Introduction Top Free WordPress Blog Themes
Over the previous 10 decades, I have used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, that was pretty good. But I still had to do a great deal of customization to make it perform and operate the way I wanted it to. A couple of weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is by far the finest WordPress theme I have discovered in 10 years. I was blown away and am moving all my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter precisely why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and heavier multicolored themes. Top Free WordPress Blog Themes
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I have really seen it for many years from the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, and so I have a tendency to dismiss everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there isn’t that great, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, that was a mistake. The theme currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. So obviously Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes purchased the superior version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking precisely how I was envisioning a theme should work. And I will go into that more below, but let us first look at some of the qualities. I’m going to be covering the premium version of the theme, since it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, if you ever read this and so are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you do not want running. This is only one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Impressive integration with the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a lover of the customizer in the past, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser service back to IE8.
It also works great with all the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I have also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built in.
Tons of hooks and filters which make it great for programmers.
Excellent active support from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be incredible. Besides have great documentation on their website, the subject has existed long enough that everything I wholeheartedly throughout the setup procedure was found inside a few seconds in their own forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I always test a new theme right from the box with no customizations to just see how fast the base is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time that I add everything to it. Running the stock GeneratePress WordPress motif on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms loading 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 this is not the situation. You may tell that Tom actually 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 significant. However, the dimensions is! Take a peek at some 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
That is a programmer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen exactly the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They’re as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file included. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 arriving around the cornerwe can anticipate that to secure smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you are not using to ensure they do not load on your website. As the co-developer of this 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 interested, I’m using the following add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best features of GeneratePress is I no more have to use a young child theme. This makes my life so much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this exact moment and not shed one customization. The hooks add-on certainly can help make this possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress site. Top Free WordPress Blog Themes
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot of alternatives. You can alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page involving the default option to a full width page, in addition to disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these choices are enabled by the superior add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here all day. However, let me show you couple 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 developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Add custom courses
Insert custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You May Want to Also grab his amazing WP Display Posts plugin also. View my featured posts on the sidebar of this website? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You can also get it show last modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium edition of GeneratePress allows you to perform all sorts of things in terms of design. Consider it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I am in fact using GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (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 site.
For all those Of those who are regular readers, you probably did not even notice I changed the entire motif that forces woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was pretty quickly, but I spent a lot of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to print all my customizations. My advice today is, simply 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 keep in mind, I do not have a kid 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 running on woorkup? You are in luck. Tom asked if he can make a replica of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress blog library. I’m pleased to let you know that now you can put in my woorkup motif on your own GeneratePress site with only a click! It is called the Marketer theme. Get started with a fantastic blog layout immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum site, since I don’t use it for much. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the entire look 100 percent 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 due to GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over our business site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal site, as we just use it for our LLC. As you can see it already loaded pretty fast. Top Free WordPress Blog Themes
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to move everything over and get it looking exactly how I needed it in under an hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my websites to it (which includes several EDD e-commerce sites). After I’ve got my 9 websites all running in GP without any child themes, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The programmer has revived my faith in multi-purpose subjects , which when done the right way, can actually perform faster.
And The best news is, I finally have a billion more choices to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users that wish to have the ability to customize and control exactly 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 base to make it load quickly.
Since Of that, those who assemble WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They will normally pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any kind of website.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something that will immediately look perfect from the box.
For Example, if you know you want to produce a style blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that’s developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a lot simpler 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 will most likely need to go in and customize things. And while the significant advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, particularly casual users, do not like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are some of the particular features that explain why GeneratePress is indeed common.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Performance, another area where GeneratePress does well is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient because you’ll have the ability to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you adequate options, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize nearly all about your website.
For Example, if you go in the Layout region, you can configure comprehensive settings for yourown:
- Header — you can move your header round and change its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can utilize a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post design — such as featured picture dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to include
Likewise, The Typography place enables you to control the font to get each and every element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also receive a detailed region to control the color of each and every element on your website.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will provide you much more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This amount of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But once you understand how the preferences come together, you’ll have complete control on how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All of its attributes, GeneratePress consistently includes a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The entire motif is less than 30 kB, which is about as small as you’ll ever 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 has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Place That collectively, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you a sense, I ran a small test.
First, I set up a vacant website utilizing a random popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After analyzing 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 in any way! But GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the same test site without changing anything else. Here is how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points better
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 asks, ~40% less
If You do the exact same test with different themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is among those fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. Top Free WordPress Blog Themes
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features like:
- Elements — a exceptional feature that allows you create customized hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page building. It lets you create different”sections” onto a webpage, each with their own layout and column preferences.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could pick and choose what features you want to activate.
That Way, you don’t have to slow your site down for a feature which you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The last, you had to build GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, though, the developer added a new Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which lets you easily import any among the 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
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 Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Every Bit Of Content
With Most topics, each page and post will use the same settings for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — however you don’t have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a new Design meta box for every single post and page:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (like changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, like your header, navigation menu, article featured image, article title, or footer
- Create a special”container” to your own page builder
Where These controls are the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are in a position to produce the proper baseline for your own page builder design, making it effortless to create custom articles as needed. Top Free WordPress Blog Themes
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif is available for free at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you are seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I feel you should buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what makes the theme so flexible. The free version does not give you nearly as many settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still quite affordable. It costs just $39.95, and that provides you use on infinite websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades after the first year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress following the initial year without beating — 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 said, I do not think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your needs for your market out of day one.
But If you’re ready to spend time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you might even have the ability to locate a starter website that fits your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is among the fastest-loading WordPress topics you will find. Therefore, if you’re seeking the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no problem making your website load in under one second. Top Free WordPress Blog Themes