Background How To Use WordPress Themes
Within the past 10 years, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up until recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, which was pretty excellent. However, I still had to perform a great deal of customization to make it do and work how I wanted it to. A few of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s by far the finest WordPress theme I have found in a decade . I had been dismissed and am moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into precisely why in my in-depth GeneratePress review under. And if you are wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and thicker multi-purpose themes. How To Use WordPress Themes
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for years from the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, and so I tend to dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there is not that good, or not supported for long. However, in this case, this was a mistake. The motif now has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. So clearly Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the motif and in a matter of 15 minutes bought the premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking exactly how I was imagining a theme should get the job done. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at a number of the features. I’m going to be covering the superior version of the theme, because it’s worth . Actually, Tom, in the event that you read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you do not need running. This is only one of the greatest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all devices.
Schema built-in, for greater results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration with all the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a fan of the customizer previously, 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 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 had success.
Font wonderful built-in.
A lot of hooks and filters which make it great for programmers.
Great active support from the developer. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be incredible. Besides have good documentation on their site, the theme has been around long enough that what I Googled during the setup procedure was found inside a few seconds in their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time for the fun part! I always test a new theme right from the box without any customizations to see how quickly the base is. This tells me a lot of what I could expect by the time that I add everything to it. 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 lot of big files, but this is not the situation. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on making sure that every record loaded in GeneratePress is as little as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of documents isn’t as important. But the size is! Have a look 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 programmer that cares about functionality! And I’ve Seen exactly the same during each the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file contained. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving round the cornerwe can expect this to get smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to guarantee they do not load on your site. Since the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built, I felt right at home with this. Everything ought to be made this way.
If You are curious, I’m using the next add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is that I no longer need to use a Child theme. This makes my life so much easier. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this exact minute and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make it possible. It permits you to add custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. How To Use WordPress Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post that you have a lot of alternatives. You can change the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page involving the default to a complete width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, lots of these options are permitted by the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. But allow me to show you couple which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be made by the same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to add responsive columns to any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Insert custom courses
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You might want to Also grab his incredible WP Show Posts plugin also. See 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 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 edition of GeneratePress lets you do all sorts of things in terms of design. Consider it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) that is running Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks like a blog.
For all those Of you that are regular readers, you probably did not even notice I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme that I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was pretty quickly, but I spent a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to print all my customizations. My advice now is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress motif I was able to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I don’t have a child theme. Each of the customizations were created with the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve working on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he could make a copy of woorkup to your new GeneratePress blog library. I am pleased to allow you to know that you can now install my woorkup theme on your own GeneratePress site with just a single click! It is called the Marketer theme. Get started with a great blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved within my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal website, as I do not use it for much. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the entire 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 is a pretty basic minimum website, as we just use it for our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. How To Use WordPress 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 as you can view it loads even 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 locating GeneratePress and I am moving over all my sites to it (which comprises some EDD e-commerce websites ). After I’ve got my 9 websites all running in GP without any child themes, my life is going to be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, which when done the correct way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news isI finally have a billion more choices to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users who wish to be able to customize and control precisely how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the website that you build will have a great base to make it load quickly.
Because Of that, those who assemble 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 website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Want something which will instantly look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you wish to create a fashion blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a great deal simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones if you initially install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you want it to, you will almost certainly will need to go in and customize matters. And while the significant advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the particular features that clarify why GeneratePress is so common.
Plenty Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this can be convenient because you will have the ability to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress provides you adequate options, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize pretty much all about your website.
For Example, if you go in the Design region, you can configure comprehensive settings to your:
- Header — you can move your header round and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout — like featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to add
Likewise, That the Typography place enables you to control the font for every single element on your website, including buttons:
And You also receive a detailed area to control the color of every single element on your site.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization options from the WordPress Customizer than most other topics. This amount of detail might be a bit overwhelming if you’re a beginner. But as soon as you realize how the preferences come together, you will have full control on how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All of its features, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The whole theme is less than 30 kB, and it is about as little as you are ever going to find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress themes are still 200+ kB. And some badly coded topics can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which will help you avoid the render obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Put That collectively, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you a sense, I ran a little test.
First, I set up an empty website utilizing a haphazard popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After testing 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 requests
That is Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the same test site without altering anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress did:
- 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 requests, ~40% fewer
If You do that same test with different themes, you’ll continue to see that GeneratePress is among the fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. How To Use 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 useful features such as:
- Elements — a unique feature that lets you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a exceptional page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is sort of like lightweight page building. It permits you to create separate”sections” onto a webpage, each with their own design and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular interface where you could select and choose exactly which features you want to trigger.
That Way, you don’t have to slow your site down for a feature which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The last, you had to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the programmer added a new Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any one of those 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them directly 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 Give You Detailed Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most themes, every page and post will use the same configurations for the most part. You may have some custom templates or formats — however you do not have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a new Design meta name box for every single post and page:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (like changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, like your header, navigation menu, post featured picture, article title, or footer
- Create a special”container” to your page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are able to create the proper baseline for your own page builder layout, which makes it easy to create custom content as needed. How To Use WordPress Themes
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you’re seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I believe you should purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what produces the theme so flexible. The free version does not give you almost as many configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you will also miss out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly affordable. It costs just $39.95, which provides you use on unlimited websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and updates following the first year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress following the first year without beating — you won’t get any more updates).
When You consider the normal premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic price.
As I mentioned, 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 fits your needs for your market out of day one.
However, If you’re willing to spend some time altering settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to locate a starter site that fulfills your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics you will locate. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a great decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, you shouldn’t have any difficulty making your site load in under one minute. How To Use WordPress Themes