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GeneratePress Review: Fast WordPress Theme in Free and Premium Versions

GeneratePress is a popular WordPress theme know for being lightweight and fast. Very important for bloggers who have to deal with impatient visitors to their sites…

First Impressions Matter

Many of your visitors will come from a search engine or social media link. The very first impression of your website will be how quickly, or how slowly, it loads.

A slow loading website will have a negative impact on the visitor. This makes it harder for you to achieve your business objective if the user is already frustrated with you for your slow loading website.

Creating a website and generating content can be done for free with only a few things you need to pay for. Those are:

Everything else you can start with a free version and then later upgrade.


Around 40% of internet users are more likely to abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Source: https://www.velocityconsultancy.com/why-website-speed-is-important/

Since I use the premium version of the GeneratePress theme on this website, you can already get an idea of its appearance.

Table of Contents

Speed

speed test of generatepress theme
Speed test for the GeneratePress theme

As you can see from the above speed test the GeneratePress theme is fast.

Slow loading websites will have your visitors leaving your site, even before the page has loaded. Google will notice high bounce rates (when visitors load a page and then quickly leave) and it will negatively affect your rankings. After all, Google doesn’t want to serve pages that visitors don’t want to read.

Version 3 of the GeneratePress theme is now faster, lighter and more flexible than ever.

GeneratePress Premium Theme

The Premium version of the theme allows you to customise hundreds of different settings, including:

  • Layouts
  • Fonts (including Google fonts)
  • Colours
  • Padding and Spacing
  • Sidebars
  • Navigation bars (including secondary nav bars, mobile header, sticky navigation etc)
  • and many more options…

For finer control of individual pages you can selectively disable widgets or blocks from certain pages.

Fonts

Fonts

Fonts don’t just give a unique style to your website they are important for readability. Choosing difficult to read fonts can be harmful to you, increasing bounce rates and causing your rankings to plummet!

To find the font section for the GeneratePress theme go to the Appearance section on the admin part of your website and select Customize. Then select Typography from the menu on the left.

There are two sections to configure.

The first section lets you set up fonts you will be using on your website. The advantage is that all of your fonts used on the site are in one place, you don’t need to be hunting from lots of different pages and widgets to find them.

Once you have set up your fonts the second section is to define on which elements of your site those fonts will be used.

1. Set up fonts that will be used on your site

The Font Manager will list your system fonts and Google Fonts in a single dropdown. You can filter the list by typing in the box at the top. In the screenshot below I filter the fonts to just fonts with “Sans” in their title.

adding a font to the site - GeneratePress WordPress theme

Once you have selected the font you click the Add Font button. Keep adding fonts until you have all the fonts you need for your site.

The next section will connect a target element on the website to a font you have defined above.

2. Assigning fonts to elements within your site

GeneratePress font manager

The typography manager enables you to select the font to use for different parts of the website.

The beauty of this section is that you can define the fonts used throughout your site from this one place.

Connect specific fonts for each different element.

Target elements are things like:

  • body
  • site title
  • menu items
  • headings

This gives you fine control of how each part of your website will look.

Once you select a font you can configure different settings for that font including:

  • Font Size
  • Line Height
  • Letter Spacing
  • Paragraph Bottom Margin

You can add new fonts to use from the Typography section, including Google fonts.

Layout

The Premium theme gives you lots of layout customisation for all areas of the website. Such as :

  • Header
  • Primary Navigation
  • Sidebars
  • Blog
  • Footer

Support for masonry layout on the blogs page (you can see this masonry layout on my homepage).

Support for adjustment of padding and spaces on all layouts.

Add or remove sidebars from posts and pages. Plus many other options to modify the theme to whatever style you want.

Dashboard Modules

Once you have entered your license key you unlock all the modules within the theme.

GeneratePress Dashboard Modules after license key entered

You can activate or deactivate modules depending on your needs.

Some modules such as Element and Site Library have their own sections than can be accessed from the links.

Theme Elements

This is an easily overlooked part of the theme. I know I overlooked it for a while but let me give you a good example of how using an element can save you a huge amount of time.

Imagine you have a big sale coming up, say Black Friday, with lots of your products on sale.

You want every visitor to know about it right? Not just on the home page but, ideally, on every page.

Well, you could manually add the announcement on every single page of your website. It sounds like a lot of work though… If only there was an easier way to do it.

This is where a GeneratePress element can help. In this case I am using the “hook” element. Don’t worry about that word, I’ll show you how to use it now. It’s not difficult, you can do it in a minute or less.

From the admin section of your website select Appearance -> Elements.

From the Elements page select “Add New Element”.

choose element type

From the drop down select Hook.

This is where we can define a site wide notice that will be displayed on our website. Once the sale is over we can delete the hook or change it’s status so it is no longer visible.

Add new hook

From the screenshot above you can see I have given the hook the name “Black Friday promo”. In the big box below the title I define the content I want displayed. I am keeping this example simple here by only using text but I can add HTML, styling and links if needed.

Then, on the “Display Rules” section below I define where the element should display. I set that to “Entire Site”. You can limit the hook to only posts, the front page, only media and other options.

I can also exclude certain pages if I want to. After that I can publish the element and the text should appear on every page of the website.

Not bad for one minute of work!

Global Colors

GeneratePress provides a place where all the colors used on the site can be defined and updated.

From the WordPress admin site select Appearance -> Customize and then select Colors from the left hand menu.

Setting a color scheme for your website is a common task, it’s used for branding so that your site has a consistent set of colors on all the pages.

By default GeneratePress comes with 7 colors defined. Each color has a specific purpose.

From left to right (in the image below):

  • Contrast – strongest text color
  • Contrast 2 – lighter text color
  • Contrast 3 – lightest text/border color
  • Base – dark background (strongest text still readable)
  • Base 2 – lighter background
  • Base 3 – lightest background (white)
  • Accent – main branding color
GeneratePress global colors

The advantage of having these 7 colors defined is how easy it is to change your color scheme on your website. Making a change in global colors will change the color on all the pages on your website.

From the screenshot above the different sections of the website are grouped together. You can expand a section to see all the elements in that group and assign a color, or colors, to that element.

For instance, to change the default color of Heading 1 (H1):

change the color of H1

Either choose a color from the color widget or type in the color directly (or pick one of the global colors at the bottom).

All elements on the website can have their default colors selected using this section. Using the Colors section massively reduces the amount of work needed to update your color scheme.

Experiment with it, you can always reset the colors to their default settings.

Free Theme

A free version of the theme is available here: https://downloads.wordpress.org/theme/generatepress.3.1.3.zip or download the latest version from the GeneratePress website.

Install directly from the theme admin page within WordPress. Search for “generatepress” and then install and activate the theme.

Free vs Premium

So, why would you want to upgrade to the premium version of the theme?

Well, upgrading gives you full access to the Site Library and all the advanced features in the premium version of the theme.

generatepress premium features

Premium support on any issues you have using the theme and permission to use the theme on upto 500 websites. Not bad for USD $59 per year.

GeneratePress Lifetime Plan

The Lifetime plan allows you to buy the theme for life with a one time payment of USD $249.

Complete access to all of the plugin updates and premium support for life, no worries about having to renew the license key, just pay once and you are done.

All premium features

Full access to the Site Library

Lifetime updates

Lifetime premium support

Use on up to 500 websites

30 day money-back guarantee

Site Library

The Site Library gives you quick access to many professionally designed starter kits you can use for your website. Rather than start from an empty website with no design start with a fully designed and built website.

I’m not a designer so having professional starter kits is great.

With hundreds of customization controls, professionally designed starter sites, and block-based theme building, Premium truly takes GeneratePress to the next level.

Source: GeneratePress

You can find the site library in the WordPress admin section:

Appearance -> GeneratePress then select Site Library in the horizontal menu at the top of the page.

You can filter the list of starter sites by category. There are three category: Business, e-commerce and Blog.

generatepress site library

GeneratePress and WooCommerce

The Site Library, available with the premium version of GeneratePress comes with 13 different themes for e-commerce sites.

Here is one theme available from the Site Library that uses WooCommerce.

GeneratePress woocommerce theme available from the Site Library

Demo

I don’t see a demo on the website but this website uses the premium GeneratePress theme so you have an idea how it looks.

You can always download the free version of the theme to check it out for yourself.

Blocks

GeneratePress is fully compatible with the WordPress block editor. You can use GeneratePress and the free GenerateBlocks plugin to visually design every part of your website. No need to touch any code any more.

I’ve not used this feature yet so I’ve included this video to explain:

Support

There is a support form on the website, you can find it here: https://generatepress.com/support/.

Popular articles addressing common issues are available here as well.

In addition there is documentation on theme here: https://docs.generatepress.com.

Answers to questions are answered by dedicated support staff, typically within the hour.

GeneratePress Prices

generatepress prices
The premium version has two options for purchasing. Pay yearly for USD $59 or a one time payment of USD $249.

Investing in a fast, lightweight premium theme will boost your visitor satisfaction and your ranking positions. It’s hard to rank well on Google if you have a slow website that takes forever to load.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a fast, lightweight modern WordPress theme then check out GeneratePress. I use it on this site so can personally vouch for it.

generatepress logo
  • Fast, lightweight theme
  • Plenty of configuration options
  • USD $59/year or USD $249 lifetime

1 thought on “GeneratePress Review: Fast WordPress Theme in Free and Premium Versions”

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