Featured Image Courtesy of GeneratePress
Are you using WordPress to run your blog or website? If so, then you’ve already seen the extraordinary customization options this content management platform offers. But if you’re looking for a more advanced way to design your website, then the GeneratePress theme is an excellent choice for you.
GeneratePress is one of the highest-rated and most popular WordPress themes currently available. It allows you to customize a site using the native WordPress customizer and interface, eliminating the need to learn a new UI. So, if you’re familiar with WordPress, then you already know how to use GeneratePress.
What makes GeneratePress stand out from all the other themes is its stability, feature-richness, and incredibly fast load speeds. And the best part is that there is a free version!
We created this detailed GeneratePress review to introduce this multipurpose theme to you, show you all the pros and cons, teach you how to use GeneratePress (and how to reap all its benefits), and offer you some alternatives so you can find the perfect theme for your site!
What Is GeneratePress?
GeneratePress is a super lightweight theme that can be extended with premium plugins. It is compatible with all page builders and probably features the most extensive documentation of any theme. You can use GeneratePress to create a blog, a business website, an ecommerce site, or any other site that you need.
Here is a quick preview showing how to use GeneratePress to customize your website.
The problem with the majority of WordPress themes is their options are scattered all over the place. Some options will be present on the theme options page and some on the customizer page. But, as you can see in the video, all options are inside the customizer with GeneratePress.
Keep reading to find out what are the most significant benefits of using GeneratePress!
GeneratePress Pros & Cons
Here are the key areas where GeneratePress excels compared to other themes:
- Light and responsive: This WordPress theme is well-coded, and it is very light. Both the desktop and mobile versions of your site will load very quickly.
- Modular design: GeneratePress features 14 modules that allow you to leverage the functionality of the theme. You can enable/disable the features you don’t want running.
- Developer friendly: This theme comes with built-in features that enable you to add hooks and filters without altering the theme files that get reset once the theme is updated.
- Impressive integration with the WordPress Customizer: WordPress Customizer isn’t packed with too many advanced features. But, once you integrate GeneratePress, customizing your website becomes easier than ever.
- Compatible with popular plugins and page builders: If you use WordPress plugins such as Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, BuddyPress, bbPress, or WPML, then you’ll be relieved to hear that GeneratePress is compatible with all of them! Also, the theme works well with page builders such as Elementor and Beaver Builder. If you’re looking to explore more plug-ins, check out our top 18 WP plug-ins.
- Great accessibility and support: GeneratePress is completely accessible, which is an important aspect that is frequently overlooked. Also, users get excellent support and regular updates every month.
- Excellent documentation: If you have any questions about GeneratePress, you can find all the info you need on their website. Also, the theme has been around for a while now, so whatever you Google regarding the theme, you will find the answers in a matter of minutes.
- Can be used for free: The majority of GeneratePress features can be used for free. However, there is also a premium version that comes with some advanced options.
But, what about the shortfalls of the theme? So far, the only complaint that users have had is that it takes a bit longer to build pages due to the lack of drag and drop. However, investing more time into using this theme is definitely worth it since the result will be a more code compliant and lighter website.
Are you interested in giving GeneratePress a try? Sign up and try it for free!
GeneratePress Review: Performance
At the beginning of our GeneratePress Review we said that it is the fastest and most lightweight WordPress theme currently available. Well, now’s the time to show you some proof.
When tested on Kinsta hosting with PHP 7.4, here is how GeneratePress performed.
The base install of the GeneratePress WordPress theme scored 100/100 with Google’s Lighthouse performance tool. Quite impressive!
The GTmetrix test showed similar results.
So, if there is one thing you’ll never have to worry about with GeneratePress, it is performance. The theme was built with a modular design and the developer made sure that every file that loads in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/3 (QUIC), the number of files doesn’t matter much. But the size does!
The modular design allows you to activate or deactivate anything you aren’t using to ensure that no unnecessary scripts are loaded on your site.
Now, let’s take a look at this screenshot of the core GeneratePress files.
As you can see, the default GeneratePress theme contains only two files. Their size, when combined, is only 7.1 kB. In addition, once GeneratePress 3.0 was released in 2020, the overall size of the theme was reduced by an additional 55%.
When you sign up for GeneratePress, you’ll be getting a theme that improves over time. There is also a feature that automatically generates dynamic CSS so that only the needed CSS is used (and cached). Other CSS, like for comments, is loaded separately and only on pages/posts that have them. And the best part is that there is no jQuery dependency.
So, if you’d like to get your hands on the fastest WordPress theme currently available, make sure to give GeneratePress a try!
GeneratePress Review: Prominent Features
One of the best and most convenient GeneratePress theme features is the integration with the WordPress Customizer. Every premium module you enable will make more options appear in the Customizer. You can access the settings for background images, colors, layout, widgets, typography, and other customization options. Showing and explaining all these to you requires a whole separate post, so we’ll leave it up to you to test these options on your own.
The Site Identity option allows you to easily access your site title, tagline, and the place to upload your logo. If you’d like to add a logo, then you should install the Safe SVG plugin. WordPress doesn’t allow you to upload the SVG media files for security reasons by default. Once you install the plugin, it will sanitize all SVG files when you upload them to your media library.
GeneratePress will also automatically take care of your favicon or site icon. Just upload it, and the theme will generate the different icons for your site.
In the photo below, you can see just a few of so many Customizer layout options. This feature allows you to change settings such as width, spacing, or padding on every element. There is also one area where you can change your site’s overall look and feel with just a few clicks.
Numerous features allow you to customize your blog design entirely to your liking. For example, you can switch your blog archive to show columns instead of the standard blog roll. You can also choose where you want your featured images to show up or if you want them to show up at all.
With GeneratePress, you can change the colors on your body, header, primary navigation, buttons, content, forms, footer, sidebar widgets, and more.
You can customize typography features on the body, header, primary navigation, off canvas panel, buttons, headings, widgets, and footer in addition to layout options and colors.
GeneratePress uses system fonts right out of the box. If you wanted to use them with previous themes, you would have to add additional custom CSS to make that work. You won’t have to download font files that will slow down your website anymore. Besides system fonts, you can also choose any Google Font if you want to add a little bit of flair to your website.
The Elements module is one of the best features that GeneratePress Theme offers. It allows you to add custom code/PHP and hooks anywhere throughout your WordPress site straightforwardly and conveniently. Most of the advanced features can be implemented by using Elements. Users and developers love this module as it allows them to tweak and achieve advanced customization easily.
The Elements module consists of four parts – Block, Header, Hook, and Layout.
Header allows you to edit and customize the header on your website. You can use GeneratePress to add a background image, change text, and style the header however you like it.
Hook is one of the most potent GeneratePress features as it allows you to insert content into the available hook on your website. You won’t have to create a Child Theme anymore or deal with the functions.php or header.php files. This element helps users achieve advanced customization on their site.
Layout allows you to edit your site layout in specific posts, pages, categories, archives, and even on the entire site. This feature allows you to design and style your site the way you prefer to and make it stand out from all the rest.
Out of all Element modules, Blockis the most advanced one. This feature makes advanced customization more straightforward by using Block Editor instead of using HTML. You can combine Block with GenerateBlocks and create a separate site footer, site header, right-sidebar, left sidebar.
When you use Element, you need to work with Display Rules i.e., you need to set the element to be displayed in different locations. Locations can be anywhere between entire sites, pages, posts, categories, tags, etc. Here are a few examples of how to use these modules.
Example 1: Hook
We borrowed this example from Woorkup. They have a shortcode with their Novashare social sharing plugin. You can use GeneratePress to create a hook and drop the social sharing buttons anywhere you want on your site. There are more than 40 hook locations you can use.
You can also choose where do you want the hook to appear. For example, you can have it show only on your blog posts. Or, you can also check out some more advanced placements and add exclusions or even change the display rules based on the user.
Example 2: Hook
GeneratePress is very handy when you need to spit out CSS styles, but only on a specific page. Woorkup has distinct styles just for their form elements (about 40 lines of code) on their “Contact us” page. But, you don’t want the CSS code to load across the entire site. Instead, you can use GeneratePress to add the CSS into the “wp_head” hook.
Then choose to spit it out only on a desired page (in this case, it is the “Contact us” page).
Example 3: Header
Want to add a special header that is different from all the rest on your website? GeneratePress Theme can help you out! Simply use template tags to create an entirely different design for your blog post header.
You can see a nice example of a centered minimal type blog post design created by using GeneratePress header element in the photo below.
With GeneratePress and Elements, design possibilities are endless. If you want a unique and customized website design, make sure to try GeneratePress for free!
Individual Page Options
GeneratePress gives you so many customization options on each page and post. For example, you can change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.
Or, you can easily swap a page between the default to a full-width page or choose to disable specific elements.
GenerateBlocks is one of the most recent and powerful features of GeneratePress. It is a small collection of lightweight WordPress blocks that can be used to accomplish virtually anything. This feature is so convenient that it allows you to build or rebuild an entire site without having to deal with any code. You may even be able to strip out some custom code you had to use before and make your website even faster.
What’s the difference between GenerateBlocks and a page builder? Better performance!
Below is a screenshot of what the homepage above looks like in the block editor using GenerateBlocks. The entire page is built by using blocks only. What is fantastic is that you can even copy/paste a whole page of blocks to a completely different site and get perfect results!
GenerateBlocks comes with the responsive grid block, which allows you to get rid of the Grid Columns plugin used to adjust options such as grid widths on desktop and mobile, along with equal-height columns.
One great example of how to use the responsive columns can be found on the homepage of perfmatters.io. In the photo below, you can see boxes where the grids are and get an insight into what is happening behind the scenes of this creative design.
Have you heard of or maybe even used FontAwesome? It is a font and icon toolkit based on CSS and Less, which is awesome indeed. But it is also quite huge when it comes to page weight. One great thing about GeneratePress is that it doesn’t include FontAwesome out of the box.
GeneratePress comes with its own SVG icons and also allows you to paste in the SVG code of any icon you want. With this feature, you can easily add only what you need, and you won’t have to deal with packaging up icon packs.
Do you offer any products or services on your website? Then, you can use GenerateBlocks to build pricing tables quickly. Usually, you need a separate plugin to be able to create such a table. However, GeneratePress has got you covered.
GeneratePress comes with a Background module that allows you to add all sorts of background images to your site. Besides importing the image, you can also set its size and position, and adjust it in all kinds of ways.
GeneratePress gives you full control over your posts, thanks to the Blog module. You can use it to customize the featured image, columns, or archive. You can also control the posts’ date, author, categories, and tags all from one spot.
Want to add a copyright notice on your site? There is a module for that as well! You can use it to easily edit or change the copyright of the website in the footer section.
Before you proceed reading about this feature in our GeneratePress review, it is important to point out that Sections modules cannot be used in Gutenberg (Block Editor).
Sections are the mini page builder available only in GeneratePress Premium. If you are using another page builder, such as Elementor or Beaver Builder, then you can avoid using sections.
However, if you’re using Classic Editor, then this module will help you build posts and pages with ease. And, even though Sections can’t be used with Gutenberg Editor, you can use GenerateBlocks instead.
The Spacing option allows you to manage margin & padding and control the size in GeneratePress. You can use this module to modify the header, menu item, container separate, sidebar width, content padding, width padding, footer widget & footer padding, secondary menu, and many others.
Are you planning to build an e-commerce site? Then WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin you must download (don’t worry, it’s free!). This plugin allows you to easily customize the special e-commerce pages on your site, such as product and checkout pages, adjusting the colors, layout, and typography.
When it comes to WordPress themes, it is important to look for options that feature proper support. The GeneratePress theme comes in two versions: free and premium. Fortunately, regardless of which one you choose, you will get excellent support.
The GeneratePress team is very responsive and it mostly has a 5-star rating. They are eager to answer all of your questions (no matter how many there are) and help you make the most out of the theme. Even the founder of GeneratePress, Tom, takes part in providing customer support and answering questions.
GeneratePress support functions as a forum, and both free and premium users get the same quality of help and support. Of course, before asking a question, we recommend you try to Google it first.
For example, if you search “how to add a custom sidebar generatepress,” the top result will directly lead you to the GeneratePress forum. If you don’t find the answer to your question, then feel free to ask it on the forum!
Quality documentation is an essential part of any tool. Thankfully, just like with their excellent support, the GeneratePress team offers fantastic documentation. You can find an in-depth guide for each module, customization, Hooks, Filters, or any other feature within the theme.
Accessing the documentation is easy. Just search for “generatepress documentation” or visit docs.generatepress.com. The documentation is divided into four parts, making it much easier to search for a particular tutorial you’re interested in.
Let’s say you’d like to find out more about Elements in GeneratePress. Simply head to the documentation website, and search for the topic you’re interested in. You will find all the information you need there.
If you don’t feel like visiting the documentation site and searching for the problem, then just Google what you’d like to learn about. The GP Theme documentation ranks higher in SERPs, so it is incredibly easy to find whatever you’re interested in.
Our GeneratePress review covered only the most prominent theme features. Covering all of them would result in an article that is too long to read. But, we believe that this is everything you needed to see to fall in love with this theme.
And, the best part is, you can get all these amazing GeneratePress features for free!
GeneratePress Pricing Review: The Differences Between the Free & Premium Versions
We’ve mentioned this quite a few times already in our GeneratePress review, but let us say it one more time – you can use the GeneratePress theme for free. However, the free version doesn’t include all the features we mentioned above.
GeneratePress Premium comes at a very affordable price, only $49.95. Premium gives you access to all 14 modules, allows you to use the theme on an unlimited number of sites, and you also get one year of support and updates. It is definitely a deal worth checking out!
The best part is that GeneratePress rewards its loyal users. You get a 40% renewal discount once you purchase the premium version! Basically, the longer you use GeneratePress, the cheaper it gets.
The Differences Between the Free & Premium GeneratePress Versions
As we already mentioned, the premium version of GeneratePress comes with some features such as Backgrounds, Blog, Colors, Copyright, Elements, Sections, Site Library, Spacing, Typography, and many more. Trust us; you really don’t want to miss out on these.
Here is a more detailed preview of GeneratePress Premium Modules:
- Backgrounds: Allows you to add background images to the site.
- Blog: Customize the featured image, columns, archive using the Blog Module in the Customizer section.
- Colors: Experiment with different colors in the body, header, Navigation, Widgets, and Footer section.
- Copyright: Edit or change the copyright of your site in the footer section.
- Disable Elements: Turn off various elements through the different posts/pages on your site.
- Elements: The most important feature of GeneratePress Theme. Use it to add dynamic heros and advanced hooks that allow you to customize the theme to your liking.
- Menu Plus: Helps you to make the menu sticky, off-canvas navigation, mobile header, etc.
- Secondary Nav: Allows you to add an extra menu with colors, typography, layout, etc.
- Sections: Break out the content and make it more appealing using the Sections Module.
- Site Library: Enjoy more than 46 libraries, import the demo site and content, and build your site from scratch in a matter of hours.
- Spacing: Manage Margin and Padding using Spacing Modules, control the size in GeneratePress.
- Typography: Select over 70 different Google fonts to design your site.
- WooCommerce: Install this plugin and activate the WC module to style product and checkout pages on your e-commerce website.
How to Install GeneratePress?
Installing the GeneratePress theme is just like installing any other theme. But, in case you’re not familiar with the process, here’s how to do it.
- Go to your WordPress Dashboard and log in.
- Go to Appearance – Themes.
- Click the Add New button next to the title.
- Search for GeneratePress.
- Install and activate GeneratePress Theme.
How to Install GeneratePress Premium Theme?
If you decided to sign up for GeneratePress Premium, there are a few additional steps you have to complete in addition to installing the free version of the theme.
Then, you need to visit the GeneratePress official site and log into your account so you could download the GP Premium plugin. Once you log in, download the Premium plugin.
Click or right-click the download button (control + click for Mac users), then save the file to your computer. The file should save as gp-premium.zip.
- Using Firefox or Chrome, the option you want to click is “Save link as…”
- In Safari, it’s “Download linked file as…”
- In Internet Explorer, it’s “Save target as…”
Then go to your WordPress Dashboard, and click on Plugins > Add New.
Click “Upload Plugin” at the top, browse and select the gp-premium.zip file.
Then, navigate to “Appearance > GeneratePress” and activate the individual modules you would like to use on your site.
GeneratePress Site Library
When you purchase GeneratePress Premium, you get full access to something called a site library. These site libraries can be imported with GeneratePress options and demo content. By doing so, you’ll get your site up and running quickly. Of course, if you already have some content on your site, then you can skip out on the demo content. GeneratePress sites use default WordPress Editor, Elementor free or Pro version and Beaver Builder to create some of the demo sites and content.
Importing site library is simple and it only takes a few minutes to do it. To import a demo site you need to Activate the Site Library in Premium Modules. Go to Appearance > GeneratePress > Site Library > Activate. Once you have access to the library, feel free to import the desired site and content on your site.
Currently, there are more than 46 demo sites in the site library section and the number keeps steadily increasing.
If you’re wondering what templates you can find in the Site Library, keep scrolling! Our GeneratePress Review features a sneak peek of ten templates we found quite interesting and appealing. Different templates have different authors, but all of them are approved by the theme’s developer, meaning that all of them are high quality and conformant to the theme.
Site Library Examples
The Prime template was developed by LH Consulting. It really resembles Amazon’s theme. So, if you’re planning to start an e-commerce site, this one could be an excellent starting point for you.
The template was designed using the following plugins: AJAX Search for WooCommerce, Contact Form 7, MailChimp for WordPress, Simple CSS, Responsive WordPress Slider – Soliloquy Lite, WooCommerce Blocks, and WooCommerce.
2. Head On
Are you looking for a strong landing page that leaves an impression on your visitors? Then Head On template is an excellent choice for you! Developed by Flint Skin, this template features a big header landing page with bold text which immediately attracts the attention of your visitors.
The Volume template was also created by Flint Skin. This template was created for all content creators out there. It has a strong focus on readability and clean design.
Only GeneratePress Premium was used to create this template. If you’re interested how it looks like, check out this live sample.
These three templates used the core GeneratePress as its base. However, there are also other templates that use page builders. The Site Library features for the core theme, but also for Elementor and Beaver Builder. Here are a few templates that were made using other page builders (mainly Elementor).
Vibe is a perfect template for agencies, studios, freelancers, or anyone who wants to showcase their services. Also created by Flint Skin, this template allows you to beautifully present the work you’ve done and the services you offer.
As already mentioned, this template was built using Elementor. The good news is, the free version was used, so you won’t have to pay for another premium WordPress product to get this template. Also, no other plugins are required.
Flint Skin has some quite impressive templates, and Uno is one of them. We promise that this is the last template by Flint Skin because we have to give other creators a shot as well. This template features an excellent landing page. The image on the right has a hover animation.
The next template, Uno which, again, is crafted by Flint Skin, is an excellent landing page template. That image on the right has a hover animation.
Aspire template is created by FlixFrame. It focuses on allowing you to showcase your brand in the best light possible. The template design is clean and simple.
The following templates you’re about to see were built by using GeneratePress and Beaver Builder.
Studio is an appealing minimalist template that takes advantage of contrasting colors. It was created by Paul Lacey.
But, to build such a beautiful template, plenty of plugins had to be used including Beaver Builder Plugin (Pro Version), Lightweight Social Icons, MailChimp for WordPress, Menu Icons, PowerPack Lite for Beaver Builder, and WP Show Posts plugins.
If you’re looking for a corporate-inspired template, then Pivot is an excellent choice for you. The template was created by Mike Oliver.
The only downside of templates made by Beaver Builder is that they tend to be quite heavy. For example, this template uses using Google Maps, Beaver Builder Plugin (Pro Version), Black Studio TinyMCE Widget, Lightweight Social Icons, MailChimp for WordPress, and WP Show Posts plugins.
Branded is the last template we’re going to show in our GeneratePress review. The template was built by Paul Lacey and he claims that it was designed based on the feedback of actual branding experts.
Unlike the previous two templates, this one uses very few plugins. To get this design, the template creator used Beaver Builder Plugin (Pro Version), Menu Icons, PowerPack Lite for Beaver Builder, and WP Show Posts plugins.
If you’d like to make one of these amazing templates a part of your site, then make sure to give GeneratePress a try!
GeneratePress Review: Competitors & Alternatives
It’s truly hard to find a WordPress theme that is as fast, responsive, and lightweight as GeneratePress. There are only a few competitors available that can stand up to GeneratePress.
Everyone likes exploring other options before making a final purchase decision, so we bring you two more themes to check out and compare to GeneratePress.
Astra is also a fast and lightweight WordPress theme and it works on the same principle as GeneratePress. Astra focuses on using page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy, and Gutenberg to help you build your site. You can either downlad the free Astra Theme version or sign up for the Premium modules.
There is a slight difference in the pricing. The Astro Pro starts from $59. You can also purchase a mini agency bundle instead of the agency bundle that comes with yearly renewal or with a lifetime license.
OceanWP is a multipurpose SEO friendly and fast-loading WordPress theme. The theme works just like Astra and GeneratePress. You can use the free version to try it out. If you like the theme, then you can buy the premium bundle.
OceanWP is compatible with the majority of page builders. It comes with tons of customization options and its integration with Elementor makes it one of the best free WordPress themes you can use to build pretty looking websites without spending a dime. There are more than 20 demos available to start your site with including blogs, one page, business sites.
GeneratePress Review: FAQs
What is GeneratePress Theme?
GeneratePress is a lightweight WordPress theme developed by Tom Usborne. The theme is known for its excellent performance, security, and usability.
Is GeneratePress free?
Yes, you can download and install GeneratePress theme for free. However, to gain access to some more advanced modules, you will have to sign up for a premium version of the theme, which costs $49.95.
What is the best page builder for GeneratePress?
The best page builder for this theme is GenerateBlocks, since it is developed by the same person who is behind GeneratePress.
Does GeneratePress theme work best with Elementor?
Elementor and GeneratePress are perfectly compatible. Both the free and premium version works flawlessly, but the GP Premium version comes with more features.
Is Beaver Builder good to integrated with GeneratePress Theme?
Yes, feel free to integrate Beaver Builder with GeneratePress. As we already pointed out in our GeneratePress review, there are quite a few templates in the GeneratePress Site Library that are made using Beaver Builder.
Can you use GeneratePress Premium on Unlimited Sites?
Yes, GeneratePress premium theme can be used on unlimited sites, regardless of whether you’re using the free or pro version. However, it is not recommended to on your clients’ sites as you’ll need to share the premium license code with them.
Do I need to renew the GeneratePress License?
Renewing the GeneratePress license is not compulsory. The theme will be fully functional even if you don’t renew your premium plan. However, if you want to receive the latest updates and support, you will have to renew the theme. The good news is, you get a 40% discount on every renewal!
We hope that our GeneratePress review gave you a detailed look at the features, pros, and cons of this WordPress theme. What many users love about it is that it is lightweight and it will ensure that your site loads extra fast. The source code is clean, easy to understand, and developed with proper coding practices in mind. The quality of support combined with unlimited website usage make this theme worth every single penny.
GeneratePress’s performance, feature set, support, and pricing are all excellent. Signing up for the premium version will get you far and for a modest price of $49.95. And every time you renew your license, you will get a 40% renewal discount.
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