GeneratePress Review (2020): The Best Lightweight and Versatile Theme of All Time?

When it comes to WordPress development, choosing a theme is imperative to success. 

Sure, you’ll probably perform tons of customizations to make your site unique. But at the end of the day, your website still relies on your theme’s base design scheme and features.

With that out of the way, let’s get one thing straight: 

GeneratePress is one of my favorite WordPress themes of all time.

It is simple, lightweight, and flexible enough for your big WordPress blog ideas.  

This GeneratePress review will explore its features, pricing, customer service, as well as a few weaknesses. 

First off, let’s look at the possible reasons why it could be the right theme for your WordPress blog.


What makes GeneratePress special?

If you’re a regular Master Blogging reader, you’ll know that I like to talk about WordPress themes.

More often than not, I group themes based on the niche they’re designed for. I create listicles about themes for bloggers in industries like food, travel, and health.

GeneratePress, however, isn’t built for a specific niche. Instead, it acts as a framework for various website templates — from personal blogs to eCommerce stores. 


A look at the GeneratePress site templates

Here’s a sneak peek at the templates available on GeneratePress’s “Site Library”:

GeneratePress Site Library

Want a closer look at these templates?

There are live previews up on GeneratePress’s official website.

Go ahead — pay them a visit and see if you like anything. Here are my personal favorites:


Marketer 

Marketer Site Template

I’m a huge fan of card-based designs.

In case you didn’t notice, I even use a card-based layout in Master Blogging’s “Latest Posts” section. 

That’s why GeneratePress’s “Marketer” site template caught my attention. It looks clean, sleek, and could definitely make your content more readable. 

The Marketer site template is good for:

  • Digital marketing blogs
  • Industry news sites
  • Marketing and SEO agencies

Avery

Avery Site Template

Avery implements traditional personal blog design techniques with all the goodness of the GeneratePress theme. 

It highlights your brand’s value proposition right above the fold along with a CTA to turn user attention into action. 

The template will also help you quickly create beautiful blocks that will surely help you make a lasting impression. Some examples are the “About Me” section and “My Latest Articles” section.

The Avery site template is good for:

  • Personal blogs
  • Lifestyle blogs 
  • Travel blogs
  • Food blogs

Broadcast

Broadcast Site Template

Here’s another card-based template with an even simpler design approach. 

Broadcast is a GeneratePress template that makes browsing easy with the card-based layout and simple CSS effects. 

Just like the Marketer template, Broadcast’s advantage is that it maximizes the readability of your content. It does, however, look better if you stick to a specific color tone when using visuals. 

The Broadcast site template is good for:

  • Personal blogs
  • Digital marketing blogs
  • Industry news sites
  • Small businesses
  • Marketing and SEO agencies

Prime 

Prime Site Template

I bet you already know what this next template is good for just by looking at the screenshot above. 

Prime is an eCommerce website theme designed using WooCommerce blocks. 

The design is inspired by the Amazon website — from the homepage navigation system to the product listings. That should make it easy to build an online store that users will feel familiar and comfortable with. 

The Prime site template is good for:

  • eCommerce stores
  • Small businesses
  • Affiliate websites
  • Product and software review websites

Grill

Grill Site Template

Want to build a website for your restaurant or food service business?

GeneratePress will help you establish your online presence with the Grill site template. 

The homepage layout features an information section with a Google Maps widget so your audience knows how to get in touch. You can also publish digital menus in addition to professional-looking pages that can help visitors learn more about your food.   

With some improvisations, you can also make the template work for any local business.

The Grill site template is good for:

  • Restaurant websites
  • Food service businesses
  • Local businesses

Pixel

Pixel Site Template

Lastly, Pixel is a GeneratePress site template meant for photography blogs and portfolio sites. 

The template makes sure your high-resolution photos are the star of the show. Included are clean gallery pages that will help give your audience a visual treat.

The Pixel site template is good for:

  • Photography blogs
  • Professional portfolios
  • Travel blogs

Didn’t find a site template that you like? 

Remember that the templates above are just a small part of GeneratePress’s sizeable site library.

There are also site templates specifically designed to be used with page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder.

Elementor Site Templates

Anyway, you should now have a clear idea of how flexible the GeneratePress theme really is.

Don’t worry — there’s still a lot more to this theme than meets the eye. 


Other GeneratePress Highlights

Other than the superior versatility of GeneratePress, here are additional highlights you should know about:

1. Free version

Yes — GeneratePress comes with a free version you can install straight from WordPress theme library.

Sure enough, it lacks some features that make GeneratePress’s premium version a top-tier theme. But it still sets a prime example of how fast and minimalistic WordPress themes should be done. 

More importantly, it gives you a hands-on preview of how website customization is done with GeneratePress. 

And for those reasons, it’s one of the top-rated free themes on WordPress’s theme library. 

GeneratePress Ratings

2. Page building made easy

The problem with most WordPress themes, including the ones you pay for, are the limited options for customizability. 

Most of them offer basic customizations like color schemes, homepage layouts, and navigation menu styles. But for details like content sections and headers, you’ll be forced to learn coding to get things done your way.

With GeneratePress, you can take advantage of built-in features to make your website look 100% unique. 

For example, GeneratePress lets you create custom “Elements” like advanced hook systems and headers. You can also enable the “Sections” mode when building pages to create individual sections — each with its own visual style. 

GeneratePress Edit Sections

While GeneratePress has its own “mini page builder,” I don’t think it’s intended as a replacement for full-fledged page builders. 

Elementor, for example, is a top-tier page builder that takes website design and customization to the next level. This tutorial explains how it works.

3. Lots of color options

I’ve worked with countless themes in my years as a professional blogger. 

What I find incredibly annoying is how the vast majority of themes lack comprehensive color options. 

In some cases, the color options are there. However, you’re only allowed to select a pre-set “color scheme” that only affects specific page elements. 

It shouldn’t be hard to pick the color you want for whatever element you want to customize.  

The good news is, that isn’t the case with GeneratePress.

With the theme installed, you’ll have over 60 color options to mix and match. You can change the colors of your primary navigation, widget areas, forms, headers, and more. 

GeneratePress Color Options

4. Even more typography options

If you find GeneratePress’s 60+ color options impressive, wait till you see its selection of typography options. 

GeneratePress grants you access to over 70 typography options to give your website an extremely personalized look. 

Every component of your website, including the body, header, navigation menus, and buttons, have individual typography settings you can configure. You can change the font family, weight, size, line height, and paragraph margin using the basic user interface.

You can also apply simple transform effects for emphasis or the uniformity of elements. For example, if you’re modifying the typography of your primary navigation, you may want to use the “uppercase” transform effect.

These settings can be accessed from the built-in theme customizer.

GeneratePress Typography Settings

5. Control which modules to use

Don’t get me wrong — GeneratePress is already built to be lightweight.

But if you want your WordPress ecosystem to be even leaner, you have the option to switch off GeneratePress modules.

GeneratePress Premium unlocks premium modules you can use to customize how your WordPress site looks and functions.  

I actually already introduced you to a few of them, namely the following:

  • Elements 
  • Sections 
  • Colors 

The typography module is also briefly mentioned above. It is, however, a free module that can be accessed even with GeneratePress’s free version.

There are plenty more modules to explore if you decide to purchase the GeneratePress Premium version.

GeneratePress Pro Modules

6. Comprehensive library of learning resources

Although GeneratePress has a smooth learning curve, it does have a high learning ceiling. 

During your first few days with GeneratePress, I bet you won’t know what half of the available settings do.

That’s completely fine. 

You should still be able to create visually captivating pages without touching the more advanced stuff. But if you want to see what GeneratePress can really do, you have some learning to do.

Fortunately, GeneratePress has a comprehensive knowledge base that will teach you everything you need to know about the theme. 

Just use the search bar to look for topics you need. The GeneratePress documentation library has anything from applying custom CSS to using hooks. 

GeneratePress Documentation Page

7. No need for a child theme

When customizing a theme, WordPress veterans will tell you to create a “child theme” first to preserve your changes. 

It’s generally good advice. After all, if you customize your theme directly, you may lose your changes after installing an update. 

With GeneratePress, creating a child theme is no longer required.

No matter how many updates you install, rest assured that your customizations will be preserved. That is, if you only use the available options in the built-in theme customizer. 

There are only two situations wherein you need to create a child theme for GeneratePress:

  • You altered theme files from the GeneratePress directory in your hosting account
  • You used the “Additional CSS” field in the theme customizer

How about the GeneratePress customer service experience?

When purchasing anything online, it’s always a good idea to check how good a company’s customer service is. 

Bear in mind that customer support exists to help you get the most out of your purchase. They should be able to help you accomplish tasks, satisfactorily answer your queries, and troubleshoot all problems you run into. 

Premium WordPress themes are no exception.

Even if a theme is backed by truckloads of learning resources, great customer service will still save more time. 

With the help of a customer service representative, you’ll get step-by-step instructions for your specific objectives. It’ll also reduce the likelihood of misconfiguring certain theme features that may cause problems down the road. 

So, is GeneratePress’s customer service up to par?

Let’s investigate the two ways to get assistance from them:


Contacting the GeneratePress team

Admittedly, getting support by contacting the GeneratePress team leaves a lot of room for improvement. 

There’s no way to contact them by phone, so don’t expect someone to feed you instructions word per word.

You can, however, send an email if you’re experiencing issues with your account. Users can also contact their sales team for questions before they finalize their purchase.

GeneratePress Contact Page

In my experience, they respond to questions on the same day — usually within a few hours’ time. 

It’s definitely better if they can respond immediately or if they have a hotline you can rely on for assistance. That’s why I don’t consider GeneratePress’s customer service to be one of its strengths. 

On the bright side, their friendly and knowledgeable staff genuinely does a great job of supplying the right information. Your question doesn’t even have to be related to GeneratePress — they’ll still reply to you all the same.

From GeneratePress’s “Contact” page, you can also get answers to Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs. 

Expand the “Support Question” tab for a list of the most common FAQs on the site. You can also use the search bar to learn more about a specific topic. 

GeneratePress Frequently Asked Questions

The list of support questions should address most of the concerns an average user may have. However, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll get a working solution to your exact problem. 

If you want a faster way to get help on technical issues, what you need is the GeneratePress “Support Forum.”


Using the GeneratePress Support Forum

GeneratePress Support Forum

In the GeneratePress community, there’s no shortage of helping hands.

Every few minutes, GeneratePress users ask questions that the website’s FAQs section doesn’t answer. 

Looking at the last post times for each thread, you can tell how active GeneratePress’s customer support team is. 

The interval between posts is only just minutes away. Apart from GeneratePress’s in-house customer support agents, you’ll also get responses from other knowledgeable users. 


How much does GeneratePress Premium cost?

Now that we covered the main reasons why GeneratePress is a great theme, it’s time to talk about the cost. 

GeneratePress Premium can be purchased for a one-time payment of only $49.95. 

GeneratePress Premium Pricing

Once you own GeneratePress Premium, there’s no need to renew your license yearly to keep using it. More importantly, you can use your copy of GeneratePress Premium on as many websites as you want. 

You do, however, need to renew your license after one year if:

  1. You want to continue receiving theme updates
  2. You still need priority customer support

Click here to purchase GeneratePress premium


GeneratePress Premium vs Free

Unfortunately, GeneratePress Premium doesn’t offer any free trials that will allow you to test premium features yourself. 

What it has is a free, barebones version with only the essential features you need to build a website. 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of GeneratePress Premium and GeneratePress free:

Feature GeneratePress Premium GeneratePress Free
Websites Unlimited Unlimited
Customizations Full Limited
Updates Yes Yes
SEO-friendly Yes Yes
Mobile-friendly Yes Yes
Site Library Yes No
Mega Menu Yes No
Page Headers Yes No
Colors Yes Limited
Hooks Yes No
Post Styles Yes No
Background Yes No
Copyright Text Yes No
Elements Yes No
WooCommerce Yes No
24/7 Customer Support Yes No
Import/Export Settings Yes No

Long story short, GeneratePress’s free version is a good way to see the theme in action. You can familiarize yourself with the theme customizer options and test how well it performs firsthand. 

In the right hands, the free version of GeneratePress can be used to create a world-class website. But without premium modules like the Site Library, you won’t even be close to reaping the full benefits of GeneratePress. 

I’m not saying that the free version is a complete waste of time. Even without the premium features, it can still work as a foundation for a great WordPress site. 

Take a look at the highlights of GeneratePress’s free version:

  • Optimized for mobile devices — The default GeneratePress theme layout is built with mobile-responsiveness in mind. You don’t need to do anything — the theme will automatically adjust to look presentable on any screen size. 
  • Built for speed — Light-weightedness is one of the main selling points of GeneratePress. As proof of this, the theme’s files only add up to 1MB in size. 
  • Typography Settings — You don’t need GeneratePress Premium to modify your WordPress theme’s font settings. You will, however, be able to access more font options by upgrading.

GeneratePress Frequently Asked Questions

Is GeneratePress free to use?

GeneratePress has a free version you can use for as many websites as you like. However, it lacks features that make GeneratePress premium a top-tier WordPress theme.

How do I install GeneratePress Premium?

To install GeneratePress Premium, you need to have the free version installed and activated first. GeneratePress Premium must then be uploaded to your site as a plugin and activated along with individual modules.

How many sites can I use GeneratePress on? 

You can use GeneratePress Premium on an unlimited number of websites — no need to buy it again each time. 


The verdict: is the GeneratePress WordPress theme worth it?

Since I use GeneratePress myself, my final recommendation shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. 

Yes — GeneratePress Premium is indeed worth your time and money. 

It doesn’t matter if you want to build a personal blog, eCommerce store, small business website, or what have you. With GeneratePress’s Site Library and a slew of other modules, you’ll have everything you need to succeed.

Let’s wrap up this GeneratePress theme review with a recap of its pros and cons:


Pros of GeneratePress

  • Very easy to use
  • Comprehensive knowledge base for beginners
  • Friendly and active staff in the Support Forum
  • Built light for excellent website performance
  • SEO-friendly and mobile-friendly from the get-go
  • Diverse selection of templates from Site Library
  • Buy the theme once and you can use it for an unlimited number of sites
  • Easily add hooks to certain site elements (great for experienced developers)
  • Great compatibility with page builders, namely Elementor and Beaver Builder

Some cons of GeneratePress

  • The free version lacks most of the features that make GeneratePress a great theme
  • Site Library templates are not as robust as the site demos of other themes
  • Default site template is lackluster without some heavy customizations
  • The GeneratePress development team isn’t too keen on supporting third-party integrations
  • GeneratePress could use more customer support channels 

Get Your Copy of GeneratePress

GeneratePress review

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