GeneratePress is one of my favorite themes because it’s the perfect blend of flexibility, usability and speed. I use it here on BTW as well as several of my other niche sites.
And people frequently ask me which plugins work well with Generatepress. What plugin stack do I use, etc.
These are my favorite plugins to use with GeneratePress Theme.
I’ve divided the plugins into categories:
How I chose these plugins
First off, every plugin on this list is one that I’ve used personally. Often on multiple websites alongside GeneratePress.
I selected them based on several criteria:
- Functionality— does what I need it to
- Support — Solid team behind the plugin with continuous development
- Clean Code — No unfixed bugs or conflicts with other plugins
- Pricing — Free or reasonably priced relative to the features
- Speed — Doesn’t slow down my site or hurt page speed scores
Content & Block Plugins for GeneratePress
These are plugins I used to create or enhance my content. Since I primarily used the Gutenberg editor, many of these or block-based plugins. The one notable exception is Elementor Pro which is a great tool to have in your bag for special situations.
If you’re using GeneratePress theme (especially Premium) GenerateBlocks is a must-have plugin. It expands the capability of GeneratePress Elements, especially when used with Block or Hook elements.
GenerateBlocks ingeniously combined 4 simple block types to create complex responsive layouts, and completely customize your site design. For example, it’s how you can create complex theme components like this Post-Navigation block from the GP site library:
GenerateBlocks comes in both free and pro flavors, but the free version is enough for most users.
Kadence blocks is my go-to Gutenberg addon for more advanced content types. It has all the essentials (and some extras).
- icon lists
- post blocks/post grid
- advanced headings
- and more…
There’s two reasons Kadence Blocks is a perfect fit for GeneratePress. First, you get easy styling controls for all the block types, which means you don’t need CSS to make your site like custom.
Secondly, all the blocks only enqueue the exact files needed, so it keeps your site lightning fast.
The Free Version is going to be enough for most users. If you want additional controls, a block library and extra block types, go for Kadence Blocks Pro.
Lazyblocks isn’t for everyone, because it does require HTML and CSS knowledge to use. But if you do have some front-end skills then LazyBlocks is the easiest darn way to create custom Gutenberg Blocks for your site (with no PHP code).
It’s intuitive, doesn’t require PHP (unlike ACF Pro Blocks) and is completely free. And the developer is constantly improving the plugin. It has never been easier to create custom block-based components for your site.
I don’t care what the haters say, I love Elementor. I don’t always use Elementor, but when I do… it’s awesome.
Sure, I build most of my blog content with blocks, but there are some things that are better suited for page builders. Some examples include: complex designs, full-page layouts, sales pages, or any layout that needs lots of custom styling.
And my favorite use-case is dynamic content. Displaying data from custom fields in a gorgeous template. That’s how I built this post template, something that would have taken me hours if I had to build it with PHP and CSS. Elementor makes it easy (and fun).
Keep Learning: Build a dynamic review template with Elementor Pro
What about speed? Most of the ‘Elementor is slow!’ comments you see posted on forums are from inexperienced builders using bad hosting. On a properly optimized site, Elementor can load incredibly fast. I get near 1-second load times with my $12 VPS server.
GeneratePress Plugins for Dynamic Content
Dynamic content can take your GeneratePress site to the next level. By pulling content from custom fields, you can reuse it across your site and easily keep it up to date while managing it one place.
One example would be product pricing for a product you mention often. Instead of having to manually update 20 blog posts every time it goes on sale, you can just change one custom field value. And those 20 posts will pull that data in dynamically. It’s awesome.
Here’s what I use for that:
- Pods – Create custom post types, custom fields and custom taxonomies
- Custom Post Types UI – Same as pods, minus the custom fields
- Advanced Custom Fields – The most complete free plugin for creating custom fields
The biggest challenge for most people is how to actually display custom fields on your site.
ACF and Pods both have a simple Shortcode that can display text-based custom fields easily. But that’s just a fraction of what custom fields can do.
And that’s the real reason I use Elementor Pro on my sites. It makes it incredibly easy to pull in dynamic content like Custom Fields and display in in a way that is visually appealing. And despite that incredible power, you still get fast page load times with proper optimization.
GeneratePress Speed Plugins
Many of you selected GeneratePress because it has a reputation for speed. And it is quite fast, so I like to keep it that way.
The best way to do this, of course, is to limit 3rd-party plugins and external scripts. But I prefer a nice middle-ground between functionality and speed. I’m not a plugin minimalist by any means. Most of my sites have somewhere between 30-50 plugins.
And that’s where optimization plugins come in. They combine caching, minification, compression and other techniques to keep my sites running superfast despite the plugin load.
These are my favorites:
WP-Rocket is the most complete speed optimization plugin on the market and also one of the most user-friendly. Their documentation is excellent and there are tons of user-created tutorials to help you squeeze every last drop of speed out of the tool.
WP-Rocket is an all-in-one tool. The only thing missing is image compression (which is better handled separately anyway).
- Auto-generate Critical CSS
- Load JS and CSS deferred (faster load times)
- Lazyload images and videos
- Page Caching (faster TTFB)
- Prefetch links (load the next page before the user clicks)
- and more…
Shortpixel is an image compression tool. It takes your unoptimized images and shrinks the file size while preserving all (or most) of the visual quality. It can cut image file sizes by more than 70% in some cases.
Not only that, it can serve webP images, which are the next-gen image format loved by Google. And it can even serve exact-sized images directly from a CDN. This takes load off your server and increases load times by allowing the page to load from multiple sources simultaneously.
Pricing: Shortpixel is free for up to 150 images/month. I buy one-off credits for a fraction of a penny, and most of my sites cost under $20/year.
Other optimization plugins
There are a few more plugins I will use on select projects to keep my Generatepress sites running fast.
- Autoptimize – It has most of the features of WP-Rocket minus the page caching and critical CSS generation (paid addon).
- Cloudflare SuperPageCache – Serve static HTML straight from the cloud. Gamechanger.
- Preload Featured Images – lightweight plugin that improves your LCP time
Aside from content and speed plugins, every GeneratePress will need some additional utility-style plugins. Tools for spam protection, security, and SEO.
- Anti-Spam Bee – This amazing free plugin is a lightweight alternative to Akismet and other comment spam solutions. It blocks 99% of my spam comments automagically.
- Rankmath – I got sick of all the upgrade nags from Yoast SEO, and Rankmath has proved a worthy alternative. People complain it’s bulky, but every module can be disabled individually.
- Loginizer – Protect your site from brute-force (password guessing) and credential-stuffing attacks. Excellent security without slowing down your site.
#1 Plugin: GeneratePress Premium
It may seem obvious, but the best plugin to use with GeneratePress Theme is… GeneratePress Premium.
GeneratePress Premium is an addon plugin that enables the ‘pro’ functionality on GeneratePress. It makes GeneratePress infinitely more powerful and user-friendly. And frankly, I wouldn’t consider building a GeneratePress site without it.
Some of the reasons I love it:
- More customizer controls for layout & styling
- Grid archive layout option
- GeneratePress Elements (my favorite feature)
- Layouts (hook specific post layouts by custom conditions)
- Hooks (hook blocks, html, php or shortcodes into any hook location).
- Block-based theme building: Customize every part of your site using blocks instead of PHP.
- Support – GeneratePress has the best support in the business. Their team literally writes code for you to make things work. This alone is worth the price of admission.
Wrapup & other thoughts
So what do you think about my list of the best plugins for GeneratePress? Do you use any of the tools on this list? Or would you like share other plugins that you love?
Make sure to leave a comment below!