Speed is so important when building a website. Fast loading websites help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keep your users on your site. Keeping your website fast while using WordPress can sometimes be a tricky task. Picking the fastest WordPress theme, that still looks good and works well, is the most important step. Let’s look at the speedy WordPress theme GeneratePress, and see why I picked it to build this site.
What is GeneratePress
GeneratePress is a lightweight theme, that acts more like a framework. It is a well designed parent theme that provides tools that let you build your own look and feel, or choose from a multitude of premium designs to install on top of your GeneratePress theme. There are 2 important aspects to the GeneratePress theme:
- The free GeneratePress base theme that provides the basic framework for your website
- The GP Premium add-on that provides additional modules, customization, and functionality
While you can create a website using the base GeneratePress theme, it really needs the GP Premium add-on to be able to embrace the full potential of the theme. Access to the pre-built site library (that you can use on multiple sites) alone makes it worth the price, and is why I use it on all websites that I build!
GeneratePress Design Features
Why is GeneratePress such a fast WordPress theme and great for developers? It’s designed with the following principles:
|Secure and Stable||GeneratePress uses the latest and most stable coding standards, and is independently reviewed by leaders in the WordPress community.|
|Small starting footprint (under 30KB)!||Having a small loading size is super important when trying to find the fastest WordPress theme. A default WordPress install with the base GeneratePress theme is under 30kb.|
|Speed||The tiny footprint and clean code makes sure you are starting off with a theme that is as fast as possible. Speed is one of the core principles behind the design of GeneratePress.|
Search Engine Optimized
|Between fast load times, validated HTML, and built in schema.org structured data, GeneratePress is built to help you take full advantage of SEO principles and start getting your content ranked in Google and other search engines.|
|Accessible||Making sure that everyone can access your content is important, and something Google takes into account as well when crawling content. GeneratePress follows WCAG 2.0 standards to make sure that your website is accessible to all readers.|
GeneratePress Performance Features
With the use of GP Premium, GeneratePress offers the following design features to help make a website that is not only fast, but looks great as well:
|Colors and typography||Customize your site to fit your look, feel and color template.|
|Layout control||Layout controls help you fine-tune your website, and modify things such as the sidebar layouts, padding and whitespace, and more.|
|Hooks and filters||Hooks and filters are incredibly important for those looking to modify their WordPress theme while still keeping it responsive and mobile friendly. Use the hook and filter system to add snippets and code to almost any part of your website.|
|Page builder friendly||If you’re looking to take your website design to the next level, GeneratePress integrates with page builders such as Beaver Builder and Elementor. This allows you to take their tools, and fit them into the page layout defined by GeneratePress.|
|Plugin compatible||Of course, one of the perks of using WordPress to create your website is the use of plugins. While keeping your plugin use to a minimum is important to keeping your website fast and lightweight, GeneratePress is designed to play well with plugins.|
What is the cost of GeneratePress and GP Premium
As I mentioned above, while the GeneratePress theme itself is free, the GP Premium add-on costs $49.95. For that price, you get access to the full features of the theme, as well as access to the site library, which provides over 50 premade site designs built on GeneratePress. You can use GeneratePress and GP Premium on as many sites as you like, which means for $49.95 you are getting access to a full library of templates that you can use over and over again. That is why I highly recommend GeneratePress and GP Premium to any WordPress developers who are creating multiple sites.
How to install GeneratePress
If you’ve been following along with the BriskWP How to Start a website series, then you’ve already done the following steps:
- Picked a new website domain name and registered it
- Picked a hosting provider
- Registered for hosting and connected your new domain to your new hosting
- Installed WordPress on your new site
Now those are done, you can now install the base GeneratePress theme, which is easy, and can be done entirely through your WordPress admin dashboard.
Step 1: Access your WordPress dashboard
Go to your site’s WordPress dashboard and go to the “Themes” section:
Step 2: Go to the Add Theme menu
To be able to search for the GeneratePress theme in the WordPress library, select the “Add New” button at the top:
Step 3: Fine the GeneratePress theme
To find the correct theme use the search bar at the top to search for “GeneratePress”. Once found, click the theme and select “Install”:
Step 4: Activate the WordPress theme
Once the theme has finished installing, select the “Activate” button to enable the theme for your website:
Step 5: Confirm new theme in browser
To make sure that everything has installed correctly, visit your website, and you should see something like the image below. It may look empty, but that’s OK, you’re ready to extend GeneratePress and start creating your new website:
How to install the GP Premium add-on
Now that you’ve got the base theme installed, it’s time to install the GP Premium add-on so that you can take advantage of all of the options available to design your site, or use one of the great looking pre-designed themes.
Step 1: Purchase the GP Premium add-on and download
Step 2: Access your WordPress plugin dashboard
The GP Premium add-on is installed as a plugin. Go to your WordPress dashboard, and select “Add New” from the “Plugins” navigations menu.
Step 3: Upload and install the add-on
Now select choose file, and select the .zip file that you downloaded from your GeneratePress user dashboard. Once you find and select the file, click the “Install Now” button:
Step 4: Activate the plugin.
Once the plugin has been successfully installed, make sure that you now “Activate Plugin” so that WordPress recognizes the add-on.
Step 5: Confirm GP Premium install
Once activated, you should now see a “GeneratePress” menu under your “Appearance” menu. If you see that, it means that you have successfully installed GeneratePress and GP PRemium. Congrats!
Now that you’ve successfully installed the GeneratePress theme and GP Premium add-on, next steps will be to pick a pre-built website design from the site library, or to design your own with the design tools included in the theme. Check back soon for more guides on using GeneratePress!
This site contains affiliate links to products talked about. I only recommend products and tools that I use myself and that were used in the creation of this website and other websites that I have built.