GeneratePress Sites is a collection of pre-made demo websites included in the premium version of the GeneratePress theme. Combined with the Elementor plugin, this is a fast and intuitive tool for making a professional site. Earlier this year, I shared a tutorial series on YouTube focusing on the Astra theme and its Astra Sites feature. GeneratePress Sites launched a few short months later, and I’m delighted to see it.
GeneratePress is my personal favorite WordPress theme because its paid version is highly affordable, it’s well-coded and reliable, and its design options in the WordPress Dashboard are thoughtfully laid out and streamlined. As someone who makes websites for both clients and as a hobby, this theme is my go-to.
You can upload GeneratePress from the WordPress dashboard by going to the “Appearance” menu, selecting “Themes,” and searching for it in the repository. The premium upgrades are available as a bundle of plugins on GeneratePress’ website. I’ll include affiliate links in this article. You download GeneratePress Premium to your computer, then upload it in the Plugins area of the dashboard.
A “GeneratePress” option becomes available in the “Appearance” menu. When you go to that page, you can activate any of the premium features you’ve purchased. Above the options is a button labeled “Site Library,” and this is where you access the ready-made websites.
The sites’ layouts are made either with Beaver Builder, Elementor, or “No Page Builder,” which means it was made with GeneratePress’ “Sections” tool. For purposes of this article, I’ll click “Elementor” at the top and select a site made with it.
Hover your mouse over the demo you want, and click the “Details” button. From there, you can follow the steps to download the Elementor page builder plugin, necessary widgets, and layouts associated with the website.
Here, I’ve uploaded a site marketing a mobile app. The next thing to do is change the text and images. This is done in Elementor, so when I view the site, I can go to the top and click “Edit with Elementor.”
Elementor is an immensely popular page builder plugin with abundant options in its free version. Combined with GeneratePress, whose premium version costs only $39.95 per year, it’s a powerful tool for making any type of business website you want.
In the Elementor work environment, you can click on any image, block of text, or module, then modify them in the left-hand editor.
GeneratePress debuted about 2 years ago and was the first well-known theme of its kind. It’s made specifically to work with page builders, and is lightweight and versatile. The Astra and OceanWP themes are its direct competitors. I’ve written extensively about OceanWP and spoken about Astra, and I love both of them. But I keep coming back to GeneratePress for its efficient workflow, so I’m highly encouraged to see it include this feature. Demo content is nothing new for premium WordPress themes, but GeneratePress sites may be the most practical and affordable way of delivering it. The $39.95 license is good for unlimited sites.
WP E Signature, by ApproveMe, is a high-end, paid WordPress plug-in that allows users to create personalized, legally binding contracts that can be signed electronically with a computer mouse or touch screen. It’s the first application of its kind that I’m aware of, and can be either an excellent time-saver, or a costly burden. The app isn’t for everyone. There’s an immense learning curve to using it, and the price can be prohibitive. But when properly installed, it’s powerful, and can save a business money over time.
I discovered WP E Signature while searching for a solution for a client who needed an electronic version of their standard contract. They have hundreds of customers per week, and were buried under paper forms. Electronic signature apps for the iPad or Android tablets commonly require a monthly fee. Within their budget, I was able to set up a WordPress page on cheap hosting and install the plug-in.
The plug-in is available on the developer’s website, www.approveme.me. You can purchase the license for either the Pro or Business package. These offers are very different from what I first saw only a few weeks ago, so ApproveMe may still be adapting their business model. The Pro License costs $97, can be installed on 3 websites, and includes the Basic add-on list. The Business License costs $250, although sales and special offers are available. It can be used on an unlimited number of sites and utilizes the Basic and Advanced add-on collections. The Business License may be suitable for a WordPress web designer who makes many websites and can install the plug-in for businesses as part of their projects.
There are tutorials on YouTube narrated by Kevin, ApproveMe’s soft-spoken lead programmer. They also have a speedy support team. If you own the license, you can log into ApproveMe’s website and send them a question. In my experience, they respond on the same business day with an email. This is important because of the previously mentioned learning curve and complexity of the plug-in.
That complexity may be a consequence of needing to be legally binding and compliant with government regulations. Other plug-ins that feature signature add-ons don’t really focus on signatures- they’re bundles based on contact forms, invoices, or something else. WP E Signature’s selling point is that its signatures will hold up in a court of law.
When the plug-in is installed onto your WordPress site, there will be options in the backend Dashboard to create New Documents. Similar to a WordPress Post or Page editor, you can type up your contract and save it on WordPress’s database. It can be emailed to your potential client or viewed on a designated page of your site.
The Pro License includes the Basic Add-ons, which number 3: Custom Signer Fields, Document Activity Notifications, and Save As PDF. Custom Signer Fields are items like check boxes and date calendars that can be inserted anywhere on a contract. Document Activity Notifications will alert you when your client views the contract on their device. Save As PDF lets you download a signed contract from your website’s backend onto your computer for personal storage.
There are 13 Add-Ons in the Advanced Package, available with the Business License. The ones I think are most important are Stand Alone Documents, Document Templates and Unlimited Sender Roles. Stand Alone Documents are those that are automated and can be used repeatedly. If a business has many clients who need to sign a standard contract, this is useful. Document Templates are similar, but it seems they are emailed to customers while Stand Alone Documents reside on a WordPress page. I utilized the Stand Alone Documents for my client. Unlimited Sender Roles is key if there are multiple administrators of your WordPress site. They would likely be the web designer and the business owner, and anyone on the business’s staff the owner assigns. Other Advanced Add-Ons include the ability to add your logo and branding to a document, syncing with Dropbox, and signing reminders, in case your client is dragging their feet.
You would need to do pretty brisk business to justify WP E Signature’s price tag. On top of that, if you aren’t comfortable with web design, you would need to pay a designer or staff member to install the plug-in. Luckily for me, my clients were well established and my hourly rate was acceptable to them. Considering how much paper and ink they go through, this plug-in will pay for itself. Early stage companies and start-ups wouldn’t get much use if they’re still building their customer base. Starting out, they may be better off with paper contracts or iOS signature apps.
Hopefully, ApproveMe will streamline this plug-in to make it easier to use and more affordable. I think what they offer is crucial, and I’m surprised more developers haven’t joined in the effort. Competition would be great for this category. Early adopters are needed to support ApproveMe’s work while they perfect the product. There are growing entrepreneurial and freelancing movements. The future of the economy depends on them being protected in their business dealings. WP E Signature is rough around the edges, but promising.
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