Have you ever found yourself working endlessly on a WordPress theme and/or paying hundreds of dollars to a developer to customize it for you? And when the time comes to change that theme, all your past work flows down the river?
I’ve been there my friend and it’s not very pleasant. Believe me, I know what you’re feeling.
It’s like buying expensive 4G bandwidth on your phone, only to waste it on app updates!
So what’s the solution? Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the famous Genesis Framework.
The Genesis Framework is an industry leading WordPress framework from StudioPress, trusted by the very best WordPress theme developers and used on 100,000’s of WordPress sites.
Who uses the Genesis Framework?
Let me rephrase that question for you – who doesn’t?
Let’s see – the #1 authority on copywriting – CopyBlogger media uses the Genesis Framework. So does the creator of the WordPress SEO plugin – Yoast.com.
Not to mention Google’s own Matt Cutts.
You’ll see why in a few moments.
What is a WordPress theme framework?
Let us consider the brilliant example from StudioPress’ site. Imagine a car – a Nissan Skyline GTR if you will.
- The WordPress Core is the engine of the car – it is what powers everything.
- A WordPress theme framework (like Genesis) is the body of the car. It’s responsible for plethora of factors ranging from durability, visual appeal to aerodynamics.
- To top it off, you have the WordPress theme (in this case the Genesis child theme), which is the paint job including vinyl on the body of the car.
A WordPress theme framework is the backbone of your WordPress theme. It provides a skeletal structure for your site, upon which you can build your themes and customize its features. The WordPress codex defines it as two things:
- A “drop-in” code library that is used to facilitate development of a Theme.
- A stand-alone base/starter Theme that is intended either to be forked into another Theme, or else to be used as a Parent Theme template
The Genesis Framework covers the best of both worlds. Not only does it have a robust code library full of awesome functions, you get a beautiful starter theme when you buy the framework. Many sites use the starter theme itself!
You’ll find that there are plenty of free and awesome WordPress theme frameworks mentioned in that page. But then why does everyone pay a 100 dollars for a theme + the Genesis framework? It’s because of the numerous benefits of using that framework. Let’s take a look.
Benefits that make the Genesis Framework awesome
We all know how important SEO is for any website. Now I am no SEO expert, so I visited the foremost authority on WordPress SEO – Joost de Valk from Yoast.com. This is what he had to say:
Genesis comes with a set of built-in SEO options that make 95% of the SEO plugins out there look bad. Luckily it doesn’t beat my own WordPress SEO plugin, but it’s most certainly adequate, allowing you to set titles and meta descriptions for posts, pages and taxonomies specifically, as well as create templates.
Joost also suggests disabling the Canonical Paginated Archives option found under Genesis > Archive Settings.
Many of you use the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. You’ll be happy to know that Genesis and WordPress SEO go like bread and butter.
As soon as you activate the plugin, Genesis automatically hides its own SEO options and lets Yoast take over.
If you’re a WordPress beginner, it is sometimes difficult to get the design you want. Sometimes you might want a different page layout.
The Genesis Framework gives you six different layout options for every post, page and other custom post types. One of my favorite layouts include is the Full-Width layout where you have no sidebars.
It’s great for landing pages and error pages.
Rock solid code
The Genesis Framework packs a fully responsive HTML5 and CSS3 foundation under its hood.
It’s coded with the best standards prescribed by the W3 and other authoritarian bodies. Even for a developer who’s never used Genesis Framework before, it’s only a matter of days before he starts building his first site using the framework.
Plugins, plugins and more plugins
One of the most exciting benefits of using the Genesis Framework is that it opens the door to a whole new realm of WordPress plugins.
Yes that’s right – there are 100’s of plugins built just for enhancing the features of the Genesis framework. From adding a widgetized footers to customizing headers and widgets, there’s a plugin for almost everything.
Interoperability of themes
This is one of the turn-key aspects of the Genesis Framework.
Remember we talked about the apparent problems of porting to another theme?
Well, with Genesis, it’s easy as 1-2-3.
All you need to do is design your new theme and simply copy-paste the old functions in the new theme’s folder. Since the underlying structure is the same, it’s only a matter of activating the new theme while simultaneously retaining the old theme’s features.
And when the Genesis Framework gets updated, you don’t have to worry about losing any theme customizations.
That’s the beauty of using child themes.
Apart from the hundreds of sites which give you solutions to the most common to the most unusual problems that you’ll ever face when using the Genesis Framework, there are thousands of volunteers and professional StudioPress support staff ready to help in the official Support Forums.
The Genesis Framework is constantly updated to keep up-to-date with the latest WordPress recommendations and standards. With every revision you get improved security, removal of bugs and general improvement of performance.
What’s so awesome about the updates?
When an update is released, you get a notification in your WordPress dashboard – simply press the Update button and the framework is updated in a few seconds. You don’t lose any of your previous theme customizations (providing you are using a child theme) while at the same time you get the latest version of Genesis with added features.
The Genesis Framework is great for developers
If you’re a WordPress theme developer, Genesis is one of the best options for you. Here why you should start to develop WordPress themes using Genesis Framework:
#genesiswp on Twitter
This is the official hashtag of the Genesis Framework. The growing community of Genesis developers and designers can be found sharing new tutorials and announcing their latest designs built using this framework.
Since the Genesis framework is known by almost all WordPress developers, you can safely hand over your client’s project to another developer upon completion of the term.
The other developer can simply pick up from where you left. There’s no need to explain the process, or the code lingo, since you’ve been leveraging Genesis’ in-built code library.
When you’re looking for Genesis tutorials, there are hundreds of sites waiting for you. Here are some examples:
- Genesis Dev: The official Genesis Framework resource with a growing library of tutorials, reference documents and showcase of sites developed using this framework.
- Genesis Tutorials: Created by Christopher Cochran, he uses this site to share great Genesis tutorials for developers and learners.
Genesis Framework pro’s and con’s
- SEO optimized and rock solid code enhanced for security
- One-time payment all future upgrades are free
- Easily extensible
- Massive community support
- Automatic updates and a plethora of plugins
- Individual child themes are tad a bit expensive
- Limited customization options (although plenty of tutorials to help you)
Wrapping up this Genesis Framework review
One of the greatest minds of the 20th century – Albert Einstein once said,
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
The Genesis Framework is best explained with the above quote. It is robust, has bullet-proof security built-in, highly customizable, SEO-optimized, comes with future updates and is used by millions of WordPress sites worldwide.
The most important factor is that is kept simple to the utmost possible limit.
One might complain that you get a lot more features from a typical $50 theme from Themeforest. It is imperative to realize that all those features can be built from scratch using the Genesis Framework.
The truth is that a lot of features found on other themes don’t end up being used.
The result is loading times that are slower than they should be, this creates a poor experience for your visitors and costs you money.
When you shift to another WordPress theme, the Genesis framework will only include the cost of the new theme.
The other one will leave you hunting for which features to port and which to sacrifice.
As you can see, the benefits of using the Genesis Framework huge.
A huge number of WordPress-powered websites are built on this rock-solid framework – so go get your copy today!