Intro WordPress Design
Within the past ten decades, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I had been utilizing MyThemeShop, that was fairly excellent. However, I had to perform a great deal of customization to allow it to perform and operate how I needed it to. A couple of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it is undoubtedly the finest WordPress theme I’ve found in 10 years. I was blown away and am moving all of my sites to GeneratePress. I will go into precisely why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below. And if you’re wondering, yes I’ve attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi as well as several other lightweight and heavier multicolored themes. WordPress Design
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I’ve really seen it for many years in the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, and so I have a tendency to dismiss everything from the repository. Typically because a lot of stuff on there isn’t that great, or not encouraged for long. Nonetheless, in this case, that was a mistake. The theme now has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. 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 superior version. I could tell right off the bat, the programmer 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 a number of the features. I will be covering the premium edition of the theme, since it’s worth . Actually, Tom, if you read this and are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t want running. This is only one of the biggest reasons I love GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for greater results in SERPs.
Impressive integration using the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of this customizer in the past, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Fantastic browser service back to IE8.
Additionally, it works great with the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I’ve also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font awesome built in.
Tons of hooks and filters which make it great for developers.
Excellent active support from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also incredible. Besides have good documentation on their site, the subject has been around long enough that what I wholeheartedly during the setup process was found within a couple of seconds from their own forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I test a new theme right from the box with no customizations to just see how quickly the foundation 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 design was going to produce a lot of big files, but this isn’t the situation. You may tell that Tom literally worked hard on making sure every record loaded in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of files isn’t as significant. But the size is! Have a peek 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’ve Seen the same during all of the premium add-ons. They are as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file contained. And that isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming round the cornerwe can anticipate this to secure smaller too.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate anything you are not using to ensure they don’t load on your website. Since the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt at home for this. Everything should 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 characteristics of GeneratePress is that I no more have to use a Child theme. This makes my life much easier. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I can literally upgrade my GeneratePress theme this very minute rather than shed one customization. The hooks add-on certainly can help make this possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress site. WordPress Design
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a great deal of options. You are able to alter the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default to a complete width page, in addition to disable elements.
The WordPress customizer options is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, a lot of these options are permitted from the premium add-ons. I can not show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. However, allow me to 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 can be created by the exact same developer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super easy way to add responsive columns into any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid thickness
Insert custom classes
Add custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also catch his incredible WP Display Posts plugin too. See my featured posts on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Display 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 am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium version of GeneratePress allows you to do all kinds of things concerning design. Consider it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not just for blogs! I am in fact using GeneratePress to our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to look it over. However, as you can see below, it looks like a blog.
For those Of you who are regular readers, you probably didn’t even notice that I changed the whole theme that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif which I had spent a year customizing. Here is a comparison under.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I invested a lot of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I’ve gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to print all my customizations. My advice now is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress motif I was able to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, 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 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 allow you to know that now you can put in my woorkup motif on your GeneratePress website with just a single click! It is known as the Marketer theme. Get started using a fantastic blog layout instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved over my personal site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal site, since I do not use it to get much. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to duplicate the whole 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 had been using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a fairly basic minimum site, as we just use it to our LLC. Since you can see it already loaded pretty fast. WordPress Design
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to move everything over and get it looking exactly how I needed it in under an hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed 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 my websites for this (which comprises some EDD e-commerce websites ). Once I’ve got my 9 websites all running in GP without any child topics, my entire life will be a breeze! The developer has revived my faith in multi-purpose subjects , and that when done the correct way, can actually perform quicker.
And The best thing is, I now have a thousand more choices to choose from than I did before.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect option for performance-focused users who wish to be able to personalize 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 fast.
Since Of that, people who assemble WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They will typically pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any type of website.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you Need something that will immediately look perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you know you wish to produce a style blog, you might be happier choosing a market theme that is developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress is becoming a lot easier to use, as a result of its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you initially install it.
So To create 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 .
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the specific features that clarify why GeneratePress is so common.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Performance, another area where GeneratePress does well is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Utilizes the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient as you’ll be able to see all of the changes that you make in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress provides you decent possibilities, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize pretty much everything about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Layout region, you can configure comprehensive settings to your:
- Header — you can move your header around and alter its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can utilize one or two sidebars
- Blog post design — such as featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to include
Similarly, The Typography area lets you control the font to get each and every element on your website, including buttons:
And You also get a thorough area to control the colour of every single element on your site.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give you a lot more customization options in the WordPress Customizer compared to most other topics. This level of detail might be a little overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But as soon as you realize how the preferences come together, you will have complete control on how your site appears.
Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Around All its attributes, GeneratePress always has a focus on exceptional performance and tidy code. The entire theme is less than 30 kB, and it will be about as small as you’ll ever find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress themes are still 200+ kB. And some poorly coded themes can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also has no code dependencies, which will help you avoid the render obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you an idea, I ran a little test.
First, I put up an empty site utilizing a haphazard popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After analyzing its performance 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 is Not bad in any way! But GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I triggered GeneratePress on the same test website without changing anything else. Here is how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance grade 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 that same test with different themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes in existence. WordPress Design
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Past Giving you more design controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium also comes with a lot of other useful 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 — that is sort of like lightweight page construction. It permits you to create separate”sections” onto a webpage, each with their own design and column settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could pick and choose what features you would like to trigger.
That Way, you do not have to slow your site down for a quality which you’re never going to use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In The last, you needed 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 new Site Library feature for GeneratePress Premium users that lets you easily import any among those 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 on a few buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Detailed Control Over Every Piece Of Content
With Most themes, each post and page will use the very same settings for the most part. You may have some custom templates or formats — but you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand new Layout meta name box for each and every page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, like your header, navigation menu, post featured image, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to your page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you’re in a position to produce the correct baseline for your own page builder design, making it effortless to create custom content as needed. WordPress Design
GeneratePress Pricing: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif can be obtained for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are serious about using GeneratePress, I feel you need to purchase the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what produces the theme so elastic. The free version does not give you nearly as numerous 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 only $39.95, and that provides you use on infinite sites. You’ll also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to continue receiving support and upgrades following the initial year (you can, of course, keep using GeneratePress following the initial year without renewing — you won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You consider the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, 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 from day one.
However, If you’re ready to spend time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to flip it into any type of WordPress site. Or, you may even be able to locate a starter site that fulfills your needs to save some time.
Additionally, It is one of those fastest-loading WordPress themes you will find. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, using GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great choice.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, you should have no difficulty making your site load in under one minute. WordPress Design