Background The Best Free WordPress Themes 2016
Over the previous ten decades, I have used a great deal of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up until recently, I was using MyThemeShop, which was pretty good. But I had to perform a lot of customization to make it do and operate the way I wanted 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 found in a decade . I was blown away and am moving all my sites to GeneratePress. I will go into exactly why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as many other lightweight and thicker multicolored themes. The Best Free WordPress Themes 2016
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I am pretty picky when it comes to web performance, and so I tend to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of stuff on there isn’t that good, or not encouraged for long. However, in this case, this was a mistake. The theme now has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So obviously Tom is doing something right here.
I Really set up the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes bought the premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the programmer was thinking exactly 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 will be covering the superior version of the subject, since it’s worth . In fact, Tom, if you ever read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you do not want running. This is one of the biggest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better outcomes in SERPs.
Dramatic integration with the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of this customizer in the past, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser support back to IE8.
It also works great with the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these really are a terrific 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 good for developers.
Excellent active service from the developer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be unbelievable. Besides have great documentation on their website, the theme has been around long enough that everything I Googled throughout the setup procedure was found inside a few seconds in their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I always test a new theme right from the box without any customizations to see how quickly the foundation is. This tells me a great deal 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 worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to generate a whole lot of big files, but this is not the situation. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on making sure that every file packed in GeneratePress is as little as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of documents is not as important. But the size is! Take a peek at some of the center 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’ve Seen the same during each 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 included. And that isn’t even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming round the cornerwe can expect this to secure smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular layout. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you are not using to ensure they don’t load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script supervisor built, I felt right at home for this. Everything ought to be made this way.
If You’re curious, I am using the next add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is I no more need to use a young child theme. This makes my life so much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I can literally update my GeneratePress theme this exact minute rather than lose a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly helps make it possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. The Best Free WordPress Themes 2016
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a lot of alternatives. You are able to 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 choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these choices are enabled by the superior add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we would be here all day. But let me show you few which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also made by the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to add responsive columns to any page or article. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Insert Customized classes
Insert custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You May Want to Also grab his incredible WP Show Posts plugin also. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this website? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a particular”featured” category. You might also get it show past modified/updated articles, recent articles, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium edition of GeneratePress lets you do all sorts of things in terms of design. Consider it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not just for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) that is running Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a site.
For all those Of you that are regular readers, you likely did not even notice I changed the whole theme that powers woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif which I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was already pretty fast, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all my customizations. My advice today is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
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 motif. Each of the customizations were made using the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have running on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he could create a copy of woorkup for the new GeneratePress site library. I am pleased to let you know that you can now install my woorkup motif on your GeneratePress site with only a click! It is called the Marketer motif. Get started with a great blog layout immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved within my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimum website, as I don’t use it for much. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the entire look 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 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 motif from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimal site, as we just use it to our LLC. As you can see it loaded pretty fast. The Best Free WordPress Themes 2016
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to move everything over and get it looking just how I wanted it in under an hour. And as you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I managed to get rid of 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 some EDD e-commerce sites). Once I have my 9 sites all running in GP without any child topics, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose subjects , which when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best news is, I finally have a billion more choices to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal alternative for performance-focused users that wish to be able to customize and control precisely how their site looks.
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 base to make it load quickly.
Since Of that, people who build WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll normally pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any kind of website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Combination If…
…you Need something which will instantly look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to produce a fashion blog, you might be happier choosing a market theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a great deal easier to use, as a result of its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when you initially install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll almost certainly will need to go in and customize things. And though the substantial 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 a few of the specific features that clarify why GeneratePress is indeed common.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another area where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this can be convenient as you’ll be able to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress provides you decent options, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize pretty much everything about your website.
For Example, if you go in the Design area, you can configure comprehensive settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header round and change 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 — such as featured picture dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to include
Similarly, That the Typography area lets you control the font for every single element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also receive a detailed area to control the colour of every single element on your website.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will provide you much more customization options in the WordPress Customizer than most other themes. This level of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you’re a beginner. But once you understand the way the settings come together, you’ll have complete control on how your website appears.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress always has a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, and it 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 surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Place That together, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you an idea, I ran a small test.
First, I set up an empty site utilizing a random popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its functionality with Pingdom, it:
- Had a performance tier of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 asks
That’s Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the exact same test site without altering anything else. Here is how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points greater
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% quicker
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 asks, ~40% fewer
If You do that same test with other themes, you are going to continue to find that GeneratePress is among the fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. The Best Free WordPress Themes 2016
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more design controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other helpful 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 on a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is kind of like lightweight page construction. It permits you to create separate”sections” onto a webpage, each with their own layout and column preferences.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular interface where you can select and choose exactly which characteristics 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 past, you had to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, though, the developer added a new Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any among the 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 a few buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Every Piece Of Content
With Most topics, every page and post 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 beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a new Design meta box for each and every post and page:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (like changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, such as your header, navigation menu, post featured image, article title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to your own page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you’re able to create the proper baseline for your page builder design, making it easy to create custom content as needed. The Best Free WordPress Themes 2016
GeneratePress Replies: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Heart GeneratePress motif is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are seriously interested in utilizing GeneratePress, I feel you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so flexible. The free version does not give you nearly as many configurations 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 just $39.95, which provides you use on infinite websites . You’ll also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and updates following the first year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress following the initial year without beating — you won’t get any more updates).
When You believe that the typical premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great value.
As I said, I don’t believe 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.
But If you are willing to spend some time altering settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any type of WordPress site. Or, you might even have the ability 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 seeking the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good choice.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, you should have no problem making your website load in under one minute. The Best Free WordPress Themes 2016