If you have been blogging for some time you would have definitely understood the importance of having a fast loading website and how even taking a few extra seconds to load can put visitors off and affect your search engine rankings. Picking a good WordPress theme is as important as having a good web hosting plan. Both play an important role in how fast your website loads.
You might be okay with the default themes that come with WordPress. They look simple and does what it says. But it doesn’t have many features which are essential to running a successful blog. That’s where other themes come in. There are so many themes available out there which you can use on your blog. Most of the free themes are available on the WordPress theme repository while premium WordPress themes can be brought from marketplaces which sell them. Elegant Themes is one of the most popular premium WordPress theme marketplace that comes with a lot of features.
But in this post, we will be reviewing GeneratePress – the most flexible and lightweight WordPress theme available for WordPress. It is also one of the most popular free WordPress themes available out there. In this GeneratePress review, I’ll walk you through what GeneratePress is, review some of its best features and tell you why you should start using it right away.
GeneratePress Review: Quick Introduction
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme developed by Tom Usborne which is suitable for all WordPress users. It doesn’t matter whether you are a blogger, developer, or a business – you can use GeneratePress to design any website from scratch rapidly. GeneratePress is also highly customizable and developer friendly.
At this time of writing this GeneratePress review, GeneratePress is active on more than 100,000 websites with 770+ 5-star reviews and an incredible 5-star rating on the WordPress theme repository. Another interesting fact is that it has got only two 1-star reviews which makes it pretty interesting.
Here’s a short video introduction to the theme –
What you can do with GeneratePress
With GeneratePress, you can do anything. You needn’t take my words for granted. Just take it out for a spin and you will realize that in no time. Some of the example websites which you can create using GeneratePress are –
- News website
- Magazine sites
- Food blog
- Fashion blog
- Entertainment website
- Business blog
- Online stores
- Consultation website
You build pretty much anything with GeneratePress. It offers so much flexibility and plays nice with page builder. That justifies the fact that GeneratePress is truly a multi-purpose WordPress theme.
Now that we have seen what GeneratePress and who it is suitable for, let’s see some of its best features.
Fast and lightweight
Apart from the Genesis Framework and a few other themes like MyThemeShop Schema and WP Astra, GeneratePress is the only WordPress theme that is optimized for speed out of the box. Thanks to its clean code, GeneratePress weighs lesser than 30 kb. As you might know, page speed is officially one of the most important ranking factors for Google and GeneratePress can help you rank your content higher organically on search engines. Your website visitors will also love you for providing them with a fast loading site which is good for user experience. This, in turn, will help you generate more revenue from your site if you properly know how to monetize your site.
As you can see from the above screenshot, the PageSpeed and YSlow scores are excellent without performing any additional optimizations on the site. If you enable caching and make use of a good CDN, you can further boost your scores. Moreover, the number of requests made is far less compared to 89, which is the average number of requests for all sites. I guess this proves the fact that GeneratePress is fast and lightweight. If you optimize your WordPress site properly with caching and image optimization plugins, you can easily score a perfect 100% on Google Pagespeed insights.
GeneratePress performance vs other popular themes
GeneratePress is also a performance-oriented WordPress theme with no bloat. It performs well when compared to and tested with similar WordPress themes which cost way more than GP. GeneratePress is free to use but you can upgrade to GeneratePress Premium if you need extra features which we will discuss below under GeneratePress Premium features.
Now, here are some speed test results of other popular WordPress themes and frameworks –
GeneratePress vs StudioPress Genesis Framework
Genesis Framework is easily one of the best WordPress theme frameworks available out there. Almost all the big names in web design industry use Genesis child themes for their clients but it doesn’t change the fact that GeneratePress can compete head-on with it in terms of speed and performance. If you would like to learn more about the Genesis Framework, make sure that you have a look at my extensive Genesis Framework review.
GeneratePress vs Elegant Themes Divi
Elegant Themes Divi is another well know WordPress theme which was popular even before page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder came into the scene. But the page size and number of requests is way too high for my liking. You can also check out my review of Elegant Themes if you’re interested in knowing more about them.
GeneratePress vs MyThemeShop Schema
MyThemeShop Schema is another excellent WordPress theme. But there is no clear winner on which theme is the best – GeneratePress or Schema as you can see from my Astra vs GeneratePress vs Schema post. Performance-wise they are quite the same but personally, I feel that GeneratePress looks even better and crisp than Schema.
Page builder friendly
I bet most of you like using page builders for designing your blog. Nowadays even the developers are using page builders to work more efficiently and agencies are harnessing the power of page builders to cut down on the costs. There are so many page builders are available for WordPress and some of them are way too popular like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Thrive Architect, and SiteOrigin.
The GeneratePress theme will work well with all of them. Personally, I feel that GeneratePress is the only WordPress theme that works well with the Elementor page builder. GeneratePress is perfectly compatible with all page builders available for WordPress and is Gutenberg-ready. Gutenberg is the new block-based WordPress editor that ships with WP since version 5.0. If you don’t want to use Gutenberg, you can check out how to disable Gutenberg on your WordPress site. GeneratePress also comes with a site library consisting of readymade designs that are designed using Elementor and Beaver. You can import them and kickstart your next project right away.
You can customize the GeneratePress theme and make it look awesome without editing or adding a single line of code right from your site’s customizer. Just open your WordPress Customizer and you can find all the options available for your theme.
Now, here are some of the popular customization options that are available –
Easy layout customization
From the Layout section, you can customize your site options for container, header, primary navigation, sidebars, footer section, and blog.
Advanced navigation menus
You can customize your primary navigation menu to your liking using the customizer. In most WordPress themes, these features are absent or you will be required to install an extra plugin to extend your theme. But this feature is available by default in GeneratePress.
It allows you to change navigation location, set dropdown direction, enable a search option on your navigation menu, etc.
Most free WordPress themes don’t allow you to change the colors on your site for text, background, and links without the help of external CSS. If you are a beginner, you might have a hard time trying to figure out how to do that. But that’s not the case with GeneratePress.
You can change the color of all elements on your site right from the customizer.
Most WordPress themes use one preset Google Font and load it every time someone loads a web page on your site. To use any other Google Font of your choice, you should either add a few lines of code to your site or use a dedicated WordPress plugin.
But GeneratePress WordPress theme takes it one step further and allows you to choose from a wide variety of Google Fonts right from your WordPress customizer. You have got full control over your website’s typography. From the drop-down menu, you can choose your favorite font, and set the font size, line-height, and paragraph margin. You can preview all the changes before making it live on your site.
From there, you can also customize your headings according to different screen sizes.
With GP, making changes to your site’s typography is simple and completely beginner friendly.
Ten widget areas
In the GeneratePress theme, you will get 10 widget areas of which 6 of them are present in the footer. You can add custom call-to-action (CTA) buttons to your website’s footer section if you are offering any service or promoting affiliate products. You can also display ads in the widget areas.
The available widget areas are:
- Top Bar
- Left Sidebar
- Right Sidebar
- Footer Bard
- Footer Widget 1
- Footer Widget 2
- Footer Widget 3
- Footer Widget 4
- Footer Widget 5
You can also manage your widget areas right from the customizer.
Page level customization
If you wish to customize any specific pages, posts or custom post types apart from usual, you can do it via the WordPress editor.
You will be able to customize the:
- Sidebars location
- Enable or disable footer widgets
- Disable elements
- Set page builder container
It’s so easy to customize everything with just a few mouse clicks.
GeneratePress Premium features
Even though the free version of GeneratePress is more than enough for most users, I would recommend you to upgrade to the premium version of GeneratePress so that you can get more features and support the developer to keep working on the project. I am a member of the GeneratePress Community on Facebook. What I noticed was that many people upgraded to GeneratePress Premium just to support the developer. They liked the theme so much that even if they don’t need to premium features they were willing to donate for a cause – to keep the project going.
NOTE: GeneratePress Premium is not a separate premium version of the theme. Rather, it is a lightweight plugin which enables all the premium features on your site.
Anyway, apart from helping the developer you can also unlock a whole lot of powerful features like –
Site Libary – Gives you access to many pre-made starter sites. Helps you save time as you don’t need to design sites from scratch. Simply import your favorite design from the Site Library and start working on it.
Colors – There are more than 60 color options available. You can customize any element of your blog using these color options.
Typography – Use custom fonts for each element! There are more than 70 typography options available.
WooCommerce – You can change the colors, typography, and layouts of your product page or your entire WooCommerce shop.
Sections – GeneratePress’s tiny page builder will map the content area to sections.
Blog – This feature will come in handy when you need to redesign or freshly design your blog page. You can add custom featured images size, columns, enable infinite scroll and more.
Backgrounds – You can add background images to your website.
Spacing – You can control size, padding, and margin of your website’s elements.
Secondary Navigation – Just like the primary navigation, you can add secondary navigation to your website. You will get all customization options just like the primary navigation menu.
Copyright – By default, the theme will show the theme name and a link to the website in your copyright text This is normal for all free themes. By upgrading to GeneratePress Premium, you will be able to set a custom copyright text.
Disable Elements – When you don’t want specific theme elements on certain pages, you can simply disable it.
Import and Export – Allows you to import and export your theme’s settings. This will come in handy when you are designing sites for your clients.
All these features do more than just justify the pricing which we are going to discuss below.
You can get GeneratePress Premium for just $49.95. Unbelievable, right?! It deserves to be priced more compared to all the features it offers.
With GeneratePress Premium, you will get one year of updates and support from the developers. On top of that, you will get around 40% discount when you decide to renew your license. Moreover, it comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. Now is the best time to get GP Premium. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of GeneratePress from below!
Documentation and support
GeneratePress comes with rich documentation and a helpful support forum which is active much of the time. You can usually get your issues fixed just by searching for answers in the documentation and forum. There GP Community on Facebook is also pretty active.
If you are using the free GeneratePress theme, you can get help from the WordPress.org support forum. There are also nearly 250 code snippets available for GeneratePress on GitHub which you can use on your site with the help of a functionality plugin like Code Snippets.
Free users can also access GeneratePress official forum but, you won’t be able to post on them.
If you have purchased the premium version of the GeneratePress theme, you will get priority support from the author and you will be able to post on the premium forum.
If you are looking for a simple, lightweight and Fast WordPress theme, you must try GeneratePress. I am pretty sure that you will love the theme. Even though you need to pay extra for the premium-add-ons, it is well worth it.
And since they offer a 30-day money back guarantee, you can get a complete refund if you are not
satisfied with the theme. Trust me, in most cases, you won’t be needing a refund as GP will live up to your expectation. I would rate GeneratePress 5 out of 5 any day. And if someone wakes me up from sleep and asks me which is the fastest WordPress theme ever, I won’t think twice and declare GeneratePress is. That’s the level of confidence I have on the theme developer.
I hope you found this GeneratePress review really helpful and enjoyed the read. If you did, please consider sharing this post with your friends and fellow bloggers on social media so that they can also discover this awesome WP theme.
Are you using GeneratePress on your WordPress site already or planning to switch to GP? Let us know in the comments section below!