Introduction Top WordPress Themes 2016 Free
Within the previous ten years, I have used a great deal of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up until recently, I was using MyThemeShop, that was pretty excellent. However, I still had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to 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 is undoubtedly the finest WordPress theme I’ve discovered in 10 years. I had been blown away and am 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’ve tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as many other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. Top WordPress Themes 2016 Free
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve actually seen it for years from the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I am fairly picky when it comes to web performance, so I have a tendency to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of things on there isn’t that great, or not encouraged for long. However, in this case, this was a mistake. The motif currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active installs, with over 500 5-star ratings. So clearly Tom is doing some thing right here.
I Really set up the free version of the motif and in a matter of 15 minutes purchased the premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking precisely how I was imagining 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 superior edition of the subject, since it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, in the event that you read this and are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t need running. This is one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for better outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration with the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan of this customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser support back to IE8.
Additionally, it 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 had success.
Font wonderful built-in.
A lot of hooks and filters which make it good for programmers.
Great active service from the programmer. On average, 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 wholeheartedly during the setup process was found inside a few seconds in their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I test a new theme right out of the box without any customizations to see how fast the base is. This tells me a great deal of what I could expect by the time I add everything to it. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress theme 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 lot of big files, but this isn’t the case. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring every record packed in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of files is not as significant. However, the dimensions is! Take a look 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
This is a developer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen exactly 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 largest file included. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we could anticipate that to get smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I would call a modular design. It is possible to activate/deactivate anything you are not using to ensure they don’t load on your website. Since the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script supervisor built-in, I felt at home with this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You are curious, I’m using the next add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is that I no longer need to use a Child motif . This makes my life so much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I will literally update my GeneratePress theme this very moment and not lose 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. Top WordPress Themes 2016 Free
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post that you have a lot of alternatives. You are able to change the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default option to a complete 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 from the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. However, let me show you couple which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is your free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also created by the same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or article. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Insert Customized courses
Insert custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You might want to Also catch his amazing WP Show Posts plugin also. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a specific”featured” category. You can also have 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 page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I am in fact using GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. But as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For all those Of you that are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice I changed the whole theme that powers woorkup.com. It just took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif that I had spent annually customizing. Here is a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was pretty fast, but I spent a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I have 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 was able to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I don’t have a child 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 copy of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress blog library. I’m pleased to allow you to know that now you can put in my woorkup motif on your own GeneratePress site with only a single click! It’s called the Marketer theme. Get started with a fantastic blog layout instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum website, as I don’t use it for much. As you can see it already loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to replicate the entire appearance 100 percent in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to eliminate a few plugins that weren’t needed because of GP.
forgemedia.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over our organization website, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimum site, as we just use it for our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast. Top WordPress Themes 2016 Free
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under an hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page burden 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my websites to it (which includes some EDD e-commerce websites ). Once I have 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, and that when done the right way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing isI finally have a thousand more options to choose from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users who want to be able to personalize and control exactly how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress do 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 fast.
Because Of that, people who assemble WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They will normally pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any type of website.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Combination If…
…you Want something which will immediately look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to produce a style blog, you might be happier choosing a niche theme that’s developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a great deal simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you want it to, you will almost certainly will need to go in and customize things. And while the substantial advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, don’t like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are some of the specific characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is indeed common.
Plenty Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another area where GeneratePress does well is its customization options.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this can be 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 own GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize nearly all about your site.
For Example, if you go into the Design area, you can configure comprehensive settings to 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 use one or two sidebars
- Blog post design — such as featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to add
Similarly, That 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 thorough region to control the color of each and every element on your website.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give you much more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This amount of detail might be a little overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But as soon as you understand how the preferences come together, you will have complete control on how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Around All its features, GeneratePress always includes a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The entire theme is less than 30 kB, which will be about as little as you are ever going to find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress topics are still 200+ kB. And a few poorly coded topics can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That together, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you a sense, I ran a small test.
First, I put up an empty website utilizing a haphazard popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its functionality with Pingdom, it
- Had a performance tier of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 asks
That’s Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the same test site without changing anything else. Here is how GeneratePress failed:
- 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 requests, ~40% less
If You perform that same test with other themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. Top WordPress Themes 2016 Free
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls from the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other useful features like:
- Elements — a unique feature which lets you create customized hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a exceptional page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is sort of like lightweight page building. It lets you create different”sections” onto a webpage, each with their own design and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also provides you a modular port where you could select and choose exactly which features you want to activate.
That Way, you do not have to slow down your site for a feature that you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The past, you had to construct GeneratePress sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a fresh Website Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which lets you easily import any among the 25+ pre-built demonstration websites .
You Can import them right from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a couple buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With Most topics, every post and page will use the very same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — but you don’t have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a brand new Design meta name box for every single page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, like your header, navigation menu, post featured image, article title, or footer
- Create a special”container” for your own page builder
Where These controls are the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you’re able to produce the proper baseline for your page builder design, making it easy to create custom articles as needed. Top WordPress Themes 2016 Free
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 feel you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you nearly as numerous configurations from the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still quite reasonably priced. It costs just $39.95, and that gives you use on infinite websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades after the initial year (you can, obviously, keep using GeneratePress after the first year without renewing — you won’t get any more upgrades ).
When You believe the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a fantastic price.
As I said, I don’t think GeneratePress is for everyone.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your needs for your market from day one.
But If you’re willing to spend some time altering settings, GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to find a starter website that fulfills your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It’s one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes that you will find. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good decision.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no difficulty making your website load in under one second. Top WordPress Themes 2016 Free