Genesis is a WordPress framework that was created by StudioPress. Thousands upon thousands of web designers use Genesis. This Genesis WordPress review has been a long time coming. I have used Genesis for 7+ years and wanted to let you know about my experience using their WordPress framework. Obviously, there are a lot of WordPress themes to choose from.
Different web designers will argue different pros and cons to each WordPress framework. Therefore, no one is going to be able to agree on the best WordPress theme for your business. But, after reading this full Genesis review you should have a better understanding if they will work for your web design needs.
Using The Genesis Framework
To use Genesis you need to upload the framework to your server. You can install just the core Genesis framework or you can also upload one of the many child themes. Do make sure you activate the core Genesis framework and a child theme (if you’re using one).
You will see the Genesis themes settings when you have successfully activated Genesis. Then you will click on Genesis > Theme Settings. This will show you some information. I am going to briefly go over the information down below:
Information. This will show you the version number, release, and you can enabled automatic updates.
Custom Feeds. You can change your custom feeds, and even custom comments feed.
Default Layouts. There are a number of different layouts you can choose from. For instance, you can have the sidebar on the left. Also, you can define how many sidebars you want.
Navigation. You can change your primary navigation which you will have to change in your custom menu settings.
Breadcrumbs. You can specify if you want breadcrumbs to show on your homepage, single post, pages, archives, 404 page, or attachment/media.
Comments and Trackbacks. You can either enable or disable comments and trackbacks on your post and pages.
Content Archives. This allows you to display entry excerpt or full content. You can change the feature image sizes, change the image alignment, and pagination.
Blog Page Template. These settings will just apply to your “blog template” page. You can adjust the display category, exclude categories, or the number of post per page.
Header & Footer Scripts. This is where you cut and paste your scripts; for example for Google Webmaster Tools or anything that you need inside the <head> tag. Also, you can cut paste any scripts you might need in the footer.
These different boxes might be displayed different. You can move all these different boxes however you see fit.
Code & Development
A lot of WordPress themes have lots of holes in their code. Meaning frameworks usually are developed and have a lot of technical issues with them. Thus, your WordPress site might get hacked more frequently. Like, Elegant Themes I have tested out Genesis over the years and have found that their framework is very solid. The security is very tight and you can trust that your website isn’t going to be exploited by hackers.
For web designers that are not all that familiar with PHP and HTML it can be kind of time consuming to dig into code and move things around like you want. However, with Genesis you can actually make a number of changes to the framework of your WordPress site. For instance, lets say you want to integrate something after your body content, but before the footer. You can easily do this by making some adjustments to the visual hooks guide. You can easily integrate the functions all in one place. These will be separate PHP function files.
The Genesis framework comes with it’s own SEO features. This is one of the few problems I have with Genesis. I really believed that they should update their SEO features. I recently read an article about Genesis SEO which drives home the point about Genesis being lacking for SEO. Don’t worry though, this isn’t a deal breaker. I prefer to use All In One SEO Pack or Yoast, though.
Customization With Genesis
With Genesis you can customize any and everything. I personally know a number of web developers that only use Genesis for all their websites. If you’re completely new to the Genesis framework it can be a little overwhelming at first to make changes to your framework. Thankfully, I found a good video by Lisa Irby that made a how-to video on some basic customizations with Genesis.
There are a variety of different child themes you can purchase with Genesis. I am not sure the exact number of child themes that are available, but I do know there are over 50 of them to choose from. Here are some of the most useful ones:
Metro Pro is one of my favorite Genesis child themes. It’s great for magazine websites.
AgentPress Pro is actually the theme I am using for tbwhs.com. There is some customization on mine, but it’s based on AgentPress Pro.
Parallax Pro is a very professional looking child theme. It’s based on a fluid design and looks excellent on mobile devices.
One of the biggest pros to purchasing a premium WordPress framework is the customer support that comes with it. The community is amazing and people help out a lot. I have personally had issues with different elements of a website and people have told me the exact custom CSS to integrate onto my website. Don’t get me wrong free themes are great, but with your Genesis purchase you get support from developers that have been working in the industry for years. In order to get in contact with them it’s all done through their forums. To get help you login to your account and leave a message on their forum. They usually get back to you in 3 to 8 hours.
I have always been a fan of WordPress themes that are a one time fee. I don’t like yearly expenses and lot of other web designers don’t either. This is one thing I really wish Headway would do. But, Genesis did get their billing right. You can purchase the core Genesis development for $59.95. Optionally, you can purchase the core Genesis theme and a child theme for $99.95. You can purchase Genesis’s “Pro Plus All Theme” package for $499.95. This will give you access to all their themes, and you do get support for life; never have to pay another dime to StudioPress.
Also, you are not limited to a number of websites you can install Genesis on. A lot of WordPress frameworks will only give you a license for a specified number of websites. Not with Genesis; you can buy their core theme and use it for every single website you do for yourself or your clients.
Genesis users are very loyal and a lot of webmasters specialize in just using Genesis for their web design clients. They are very active on their Facebook and Twitter. Here are some excellent resources that anyone that uses Genesis should check out:
Genesis Office Hours. This podcast answers a lot of questions and answers that you might be having with Genesis.
WP Sites. A paid membership set with lots of Genesis snippets and codes. This site was created by Brad Dalton.
Sridhar Katakana. Excellent resource with lots of walkthroughs and tutorials.
Bill Erickson. A very trustworthy Genesis developer who writes about lots of different Genesis tips and tricks.
If you are designing a website, having a good WordPress framework really goes a long way. You can never have to many resources when you’re designing websites for your clients or your own personal sites. Genesis can help you to achieve maximum SEO, have a stylish page, clean code, lots of room for development growth, etc. The only thing I really am not a fan of is the SEO settings with Genesis. I have been using Genesis for 7+ years and love them. I invite you to check out Genesis by clicking here. I know a lot of web designers that swear by Genesis and only use them for their projects.