GeneratePress Tutorial – Free Version: A basic guide for new users

This GeneratePress tutorial is about the free WordPress theme. You can buy a premium upgrade.

But this page describes the free theme only.

Most WordPress themes are fairly generic. They have things like a navbar, sidebars and footer widgets etc. In this GeneratePress tutorial I’ll concentrate on the special and important features in the free version of the theme.

This is a one minute video overview

This video is a bit out of date now, but it will give you a good idea of what GeneratePress is.

To watch the full video of this tutorial scroll to the bottom of this page. Jump To Video

This is what Generate Press free edition looks like…

The arrows and red text in this image highlight some notable features.

Generate Press Tutorial for the Free Theme

Full Width or Contained

You can set Generate Press to span the full browser window or to be contained. The screenshot above shows the theme set to be contained in a boxed layout.

Top Bar widget area

The Top Bar is a widget area that is ideal for displaying your phone number right at the very  top of the page. However, you could put any content in here that suits your own site or business needs.

You Can Use an Image Logo or Text For The Site Title

The header section of this screenshot, that I made for this Generate Press tutorial, shows an image logo. If you prefer you could use text for the site title and add a text tagline. You can align the site title or image logo to the left, right or center.

Social Media Icons

The social media icons are added using the Lightweight Social Icons plugin. After installing the plugin, you just drag the Lightweight Social Icons widget into the header widget area. Then choose an icon from the list, such as Facebook and type your social media page URL in to a box.

Navbar Options

You can position the navigation bar above, below or inside the site header. If you place the navbar inside the header you’d have to move the social media icons to the sidebar or footer.

Go to Customize > Layout > Header: Header Presets – and make your changes.

If you have drop down links in the navbar you can set the drop down links to only display when you actually click the top link. This makes your drop down navigation links work better on mobile devices.

Generate Press also has a search feature built into the primary navigation. Just click the search icon in the navbar to open a search box. This search icon is optional. You can see this feature on the demo site I made to go with this GeneratePress tutorial.

Featured Images

If you set a featured image as you write your post, that featured image will automatically display at the top of that post.

Footer Widgets

There are five footer widgets available in the GeneratePress free theme. You don’t have to use all five. However, make sure you start at the beginning when adding widgets to the footer widget area. Especially if you’re only using two or three of the five footer widgets. You can not, for instance, just place widgets in footer widget areas 3 and 4. You would have to use footer widget area 1 and 2 first.

Footer Bar

The footer bar is a different widget area to the footer widgets, see image above. I made that image especially for this GeneratePress tutorial 🙂 The footer bar is an ideal place to put a big bold call to action etc.

Back to Top

You can enable or disable the back to top button. It’s up to you.

Navigating your Way Around GeneratePress Free Theme

This is one of the most important sections of this Generate press tutorial, so please take note!

You can find the settings for Generate Press theme in three different places.

  • Dashboard > Appearance > Customize
  • Dashboard > Appearance > Generate Press
  • (and in the WordPress) Post Editor

GeneratePress theme options in the Customizer

You get to most of the GeneratePress theme settings by going to Dashboard > Appearance > Customize

You then have several options to choose from including…

  • Site Identity
  • Layout
  • Colors
  • Typography
  • Blog

You may have to drill down several layers inside the customizer to find the actual setting you need.

For instance to place the navbar below the header you would go to…

Dashboard > Appearance > Customize > Layout > Primary Navigation > Navigation Location > Below Header.

Primary navigation settings in Generate Press Free theme

I recommend you spend some time exploring the options in Dashboard > Appearance > Customize: and familiarize yourself with the options that are available .

Generate Press theme options in the WordPress post editor

As you write each new post, you’ll notice several options in the sidebar below the publish button. These options include…

  • Sidebar Layout
  • Footer Widgets
  • Page-Builder Container
  • Disable Elements.

You can choose the sidebar layout for each post as you write it. This setting overrides the default sidebar settings which are found in Dashboard > Appearance > Customize > Layout > Sidebars.

You can choose how many of your footer widgets will display on this individual post. Look in the post editor sidebar for the footer widgets option and make your selection.

The Page Builder Container is used when you use a page builder plugin such as GenerateBlocks or Beaver Builder. This looks like a simple and fairly unimportant option in the WordPress post editor sidebar. To find it scroll down below the button you use to publish or save your posts. By selecting the Full Width or Contained button. you make any Beaver Builder page layouts you make span the full browser width, of the viewer’s monitor. Or tell the content area of your page to remain contained in a boxed style page layout. This is a very useful option that few themes have.

Disable Elements, in the free theme you only have one element that you can disable, the post title. This again is very useful when using a page layout plugin like GenerateBlocks or Beaver Builder.

Options available in the post editor when using Generate Press Free theme

Build grids and columns with GenerateBlocks plugin

If you want to build fancy page layouts with grids, columns and background images etc. Use the GenerateBlocks plugin. It can build layouts that really do rival long established page builders such as Elementor and Beaver Builder. If you want to keep using the WordPress classic editor (not the block editor), I recommend using Beaver Builder plugin for page layouts.

Built in Tutorials and Guides

After installing Generate Press free theme go to…

Dashboard > Appearance > Generate Press

Here you’ll find a list of useful guides and tutorials made by the theme developer.

These Start Customizing links are on the right hand side of the screen.

More information about the Generate Press theme…

My review of the Premium Plugin

Read the reviews of this theme on

See the Free Theme on

See the Upgrade Options

This video is a bit out of date, but it will give you a good idea of how the free version of GeneratePress works.