GeneratePress review – Best WordPress theme I’ve found in 10 years

Over the past decade, I have used a lot of different WordPress themes and have been very disappointed. With most, I still had to do a lot of customization to make it do and work the way I wanted it to. And the ones that have a lot of control are bloated and slow.

A couple of years ago I decided to give GeneratePress a try, and let me just say, it’s by far the best WordPress theme I’ve found in 10 years. I was blown away and have moved all my sites to GeneratePress. I’ll go into exactly why in my in-depth GeneratePress review below.

And if you’re wondering, yes I have tried Genesis, Astra, OceanWP, Avada, X theme, Divi, MyThemeShop, as well as many other lightweight and heavier multi-purpose themes.

GeneratePress review

GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme created by Tom Usborne, a developer from Canada. I had seen it for years in the WordPress repository.

Most of you know that I’m pretty picky when it comes to web performance, and so I tend to ignore everything in the repository. Typically because a lot of stuff on there is not that great, or not supported for long. However, in this case, that was a mistake.

The theme currently has over half a million downloads, 200,000+ active installs, with over 950 5-star ratings. So obviously Tom is doing something right here.

GeneratePress in WordPress repository
GeneratePress in WordPress repository

I actually installed the free version of the theme and in a matter of 15 minutes purchased the premium version. I could tell right off the bat, the developer was thinking exactly how I was envisioning a theme should work. And I’ll go into that more below, but let’s first look at some of the features.

I’m going to be covering the premium version of the theme because it’s worth every penny. In fact, Tom, if you ever read this and are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, coffees on me. ☕

Features

  • Super lightweight and fast. Modular design allowing you to enable/disable things you don’t want running. This is one of the biggest reasons I love GeneratePress.
  • Responsive, looks great across all devices.
  • Schema built-in, for better results in SERPs.
  • Impressive integration with the WordPress Customizer. I haven’t been a fan of the customizer in the past, but Tom does it right.
  • Compatible with all popular plugins, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, BuddyPress, bbPress, and WPML. Great browser support back to IE8.
  • It also works great with the popular fast-growing Elementor page builder. If you want to dive into even more customizations, these are a great combo. I have also read that people using Beaver Builder have had success.
  • Translation ready.
  • Elements, which allow you to basically add things anywhere you want on your site.
  • Tons of hooks and filters which make it great for developers.
  • Great active support from the developer. On average, 3 updates per month.
  • A great combo with Tom’s new plugin, GenerateBlocks. This is a small collection of lightweight WordPress blocks that can accomplish nearly anything.

The documentation is also incredible. Besides have great documentation on their site, the theme has been around long enough that everything I Googled throughout the setup process was found within a few seconds from their forum.

GeneratePress disable Google Fonts
GeneratePress disable Google Fonts

Pricing

GeneratePress is completely free, however, you will want the modules included. For $49.95 you get all 14 modules, can use it on unlimited websites, and get one year of support and updates. It’s definitely worth the money. I have already moved woorkup into GeneratePress and am working on moving over eight more sites. So a total of nine websites will be running on GeneratePress by the time I am done. $49.95 is a steal if you ask me!

Here are the modules that are included:

  • Colors: Easily color any element you can think of in the customizer.
  • Typography: Choose font sizes, font families (including Google Fonts), font weights and more. You can also use system fonts so you don’t have to load any font files!
  • WooCommerce: Take control of your WooCommerce store with new typography, color & layout options.
  • Elements: Dynamic page heros, an advanced hook system, and custom theme layouts. This allows you to add your own custom content throughout various areas in the theme.
  • Sections: Easily create seamless sections inside your pages to build unique layouts.
  • Menu Plus: Add a sticky menu (fade, slide or no transition), menu logo, mobile header, and a slide-out menu!
  • Blog: Display your posts in columns (magazine) or masonry. Change the post image size and alignment, plus much more.
  • Backgrounds: Upload background images to various areas throughout GeneratePress.
  • Spacing: Control element spacing including your header, content, widgets, menu items, and sidebar width.
  • Secondary Nav: Add a second navigation element to GeneratePress with all the same options as your primary navigation.
  • Copyright: Add your own custom copyright message at the bottom of your website.
  • Disable Elements: Disable specific elements on certain pages and posts such as the header, navigation, content title, and footer.
  • Hooks: Add new options to your Dashboard that allow you to add in your own custom content throughout various areas in the theme.
  • Import Export: Easily export and import your settings from the customizer!

Oh and don’t forget, you get a 40% discount on renewals. So it gets a lot cheaper to keep using GeneratePress.

Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. – Peter Drucker

Diving into GeneratePress

Now it’s time for the fun part! I always test a new theme right out of the box without any customizations to just see how fast the base is. This tells me a lot of what I can expect by the time I add everything to it. Running the stock GeneratePress WordPress theme on Kinsta hosting clocked in at a whopping 265 ms load time. I was very impressed.

speed test

One thing I was worried about with GeneratePress was that the modular design was going to generate a lot of big files, but that is not the case. You can tell that Tom literally worked hard on making sure that every file loaded in GeneratePress is as small as possible. With HTTP/2, the number of files isn’t as important. But the size is! Take a look at some of the core GeneratePress files below:

  • /generatepress/css/unsemantic-grid.min.css 2.9 KB
  • /generatepress/style.css 7.1 KB
  • /generatepress/css/mobile.min.css 1.6 KB
  • /generatepress/js/navigation.min.js 1.1 KB
  • /generatepress/js/dropdown.min.js 1.5 KB
GeneratePress small files
GeneratePress small files

This is a developer that cares about performance! And I have seen the same throughout all of the premium modules. They are literally as small as you can possibly get them. In fact, Font Awesome is probably the biggest file included. And that isn’t even his. With Font Awesome 5 coming around the corner, we can expect that to get smaller too.

well done
Well done (img src: Pinterest)

The premium modules are set up in what I would call a modular design. You can activate/deactivate anything you aren’t using to ensure they don’t load on your site. As the co-developer of the Perfmatters plugin which has a script manager built-in, I felt right at home with this. Everything should be designed this way.

GeneratePress modules
GeneratePress modules

If you’re curious, I am using the following modules on this site:

  • Blog
  • Colors
  • Copyright
  • Elements
  • Menu Plus
  • Spacing
  • Typography

No child theme needed

One of the best features of GeneratePress is that I no longer have to use a Child theme. This makes my life so much easier. No more editing my functions.php or header.php files. I can literally update my GeneratePress theme this very minute and not lose a single customization.

The Elements module definitely helps make this possible. It allows you to add custom code/PHP and hooks anywhere throughout your WordPress site.

Author bio box

An example of an element and hook would be my author bio box that you see at the bottom of this post. You can elements just about anywhere on your site, in your header, content section, after content, footer, etc.

GeneratePress author bio box

If you want my author bio box code, here it is. I’ve tweaked this so the links open in a new tab by default. I like to add a link to Twitter in my bio box.

<div class="author-box">
	<div class="avatar"><?php echo get_avatar( get_the_author_meta( 'ID' ));?></div>
	<h5 class="author-title"><?php printf( get_the_author_meta( 'display_name') );?></h5>
	<div class="author-summary">
		<p class="author-description"><?php echo links_add_target(get_the_author_meta( 'description' )); ?></p>
	</div>
</div>

You will want to check the “Execute PHP” box and for the hook, use after_content. You could place this anywhere you want. Then under Display Rules you can choose that you only want it to show on your blog posts.

GeneratePress element display rules

You will also need a little CSS to style the author bio box. You can simply drop this in the WordPress Customizer under Additional CSS.

.author-description {
    margin-bottom:5px;
}
.author-box {
    padding: 4%;
    margin-top: 30px;
    display: flex;
    flex-wrap: wrap;
	background-color: #fafafa;
}
.author-box a {
    border-bottom: 2px solid rgba(45, 130, 230, 0.4);
}
.author-box .avatar {
    width: 40px;
    border-radius: 100%;
    margin-right: 20px;
}
h5.author-title {
    margin-bottom: 0.5em;
	  font-size:1.5em;
}

Here is how the author box looks. You can, of course, customize the CSS to match the look of your site.

GeneratePress author box

Code snippets

Another great combination to use with GeneratePress is the free Code Snippets plugin. This allows you to add custom PHP which you simply want to run across your entire site. Tom, in fact, recommends this plugin in the GeneratePress documentation. You can see below that I have functions running for all sorts of things.

Code Snippets

Here are a few PHP functions I use with GeneratePress:

Read more button snippet

This function adds the read more button on the front blog page.

add_filter( 'wp_trim_excerpt', 'tu_excerpt_metabox_more' );
function tu_excerpt_metabox_more( $excerpt ) {
	$output = $excerpt;
        $settings = wp_parse_args( 
		get_option( 'generate_blog_settings', array() ), 
		generate_blog_get_defaults() 
	);
	
	if ( has_excerpt() ) {
		$output = sprintf('%1$s <br /><a class="read-more" href="%2$s">%3$s  →</a>',
			$excerpt,
			get_permalink(),
                        wp_kses_post( $settings['read_more'] )
		);
	}
	
	return $output;
}

Default Block Editor styles snippet

The block editor (Gutenberg) is still a little weird when it comes to styling and themes. Because of this, I simply have this snippet that defaults the editor back to the WordPress core version. This makes writing a lot nicer.

add_filter( 'generate_show_block_editor_styles', '__return_false' );

Perfmatters lazy load exclusions

I have lazy loading enabled in our Perfmatters plugin. However, I don’t want the logo on this site or the featured images lazy-loaded. The reason is this creates a weird flash. So I simply add this snippet of code to basically not lazy load anything at the top of the page.

/*add_filter('generate_logo_output', 'tu_logo_class', 10, 3);
function tu_logo_class($output, $logo_url, $html_attr) {
  $html_attr = str_replace('class="', 'class="no-lazy ', $html_attr);
	printf(
		'<div class="site-logo">
			<a href="%1$s" title="%2$s" rel="home">
				<img %3$s />
			</a>
		</div>',
		esc_url( apply_filters( 'generate_logo_href' , home_url( '/' ) ) ),
		esc_attr( apply_filters( 'generate_logo_title', get_bloginfo( 'name', 'display' ) ) ),
		$html_attr
	);
}*/

function perfmatters_lazyload_exclude_attributes($attributes) {
  $attributes[] = 'class="header-image"';
  $attributes[] = 'class="attachment-full size-full';

  return $attributes;
}
add_filter('perfmatters_lazyload_excluded_attributes', 'perfmatters_lazyload_exclude_attributes');

You can also check out more of Tom’s public 250+ Gists, which were all developed for GeneratePress.

Other things I love about GeneratePress

On each page/post you have a lot of options. You can change the sidebar layout and the footer widgets.

Sidebar layout and footer widgets
Sidebar layout and footer widgets

You can easily swap a page between the default to a full width page, as well as disable elements.

Page builder and disable elements
Page builder and disable elements

The WordPress customizer options are where GeneratePress really shines! Remember, a lot of these options are enabled by the premium modules. I can’t show you everything, otherwise, we would be here all day. But let me show you a couple which really come in handy.

Customizer layout options

Here are just a few of the many customizer layout options. You can easily change the container width of the page, the spacing, padding, etc… on every single element!

Layout options
GeneratePress Layout options

Colors

Here are just a few of the many color options.

GeneratePress colors
GeneratePress colors

Typography

Here are just a few of the many typography options. You can control everything via the WordPress customizer.

GeneratePress typography
GeneratePress typography

I use system fonts on my websites and in previous themes I have had to add additional custom CSS to make that work. No more! GeneratePress has the option to use system fonts (system stack) right out of the box.

Blog

Here are just a few of the many blog options. This allows me to easily have a full width featured image on my front blog page, or use my smaller featured images and the text to the right of the image. Again, in previous themes, I have added custom CSS for the second option. In GeneratePress it’s just a few clicks to change it up.

GeneratePress blog
GeneratePress blog

With that being said, I have customized my workup site a little. I’ve had some of you ask how I got my front page to look like it is. Well, here are the steps.

  1. Go to “Layout → Blog” and under Featured Images for archives, set the location to “Below Title” and “Left aligned.”
  2. Input a width of 300px by 150px for the cropped thumbnails on the front page.
  3. Set the content type to “Excerpt.” I keep the word count at 55.
  4. Add the Read More snippet as I showed above.
  5. Add the following CSS to the WordPress customizer.
.read-more {margin-top: 10px; float: right;}
  1. Make sure to write an excerpt for each of your blog posts.

Your layout show now look like this below. You might need to tweak the colors of your background in GeneratePress. I’m simply using a white background so you don’t see the separate containers.

woorkup blog posts

Updated date on blog posts

The developer even has things such as the post and publish date on posts built-in. As many of you know, I prefer using the updated date on my posts because I spend a lot of time updating old content. This can easily be swapped out with a little CSS.

Drop the following into the WordPress Customizer under Additional CSS.

.posted-on .updated {
     display: inline;
 }
 .posted-on a time:nth-child(2) {
     display: none;
 }
 .posted-on a time:first-child:before {
     content: "Updated: ";
 }
 .posted-on a time:last-child:before {
     content: "Published: ";
 }

The above code will show “Published” when you first publish a post and it will then change to “Updated” once you have made any changes. And yes, this is fully compliant with Schema.

SVG logo and favicon in GeneratePress

Want to use an SVG logo in GeneratePress? Of course you do! All you need to do is install the free Safe SVG plugin. By default, WordPress won’t let you upload the SVG media type for security reasons.

SVG logo in GeneratePress
SVG logo in GeneratePress

You also don’t need to worry about a favicon. As of WordPress 4.3, you can upload a site icon and it will automatically crop it and generate all the different icons for your site: favicon, mobile apps, etc.

GeneratePress site icon
Site Icon

GenerateBlocks

Tom, the developer of GeneratePress, recently released GenerateBlocks. This is a small collection of lightweight WordPress blocks that can accomplish nearly anything. Note: This is still in beta, but I’m using it on my production sites already.

I now use blocks for everything on my sites. In fact, I rebuilt my entire e-commerce site (EDD), perfmatters.io, using GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks with no code! In fact, I was able to strip out 157 lines of custom code I previously had. Amazing.

Ecommerce suite built with GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks
Ecommerce suite built with GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks

You might be wondering how is this different than a page builder? Well, here’s how. Tom, as always, focused entirely on performance.

GenerateBlocks only adds one CSS file per page, which contains all of the CSS generated by your options. There is no javascript or inline CSS – it’s all in one, tidy place. So in my opinion, this is the best of both worlds. I can build anything I can imagine, without all the bloat.

Below is a screenshot of what the homepage above looks like in the block editor using GenerateBlocks. You can see how I built the entire page using blocks. Another awesome thing is that you can copy/paste an entire page of blocks to a completely different site, and it comes across perfectly!

Block editor using GenerateBlocks
Block editor using GenerateBlocks

Responsive columns

Previously with GeneratePress, I used Tom’s awesome and free Lightweight Grid Columns plugin. Its features include:

  • Desktop grid width
  • Tablet grid width
  • Mobile grid width
  • Add custom classes
  • Add custom inline styles
  • Equal height columns

While that is still a great plugin, with GenerateBlocks, you can now take advantage of the responsive grid block. This means I was able to get rid of the column plugin altogether.

Responsive grid block in GenerateBlocks
Responsive grid block in GenerateBlocks

A great example of how to use this is the features section on the homepage of perfmatters.io. I drew boxes where the grids are below so that you can see what is happening behind the scenes.

Grids
Grids

You might want to also grab Tom’s amazing WP Show Posts plugin too. See my featured articles on the sidebar of this site? That is using the WP Show Posts plugin. I have it set to show posts from a specific “featured” category. You can also have it show last modified/updated posts, recent posts, etc. I’m using the free version and it works great.

Featured posts sidebar
Featured posts sidebar

SVG icons

The awesome thing about GeneratePress in terms of performance is that it doesn’t include FontAwesome out of the box. FontAwesome is great, but it’s also huge in terms of page weight.

GeneratePress includes its own basic SVG icons. However, the best feature by far in GenerateBlocks, is that you can paste in the SVG code of any icon you want. This is amazing! No more packaging up icon packs, now you can easily add only what you need.

SVG inline icon
SVG inline icon

Pricing table

Mike Oliver helps GeneratePress with its design and UI. He recently shared how he built pricing tables with nothing but GenerateBlocks. I gave this a go, and it’s pretty awesome! I was able to ditch my pricing table plugin entirely.

Pricing table with GenerateBlocks
Pricing table with GenerateBlocks

Speed tests

For those of you who are regular readers, you probably didn’t even notice that I changed the entire theme that powers woorkup.com. It only took me about an hour to get GeneratePress to mimic my MyThemeShop theme which I had spent a year customizing. Here is a comparison below.

woorkup.com old MyThemeShop theme

My old MyThemeShop theme was already pretty fast, but I spent a lot of time customizing it. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from you guys asking me to publish all of my customizations. My advice now is, just get GeneratePress!

MyThemeShop theme speed test
MyThemeShop theme speed test

woorkup.com new GeneratePress theme

With the new GeneratePress theme I was able to achieve faster speeds and 600 fewer lines of code! And remember, I don’t have a child theme. All the customizations were made using the awesome GP hooks and snippets plugin (both CSS and PHP).

GeneratePress theme speed test
GeneratePress theme speed test

Like the WordPress theme I have running on woorkup? You’re in luck. Tom asked if he could create a copy of woorkup for the new GeneratePress site library. I’m happy to let you know that you can now install my woorkup theme on your GeneratePress site with just a single click! It’s called the Marketer theme. Get started with a great blog layout instantly.

GeneratePress Marketer WordPress theme
GeneratePress Marketer WordPress theme

Custom CSS used on woorkup

If you prefer to customize the GeneratePress theme yourself to try and match woorkup, you can do that too. Many people have asked for the custom CSS I’m using. So I’ve created a gist where you can grab it: woorkup.css.

Each section is commented so you can see what the CSS is being used for, such as /*images*/ or /*wp show posts widget*/.

Also, here is a gist for the author sidebar widget. Many of the other things you see around this site are all documented above. But if you have questions about how I did something with GeneratePress, feel free to ask below in the comments.

brianleejackson.com old Array Theme’s theme

I also moved over my personal site, brianleejackson.com, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal site, as I don’t use it for much. As you can see it already loaded pretty fast.

Array Themes speed test
Array Themes speed test

brianleejackson.com new GeneratePress theme

I was able to duplicate the entire look 100% in GeneratePress in under an hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was even able to get rid of a few plugins that weren’t needed because of GeneratePress.

GeneratePress theme speed test
GeneratePress theme speed test

forgemedia.io old Array Theme’s theme

I also moved over our business site, forgemedia.io, to GeneratePress. Previously I was using a theme from Array Themes. It is a pretty basic minimal site, as we simply use it for our LLC. As you can see it already loaded pretty fast.

Array Themes speed test
Array Themes speed test

forgemedia.io new GeneratePress theme

I was able to again move everything over and get it looking exactly how I wanted it in under an hour. And as you can see it loads even faster! Amazing. I was able to get rid of a total of four plugins and it dropped my total page weight 2x!

GeneratePress theme speed test
GeneratePress theme speed test

I can’t express my excitement about finding GeneratePress and I am moving over all of my sites to it (which includes some EDD e-commerce sites). Once I have my 9 sites all running in GP without any child themes, my life will be a breeze! The developer has restored my faith in multi-purpose themes, and that when done the right way, can actually perform faster.

And the best news is, I now have a billion more options to choose from than I did before.

Visit GeneratePress

Summary

Your theme is your visitor’s image of your website. So make it a good one!

I would love to hear what you think about GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks. Did any of you faithful readers even know I changed my theme a couple of weeks ago haha? I also hear that it works amazingly with Elementor, although personally, GeneratePress does everything I need right now.

Have any questions about GeneratePress? I know it pretty well now, so feel free to ask anything you want.

6
Brian Jackson

I craft actionable content and develop performance-driven WordPress plugins. Connect on Twitter or subscribe to my newsletter (twice a month, no spam).

167 thoughts on “GeneratePress review – Best WordPress theme I’ve found in 10 years”

  1. I just purchased the premium version of GeneratePress based on your post, and I’m looking forward to using it in future site builds. Like you, I may also convert some old sites to GP. Thanks for the excellent comprehensive review.

    Reply
    • Awesome Anita! Ya I am working on moving all my sites over. Really looking forward to finally having everything in one theme, but still keep my performance.

      Reply
      • Hi,
        Very well done, keep up the good work!
        Here is my question: since you say that GP is “one if the best”, what the other themes that belong to this category?
        Thanks.
        Bo

        Reply
  2. We’re ALWAYS looking for ways to improve speed AND retain customizability, so your post certainly caught my attention. My question is, “How do you foresee GeneratePress being able to (generally) replicate SkyrocketWP (https://skyrocketwp.com)?” Alternatively, I could ask, “Does GeneratePress allow for flexibility that’s on point with Divi?”

    Reply
    • Hey Chad! Yes, it is very flexible, especially if you use the Sections and Page Header add-ons which are included. I’m moving over my EDD sites right now, so maybe ask me again in a couple weeks… as I will have some e-commerce sites in GeneratePress that more closely resemble your site.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing your Review.
    I know Generate Press is really good theme and I used it for a while as a free. Yes then change it to Spacious Pro theme on my Ease Bedding Dot Com.

    Reply
    • Definitely! I am moving a gluten-free site to it, a financial site, this woorkup site is a marketing site. I am also moving 2 e-commerce sites to it. So you can use it with any niche. That is the beauty of it.

      Reply
  4. Hi Brian,
    Great News and I also use it for my websites from July. One suggestion for you updated post CSS shows updated post date with original date and it’s hidden in your theme code that means google still see your original published date.
    Add these code in your code snippet plugin.
    /** GeneratePress Author Date Remover **/
    if ( ! function_exists( 'generate_posted_on' ) ) :
    /**
    * Prints HTML with meta information for the current post-date/time and author.
    */
    function generate_posted_on() {

    if ( 'post' !== get_post_type() )
    return;

    if ( get_the_time( 'U' ) !== get_the_modified_time( 'U' ) )
    $time_string .= '%4$s';

    $time_string = sprintf( $time_string,
    esc_attr( get_the_date( 'c' ) ),
    esc_html( get_the_date() ),
    esc_attr( get_the_modified_date( 'c' ) ),
    esc_html( get_the_modified_date() )
    );

    printf( __( '%1$s %2$s', 'generatepress' ),
    sprintf( '%1$s',
    $time_string
    ),
    sprintf( '%1$s %2$s',
    __( 'by','generatepress'),
    esc_html( get_the_author() )
    )
    );
    }
    endif;

    Reply
  5. Brian, superb review about GeneratePress. I watched all the videos (premium), pretty awesome. I am thinking to switch my current theme to GP. Thanks for sharing your findings!

    Reply
  6. Brian,
    A great review, very detailed with excellent recommendations. Since you mention Elementor page builder, I was wondering how it may work with Beaver Builder?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  7. Hey, awesome post, Brian! I am also a big fan of GeneratePress too. I’m curious though, how did you keep such a close design between your old theme and new GeneratePress theme? Was it a lot of custom code?

    Reply
    • That’s the best part… no. I didn’t edit the theme once. I did use some code snippets to hook in, which are shared above. And a little CSS. But to be honest, everything was configured using GP options. The header, menu, search, sidebar, featured images, etc… everything was done with GP premium add-ons :)

      Reply
  8. Would you like to do a review on another theme? The Astra theme. On their website the author of the Autoptimize plugin gives a comment:
    “Great theme, clean design, no cruft, performance built-in. And does not require jQuery. I’m a fan!” Frank Goossens

    Reply
    • Hey Hud!
      Yes, I’m very familiar with Astra and have used it many times when working on client’s sites. However, I very much prefer how GeneratePress is structured. Also, Tom (the GeneratePress developer) just released GenerateBlocks and the combo is a match made in heaven. I use GeneratePress for all of my sites.

      Reply
  9. Awesome post Brian! I have heard lot’s of nice things about GeneratePress theme. Do give OceanWP a try. It’s great too and it deep integration with WooCommerce is miles above the rest.

    Reply
    • Hey Collins, yes I tried OceanWP. It’s definitely great as well. However, I preferred how things in GeneratePress were setup. Also, I use EDD for my plugins, not WooCommerce, so that wasn’t a factor. Although I know GP has great WooCommerce integration.

      Reply
  10. Many thanks for this review Brian!

    I went out and picked up a copy of the theme and premium plugin after reading this review and I can’t begin to say how much I love this theme. I’ve been looking for a new theme that functions more as a framework than an overloaded theme and this is it.

    I used to use Woo Framework (with Canvas) and Genesis but neither can hold a candle to GeneratePress. Page speed results are consistently fantastic and integration with Woo Commerce is great too (although you’ll need to go through all the same WC neutering to keep it from seal clubbing your apache load).

    The author provides fabulous support and user community is actually helpful and it isn’t just a string of “me too” replies for questions or issues. Remember when things used to be that way?

    There’s also a terrific snippet collection at https://gist.github.com/generatepress.

    You’ll want to download the author’s plugin for column shortcodes: https://wordpress.org/plugins/lightweight-grid-columns/ and I highly recommend the premium WP Show Posts plugin as well: https://wpshowposts.com/

    Reply
    • Awesome, glad it was helpful Drew and thanks for taking the time to comment! I just finished migrating my 5th site over to GeneratePress last night and couldn’t be happier. I use also use the lightweight grid columns plugin. Doesn’t Tom think of everything? :)

      GeneratePress is helping make my life so much easier.

      Reply
      • I’m 8/10 in conversions and have never had an easier time with it. The only thing I’ve found missing is an equally handy button shortcode to pair with the columns. It’s miniscule gripe though and shouldn’t even rise to the level of thinking about concern over using the theme. Just download it.

        I really appreciate the in-depth review here from the perspective of performance (on the issues that really matter) and the nod to legacy development and support. These are going to be the factors that separate quality from flash as the months tick by and the more light we can focus on the former, the better.

        Reply
    • Yes, you can easily edit it still. However, the beautify of this theme is usually you don’t have to. Or you can use a third-party plugin like Code Snippets and skip a child theme altogether.

      Reply
  11. This was one of the first themes I bought and it’s incredible. I still use it.

    The thing that I love the most is the support. So fast and efficient.
    GP + Elementor Pro = The best

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Hey Sebastian,
      Couldn’t agree more, the support from Tom on GeneratePress is incredible! And yes, I know a lot of people using Elementor with it.

      Reply
  12. Hello Brian! Thanks for all the knowledge you share, it’s great!

    What are the biggest differences between GP and Genesis?

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • Hey Pablo,
      It’s been a while since I last tried Genesis… however, I think GeneratePress is much easier to understand and customize, especially for beginners. I’m also a big fan of how Tom does his hooks once you dive into it a little deeper. He also is obsessed with performance which I love. In GeneratePress 2 he added caching of CSS and system font stack by default.

      Reply
  13. Hi,
    Thanks for the Generatepress review.
    I am currently using Divi.
    I am considering switching to a full redesign using the paid version of the WP Types suite. they have a starter theme, but also recommended starting with GeneratePress or Ocean WP.

    So have you used WP Types with either of the themes? any feedback?
    Also, is GeneratePress “RTL” compatible?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Atef,
      I have personally never used WP Types, so I can’t really comment on that. Although I have heard good things. Also, GeneratePress is RTL compatible :)

      Reply
    • Hey Jason, I just tweaked my “updated” snippet above and check out the CSS below that you’ll want. That should fix it up for you :) Just drop it in the default WP Customizer for CSS, or if you’re using a third-party CSS code plugin that will work too.

      Reply
  14. Hello brian!!

    Just picked up this wonderful theme :)

    I added the code you mentionedto have “Post Updated” on my posts but it doesnt work well on my site. It just says “Updated: By AuthorName”

    It doesn’t show the date.. What am I missing?? Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Hey Rob! Oh, I forgot to add the CSS I’m using. I use the default WP customizer now for this as it actually has syntax code editing and I don’t need that many CSS tweaks with GP. Add this, and it should fix your issue:

      .posted-on .updated {
      display: block;
      float:left;
      margin-right: 3px;
      }

      I’ll update the post above with this info too. Thanks for catching that.

      Reply
  15. I tried GeneratePress (premium) along with Astra (pro), I preferred Astra and bought a lifetime licence. It works well with Elementor Pro – as does GeneratePress. Astra also claims to be very fast but I am not technical enough to get into the nitty gritty. Both seem similar to me but Astra is fairly new.
    Thanks for the review, very informative.

    Reply
    • No problem, yes both are very similar. I prefer GeneratePress myself as it is slightly less bloated, but both are lightweight compared to everything else.

      Reply
      • I actually purchased GP again to test the difference. It was quite a bit quicker for the same site than with the Astra theme. Just over one second quicker. Also, I am able to change the blog layout a bit more to my liking.
        There are a few little things Astra did well but for sheer speed and clean design, GP is very impressive.

        Reply
  16. Hi Brian,
    Thanks for this review. I think you have updated with lots of fresh golden nuggets that I read last time.

    I applied your code snippet for read more tags but when I use the button format (set via Generatepress) it results in the same old URL structure like site.com/permalink/#5456.

    When I use simple read more “text” and not button, your code works but that text gets mixed excerpt.

    Can you please help.
    -Swadhin

    Reply
  17. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post! I installed GeneratePress and within the hour I bought the Premium version. It’s the best theme ever!
    I tried to explain how I feel in my GP-review, where I also mention you post.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply
    • Hey Cecilia,
      Glad you liked my review. I was kind of the same way. I have used more themes than I can count over the past decade, and fell in love with GeneratePress within minutes. It just clicks. Haha, I also bought the premium version in under an hour of using the free version as well.

      Thanks for the mention of my post in your review, I appreciate it. Glad to have another GP friend :)

      Reply
  18. Please, I have a serious problem, whenever I am writing a blog post with more than 2000 words, my WordPress editor starts slowing down, right now I am writing a post of more than 4000 words and it’s just unbearable. I am using generatepress, please tell me how you are able to write long blog posts without WordPress text editor slowing down and killing your vibe.

    Reply
  19. Have you tried the Astra theme? If so how does it compare to GeneratePress? I am looking for WooCommerce Theme. Does GP work with WooCommerce? Finally, do you have any thoughts on Beaver Builder vs. Elementor? I am trying to finalize the ideal combination for a new WooCommerce site. Thank you.

    Reply
    • I recently tried the Astra theme, while it is fast and pretty lightweight it was still way too bloated for what I personally like. GeneratePress is the cleanest theme I’ve ever used. Yes, GeneratePress works great with WooCommerce and EDD.

      I’m not a huge user of page builders, but if I was to choose one, I would go with Elementor. Hopefully, that helps :)

      Reply
  20. We are developing a community website with several editors each updating different pages or adding to a common posts page. We are thinking of upgrading to Premium by purchasing one copy – does the architecture still allow multiple editors?

    Reply
    • Hey Dave, yes one copy will work fine. That isn’t limited by the theme, but rather by WordPress itself and WordPress supports multiple editors just fine.

      Reply
  21. Hi Brian,

    A theme change has been in my agenda for a while now, your review has convinced me to go “the GeneratePress” path. Would pick the pro and see what I can achieve with it. Thanks again for this detailed review and do have a productive week ahead.

    PS: Moving from genesis framework.

    Reply
  22. Hello Brian Jackson,

    I accedently used GP. Previouly I used to love genesis and customize them but now for all my client work I use GP with Elementor.

    Anyways thanks for post I liked it.

    Reply
  23. I tried GeneratePress (premium) along with Astra (pro), but still it’s not that much good for my personal experience, is there any alternative with more benefits like code spinner or permalink addons?

    Reply
    • Not sure what you are wanting to do? GeneratePress does literally everything :) I use it for my blogs, my eCommerce sites, and niche sites. I’m not familiar with code spinning.

      Reply
  24. I have not yet tried this theme yet, but hearing some awesome reviews everywhere about this theme. Recently I have shifted to focus blog theme and I read many positive reviews about Generatepress compared to thrive themes.

    Reply
  25. Hey Brian,

    Great review on what I thought it was almost impossible, getting that type of speed for bulky, heavy on content, sites! Actually getting obsessed with loading speed as 2 of my sites are requiring it.

    Is this theme performing great on mobile (if you’ve tested it here too?)

    Regards from the Atlantic brother…

    Francis

    Reply
  26. Hello Brian Jackson,

    I Use Generate press long time. My site is fully customized in generatepress. It’s customization option is pretty good from others
    Anyways thanks for post I liked it.

    Reply
  27. I could have written this review. Like you, I kept seeking an all-purpose theme that was fast, simple and extremely versatile for client sites. I found GeneratePress a couple of years ago, and never consider another theme for any project. Whatever I need to do, I can easily do with GeneratePress. It’s also the most reliable responsive theme I’ve hit — some sites I haven’t had to touch any mobile settings.

    Reply
  28. Hi, Brian
    Thank you so much for your post, I am newbie for wordpress and use also generatepress. I would like to make my blog page just as the layout of your site https://woorkup.com, which means each post is boxed, while mine with generatepress is simply posts list without division between them. How do you get the card effect framed posts? Sorry for my easy question, maybe silly to you, but it really blocked me here. Thank you very much

    Reply
  29. Great article. I was referred to GP and after reading your article now I know this is the theme for me.. Because of your great content I also subscribed to your email.. Thanks.

    Reply
  30. Its a great article. I thought it was almost impossible, getting that type of speed for bulky, heavy on content, sites! So thanks for sharing such a awesome article with us.

    Reply
  31. Hi Brian,
    thx for this interesting post. I am tempted to try GP, but here’s something I am currently thinking about this:

    – the most benefits of (my) child-theme is, that it includes all those snippets I frequently use, along with my favorite css styles.

    If I understand correctly, GP writes all those information to the WP-database, hence, I need to re-create all those things again when spinning off a new website, or creating a variation of the site I’m currently working on.

    Using a child-theme, applying changes is done by simply copying the theme-folder to any site I want to use it (same for Multisite). That doesn’t seem to be possible in GP.

    Is this assumption right, or do I miss something?

    thx
    andy

    Reply
    • Hey Andy! You can in fact still use child themes with GeneratePress. Check out their documentation. Although ever since switching over to GP + the free code snippets plugin, I’ve simply ditched child themes altogether and it’s made my life easier.

      Reply
  32. Hi Brian,

    thx for your reply.

    My comment was merely meant to describe the way I usually work. I know this mileage varies, but I’m always interested to get the basics done as fast as possible. If I could get easily rid of my child-theme, that would be awesome!

    For that reason, I the SQLite-Integration on quite some of my WP test-installations (which works fine, but not with all themes/plugins), so writing the basic setup to the database would not be a show-stopper. Unfortunately SQLite is not officially supported by WP ( :( ), which is a bummer, because using SQLite makes move, copy or backup sites as easy as pie.

    Anyway, your post made me install GeneratePress on one of my test-stites and it works really great. But currently I am not really sure I am going to use it, because – although it is really fast – there are too many tiny details missing for my most basic needs (e.g. sticky/transparent headers, fullwidth containers), etc… which immediately require the ‘Pro’ version. (OK, tbh 39$ is not a big deal, but anyway…).

    I am currently looking at the new Flexia-theme, which seems to have a decent set of features in the free version already…

    Right now, I don’t have too much time to play with it, but I will look at it from time to time and compare to some of those new lightweight themes (e.g. Astra, Flexia, OceanWP, etc…), since I am looking for a good way to drop LayersWP (which I really loved and used a lot, but it seems, the developers don’t maintain it seriously any more). Also I really like the module handling of GP, to include just what I need!

    Anyway, it’s always great to have good options and GP is definitely in the top-ten…

    Andy

    Reply
  33. Hey Brian,

    This review is great. Your excitement reminds me of how I felt when I discovered GeneratePress a few years back.
    Tom is an amazing developer with a really strict philosophy. Like yourself, I have the pleasure of working with him on some collaborations and this is why I know GP is so special… Because I’ve seen what goes into it.

    I’m really glad you love it, and great to see you sharing your functions and snippets. I have a bunch in my cacher account.

    That snippet to put the updated date in the blog… Did you just replace the core function with your own?

    Cheers
    Paul

    Reply
  34. Wow, Really detailed review. I’m thinking of purchasing this theme for months, Maybe I’ll just go ahead and get it now.

    Reply
    • Thanks Manoj! Trust me… you won’t be sorry. I’m using GeneratePress across all of my sites and it just keeps getting better and better. The developer is amazing.

      Reply
  35. Hi! I have decided to buy Generate Press. But I have a kinda silly doubt: If I switch my wordpress theme, would my SEO results be affected?

    Reply
    • Great decision Ericka :) If you’re using a plugin like Yoast SEO you should be fine. Your titles, meta description, etc… should all remain the same. Structure can impact things a little bit… but as long as your articles all appear basically the same… you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

      Reply
  36. In the world of website building/switching themes: Is it a case of finding a theme that is faster than the current one, and then applying it to what you already have and then trying to get your site to look like it did before by manipulating it in the new theme?? Seems like an endless trial..

    Reply
    • It was until GeneratePress :) I use it on all of my websites, both blogs and eCommerce sites. Have had it on them for over a year now. By far one of the best developers in the WordPress community. Am looking forward to many more years with it.

      Reply
  37. I used GeneratePress theme on one of my sites a few years ago. It was a great theme but now they have added Elementor and Beaver page builders. Since they are providing a lot of features and add-ons, I think I should buy this theme. And your article is so compelling. I will definitely use it on one of my sites. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Sunny! Oh yes, I definitely recommend giving it another look. With its new hooks, elements, and sections, you’ll probably find you don’t even need a page builder with it :) It can do a lot now on its own.

      Reply
  38. Hey, I’m just learning how to use GeneratePress myself. I love it, but I need to learn how to make blog posts look nicer, and how to use those hooks. I like that FAQ you got there and the checkmarks you used. I’m sure that’s super easy to do haha, so I should learn how! How did you do the check marks? CSS in the text editor? Cheers, and nice review!

    Reply
    • Hey Imtiaz! Yes, GeneratePress theme is awesome. There is a lot of support documentation on their website. I’m not sure which checkmarks you are referring to? I rarely do any custom code in the posts themselves.

      Reply
  39. Nice write-up, Brian.

    I’ve had GP premium for years now but never dug into it until bc I’ve always relied on MyThemeShop themes as well, but they’ve gotten very stale lately.

    Slowly moving some sites over to GP though. Tom is awesome and it’s an amazing theme at a ridiculous price point.

    You should check out Shortcodes Ultimate Shortcode Creator to add to the mix.

    GeneratePress + Code Snippets + Shortcodes Ultimate Custom Shortcodes = winning bigly

    Cheers

    Reply
  40. Great to see a expert and sincere theme review. Any chance we’ll be seeing an update soon? Be great to hear your take on the latest free theme and plugin updates, especially the Elements module that revolutionises Hooks and Page Headers. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Thanks David! Yes, I will be getting some of my blog posts updated over the holidays. My GeneratePress review is at the top of the list. 😉 It has only gotten better with time.

      Reply
  41. I switched my cooking blog from genesis to generatepress. That is a great thing after finding your article.
    You are an expert, I am sure you do the same thing on all your blogs. Great theme, great review.

    Reply
  42. I have been using Generate Press (The Free Version) and was researching the Pro Version when I came across your review. Thank you for sharing your review … awesome review!

    I was concerned about what would happen once I upgraded to WordPress 5.0 and I am happy to say no issues for me at this time.

    On my upcoming Pay Day I will be giving up Genesis and going with Generate Press – I am very impressed.

    Reply
  43. Bought and Installed this theme yesterday and holy shit it’s fast!

    I love the minimalistic design, why didn’t I buy it sooner!

    Tried many templates, hated them all (bye mythemeshop, x theme, divi, genesis, etc).

    50 bucks and unlimited use, it’s a steal.

    Totally going to take you up on your customization tips. Nice post, well done!

    Reply
  44. Great post. I came here while searching for GeneratePress reviews & impressed with the features you explained here. It looks promising and going to buy this.

    Thanks for guiding me on this,
    Cheers!

    Reply
  45. Brian

    Really love your blog, so much good content and advice, and already considering replacing WP rocket with perfmatters once WP rocket expires in 2020. Here`s why: WP rocket is more and more overlapping with siteground caching plugin which offer a wide range of caching and even minification on server side. Perfmatters offers the features I really need to reduce htttp requests and manage my site.

    A question I always wanted to ask you is how did you get the navigation as header working, but then achieve such beautiful mobile header ?

    Reply
    • Hey Thomas! I’ve heard good things about the team over at Theme Foundry. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to test all the new themes out there. I’ve been knee-deep with GeneratePress on all of my sites for a while now and love it. No reason to try others at this point.

      Reply
  46. I’m warming up to this theme. It is by far the fastest theme I’ve used to date. My only hesitation is.. I hate to admit… is that I’m also warming up to the Stackable Blocks for Gutenberg. I was totally opposed to Gutenberg, but Stackable is slowly winning me over. I’ve worked a lot with Avada and Divi, both good themes in their own right, but not as fast as GeneratePress. Ever had any experience with Stackable? And in your Developer opinion, do page builders slow down performance? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hey Kevin,
      Tom, the GeneratePress developer is releasing GenerateBlocks soon. :) In fact, in the GeneratePress FB group, they said it’s already been published on the WP repository and is about to be live. So GenerateBlocks + GeneratePress is going to be amazing. The reason I will be using GenerateBlocks is that I know Tom cares about performance.

      I’ll definitely update this review with GenerateBlocks when it is out.

      Reply
      • Now that is exciting. I’ll keep an eye out for when it is released on the WP repository. Thanks for the heads up! And I look forward to your review.

        Reply
  47. Hi, I bought generatepress premium after seeing the review and my page score went from 60/100 to 100/100 after following your optimization post. I want to know, how do you show a hover link with underline and color?

    Also, I want to know, how you customized your header. Because It looks catchy and I want to implement the same in my website.

    Reply
  48. This is by far the most useful review and blog when it comes to design a fast and beatiful blog or site. Thanks Brian for this great content.

    Reply
  49. Hi Brian, more than a nice blogpost, But I have a question for you today.
    I’m doing a Default Block Editor styles snippet implementation using the snippet plugin but isn’t working for me.
    I simply just add the

    add_filter( 'generate_show_block_editor_styles', '__return_false' );

    in snippets and nothing more, there is something else I need to do?
    Setup: GP + GP Plugin.

    Thanks to sharing more than we deserve :)

    Reply
    • Hey Jesus,
      I double checked my snippets, as I’m using that on all of my sites. That is the correct code. Did you perhaps check the option to only run it on the front-end? Make sure to check run everywhere, or only in the administration area. If you are still having problems let me know.

      Reply

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