Hey there Sea Changer. Today I am going to take a look at the old upgrade debate with my GeneratePress Free vs GeneratePress Premium review. I have been working with the GeneratePress WordPress theme for quite a while and have really found it to work really well with not only this website, but also others that I run across a number of different niches.
Recently on one of these sites, I was trying to make some changes to the menu structure and layout and realized that I couldn't do so without a theme upgrade which led me to a decision between:
- Finding another theme that allows me to do what I can do.
- Upgrade my current theme to allow me to make my changes.
So, if you use the GeneratePress theme and wondering whether an upgrade is for you, let's check it all out below…
What is a WordPress theme?
Ok, so the first thing we probably need to do here is quickly outline what we are looking at so we are clear on exactly what it is that we are comparing. So for those of you new the world of web development, WordPress is a website builder that allows for site creation via a visual editor without the need to write or edit code.
Part of this process includes the use of themes which, once loaded onto your site manage its overall appearance such as:
- And so on
This again means that you can adjust the settings of the above – much as you would a word processing or graphic design platform – without having to know HTML code etc.
There are 1000s of themes available on which to base a WordPress site with many available in both free, and paid upgrade versions. One thing to keep in mind here however is that in general, most WordPress themes are created and sold by third party developers as compatible addons to the main website editor.
This means that the functionality included can vary greatly depending on the needs and intentions on the website including:
- Food & Drink
In general, the rule of thumb is that if you choose a theme closely related to what your site is about, then you should be able to customise it to your needs.
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Why upgrade to a premium theme?
Upgraded themes – generally referred to as ‘Premium' themes – provide access to greater customisation and functionality options. This is similar to most software platforms where basic functions are provided for free with advanced options available at a price.
These are not always required and are usually only considered as the site grows and more options are needed (such as in my case). Additionally, many new websites chop and change between themes are number of times until the owner settles on one they like. Only then would I recommend upgrading to the premium version of your chosen theme.
Note: In this instance we are discussing the process of paying for an upgraded version of your theme in order to add some extra functionality and customisation. This does not include theme updates which are implemented by the theme developer from time to time for reasons such as fixing bugs, improving functionality or enhancing user interfaces etc.- you should never be charged for a plugin update.
Let's now go back to our GeneratePress theme and highlight the differences between the free and premium versions below:
Ok, so if you check out the Generate Press website (yes, most themes have their own website) we can see it described as “a lightweight WordPress theme that focuses on speed, stability, and accessibility”. It is considered a multipurpose theme – i.e. can be used for most of the purposes outlined above – and is one of the most popular themes available within the WordPress editor (3,474,685+ downloads).
Those downloading the GeneratePress Free theme for their website can expect the following functionality and customisation options:
- Addition of any plugin compatible with free version of GeneratePress
- Base functions of Workpress Editor such as:
- Customization – See below
- User Management
- Site Identity
- Site title
- Page width etc.
- Header width and alignment
- Navigation location alignment
- Sidebar inclusion for site, page and post
- Footer width and alignment
- Blog page view
- Background, text, link, title and hover colours
- Fonts – Body and headings
- Changes to site structure
- CSS caching
- Main menu customisation
- Site-Wide Widget management
- Home page settings
- Pivot between static home page and blog page as home page
- Additional CSS
- Customised CSS management
All in all, in my experience, this is a very good base theme with enough functionality to build a professional looking website.
As mentioned above, upgrading to a Premium theme provides access to increased functionality and customization options. However, in many cases (this one included) upgrading also provides access to extra services and support. In regards to the GeneratePress Premium theme this includes:
- All premium features
- Full access to the Site Library
- Premium support
- Use on up to 500 websites
Additionally, added functionality is included as per below:
In terms of actual use, the main changes you will see here are:
- Ability to add more menus to the site (3 in total)
- Ability to change colours in more places such as menus, buttons, forms and so on
- Font and layout adjustment to individual website elements such as menus, footers, headers etc.
- Addition of background images to pages and posts
- Greater CSS management
- Greater efficiency via the use of the Generate Blocks plugin templates and buttons
Why did I upgrade?
My original reason for upgrading was to allow for greater control over the layout of my site. As it had grown, I wanted to enhance the navigation and formatting to allow for greater management of monetization options such as landing pages and buttons (for sales and CTAs).
Since the upgrade has been installed however, I have really been able to enhance the overall look of the site via the adjustment of colours and fonts at a more granular level (posts, menus and headers etc.).
How much does it cost
Costs to upgrade to the Premium version of GeneratePress are as follows:
And there it is – my outline of the difference between the GeneratePress Free vs GeneratePress Premium WordPress themes. I hope it was helpful and gives you the information you need as you ponder your own theme upgrade however as usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, need some advice or have any experiences to share.
Oh, and especially comment if you have installed the GeneratePress Premium WordPress Theme on your website – I would love to hear about your experiences.
Until next time
Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price. This may include sales made via Wealthy Affiliate or GeneratePress.
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