GeneratePress is a lean, flexible theme with deep Gutenberg integration. And while I’m a big fan, it’s not for everyone.
That’s because Generatepress’s design philosophy is: we bring the structure, you bring the design. And honestly GeneratePress can be tough for novices and non-devs to use effectively.
As a result, many sites running GeneratePress look very similar, or at least somewhat generic. Because there simply isn’t that much granular styling control available in the customizer.
So if GeneratePress isn’t the right fit for you, here are the best GeneratePress alternatives you should consider.
Recommended GeneratePress Alternatives
These themes are my favorite alternatives to GeneratePress. Each has some similar features to GeneratePress, while offering unique functionality that may be a better fit for you. They’re ranked more or less by popularity, but not by quality.
Astra is the closest theme to GeneratePress in terms of functionality, capabilities and design.
Just like GeneratePress, Astra offers:
- Customizer-based design
- Header & Footer builder
- Dozens of hook locations
- Gutenberg integration
So if you’re coming from GP, Astra will feel very familiar.
But there are significant differences too:
What’s different in Astra?
For starters, Astra offers a number of features that GeneratePress currently doesn’t.
Extra features include:
- Mega Menu
- Related Posts module
- WooCommerce integration
- More than 100 importable starter sites
- Mobile-specific header
- More blog layouts and design controls
- Unlimited custom sidebars
- A usable free version
For me, the biggest differentiators are the included mega menu and related posts modules (saves extra plugins). Beginners will appreciate the massive site library and more flexible customizer controls.
In terms of speed, Astra is nearly identical to GeneratePress, and was just a few milliseconds slower in our head-to-head comparison.
And don’t forget that Astra’s free version is far more versatile than GeneratePress’s, which is barely even a demo.
Astra is a free theme, with a Pro Plugin that adds significantly more functionality. I personally own a lifetime Astra Pro license (I bought the full bundle) since I think it’s a fantastic long-term investment.
Astra Pro is available in both annual & lifetime pricing. Either plan is unlimited. There is no restriction on the number of sites.
The best free alternative to GeneratePress. Blocksy’s free theme is excellent.
Blocksy is one of the most customizable themes ever created. Not only does it let you control the styling of nearly every theme component, but you can do it visually through the front-end customizer.
So you want a beginner-friendly theme with full design control, Blocksy is the one for you.
And there’s even more to love about Blocksy. For example, it ships with pre-built blog layouts that actually look modern. You can customize the page headers and design custom post templates on a per-category or per-post-type basis.
It also includes AJAX loading, a mega menu, related posts module, and more.
And the crazy part is, all that functionality is included in the free version. So it’s no wonder that Blocksy was named our best free WordPress theme this year.
Blocksy offers a pro upgrade bundle which includes even more functionality. Many of these pro features are similar to what you get in GeneratePress premium.
- Header & Footer builder
- Custom fonts
- Custom sidebars
- Block-based hook system (like GeneratePress Elements)
- Local font hosting
- Adobe Typekit support
- See all features
All of Blocksy’s pro features do come at a cost, and the plans are less-generous than GeneratePress unless you only need it for a handful of sites. The price varies based on how many licenses you need.
Kadence Theme is quite similar to Blocksy in both features and design. The free version is functional enough to use on production sites and product is well-supported.
As far as speed goes, Kadence sits between GeneratePress and Blocksy, but is still quite fast.
One significant perk of using Kadence theme is it integrates seamlessly with Kadence blocks, (another product from the same developer). This lets you use Gutenberg as a full-fledged theme builder (much as you can with GeneratePress elements and Generateblocks).
You’ll also find a drag-and-drop header/footer builder (free version) and built-in breadcrumbs (which GeneratePress does not offer).
This makes Kadence Theme a perfect choice if you’re someone who wants the hybrid theme-building capabilities of GeneratePress with the functionality and design control of Blocksy. It’s no wonder I’ve been seeing Kadence sites pop up all over the web.
The free version is awesome on its own, but Kadence Pro ads a number of features including:
- Mega Menu
- Header/Footer scripts
- Hooked Elements (like GeneratePress Elements)
- WooCommerce integration
- Sticky Elements
The biggest selling point here is the Hooked Elements feature, which is the only functionality you can’t easily add from 3rd-party plugins.
The base Kadence Theme is free forever, but if you want pro it’ll cost you an annual licensing fee (for updates and support). You can also buy a lifetime license of bundle it with other Kadence plugins. The lifetime bundle is a solid value, which I personally purchased in 2020.
|Unlimited||$59 (first year)/$79 (renewal)||$699 (all pro plugins)|
4. Thrive Theme Builder
Thrive Suite (including their Theme Builder) is an all-in-one toolkit for building any type of website from the ground up. It consists of more than 8 tightly-integrated plugins to build fast, feature-rich websites.
So if you aren’t sold on the Gutenberg-first approach of GeneratePress and other themes on this list, take a look at Thrive Theme builder.
Instead of being restricted to a developer’s idea of what a typical site should look like, you can build every component of your theme with Thrive Architect (the bundled drag-and-drop builder).
If you don’t need that level of control, you can import production-ready starter sites and simply tweak the design to fit your branding.
What’s in Thrive Suite
Thrive suite consists of 10 plugins (with more on the way)
- Thrive Theme Builder – Design a custom theme visually
- Thrive Architect – Page builder
- Thrive Apprentice – LMS/Courses
- Thrive Quiz Builder – Lead gen, viral quizzes, segmentation
- Thrive Ultimatum – Evergreen countdown and deadline funnels
- Thrive Automator – Communication and automation between plugins
- Thrive Leads – Lead capture and affiliate conversion
- Thrive Comments – Upgraded WP comment system (awesome)
- Thrive Ovation – Social proof & testimonials
- Thrive Optimize – A/B split testing
You can also buy Thrive Theme builder as a standalone plugin for $97, but it’s much more valuable as a bundle.
Why Choose Thrive?
Thrive Suite’s popularity comes down to two main factors:
- All-in-one: You get almost everything you need to build a site in one seamless package. No more reliance on 3rd-party plugins to add one-off features. Build leaner sites that just work
- Design Visually: No need to mess with hooks or Gutenberg blocks. Thrive’s builder is 100% visual drag-and-drop for easy, professional-looking designs
And if you’re in the affiliate marketing space, you may have noticed that Thrive’s suite is incredibly popular with people who build multiple niche-sites. That’s because you can design content blocks once, then reuse them throughout a site or on other sites.
This is perfect for content components like:
- pros/cons lists
- review templates
- Affiliate callouts
- Product listicles
- Comparison tables
- and so on…
5. Genesis Framework
Genesis was the first hook-based theme to take WordPress by storm and in many ways GeneratePress is the next logical evolution of the Genesis framework.
Genesis used to be sold as a pro theme, but now the base theme is available completely for free. Instead, the company sells Genesis Pro as an optional upgrade, which includes their full suite of Genesis child themes as well as two pro Genesis plugins.
Genesis Free includes:
- Base theme (intended to be used with a child theme)
Genesis Pro include:
- 40+ Genesis child themes
- Genesis Blocks Pro (gutenberg addon)
- Genes Custom Blocks Pro (create custom blocks with no PHP or JS)
- Block Layouts – Prebuilt block patterns for fast prototyping
Genesis vs. GeneratePress
While GeneratePress has moved towards a beginner-friendly UI, Genesis has always been a developer-first theme. Aside from basic customizer design options, all the theme hooks need to be accessed via code or an add-on plugin, rather than a drag-and-drop builder like GeneratePress elements.
The upside is you get an incredibly lean, flexible framework to build your custom theme upon. Genesis has a thriving community of passionate, talented developers and there are plenty of code snippets available to help jumpstart your next project.
But again, let me stress that if you do not feel comfortable writing PHP or have never considered building a custom theme, GeneratePress is probably a better choice for you the Genesis would be.
Divi is another standalone theme builder, similar to Thrive Theme Builder. This is no customizer-based theme. Instead, it’s a complete ecosystem where you can design every aspect of your theme and website using the (included) Divi builder.
Divi is one of the most customizable themes on earth and your imagination is really the only limitation. If you’re not a designer, there are dozens of importable templates and starter sites to get you up and running fast.
And for power-users, Divi is a perfect companion for dynamic data-powered sites using Custom Fields, Custom Post types and data-driven content.
However all these power does come with some tradeoffs:
- Lock-in: If you use Divi to design your entire site, then switching themes down the road may require a complete rebuild. So Divi is better suited to smaller projects unless you’re 100% committed.
- Speed: One of the most common reasons Divi users switch to other themes (and page builders) is site speed. They’ve made good strides but it still isn’t nearly as lean or fast as GeneratePress, Astra, or even other page builders like Bricks & Oxygen.
Sydeny by aThemes is one of the most powerful themes you’ve never heard of. It’s an all-purpose theme in the mold of GeneratePress, but with more better design controls and more pre-built layouts.
You get easy-to-use header and footer builders (with Pro), flexible layouts, multiple archive designs and tons of professionally designed starter sites.
It also includes pre-built content templates, so you can design entire pages really quickly.
You can also hook unlimited custom sidebars anywhere on your site, build custom post templates, and hook content (or blocks) into multiple theme locations just like GeneratePress Elements.
Sydney (free) has a near perfect rating in the WordPress theme repository, but the Pro version adds so much functionality it’s pretty much a no-brainer for any revenue-generating site.
And like GeneratePress, you don’t have to sacrifice speed. Sydney scores in the high 90’s right out of the box in GTMetrix testing.
Why Use Sydney?
If you love the speed and flexibility of GeneratePress but need a theme with more styling control and better built-in designs, Sydney is a perfect choice.
It’s a great balance of useable, powerful, and beautiful without being overwhelming like Blocksy’s options can be.
And unlike GeneratePress, Sydney integrates with Elementor and WooCommerce, giving you access to custom Elementor widgets for easy designing (optional).
What GeneratePress Does Well
GeneratePress does a lot of things well, but they’ve also made conscious choices to omit certain features that other themes offer.
These are some of my favorite things about GeneratePress
GeneratePress is a true all-in-one theme. It’s a blank canvas that can be used to build any type of site.
Once you learn to use the hook system and GeneratePress elements (pro) you can customize every area of your site by injecting content based on conditions that you specify.
While it’s not a true “Full-Site Editing” theme, GeneratePress offers a more flexible hybrid approach. You can design your entire site with Gutenberg, but you don’t have to.
GeneratePress handles all the core layout functionality allowing you to customize exactly what you need to without requiring you to build everything from scratch.
GeneratePress’s entire philosophy is: “we bring the structure, you bring the design”.
This is great for designers or passionate enthusiasts (like me) who want to create a truly custom site from the ground up without having to hand-code a theme.
On the other hand, it means you don’t get some of the pre-built styles that competitors like Kadence and Blocksy offer, which help beginners build more professional looking sites in a hurry.
The GeneratePress support forum (for premium subscribers) is actively maintained and extremely useful. There are thousands of support threads for the most commons GP-specific issues and questions, which can be found with a quick google search.
And if you have a unique issue, you’ll likely get a response in hours rather than days (or never) like some less customer-focused themes.
And the support doesn’t stop at GeneratePress features. The team can (and does) literally write custom PHP and CSS to help implement custom functionality when necessary.
Weaknesses of GeneratePress
Despite its strong points, GeneratePress does have some weak points, making it less suitable for certain users. These are the most common complaints, or reason to consider alternatives.
Lack of design controls
The customizer settings only go so far in GeneratePress. There are lots of theme components that you can’t customize just with your mouse. You’ll instead need to write custom CSS, use a visual CSS designer like MicroThemer, or go deep into the Block Templates feature of premium.
Blocksy, by comparison, lets you tweak, adjust and style nearly every aspect of your site. And that’s available in the free version.
Minimal built-in styling
If you’re not a designer, you’ll likely struggle to create a professional-looking modern website that looks unique. Instead, many GeneratePress sites end up looking relatively similar and somewhat bland.
That’s because there are no built-in card designs or styled page templates. You are responsible for the design and most casual site-owners simply don’t have the skills to make customizations that look professional.
GeneratePress Premium 2.0 was a major revolution that gave users the ability to edit any area of the site without touching PHP. Instead, you use GenerateBlocks or core Gutenberg blocks to build custom templates and utilize Generatepress’s built-in hook locations.
While this system works well, it has a relatively steep learning curve that can be intimidating even for fans of other page builders. Not everyone wants to design a custom post template using blocks. And I don’t blame them.
Though there are dozens (even hundreds) of WordPress themes worth considering, only a handful are viable competitors to GeneratePress.
Our recommended GeneratePress alternatives are:
I’d love to hear feedback from you on why you’re looking to move away from GeneratePress. What additional features are you looking for, or what did you find frustrating about the GeneratePress user experience?
Leave a comment below, or feel free to contact us directly.