I’ve learned over the years that having a robust WordPress framework certainly makes your blogging life much easier in many ways. Why wrestle with cranky code and poorly designed themes when the WordPress Genesis themes are there waiting for you?
The Genesis framework is by Studiopress founded by Brian Gardner, who is known for his economically efficient themes. The beauty of Genesis is that it comes with a host of built-in options which are available but not forced on you. And, more to the point, it has a strong bunch of celebrities who back it, like Matt Mullenweg (the founder of WordPress), Darren Rowse (Pro Blogger & Digital Photography School), Chris Brogan, Mark Jaquith and others.
I want to tell you the main reasons why I use the Genesis framework and why maybe you should think about it too.
What Are WordPress Theme Frameworks?
Many users may not know or even care what theme frameworks are or why people are using them. They are being widely used because of a host of advantages over their non-theme framework counterparts which will be divulged a little later on.
So, what exactly are they?
The actual term, WordPress theme framework, usually refers to a code library which enables the ease of development of a theme. In the early days of WordPress, theme maintenance often encountered some crucial problems because of the way the themes were developed.
It was impossible to upgrade a WP theme without losing the custom styling options, which would be overwritten by the new CSS code that came with the upgrade.
This may not appear to be of concern to the ordinary user, but it was disastrous to many pro bloggers and enthusiasts. Just imagine if you had spent lots of time and energy customizing the style of your website, then one day you inadvertently clicked the theme upgrade button…
…and now your site is suddenly broken! Yes, it happened that quickly!
There had to be a solution, and there was, in the form of Parent Theme and Child Theme.
Most serious site owners have armed themselves with enough knowledge of CSS (Custom StyleSheet) coding to be able to tweak the look of their site to make it unique. This is why you need a special place to put all this customized code – and this is what the Child Theme does.
About The Framework Itself
It’s a foundation that erases the headaches of security concerns and updates by separating the parent template framework from its child theme.
The intention of the WordPress theme framework is for it to be used specifically as a parent theme template, this is where the functionality resides. Developers can simply create a child theme to add their customized styling, so ensuring that the framework’s functionality remains intact. All the functions are hosted in this centralized location too.
Should the core development team decide to change or remove a WordPress function, or correct a bug found in a particular theme framework, then it’s very easy to do. They just push out an update without modifying anything inside the child theme.
This means that the “framework” of your site is kept strong without changing any of its looks.
The Benefits of Genesis
The Genesis Framework for WordPress offers a raft of good stuff that sets it apart from other frameworks, among those are the following:
- Search Engine Optimized – State-of-the-art code is used throughout incorporating smart design architecture which means that search engines see your content. Schema.org code is also supported further optimizing the SEO.
- HTML5-compatible and Mobile-responsive – sleek and professional designs are offered without paying a fortune for them and without worrying about obsolescence.
- Unlimited Support – one price entitles you to unlimited support, updates and domains.
- Advanced Security – Features are meaningless if your site is not secure. Genesis adheres to the WordPress security best practices.
- Instant Updates – Updates the code that runs in the background in a flash while maintaining the look and feel of the site.
- Fast Customizing – Customizing your site is so easy without having all that bloated code that could slow down your site.
- Widgets & Layout Options – Plenty of custom widgets offering flexibility are available, which can be used anywhere on your site in a mix-and-match fashion.
You only need to buy the framework once, then you can buy as many child themes as you wish.
Why I Use Just One Theme
What I like about Genesis is that it consists of just one framework, with many child themes. So, if you are building or customizing sites for clients, the framework remains intact while you do all the tweaks in the child themes. Modifying a child theme is like starting with a blank slate knowing you have the awesome power of the framework behind you. These are a few of my main reasons why I’ve decided to concentrate on just the Genesis framework:
- The global network of support is amazing. Developers are known to work together to help solve problems while general support at Studiopress is excellent and always readily available.
- It is the biggest player on the market, so everyone who makes products that integrate into themes tend to find that sites running on Genesis perform much better. People also write plugins and snippets specifically for Genesis, knowing that loads of people will use them.
- It’s good to know that the site doesn’t have to be overhauled with each and every WordPress and Genesis update which is a massive plus point for any developer/user.
- I like the fact that I can reuse much of the code that I’ve created or even collected from the Genesis developers community. This helps as I don’t have to create code from scratch or modify it extensively to work in a new environment.
- Just purchase the framework once, and it’s there to be used over and again with any of the available themes.
I’m sure you are aware that life’s gains stem from a positive attitude, such as improving your strengths, rather than your weaknesses. That said, rather than becoming adept at understanding all themes and frameworks, I’m just concentrating on one platform with just one set of rules and placing them all onto one host. For the very reason I made WordPress my default blogging platform in 2008, I now have made Genesis my framework of choice.
Why Genesis Over Other Frameworks?
I have tried Thesis in the past, which is great for blog-based sites, but compared to Genesis, which allows a great homepage for its sites through the child theme structure, there is little comparison. Being able to make a bespoke site just by customizing a little CSS is so attractive for designers and users alike. It’s quick, efficient and easy to comprehend – and the results speak for themselves, just look at any Genesis-themed site, and you’ll see what I mean!
It’s all about efficiency, effectiveness and support – and the Genesis Framework for WordPress has it all!
When there is an improvement in Genesis, I can get on a roll with the copy/paste functions and have my updates performed swiftly, as I know where to find the modifications I have made in the stylesheets. With about fifteen very good Genesis-specific WordPress plugins that add loads of power and flexibility, I have no intention in working with any other code.
When I read some of the code in other themes, also in some premium themes, I know I’ve made the right choice!
Tip: Always design a mobile-friendly site.
What do you use?
I know there are many, many StudioPress/Genesis-only developers out there. If you are one of them or would like to be, do let me know – also, I’d like to follow you on Google+ if I’m not already doing so. Do you use themes where you’ve had to create your child theme or don’t you bother with customizing?
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