Quick comparison review of these 3 popular freemium WordPress themes as of 2020.
I’m getting tired of being asked which of them I’d rather use and why. So this guide is to explain once and for all. I compare their pros and cons, and what unique things they have the others don’t.
Which theme would Johnny choose?!!
- My favorite of these 3.
- Most mature – been around much longer than the others.
- Biggest user base – more support, tips, and integrations available.
- Caters well to both regular users and coders. (The other 2 don’t cater to hardcoders.)
- Has the super awesome “Elements” feature which works like developer “hooks & filters” but done in GUI way.
- Really nice starter themes that don’t look generic.
- Was obviously inspired by my favorite theme (Genesis). Unfortunately, Genesis is not meant for end users.
- I really like the head developer (Tom Usborne) and designer (Mike Oliver).
Download GeneratePress and try it out. I’m a huge fan of the non-gimmicky, BS-free website. No silly promises or hype marketing. Just an honest Canadian dude telling what it can do and how it makes your life better.
- I don’t like them at all. Don’t like their theme or plugins either.
- Good marketing but mostly copycat vibe. All their extensions are basically copycats of existing themes and plugins. Just feels like a “business” more than a passionate WordPress creator.
- Generic starter designs – nice enough to look “designed” but don’t stand out.
- Buggy, not so great support. You can read online of people complaining about them.
- The theme is however very fast and very popular so they’re obviously doing something right.
Get Astra if you like their vibe, starter sites, and plan to use other products in their eco-system. If it matters, I think many people are jumping ship from Astra now since they seem buried under their success. Too many support requests and while they have a full company team, they’re busy focused on other businesses. It also seems many affiliate marketers that used to promote Astra are now promoting Kadence since it’s the new “thing”.
- New kid on the block.
- The header/footer builder really stands out. (Blocksy also has this.)
- Nice starter themes. But not many of them.
- I like the focused one-man vibe.
- Kadence has a more full-featured Gutenberg block library plugin. Not a dealbreaker, really. You could use Kadence blocks with another theme (no problem).
Get KadenceThemes if their vibe looks good to you. FWIW, I feel their recent hype is just due to affiliate marketers trying to cash out on a trend. It’s not like Kadence is coming up with something completely otherworldly from all existing themes on the market.
What really makes GeneratePress the winner
It’s been solid for so many years. Great performance and support. They’re very focused on their product instead of jumping around from one business idea to the next. No gimmicky marketing. It’s a great theme. Super fast. Easy to use. Great for developers AND end-users. What else do you want?
If you’re not for GeneratePress, Kadence would be the easy second place due to its super handy header/footer build feature and cool designs. If you like their starter sites, then use Kadence.
Another runner up that should have been in here (but not as many people ask me) is Blocksy. It has great coders, great design, and super intuitive features/functions and easy to use.
- I use Genesis on all my critical sites.
- Because all my main sites are hard-coded.
- And Genesis is best for hardcoders.