Genesis Framework is one of the most popular WordPress Frameworks with a huge base of users and supporters.
It’s provided by StudioPress(Copyblogger Media) and their team of professional developers and is continually maintained and updated.
There is also an added security in knowing that StudioPress is a high-profile company that’s here to stay.
Think of the Genesis Framework as a layer that sits atop of WordPress and contains the code that governs the WordPress design, features, and functionality of a website, while its child themes sit atop of Genesis Framework, inherit those properties and contain the visual design elements that create the look and feel of a website.
What is a Framework
Genesis Framework, as its name indicates, is a framework.
As such, before we dive into the benefits of using Genesis Framework, I would like to spend some time at looking what a framework is and what its role in a website.
Theme frameworks offer a base set of features and functionality that developers can build on. Because a framework handles many of the infrastructure tasks every website requires, using a framework is the way to go when developing a website because it saves lots of time, money and is more reliable than a newly written code.
These benefits are magnified when a framework is written by highly skilled developers, is available for a while and is continually being maintained and improved.
You can also look at a framework as the Back-End of the website, which consists of elements that are not visible on the website and includes the behind the scenes logic and takes care of the website’s infrastructure requirement.
What is A Child Theme
Now that we have talked about what a framework is let’s look at what a child theme is.
A child theme is a skin your website wears to appeal to its visitors.
If a framework is the Back-End, the Child Theme is a Front-End of the website. It contains only minimal programming as you can turn features (created in the framework) on and off wherever you want.
It offers the styling, colors, and topography as well as a well-defined template that can be modified to suit better the specific business needs.
As a rule, when building a website with a Framework and a Child theme, developers do not modify the framework and only make changes to the Child theme itself.
Separating the representation layer from the controller and the model layers is a great programming rule as it allows to replace one layer without affecting the other. In the practical world, that means that we can update the Genesis Framework without losing any of the changes made to the look and feel of the website. And we also can easily replace the Child theme and give a new look and feel to our website confident this will not break the website functionality.
With this introduction into frameworks and (child) themes, let’s dive into Genesis Framework benefits.
Genesis framework code is Reliable, lightweight and high-quality for a fast loading website
Genesis framework is a high quality, lightweight solution and is one of those frameworks that has been with us for a while and is supported and maintained by highly skilled developers which means it’s reliable with clean and optimized code.
Genesis Follows W3C approved standards
Code that doesn’t follow these industry standards forces browsers to work extra hard to render a site and display it correctly, which slows down the website.
Since Genesis Framework follows W3C standards, the websites that are based on this framework ensure cross-browser compatibility, mobile-friendliness and improves its ability to deliver audio and video.
Genesis Provides Responsive Designs built on HTML5
HTML5 is the latest version of Hypertext Markup Language, the code that describes web pages. HTML5 is generally preferred for its flexibility, efficiency, better security, SEO advantages and the ability to adapt to the various needs.
This also means that Genesis coded keeping all the tags and meta properties in mind.
Important to note that for a fast and well-coded website using Genesis alone isn’t enough. Many factors need to be considered when developing a site to ensure its speed and high code quality. Some of the factors are – the hosting provider and the plan you choose, the child theme, the plugins included on the website, as well as any custom code added to the website.
Choosing to use Genesis framework, puts you to a great start.
Genesis Framework is Secure
Mark Jaquith, a security expert and one of the core WordPress developers, was one of the Genesis core developers. Having Mark on the team means all the best security practices were followed.
Security is critical when it comes to websites and knowing the framework you use is adding to your website’s security rather than introducing a vulnerability is an excellent point in favor of Genesis.
Genesis Framework comes with Built-in SEO
Genesis has been optimized for SEO and supports schema.org code (which is required for rich snippets).
As a side note – That is a great base. However, if you want more superior SEO support, I would highly recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin. You can choose between free and premium version. Even the free version is pretty awesome.
Genesis framework includes awesome Built-In Features
Genesis includes features that are necessary for designing a website but not too much as to slow the website down.
Some of the features include
- Mobile responsiveness
- Multiple page layouts
- Custom widgets
- Custom header
- Custom background
- Full-width template
- Theme options
Read about Genesis features in deapth here.
These features are referred to as “lightweight code” and were chosen carefully so that while providing powerful capabilities they are light enough not to slow the website down.
The downside of including only what is necessary is that the Genesis Framework and its child themes do lack the multi-functionality and heavy feature sets of some of the other best-selling premium WordPress themes. Instead, site designers have the option of adding features per their needs via the extensive library of WordPress plugins, rather than having them all forced upon them by the theme.
Genesis Framework has many child themes
Being a popular framework for a while, Genesis naturally attracted many developers who created child themes for practically any niche.
On top of the options, Genesis offers, like customizable headers, page templates, mobile responsiveness and more, each child theme will have its unique features and capabilities.
WordPress plugins That are built specifically for Genesis Themes
Many plugins were explicitly built for Genesis themes. Some of these plugins were built by StudioPress itself which means better compatibility with Genesis Themes, higher security, and lighter implementation.
How to find these plugins
Examples of some popular Genesis plugins –
Genesis Framework is Regularly Updated
Plugins or theme that are never updated can bring serious security risks to a site. Genesis is maintained and is regularly updated.
And because Genesis is a framework when updating it, you can be certain website’s customization will not be affected.
Genesis Framework has the largest Community within WordPress
Genesis users form one of the largest communities within the broader WordPress community. Within this community, there are users and developers. This means there is lots of information online and you are never short of professionals you can turn to for help and support.
Search for the #genesiswp hashtag on Twitter and see what comes up.
Genesis Framework is recommended and used by the pros
Some of the pros that recommend Genesis framework are –
- Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress.
- Joost De Valk founder and CEO of Yoast, mostly known for it’s popular Yoast SEO Plugin and
- Matt Cutts former head of Web Spam at Google.
If Genesis wins these pros trust, I am happy to follow their steps.
Genesis Framework saves time and is excellent value for money
As a framework, installing Genesis as a base for website design will reduce the coding time and effort as all the common code was already done. This means a site can be developed quickly without compromising quality.
When you purchase Genesis Framework, you get unlimited access to the support for an unlimited number of sites you choose to use the framework on.
When choosing the Genesis framework, you select a solid base for your website. It’s like standing on the shoulders of giants because you piggyback on the thousands of hours that have already been spent building, refining, and updating Genesis.
Choosing a theme for your website can be at times pretty full on. It’s obvious that the theme you select works well for your website’s needs, but it’s not only about the design. Besides the design, there is a number of other factors that are not as visible you shouldn’t neglect. Focusing on the crucial few factors when choosing a theme will help you select a theme that will serve your business well.
Purchase Genesis Child Themes
The biggest seller would be the creator of the Genesis Framework itself, StudioPress with many different options to guarantee you will find one that suits your website needs. But there are other developers and designers created Genesis based Child Themes.
Here are a few options –
- StudioPress – Browse through StudioPress child themes and third party themes approved by StudioPress. You can be assured of its quality as the StudioPress team checks it.
- And other designers and developers offer premium and free Genesis Child Themes. Do a quick google search for ‘Genesis child theme’ to find the latest Genesis child themes available.
What is your experience with the Genesis Framework? What is your favorite Genesis Child Theme?