Background: GeneratePress is a lightweight and highly customizable WordPress theme developed by Tom Usborne. It was first released in 2014 and, like fine wine, has only improved over time. Its signature advantage is a focus on minimizing code bloat. That assures that the theme won't bog down your WordPress website performance.
Starting Price: $59/year
Visit Online: https://www.generatepress.com
Review Summary & Ratings
GeneratePress is lean and fast yet offers a stunning range of customization options. It natively solves many basic problems like surgical code insertion, allowing you to run efficiently with fewer plugins. I love that the support team is highly responsive and willing to offer customization suggestions that cater to individual needs.
My Experience with GeneratePress
Using GeneratePress for the first time was eye-opening. I'd always known that WordPress themes would impact site performance. Only after testing out GeneratePress, I realized how big an influence the theme could be. My first theme swap to GeneratePress helped me bring one of my websites from a “D” average performance rating to an immediate “B,” even without tweaks. That was quickly brought up to an “A” grade with a few simple modifications.
Who Should Use GeneratePress?
I highly recommend GeneratePress to any WordPress users, new or veteran. Unless you want to build a custom theme from scratch, this is the most fluid and agile theme you'll likely find. I especially recommend it if you face performance problems with your current theme. Since then, I've never looked back and run GeneratePress across all my websites. It's one less problem to face when building an effective website.
Pros: What I Like About GeneratePress
1. Lightweight and Fast
One of the most significant selling points that drew my attention to GeneratePress is it's claimed lightning-fast speeds. Having run this theme extensively across several sites, I now understand better the logic behind the performance.
Although several factors affect GeneratePress performance, the overall stunning effect boils down to just a few things;
- Lightweight and code.
- Natively modular design.
The theme focuses on minimal and lightweight code, meaning less bloat and fewer resources are needed to load the site. The code is also performance-optimized, resulting in faster page load times and a better user experience.
Like the Gutenberg experience, GeneratePress is modular in some ways. Users can pick and choose only the features they need. The result is that you aren't running a theme that's burdened by stuff you don't need for your website.
2. Stable Performance with Regular Updates
Over the years, I've noticed that GeneratePress is one of the rare themes that gets a strong balance of updates. They aren't so often that you feel like pulling your hair out. Instead, GeneratePress devs know precisely when and what updates to push to appeal to its customer base.
The team responds quickly to user-reported bugs and works to fix them as soon as possible. This quick fix helps ensure the theme remains stable and performs well. Naturally, updates also follow new WordPress versions to ensure compatibility.
3. Impressive Hook System
What took me a while to realize about GeneratePress is its unique Hook system. Like many smart guys, I seldom read documentation unless I have no better option. That's what led to the delay in my use of GeneratePress hooks.
The GeneratePress Hook system is a powerful and flexible way to add custom code to your WordPress site without editing theme files directly. Hooks are code snippets that can be added to different theme parts, such as the header, footer, or individual pages, to add or modify functionality.
Think of it like having an advanced version of the Code Snippets plugin built into the theme natively.
Here is how the GeneratePress Hook system works:
- Locate the Hook element: The first step is to locate the hook element where you want to add your custom code. GeneratePress offers a range of hooks covering different theme areas, such as the header, footer, content, and individual pages. Each hook has a unique name that identifies its location in the theme.
- Create a function: Once you have identified the hook element, you can create a function that contains the custom code you want to add. This function should be added to your site's functions.php file in the child theme or using a plugin like Code Snippets.
- Add the function to the Hook: Finally, you need to add your function to the appropriate hook using the add_action() function. This tells WordPress to execute your function at your chosen hook element.
The GeneratePress Hook system is incredibly flexible and allows you to add custom code to your site in a safe and organized way.
4. Flexible and Highly Customizable
GeneratePress has a powerful Customizer that allows users to customize virtually every aspect of their site. From colors and typography to layouts and menus, the Customizer offers an intuitive interface for making changes.
You can customize look and feel of your site for various displays, such as desktop or mobile. It takes a while to get used to but it works similarly to what you get with a robust WordPress site builder like Elementor.
It also offers a range of add-ons that you can use to extend the theme's functionality. These include options for WooCommerce integration, additional customization options, and more. Note, however, that some options may be limited to the paid version of the theme.
5. Excellent Responsive Features
Like most modern WordPress themes, GeneratePress is fully responsive. It can adapt and look great on all devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. You get a good array of responsive features, including;
- Mobile-first approach that Google loves.
- Responsive grid system.
- Font size control.
- Navigation menus.
- Image resizing.
GeneratePress ensures that the site will provide an excellent user experience on any device by taking a mobile-first approach and optimizing for performance.
6. Fantastic Customer Support
For most web-based tools I often resign myself to eking by with the last amount of support I can expect. After all, support is expensive for these companies to provide. Imagine my surprise when I found how responsive the GeneratePress team is in their forums.
Rather than resolve individual tickets, the team helps customers in the open, allowing other users a say. The stunning overall effect helps devs and users build a better bond and more effective product. It's simply unimaginable.
If possible, devs are more than willing to help GeneratePress users out – even if it's not a problem with the theme, they'll help offer a potential solution. Most of the time, it works out fine.
GeneratePress Drawbacks and Cons
I honestly didn't want to discuss any cons because I feel GeneratePress is already above and beyond the norm. Yet nothing is perfect, and even minor blemishes have to surface.
1. Limited Free Version
While the free version of GeneratePress offers a range of customization options, it does not offer as many options as the premium version. For example, some typography options, colors, and layout options are unavailable in the free version.
Free version users also can't use some modules that extend the theme's functionality. These modules include features like sticky navigation, background images, and more. These modules are not available in the free version of the theme.
2. Small Development Team
Unlike some themes, GeneratePress is developed by a small dev team that makes it their main business. Although this helps to ensure the theme stays in excellent shape, you never know when things will go south.
If the small business can't sustain operations with GeneratePress, there isn't really a “Plan B” that we know of that will help us, the users, out.
GeneratePress Plans and Pricing
GeneratePress offers a straightforward pricing structure. On the one hand, the free version is slightly stripped of features. However, it still retains the core GeneratePress advantage of excellent performance.
The paid version comes in two variants: $59/year or a one-off payment of $249 for a lifetime license.
The price is reasonable and lower than some super-premium themes I occasionally encounter online.
Premium users also don't need to worry about licensing. The price allows you to run GeneratePress premium on up to 500 websites with the cost of a single license.
Alternatives to GeneratePress
For those unimpressed with GeneratePress, don't worry. Part of the beauty of WordPress is the vast theme availability. Two good alternatives are Astra and Divi, both beautiful an equally powerful.
Astra is a lightweight and highly customizable WordPress theme that is similar to GeneratePress in many ways. Like GeneratePress, Astra is optimized for speed and performance and offers a range of customization options.
However, Astra also offers some unique features that make it a good alternative to GeneratePress. For example, Astra offers a library of pre-built templates that can be used to quickly and easily create various types of websites.
Astra also offers a range of integrations with popular page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder, which makes it an excellent choice for users who want to create complex layouts.
Divi is a powerful and highly customizable WordPress theme that is designed for users who want to create visually stunning websites. Divi offers a drag-and-drop page builder that makes it easy to create complex layouts without knowing any code.
Divi also offers a range of pre-built templates and modules that can be used to create various types of websites. While Divi is not as lightweight as GeneratePress or Astra, it offers a range of advanced features that make it a good choice for users who need a high level of customization and control over their website's design.
Final Thoughts: Get GeneratePress for Peace of Mind
Although I mentioned it before, I must repeat it. GenratePress is one of the most incredible things available since sliced bread. What I say especially applies to newer users who may not necessarily know what you're getting into with your WordPress website.
Yes, GeneratePress may not seem especially “fancy” compared to other themes, but you need more fantastic performance than good looks. You can fine-tune the design later once you get the performance right.
FAQs About GeneratePress
Yes, GeneratePress is available as a free theme on the WordPress.org theme directory. You can download it from the official WordPress website or directly from your WordPress dashboard.
GeneratePress is a lightweight WordPress theme that can be used to create a wide range of websites – from simple blogs to complex WooCommerce sites. It provides a solid foundation for building a functional website quickly.
GeneratePress Pro is a premium version of the GeneratePress theme that offers additional features and functionality not available in the free version. It includes advanced customization options, layout controls, and site library templates. The pro version also comes with priority support from the developers.
Free WordPress themes are often less frequently updated, making them more vulnerable to security vulnerabilities or incompatibility issues with other plugins and software. Premium themes like GeneratePress Pro offer better support, more customization options, and regular updates, which can save you time and money in the long run.
GeneratePress can be used with any hosting provider that supports WordPress. However, some hosts are better optimized for WordPress and offer better performance and security features. Hosts we recommend include: WP Engine, Kinsta, ScalaHosting for those who are looking for a Managed WordPress Hosting; whereas Hostinger and TMD Hosting offer great budget solutions.