have 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 themes, which when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing isI finally have a billion more options to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users who wish to have the ability to customize and control exactly 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 fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Since Of that, people who assemble WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They will normally pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Want something that will instantly appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you wish to produce a style blog, you may be happier choosing a niche theme that’s developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a great deal simpler to use, as a result of its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you want it to, you will most likely need to go in and personalize matters. And though the substantial advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, especially casual users, do not like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the specific features that explain why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient because you’ll be able to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress gives you decent options, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll have the ability to customize pretty much everything about your website.
For Example, if you go in the Layout area, 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, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post design — like featured picture 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 website, such as buttons:
And You also receive a detailed region to control the color of each and every element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you much more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This amount of detail might be a little overwhelming if you’re a beginner. But as soon as you understand how the preferences come together, you will have complete control on how your site looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All of its features, GeneratePress always has 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 poorly coded topics can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which helps you avoid the leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Put That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you a sense, I conducted a little test.
First, I put up an empty website using a haphazard popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its functionality 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 do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the exact same test website without altering anything else. Here is how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance grade of 87, 10 points greater
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- 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 are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. Free Site Themes
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other useful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature that lets you create customized hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is kind of like lightweight page building. It lets you create different”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 exactly which characteristics you want to trigger.
That Way, you do not need to slow your site down for a quality which you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The last, you had to construct GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which made the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, though, the programmer added a new Site Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any among the 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them right from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a few buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Every Piece Of Content
With Most themes, every page and post will use the same configurations for the most part. You may have some custom formats or templates — but you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand new Layout meta name box for every single post and page:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, like your header, navigation menu, post 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’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re able to create the proper baseline for your page builder layout, making it easy to create custom content as needed. Free Site Themes
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I feel you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so flexible. The free version does not give you almost as many settings in the WordPress Customizer. And you will also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still quite affordable. It costs just $39.95, which gives you use on infinite sites. You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to continue receiving support and updates after the first year (you can, of course, continue using GeneratePress following the initial year without beating — you won’t receive any more updates).
When You believe the typical premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great value.
As I mentioned, I do not think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your needs for your niche from day one.
But If you are willing to spend some time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to find a starter site that fulfills your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes you will locate. So if you’re seeking the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a good decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any difficulty making your website load in under one minute. Free Site Themes