GeneratePress is very popular and high-rated WordPress theme in the market. It is a multi-purpose theme covering almost all verticals. In this article we will be looking at the comparison between GeneratePress free vs premium theme.
Which one should you go for and most importantly, why?
GeneratePress is available both as a free theme and a paid theme (premium plugin).
For understanding whether to run the free GeneratePress theme on your blog or to download the premium plugin, you will need certain type of understanding as to what are your requirements. I will mention all the details in this article
If you need your website to look modern and have complete functionality, but don’t have a clue about coding. Then GeneratePress premium is the best option. To get a clear understanding of all its features, have a look at our GeneratePress theme review.
Here, I will be revealing all the differences between GeneratePress free and premium, plus underlying their features with their pros and cons.
GeneratePress Free Vs Premium Comparison Table
|Features||GeneratePress Free||GeneratePress Premium|
|Layout Control||Very Limited Options||Complete Control – from Header to Footer|
|Typography Options||Only for Body, H1, H2, and H3||Typography for everything on your site|
|Color Options||For Background, Text, Link, and Blog Post||Colorize every component of your site|
|Blog & Archive Settings||❌||✅|
|General Settings||Limited to Structure and Icon Type Setting||Additionally Comes with Dynamic CSS Print Method and Smooth-Scroll Class|
|Import / Export||❌||✅|
|WooCommerce Options in Layout||❌||✅|
What is GeneratePress Free?
GeneratePress is a popular multi-purpose WordPress theme. The developers have released its free and premium version. Just like the GeneratePress free, its premium version is called GP Premium.
GeneratePress free is the core version of the theme and offers basic features with certain customization options.
The free version does not lack in basic requirements like speed, stability, and accessibility. So, its not too bad for beginners or people who would like to take some time before upgrading to GeneratePress premium.
In short, GeneratePress free theme serves the basic purpose of building a simple website with a little bit of content on it. For most of the users such features are more than the other chargeable platforms.
Features of GeneratePress Free Theme
- GeneratePress is light in weight with super quick loading speeds
- It is fully responsive for mobile and tablets
- Even the free GeneratePress comes with in-built schema markup that enhances your site’s SEO
- GeneratePress free does come with a single button Reset
- Due to its popularity, GeneratePress has lots of documentation and videos available on the Internet
- You get 100+ font family to choose from
What is GeneratePress Premium or GP Premium?
GeneratePress Premium is the paid version of the theme. It is mostly referred to as GP Premium and its a plugin. Generally, users download and activate this plugin after they’ve installed the free GeneratePress theme.
It has tons of customization options, professionally pre-made website templates, block-based theme builder, special options for blogs and archive pages, and in-built WooCommerce.
Making websites and customizing them according to the niche is very quick and easy. Plus, you also get to control and keep the theme light weight. As GeneratePress premium comes with modular add-ons that can turned on/off as and when needed.
To understand and further get a better view of the theme, I’d recommend you to completely understand this article and read the GeneratePress review. Both the articles together will help you in deciding before buying the GP premium theme.
In developer’s own words;
“I realized people wanted more features, but I wanted to keep the theme light for developers like me who wanted a lightweight base for their client websites. That’s where the modular add-ons came into play — each of them can be turned on and off as needed, so there’s not a bunch of unnecessary stuff loading in the background of the theme.“Tom Usborne, Creator of GeneratePress
Why to Choose GeneratePress Premium?
I’ve already explained what all you can expect from GeneratePress premium in brief. We will look into each and every section in detail, later in this article.
But, I want to make an important note over here…
You should always go for a premium theme. Reason – Continuous Updates & Security.
Since, GeneratePress is light in weight, quick in customization, and offers lots of modularity and flexibility. Going for GeneratePress premium will guarantee you peace of mind from attackers and hackers.
An outdated theme is a very big vulnerability open for hackers to exploit. Hacking has become software-based and 1000s of websites running a free theme get hacked every now and then. GP premium also offers Import/Export options that backs up every part of your site data. Preventing you from a complete data wipe-off, in-case your site gets hacked.
GeneratePress premium has all the features that you’ve already seen under GeneratePress free theme. We will perform a detailed analysis as to what you get with the GeneratePress premium theme.
Also Read: Detailed Comparison – GeneratePress vs Genesis
GeneratePress Free vs Premium
Let us get started by looking at all the things that share differences between both the versions of the theme.
After you’ve installed and activated the theme its time to go to your WordPress Dashboard. Bring your mouse on to Appearance and click on GeneratePress.
You will see an entire page displaying all the modules that come along with GeneratePress and the version mentioned above.
Free version of GeneratePress runs on 3.0.3 (at the time of writing) and none of the modules shown are available.
Let us have a look at GeneratePress premium and see the modular approach of add-ons, created by the developers.
This is how the GP premium dashboard will look like showing version 3.0.3 (free version number) on the top and premium plugin version – 2.0.2 (at the time of writing) just before the modules. Notice that premium users not only get the 13 modules but also get access to Elements and Site Library.
All the modules can be turned on/off depending upon your requirement. This keeps your site free from extra clutter and loads very fast.
GeneratePress Theme Customizer
The theme customizer can be reached via WordPress Dashboard. Hover your mouse on to Appearance and this time click on Customize.
That will open the GeneratePress Theme Customizer.
On the left hand side is the GeneratePress free theme customizer that I’ve put up for demo purpose on one of my testing website.
The first module – Site Identity is equally the same with similar options in the GeneratePress free and premium theme.
Lets look at the next module called Layout. There are some options missing in GeneratePress free theme.
Here you can clearly see that the GeneratePress free version theme does have layout options for Secondary Navigation, Sticky Navigation and Off Canvas Panel.
GeneratePress Layout Container Options
The free GeneratePress theme only gives options for main container width, content layout and container alignment.
Whereas, GeneratePress premium a lot of options that can easily make your content look nice and clean on all of your web pages.
GeneratePress Layout Header Options
As opposed to the GP premium, you only get basic Header options in GeneratePress free theme.
The best options available in GeneratePress premium for Header layout are Use Navigation as Header and Mobile Header.
With Mobile Header set to ON, you can create a different header for mobile devices. Using Navigation as Header lets you create stunning navigation pages like the on you see above.
GeneratePress Layout Primary Navigation Options
The Primary Navigation in GeneratePress premium not only gives you Responsive navigation features like Mobile Menu and its breakpoint setting. But, also offers width and height setting of menu items and sub-menu items.
Those options are right below the Navigation drop down options shown in the image here.
GeneratePress Layout Secondary Navigation
This option is NOT available for users using GeneratePress free version.
Its simply an additional navigation menu after the main primary navigation menu. It can be brought into use if you have wide range of contents that need to be categorized under Menu items.
I have the same set of Menu items on the top of the header because this was just for demo purpose and my site does not actually require a Secondary Navigation at the moment. But, overtime with the increase of content, I may need it.
GeneratePress Layout Sticky Navigation
Sticky Navigation is NOT available in GeneratePress free version.
Enabling Sticky Navigation lets you keep the Primary Menu on the top of your screen, even while scrolling down the web page. This effect suits best for online store product pages or sales pages.
The effect can be achieved on Desktop, Mobile, or both together.
I have selected the Fade transition effect and added a logo in the sticky bar for demo purpose. The small logo area serves the purpose for branding your store or blog.
GeneratePress Layout Off Canvas Panel
An Off Canvas Panel is to display your Menu items off from the main canvas. It can be set for desktop, mobile, or both together.
I have applied my site’s primary menu items in Off Canvas Panel mobile view. Off Canvas Panel is NOT available with the GeneratePress free theme.
GeneratePress Layout Sidebar Options
There isn’t much difference between GeneratePress free vs premium when we talk about the Layout options for Sidebars.
Here the premium version theme gives you granular control over adjusting the width of your Right/Left Sidebar and also offers widget padding for desktop and mobile views.
GeneratePress Layout Footer Options
With the free GeneratePress theme, you will have to do the Footer Bar Alignment manually (by using CSS code).
Moreover you, also get Footer and Widget Area padding options.
GeneratePress premium theme also offers you Copyright section, where-in you can easily remove powered by GeneratePress (default copyright message) and add your own custom message in footer.
Although this section comes into the Layout module. But, since it has tons of options to show, I have written it seperately.
First of all, I would want you clearly understand that the GeneratePress free version only has the following option in its Blog section.
There isn’t any option other than Content Type – Full or Excerpt.
On the other hand, GeneratePress Premium has a module called as Blog which has to be activated in order to use all its settings.
In the above image I have only been able to showcase the settigns mentioned under Archives. There are similar level of options available with Single Post Content, Featured Images in Posts and Pages.
This completes the Layout module in GeneratePress. Now we will look into Colors.
The free version of GeneratePress has very limited color options. You could literally count them on your fingers.
Whereas, GP Premium gives you total on color customization. For a better understanding allow me to throw an image of color customization of Body and Header.
Just like the Body and Header, every other section offers in-depth color granularity for beautifying your entire website.
Typography is everything about fonts, and is one of the most important factor that constitutes to the overall look and feel of your website.
Having limited options will only help you in the beginning but you will eventually have to get total control over your site’s typography. that’s what GP Premium gives you.
First let us understand how many options do you get with the free GeneratePress theme.
When compared to other free themes, GeneratePress is quite generous. But, over time you will definitely need more than what has been displayed in the image above.
On the other hand, GeneratePress premium offers vast typography options for keeping uniformity in fonts throughout your site.
That really gives a good look and feel to your readers. In the end, you will always want your readers to feel good after reading the content from your site.
For your satisfaction, I will open up three components under GeneratePress premium Typography – Body, Header and Headings.
GeneratePress premium theme typography for Body & Header
GeneratePress premium version theme typography for Headings.
Alone Headings, has so many options. Using them effectively will make your website look great.
It will be difficult to open up all the options here, but I guess that you’ve got the gist of it.
The Background Images module is NOT at all available in the GeneratePress free theme. For using this module, you will first need to activate it under the GeneratePress modules section.
It has got several options for you to choose relevant images and customize your entire website as per the niche.
Let us pick up a random image and see this module in action.
I have applied a Background Image to the Header of my website. This is just for demo purpose, but you can assign images according to the dimensions of the options you are customizing. For example, a large image with mild opacity will look very good if assigned to the content section of your site.
Both the GeneratePress free and premium version share this module but with few differences.
In the free GeneratePress you only get the overall site Structure option, Icon Type selection, and Cache dynamic CSS class to choose from.
Where as with the GeneratePress premium theme you get few more options that bring more performance to your site’s loading speed.
Dynamic CSS Print Method allows you to choose between Inline Embedding and printing CSS on an external file. Combine CSS automatically combines all your CSS to reduce the amount of server requests. Similarly, Cache dynamic CSS also helps in boosting performance.
Finally, the Smooth-Scroll class helps in smooth scrolling from your anchor links to the exact part of your page.
All of this can be achieved using 3r party plugins. But, you get all of this in-built with the GeneratePress premium version. That means you save your website from unnecessary plugin clutter.
Every site needs atleast 1 menu for displaying its main links for navigation. Website navigation is an important aspect when it comes to user experience. A site with a standard primary navigation with proper menu items will give its readers better experience than a website with no navigation at all.
Both GeneratePress free and premium version offer Menus. But, GeneratePress free theme only gives 1 menu location whereas GP Premium offers 3 different Menu locations.
The right hand side part of the image is taken from BloggingIdol’s GeneratePress theme customizer. Currently, I am using 2 Menus – Primary Navigation Menu and Off Canvas Panel Menu for mobile view.
Let us look at the locations of the menus.
As you can see, my Top Menu (just a name) consists of a few pages and categories, is applied to the Primary Navigation of my website.
This is one section that almost shares similarities between GeneratePress free and premium version.
Since, Off Canvas Panel is an option under Layout module within GeneratePress premium.
We can see an additional Widget location. Otherwise, this section is almost identical in free as well paid version theme.
This is a free eCommerce plugin. With the free GeneratePress theme, you will have to download this plugin separately. Whereas, WooCommerce comes in-built with GP Premium. Just activate the module and you will see WooCommerce in the GeneratePress theme customizer.
With the WooCommerce module ON, you get settings for general Store Notice, Products, Images, and Checkout page. If there aren’t any additional WooCommerce add-ons running.
These are the settings available with WooCommerce.
Additional WooCommerce settings can be found under Layout. These options really make your site look like a proper online web store.
The settings here apply to cart, shopping bag, sidebar, and other shop page related options.
Other settings deal with Single Product page appearance, Related Products, and Checkout page.
Note: You cannot see the above options in the GeneratePress free theme.
GeneratePress only offers advanced level spacing like height, width, content padding, etc. with GP Premium. This is an option to consider between GeneratePress free vs premium, if you’d want to create neat and pristine web pages.
Following are the total number of Spacing options available for you in GeneratePress premium theme.
This is for adjusting the padding within your website’s Header. You can reach it via Customize -> Layout -> Header
Menu Item Height and Width
Adjust your Primary Navigation’s Menu and Sub-Menu items height and width. Found in Customize -> Layout -> Primary Navigation
Left and Right Sidebar Width
Percentage based setting for Left and Right Sidebars. Can be reached via Customize -> Layout -> Sidebars
Adjust the edge of your content container and the content inside of it. Separate values can be given for Mobile view. You can reach it via Customize -> Layout -> Container
This setting allows you to choose Separating Space between the elements on your website. But, first you should have the content layout set to Separate Containers. This is seen in Customize -> Layout -> Container
Footer Widget and Footer Padding
Footer Widgets are the widgets that you have created for your website’s footer. They are seen before the actual footer (bottom-most part). Footer area is the copyright area. Both of these have padding options that can be changed in GeneratePress premium. These changes can be made via Customize -> Layout -> Footer
Widgets are always seen in the Sidebars of any website. GP Premium offers an extra widget padding which works like a separating space within the sidebar container. Set different values for both desktop and mobile views. Perform changes in Customize -> Layout -> Sidebars
Secondary Menu Item Height and Width
Secondary Navigation is only found on GP Premium. Make changes to the Menu items height and width on secondary navigation. Do it from Customize -> Layout -> Secondary Navigation
Earlier known as the GP Hooks module is now called as Elements. Mostly it is also referred to as GeneratePress element hook.
This module is only available for GeneratePress premium users. For making use of this module, you will need to activate Elements. Activate it from Appearance->GeneratePress->Elements.
By using Elements, you eradicate the need for creating a child theme. Elements allow you to create special Hooks that carry small amount of code, which can be used on any part of your website. It lets you create Blocks, Hooks, Layouts and Headers. Hence, this is one of the best feature choosing between GeneratePress free vs premium. It really beautifies your website and gives it a modern look.
Creating a simple author box at the bottom of every post is a common example of running an Element Hook on your website. Code it once and the author box will be displayed for each author after he/she publishes their blog. To learn more and understand this element hook, have a look at how to add author box in GeneratePress theme.
Other most commonly seen GeneratePress element hooks are custom headers and page heros, content template and post meta templates.
GeneratePress Site Library
The GeneratePress Site Library is found under Appearance->GeneratePress. Pick the one that you would like to use for yours or your client’s next project and save a lot of development time.
You can choose from more than 70+ pre-made website templates. These templates form the entire GeneratePress Site Library which cover almost all niches and are also made using page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder.
GeneratePress Free Theme
- Completely Free for lifetime
- Responsive and mobile-friendly
- Better layout options of Header, Primary Navigation, Sidebars, and Footer than other free themes in the WordPress eco-space.
- Decent amount of Widgets to display on your website.
- GeneratePress free comes with built-in Schema Markup for blog posts only
- Keeps your website light and makes it load Super Fast.
- Single click Reset button available
- The free version of GeneratePress gives very little Color and Typography options for your site.
- Includes limited Layout control options
- No control over your entire website’s Spacing needs – like Padding, Separating Space, Height and Width.
- Does not include Secondary Navigation, Sticky Navigation , and Off Canvas Panel.
- GeneratePress free does not offer you the official GeneratePress Site Library.
- Lacks Element module. Hence, you will have to depend on 3rd party plugins for any type of features required on your site.
- No WooCommerce Layout options found in free GeneratePress theme.
- No Support and Updates given from the company
- Does not come with Import/Export options
GeneratePress Premium Theme (GP Premium)
- GeneratePress premium theme comes with all Features that are seen in the GeneratePress free version.
- GP Premium plugin gives you total access to GeneratePress Site Library.
- Comes with 13 Different Modules that can be switched on/off. One of the prime factors to consider between GeneratePress free vs premium.
- Granular control over Colors and Typography to make your website stand out.
- In-depth WooCommerce Layout options are found in this theme, after activating the WooCommerce module.
- Elements Module give for creating Hooks, Blocks, Headers, and Layouts.
- GeneratePress premium theme comes with Disable Elements Module. That lets you disable elements like Top Bar, Header, Featured Image, Primary Navigation, Content Title, and Footer.
- Gives you Spacing and Menu Plus modules. Spacing offers granular spacing options on your entire site and Menu Plus brings in fine tuned adjustments to Secondary Nav, Sticky Nav, Slide-Out Nav, and Mobile Menu.
- You can change the Copyright Message in footer credits of GP premium theme.
- Comes with Import/Export options.
- Complete Support and Updates given by company.
- The GeneratePress premium theme comes with Annual Licensing and Lifetime Licensing options.
- GP Premium comes with 30 days money-back guarantee. No questions asked.
- Lacks White Labeling feature (at the time of writing). But, the developers are planning to bring it in the near future.
Similarities Between GeneratePress Free vs Premium
Overall, if you look at both the themes, you will see they are identical in many ways;
- Both the themes have a rock solid code foundation and are very SEO friendly.
- You can expect a great responsiveness and mobile friendliness even with its free variant.
- GeneratePress free and premium themes both share similar options in Site Identity and Homepage Settings.
- You can easily add Custom CSS (Additional CSS) in both GeneratePress free and premium themes.
- If there are plenty of changes to be made, you get a single Reset button with both the versions.
- Websites built on both GeneratePress free and premium version load very quickly.
Choosing Between GeneratePress Free vs Premium
Choose GeneratePress Free
- Applies to beginners or website in its starting stage where there isn’t much content on it.
- If you are only looking for a theme to create a simple website.
- If you already have a premium page builder running on the site.
Choose GeneratePress Premium
- If you want to access the official GeneratePress Site Library
- If you want to create a professional good looking website or a blog.
- For creating a website that gives all the features and still loads very quickly.
- To design your entire website without writing any code.
GeneratePress Premium Theme Pricing
GeneratePress offers annual and lifetime pricing for its customers.
Both the licenses have similar features and also come with a 30 day money-back guarantee. So, you won’t have anything to loose.
FAQs on GeneratePress Free vs Premium
Yes, GeneratePress is 100% free for lifetime. Keep in mind, the free theme does not include any of support and updates from the team.
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme. It is highly popular and has been in the WordPress eco-space from the last 6 years. GeneratePress focuses on speed, security, stability, and flexibility of use. On the other hand, GP premium is a paid plugin that extends the theme. Think of it like the premium version of the theme with all the features, support and continuous updates.
GeneratePress premium will cost you $59 for 1 year and $249 for a lifetime license. It comes with 12 modules, an official Site Library, Elements module to create Hooks, Blocks, Headers, and Layouts. You get support and updates depending upon your license, and can use the same key on up to 500 new websites. GeneratePress also offers its free theme for users to give a try and then decide whether to purchase or not.
Well, you can use your GP premium license on 500 new websites. Those websites could be yours or your clients.
The latest version of GeneratePress free theme is 3.0.3 and the latest version of GeneratePress premium is 2.0.2 (at the time of writing).
Firstly go to Apperance -> GeneratePress and check the current version of your GP premium plugin. GeneratePress releases updates from time-to-time. Now go to Plugins -> Installed Plugins, then look for GP Premium and click on Enable Auto-Updates
Just like any other theme, it is best that GeneratePress keeps on undergoing updates to bring you its best. Changes that have taken place as updates are shown in under ChangeLog. You can check them via Plugins -> Installed Plugins then look for GP Premium and click on View Details.
GeneratePress gives industry leading support to its customers. Post a question on their forums and you will surely get plenty of replies by the end of the day. That way, you can feel safe and secure about any of your website projects.
My Verdict on GeneratePress Free vs Premium
If you’d ask me, which theme would I go for between GeneratePress free vs premium?
My reply would be GeneratePress premium, instantly. Reason being, there so much given to you for making a professional looking website. Whether you want to make your website for a business, build a blog, or create client’s sites, GP premium is the real deal.
Moreover, you also get to use 1 GP premium’s license on 500 new websites, continuous updates and support. What more could anyone ask for?
Recently, you also get to choose between an annual license and a lifetime license. Plus, both of them are backed up by a 30 day money back guarantee.
Tons of customization options, super quick website loading speed, modular approach of modules, in-built schema markup for almost all elements, and 100% mobile friendliness, makes GeneratePress premium the choice of many website owners and agencies.