GeneratePress Review: The fastest WordPress theme (2020)

Are you close to Vancouver Island?

If you are, then I have a request. Kindly look for Tom Usborne.

Shake his hands and tell him thank you for building such an amazing theme.

GeneratePress is an example of how a WordPress theme should be like.

GeneratePress Review

GeneratePress is a super lightweight, fast, and responsible WordPress theme developed and maintained by Tom Usborne. The theme is very minimal with the entire theme being less than 30KB. This is despite having amazing features that most themes do not have. If you consider how bloated and heavy other WordPress themes are, then you will appreciate how wonderful but simple GeneratePress is.

There are so many WordPress themes both premium and free, picking the right theme for someone like me can become a tremendous headache.

I am always looking for the perfect or a theme close to it.

Not that I am asking for too much when looking for a WordPress theme. All I want in a theme are speed, lightweight, well optimized for SEO and control. Yes, I need to use it how I want it. Disable what I don’t want. Is that too much to ask?

I have relied on MyThemeShop for some years. They build outstanding themes. Until last year, I found a theme that tick all my boxes. That theme is GeneratePress.

With over 2 million downloads and over 200, 000 installs via WordPress repository, this theme is gradually getting the recognition it deserves. This theme has an average rating of 5 stars out of 5 by those using it.

GeneratePress

In this review, I will share with you 24 reasons GeneratePress is the best WordPress theme. It is a rundown on the features and performance.

24 important features and benefits of GeneratePress

Here are 24 reasons GeneratePress is the best WordPress theme:

1. Speed

Speed is very important to any website. Many people make the mistake of using bloated and badly coded themes. Then they become obsessed with how to make WordPress load fast.

With GeneratePress, what you get is speed from the moment you install it. Despite the amazing functions that this theme has, the size is just about 30KB. To make you understand this, most themes that claim to be minimal and well-optimized are over 300KB. Some even over 2MB.

To test how this theme performs, I have created a fresh install on Cloudways with no optimization at all. Cloudways has automatically added a lot of contents and links. This will be enough load to test. Remember, there is no optimization, just raw performance.

Here is the result from GTMetrix:

GeneratePress GTMetrix

Then this is how the mobile page score came out with Google PageSpeed insight:

GeneratePress PageSpeed insight Mobile

Below is the result for Google PageSpeed Insight desktop:

GeneratePress PageSpeed insight

From the test and size of the theme, it is very obvious that this is one of the fastest WordPress theme out there. The fastest that I have seen.

2. Customizer 

One outstanding thing I love about GeneratePress is that it uses the default WordPress Customizer. That has helped me a lot when I am tweaking things.

Why is this a wonderful thing? It is a wonderful thing because when you make changes; you see them in real time before activating them.

Most themes I have used added theme options in the Dashboard left menu. That is where you make changes. The unpleasant side of it is that you have to save and make it live before you can preview. And that might be bad if you made some mistakes.

GeneratePress customize

With GeneratePress, you can review everything before making them live. You don’t need staging to make minor adjustments. See it live before making it live.

Preview how your changes look in desktop, mobile or AMP before you make them public.

It handles every major change made at Appearance > customize. Where you see it before you make it live.

3. Elements

The elements module in GeneratePress gives a big control to site owners to tweak their website as they want. It handles every major change made.

The Header element allows you to add as many headers as you want on your site. You can display anything anywhere.

The hook element allows you to insert hook anywhere. You can even use it to display ads or anything anywhere you want. Also, add a shortcode anywhere.

With the layout element, you can take charge of your site and do a lot of things. You can change the sidebar for a specific category. Or make site-wide changes as you please.

4. Disable element

Some times, there are some things that appear everywhere on your site you do not want to appear in a certain post or page. You may not want the same header or navigation menu for all pages.

With the disable element in GeneratePress, you can disable basic elements like header, footer, navigation menu, feature image, content title, and others that you do not want for a particular post or page.

5. Menu Plus

The Menu Plus ad on in GeneratePress gives a lot of power to decide how your site looks.

With this add on, you can create a separate header/menu for mobile. Yes, with few clicks, you can make the header/menu of your site on mobile look different. Just navigate to Appearance > Customize > Layout > Header.

GeneratePress Mobile Header Options
You can customize Mobile header

You can also with Menu Plus add sticky navigation menu to both mobile and desktop.

This add-ons give you a lot of power to easily decide the look and feel of your header and navigation menu. So many options.

6. Sections

I dislike using page builders. Because they can impact the speed of a website negatively. But GeneratePress made me have a re-think.

Sections is an inbuilt page-builder for GeneratePress. It is optional. You can activate or deactivate it.

This page-builder is simple, lightweight and fast. You will not notice any difference in load time.

So if you love page-builders, then you will love this.

7. Compatible with Elementor, Beaver Builder and other page builders

Out of the box, GeneratePress is 100% compatible with major page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, and others.

This is wonderful news for the millions of people using these page builders. You have nothing to worry about!

8. Site library

If you are starting a new website or blog and you need a layout to use, GeneratePress has an answer for that. It has a site library with many demos that you can use to start your site.

There are standard layouts. These are layouts that are made with just GeneratePress alone.

Also, there are Elementor powered layouts. Layouts built with the help of Elementor page builder.

Then, there are Beaver builder powered layouts. That is layouts built with the help of Beaver Builder.

9. Compatible with AMP transitional or standard mode

If most of your visitors are from mobile, then AMP can improve your traffic. The problem is that only few themes can let you have the full AMP experience if you are using the Google official AMP plugin.

For most themes, you will be only able to use AMP in reader mode. But with GeneratePress, you can use the transitional or standard mode which is most recommended by Google.

I tried this recently with one of my blogs. First, there is an add-on free plugin built by Tom, the founder of GeneratePress for this purpose. You can download it from GitHub. Install and activate it.

Once activated, you can switch to transitional or standard mode without issues. Note that if you have a plugin that is amp unfriendly, you may have issues. You can read how to make GeneratePress fully AMP compatible.

10. Responsive and mobile friendly.

GeneratePress is a responsive and mobile-friendly theme. It does not matter what device your users are using, this theme will look good.

What more? You even have the option to customize the look and feel of your website’s header/menu for mobile.

11. Schema built-in

Google has changed the way search work. Structure data and rich snippets are now an important part of SEO. For anyone who is interested in gaining visitors from search engines, Schema is a must.

Schema markup is built-in to GeneratePress and for most users, you do not need any additional plugin to add any markup.

As lightweight as this theme is, it packs a lot of features.

12. WooCommerce

If you run a business online using WooCommerce, GeneratePress has a WooCommerce add on. This Add on gives you layout, color, and typography options for your WooCommerce element.

You can activate this add-on by going to Appearance, then click on GeneratePress and then activate the WooCommerce element.

There are many options you will find to help your WooCommerce business.

13. Blog

The Blog add-on gives you control to how your home page, post page and all archive pages look.

You can choose if you want posts on the home page to appear in standard blog form, in columns, grid, and so on. Infinite scroll option is here.

You can control the size of your picture on the home page. This setting alone can increase site speed and scores on Speed testing tools like GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed insight, especially if you have lots of images.

You can customize how individual post page looks.

14. Typography

There are over 70 typography options to choose from. You can control how your h1 to h6 tags look.

You can customize almost every part of your site fonts, size and feel.

Here are options that typography can take care of.

GeneratePress Typography

15. Colors

There are over 60 color options in GeneratePress to make your site as colorful as you wish!

Here is an overview of color options:

GeneratePress colors

16. Translation ready

If you are building a multilingual site, then there are really no issues with GeneratePress as it is Translation ready. It supports multi-languages.

17. Spacing

The Spacing options in GeneratePress give you control over the sizes, padding, and margin of your site elements.

You can adjust header padding as you wish. And you can do it separately for desktop and mobile.

You can also control menu height and width, sidebar width, content padding, widget padding, and more.

18. Secondary Nav

With Secondary Nav, you can add second navigation with all the same options as the primary navigation.

This is important if you need more than one menu.

19. Background

The Background add-on gives a simple way to add images and other options through your website and in all elements.

Here is an overview of options:

GeneratePress Background

20. Copyright

The copyright add-on allow site owners to easily change the copyright message in GeneratePress. To change the copyright message, navigate to appearance then click on GeneratePress and activate the copyright add on. After that go to Appearance > Customize > Layout > Footer. There you can change it.

21. Search Engine Optimized

GeneratePress is optimized for search engine with built-in schema.org structured data, validated HTML, and the speed.

22. No Dependencies

GeneratePress does not pack in all the features available for the sake of it. It does not just load what is not needed.

One example is that they use vanilla JavaScript instead of JQuery. That means there are no render-blocking issues with the theme.

23. Super lightweight

With all the contents listed above, the theme is less than 30KB

And with Modular design that allows you to enable or disable things you don’t need. You can have control of how your site run.

24. One license for unlimited sites

If you have many websites to operate like me, you need not worry about buying different licenses or bigger bundles to cover all your sites.

With GeneratePress, all you need is one license and you can use it with unlimited websites.

This is very rare. I bought just one license, and I have moved 3 of my sites to GeneratePress.

And the price is cheap compared to others. It is just $49.95.

GeneratePress child theme

If you need a Child theme for GeneratePress, you can download and install it. But there are some precautions that you should take. You may need to re-upload your logo and input your copyright again.

Follow instruction from the developers.

GeneratePress support

You can access the GeneratePress support via the support forum.

Conclusion

GeneratePress is a fast and lightweight theme that is a big upgrade to many WordPress themes. Most people will notice a big difference when switching from badly coded themes.

Remember that a good theme is just one part of the equation. You also need a fast Web Host. I recommend Cloudways because of the speed and features. It is what I use for BloggingTools. If you are a beginner or low on budget, then try Bluehost.

Also, remember that bad plugins can slow down your site. Only use well coded and regularly updated/supported plugins. To make your site faster you can read: How to make WordPress very fast

Frequently Asked Questions

What is GeneratePress?

GeneratePress is a fast lightweight WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne. It is optimized for SEO out of the box; it is mobile responsive and WooCommerce ready. It is a highly rated theme with an average of 5 stars out of a possible 5 from users.

Is GeneratePress free?

Yes, GeneratePress is a free theme but with premium modules. The premium modules add exceptional functionality to build any kind of WordPress site. And you can use the premium modules for unlimited websites.

Is GeneratePress compatible with Elementor Page Builders?

Yes, GeneratePress is 100 compatible with Elementor and other Page Builders. If you have the premium module of GeneratePress, you have access to demos built with Elementor.

Is GeneratePress better than Astra?

It depends on what you are looking for. GeneratePress and Astra are both amazing themes. But in terms of speed, GeneratePress is faster by a little margin.

Mfon Abel Ekene

Mfon is passionate blogger, digital marketer and affiliate marketer with many years of exposure to every part of internet entrepreneurship. You can follow his guide on how to start a blog and also learn how to make money blogging.

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