Intro Free WordPress Blog Themes 2016
Within the past ten decades, I have used a great deal of different WordPress topics and have been really disappointed. Up until recently, I was using MyThemeShop, that was pretty excellent. But I had to perform a lot of customization to make it do and operate how I needed it to. A few of weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s by far the best WordPress theme I’ve found in 10 years. I had been blown away and am moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I will enter exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review under. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to several other lightweight and heavier multicolored themes. Free WordPress Blog Themes 2016
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m pretty 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 is not that great, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The theme currently 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 Really 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 precisely how I was imagining a theme should work. And I will go into that more below, but let us first look at a number of the features. I will be covering the premium edition of the subject, since it’s worth . In fact, Tom, if you read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you do not need running. This is one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration with all the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a fan of this customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want 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.
Tons of filters and hooks which make it good for programmers.
Great active service from the developer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be incredible. Besides have great documentation on their site, the subject has been around long enough that everything I Googled during the setup procedure was found inside a few seconds from their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right out of 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 to it. Running the stock GeneratePress WordPress motif on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms load time. I was quite impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to produce a lot of big files, but that is not the case. You may tell that Tom literally worked hard on making sure every record loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of documents is not as important. But the dimensions is! Take a peek at a few 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 performance! And I have Seen exactly the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They are literally as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the largest file included. And that isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 arriving around the corner, we can expect that to get smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to ensure they do not load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script supervisor built-in, I felt right at home for this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You’re curious, I am using the following add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is I no longer have to use a young child theme. This makes my life much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I can literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this very moment rather than shed a single customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make this possible. It permits you to add custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Free WordPress Blog Themes 2016
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post that you have a great deal of alternatives. You can alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default option to a full width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these choices are permitted by the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. But allow me to show you few which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also created by precisely the same programmer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to add responsive columns into any page or post. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid thickness
Add Customized courses
Insert custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example under:
You May Want to Also grab his incredible WP Display Posts plugin too. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You might also have it show last modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I’m 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 concerning design. Consider it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not just for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) which is running Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. However, as you can see below, it looks nothing like a site.
For those Of those that are regular readers, you probably 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 that I had spent a year customizing. Here is a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot 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 theme I was able 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 awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have running on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he can create a copy of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress site library. I’m pleased to allow you to know that now you can install my woorkup theme on your GeneratePress site with only a click! It’s called the Marketer theme. Get started using a fantastic blog layout instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal website, since I don’t use it for much. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the whole look 100 percent in GeneratePress in under an hour. And since you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to get rid of a couple plugins that weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our business site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal website, as we simply use it for our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast. Free WordPress Blog Themes 2016
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I needed it in under an hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page weight 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my sites for this (which includes several EDD e-commerce sites). Once I have my 9 sites all running in GP with no child topics, my life will be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the correct way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing isI finally have a billion more options to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users that want to have the ability to customize and control precisely how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a fantastic foundation 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 page builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something which will immediately appear perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to produce a fashion blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that’s developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a lot easier to use, as a result of its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when you initially install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll almost certainly will need to go in and customize matters. And though the significant benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, particularly casual users, don’t like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are some of the specific features that explain why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, which can be convenient as you’ll have the ability to see all the changes that you create in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress provides you adequate options, but should you own GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize nearly all about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Design area, you can configure detailed settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header around and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to include
Similarly, The Typography area lets you control the font for each and every element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also get a thorough area to control the color of every single element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization options in the WordPress Customizer compared to most other topics. This amount of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But as soon as you understand the way the preferences come together, you will have full control on how your website 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, and it is about as small as you’ll ever find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress topics 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 mentions.
Put That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you an idea, I conducted a little test.
First, I set up a vacant website using a random popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its performance with Pingdom, it:
- Had a performance grade of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 asks
That is Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly the same test site without changing 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 requests, ~40% fewer
If You do the exact same test with other themes, you are going to continue to find that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Free WordPress Blog Themes 2016
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more design controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other helpful features such as:
- Elements — a exceptional feature that allows you create customized hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page building. It permits you to create different”sections” onto a page, each with their own layout and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could select and choose what characteristics you would like to activate.
That Way, you do not have to slow your site down for a feature that you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The past, you had to construct GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a new Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any among the 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them right from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a couple buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Detailed Control Over Each 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 templates or formats — however you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand new Design meta box for every single page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change the number of 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 components, 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’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you are in a position to produce the correct baseline for your own page builder design, which makes it easy to create custom content as needed. Free WordPress Blog Themes 2016
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress motif is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you are seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I feel you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so flexible. The free version doesn’t give you nearly as numerous configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly affordable. It costs just $39.95, and that provides you use on unlimited websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades following the initial year (you can, of course, continue using GeneratePress after the first year without beating — you just won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You believe that the normal premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I said, I don’t think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your needs for your niche from day one.
However, If you are ready to spend some time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress site. Or, you might even be able to find a starter site that fits your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It’s one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics you will locate. Therefore, if you’re seeking the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good choice.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no difficulty making your website load in under one minute. Free WordPress Blog Themes 2016