WordPress is a blogging platform for people who are not tech savvy. There are thousands of bloggers who can afford to blog today, in spite of the fact that they do not know a single word in HTML, all thanks to WordPress and it is this simplicity that has made WordPress the most popular blogging platform.
In spite of WordPress being such a simple blogging platform, there wasn’t a single WordPress theme that could pass on this same simplicity over to the users.
If you are not tech savvy, it is unlikely that you will be able to customize your WordPress blog design and make it unique for your Blog.
You could pay a designer to design a custom WordPress theme for you or, if you did not want to compromise on speed and hence wanted a theme with clean codes, then the only other option was to pay a WordPress designer to custom create a theme for Thesis or, Genesis framework.
Both of these are costly affairs and if you do not have the budget to afford this, then you wouldn’t opt for it and might just decide to stay with the general common theme.
I was on the lookout for a theme that had easy customization options to help me create a unique theme for my blog, that I stumbled upon a theme called Generatepress.
But before I tell you about this theme, let me show you 5 blogs that are running the same theme but have different designs.
There are a few more such blogs that have a design of its own. And the best part about all of this is that none of them took more than 20 minutes to customize.
So if you are wondering what this theme is, then let me break the suspense for you. The name of this theme is GeneratePress.
Now, before I get into some of the details of this theme and a quick review of its features, let me tell you some really important facts about the theme.
- GeneratePress is a FREE theme if you are looking for something basic. But if you are looking for customization, then GeneratePress comes with a premium option
- The Premium option of GeneratePress is a plugin that you install and comes for a low cost of only $39.95 which is the lowest cost theme you will ever find. You get numerous customization options, if you go with the Premium option.
- GeneratePress is developed and managed by an enthusiastic team who puts in a lot of efforts into consistent development of the theme, unlike a lot of the other so-called low cost theme developers who mushroom with the rains and then cannot be found after you have completed the purchase
- Even Andre Chaperon uses this theme.. (happy face)
Now that we know what this theme is and why is it that I am a fan of the theme, let me take you through some of the features of the theme that made me fall in love with it.
GeneratePress Theme Review – The Features
Almost all premium WordPress themes come with a ton of features but the fact of the matter is that using all of these features to your benefit is a herculean task in itself.
Take for example, the Thesis theme. I love the theme and can afford to because I have some knowledge of HTML, CSS and also have done quite a bit of customization of the theme. But for somebody who has no clue about all of these, Thesis could prove to be a disaster.
And it is here that GeneratePress wins.
It is a superb theme “out of the box”. Even if you decide not to do any customization, it is an elegant minimalist theme that anyone would fall in love with.
But the fact that customization is simple clicking, means that your theme can be unique to you without any headaches.
Fast Loading Theme
One of my primary concerns with most premium themes was the loading times. Though a lot of these themes were SEO-ready, they somehow consumed a lot of resources and dragged down the loading times of my blog.
And with Google considering the page load times in search engine rankings, you just cannot afford that.
So I wanted a theme that was fast loading, had simple codes and still offered customization options.
GeneratePress lived upto these expectations. We were able to cut down page load times by almost 64% after we switched theme to GeneratePress.
Customizing the theme is all about clicking until you are satisfied with the design.
You can customize pretty much everything in the theme using the WordPress customize dashboard and hence it makes all the more simple. The highlighted area that you see in the below image is where you customize pretty much everything in this theme.
And since there is no coding involved, you don’t really need to know HTML or, CSS unless you want to do a lot of advanced customization, which also is pretty easy if you follow the GeneratePress documentation.
Doubles up as a Page Builder
GeneratePress offers you many other features like page sections, page headers, Custom spacing between boxes, backgrounds etc., with the help of which you can easily build beautiful landing pages.
So that’s 2 different themes bundled into one. And the best part is that you can easily do it from within your WordPress editor.
One of the biggest worries with most WordPress theme is the support. And most low cost theme often end up with zero support.
The folks at Generatepress are a friendly lot. They have a very good support forum where you would be able to find solutions to most of your problems. But if for some reason you are not able to find one, then their support team will be able to help you.
They have extremely good response times and I have seen responses coming in less than 6 hours.
Import and Export Customizations
This is a feature I like the most. I am somebody who doesn’t like spending a lot of time customizing blogs. I like to keep my blogs pretty simple from a design perspective and hence prefer following the same foundation for all my blogs. Since I run a lot of blogs, the pain of having to do it over and over again was a big one for me.
The export feature in GeneratePress solves this problem for me. I customize one of my blog and then export the customization. I can then import this into all the other blogs and that takes care off it.
The result is a lot of hours saved which I was otherwise spending on doing an unnecessary repetitive activity.
Are you planning to setup a store on your blog?
Then Generatepress addresses that issue as well with its WooCommerce add-on.
In one of the sites that we were managing, we wanted a store option and we also wanted it to look similar to our primary site. We had struggled with doing that with our earlier theme. In spite of WooCommerce support, customizing it to have the same look and feel throughout was a pain.
But with GeneratePress, our worries were taken care of. The store page looked exactly like the rest of the site and customizing it was, again, just a matter of a few clicks.
Value for Money
There are a ton of other features that you wouldn’t even find in some of the most premium themes around like,
- You can customize every individual page and post and every one of the element on it. For eg: you can disable footer widgets, headers, both primary and secondary navigations, featured image, content title etc. All of this gives you the flexibility to design your post or, page just as you want.
- You can create sections within your post which is very helpful if you are writing a review post or, even if you are designing a page for your company.
- You can customize your post or, page by disabling the sidebar or, adding more sidebars to each of those specific post or, pages.
Overall, you will find that GeneratePress is a complete value for money.
My Final Thoughts
If you are looking for a simple theme that can do a lot of things but doesn’t cost you a bomb, then GeneratePress is the answer. The fact that this theme doesn’t interfere with any plugins adds a lot more flexibility to the theme.
GeneratePress is a recommended theme for every internet marketer and blogger. If you are starting out and don’t want to spend a lot of money, then this is definitely the theme you should go for.