Background WordPress Theme Development Best Books
Over the previous 10 years, I’ve used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been really disappointed. Up till recently, I was using MyThemeShop, which was pretty excellent. However, I had to do a great deal of customization to allow it to perform and operate how I wanted it to. A few of weeks ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s undoubtedly the best WordPress theme I’ve discovered in 10 years. I had been blown away and am moving all my websites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into precisely why in my in-depth GeneratePress review under. And if you are wondering, yes I’ve attempted Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X motif, Divi as well as several other lightweight and heavier multicolored themes. WordPress Theme Development Best Books
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 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 stuff on there is not that great, or not supported for long. However, in this case, this was a mistake. The motif currently has over half a million downloads, 80,000+ active matches, with over 500 5-star evaluations. So clearly Tom is doing something right here.
I Really set up 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 developer was thinking exactly how I was envisioning a theme should work. And I’ll go into that more below, but let’s first look at some of the features. I will be covering the premium edition of the theme, since it’s worth very penny. 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 adore GeneratePress.
Responsive, looks great across all devices.
Schema built-in, for greater outcomes in SERPs.
Impressive integration with the WordPress Customizer. I have not been a lover of the customizer previously, but Tom does it right.
Compatible with 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 really are a terrific combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
Font wonderful built-in.
A lot of hooks and filters which make it great for developers.
Excellent active service from the programmer. Normally, 3 updates per month.
The Documentation can be unbelievable. Besides have good documentation on their site, the theme has existed long enough that everything I Googled during the setup procedure was found inside a couple of seconds in their forum.
Diving Into GeneratePress
Now it is Time for the fun part! I always test a brand new theme right out of the box with no customizations to just see how quickly the base is. This tells me a great deal of what I can expect by the time that I add everything to it. Running the inventory GeneratePress WordPress theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms loading time. I was very impressed.
One Thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular layout was going to produce a whole lot of big files, but this isn’t the situation. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on making sure that every record packed in GeneratePress is as little as possible. Together with HTTP/2, the amount of files is not as significant. However, the dimensions is! Have a look at a few 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 functionality! And I’ve Seen exactly the same throughout all the premium add-ons. They’re literally as small as possible get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file included. And that is not even his. Together with Font Awesome 5 arriving round the corner, we can expect that to get smaller also.
The premium add-ons Are installation in what I would call a modular layout. You can activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to ensure they don’t load on your website. Since the co-developer of this perfmatters plugin that has a script manager built, I felt right at home with this. Everything should be made this way.
If You are curious, I’m using the following add-ons on this website:
No Child Theme Needed
One of The best characteristics of GeneratePress is that I no more have to use a young child motif . This makes my life so much simpler. No longer editing my functions.php or header.php documents. I can literally update my GeneratePress motif this exact minute and not lose one customization. The hooks add-on definitely can help make it possible. It permits you to incorporate custom code/PHP everywhere throughout your WordPress website. WordPress Theme Development Best Books
Other Things I Love About GeneratePress
On each Page/post you have a great deal of options. You are able to change the sidebar design and the footer widgets.
You Can quickly swap a page between the default option to a full width page, in addition to disable elements.
The WordPress customizer choices is really where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, a lot of these choices are enabled by the superior add-ons. I can not 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 the exact same programmer as GeneratePress. It enables you a super easy way to add responsive columns into any page or post. Features include:
Desktop grid thickness
Tablet grid thickness
Mobile grid width
Add custom classes
Add custom inline designs
Equal height columns
This is An example under:
You May Want to Also catch his incredible WP Show Posts plugin also. View my featured articles on the sidebar of this website? That’s using the WP Display Posts plugin. I have it set to display posts from a particular”featured” category. You might also get it show past modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc.. I’m using the free version and it works terrific.
The Segments add-in in the premium edition of GeneratePress allows you to do all sorts of things in terms of design. Think of it like a page builder with no bloat. GeneratePress is definitely not only for blogs! I’m in fact utilizing GeneratePress for our ecommerce site (perfmatters.io) that is operating Easy Digital Downloads. Don’t hesitate to check it out. However, as you can see below, it looks like a site.
For those Of you that are regular readers, you probably didn’t even notice I changed the entire motif that powers 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 great deal of time customizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to print all of my customizations. My advice now is, simply get GeneratePress!
woorkup.com New GeneratePress Theme
With the New GeneratePress theme I was able to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And keep in mind, I don’t have a kid motif. All the customizations were made with the awesome 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 could make a copy of woorkup for the brand new GeneratePress site library. I am pleased to allow you to know that you can now install my woorkup motif in your own GeneratePress website with just a single click! It is called the Marketer theme. Get started with a great blog design instantly.
brianjackson.io Old Array Theme’s Theme
Additionally, I Moved within my personal website, brianjackson.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I had been using a theme from Array Themes. It’s a pretty basic minimal site, since I don’t use it for much. Since you can see it already loaded pretty quickly.
brianjackson.io New GeneratePress Theme
I was Able to duplicate the entire look 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can view it loads even faster! Amazing. I was 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 site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a motif from Array Themes. It is a fairly basic minimal website, as we simply use it to our LLC. Since you can see it already loaded pretty quickly. WordPress Theme Development Best Books
forgemedia.io New GeneratePress Theme
I had been Able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under an 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 burden 2x!
I can’t express my Excitement about locating GeneratePress and I’m moving over all my websites for this (which comprises several EDD e-commerce websites ). After I have my 9 sites all running in GP with no child themes, my life will be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose subjects , and that when done the correct 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 Great For…
GeneratePress Is the perfect alternative for performance-focused users who want to have the ability to personalize and control exactly how their site looks.
You Can make GeneratePress perform pretty much anything. And since GeneratePress has a focus on functionality, the site that you build will have a fantastic foundation to make it load fast.
Since Of that, people who build 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.
However GeneratePress Might Not Be A Fantastic Combination If…
…you Need something which will immediately appear perfect out of the box.
For Example, if you realize you wish to create a style blog, you may be happier choosing a market theme that is developed exclusively for trend bloggers.
While GeneratePress is becoming a great deal easier to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still seems very barebones when you initially install it.
So To make GeneratePress look how you want it to, you will almost certainly will need to go in and personalize things. And though the substantial advantage of GeneratePress is how customizable it is, some users, particularly casual users, do not like having to make those changes themselves.
GeneratePress Features That Make It Unique
Here Are a few of the specific characteristics that explain why GeneratePress is indeed popular.
Plenty Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Past Functionality, another place where GeneratePress does well is its customization choices.
GeneratePress Uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which can be convenient as you’ll be able to see all of the changes that you create in real time.
The Free variant of GeneratePress gives you adequate options, but if you own GeneratePress Premium, you will have the ability to customize pretty much all about your website.
For Example, if you go into the Layout area, you can configure detailed settings to yourown:
- Header — you can move your header around and change 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 design — such as featured picture size, metadata, etc..
- Footer layout — just like how many widgets to include
Likewise, That the Typography area enables you to control the font to get every single element on your website, such as buttons:
And You also get a thorough region to control the colour of each and every element on your website.
All Whatsoever, GeneratePress will give you much more customization choices from the WordPress Customizer compared to most other topics. This amount of detail might be a little overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But as soon as you understand how the settings come together, you’ll have full control over how your website looks.
Optimized Performance And Quick Page Load Times
Around All its features, GeneratePress always has a focus on exceptional performance and clean code. The whole 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 does not have any code dependencies, which will help you avoid the leave obstructing error that Google Pagespeed Insights often mentions.
Place That together, and you get a superfast-loading theme. How quickly? To give you an idea, I conducted a little test.
First, I put up an empty 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 moments
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That is Not bad at all! But GeneratePress can perform.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on exactly the same test site without altering anything else. Here is how GeneratePress failed:
- Had a performance tier of 87, 10 points greater
- Loaded in 666 ms, ~37% faster
- Had a page size of 26.8 kB, ~90% smaller
- Had 9 asks, ~40% less
If You do the exact same test with different themes, you are going to continue to find that GeneratePress is among the fastest-loading WordPress themes in life. WordPress Theme Development Best Books
Other Helpful 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 like:
- Elements — a unique feature which allows you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout 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 settings.
To Stay lightweight, GeneratePress also gives you a modular port where you could pick and choose exactly which characteristics you would like to activate.
That Way, you don’t need to slow down your site for a quality which you’ll never use.
Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Website
In The past, you had to build GeneratePress websites from a blank canvas regardless of what, which made the theme difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier In 2018, however, the developer added a new Site Library attribute for GeneratePress Premium users which allows you easily import any among the 25+ pre-built demo sites.
You Can import them right from your WordPress dashboard.
Yes — this Website still uses GeneratePress! All I did was click on a couple buttons to import a presentation site.
Page-Level Settings Give You Comprehensive Control Over Every Bit Of Content
With Most themes, each page and post will use the very same configurations for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats — however you don’t have very much control past that.
GeneratePress Changes that by providing you a brand new Design meta name box for every single page and post:
You Can utilize this meta box to:
- Change the number of sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (like altering the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose the number of footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, such as your header, navigation menu, post featured picture, post title, or footer
- Produce a special”container” for your own page builder
Where These controls would be the most useful is if you’re using a WordPress page builder.
By Disabling certain components, you are able to produce the proper baseline for your page builder layout, which makes it effortless to create custom content as needed. WordPress Theme Development Best Books
GeneratePress Replies: Cheap And Works On Unlimited Sites
The Core GeneratePress motif is available at no cost at WordPress.org.
Nevertheless, If you’re seriously interested in utilizing GeneratePress, I believe 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 settings in the WordPress Customizer. And you will also lose out on the premade Site Library.
GeneratePress Premium can be still quite affordable. It costs just $39.95, and that provides you use on unlimited sites. You will also get a 40% discount if you want to renew to keep on receiving support and upgrades following the initial year (you can, obviously, continue using GeneratePress following the first year without beating — you won’t get any more updates).
When You consider the typical premium WordPress theme will often cost around $60, GeneratePress provides a great value.
As I said, I don’t believe GeneratePress is for everybody.
If You desire a niche-specific theme, you can probably save time by buying a theme that fits your requirements for your market from day one.
But If you’re ready to spend time altering preferences, then GeneratePress’ mode controls give you the flexibility to turn it into any sort of WordPress website. Or, you might even be able to locate a starter website that fits your needs to save a little time.
Additionally, It is one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes that you will locate. 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, so you shouldn’t have any problem making your website load in under one minute. WordPress Theme Development Best Books