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For a WordPress website owner, installing a theme is as important as wheels for a vehicle. And in today’s fast-paced world, what’s essential is how fast your website is. Therefore, it’s vital for the theme to be fast, at the same time customizable per the user’s need. GeneratePress is among the fastest WordPress themes in the market.
However, installing it on your WordPress environment only because of its speed attribute is worth a shot? Or should you give more attention to its other features & components as well?
In this blog post, likewise the above, I’ll answer some of the questions users might have before using GeneratePress. And to be honest, it’s an honest GeneratePress review. And to help you make a better decision when you’re considering WordPress themes.
If you’re in a hurry, the following quick look will help you find out everything about GeneratePress. Otherwise, I recommend you stick to it till the end.
With no further delay, let’s get started!
Overall GeneratePress Review (In a Nutshell)
- Features – 4.5/5
- Ease of Use (Beginners) – 3.5/5
- Ease of Use (Experts) – 4.5/5
- Performance on Shared Environment – 4/5
- Performance on Dedicated Environment – 5/5
- Price – 5/5
- Documentation – 4/5
- Support – 4.5/5
- Overall – 4.3/5
Table of Contents
- 1 Overall GeneratePress Review (In a Nutshell)
- 2 What’s GeneratePress?
- 3 Versions of GeneratePress
- 4 GeneratePress UI (Customizer)
- 5 Performance
- 6 Support & Pricing
- 7 Should You Use GeneratePress and Purchase Premium or Not?
GeneratePress is a WordPress theme developed by Tom Usborne, available both as free & premium. Using this theme & the level of your web development skills, you can build websites of any kind. Whether for personal or professional use, with GeneratePress it’s all possible.
Besides its versatile design capabilities, the reason it’s famous among web developers is its lightweight framework & high performance. For a performance-oriented website owner, this theme sets everything in the right place.
And that’s not all these WordPress theme offers. There are several exciting features & options that make it popular.
Some of the key features why users like to go with GeneratePress:
- Mobile responsive.
- WordPress page builder compatible.
- Highly customizable.
- Freedom to use on multiple domains.
- Modular design and more.
Versions of GeneratePress
As I mentioned earlier, GeneratePress is available in both free & premium versions. According to your requirements, you can prefer which one you should go for. Following, I’m going to discuss GeneratePress free vs premium, and it will help you decide easily.
It’s a basic theme, with basic features which would help any level of users quickly establish the online presence of their profession. If you’re good with HTML, CSS, and JS, then you could utilize its lightweight framework. Otherwise, you need to depend on third-party plugins and page builders like Elementor.
Likewise most free WordPress themes, GeneratePress is also available on the repository. It first came in 2014, and since then, it has received over 400,000 active installations. Moreover, the theme has been rated 5 stars by over 1.2K users, which is huge.
Plus, there have been over 1.4k support tickets submission, from which they have responded to all of them. So, from this, we can assume how good GeneratePress support is, even for the free version.
Features Included With the Free Version
- Color Options – It allows you to set custom or global color for the site.
- Typography System – Optimize options like Font & Typography Manager to improve website’s text readability across multiple elements.
- Layout Options – Customize different elements’ width & style quickly.
- And more.
Installing the free version of GeneratePress is as easy as installing any other plugin or theme on WordPress.
- To install it directly on your WordPress site, go to Appearance → Themes → Add New
- Then, search GeneratePress, and click install on the following,
After installation, click Activate, and you’ll have the basic default GeneratePress environment on your site like the below screenshot.
The premium version provides you with a lot of features that open numerous ways to design your website the way you want. It adds wings of high performance to the lightweight framework to boost its functionality with top-notch speed. The highly customizable 10 modules you get with GeneratePress are as follows,
- Backgrounds – Apply background images to different areas of your site.
- Blog – Customize archive pages of your site with multiple creative options.
- Copyright – Define copyright message in the footer.
- Disable Elements – For individual pages and posts, disable specific elements.
- Elements – Build highly functional websites with advanced HTML hooks.
- Menu Plus – Optimize your mobile header with sticky navigation & more.
- Secondary Nav – Add secondary header to the site with complete functionalities.
- Site Library – Quickly establish an online presence by importing pre-built sites across different niches.
- Spacing – Customize padding and spacing throughout the site in one go.
- WooCommerce – Beautify WooCommerce store with engaging colors, typography and more.
In addition to these modules, it also includes an extensive Import & Export feature that allows you to export and import customizer settings in a single click.
Before you install GeneratePress Premium, keep the free version activated as premium is a plugin that provides you with the modules. And with the free version, you get the theme functionalities. Therefore, it’s essential to keep it activated.
Now, to install the premium version, head over to your GeneratePress account, then click Download on the GP Premium section.
It will download a zip file. Extract it and create a new zip file with the compressed items alone. Then, head over to the Plugins → Add New → Upload → click Choose File.
Select the zip file and click Install Now.
After the installation, click Activate and then head over to your GeneratePress account. Copy the following license key.
After this, go to the Appearance → GeneratePress → License Key → paste the key you’ve copied before, and then click the Update Key.
That’s it. You’ve successfully installed and activated the GP Premium. Let’s look at the Modules and customizer options we get with it.
GeneratePress UI (Customizer)
With the lightweight framework and high performance, another good thing about GeneratePress is that the customizer settings are all akin to the WordPress native UI. If you’re used to the WordPress customizer, then you’ll love it.
In the same license activation window, you get the following modules & options to utilize on a GeneratePress website.
You need to activate the modules first to utilize them, and after that can run customizations. To access the customizer, you could click the Open options for one of the customizer settings. Or, simply open them manually: Appearance → Customize.
Exploring GeneratePress Customizer Settings
The activated modules lists in the Customizer as shown in the below screenshot.
The first option available to customize in the GeneratePress theme is Site Identity.
Here you can define the site title and tagline. Plus, logo with retina variants and width control. Further, it allows you to add the favicon to the website. All the site identity controls are in a single place, which makes it easy for you to make changes per your brand needs.
After Site Identity, you get the Layout option. It provides you with the controls that can change the website’s different elements’ padding, margin, spacing, layout, and more.
Using the Container option, you can change the website’s container width. Apply to space between header and content elements. Make the content layout separate or one container with alignment and padding options as well.
Then using the Header layout option, you can change header type: Classic, Navigation Before, Navigation After, Navigation After – Centered, Navigation Before – Centered, Navigation Left, and Default
You can also make the heart full width or contained (boxed) using the Header Width option.
In addition, there are more header options that allow you to change alignment, padding, and inner header width. Using the same settings, you can enable Mobile Header as well.
Use different customization options for the mobile header, such as Branding Type (Logo / Site Title) and Sticky.
Primary & Secondary
After Header, you get Primary Navigation and Secondary Navigation options.
Using options available in these, you can set the layout for the navigation links.
For instance, options like Navigation Location, Menu Item Width, and Height allow you to change links placement, space between items, and header margin.
If you’ve included a secondary menu, you can apply the same customizations to it.
Using Sticky Navigation, you can choose to make the header sticky per device type.
Based on your selection, you get further options to optimize the sticky navigation menu.
You can change the navigation transition type to Fade, Slide and None. If you like to apply a different logo, then you can do that as well. Moreover, it lets you customize the height as well.
Off Canvas Panel
If you want to display an off-canvas menu, then using GeneratePress you could do that easily. All you need to do is open the Off-Canvas Panel option, select your display choice.
Further, you can utilize the options like Style, Side, Close Button and more to make it appropriate per your website layout.
If you’re planning to display a sidebar on your website, then Sidebars layout option, you need to optimize.
It allows you to change Sidebars’ layout for the whole site, archive pages, and even single posts/pages.
Further, you can change padding, and width for the left & right sidebar.
The Blog layout option of the GeneratePress theme is a robust control. It enables you to enhance your archive pages to the fullest with high readability and zero distraction.
Here, you get the options as Content, Featured Images, and Columns. And each option contains several other options to apply customizations.
Using the options like Content Type, and Read more label, you can display post titles with excerpts and read more like a button.
With Featured Images options, you can choose how the Archives, Posts, and Pages display the featured images. Additionally, the Columns option allows you to display posts on the archive in up to 5 columns with masonry formation.
The Footer layout option includes options to change the footer’s width, layout, widget numbers, padding, and more.
You can also define the copyright text using this setting of the GeneratePress theme.
The WooCommerce layout option is the complete solution available with GeneratePress to customize your eCommerce store. It includes General options, shop options, product page options, and even checkout options.
Using these available options, you can improve the layout plus functionality of your digital store. For instance, General options allow you to change the Cart icon layout for the menu. Shop options let you configure container width, column gap, alignment, and more tweaks for the shop’s products.
Additional controls for a single product page allow you to customize quantity buttons, sale badges, related products, and more.
With Color controls, you can customize the entire website’s color combination in a few clicks.
The Global Colors option lets you create a custom global color palette and then update them for the entire site.
Nevertheless, you can still apply color to every individual element using the available options.
It simplifies how you change fonts for your website’s text.
The Typography layout provides you with dynamic Font and Typography Managers that allow you to select your font family and then apply it to a particular area.
It allows you to set a background image to different elements of the site. Whether it’s the body or sidebar, using this option, you can display the image in the background.
Further, additional options make it possible to optimize the background image’s layout.
What makes GeneratePress premium, child theme free is its Elements module. It provides you with highly functional options that let you customize different areas of the site easily. However, to use it to the fullest, it’s better you have some coding knowledge; otherwise, Elements is just another option for you.
To access GeneratePress’ Elements module, go to Appearance → Elements
Here, when you create a new element, you get multiple options: Block, Hook, Layout and Header.
Using the Block element type, you can create block-based elements for your website. You can choose a location, create rules, and more to utilize it to the fullest.
The Hook element type enables you to add functions to your website’s available hooks. Further, using the Custom Hook method, you could also define a new hook.
Likewise, in the Block element, you can choose Hook location and apply different rules.
Using this Element, you can create unique sidebars and footers for your website’s pages. Or for the entire site.
You can even set which element you want to disable for the selected location. Plus, change the content style using the Content option. Thus, you can have different layout configurations for particular pages.
Using the Header element, you can change the configuration of the site’s header for specific pages. You can change the logo for specific pages, change navigation style; add custom CSS, and more.
By enabling the Site Library module in the GeneratePress Dashboard, you can access the GeneratePress templates.
For a quick setup of the online presence, these templates are a perfect choice. Here, you can find templates based on different niches. So, according to your profession, you can easily choose which one to import.
Moreover, if you’re going to use page builders like Elementor, then you can filter templates based on that. It’s quick and efficient.
Import & Export
The default GeneratePress modules & controls window includes the Import and Export function at the bottom. Using this, you can easily download or upload GeneratePress settings. So, you could use them on other websites. Or on the current website.
Furthermore, if you want to reset all the customizer settings of the GeneratePress theme, simply click the Reset button.
For performance showdown, you can expect excellent results from GeneratePress because of its lightweight foundation. However, to assess its performance, it should be done right. You may have seen other publishers posting test results on clean installs. But, are you going to keep your website clean, or some content on it? I believe more than some.
Therefore, the following performance tests also include websites that have content and different plugins. Especially the ones that are required in most cases. For instance, Yoast SEO, Jetpack, WP Forms Lite, Elementor, or GenerateBlocks.
When I tested GeneratePress Basic on Cloudways Vultr plan, the following results I got. It’s a clean install, neither content nor additional plugins. Also, I’ve only used the PageSpeed Insights as Google only considers those results for ranking factors.
GeneratePress Performance Test on Clean Install
Performance Test on Free Version for Desktop
As you can see, for the GeneratePress basic version, both Desktop & Mobile view got a 100-page score, which is excellent. Now, with GP Premium, I’ve got the following results. It’s also a clean install.
GeneratePress Premium Performance Test for Desktop
The premium version also showed amazing results. Even the desktop view scored better in the Speed Index. But, we’ll not stop here. Let’s run the test on the website that has some content & other plugins installed.
GeneratePress Performance Test on Websites With Content
The above tests were carried out on The Blog Metrics itself and it’s hosted on Cloudways’ DigitalOcean plan. The Desktop view showed a slight variation in its performance with a 98 Performance score and 1.2 seconds of Speed Index. But, for Mobile view, it scored 88 Performance score and 3.5 seconds on Speed Index.
Nevertheless, 88 isn’t a bad score if we look at it from a broad perspective. Because, with slight variations, you could improve it as well. Moreover, it’s not something you won’t find with other popular WordPress themes. For instance, Astra’s Health Coach Template on the same Vultr server scored 73 performance scores with 4.2 seconds of Speed Index.
Astra Performance Test for Mobile View
The same is with OceanWP’s Yoga demo, which scored 86 with 3.2s on the Speed Index.
OceanWP Performance Test for Mobile View
Therefore, from this, we can assume that for mobile, even the best WordPress themes would show average scores. And to improve their performance, all you can do is choose top hosting servers, plus fast CDN service providers.
I increased my page speed score and TTFB performance on mobile and desktop making some tweaks like; locally hosting Google fonts, and serving images from next-gen WebP format using an Image optimization plugin and the premium cache plugin.
I also migrated my hosting to Rocket.net from Cloudways and saw a massive difference in page speed. Below is the TTFB (Time to the First byte) of my site in various locations.
Support & Pricing
GeneratePress’ support team has responded to every support ticket on the free version as mentioned earlier. And on the premium support forum, Tom and his team members are so active that they provide solutions in the least time, even for a minor issue.
Moreover, their list of articles is so vast that you’d eventually find your solution without opening the support forum. Further, you can get support by contacting them through email.
Although, you’d find GeneratePress’ documentation a bit hard to explore — due to its navigation & unclear explanations of the topics. The overall support is excellent, and you’d find no issue with it.
As for the pricing, GeneratePress is the most reasonable WordPress theme you can get. Its premium version starts from $59/year for 500 websites with all the modules, 1-year update, support, and more. Plus, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, if you don’t like what GeneratePress Premium offers, you can simply ask for a refund.
Should You Use GeneratePress and Purchase Premium or Not?
Should you use GeneratePress or not? It depends on what type of user you are. If you’re a beginner, then I won’t suggest you should go with GeneratePress. Why? Because without HTML or other web development skills, you won’t be able to optimize this theme. Whatever extra you want to do, you have to do inside its provided controls. And they’re limited to keeping the theme’s lightweight framework intact.
However, if you’d like to use page builders like Elementor or Beaver, then other than GeneratePress, there’s no better theme to combine. You may find a bit of a decrease in performance scores, but with this, it won’t be much. And if you’re hosting on a good server, then it will take care of the rest.
Apart from this, if you think that the free version isn’t providing everything you need, then you should go for the premium one. But if you know how to customize all the things through HTML, CSS, and JS, then there’s no need to get it.
But, the Elements module gives more power to your skills, therefore, consider GP Premium for once.
That’s it; this is my honest review of GeneratePress and GeneratePress premium. I hope it’ll help you make the appropriate decision per your needs. If you have any thoughts or doubts, please let me know.
When it comes to speed, the GeneratePress theme comes up in the WP community, Is it really worth the popularity? Read my generatepress review to find out.
Price Currency: $
Application Category: WordPress