Introduction WordPress Template Best Practices
Within the past ten decades, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress topics and have been very disappointed. Up till recently, I had been using MyThemeShop, which was pretty excellent. However, I still had to perform a great deal of customization to make it do and work 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 found in 10 years. 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 have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi in addition to many other lightweight and heavier multicolored themes. WordPress Template Best Practices
GeneratePress is a totally free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I have really seen it for years from the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I’m fairly picky when it comes to web performance, so I have a tendency to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a great deal of things on there isn’t that great, or not supported for long. Nonetheless, in this circumstance, this was a mistake. The motif now has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So obviously Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes purchased the premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the programmer was thinking exactly how I was envisioning a theme should work. And I’ll go into that more below, but let us first look at a number of the features. I will be covering the superior version of the theme, because it’s worth . In fact, Tom, if you read this and so are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, java on me.
Super lightweight and quick. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable items you do not need running. This is one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a fan of the customizer in the past, but Tom does it correctly.
Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser support back to IE8.
It also works great with the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you would like to dive into even more customizations, these are a terrific combo. I have also read that people 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. On average, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also unbelievable. Besides have good documentation on their website, the theme has been around long enough that what I Googled throughout the setup process was found within a few seconds from their forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time to the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right out of the box without any customizations to just see how quickly the foundation is. This tells me a great deal of what I can expect by the time I add everything for this. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms loading time. I was quite impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to produce a lot of big files, but this isn’t the case. You can tell that Tom actually worked hard on making sure that every record packed in GeneratePress is as small as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of documents isn’t as significant. But the dimensions is! Have a peek 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
That is a programmer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen exactly the same throughout each of the premium add-ons. They’re as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file included. And that is not even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the cornerwe could anticipate this to get smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are setup in what I’d call a modular layout. You can activate/deactivate whatever you are not using to guarantee they do not load on your website. As the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt at home for this. Everything should be designed this way.
If You’re curious, I am 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 simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally update my GeneratePress theme this very minute rather than lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make this possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. WordPress Template Best Practices
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a lot of options. You can change the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can easily swap a page between the default to a full width page, as well as disable components.
The WordPress customizer options is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these choices are enabled from the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here all day. But let me show you few which really 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 same developer as GeneratePress. It allows you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns to any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Insert custom courses
Add custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also grab his amazing WP Show Posts plugin too. View my featured posts on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Show 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 articles, etc.. I am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Sections add-on in the premium edition of GeneratePress allows you to perform all kinds of things in terms of design. Consider it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is certainly not only for blogs! I am in reality using GeneratePress for our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) that is running Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks like a blog.
For all those Of those who are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the entire motif that powers woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop motif that I had spent annually customizing. Here’s a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My older MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I spent a great deal of time customizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a great deal of emails from you guys asking me to print all my customizations. My advice now 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 keep in mind, I don’t have a kid theme. All 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 could make a copy of woorkup to your new GeneratePress blog library. I’m pleased to let you know that you can now install my woorkup motif in your GeneratePress site with just a single click! It is called the Marketer theme. Get started with a fantastic blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved within my private site, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimum site, as I do not use it for much. As you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to replicate the whole look 100 percent in GeneratePress in under an hour. And since you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even 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 business site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal site, as we just use it for our LLC. Since you can see it loaded pretty quickly. WordPress Template Best Practices
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 as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I managed to eliminate a total of four plugins and it dropped my whole page weight 2x!
I can not express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my websites to it (which includes some EDD e-commerce websites ). Once I have my 9 sites all running in GP without any child topics, my entire life will be a breeze! The programmer has restored my faith in multi-purpose subjects , which when done the right way, can actually perform faster.
And The best news 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 looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the website that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Since Of that, those who assemble WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They will typically pair it with a WordPress site builder and use it for literally any kind of site.
But GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Combination If…
…you Need something which will instantly appear perfect from the box.
For Example, if you know you want to produce a fashion blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
Even though GeneratePress has gotten a lot simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones if you first install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you would like it to, you’ll most likely need to go in and personalize things. And while the substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, many users, especially casual users, do not like having to make those changes .
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are some of the specific characteristics that clarify why GeneratePress is so common.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another area where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Uses 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 version of GeneratePress gives you decent possibilities, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to customize pretty much everything about your website.
For Example, if you go in the Design region, you can configure comprehensive settings for yourown:
- Header — you can move your header around and alter its styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar layout — you can utilize a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post design — like featured image size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to include
Similarly, That the Typography place enables you to control the font for every single element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also get a detailed area to control the colour of every single element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you much more customization options from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other themes. This level of detail might be a little overwhelming if you are a beginner. But once you understand how the preferences come together, you will have complete control over how your website appears.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Across All its attributes, GeneratePress consistently has a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, and it is 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 does not have any code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave blocking error that Google Pagespeed Insights often cites.
Place That together, and you obtain a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you an idea, I conducted a little test.
First, I put up a vacant site utilizing a random popular WordPress.org motif (Envo Magazine). After testing its performance with Pingdom, it:
- Had a performance tier 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! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the exact same test website without altering 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 do the exact same test with different themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is among the fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. WordPress Template Best Practices
Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more design controls in the WordPress Customizer, GeneratePress Premium comes with a lot of other useful features such as:
- Elements — a exceptional feature which allows you create custom hooks, page headers, or design templates.
- Page Header — allows you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections — this is sort of like lightweight page building. It permits you to create separate”sections” on a webpage, each with their own layout and column settings.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you can select and choose what characteristics you would like to trigger.
That Way, you don’t need to slow your site down for a feature which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The last, you needed to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which left the theme difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, though, the developer added a new Website 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 your WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this site still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a couple buttons to import a demo site.
Page-Level Settings Provide You Detailed Control Over Each Bit Of Content
With Most themes, every post and page will use the very same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom formats or templates — however you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand new Layout meta name box for each and every post and page:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your website uses, or the sidebar orientation (like altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to utilize
- Disable certain elements, such as your header, navigation menu, article featured image, post title, or footer
- Create a special”container” to your own page builder
Where These controls are the most helpful is if you are using a WordPress site builder.
By Disabling certain elements, you are in a position to produce the proper baseline for your page builder layout, which makes it easy to create custom articles as needed. WordPress Template Best Practices
GeneratePress Replies: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif is available for free at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are serious about using GeneratePress, I believe you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that’s what makes the theme so elastic. The free version doesn’t give you almost as many settings from the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium is also still quite reasonably priced. It costs just $39.95, which gives you use on unlimited websites . You will also get a 40% discount if you would like to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades following the initial year (you can, obviously, keep using GeneratePress following the initial year without renewing — you won’t receive any more upgrades ).
When You believe that the normal premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress offers a great price.
As I mentioned, I do not think GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by purchasing a theme that fits your requirements for your market from day one.
But If you’re willing to spend some time changing preferences, then GeneratePress’ style controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any type of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to locate a starter website that fulfills 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, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s base is a great decision.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, so you shouldn’t have any problem making your site load in under one second. WordPress Template Best Practices