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An Introduction to the Genesis Framework

By James George

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been using WordPress for years, or if you’re just starting out. WordPress can be a complex content management system with a lot of options. These options include themes, plugins, products and services. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with everything. That’s why it’s important to find the best products to make your life easy. One way to do this is to use a trusted theme framework. One of the most popular theme frameworks is called the Genesis Framework by StudioPress.

StudioPress Genesis

What is a Theme Framework?

You may have heard of WordPress themes, but you might not know what a theme framework is. A theme framework is a WordPress theme structure that is put in place to be built upon. Think of a theme framework like the framework of a vehicle. The only difference is, you can build on top of this framework to build any type of theme that you’d like.

Theme frameworks make it extremely easy to create the look and feel of any type of website you want.

Why Genesis?

Genesis is among the most popular WordPress theme frameworks, let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why.

It’s Well Built

Genesis is built with the priority of clean code. This means it implements the latest in HTML5 and CSS3 capabilities. The framework is coded well, making your site work like it’s expected to. Most of the Genesis themes will also look great on mobile devices and are responsive, making the entire theme selection a great choice for businesses everywhere.

HTML5/CSS3

This also makes your site look great to search engines, too. You don’t have to worry about search engines having trouble indexing your site. You can focus on creating killer content, without worrying about the technical SEO aspects.

It’s Lightweight

If you’ve ever installed a theme that made your site crawl slower than a dying turtle, then you’ll understand why a lightweight theme is important. I’ve been there. I’ve installed a beautiful theme, only to find that it bogged down my server, created way too many requests, and was just too bulky overall. Even though Genesis is crammed with features, you won’t see any lag here.

It’s Well Supported

When you make a one time purchase of the Genesis Framework, you get lifetime updates and support. You can always contact their support with any issues you may be having, which is helpful. Having unlimited access to support means that your site will always be up and running how you want it to be. Too many times I’ve seen theme owners left holding the bag, when all they needed was just a little help.

It’s Relatively Inexpensive

The Framework alone is only $60, and that’s a one time purchase. Then, child themes are only in the range of $20-$50, which is relatively inexpensive. You can also make a one-time purchase of all of their themes for a reasonable price. This is great if you’re an entrepreneur, and you just want to get up and running with very little investment. Also, if you own more than one business, you’ll have a library of themes available to choose from for life.

It’s Secure and Regularly Updated

StudioPress rolls out regular updates to improve on their codebase. This is important for keeping your site secure. They strive to keep sites running as fast and secure as possible. The problem with regular updates is the fear that it will break your site. This isn’t the case, which we’ll discuss in my next point.

It’s Flexible and Utilizes Child Themes

The Genesis Framework uses child themes for design. This is extremely important, because it keeps your site’s design safe and secure. You can update to the latest version of the framework, and your site will stay in tact. The way it works is that you install Genesis, and then you install the child theme. Genesis is still there, but the child theme gives it extra functionality and style. You can alter the child theme, free from worry of breaking your site, or messing something up.

Genesis Child Themes

This takes the worry out of keeping your site secure and updated. This completely eradicates the juggling game that WordPress users face between having a beautiful design and maintaining a secure, updated WordPress site.

There are Tons of Design Options

When you pick up the ‘All-Theme’ package, it includes all 42 Genesis child themes by StudioPress. This is a great collection of child themes for all different types of business. This means that you’ll have a variety of choices to choose from for website. Whether you’re a photographer, a writer, or a designer, your site will look great.

You aren’t just stuck with those 42 child themes either. You’ll also be able to find other child themes available in premium marketplaces. There are also independent developers who offer gorgeous free Genesis child themes. Some of them even work with WooCommerce, enabling you to build your own SEO optimized online store with WordPress.

It’s Built with SEO in Mind

The Genesis framework is created to get the most out of SEO, straight out of the box. The way it is built, along with the way it structures posts and categories, ensures that your content will be easy to find and understand. This is true for both people and search engines.

It also utilizes microdata, which is important for making your site even more relevant and enticing to search engines and users. Microdata gives search engines more information about your site, your articles and pages, and the content within. With Microdata, search engines like Google will display more of your data in search results. You may still have only one result, but it will be a more richer result with more detailed information.

Conclusion

If you want a quality WordPress theme framework, the Genesis framework is one of the best, and most widely supported frameworks available. It is packed with advantages that are essential for any business to get their web presence up and running in no time. Also, it takes the worry out of maintenance issues that are common with some WordPress sites. If you want a well-structured framework that takes the hassle out of web design and SEO, the Genesis Framework is an excellent choice.

You can learn much more about Genesis at StudioPress.com.

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Comments
ezekg

I think you forgot to put a link to Genesis. smile

chrisburgess

Thanks @ezekg - good point! This has been updated smile

chiefalchemist

re: " A theme framework is a WordPress theme structure that is put in place to be built upon."

Moi? It would be wise to start saying WordPress theme framework.

Why? Because how these tools use (abuse?) the word framework is much different than how the rest of the design / dev industry uses the word. But then again, we're talking about the WordPress way, and that's always subject to questionable best (?) practices.

jeffreylees

It seems fairly obvious in the context of this article that we're talking about Wordpress specifically. And in my opinion, framework is a fine word to use here. If the use of the word "framework" when discussing Wordpress theme frameworks confuses a developer, especially after five minutes or less reading about them, than I'm questioning whether they're capably a developer or not?

jeffreylees

I like the overview, but as a developer, this article does nothing to make me want to use Genesis. I guess I'd rather see an "Intermediate look at the Genesis Framework" or something for that purpose. But as a broad introduction to the concept, if one wasn't familiar with either theme frameworks as an idea or Genesis in specific, this seems to suit rather nicely, I suppose.

geoffo1406

As a developer. I use genesis extensively to design my clients website. I find their frame both easy and refreshing to utilize.

chiefalchemist

@jeffreylees - Yes, *in the context of this article." I agree.

However, there are plenty of WP "developers" who are born on raised on WP and aren't really aware of the realities beyond WP. Ultimately, they speak (so to speak) and that impacts the broader impression of WP and WP devs in the broader design & dev community. Is it really good that there are people who think "Yeah, I use a framework. I use Genesis" and don't really understand the WP-centric context (read: misuse?) of the word? You're suggesting that's okay. I'm not okay with that.

Fact: That ongoing situation makes some of us, more of us, uncomfortable. If WP wants to run with the big dogs (so to speak) then we need to stop using big dog words just to pretend we're in a big dog world. We need to stop playing let's pretend. The reality is framework is the wrong word. Zend, for example, is a framework. Genesis, with all do respect, is no Zend.

Prehaps UI Driven Theme Design & Dev would be more accurate than (a bastardized use of) "framework"?

jeffreylees

You're suggesting that's okay.

I'm not. I'm suggesting that, in this particular article, where it's very understood what we're discussing, using an abbreviated term is... just fine wink

Also... I think a reality check might be useful - Wordpress is the big dog. Take a look at usage percentages - it's scary.

And the word "framework" is a pretty generic word. I'm comfortable using it for all of those - and I personally would just qualify the word. "PHP framework" "Wordpress framework" - comparing these things is like someone mistaking an apple for an orange. They're both fruit, generically, but they're nothing alike. It's generally that person's fault if they can't use context clues wink I learned about those when I was very small, not sure about anyone else.

chiefalchemist

You're missing the point, and what happens when the context shifts without there being an awareness that the original context was for all practical fictional.

Sofor you it's okay for WordPress to bastardize (read: turn their back on best practice) the use of a word? To hell with that the industry standard is?

Clearly, that's silly. And people wonder why WP can't get any respect in the "real world."

In the world of web design and web dev, (for example) Zend, etc. is a framework. Everywhere expect is the World of WordPress?

Oh come on now. I have work to do and you've got me LMFAO.

Really? I'd like to read the author / page that says that.

jeffreylees

This is a somewhat irrationally charged conversation on your end, so I'll give you the last of my thoughts and then be done here.

"framework":

the basic structure of something : a set of ideas or facts that provide support for something

From the dictionary. There is no authoritative author that decides upon the definition of words - except perhaps the dictionary.

WP has massive respect in the real world. As I said, take a look at market shares. If you personally don't respect it, that's your prerogative, but it's naive to say that it's not both widely used and respected as a platform.

You're missing the point, and what happens when the context shifts without there being an awareness that the original context was for all practical fictional.

I don't even know what you're trying to say there. Context always matters.

Sofor you it's okay for WordPress to bastardize (read: turn their back on best practice) the use of a word? To hell with that the industry standard is?

Best practice? On the use of a word? Industry standard? Show me where you're getting an industry standard definition of the word "framework" ?? Doesn't even make sense.

I think I'm content to agree to disagree with you on this one wink

chiefalchemist

I'm just the messenger brother. Your disagreement (or did you mean misunderstanding) is not with me.

For example, read the first sentence of this:

http://www.sitepoint.com/grid-system-comparison-bootstrap-vs-foundation/

And on Facebook the lead actually added "CSS" to the "scope" of the topic. Why do you object to honesty and clarity? What are you wanting to hide? smile

I don't know what else to tell you other than your objection is a great example of exactly what I'm getting at. That is, WordPress is pretty much out of touch with everyone else in the dev world.

ciaranmg1

I would like to see a more in-depth look at this framework. I've tried using it on a couple of sites and honestly, I don't get it. To me a good framework should cleanly separate logical layers (data, business logic, presentation, etc.) But Genesis just appears to be a bunch of actions that you hook into with a mess of echo statements and open/close php tags.

But that said, I know some smart people who use it and swear by it, and have seen some really well performing sites built with it.

chrisburgess

Thanks for the feedback @jeffreylees

I guess I'd rather see an "Intermediate look at the Genesis Framework" or something for that purpose.

Couldn't agree more, we've got this in the pipelines! wink

chrisburgess

Thanks @ciaranmg1 -- We're working on more detailed Genesis topics, stay tuned.

nick_coad

The author already uses the fully qualified nomenclature "theme framework" several times before abbreviating later in the article - what more do you want?

chiefalchemist

You mean like in the headline / title? Because who scans / skims and only reads that? Never happens, yes? A thought is never formed / reinforced when that happens? Never. Ever. In a Taylor Swift sorta way? smile

Besides, it was a general statement about how "framework" is used / abused in the context of The WordPress way. Or perhaps you skimmed my comments to quickly. Ya think? lol

Forget I even brought it up. Why do I bother? Have a nice day.

Marius_Kritzinger

Good day

Am I correct in assuming that one can migrate a wordpress site to the Genesis framework.

I have a wordpress site http://renwickplatinum.co.za and I need to migrate the site as is to another CMS system. My friend showed my how easily one can penetrate the site even though I tried to secure it the day before. It is a little bit better now because of another plugin I installed but I feel it is only time before there will be an intrusion. I need all the functionality without the risk involved with wordpress.

cpradio

@Marius_Kritzinger, from what I read in the article, Genesis is a Theme framework that sits on top of Wordpress, it doesn't replace Wordpress. So you will still have WordPress and you'll have a plugin/theme that sits on top of your wordpress install.

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