When I first started building websites in WordPress I wanted to be able to create themes for clients that could be customised for them but which were easy to add functionality to in the future. I needed to have a cost effective way of achieving this and I wanted the confidence that what I was creating was coded correctly and that I could support it. The Genesis Framework does exactly this and I wouldn’t be able to run my business without it.
What is The Genesis Framework?
The Genesis framework is a core WordPress Theme platform that uses clean, efficient code which ensures that your website is search optimised and secure.
If WordPress is the engine, then Genesis is the frame and body and the Genesis themes are the paintwork.
I like Nick The Geek’s explanation:
Genesis is a Framework, think of it like Legos or some other similar toy. It has a platform that the various pieces fit onto and those pieces can be removed or moved. Like Legos, some pieces have to fit in certain places, while other pieces can be added almost anywhere.
Here are just some of the reasons why I have become a Genesis Framework Fanatic:
1. It’s well coded and well supported.
Genesis is supported and maintained by well respected WordPress developers from StudioPress. Supporting and developing Genesis is their business. They make sure that the framework is always up to date with the best coding practices and is always compatible with the latest version of WordPress. This means that I don’t have to worry that the latest version of WordPress is going to break my sites.
If I need help with anything then I can raise a ticket with StudioPress or I can get help from the fantastic Genesis Community that exists. Google plus is particularly great for this and Carrie Dils’s weekly Genesis Out Of Office Hours has been invaluable, not just from a technical point of view, but also from a business point of view.
2. You can update without losing your customisations.
The Genesis framework uses child themes, which are like skins that sit on top of the framework to change the look of your website. Instead of making changes to the framework itself, all customisations are made to the child theme.
This means that when there is new version of the Genesis framework available I can upgrade without losing my customisations.
3. Genesis themes are very flexible.
There are about 50 Genesis child themes available but it doesn’t stop there. Every theme structure can be customised because Genesis uses Hooks which allow you to add and move theme elements. For example you may want to add a new widget area that appears after each single post or move the navigation bar so that it appears at the top, above the header.
You do need to learn how Genesis works in order to achieved this level of customisation but once you understand how it works you can use the same code snippets.
What I love is that if a client comes back after a few months and wants to add another function to their website I can this add to their existing site easily.
4. Many Genesis themes are responsive.
Many Genesis child themes are responsive which means that the display changes to suit the device that is being used and these themes work really well. In the past I have spend hours struggling with media queries to ensure that a site works across all devices only to find that an update breaks it. Genesis themes just work and continue to work – they really do look great on desktops, tablets and mobiles.
5. Genesis has many useful features.
Genesis includes many useful features and one of my favourites is the ability to easily add script to the header and footer from the WordPress Dashboard without having to delve into the functions.php file. This is particularly useful for adding analytic code and google fonts.
There are also lots of Genesis specific plugins which allow you to easily add different features. Normal WordPress plugins will also work with Genesis.
There are also loads of useful tutorials available from StudioPress and from other Genesis Developers – they really are a very helpful bunch!
Don’t just take my work for it. Matt Mullenweg, WordPress founder, says of Genesis:
Child themes and a framework are the only way you should build your WordPress site and Genesis has great support for child themes and other WordPress functionality.
If you would like to talk to me about building your new website with Genesis then please contact me.