Background What Is A Responsive WordPress Theme
Over the past ten decades, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I was utilizing MyThemeShop, that was pretty good. But I had to perform a great deal of customization to make it 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 found in a decade . I was dismissed and am now moving all of my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into precisely why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below. And if you are wondering, yes I have attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as many other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. What Is A Responsive WordPress Theme
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I have really seen it for years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I am fairly picky when it comes to web performance, so I tend to dismiss everything from the repository. Typically because a great deal of stuff on there is not that good, or not supported for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The theme currently 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 set up 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 imagining a theme should get the job done. And I will go into that more below, but let’s first look at some of the features. I will be covering the superior edition of the subject, because it’s worth . In fact, Tom, if you ever read this and are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t want running. This is one of the biggest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks fantastic across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Impressive integration with all the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of this customizer in the past, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these really are a great combo. I have also read that individuals using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built in.
Tons of filters and hooks that make it good for programmers.
Excellent active support from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have great documentation on their site, the theme has existed long enough that what I Googled throughout the setup process was found within a couple of seconds from their own forum.
Diving 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 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 stock GeneratePress WordPress motif 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 that is not the situation. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the number of files isn’t as important. But the size 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 programmer that cares about functionality! And I have Seen exactly the same during all of the premium add-ons. They are literally as small as you can possibly get them. In reality, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file included. And that isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 arriving round the cornerwe can anticipate that to get smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular layout. You can activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to ensure they don’t load on your site. As the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt at home for this. Everything should be made this way.
If You’re curious, I’m using the following add-ons on this site:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is I no longer have to use a Child theme. This makes my life so much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I will literally update my GeneratePress motif this very moment and not shed a single customization. The hooks add-on certainly can help make this possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress site. What Is A Responsive WordPress Theme
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a lot of options. You can alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page involving the default option to a complete width page, as well as disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, lots of these choices are enabled from the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we would be here daily. But let me show you couple which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this can be created by the same developer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Add custom classes
Insert custom inline designs
Equal height columns
Here is An example below:
You May Want to Also catch his incredible WP Show Posts plugin too. View my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That’s using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a specific”featured” category. You might also get it show past modified/updated posts, recent articles, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works great.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to perform all sorts of things in terms of design. Think of it like a webpage builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not just for blogs! I am in fact utilizing GeneratePress to our ecommerce website (perfmatters.io) which is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to check it out. However, as you can see below, it looks nothing like a blog.
For all those Of those who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice I changed the whole motif 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 below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop theme was pretty quickly, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In fact, I have gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to publish all of my customizations. My advice today is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress theme I was able to attain faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I do not have a kid motif. All the customizations were made 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 copy of woorkup to your new GeneratePress site library. I am happy to let you know that now you can install my woorkup motif on your own GeneratePress website with just a single click! It is known as the Marketer theme. Get started with a great blog layout immediately.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I 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 do not use it to get much. Since you can see it loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to duplicate the entire look 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And since you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a couple plugins which weren’t needed due to 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 fairly basic minimum website, as we simply use it to our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly. What Is A Responsive 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 an hour. And since you can see it loads faster! Amazing. I managed to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page burden 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all of my sites for this (which comprises some EDD e-commerce sites). After I have my 9 websites all running in GP with no child topics, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose subjects , and that when done the right way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing is, I now have a thousand more choices to choose from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the ideal option for performance-focused users who want to have the ability to personalize and control exactly how their site appears.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the site that you build will have a great base to make it load fast.
Because Of that, those who build WordPress sites 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 Fantastic Combination If…
…you Want something which will immediately appear perfect from the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to produce a style blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a great deal easier to use, thanks to its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you first install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll most likely will need to go in and customize things. And though the significant advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, don’t like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are some of the particular characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is so popular.
Plenty Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Performance, another place where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization options.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient because you will be able 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 everything 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 around and alter its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post design — like featured picture dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — like the number of widgets to include
Likewise, The Typography place enables you to control the font to get every single element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also receive a detailed region to control the color of every single element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This amount of detail may be a little overwhelming if you are a beginner. But once you understand the way the preferences come together, you’ll have full control over how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across All of its features, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on excellent 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 badly coded themes can even exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That collectively, and you obtain a superfast-loading motif. How quickly? To give you a sense, I ran a small test.
First, I put up a vacant site utilizing a haphazard popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its functionality 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! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on 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 requests, ~40% fewer
If You perform the exact same test with different themes, you’ll continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. What Is A Responsive WordPress Theme
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls from 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 — lets you create a exceptional page header onto a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is kind of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create different”sections” on a webpage, each with their own layout and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could select and choose exactly which characteristics you want to activate.
That Way, you do not need 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 Site
In The past, you had to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which left the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, though, the programmer added a fresh Site Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any among the 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them right from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click a couple buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most topics, every 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 providing you a brand new Design meta name box for every single post and page:
You Can utilize 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 elements, such as your header, navigation menu, article featured image, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” for your own page builder
Where These controls are the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re able to produce the correct baseline for your page builder layout, making it easy to create custom content as needed. What Is A Responsive WordPress Theme
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme can be obtained for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are seriously interested in using GeneratePress, I feel you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s 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 lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still fairly affordable. It costs only $39.95, and that gives you use on unlimited sites. You will also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and updates following the initial year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress after the initial year without renewing — you won’t receive any more updates).
When You believe that the typical premium WordPress theme will usually cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a great price.
As I said, I do not believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You want a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that satisfies your needs for your niche from day one.
However, If you are willing to spend time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any sort of WordPress site. Or, you might even have the ability to locate a starter site that fits your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is among those fastest-loading WordPress topics you will locate. So if you’re seeking the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a good choice.
If You combine it with fast-loading hosting, so you should have no problem making your website load in under one minute. What Is A Responsive WordPress Theme