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Generate Press is a popular free WordPress theme that’s especially favored by professionals who build WordPress sites for clients.
What GeneratePress Is Good For…
GeneratePress is the perfect option for performance focused users who want to be able to customize and control exactly how their site looks.
You can make GeneratePress do pretty much anything. And because GeneratePress has a focus on performance, the site that you build will have a great foundation to make it load fast.
Because of that, people who build WordPress sites for a living love GeneratePress. They’ll typically pair it with a WordPress page builder and use it for literally any type of site.
Generate Press Might Not Be A Good Fit If…
…you want something that will instantly look perfect out of the box.
For example, if you know you want to create a fashion blog, you might be happier choosing a niche theme that’s developed exclusively for fashion bloggers.
While GeneratePress has gotten a lot easier to use, thanks to its pre-built Site Library, GeneratePress still looks very barebones when you first install it.
5 Generate Press Features That Make It Unique
Here are some of the specific features that explain why Generate Press is so popular.
1. Other Helpful Premium Extensions, Plus A Modular Approach
Beyond giving you more style controls in the WordPress Customizer, Generate Press Premium also comes with a lot of other helpful features like:
- Elements – a unique feature that lets you create custom hooks, page headers, or layout templates.
- Page Header – lets you create a unique page header on a per-page basis.
- Sections – this is kind of like lightweight page building. It lets you create separate “sections” on a page, each with their own layout and column settings.
To stay lightweight, Generate Press also gives you a modular interface where you can pick and choose exactly which features you want to activate.
2. Pre-Made Starter Sites Make It Easier To Design Your Site
In the past, you had to build Generate Press sites from a blank canvas no matter what, which made the theme difficult for casual users to set up.
Earlier in 2018, though, the developer added a new Site Library feature for Generate Press Premium users that lets you easily import any one of the 25+ pre-built demo sites.
3. Page-Level Settings Give You Detailed Control Over Each Piece Of Content
With most themes, each post and page will use the same settings for the most part. You might have some custom templates or formats – but you don’t have very much control beyond that.
Generate Press changes that by giving you a new Layout meta box for every single post and page.
You can use this meta box to:
- Change how many sidebars your site uses, or the sidebar orientation (like changing the sidebar from right to left)
- Choose how many footer widgets to use
- Disable certain elements, like your header, navigation menu, post featured image, post title, or footer
- Create a special “container” for your page builder
4. Lots Of Customization Options In The Real-Time WordPress Customizer
Beyond performance, another area where Generate Press does well is its customization options.
Generate Press uses the WordPress Customizer for customization, which is convenient because you’ll be able to see all the changes that you make in real time.
The free version of Generate Press gives you decent options, but if you have GeneratePress Premium, you’ll be able to customize pretty much everything about your site.
For example, if you go into the Layout area, you can configure detailed settings for your:
- Header – you can move your header around and change its styling
- Navigation – GeneratePress gives you two different navigation options, including sticky menus
- Sidebar layout – you can use one or two sidebars
- Blog post layout – like featured image size, metadata, etc.
- Footer layout – like how many widgets to include
5. Optimized Performance And Fast Page Load Times
Across all of its features, GeneratePress always has a focus on excellent performance and clean code. The entire theme is less than 30 kB, which 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 exceed 1 MB!
GeneratePress also has no code dependencies, which helps you avoid the render blocking 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 ran a little test.
First, I set up an empty site using a random popular WordPress.org theme (Envo Magazine). After testing its performance with Pingdom, it:
- Had a performance grade of 77
- Loaded in 1.05 seconds
- Had a page size of 243.9 kB
- Had 15 requests
That’s not bad at all! But GeneratePress can do better.
Next, I activated GeneratePress on the same test site without changing anything else. Here’s how GeneratePress did:
- Had a performance grade 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% fewer
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