Intro Great WordPress Sites
Over the previous 10 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 still had to do a lot of customization to make it do and operate the way I needed it to. A few weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I’ve found in a decade . I had been blown away and am now moving all my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into precisely why in my comprehensive GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as several other lightweight and heavier multicolored themes. Great WordPress Sites
GeneratePress is a totally 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 know that I’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, so I have a tendency to ignore everything from the repository. Typically because a lot of things on there is not that good, or not supported for long. However, in this circumstance, that was a mistake. The theme currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy matches, with over 500 5-star ratings. So obviously 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 imagining a theme should work. And I’ll go into that more below, but let’s first look at a number of the features. I’m going to be covering the premium edition of the theme, since it’s worth . In fact, Tom, if you read this and are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you don’t want running. This is one of the greatest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Impressive integration using 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.
It also works great with the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these are a terrific combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font awesome built in.
Tons of hooks and filters which make it great for programmers.
Excellent active support from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also unbelievable. Besides have great documentation on their site, the theme has existed long enough that what I Googled during the setup process was found inside a couple of seconds from their forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to the fun part! I test a brand new theme right out of the box without any customizations to just see how fast the foundation is. This tells me a great deal of what I can expect by the time I add everything to it. 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 concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but that is not the case. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on making sure every file packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of files is not as important. But the dimensions is! Have a peek 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
This is a developer that cares about functionality! And I’ve Seen exactly the same during all of the premium add-ons. They are literally as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file contained. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 arriving around the cornerwe can expect this to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I’d call a modular layout. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to ensure they don’t load on your website. Since the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script supervisor built, I felt right at home for this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You are curious, I am using the following add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is that I no more need to use a young child theme. This makes my life much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally update my GeneratePress motif this very minute and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make this possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. Great WordPress Sites
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a great deal of alternatives. You can alter the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default to a full width page, in addition to disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these choices are permitted from the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. But allow me to show you few 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 allows you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid thickness
Add Customized classes
Add custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example under:
You might want to Also catch his incredible WP Display Posts plugin too. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this website? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You can also have it show past modified/updated articles, 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 without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I am in fact utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) which is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For those Of you who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice I changed the whole motif that forces woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was already pretty fast, but I invested a lot of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to print all of my customizations. My advice now is, simply 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 remember, I do not have a child 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 could create a replica of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress site library. I’m happy to let you know that now you can install my woorkup motif in your own GeneratePress website with just a single click! It’s known as the Marketer theme. Get started using a great blog layout instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum site, since I don’t use it to get much. As you can see it already loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the entire appearance 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And since you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a few plugins which weren’t needed because of 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 minimal site, as we simply use it to our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. Great WordPress Sites
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under an hour. And since you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I managed to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page burden 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my websites to it (which comprises several EDD e-commerce sites). Once I’ve got my 9 sites all running in GP with no child topics, my life is going to be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose subjects , and that when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news isI now have a billion more options to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal option for performance-focused users that wish to be able 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 website that you build will have a great foundation to make it load fast.
Because Of that, those who assemble WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll normally pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any type of website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something which will instantly appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to produce a style blog, you might be happier picking out a niche theme that’s developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress is becoming a lot simpler 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 want 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, many users, particularly casual users, don’t like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are some of the specific characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is indeed common.
Lots Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient because you’ll have the ability to see all the changes that you create in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you decent possibilities, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For Example, if you go in the Layout area, you can configure detailed settings for yourown:
- Header — you can move your header around and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like the number of widgets to add
Similarly, That the Typography place enables you to control the font to get every single element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also receive a detailed area to control the colour of each and every element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization options from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This level of detail might be a bit overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But once you realize how the settings come together, you will have complete control on how your site looks.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Across All of its attributes, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, which will be 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 exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which will help you avoid the render blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That together, and you get a superfast-loading motif. How fast? To give you an idea, I conducted a small test.
First, I put up a vacant website utilizing a haphazard popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After testing its functionality 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’s Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on exactly the same test website without altering anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress failed:
- 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 topics, you’ll continue to see that GeneratePress is among the fastest-loading WordPress topics in life. Great WordPress Sites
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design 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 layout templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is kind of like lightweight page construction. It permits you to create different”sections” onto a page, each with their own layout and column preferences.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular port where you can select and choose exactly which features you want to trigger.
That Way, you don’t have to slow down your site for a quality that you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The past, you needed to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which made the theme 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 those 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 on a few buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most themes, each page and post will use the very same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — but you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a 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 (such as altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain components, like your header, navigation menu, post featured image, article title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” for your own page builder
Where These controls would be the most helpful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are in a position to create the correct baseline for your own page builder design, which makes it easy to create custom content as needed. Great WordPress Sites
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress theme can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you are seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I believe you should purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you nearly as many configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you will also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly affordable. It costs only $39.95, and that gives you use on unlimited websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades after the initial year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress after the first year without beating — you won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You consider the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great value.
As I mentioned, I do not think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You desire a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that fits your requirements for your niche out of day one.
However, If you are willing to spend time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you might even have the ability to locate 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 find. Therefore, if you’re looking for 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 problem making your website load in under one minute. Great WordPress Sites