A year ago, I started using the Genesis framework to build my blog, to create custom designs for other people, and even to build premade WordPress themes. There are a lot of bloggers and designers that use Genesis and most of them highly recommend it.
Since people often ask me why I use the Genesis framework, I am going to share my top 10 reasons for using it. But first, let’s have a quick look at WordPress frameworks:
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What is a framework
A WordPress framework refers to a code library that helps you develop themes, a base or starter theme, or a parent theme/template. Frameworks or parent themes were developed because back in the day it was very hard to update a theme without losing all the customizations. Basically, you have a parent theme with all the functions and a child theme with the design.
Here’s what Studiopress (the developer of Genesis) has to say about frameworks:
A framework (ours is called Genesis) is a powerful type of WordPress theme — the frame and body of the car — that acts as a design, security, and SEO foundation for your website. It also “future-proofs” your site customizations, so there’s no hassle when it comes time to upgrade your software with one click.
A child theme is the pure design element that rests on top of the framework — the cherry red paint job on that car. Or blue. Or black. Pink. Green. You get the idea…
Why I use the Genesis framework
1. It’s well coded: Genesis is maintained by a group of developers from Studiopress. They make sure that it’s built using the best coding practices and it will always be compatible with the latest version of WordPress. You don’t have to worry about your theme breaking when you update WordPress.
This also means that I don’t have to worry about my custom and premade themes breaking when WordPress updates. Before Genesis, updates used to give me nightmares. It doesn’t happen anymore.
2. It’s easy to use if you are not a coding genius: If you want to customize your Genesis theme, you will need to know some basic CSS and PHP and learn Genesis hooks, but you can still make a pretty good website without having to learn the WordPress Codex. You can purchase a child theme made from Studiopress or from other developers and use it as it is or make changes to it.
3. It’s affordable: The Genesis framework and the sample theme cost only $60. You can customize the sample theme, or you can buy a child theme and have a pretty and functional site for less than $100.
4. You can sell child themes: Genesis is perfect for newbie designers and developers that want to build their own business. You only have to buy the framework once and you can use it to develop your very own child themes for custom design clients or you can sell them in your shop. Just make sure you follow the rules.
5. There are many dedicated plugins: You will be amazed by how many things you can do using one of these plugins. Like changing your layout. My favorites are Simple Social Icons, Genesis eNews Extended, Genesis Grid, Genesis Responsive Slider.
6. Easy to add widgets to any area: You can make a widgetized homepage, add them to your sidebar or footer, under the header or posts (or above them), in the navigation menu. Genesis also comes with a few predefined widget areas, like an area for featured posts.
7. All themes are mobile responsive: Google is forcing everyone to use mobile friendly themes, but if you are using Genesis, you don’t have to worry about that.
8. It’s lightweight and fast loading: Even though frameworks have a lot of features you might never use, Genesis was built with speed in mind. You don’t have to worry about it slowing down your site.
9. Security: Themes have to be extra buggy to actually have security issues. This is usually caused by plugins. Genesis was built with security in mind and it adheres to the best WordPress security practices. Your Genesis theme is safe from hackers, but don’t forget to update WordPress and your plugins.
10. Many tutorials and great support: Genesis works differently from normal WordPress themes, so the standard WordPress tutorials might not work for you. Don’t worry, there are a lot of great tutorials on the Studiopress website and there are many bloggers that write helpful tutorials. And if you can’t find what you are looking for, you can check the support forum or open a support ticket.
I like to use Genesis because I can sleep well at night knowing that my blog and the blogs of my clients are well-optimized, secure, and easy to update. Not to mention that it makes my work so much faster and I can concentrate on the design.
Do you use the Genesis framework or are you thinking about using it?