GeneratePress: One of the fastest WordPress themes

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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:

  1. The free GeneratePress base theme that provides the basic framework for your website
  2. 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 - Fastest WordPress Theme Banner

GeneratePress Design Features

Why is GeneratePress such a fast WordPress theme and great for developers? It’s designed with the following principles:

Secure and StableGeneratePress 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.
SpeedThe 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.
No dependenciesA commonality of slow WordPress themes is loading a ton of different dependencies or libraries. With GeneratePress, if it’s not needed, the theme doesn’t load it. It doesn’t use jQuery, which is notoriously resource heavy. Instead, it uses basic javascript. This helps avoid render blocking issues, which again, slows down your website.

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.
AccessibleMaking 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 typographyCustomize your site to fit your look, feel and color template.
Layout controlLayout controls help you fine-tune your website, and modify things such as the sidebar layouts, padding and whitespace, and more.
Hooks and filtersHooks 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 friendlyIf 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 compatibleOf 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:

  1. Picked a new website domain name and registered it
  2. Picked a hosting provider
  3. Registered for hosting and connected your new domain to your new hosting
  4. 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:

Access WordPress dashboard

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:

Add new theme in themes menu

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”:

Search for generatePress 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:

Activate GeneratePress as your WordPress theme

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:

Preview your GeneratePress theme in browser

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

Click here to go to GeneratePress.com and access the “Premium” section of the site. Purchase the GP Premium add on, and then visit your user hub. From here, select “Download” button

Download GP Premium from generatepress.com

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.

Access WordPress dashboard and plugins

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:

Install GP Premium

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.

Activate GeneratePress Premium Plug-in

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!

Confirm GP Premium settings

Next Steps

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.

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