Introduction Free WordPress Themes And Plugins
Over the past 10 years, I have used a great deal of different WordPress topics and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I was using MyThemeShop, that was fairly good. But I had to do a lot of customization to make it do and work how I needed it to. A couple of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s undoubtedly the finest WordPress theme I’ve discovered in 10 years. I had been dismissed and am now moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into exactly why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as many other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. Free WordPress Themes And Plugins
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I am fairly picky when it comes to web performance, and so I have a tendency to dismiss everything from the repository. Typically because a lot of things on there is not that great, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this case, that was a mistake. The motif now has over 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 exactly how I was envisioning a theme should get the job done. And I will go into that more below, but let us first look at some 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 seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees 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 greatest reasons I adore 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 fan of this 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.
It also works great with all the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font wonderful built-in.
Tons of hooks and filters which make it good for developers.
Excellent active support from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be incredible. Besides have great documentation on their site, the subject has existed long enough that what I Googled throughout the setup procedure was found inside a couple of seconds from their forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I 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 for this. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress motif on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms loading time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but that isn’t the situation. You may tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring that every record packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of files isn’t as significant. However, the dimensions is! Have a peek 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 programmer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen exactly the same throughout each the premium add-ons. They are literally as small as possible get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the largest file included. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming round the cornerwe can anticipate that to get smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular layout. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you are not using to guarantee they don’t load on your website. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built-in, I felt right at home with this. Everything should 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 features of GeneratePress is I no more have to use a young child motif . This makes my life so much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally update my GeneratePress theme this very moment rather than shed one customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make it possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Free WordPress Themes And Plugins
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post that you have a lot of alternatives. You can change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page involving the default option to a full width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, lots of these choices are permitted by the premium add-ons. I can not 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 made by precisely the same programmer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super easy way to add responsive columns to any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid thickness
Add custom 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 also. View 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 get it show last modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works great.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you do all kinds of things concerning design. Think of it like a webpage builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) which is running Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For those Of those who are regular readers, you probably didn’t even notice I changed the entire motif that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme that I had spent a year customizing. Here’s a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop motif was pretty quickly, but I invested a lot of time customizing it. In fact, 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
Together with the New GeneratePress theme I managed to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I don’t have a kid motif. All the customizations were created using the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve working on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he can make a replica of woorkup for the new GeneratePress blog library. I am pleased to allow you to know that you can now install my woorkup theme in your GeneratePress website with only a click! It is called the Marketer motif. Get started using a great blog design immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal site, as I do not use it to get much. As you can see it loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to duplicate the entire appearance 100 percent in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can see it loads 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 site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum website, as we simply use it to our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly. Free WordPress Themes And Plugins
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under an hour. And as you can see 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 not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my sites for this (which comprises several EDD e-commerce websites ). After I have my 9 websites all running in GP with no child themes, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing is, I finally have a thousand more options to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users that want to have the ability to personalize and control precisely how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the site that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load quickly.
Since Of that, those who build WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They will typically pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any type of site.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Fit If…
…you Need something that will immediately look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to create a fashion 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, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you will almost certainly need to go in and customize matters. And while the substantial advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the particular features that explain why GeneratePress is so popular.
Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient as you’ll have the ability to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version 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 in the Design region, you can configure detailed settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header around and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post design — such as featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to add
Similarly, That the Typography place lets you control the font for every single element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also get a thorough area to control the color of every single element on your site.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This level of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you are 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 attributes, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, which 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 badly coded themes can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which helps you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Place That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you a sense, I conducted a small test.
First, I set up an empty site utilizing a random popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its performance with Pingdom, it
- Had a performance tier of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That is Not bad in any way! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the exact same test site without changing anything else. Here is how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance tier 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 perform the exact same test with different themes, you’ll continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. Free WordPress Themes And Plugins
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other helpful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature which allows you create custom hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create separate”sections” on a page, each with their own design and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you can select and choose exactly which features you want to activate.
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 past, you had to construct GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a fresh Site Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any among those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them right from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a few buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Every Bit Of Content
With Most topics, each page and post will use the same configurations for the most part. You may have some custom formats or templates — however you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Layout meta box for each and every page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, like your header, navigation menu, post featured picture, article title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” for your page builder
Where These controls would be the most helpful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re able to create the proper baseline for your own page builder design, making it effortless to create custom content as needed. Free WordPress Themes And Plugins
GeneratePress Replies: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re 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 doesn’t give you nearly as numerous settings in the WordPress Customizer. And you will also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly reasonably priced. It costs only $39.95, which gives you use on unlimited sites. You’ll also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and updates following the first year (you can, of course, continue using GeneratePress after the first year without renewing — you just won’t get any more upgrades ).
When You consider that the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You want a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your needs for your market out of day one.
However, If you’re ready to spend some time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip 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 among those fastest-loading WordPress themes that you will find. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good choice.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, you should have no difficulty making your site load in under one minute. Free WordPress Themes And Plugins