GeneratePress Is A Kick-Ass WordPress Theme: Here’s Why…


I’ve worked with WordPress for the last ten years and trust me, I’ve used A LOT of themes and I’ve even coded my own. By far, GeneratePress is my favorite “go-to” theme when working with clients or when launching a WordPress project.

In this post I’ll explain why I like it so much and why I recommend it.

Super-Quick 6 Reasons Why GeneratePress Is Amazing

If you want a one second ultra-fast summary of why I think GeneratePress is amazing then here are six rapid-fire reasons:

  • Secure & Stable
  • Less than 10KB!
  • Lightning-Fast Loading Code
  • NO Dependencies
  • SEO Optimized!
  • Accessibility Ready

Rating: 5 out of 5.

ZERO Contest. By far the best theme I’ve ever used or worked with.

To learn more about GeneratePress: Click Here

About My Experience

I’ve coded since 2001 and I’ve built hundreds of websites from custom-CMS’s, Plone, Laravel and WordPress.

I’ve played around with dozens of themes and can absolutely – and confidently – say that GeneratePress is my favorite WordPress theme by far.

Let me dive in and tell you why.

GeneratePress Resource Section
# 1 Using A Child Theme
# 2 GeneratePress Free vs Premium
# 3 GeneratePress vs OceanWP
# 4 GeneratePress And Elementor
# 5 Using Blocks (GenerateBlocks)
# 6 Using Elements
# 7 Using Columns
# 8 How To Use The Container Width
# 9 How To Change or Remove Copyright
# 10 Creating PHP Snippets
# 11 Using Demo Sites
# 12 Using Google Analytics
# 14 GeneratePress Landing Pages
# 15 Using The Notification Bar
# 16 GeneratePress & ACF or Pods Plugins
# 17 Using a GeneratePress Nulled Version?
# 18 Wrapping Up
Last Updated December 2020

GeneratePress Child Theme

The team at GeneratePress makes everything easy, and that includes using a child theme. There’s nothing special or different with using a child theme for GeneratePress and they’ve conveniently placed it in a .zip for you to use.

There’s also a GitHub account with a GeneratePress child theme too.

Do You Need A Child Theme For GeneratePress?

I’m going to say no.

You really don’t need one in my opinion. Of course, if you’re launching some heavily customized and unique theme perhaps you have a reason to use one. Personally, I just use the snippet PHP plugin for extra CSS, JavaScript, or PHP snippets.

GeneratePress Free vs Premium

GeneratePress, like many themes, has two options: free or premium.

However, unlike many themes, the premium version comes as a plugin rather than an actual theme.

Can you run a perfectly excellent website using just GeneratePress? Absolutely, and it will be fantastic.

As you’d expect, the major difference with the premium version of GeneratePress is that you just get a lot more features, options and ability to customize your theme.

GeneratePress vs OceanWP

I used to deploy OceanWP on my clients sites and I was a committed fan.

Why did I leave OceanWP? I changed to GeneratePress because I didn’t want to pay for individual items that OceanWP makes you buy – with GeneratePress you just pay a once-off annual fee for a very reasonable USD $44. To see how much GeneratePress costs in 2021 click here.

Honestly though, I don’t want to say anything negative about OceanWP because it is an equally great theme – but my preference is GeneratePress.

Furthermore, the support at GeneratePress is incredible; for that I’d give them 11/10. The team: Leo, David and Tom reply to your messages in under 12 hours normally – and trust me, they are a super-friendly bunch and they always have an answer to every question.

GeneratePress And Elementor

Avoid Elementor at all costs.

Seriously. I know that Elementor has been (and remains) a popular WordPress page builder plugin, but it’s horrible to work with, it’s bloated, and it slows down your site.

Also! There’s zero need for Elementor when using GeneratePress because the same folks have launched GenerateBlocks.

Furthermore, Gutenberg is fast becoming a replacement for Elementor in my opinion.

However, with that being said, if you really want to use Elementor and Gutenberg together then rest assured that they work very well together.

Personally speaking though, I just don’t see the point.

GeneratePress Blocks (GenerateBlocks)

If you like GeneratePress then you’ll LOVE GenerateBlocks.

Created by the same development team as GeneratePress, the code of this plugin is secure, stable, and extremely lightweight: just like the theme itself.

GenerateBlocks is a collection of really well-thought out Gutenberg blocks that are a pleasure to work with. The four blocks I use the most are:

  • Container
  • Grid
  • Headline
  • Buttons

Each of these blocks (or elements) work seamlessly with all design aspects of GeneratePress and they’ve been built with every design aspect you can imagine or hope to have. Padding, colors, gradients, icons, etc., all of these features are embedded within these blocks. I’d highly recommend you install GenerateBlocks immediately after you’ve spun up your GeneratePress install.

GeneratePress Elements

I consider the GeneratePress Elements feature as being the brains of the premium plugin.

The “Elements” section of GeneratePress allows you to create sections or “elements” for any individual page or post, set of pages or posts, or indeed any grouping of your content.

The four GeneratePress elements are:

  • Blocks
  • Hooks
  • Headers
  • Layouts

Let’s briefly take a look at each of these in turn.

GeneratePress Block Elements

These use GenerateBlocks and basically are Gutenberg blocks or “sections” that you can apply anywhere within the DOM page structure of your HTM. It really does allow you the ability to completely customize your theme as much as you want. For example, you can add a a sidebar Gutenberg-GenerateBlock section on a particular sidebar that relates to a particular WordPress category.

For example, I built a directory that lists literally every Cybersecurity Conference in 2021, using GeneratePress and I can show customized sidebar sections or “widgets” that can be shown in particular geographical regions where certain conferences are being shown.

Sure, there are plenty of WordPress plugins that allow you to do this but with GeneratePress you can have your entire site built within its’ own ecosystem of well-built, highly optimized SEO-friendly code.

GeneratePress Hooks

These are very similar and indeed I suspect that they might be replaced over time by the GeneratePress Block Elements, however, they do have an important difference.

The difference is that the “hooks” feature allows you to add specific JavaScript or CSS to specific pages of your site.

If you’ve been developing WordPress for any length of time then you’ve certainly come across one of the deficiencies of WordPress in my opinion, and that is that JavaScript (from Plugins) is loaded throughout the site – regardless of whether the Plugin is actually required.

Why is this important?

Because speed is everything in 2021, and having JavaScript bloat is just not a good idea. Site loading time is a major signal for Google when ranking websites.

So, in summary, this particular GeneratePress Element allows you to specifically place JavaScript (and CSS) precisely where it is required. For example, imagine you had a landing page that requires a particular widget or feature that runs on JavaScript – well, now you can run that snippet exactly where it is needed, and you can select whether you want it placed in the header or footer of that page(s).

GeneratePress Headers

Like all GeneratePress Elements customization is the key driver here.

This Element is easy to explain: consider it as a customizable header section that you can apply per page or post or by rules based on your site-build.

GeneratePress Layouts

This is an amazing useful feature of GeneratePress: having an enormous amount of control over your layouts.

Like all other elements, this can be applied to any variables you wish within your site. For example, you could have a narrow main container for your blog posts and a three column layout for you main pages. The options and ability to tweak them are endless.

GeneratePress Columns

When building (or tweaking) your GeneratePress theme, I highly recommend you do so using the GenerateBlock plugin (that I mentioned above). To create columns is simple. You can either create columns in a grid or through a container.

The other option you can have if you want to create columns in your GeneratePress theme is to do so using the “layout” element. The layout element is bundled with the GeneratePress premium plugin and it allows you to create layouts and have them load by particular rules, such as on posts with a particular category tag or on your homepage, etc.

GeneratePress Container Width

This is another feature I love about GeneratePress.

Often you want certain pages, posts or landing pages to have a different page or container width compared to other assets. This, like most things in GeneratePress, can be achieved easily by using either the layout element or by using the GenerateBlock container block.

Whichever approach you select, it is easy.

Many bloggers and designers prefer to have a narrower container width because the premise is that it’s better for readers to not scan too far left-and-right horizontally when reading.

As ever, what I suggest is that you test out your layouts and see if there’s an improvement. GeneratePress allows for this split-testing with ease.

You have two choices with regards to removing or editing the “Copyright” text and the “Powered by GeneratePress”. The easiest choice is to pay for the all-in-one premium GeneratePress plugin that has this option enabled, or you can add a little bit of PHP in the functions.php file.

In the paid option you need to active it as follows:

Premium plugin (paid) solution

Active "Copyright add-on" > Appearance > GeneratePress

Free solution

For this solution, simply add this to your functions.php file, or use a plugin called PHP Snippets (a plugin which I highly recommend).

add_filter( 'generate_copyright','tu_custom_copyright' );
function tu_custom_copyright() {
    ?>
    Add your new Copyright message here
    <?php
}

This flexible and generous approach is a reflection of the awesomeness of GeneratePress.

GeneratePress PHP Snippets

This is a bit of personal touch here but when it comes to adding PHP Snippets (like the “Powered by GeneratePress” mentioned above) I’d always opt for a plugin called Code Snippets.

The other option is to mess around with your functions.php in your child theme.

I’d advise you to use the plugin I’ve mentioned above for two reasons:

  1. It keeps all your snippets nice and organized (for example you can also include CSS snippets)
  2. You also have the massive benefit that if any PHP you add is incorrectly coded, then it won’t crash your site!

Over the years I’ve spent countless hours tweaking and modifying WordPress themes. Using a plugin like this is (and has been) a huge timesaver. When it comes to Internet Marketing the last thing you want to be doing is coding and messing around with themes and PHP code – and this plugin just helps with that management.

GeneratePress Demo Sites

Yet another awesome feature!

The premium GeneratePress plugin ships with a Site Library that contains dozens of pre-built websites for you to use.

The library contains around 50 free templates that have been built using one of three methods:

  • GenerateBlocks and GeneratePress (my favorite)
  • Elementor (avoid)
  • Beaver Builder

I’d recommend using the first option because you’ll be guaranteed that the site will run lightening-fast.

Most other high-quality WordPress themes offer this option of pre-built websites.

I’ve used a bunch of the GeneratePress templates and can vouch that they’re well-built (as you’d expect) and load incredibly fast.

GeneratePress & Google Analytics

There are several ways you can install Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager in GeneratePress.

Either use the plugin called PHP Code Snippets that I’ve mentioned before, or, use the GeneratePress hooks feature (available in the premium plugin).

Like most things GeneratePress there’s a free and a paid solution.

Although I use the premium version of GeneratePress I actually prefer to use the PHP plugin to create a WordPress function as follows:

add_action('wp_head', 'google_analytics');
function google_analytics(){
?>
<script async src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=G-ENTER-YOUR-NUMBER-HERE"></script>
<script>
  window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
  function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
  gtag('js', new Date());

  gtag('config', 'G-123456789');
</script>
<?php
};

The above code will place the Google Analytics JavaScript code in the header of every page of your GeneratePress theme.

GeneratePress Landing Page

The options are endless.

It’s really down to what you want to achieve.

I suggest you find a landing page you like, and, copy it!

There is nothing you can’t do in GeneratePress.

Don’t think that Elementor has all the best designs or secrets because it doesn’t.

You can have full-page video backgrounds in GeneratePress, Parallax, Gradient backgrounds, and a ton of other features. OK granted, GeneratePress doesn’t have things like JavaScript “countdown clocks”, etc., but if you insist on having one then either load the code in a Hook or – in this instance, use a Plugin.

GeneratePress Notification Bar

This is a superb feature and one I use all the time in the site that I use GeneratePress. Basically, the Generate Notification Bar is a Hello Bar, popularized by Neil Patel.

The “notification bar” is a static bar that stays at the top of every page on your site (if you wish) or on particular pages or posts, by categories or even Custom Taxonomy.

The Notification Bar in GeneratePress, in my opinion, is best actioned (or triggered) using the Layout Element.

GeneratePress & ACF or Pods Plugins

GeneratePress works like a dream with both ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) and WordPress Pods.

For those that don’t know, ACF and WordPress Pods are Custom Post tools.

These plugins allow you to create custom posts, taxonomies and extend media such as existing categories or add extra image variables – and a ton more.

Said simply, if you need light-to-intense WordPress customization and you need to use Plugins like ACF and GeneratePress, then rest assured, they will work great together.

How do I know this to be the case? Because I built a niche-dominate site purely using WordPress Pods and GeneratePress.

GeneratePress Nulled Version

Sure, you can probably get your hands on a GeneratePress nulled version, but why would you? The price is very reasonable and you’ll have the satisfaction of having clean code that is regularly updated.

Furthermore, the code will be clean when you buy the plugin legitmately.

Unless you’re a coder you’ll never know if any “nasties” have been buried in the code, for example, a backdoor.

Hacking WordPress is becoming more prevalent in 2021 and you need to remain more vigilant than ever. By installing a suspect plugin is only flirting with disaster.

Wrapping Up

To the most astute readers amongst you will realize that I am not using GeneratePress on this site. The reason for that is because I believe that in this instance the current theme best serves my purpose.

We should all use the best tools for the job at hand, and for the most part (I’d say 80% of the time) I use GeneratePress as my “go-to” theme.

It works great as a one-page landing page WordPress site for a client, all the way through to heavily customized installations like my InfoSec Directory mentioned in this resource.

Thank you for taking the time to read my resource on GeneratePress!

Henry "HMFIC"

I'm Henry, the guy behind this site. I've been Growth Hacking since 2002, yep, that long...

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