Intro WordPress Theme Best Practices
Within the previous 10 years, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up until recently, I was utilizing MyThemeShop, which was pretty good. But I still had to perform a great deal of customization to allow it to perform and work the way I needed it to. A few of weeks ago I decided to provide GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s by far the best WordPress theme I’ve found in 10 years. I was dismissed and am moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll enter 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 as well as many other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes. WordPress Theme Best Practices
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme made by Tom Usborne, a programmer from Canada. I have actually seen it for many years from the WordPress repository. Most of you know that I am pretty picky when it comes to web performance, so I tend to dismiss everything from the repository. Typically because a lot of things on there isn’t that good, or not encouraged for long. However, in this case, this was a mistake. The motif now has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ busy matches, with over 500 5-star ratings. So obviously Tom is doing something right here.
I Actually installed the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes bought 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 superior edition of the theme, since it’s worth very penny. In fact, Tom, in the event that 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 do not want running. This is one of the greatest reasons I adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all of the devices.
Schema built-in, for greater results in SERPs.
Dramatic integration using the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t 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 support back to IE8.
It also works great with all the favorite fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these really are a great combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have experienced success.
Font wonderful built in.
A lot of filters and hooks which make it great for programmers.
Great active service from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation is also unbelievable. Besides have good documentation on their website, the theme has existed long enough that everything I Googled throughout the setup process was found inside a couple of seconds from their own forum.
Going Deep Into GeneratePress
Now it’s Time for the fun part! I always test a new theme right from the box with no customizations to see how fast 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 theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms load time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was concerned about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but this isn’t the case. You may tell that Tom actually worked hard on ensuring that every record loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the amount of files isn’t as important. However, the dimensions is! Have a peek at some of the core 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 developer that cares about performance! And I’ve Seen exactly the same throughout each the premium add-ons. They are literally as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is most likely the largest file included. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 coming round the corner, we can anticipate this to secure smaller also.
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. Since the co-developer of the perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt at home with this. Everything ought to be designed this way.
If You are interested, 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 longer have to use a Child theme. This makes my life much simpler. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I will literally upgrade my GeneratePress motif this very moment rather than shed a single customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make it possible. It allows you to incorporate custom code/PHP anywhere throughout your WordPress website. WordPress Theme Best Practices
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On every Page/post you have a great deal of alternatives. You can alter the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default to a complete width page, in addition to disable components.
The WordPress customizer choices is where GeneratePress really shines! Bear in mind, a lot of these choices are permitted from the premium add-ons. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we’d be here daily. But allow me to show you few which really come in handy.
Another Plugin I highly suggest grabbing is the free Lightweight Grid Columns. Not to my surprise, this is also made by precisely the same programmer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super simple way to incorporate responsive columns into any page or article. Features include:
Desktop grid width
Tablet grid width
Mobile grid width
Add Customized classes
Insert custom inline styles
Equal height columns
This is An example below:
You May Want to Also grab his incredible WP Display Posts plugin also. View my featured articles 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 have it show last modified/updated articles, recent articles, etc.. I am using the free version and it works terrific.
The Segments add-in in the premium version of GeneratePress lets you perform all sorts of things concerning design. Think of it like a page builder without the bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not just for blogs! I am in reality utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) which is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Feel free to look it over. But as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For those Of those that are regular readers, you likely didn’t even notice that I changed the entire theme that forces woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour for GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent a year customizing. Here is a comparison below.
woorkup.com Old MyThemeShop Theme
My old MyThemeShop motif was already pretty quickly, but I invested a great deal of time scrutinizing it. In reality, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all of my customizations. My advice now is, just get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
Together with the New GeneratePress motif I managed to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I don’t have a kid theme. Each of the customizations were made with the wonderful GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).
Like the WordPress theme I’ve working on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he could make a copy of woorkup for the new GeneratePress site library. I am happy to allow you to know that now you can install my woorkup motif on your own GeneratePress website with just a click! It is known as the Marketer theme. Get started using a fantastic blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
I also Moved within my private website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a motif from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimum website, as I don’t use it to get much. As you can see it loaded pretty fast.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to duplicate the whole look 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was even able to eliminate a couple 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 minimum website, as we just use it for our LLC. Since you can see it already loaded pretty fast. WordPress Theme Best Practices
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under one hour. And as you can view it loads faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page weight 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about finding GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my websites to it (which includes several EDD e-commerce sites). After I have my 9 websites all running in GP without any child topics, my entire life is going to be a breeze! The programmer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the correct way, can actually perform faster.
And The best thing is, I now have a thousand more options to pick from than I did earlier.
What GeneratePress Is Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users that wish to be able to customize 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 great base to make it load fast.
Since Of that, those who assemble WordPress websites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll normally 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 Want something which will immediately appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you want to produce a fashion blog, you may be happier picking out a market theme that’s developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a lot simpler to use, thanks to its pre-built Website Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones if you initially install it.
So To create GeneratePress look how you want it to, you’ll almost certainly will need to go in and customize things. And while the substantial benefit of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, particularly casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features Which Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the specific features that clarify why GeneratePress is so common.
Lots Of Customization Options From The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond Performance, another area where GeneratePress does nicely is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, and this is convenient because you will have the ability to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The Free version of GeneratePress gives you adequate possibilities, but should you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll have the ability to customize pretty much all about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Layout region, you can configure detailed settings for your:
- Header — you can move your header round and alter its own styling
- Navigation — GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, such as sticky menus
- Sidebar design — you can use a Couple of sidebars
- Blog post layout — such as featured image dimensions, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like the number of widgets to add
Likewise, That the Typography area enables you to control the font to get each and every element on your site, such as buttons:
And You also receive a thorough area to control the colour of every single element on your website.
All In all, GeneratePress will provide you a lot more customization options in the WordPress Customizer compared to most other topics. This amount of detail may be a bit overwhelming if you are a newcomer. But once you realize the way the preferences come together, you’ll have complete control on how your site looks.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Around All of its attributes, GeneratePress always includes a focus on excellent performance and tidy code. The whole motif is less than 30 kB, which is about as little as you’ll ever find for a WordPress theme. Even most other optimized WordPress topics are still 200+ kB. And some poorly coded topics can even surpass 1 MB!
GeneratePress Also does not have any code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Put That together, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How fast? To give you an idea, I conducted a small test.
First, I put up an empty site using a random popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After analyzing 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 asks
That is Not bad in any way! However, GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the exact same test site without altering anything else. Here’s 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 asks, ~40% less
If You perform that same test with different themes, you are going to continue to see that GeneratePress is one of the fastest-loading WordPress topics in existence. WordPress Theme Best Practices
Other Useful Premium Extensions, Plus Much Modular Approach
Beyond Giving you more style controls in 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 on a per-page basis.
- Sections — that is kind of like lightweight page construction. It lets you create different”sections” onto a webpage, each with their own design and column preferences.
To Remain lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you can pick and choose exactly which characteristics you would like to trigger.
That Way, you don’t 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 Site
In The last, you needed to construct GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the motif difficult for casual users to install.
Earlier In 2018, though, 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 right from the WordPress dashboard.
Yes this Website 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, each page and post will use the very same settings for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — but you do not have very much control beyond that.
GeneratePress Changes that by giving you a new Layout meta name box for each and every post and page:
You Can use this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (such as altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain components, like your header, navigation menu, article featured image, article title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” to your own page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you are using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you’re in a position to create the proper baseline for your own page builder layout, making it easy to create custom content as needed. WordPress Theme Best Practices
GeneratePress Pricing: Affordable And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress theme can be obtained at no cost at WordPress.org.
That said, If you are seriously interested in utilizing GeneratePress, I believe you need to buy the GeneratePress Premium plugin, as that is what makes the theme so elastic. The free version doesn’t give you almost as numerous configurations in the WordPress Customizer. And you’ll also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still quite affordable. It costs only $39.95, which provides 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, of course, keep using GeneratePress following the initial year without renewing — you won’t receive any more updates).
When You believe the typical premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a fantastic value.
As I mentioned, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific motif, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your requirements for your market out of day one.
But If you’re ready to spend some time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any sort of WordPress site. Or, you may even have the ability to locate a starter site that fulfills your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is one of those fastest-loading WordPress topics you will find. So if you’re looking for the best performance possible, utilizing GeneratePress as your WordPress site’s foundation is a great decision.
If You blend it with fast-loading hosting, you should have no problem making your website load in under one minute. WordPress Theme Best Practices