In 2012, a client came to me with a link to a website that he liked. He wanted me to see if I could find out what theme it was and if we could purchase it for his redesign. At the time, most of the WordPress websites I was building were using Thesis. A quick “right click and viewed source” revealed it was a Genesis theme. I owe that client so much because he set me on the path to finding a tool that would transform my business forever.
If you haven’t used Genesis before, it’s a framework for WordPress and when using it, you apply a child theme to customize the look and feel of the website you are building. The term framework refers to a code library that is used as the basis of a theme. I have to admit, at first I was totally lost. Where is the homepage? What am I doing? I set out online to find help and found a training program from Kim Doyal, The WordPress Chick. A one hour training with Kim via Skype and Kim’s handy PDF guide, gave me enough to hit the ground running. By the time I finished my client’s website, I knew I needed to purchase lifetime access to StudioPress.
What are the advantages of the Genesis Framework?
- Clean code – the framework and child theme have very clean code (meaning not a lot of files involved)
- Correct code – They follow the standard protocol as set by the W3C
- SEO Optimization – there are built in SEO settings you can use and the clean code above supports good load times
- Speed – Built properly, these sites are the fastest loading WordPress sites
- Support – strong support from StudioPress, their forums and Genesis community members online
What did this do for me as a web designer?
- It streamlined what I was learning: There is nothing worse than having a client come to you with a Themeforest theme that has the look they want but horrible code behind it that is hard to figure out
- It made me faster: Because I was learning basically ONE theme family, I became so much faster at customizing my CSS and PHP files
- It built up my confidence: I became more confident with each Genesis website that I built
- It introduced me to a community: I found other Genesis enthusiasts online to watch and learn from
- It allowed me to steer the ship: There were a variety of child themes to choose from, I could offer the client two or three looks, all from the same theme family
The Genesis Framework and the theme options at StudioPress (and many third party providers) can give you a great starting point for any design project ahead of you! If you are just getting started, I can’t recommend this option enough. And strangely (I plan these posts in advance), there is a sale TODAY on the lifetime membership. These days they also offer hosting, which I’ve never tried. That seems more geared for the DIYer.
In future posts, I plan to share all the great resources I know for using Genesis. My favorite plugins, teachers and communities for Genesis users. I also will share how I’ve moved beyond just the Genesis Framework and have now embraced Beaver Builder (which works with Genesis quite well).
What are your feelings about Genesis? Have you used it? Is it important to your business? Are you currently using it? Why or why not? Please join the conversation on Facebook.