Why You Should Use the Genesis Framework
(And What You Should Know Before You Buy It)
Note: This post contains some affiliate links. If you click on one & buy something, I will receive a small commission, which allows me to continue creating content & free resources that help others & does not cost you anything! (But it just might give you a warm, fuzzy feeling in your tummy.) Also, be sure to read all the way through for a really useful freebie if you wanna try before you buy! 😉
Intro to Genesis
Genesis isn’t just a progressive, art-rock band from England that formed in 1967 and kept us pop-rockin’ through the ‘90s and beyond. It’s also a super-rad framework for WordPress that seems to have an invisible touch which reaches in and grabs right hold of your site. (See what I did there? I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself. If there’s a song lyric to be referenced, I’ll find it, but I’ll try to tone down the sharpness of the cheese from here.)
What is a WordPress framework?
Typically, WordPress themes aren’t built entirely from scratch. Many theme authors choose to use frameworks as a base where functionality is housed. Reasons include that they provide clean, reliable, superior code to build on and seriously reduce development time.
Developers can create “child themes” which add custom styling to the website while leaving its functionality to the framework. This gives all of its functions a centralized place to live – separate from the content and style – allowing it to be updated without affecting the child theme. In other words, this keeps the foundation strong without changing its design.
Some other popular WordPress frameworks include Divi, Cherry Framework, and Headway. However, this post is about the Genesis Framework by StudioPress because it’s my personal favorite, the one I built my first premium theme on (Evolution Pro – on sale now!), and the only framework I’ll use to build a WordPress website anymore.
Key Features of the Genesis Framework:
Responsive Turnkey Designs
(Not to be confused with turkey designs…)
When referring to websites, responsive means that it displays and functions properly in all web browsers, across all devices, on any screen size. And “turnkey” means it comes completely equipped with everything necessary for it to function – straight “out of the box.” Genesis’ turnkey designs give you a wide variety of beautiful canvases to display your content. All you have to do is turn the key and go!
Your site design can be instantly updated using a child theme (more below), while leaving Genesis’ core functionality and all of its Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits untouched. That gives you the ability to radically change the way your site looks every week if you wanted to, and your search engine rankings will remain consistent because your design functions are completely separate from the core code.
If you want to make sure your website ranks highly on search engines so your target audience can find you, clean, lightweight, and optimized code with super-smart design architecture is crucial! In addition to all that, Genesis now supports Schema.org code, which, essentially, enhances your site’s SEO even more! And with automatic updates to the Genesis Framework, you never have to worry about it again. Your code will always be fully optimized and up-to-date.
It’s true that WordPress sites can be vulnerable to hacking by those who want to take them down or exploit them for malicious purposes. A hacked site can be expensive and time-consuming to fix – not to mention, it can ruin your reputation! The Genesis Framework has been fully evaluated by security expert and core WordPress developer Mark Jaquith to ensure that it has the highest level of security possible.
Simple Site Customization that Doesn’t Sacrifice Speed
Genesis offers features that simplify site set-up. And if you change your mind later, you’re just a few clicks away from creating new functions and sections that don’t sacrifice speed and performance for options. Web page load times are usually discussed in seconds, but for sites built on Genesis, they can often be measured in milliseconds, giving you a vital edge over your competitors!
Want to change the layout of your website? Apply a new color scheme, perhaps? No problem! You can select these options and more from a dropdown box, adjust them easily, and your site is updated instantly. (More info in the “Pros” section below.)
What You Should Know Before You Buy
While I highly recommend building, basically, any WordPress website with the Genesis Framework and one of its countless child themes (like the one I just built! – more info below), I want you to be fully informed before making any purchases, so here are some pros and cons (and potential solutions).
If you purchase the Genesis Framework directly from StudioPress, you get unlimited support (or get it for free with no support if you’d like to try it before you buy it)! And, whether you buy a support license or download it for free from me, you will get unlimited updates and websites! Forever.
Update Your Site Instantly
As previously mentioned, a lot of sites are hacked, but some just may not be utilizing WordPress to its fullest, simply because they have not been updated. Oftentimes, site owners don’t run updates because it can seem pretty complicated and feel overwhelming. Further, many WordPress users have spent hours (sometimes even days) trying to repair a problem created by an update.
But updating to the current version of WordPress and Genesis is super simple! Everything is integrated and updates are tested thoroughly, so you don’t have to be a guinea pig or call your developer. Just a clickety-click and you’re done!
The Genesis Framework provides the foundation for six different layout options:
- Full Width Content (no sidebars)
- Sidebar (left) / Content (right)
- Content (left) / Sidebar (right)
- Sidebar (1) / Sidebar (2) / Content
- Content / Sidebar (1) / Sidebar (2)
- Sidebar / Content / Sidebar
WordPress widgets are the fast, easy way to add powerful functionality to your site – without having to know how to code! They can be used to add sidebars, opt-in forms for email list building, social media sharing buttons, and more. Genesis even comes with some cool, custom widgets!
Genesis Requires a Child Theme
Like I said before, the Genesis Framework is solely a foundation for your website, so you absolutely must use a child theme. Besides, child themes keep your customizations safe. You can edit those files directly because they will never change unless you change them.
(The following descriptions come from the theme authors.)
As previously mentioned, I recently created my very own Genesis Child Theme for the first time ever and I’m pretty freakin’ excited! Evolution Pro is a sleek, minimalist theme built to showcase your work & evolve with you. It offers five different “starter packs” to fit your needs – whether you’re a writer or blogger, visual artist, influencer (personal brand), small business, or creative agency! (Full support for the theme provided by me!)
In addition to my theme, there are a number of developers who only build using Genesis, but I would recommend going with one of StudioPress’s Child Themes since they’re the geniuses behind the framework! I believe they have over 60 themes at present, but I’ll briefly go over a handful for you.
Most of their themes are ready for advertising. All you need to do is insert your code – like Google AdSense, Clicksor, etc. – into a text widget to start collecting your ad revenue!
Furthermore, their documentation is thorough and they have tutorials that will teach you all you need to know. And setting up your site has literally never been easier!
Child themes come equipped with demo content, plugins, perfectly-designed Gutenberg blocks, and the same easy “one-click-set-up” as Evolution Pro to automatically set your site up in a matter of minutes!
(Each of the following theme packages includes the Genesis Framework so you don’t have to buy it separately or download it for free.)
“Niche is a Genesis-powered WordPress Theme for bloggers that wanna go pro. Niche Pro allows you to build a lifestyle blog that will showcase beautiful content and is optimized to draw your audience in.” (Click the link above to learn more.)
“Author Pro helps published authors like you build a better online library of books with its intuitive design and powerful functionality. Further your following by showcasing your published work with the user-friendly features of Author Pro. Your readers will thank you for it.” (Click the link above to learn more.)
“The Perfect Theme for Wellness, Food/Recipe, Fitness and Lifestyle Sites. Choose from flexible image-rich layouts, including full-width sections and archive options that will make your content shine.” (Click the link above to learn more.)
“Want a website that’s substantial but simple? Come see the sleek difference that white space and typography make in a minimal design with Monochrome Pro. If having a visually strong digital presence and an easy-to-use site are equally important to you, then Monochrome Pro is the Genesis-powered theme you’ve been waiting for.” (Click the link above to learn more.)
“Modern Studio draws eyes exactly where we want them — then doesn’t distract them. For designers, highlighting imagery is the most important function a website can perform. Modern Studio does this by cutting back on the clutter and color so that it’s your shutter and colors doing all the work.” (Click the link above to learn more.)
You may have a little trouble customizing a Genesis child theme to your exact specifications if you don’t know at least CSS, and maybe even a little PHP, depending on which one you choose.
(The following descriptions come from the plugin authors.)
“Extender Pro is all about site-specific customization. And what I mean by that is that it allows you to create completely theme-agnostic custom styles, functions, scripts, templates, Widget Areas and all kinds of content, code, and control. It effectively EXTENDS the active WP Framework by providing a completely compartmentalized development environment. There’s little you can’t do with the Extender Pro Plugin. It’s definitely one of my go-to WP DEV tools!” (Click the link above to learn more.)
“Genesis DevKit is my point-n-click masterpiece! After almost a decade of experience developing WordPress point-n-click, “no-coding required” design tools, I have created an all-new Plugin that puts the best of my findings into practice. From the ability to create new Genesis Child Themes from scratch to providing hundreds of highly intuitive no-coding design options, to offering a full-featured custom-coding experience, Genesis DevKit lives up to its name!” (Click the link above to learn more.)
” Dynamik Website Builder is technically a Genesis Child Theme, but it’s so much more! It’s packed with no-coding design options that essentially turn your WordPress Dashboard into a Genesis web design platform, as well as custom coding and template options that provide the up-and-coming developer with that little something extra to get the job done. From the DIY dev to the professional WordPress freelancer, Dynamik is a powerful all-in-one solution!” (Click the link above to learn more.)
“You purchased the Genesis Framework because you heard it was awesome, then saw so for yourself. But then you discovered that to change your “look” you’d need to write or edit some code. Scary stuff if coding’s not your thing, which it probably isn’t (which is okay). Because guess what?”… Now you can edit until your heart’s content without ever having to touch the code! (Click the link above to learn more.)
Though there are a few cons to going with the Genesis Framework and a child theme, there are solutions to those problems, and in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh any potential downsides! And it just got even better because now you can download Genesis + a sample child theme to play with + The Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners entirely for free! You just have to subscribe below to get instant access!
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Pragmatic dreamer & founder of d6Collab, web designer & front-end developer, WordPress expert, search engine optimization specialist, social media consultant, writer, & general hurricane known as elle. I help creative entrepreneurs develop their brand voice and digital presence through the use of WordPress websites with unique & highly specialized features, SEO copywriting, and social media campaigns. When I’m not doing all that, I’m working on d6Collab & chillin’ with my daughter.