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GeneratePress (review) is a free WordPress theme. The premium version of it consists of a plugin called GP Premium.


StudioPress is the creator of the well-known and highly regarded Genesis Framework, and all of their child themes are based on it.

I’m creating this comparison post because both GeneratePress and StudioPress themes are in the lightweight and performance-focused category.


The difference consists of pricing and customization level, which I’ll cover below.

GeneratePress vs StudioPress: Overview

Before breaking things down, let’s see a brief comparison between the two.

By Customization, I mean the customization options that come with the theme, not the customization that can be done via custom code.

PerformanceVery highVery high

GeneratePress vs StudioPress: Performance, Customization, and Pricing

Let’s break down these three important parts.

Note that I’ll be focusing on the premium version of GeneratePress and on StudioPress child themes, not on the Genesis Framework alone.

1. Performance

Like I previously mentioned, both GeneratePress and StudioPress offer themes that are lightweight, optimized, and focused on performance.

I don’t think you can go wrong with either of them when it comes to this.


They are also secure and SEO-friendly.

While GeneratePress offers a lot more customization options, you can disable the ones that you don’t use, thanks to its modular design.

generatepress premium modules

For example, as you can see in the above image, on my newly launched blog, I’m not using Backgrounds, Elements, Secondary Nav, and WooCommerce.

So, I disabled them.

By disabling them, it means that they won’t load, and the fewer scripts a theme loads, the fewer requests it will have, the faster it will become.

Modular design is awesome, and all WordPress theme developers should implement it, especially for multi-purpose themes that are packed with all sorts of features.

2. Customization


Most StudioPress themes are more WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). They don’t come with a lot of customization options.

There are some exceptions, though, such as the Mai Lifestyle Pro theme, which is pretty flexible.

Here are the current settings for the Genesis Framework:

Genesis Framework settings

StudioPress themes normally work with widgets.

studiopress theme widgets

With these widgets, you can add or remove elements from your WordPress website, and you can also customize them a bit, depending on the child theme that you choose from StudioPress.

studiopress theme widget customization

Free plugins for more features and customization

You can further customize a StudioPress theme by installing free plugins, such as Genesis Responsive Slider, Genesis Simple Edits, Simple Social Icons, and more.

The above-mentioned plugins and several others are developed by StudioPress.

Design Pallete Pro

The customization options I mentioned above are not really for design, as in font, font size, colors, and so on.

This is where the Genesis Design Pallete Pro plugin comes in.

genesis design pallete pro
Image from StudioPress’ website

This plugin allows you to change the look for different areas of your website without having to add custom code.

Basically, it adds design options.

Without this, you’ll most likely find yourself in need of adding CSS code to change parts of the design.

The bad news is that the Genesis Design Pallete Pro plugin is not free. It starts at $49/year.


The GeneratePress theme (premium version) has both design and layout customization options, which you can find in the Customize section of WordPress.

generatepress settings customize

Each of those settings breaks into even more settings.

Here’s a video put together by GeneratePress, so you can have an idea of its flexibility.

You can change a lot of stuff.

Customization for individual pages

While you have global options that affect the whole website, you can also set different options for individual pages or posts.

For example, if you don’t want a specific post to have a sidebar, or if you want fewer footer widgets on a page.

generatepress individual settings
These settings can be found in each page/post, under the editor.

Hooks system

GeneratePress also has a great Hooks system (changed to “Elements” module in v1.7).

This allows you to add custom code to different parts of your WordPress website without changing the core files and without needing to have a child theme in place (I still recommend it, though).

Free plugins for more features

You can also add several free plugins created for the GeneratePress theme to add more features, such as social icons.

Light page builder

GeneratePress has a built-in light page builder, and I really love it because I didn’t need to install a whole page builder plugin to create some basic pages for my blog or my one-page personal website.

The page builder uses the Sections module and it looks like this:

generatepress sections

Each section has some customization options, such as:

  • Layout;
  • Colors;
  • Background (including Parallax effect).
edit section generatepress

3. Pricing


GeneratePress Premium currently costs $49.95/year, and you can use it on unlimited websites!

You’ll also get a 40% discount on renewals. So, the next year, you’ll only pay around $29.97.

generatepress premium price


This is a bit more tricky.

Depending on what you need or use, it can be expensive, not expensive or even free!

Only buying a theme

A StudioPress WordPress theme, including the Genesis Framework and a child theme, will usually cost between $99.95 and $129.95.

This will be a one-time payment. You’ll get unlimited support, updates, and licenses.

So, in the long run, it will become cheaper than GeneratePress.

Buying the Design Pallete Pro as well

If you’ll also need the Design Pallete Pro to make design changes, then you’ll have to pay at least $49/year extra.

Now, it will become more expensive than GeneratePress in the long run.

genesis design pallete pro pricing

Get the Pro Plus Package and save over $1700

StudioPress’ Pro Plus All-Theme Package is $499.95one-time payment.

You’ll get access to all current and future WordPress themes, as well as unlimited support, updates, and licenses.

StudioPress membership pricing

Getting all themes for free

Since WP Engine (this link gets you 10% off and 1 extra free month) bought StudioPress, they offer all StudioPress themes for free!

Yes, that’s right, all of them!

So, if you’re looking for a good WordPress hosting, not only a theme, then you can kill two birds with one stone!

GeneratePress vs StudioPress: Pros & Cons



  • Lightweight;
  • Optimized;
  • Performance-focused;
  • High customizability;
  • Good support;
  • Cheap.

Cons: Can’t think of any.



  • Lightweight;
  • Optimized;
  • Performance-focused;
  • Good support;
  • Can be cheaper in the long run (without the design plugin) or even free if you’re a WP Engine customer.


  • Low customizability if you don’t buy the Design Pallete Pro plugin;
  • Can be expensive, depending on what you need.


You can’t go wrong with either GeneratePress or StudioPress’ Genesis themes when it comes to optimization and performance.

In the end, it basically comes down to the price and customizability, which StudioPress themes have too, but at an extra cost.

GeneratePress still has some extra layout options, though.

For my new blog and website, I ended up choosing GeneratePress because it offers more at a lower price.

If the Design Pallette Pro plugin would have been integrated into the Genesis Framework for free, I might have bought a theme from StudioPress.

That’s a wrap

Hope this GeneratePress vs StudioPress’ Genesis WordPress themes has helped you to make a good decision that suits your needs best!

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