I’ve been researching themes for a while now and I’ve never been as awestruck as when I first met the Genesis framework. Here I’ll give you some pointers as to why Genesis is the best thing since sliced bread!
First, let’s get one thing out of the way – why do we call it “a framework”? Well, let’s use a visual metaphor. If we see WordPress as the core of the site, the engine that the site runs on, Genesis is the main set of nuts and bolts that get the thing moving. Then you will use child themes to change the outside of the product – your design and layout. You will put a child theme on top of the parent Genesis theme – the parent theme is where all the main updates happen, while you can keep the changes you’ve made to the child theme independent. This is an option quite a few themes have, but what makes Genesis different is the huge amount of child themes you can use. As Genesis is really popular, it also has a great community and knowledgeable support – so there are a lot of developers that build upon the framework and give us, regular users, a lot of freedom and flexibility.
One of the core features that sets Genesis apart is its use of code “hooks”. Most other themes give you some customization options and widgets and going from there, there isn’t much you can do in terms of placing specific elements on the website. Genesis uses “hooks” that you can use to place elements in your site. So if you want to place an element before your footer, it’s as simple as using the hook “genesis_before_footer”. You see, now you can easily decide where to put the author bio or social media sharing buttons, without coding extensively or wasting time with plugins that don’t always work as expected. There’s a great guide on hooks that I highly recommend over at Genesis Tutorials – it shows just how many placement options you now have. You will have much more control over your website.
Hooks also help clean up the theme code so that it loads much faster and isn’t bloated. Usually, including customization options in the theme you use actually creates unnecessary files in the theme for layout and color options and may bloat up your database – Genesis helps with that and makes your site super lean and clean.
Genesis is created with HTML 5 mark-up and Schema.org microdata – this facilitates your SEO work and will help your positioning. Schema.org explains to search engines what your content contains, which helps your SEO efforts. The framework has built-in SEO options and is optimized for use together with the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, giving you a bit of an SEO head-start on other bloggers.
The multitude of Genesis child themes is important to highlight – the main point here, as already explained, is that you will only make changes to the child theme without altering the parent Genesis code. This is how you achieve a lot of visual freedom and a level of control. Whether you’re looking for a more romantic feel with Lovely or a classic look with Avett, you will be able to choose your own favorite out of many child theme options and use it easily.
So, here are some of the reasons we love Genesis framework – just give it a try and you’ll see for yourself! Don’t have the time to build or manage your new website, or maybe design and coding is not for you? Try out our partners at WP Support Center to custom design and maintain your WordPress website.