Introduction Vanilla WordPress Theme
Over the previous ten years, I have used a great deal of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I had been using MyThemeShop, that was pretty good. However, I had to perform a lot of customization to allow it to perform and operate how I needed it to. A few 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 a decade . I had been blown away and am now moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I will go into exactly why in my in-depth 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. Vanilla WordPress Theme
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I have really seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you realize that I am fairly picky when it comes to web performance, and so I have a tendency to dismiss everything from the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there isn’t that great, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this case, that was a mistake. The theme now has more than half a million downloads, 80,000+ active installs, 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 purchased the superior version. I could tell right off the bat, the programmer was thinking exactly how I was imagining a theme should work. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at some of the features. I’m going to be covering the premium edition of the subject, since it’s worth very penny. Actually, Tom, if you ever read this and are seeing Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t need running. This is only one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all devices.
Schema built-in, for greater outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration using the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of this customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with all 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 great combo. I have also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built-in.
A lot of filters and hooks which make it good for programmers.
Excellent active service from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be unbelievable. Besides have good documentation on their site, the subject has been around long enough that what I Googled throughout the setup procedure was found inside a couple of seconds from their forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time to 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 can 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 concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to generate a lot of big files, but that isn’t the situation. You may tell that Tom literally worked hard on ensuring every file loaded in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of files isn’t as important. But the dimensions is! Take a look 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 programmer that cares about functionality! And I’ve Seen the same throughout all of the premium add-ons. They are as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the largest file contained. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving around the corner, we can anticipate this to get smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I would call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to ensure they don’t load on your website. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin that has a script supervisor built-in, I felt right at home with this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You’re curious, I’m 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 Child theme. This makes my life much easier. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this exact minute rather than lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely helps make it possible. It permits you to add custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress site. Vanilla WordPress Theme
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a lot of alternatives. You are able to alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default option to a complete width page, in addition to disable components.
The WordPress customizer choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, a lot of these choices are enabled from the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here daily. However, allow me to show you couple which actually come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly recommend grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be created by precisely the exact same programmer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super easy way to add responsive columns into any page or article. Characteristics include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid width
Insert custom classes
Insert custom inline styles
Equal height columns
Here is An example under:
You might want to Also catch his incredible WP Show Posts plugin also. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this site? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a particular”featured” category. You might also have it show last modified/updated articles, recent posts, etc.. I am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you do all kinds of things concerning design. Think of it like a webpage builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not just for blogs! I am in fact utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. However, as you can see below, it looks like a blog.
For those Of you that are regular readers, you likely did not even notice that 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 a year customizing. Here’s a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop theme was pretty fast, but I spent a lot of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I’ve gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to publish all of my customizations. My advice today is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress theme I managed to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I don’t have a child motif. Each of the customizations were created using the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I have working on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he can make a replica of woorkup to your brand new GeneratePress blog library. I am pleased to let you know that you can now put in my woorkup motif in your GeneratePress site with just a click! It’s known as the Marketer motif. Get started using a great blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved over my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimal site, since I don’t use it for much. As you can see it loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to duplicate the whole appearance 100% in GeneratePress in under one hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to get rid of a few plugins that 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 had been 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 already loaded pretty fast. Vanilla WordPress Theme
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to again move everything over and get it looking just how I needed it in under one hour. And since you can view 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 websites all running in GP without any child topics, my life will be a breeze! The programmer has revived my faith in multi-purpose subjects , and that when done the right way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing isI now have a thousand more choices to pick from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users who want to have the ability to personalize and control precisely how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the site that you build will have a great base to make it load fast.
Since Of that, people who build 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 site.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Combination If…
…you Want something which will instantly look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to produce a style blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that’s developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a lot easier to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones if you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you will most likely will need to go in and personalize things. And though the substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are some of the specific characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is indeed common.
Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another area where GeneratePress does nicely 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 of the changes that you create in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you decent options, but if you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize pretty much all about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Design region, you may configure detailed settings to yourown:
- Header — you can move your header around and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can utilize 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 enables you to control the font to get every single element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also get a thorough region to control the color of each and every element on your site.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This level of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But once you realize how the preferences come together, you will have complete control over how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All its features, GeneratePress always has a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The entire theme is less than 30 kB, and it 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 some poorly 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 motif. How quickly? To give you an idea, I ran a small test.
First, I set up an empty website using 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 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That’s Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the exact same test site without changing anything else. Here is how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance grade 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 perform that same test with other themes, you’ll continue to see that GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. Vanilla WordPress Theme
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other helpful features like:
- Elements — a exceptional feature which allows you create customized hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — lets you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is sort of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create separate”sections” onto a page, each with their own layout and column preferences.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you can select and choose what characteristics you would like to trigger.
That Way, you do not have to slow down your site for a feature which you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The last, you needed to construct GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a fresh Website Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any among those 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 a couple buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Comprehensive Control Over Every Piece Of Content
With Most topics, 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 brand new Layout meta name box for every single post and page:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (like changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain components, like your header, navigation menu, article featured picture, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to your page builder
Where These controls are the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re in a position to create the correct baseline for your page builder design, which makes it effortless to create custom articles as needed. Vanilla WordPress Theme
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I feel you should buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so flexible. The free version does not give you nearly as numerous configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still fairly affordable. It costs only $39.95, which gives you use on infinite sites. You’ll also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades following the first year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress after the first year without beating — you just won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You believe that the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great price.
As I said, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You want a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that satisfies your requirements for your market out of day one.
However, If you’re willing to spend time altering settings, GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you might even have the ability to find a starter website that fulfills your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is among those fastest-loading WordPress themes you will find. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a good decision.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no difficulty making your website load in under one second. Vanilla WordPress Theme