If you have ever searched for “What is the fastest WordPress theme?” on Google, chances are you have seen the GeneratePress theme come up. GeneratePress, made by Tom Usborne, has notoriously been one of the fastest, lightweight, and flexible themes on the WordPress market.
With an admirable 3,000,000 downloads and over 1,000 5-star reviews in the WordPress theme market, it’s clear that GeneratePress is one of the most loved and well-rated WordPress themes ever created.
Not to mention, GeneratePress 3.0 was recently released which introduced a number of performance improvements including switching to SVG icons instead of an icon font, using flexbox for layout options rather than legacy floats and Unsemantic Grid, and decreasing the number of CSS files loaded.
This GeneratePress vs Kadence comparison is updated for GeneratePress 3.0.
All that being said, in 2020, another theme called the Kadence Theme created by the Kadence WP team made its way into the WordPress realm of themes and its popularity has been skyrocketing ever since.
As a matter of fact, the Kadence theme became the most popular non-default theme in the WordPress theme repository only two weeks after it was approved. It is one of the fastest-growing WordPress themes ever created.
After doing several WordPress theme reviews, the Kadence theme won my award for the best free WordPress theme in 2020 and I switched all of my websites that were using Astra and GeneratePress to the Kadence theme.
Many of the performance improvements that GeneratePress 3.0 introduced were already included in the Kadence theme from its onset.
With that in mind, you may be wondering, which company has a better theme – GeneratePress or Kadence WP? Is Kadence or GeneratePress faster? Which theme offers more free options? Which WordPress theme is best for the Gutenberg editor? I will answer all these questions and more in this hotly-debated matchup.
Use the Kadence vs GeneratePress guide below to jump around as you need:
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GeneratePress vs Kadence Comparison Overview
For a general overview of GeneratePress vs Kadence, check out the ratings table below. I’ll go over each of these sections in much more detail throughout this theme comparison.
Let’s start with the most important WordPress theme factor – speed performance.
In order to do this test, I grabbed a brand new domain and hooked it up to a SiteGround GoGeek Hosting Plan and turned on their new Ultrafast PHP option which, as you’ll see in later tests, gave me a TTFB (Time To First Byte) of 230 ms in some scenarios (very fast for shared hosting with no additional optimizations!).
After purchasing a hosting account, I did a fresh install of WordPress on the site and installed zero additional plugins (no caching or optimization plugins) so that the loading time would not be affected.
Then, I installed the free version of the GeneratePress theme and ran 9 consecutive tests back-to-back against a sample page using Web Page Test and recorded the median result of all 9 tests to get an accurate representation of how well the free GeneratePress theme performs out of the box.
After those tests were done, I uninstalled the free GeneratePress theme and installed the free Kadence theme, and ran the same 9 consecutive tests on my sample page.
Web Page Test
The results of the Web Page Test page speed comparison between Kadence vs GenereatePress can be found below:
|Theme||Med. Load Time* (s)||Med. Speed Index (s)||Requests||Page Size (kb)|
* The median result of 9 total speed tests. Click the links to see the full results.
I have to admit – the Kadence vs GeneratePress speed test results were the most surprising of all the WordPress theme comparisons I’ve done.
Let’s go over the findings.
First of all, for page requests, the Kadence theme had 10 requests and the GeneratePress theme only had 7 requests. Therefore, the Kadence theme has 3 more requests out of the box than GeneratePress. However, with HTTP/2 support (and now HTTP/3 on the horizon), the number of requests obviously doesn’t play a huge factor in page speed anymore.
Secondly, the page size difference between Kadence and GeneratePress was pretty drastic. Kadence has a page size of 47 kb and GeneratePress was only 30 kb which is minuscule.
That being said, this page size difference will make more sense further down in the article. The free GeneratePress theme is especially limited when it comes to free features and the free Kadence theme offers more free features than most paid themes, so it makes sense that the Kadence theme has a noticeably larger page size than GeneratePress.
Thirdly, the speed index for both the Kadence theme and the GeneratePress theme was identical at 0.700 seconds.
Lastly, let’s go over the median load times. This is the most important statistic when it comes to speed tests. GeneratePress had a median load time of 0.810 seconds and Kadence had a median load time of 0.774 seconds which means the Kadence theme loaded 0.036 seconds faster than GeneratePress right out of the box.
Is 36 ms a big difference? Not at all, but it is an extremely impressive win for the Kadence theme. GeneratePress, quite possibly the most well-known themes for page speed, is actually slower than the Kadence theme out of the box.
Want to see more? Let’s look at two more page speed tests.
GTMetrix Speed Test
Now let’s run the same tests on the sample page except with GTMetrix. Here are the results of the GTMetrix page speed comparison between Kadence vs GeneratePress 3.0:
|Theme||PageSpeed Score||YSlow Score||Fully Loaded Time||Total Page Size||Requests|
|GeneratePress||A (100%)||A (96%)||0.9 seconds||32.1 kb||7|
|Kadence||A (100%)||A (93%)||0.5 seconds||49.6 kb||10|
GeneratePress 3.0 Theme GTMetrix Page Speed Test:
Kadence Theme GTMetrix Page Speed Test:
Much like the Web Page Test results, you can see that GTMetrix shows a total page size of 32.1 kb for GeneratePress with 7 requests and 49.6 kb for the Kadence theme with 10 requests.
That being said, the only number you should focus on is the fully loaded time. GTMetrix shows the GeneratePress theme loading in 0.9 seconds and the Kadence theme loading in 0.5 seconds which has the Kadence theme loading 0.4 seconds faster than the GeneratePress theme.
You may also notice that the TTFB in the Kadence test was only 230 ms which is speedy fast for shared hosting. This is due to being hosted on SiteGround’s GoGeek Plan using their Ultrafast PHP option.
Hosting is the #1 factor for determining your website’s speed and SiteGround continues to reign supreme as the best in shared hosting and being the most beginner-friendly.
That being said, if you want the absolute best performance using managed cloud hosting and don’t mind a bit more setup, check out the Cloudways Vultr HF (High Frequency) plan which will get you even faster speeds.
This GTMetrix test makes the Kadence theme faster than GeneratePress in the first two page speed tests. Will the Kadence theme be the unanimous winner and take the crown for all three tests? Can’t wait to find out 😉
Google PageSpeed Insights Test
One final page speed test and I’ll be done. Let’s do a GeneratePress vs Kadence speed comparison using Google PageSpeed Insights.
For the Google page speed test, I only compared the mobile tab because mobile page speed is becoming increasingly important and is usually where many popular WordPress themes get lower scores and fail to produce fast speeds.
Here’s a table showing the Google PageSpeed Insights comparison between GeneratePress and Kadence:
|Theme||Mobile Score||Time to Interactive||Speed Index||Total Blocking Time|
|GeneratePress||100||1.5 seconds||1.5 seconds||0 ms|
|Kadence||100||1.5 seconds||1.5 seconds||0 ms|
I couldn’t make up these results if I tried. According to Google PageSpeed Insights, the Kadence theme and GeneratePress theme are virtually identical when it comes to page speed.
So, to find the true winner, let’s look at screenshots of the numbers more in detail.
GeneratePress Theme Google PageSpeed Insights – Mobile Score:
Kadence Theme Google PageSpeed Insights – Mobile Score:
Wow. Looking at the GeneratePress vs Kadence page speed comparison using Google PageSpeed Insights, you can’t get any closer than this.
As you can see, both the Kadence theme and GeneratePress had scores of 100 for the mobile tab which is as good as you can get.
The First Contentful Paint, Time to Interactive, and Speed Index were all identical at 1.5 seconds.
The Total Blocking Time was 0 ms and the Cumulative Layout Shift was also 0 which is a perfect score for both themes.
However, the Kadence theme’s Largest Contentful Paint was 1.8 seconds and GeneratePress was 1.5 seconds which makes the GeneratePress theme 0.3 seconds faster for Largest Contentful Paint.
Although it was unbelievably close, the GeneratePress theme wins the 3rd speed test against the Kadence theme.
Kadence vs GeneratePress – Which theme is faster? Out of the box, the Kadence theme loaded faster than GeneratePress in 2 out of 3 of my speed tests including Web Page Test (the most accurate one) and GTMetrix which means the Kadence theme is actually a faster WordPress theme than the incredibly lightweight GeneratePress theme. This is a significant finding because the free Kadence theme has way more features than the free GeneratePress theme and is much more beginner-friendly (more on that below).
Alright, so we know that both Kadence and GeneratePress are both very lightweight and load extremely fast with the Kadence theme loading slightly faster.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty details of what features each theme offers and different comparison tests, you’re probably wondering what each theme costs.
Well, both Kadence and GeneratePress offer free versions of their themes.
That being said, the free GeneratePress theme is so limited that it’s not even worth using.
The free Kadence theme, on the other hand, offers more free features than most paid themes do. I list all of these in the Free Features section of this article. If you’re on a budget and want a free WordPress theme, it’s a no-brainer to go with Kadence over GeneratePress.
However, if you want the absolute best and most powerful theme on the market right now, then extending the Kadence theme with Kadence Theme Pro would certainly be in your best interest.
Additionally, both GeneratePress and Kadence each have a “page builder” solution that ties directly in with the WordPress Gutenberg editor to extend the capabilities of Gutenberg and give you more block options.
GeneratePress’s version is called GenerateBlocks and Kadence’s is called Kadence Blocks. Both GenerateBlocks and Kadence Blocks are fantastic tools to help you ditch your page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy, etc.
Using GenerateBlocks or Kadence Blocks will give you a massive speed boost on your website because they’re extremely lightweight and produce way cleaner code than an actual page builder.
Right now, GenerateBlocks offers a free solution that adds 4 additional blocks. They recently announced the pro version of GenerateBlocks which is even better. They didn’t add any additional blocks, but GenerateBlocks Pro offers a full template library of blocks, global styles, more options to their blocks, and a number of additional features. It costs $39, $69, or $99 per year depending on how many sites you need it for.
Likewise, Kadence Blocks has a free version that adds around 12 additional blocks. They also offer a premium version called Kadence Blocks Pro which adds 7 additional premium blocks and costs $59 per year.
GeneratePress has a great theme and offers a lightweight page-building solution with GenerateBlocks and GenerateBlocks Pro along with a plugin called WP Show Posts which gives you a plethora of possibilities to display various posts on your pages.
However, I wish GeneratePress offered some sort of “bundle” where they bundle all their products together for a cheaper price. Perhaps it will come in the future. 🙂
Kadence, on the other hand, does offer a bundle package called the Kadence Membership which includes everything they have created. Kadence Theme Pro + Kadence Blocks Pro + every other plugin and theme that they’ve created or will create in the future. The best part is that there is a Lifetime Kadence Membership which is a one-time cost and you’ll never have to pay a renewal fee again.
As soon as I started using the Kadence theme, I immediately purchased the Lifetime Kadence Membership when I saw everything it could do. By using the Kadence Pro Theme, my page speed scores increased dramatically and I ditched Elementor on my main site because I could do everything I wanted with Kadence Blocks Pro.
Let’s look at a pricing table comparing GeneratePress vs Kadence along with GenerateBlocks vs Kadence Blocks:
|Kadence Pro Theme||$59||$229|
|GenerateBlocks Pro||$39 / $69 / $99||N/A|
|Kadence Blocks Pro||$59||N/A|
* Prices may vary.
For Start Blogging 101 readers, you can get 10% off the Lifetime Kadence Full Bundle or any other Kadence product.
Use code SB10OFF at checkout.
GeneratePress vs Kadence – Which theme offers more value for the money? Even though GeneratePress Premium ($59) is the same exact price as Kadence Theme Pro ($59), Kadence offers significantly more value for the money. The Kadence theme is faster than GeneratePress, has unmatched ease of use, offers remarkably more layout and color customizations, additional free and premium options, and much more as you’ll read later. Additionally, a Lifetime Kadence Membership offers the best value in an all-in-one package. You get access to Kadence Theme Pro, Kadence Blocks Pro, and every plugin/theme Kadence has created allowing you to ditch your page builder to vastly increase page speed.
Ease of Use
Now that we’ve seen the Kadence vs GeneratePress pricing and product offerings, let’s figure out which WordPress theme is easier to use.
Want a teaser? The Kadence theme is the easiest WordPress theme that I’ve used since I’ve started blogging in 2014. Not only does it beat GeneratePress with its ease of use, but every other WordPress theme I’ve tried including Astra, Neve, OceanWP, and the X Theme.
If you’ve heard of the Astra theme before, you should also check out my extremely detailed comparison between Astra vs Kadence to see which theme is better.
For the ease of use tests, I took three common tasks that anyone building a website would go through and measured how long it took me to accomplish each task. It’s important to note that no page builders were used for any of these tests.
The 3 common website tasks I performed were the following:
- Build a header with a logo, main navigation, a CTA button, social icons, and a search icon
- Set up an attractive blog post layout showing the title, last updated date, and post author
- Customize a color palette to match a company’s brand and apply it throughout the site
What’s the very first thing that users see when they go to your website? You guessed it, your site header.
For this test, I want to test how easy it is to create a header with a logo, main navigation, a CTA (Call To Action) button, social icons, and a search icon.
For these tests, I’m using Kadence Theme Pro and GeneratePress Premium which are the paid versions of both the Kadence and GeneratePress theme. I have every module turned on so that I’m receiving all available features.
Let’s start the header builder test with the Kadence Theme.
First, I import a basic starter site using the Starter Templates by Kadence WP plugin which gives you a number of beautiful starter templates to begin your site. Then, I dig right into Kadence’s header builder:
WOW! The number of header building elements that Kadence Pro gives me is insane.
Here is a list of every single header element you get using Kadence + Kadence Pro Header Addon:
- Primary Navigation
- Secondary Navigation
- Third Navigation
- Fourth Navigation
- Search Icon
- Search Bar
- Social Icons
- Account (for users signing in and out of your website)
- Button 1
- Button 2
- HTML 1
- HTML 2
- Divider 1
- Divider 2
- Divider 3
- Widget Area
- Toggle Widget Area
- Contact Information
With the extremely easy to use drag and drop header builder that Kadence provides, I created my desired header in a matter of minutes.
Using the Kadence header builder layout as seen above, here is what the final result looks like on my website:
Every single element I wanted was available to me plus way more. A logo, primary navigation, SVG social icons, a CTA button for users to sign up on the site, and a search icon for users to search the website. All of those elements dragged quickly into the exact locations I wanted to create a beautiful header in no time at all.
It’s safe to say that Kadence’s header builder is the easiest and fastest solution I’ve used to create website headers. Not to mention, they also implement the same feature for their footer builder.
It’s going to be hard to beat the Kadence drag and drop header builder. Let’s see how GeneratePress does in the header builder test.
I import a starter template from GeneratePress’s Site Library and get to work.
For starters, GeneratePress doesn’t currently have a drag and drop header and footer builder like Kadence does, so I can already tell it’s going to take considerably longer and be particularly limited as to what layouts I can accomplish.
Here is a screenshot of the “Header” and “Primary Navigation” section within the GeneratePress WordPress customizer. It’s vastly limited compared to Kadence’s drag and drop header builder:
After importing one of the GeneratePress starter sites, I currently have a logo and main navigation. I want to add a search icon, social icons, and a CTA button to my header.
As you can see from the screenshot above in the “Primary Navigation” image, there is a Navigation Search dropdown that I enabled which added a search icon to the very right of my header. Easy enough.
That being said, I can’t figure out how to easily move the search icon around. It’s currently where I want it, but if you’re comparing GeneratePress or Kadence as far as building a header goes, Kadence gives you the ability to grab the search element and drag it to any of your three header bars (top, main, or bottom) as you please. GeneratePress does not have that kind of flexibility without custom code.
Now let’s see if I can figure out how to add social icons to my GeneratePress header.
After hopping on Google and searching “social icons for GeneratePress,” I’m met with a plethora of articles directly from the GeneratePress forums.
I must say, the fact that all of GeneratePress’ forums are indexed by Google and able to be searched is extremely nice for figuring out answers to any problems you may face. Shoutout to GeneratePress for that one!
I find out that GeneratePress has a separate plugin you have to install called Lightweight Social Icons in order to add social icons to my header.
I mentioned this in my Astra vs Kadence comparison article, but I really don’t like the idea of having to install a separate plugin just to add some simple social icons.
Even worse, the icons provided by the plugin are an icon font that, despite the plugin name Lightweight Social Icons, are not nearly as lightweight as using inline SVG social icons that Kadence uses.
Although GeneratePress 3.0 switched all of their theme icons from an icon font to SVG, they still didn’t get switched in the Lightweight Social Icons plugin since the plugin is separate from the theme.
This is a perfect example of why adding social icons to a separate plugin isn’t a great idea. Now it is decoupled from the theme itself. If social icons would have been included in the GeneratePress core theme, those icons would have been switched from an icon font to SVG.
Having the ability to add SVG social icons in your header does not bloat your theme. Why? Because the Kadence theme includes SVG social icons in your header or footer along with dozens of other free features that GeneratePress doesn’t offer and yet Kadence still loads faster than GeneratePress.
Speaking of social icons, let’s look at a comparison between GeneratePress vs Kadence social icon implementation:
GP Lightweight Social Icons Plugin:
Kadence Social Icons Header Element:
I think the images speak for themselves. The Kadence social icon header element is leaps and bounds better than the GeneratePress Lightweight Social Icons plugin widget.
The Kadence social icon element offers several icon variations for most networks, there are around 30 social networks to choose from, plus you get an insane amount of styling options within the design tab that can also be seen in the screenshot. Best of all, every single icon uses inline SVG which helps your pages load in a snap.
The GP Lightweight Social Icons plugin widget is outdated, lacks features, and uses an icon font which, ironically, isn’t lightweight in today’s day and age.
Another +1 for Kadence.
After implementing my social icons for my GeneratePress test, I’m finally finished creating my header:
As you can see, the header looks fairly nice but isn’t nearly up to par with what I created using Kadence.
I should also mention that even making the last item in my primary menu look like a CTA button would require additional CSS that a beginner wouldn’t know how to do. GP doesn’t have a really easy way to put a CTA button wherever you want in your header.
The Kadence header included every element that I desired plus it only took me about 5 minutes to create.
On the other hand, the GeneratePress header required much more setup and took substantially longer to achieve this look as I had to download plugins and figure out dropdowns to shift elements around.
GeneratePress vs Kadence – Which theme is better for building headers? The Kadence theme is better than GeneratePress for building headers (and footers) and it’s not even close. With a drag and drop header builder with nearly 20 header elements to choose from, creating headers in the Kadence theme is immensely more intuitive, takes less time, and offers virtually endless flexibility in what you can create. Add the fact that it includes inline SVG icons which load much faster than the icon font included with the GeneratePress Lightweight Social Icons plugin and Kadence leaves GP in the dust.
For the second ease of use test, let’s dig into the layout customization options between Kadence and GeneratePress.
Offering various layout options really helps make a WordPress theme powerful. The more layouts we can achieve without needing to use a page builder, the better. This means faster, cleaner built WordPress sites.
Additionally, with the Gutenberg page editor continuing to mature with each major WordPress release, finding a fast WordPress theme that integrates tightly with Gutenberg is becoming increasingly important. So, let’s see what GeneratePress and Kadence have to offer.
As in the header builder test, I am using Kadence Pro and GeneratePress Premium with every module enabled to get all layout options available to me.
Let’s first look at the Kadence Single Blog Post WordPress layout customization options.
Kadence Blog Layout Options:
Kadence Blog Layout Options (2):
As you can see, Kadence offers a vast array of layout customization options for you to easily change how your blog posts look with the click of a button.
Let’s look at a side-by-side comparison between GeneratePress vs Kadence when it comes to blog post layout customization options.
GeneratePress Blog Layout Options:
Kadence Blog Layout Options (3):
As you can see from all the images above, Kadence has about 3x the amount of Single Blog Post Layout options as GeneratePress does.
On top of all that, Kadence puts the cherry on top by giving you a beautiful author box and related posts section at the end of your blog posts which are all built directly in with the free theme. (Check out the bottom of this post to see the author box and related posts that come with Kadence.)
Using the Kadence single post layout options above, I was able to create this blog page header in less than 5 minutes.
I will say, GeneratePress is an excellent theme for developers. You could create a blog post header similar to the one above in GeneratePress… if you know what you’re doing.
But, unless you’re a developer with a decent understanding of CSS, you’re going to have a really bad time trying to recreate the above header and it’s going to take you at least 10x longer. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Also, one more gripe with GeneratePress. Why oh why can’t we show the last updated date in our page header using the meta options in the WordPress customizer? Why do we have to use custom CSS? WHYYY?!
Go check out the GeneratePress blog layout options again. See the checkbox that says “display post date“? That’s the date that your post was published. So, say you have a post you wrote in 2015 and you just updated it.
Wouldn’t you want your post to show the last updated date in your blog header so that it doesn’t look like you haven’t updated it since 2015? Well, in GeneratePress, you have to use custom CSS just to show the last updated date.
In Kadence, you guessed it, you can do it in 3 seconds. Check it.
To show the last updated date with the label of “Updated on” as seen on this post, all I had to do was turn off the Show Date option and turn on the Show Last Updated Date. Also, you can see that you can easily turn on or off a label before the date and you can have the label say anything you want.
What about sidebar options? Let’s look at the sidebar options between the Kadence theme vs GeneratePress.
GeneratePress Sidebar Layout Options:
Kadence Sidebar Layout Options:
Ooh, that sticky sidebar setting that Kadence offers in their theme looks nice. 👀
The main thing I want to show with this side-by-side comparison between the Kadence theme vs GeneratePress sidebar options is that GeneratePress only offers percentage for sidebar width.
Alternatively, Kadence gives you four different options for sidebar width – percentage, rem, em, or pixels.
This is extremely nice because you can set a fixed sidebar width in a matter of seconds.
I can see you responsive layout lovers cringing right now, but hear me out. I use a 300 px fixed sidebar width on all of my websites.
Why? Because I like having ads, banners, and offers in my sidebar. And, if you’re using any type of ad or affiliate network such as Mediavine, Google Adsense, or CJ Affiliate, you will know that many of them have ad policies in place that require you to have a fixed sidebar of 300 px so that ads or banners don’t get cut off.
So, using a WordPress theme that really easily allows me to set a fixed sidebar width to increase sales is a huge advantage and Kadence does just that.
Now, you can achieve anything with CSS and you can get a fixed-width sidebar in GeneratePress, but you have to use calc methods with percentages and there’s nothing beginner-friendly about that.
Kadence vs GeneratePress – Which theme offers more layout customization options? The Kadence theme gives you remarkably more layout customization options than GeneratePress does within the WordPress customizer. Your development time will be drastically lower when using Kadence because you can easily achieve many layouts similar to those offered with page builders in no time at all. Using GeneratePress, it will take you much longer to achieve the same looks. Additionally, Kadence allows you to show the last updated date for blog posts, include labels before your author name and post dates, and much more without having to add custom CSS or tweak theme PHP files.
For the last ease of use test, I will be testing color customization options between Kadence and GeneratePress and see which theme handles theme colors better.
One of the most time-consuming jobs a new website creator has to perform if they’re building a website is changing all the theme colors to match their company or their brand.
Take a starter template, for example. Once you import a new website starter template with a theme such as GeneratePress, you have to go and change all the colors to match your new brand and then apply those colors throughout your entire website in your header, content, sidebar, footer, etc. Do you know how long that takes? Hint: A long time.
Kadence takes that problem and solves it in a very elegant way with the use of a global color palette. I’ll explain this more in detail below.
Let’s take a look at a side-by-side comparison between GeneratePress vs Kadence theme color options:
GeneratePress Body Color Options:
Kadence Color Palette Options:
As you can see from the GeneratePress vs Kadence color options comparison, the two themes handle colors very differently.
As a matter of fact, GeneratePress handles colors the same way that most popular WordPress themes do including Astra. They offer a basic array of colors to change your background color, text color, link and hover colors, and so on.
Alternatively, Kadence uses a global color palette powered by CSS variables as seen in the image below.
There are many more CSS variables used throughout the Kadence theme, but these are the main drivers behind the global color palette.
Imagine being able to set your globally linked color once and it automatically goes and switches in every single area using that color. The amount of development time saved is worth the switch to Kadence alone.
Here’s an example of doing just that. Below is an image showing the Kadence SaaS starter template being previewed from the Kadence Starter Template plugin. See the left-hand side where it says “Optional: Choose Color Scheme“? That’s where you can choose any of those predefined color schemes and the entire website switches to that color scheme within a second in all areas where the colors are globally linked.
The best part is, even if none of those predefined color schemes work out for you, you can go and define your own color palette after the template is imported and all globally linked areas will automatically update.
This brings a whole new level to starter templates that other popular WordPress themes simply do not have.
If you want to learn how to create a Kadence global color palette from scratch to supercharge your brand, make sure to check out my detailed tutorial.
As an additional example, let’s take a look at how button colors are set in the Kadence theme vs GeneratePress.
GeneratePress Button Color Options:
Kadence Button Color Options:
The GeneratePress button color options are so limited and this is with the GeneratePress Premium color module enabled.
Meanwhile, Kadence’s button panel is packed with options. Also, notice the globe icon on the Kadence button text colors and background colors? That means that color is globally linked to the global color palette. So, now if I change any of those colors as shown in the first global color palette screenshots, these button colors will automatically be updated without me having to switch anything. This feature is amazing.
Lastly, for the cherry on top, the Kadence global color palette is tied directly to Kadence Blocks which is Kadence’s powerful “page building” plugin which extends the capabilities of the Gutenberg editor and gives you many more block options to build pages.
This is a huge advantage of using Kadence Blocks vs GenerateBlocks. Currently, GenerateBlocks doesn’t have any type of global colors that tie directly into the theme along with GenerateBlocks. +1 for Kadence.
Kadence vs GeneratePress – Which theme has better color customization options? The Kadence theme includes an imaginative global color palette using CSS variables that brings a whole new level to WordPress theme color customization. To make things even better, the global color palette ties every Kadence product together with Gutenberg – the Kadence theme, Kadence blocks, and Gutenberg blocks all take advantage of the global color palette which saves a massive amount of development time while creating websites. GeneratePress uses basic color controls which are very limited and don’t tie in with GenerateBlocks.
Remember the Speed Performance section at the beginning of the article where I said GeneratePress had a page size of 30 kb out of the box and Kadence was around 47 kb? That’s because Kadence has notably more free features than GeneratePress.
GeneratePress charges $50 per year to gain access to all their premium modules, but you get access to many of these modules completely free with the Kadence free theme.
In fact, all of the GeneratePress Premium Modules are listed below. If they have a green check (✓) next to them, it means they are features that Kadence offers 100% free with the Kadence free theme:
- Site Library ✓
- Colors ✓
- Typography ✓
- WooCommerce ✓
- Menu Plus ✓
- Spacing ✓
- Blog ✓
- Secondary Nav ✓
- Backgrounds ✓
- Sections ✓
- Disable Elements ✓
- Copyright ✓
- Import/Export ✓
I’m baffled. When I looked into all of the premium modules that you get with GeneratePress Premium, I found out that all except one of the modules are offered 100% free with Kadence. Mind. Blown.
I’ll give a quick explanation of each GeneratePress Premium module and explain what Kadence offers in its place.
- Site Library – Kadence offers their Kadence Starter Templates plugin for free… and their starter templates are much more robust and more extensible (tied in with global color palette).
- Colors – Kadence offers a global color palette which is infinitely better than GeneratePress colors… and it’s free.
- Typography – Kadence has global typography options all throughout each section of your website in their free theme.
- WooCommerce – Kadence offers some excellent WooCommerce options that even GeneratePress doesn’t have in their free theme.
- Menu Plus – Kadence has a beautiful header and footer builder with 3 rows (top, main, bottom) plus they offer a sticky header (desktop and mobile), transparent header, and off-canvas navigation… free.
- Spacing – Kadence offers spacing options all throughout each section of your website in their free theme.
- Blog – Kadence gives you an array of blog layout customization options for blog posts, pages, and archive pages in the free theme.
- Secondary Navigation – Kadence offers primary and secondary navigation in their free theme. Kadence Pro offers third and fourth navigation as well.
- Backgrounds – Kadence allows you to change your background colors and images all throughout the free theme.
- Sections – This seems like an outdated GPP module. Reusable Gutenberg blocks (or Kadence Blocks) are way easier to use and it’s free.
- Disable Elements – The free Kadence theme allows you to conditionally disable elements (header, footer, etc.) individually on any page you want.
- Copyright – I’m not sure why the ability to change your Copyright information is a paid module in GeneratePress, but it is. All free themes should have this ability, and yes, Kadence has it.
- Import/Export – You can import and export all of your theme options in Kadence by simply installing the free Kadence Starter Template plugin. No need to pay.
Kadence vs GeneratePress – Which theme has more free features? Kadence offers immensely more free features than GeneratePress. So many, in fact, that about 90% of the paid GeneratePress Premium module features are available in the free Kadence theme.
Now let’s go over the premium features offered for both GeneratePress and Kadence. I mentioned all of the premium modules that GeneratePress offers in the previous section, but what does Kadence offer? Let’s look at a GeneratePress Premium vs Kadence Pro paid features comparison table.
GeneratePress Premium vs Kadence Pro Paid Features Comparison Table:
|Paid Features||GeneratePress Premium||Kadence Pro|
|Element hooks and filters||✓||✓|
|Automatically expiring elements||⨉||✓|
|20 header builder elements||⨉||✓|
|Custom Woocommerce shop page||⨉||✓|
|Header/footer scripts in customizer||⨉||✓|
|Locally host Gravatars||⨉||✓|
Similarly to the Free Features section, the list of Premium Features that Kadence offers is much longer than that of GeneratePress.
These Kadence Pro features help you build faster, more performant, and beautiful websites in less time which is a win-win for everybody.
I go into these Kadence Pro features more in my Kadence theme overview article if you want to read more detail.
GeneratePress Premium vs Kadence Pro – Which theme has more paid features? The Kadence Pro theme offers more paid features than GeneratePress for the money. With 20 header builder elements, fixed elements, a dedicated mega menu feature, groundbreaking WooCommerce features, and additional performance improvements, you will be able to build lightning-fast websites in less time that will convert better and look beautiful. There are even more epic features planned that will be coming to Kadence Pro as well.
Support and Documentation
Support and documentation are both crucial pieces to making a WordPress theme successful, and GeneratePress have always put support as their #1 priority.
When I purchased GeneratePress Premium to use on a site of mine, I emailed their support. I received a response from a real person within 10 minutes. If that’s not impressive enough, this was 10 PM at night.
I already mentioned this earlier in the article, but another huge advantage that GeneratePress has over many WordPress themes is that all of their documentation forums are indexed and searchable on Google.
If you search “GeneratePress <topic>,” you’re almost guaranteed to be met with several articles that will lead you directly to a fast solution.
GeneratePress receives a solid 10/10 for both support and documentation.
Keep in mind that GeneratePress has been around since 2014 which is very impressive. This also means they’ve had 6 years’ worth of documentation building and forum questions which is why their documentation is so robust.
The Kadence theme, on the other hand, was announced around March of 2020. Therefore, there is not a lot of actual documentation around the Kadence theme right now and so I have to rate Kadence documentation at 5/10 right now.
That being said, the Kadence team will continue to add more documentation as time goes on.
Additionally, there are many Kadence tutorials here on Start Blogging 101 along with the Start Blogging 101 Youtube channel and many more to come. 🙂
As far as Kadence’s support goes, their support is very good as well. Their support team along with the Kadence theme creator, Ben, are extremely knowledgeable and always willing to help if you reach out. Kadence support is rated 8/10 currently.
Similarly to the documentation piece, Kadence’s support team is ramping up and being added to so their support should only get even better with time.
Kadence vs GeneratePress – Which theme has better support and documentation? GeneratePress has unrivaled support and documentation of any WordPress theme. Since the theme has been around since 2014, their documentation is mature, robust, and plentiful along with their support team being wicked fast with responses. Kadence’s support team is very dependable as well, although not quite at the level of GeneratePress. Since the Kadence theme has only been around since March of 2020, their documentation is lacking in areas but is expected to be added upon and mature with time.
So there you have it – a 6500+ word comparison of Kadence vs GeneratePress all based on personal experience with both WordPress themes.
I want to say that I have absolutely nothing against GeneratePress and am very fond of the lead developer behind GeneratePress, Tom.
GeneratePress is extremely powerful for developers and has very well-documented hooks and filters to extend the theme and build custom sections.
That being said, I believe there are WordPress themes out there that offer much more value for the money such as Kadence.
As I mentioned earlier, I had sites on Astra and GeneratePress and I immediately switched them to Kadence once I saw what the theme could do.
After purchasing a Lifetime Kadence Membership, I ditched Elementor by using Kadence Blocks Pro and my page speed increased drastically when switching to the Kadence theme.
What do you think of the Kadence vs GeneratePress theme debate? What’s your favorite WordPress theme? Leave me a comment below.
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I had made similar comparison for myself between Astra and Kadence before I moved to Kadence 🙂 And yes, performance and optimization was the key to turn to Kadence ))
That’s great to hear, Rina! I always suggest people compare themes themselves to see what they like better. I agree, the performance that Kadence provides while also giving you an insane amount of customization options is what makes the Kadence theme a no-brainer to switch to. 🙂
Comparing the free version, Kadence is easier to customize.
Hey Minh! Absolutely. If you take a look at the free Kadence theme vs the free GeneratePress theme customizer options, Kadence makes GeneratePress look silly with the amount of options it offers. Kadence is easily the best free WordPress theme on the market right now (while also being lightweight and offering speed).
Thanks for the article Jake! I’m going to have to give Kadence a try! It looks like it is very similar to Blocksy but with a few more features. ((I’d like to see a comparison between Kadence and Blocksy))
I’ve noticed that Blocksy knocks Avada out of the park in many aspects. I think that Blocksy is very close to Avada in functionality.
No problem, Matt! You should give Kadence a try and let me know what you think. I already have a Kadence vs Blocksy post planned 🙂 I’ll get to it as soon as I can.. I have a lot of content in the works! Yeah, I would say Blocksy or Kadence blows Avada out of the water and would be way more lightweight. Thanks for stopping by!
Been using Beaver Builder + Classic editor. Switched over to Kadence Blocks/Theme + Gutenberg. The combo totally removes need for non-native page builders.
I can’t believe I settled for limitations of Beaver Theme for 4 years and never thought much of it.
Also Google page speed score went from 60 to 90 after upgrade.
Rob, this is epic! I love hearing stories like these. I was previously using Elementor in 2019 (although not for long) and then switched over to the Kadence Theme and Kadence Blocks and I’ve never looked back. So awesome to hear you’re having success with Kadence, plus those speed scores are fantastic 😎
Hi, thanks for this post!
I was reading these words:
“When I purchased GeneratePress Premium to use on a site of mine, I emailed their support. I received a response from a real person within 10 minutes. If that’s not impressive enough, this was 10 PM at night.”
I faced an issue right after I purchased GP premium and only found their support forum.
(Since such forums gives me an itch, I opted out.)
May I ask where you found this email option?
Hi, Eniele! You can go to the GeneratePress contact page and you’ll see 3 tabs there – Pre-Sale Question, Account Issue, or Support Question. If you have a question about your account, just go to the “Account Issue” tab, fill out your information and your question and they’ll get back to you 🙂 Let me know if you have any other questions!
This is a fantastic comparison thank you so much! I am in the process of trying to decide between the two for the re-design of our business website. Before I read this I was leaning towards Kadence and when I got to the end you confirmed my choice was indeed the right one!
I am comfortable with HTML/CSS so editing with Generate Press would not have been to much of an issue for me but there is so much baked into the free Kadence theme its hard to look past it.
One thing I would love to ask is how do you find the Kadence blocks? I planned to use Elementor to build the site as its quick and easy but if using blocks is going to give a better performance I might be interested in the purchasing them with the theme. The site is fairly static so there will not be a lot going on anyway on it.
Thanks very much again for this
Hey Liam! Boom! Glad to hear you liked the comparison and that it helped you out. You’re absolutely right. Kadence has so many features baked into the free version of their theme and Kadence Pro is basically the theme on steroids. Plus, you can still use HTML/CSS to make custom edits as you please all you want 🙂
As far as Kadence Blocks goes, you can find the free plugin here.
Otherwise, if you’re curious to look into Kadence Blocks Pro, you can read more about that here.
And, not to confuse you more, but a Kadence Membership includes both Kadence Theme Pro + Kadence Blocks Pro and access to all their plugins. You can read more about that here.
Hope that all helps!
I may have missed this in the speed test but what about testing it with a real home page sample? Creating the same homepage layout with each theme that includes a featured image (actually multiple images even better), the recent posts block, H titles, some font styling, and plenty of ipsum. I find that it’s all the extra code themes use to stylize is where we see differences in theme development.
Hi Ev! I don’t have those included in these specific tests, but I did show a real-world speed test of my site built on Kadence and how fast it loads with a full-blown blog post in my Astra vs Kadence video on my YouTube channel.
You missed something with the header in generatepress. You have the spirit ability with elements and hooks and generateblocks to put everything you want in the header also social icons!
I agree with the search bar, though.
Thanks for a very thorough review! I was considering Kadence as well, it seems like its more of a plug-and-play beautiful theme with no need to mess around too much with the design (I generally don’t have an eye for aesthetics and prefer spending my time writing content).
One thing I wanted to ask you: how do you find combining the Kadence theme and the Generate Blocks? It seems like Generate Blocks has more features for creating boxes etc. than Kadence Blocks.
Hey Becker! You are very welcome 🙂 Yeah, you nailed it. Kadence is a beautiful plug-and-play theme compared to other themes. You can build a better-looking site in a shorter amount of time, and the nicest perk is that the Kadence theme is faster than many of the notoriously fast WordPress themes out there. I admittedly spent way too many hours focusing on design with previous themes and trying to perfect each little piece rather than writing content which is the most important thing I should have been doing.
As far as combining the Kadence theme and Generate Blocks, it can certainly be done! I haven’t done it personally, but I’ve used both Kadence Blocks with the Kadence theme and Generate Blocks with GeneratePress. I really like Generate Blocks as well. Generate Blocks and Kadence Blocks have two pretty different approaches. Generate Blocks has 4 main “blocks” that allow you to build almost everything. Kadence Blocks, on the other hand, focuses on having more blocks that have a more specific function such as an “infobox” where you can add an image/icon, a headline, and then text with a button. Of course, you can build this in Generate Blocks, too. It will take a little longer in Generate Blocks, but you’ll have more flexibility in how it looks. That all being said, Kadence theme + Kadence blocks do have a tighter integration together and take advantage of things such as the global color palette which carries over from the theme into the blocks.
That’s a really quick run-down. Hopefully that makes sense 🙂 But there are quite a few people out there using a certain theme that they like with a different block plugin, so feel free to give it a try!
Hello, Jake! Thanks for this super detailed comparison. I really don’t like when themes ask you to “Go Pro” for simple features like changing fonts or copyright. I checked the starter templates for Kadence and they look super professional. However, do you think Kadence will increase prices or reduce free features when it achieves a high number of installations? This question is because I want to start up next year.
Hello, Esdi! Glad you enjoyed it. The starter templates for Kadence are extremely professional and Kadence now has a team dedicated to continually pushing out starter templates, so there will be even more beautiful starter templates coming out each month.
As far as your questions… will Kadence reduce free features? I very highly doubt Kadence would ever “take away” any free features as that would not be a good business decision on their end, so I would almost certainly say no to that. One of the major advantages of the Kadence theme is the number of free features they offer which differentiates them from other popular WordPress themes.
For Kadence pricing, that’s completely up to them. The lifetime Kadence Membership started out at a cheaper price when it was first released (as many WordPress products always do) and it has gone up in price two times since then I believe. I believe that if Kadence added significant value to the Kadence Membership (as they generally are always doing), they could potentially raise the price which happens all the time with other WordPress themes and plugins.But the fact they offer a lifetime Kadence Membership is wonderful because it’s a one-time cost and once you own it, you’d get access to every theme, plugin, and feature that they release from here on out.
Oh! Thank you so much for such great reply. I think the free features would be enough for me in the start. Thank you again for your valuable advice. 😇
Anytime! Always happy to help. 🙂
Hi Jake, I am wondering if you ran your speed tests on their Ascend theme. From what I understand, that is not the classic Kadence theme so all the articles I have read regarding better speed do not actually apply to Ascend (as well as Pinnacle and Virtue) and I’m guessing the same goes with yours? Thanks so much!
No, I have not run my speeds tests on any of Kadence’s “classic” themes which includes the Ascend, Pinnacle, and Virtue themes. The newest regular “Kadence” theme is built on the latest coding frameworks and standards which is what makes it so lightning-fast. I’m not sure if there are speed tests out there for the classic Kadence themes or not, but they would be slower than the latest Kadence theme. Although I don’t want to make more work for you, you should be able to build anything in the latest Kadence theme that is shown in the classic themes 🙂 If you have anymore questions, let me know!
One more question…if I build what I want through the Kadence theme, would you recommend the Gutenberg blocks plugin or the Kadence blocks plugin? I think both are available but I wasn’t sure which would be the best option for speed (I’ve read that blocks plugins make your website slower). I am an amateur at coding and would prefer to avoid if possible :). I may have to sacrifice customization for speed in the end… Thanks again for your help!
This is something that is rather confusing, especially for people starting out. If you use the regular built-in WordPress editor to write your blog posts and make pages, that is already using Gutenberg. You do NOT need to install the separate Gutenberg plugin. That plugin is an experimental plugin where they’re testing the latest features and it has a ton of bugs. In fact, if you use the Kadence Theme and have the Gutenberg plugin installed, you’ll see a message that will tell you to uninstall it.
Thus, all you need to install is the free Kadence Blocks plugin. The best part about Kadence Blocks is that it only loads the appropriate files on the page IF the block is used. So, if you only use 5 different blocks to build your page, only the files for those 5 blocks will load. Using Kadence Blocks is easily one of the fastest options out there on the market today to build pages/blog posts, so you shouldn’t need to worry about speed 🙂
I hope that helps!
Thank you SO much for your help!
You are very welcome! 🙂