Right folks! Listen up because I’m going to tell you all about the Genesis Framework and StudioPress child themes. I swear by them! My web developer tool belt would not be complete without them. Read on to find out exactly what the Genesis Framework and StudioPress child themes are and why they have proven to be so valuable to me and my clients.
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So, what is the Genesis Framework and what are the StudioPress child themes? Simply put, they are a collection of premium themes exclusively for my favorite content management system (CMS), WordPress. But let’s dig a little deeper. The Genesis framework can be thought of as the foundations, walls and roof of a house. The shell. In terms of a website, the Genesis Framework provides the design, security and search engine optimization (SEO). The StudioPress child themes are purely design. Using our house metaphor, the themes determine the color of paint on the walls, the furniture and decor. Get the idea?
Now I know you’re not going to simply take my word for it, you’re going to want proof! So let me hit you with some quick facts about the Genesis Framework and StudioPress child themes.
- StudioPress has over 213,675 customers
- 500,000 websites are powered by the Genesis framework
- StudioPress has over 10,000 active community member and developers
- There are over 100 Genesis child themes
These numbers are impressive. There must be a reason why over 213,000 people use Genesis and StudioPress. And why would 500,000 websites be built on the Genesis framework if it didn’t provide them with some awesome benefits? I know you’re dying to find out! Keep reading and discover the 7 reasons why I love the Genesis Framework and StudioPress Themes.
1. The Genesis Framework & StudioPress Themes Are Mobile Responsive
Being such a perfectionist, I love to ensure that the sites I build are fully mobile responsive and look gorgeous across all devices. So can you imagine how I felt then I discovered that the Genesis framework and ALL it’s child themes are already coded to be responsive?! I’m not kidding! What an absolute time saver! Instead of worrying about how the margins look on the iPhone 5, I could get down to the nitty gritty and focus on delivering a high end finished product to my clients. As if that wasn’t enough…there are pre-assigned column classes at your disposal. Yes, you heard me. Do you want two columns? Maybe six? StudioPress have thought of that and pre-assigned classes for two, three, four and six columns!
Before I discovered the Genesis Framework and StudioPress themes, I could easily spend days agonizing over media queries; tinkering with the max-width to find the perfect break-point. Now, I cannot imagine developing a website without them.
If you’re one of those who believes that you should build everything from scratch, look away now because I don’t believe in wasting my time. Why would I spend days, weeks and months trying to create something that someone else has already done, and done really well for that matter. The Genesis Framework is there for you to utilize, so why on earth wouldn’t you?! The StudioPress Genesis child themes would have no doubt been months, if not years in the making. Who has that kind of time? What client wants to wait that long? There are always exceptions, and if you would like to spend your time recreating the wheel, be my guest.
2. Awesome Genesis Plugins
Last time I checked, StudioPress had developed 15 of their own plugins specifically for the Genesis Framework and child themes. From helping you create gorgeous looking book libraries to managing URL’s, they have developed each plugin with a clear, well thought out and useful function. Others, such as WPStudios Frank Schrijvers, have helped to create third party plugins (and child themes) for the Genesis Framework, in conjunction with StudioPress. So rest assured that those third party plugins and themes are just as awesome as the themes developed by StudioPress.
Some of my personal favourite plugins include:
- Genesis Testimonial Slider Plugin – I have used this plugin on countless sites. I love it and my clients love it too. The purpose of this plugin is to create a beautiful looking testimonial section on your website. These testimonials can include an image, the testimonial, name and company of the provider of the testimonial and a star rating. All of this can be done by simply installing the plugin, activating and applying to a widget area. So simple yet so sophisticated.
- Genesis Design Palette Pro – For those of you who have clients that want to have even more control over the customization of their site but don’t have the faintest idea how to code, Genesis Design Palette Pro was totally made for you. It allows you and your client to customize every aspect of a websites design without touching a single piece of code. Like I said, this is awesome for clients who want all the control they can possibly have over their site, and for those who are often making small tweaks to their site.
3. The Genesis Framework & StudioPress Themes Are Developer Friendly
While the Genesis child themes are down right awesome straight out of the box, they’re also developer friendly. If you have little to no interest in code, but want a stunning website, Genesis will work for you. If you’re a big ol’ geek and love nothing more than getting functions deep into PHP files, then Genesis is also for you. StudioPress have really hit the nail on the head in that sense.
Client Work With The Genesis Framework
If I’m creating a website for a client, I always point them in the direction of the Genesis child themes. I tell them to choose a theme that MOST resembles their vision. This simply keeps my work load down, therefore, in theory (not always) should keep the cost down for the client. If they find a theme with their dream header, BINGO! We have a starting point. All this means for me as the developer, it that I don’t need to go anywhere near the header.php file. But if the client hates the themes default font choice, enter style.css. If we need to add a whole bunch of new widget areas and re-create the footer from scratch, that’s all completely possible. So I get to work, customizing the heck out of this child theme, until the only thing you can recognise is the header that the client chose the theme for.
4. The StudioPress Themes Are Completely Customizable
This is exactly why I love the Genesis Framework and the StudioPress child themes. Because I get to code. I could have quite easily chosen a web development route that kept me well out the way of code, but the fact of the matter is that I enjoy using parentheses and semicolons. With Genesis and StudioPress, I can code to my heart’s content. If I want to add a new widget area to a child theme, I can do that. If I want to take the footer widgets off of the front page I can do that too. Add a function to change the footer of the theme or a function to enqueue my choice of Google fonts, I can do that. I you want to learn more about creating widgets on the Genesis child themes, check out one of my PAWpular blog posts on how to add a widget to the front page of the Genesis child theme Digital Pro.
Although there are many StudioPress Genesis child themes, everyone’s taste is different. You might come across a child theme with the perfect layout for the job, but you just cannot bare the choice of colors. Hop on over the themes style.css file and make all the customizations you want! I have done this on so many occasions with the Genesis child themes. I’ve chosen one simply because it most resembles what the client wants, and then changed everything else to create the clients envisioned site, making the Genesis child theme almost unrecognizable.
Now you might be wondering, “well, what’s the point in using a carefully crafted Genesis child theme just to go and change it all?”.
I’m so glad you asked! As I have mentioned, these child themes are awesome straight out of the box as well as a starting template for you to create your masterpiece, for all the reasons mentioned in this blog post. Continue reading to find out why the Genesis Framework and StudioPress child themes provide the best foundations on which to build your websites.
5. Cleanly Coded Which Creates A Great Base For SEO & Security
The Genesis Framework and StudioPress child themes are designed and developed by some of the greatest WordPress masterminds and tech geniuses. And these incredible people really have thought of everything. The StudioPress child themes come with out-of-the-box Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and rock-solid security.
StudioPress knows that a lot of time and effort has been put into your site – you want to rank well, get noticed and reach your clients. So what have they done to help you? Firstly, the code in the Genesis child themes is clean and lightweight which takes care of the basics for SEO. Search engines tend to favour sites without ‘code bloat’. Secondly, StudioPress state
“Our themes have been fully search optimized by Greg Boser, search engine optimization pioneer and industry expert. With automatic updates to the Genesis Framework, you never have to think about it again. Your code will always be up to date and fully optimized.” (source)
I love WordPress, but unfortunately, as a content management system (CMS), it’s pretty vulnerable to attacks. And what have StudioPress done to give you peace of mind?
“We brought security expert and core WordPress developer Mark Jaquith in to make sure the Genesis Framework has the best security possible. With his guidance, we built our framework to follow all WordPress security best practices.” (source).
How awesome is that!?
6. With StudioPress The Possibilities Are Endless
Rest assured, you and your clients will be spoiled for choice when you choose the Genesis Framework and StudioPress child themes. Do you want a theme for a blog? How about an online store? Or maybe you’re building a site for a real estate business? Whatever you’re needs, StudioPress has made a Genesis child theme to accommodate you. Would you like one, two or three column layout? Left sidebar and content? Full width content? Content and right sidebar? How about left sidebar, content and right sidebar? Honestly, when I was choosing a Genesis child theme on which to build this very site, I was spoilt for choice. Choosing just one theme was the hard part!
StudioPress also realizes that there are now more than ever, more people wanting an online store. So what have they gone and done for us? They went and worked alongside the WooThemes team to make sure that the WooCommerce plugin seamlessly integrates with the Genesis Framework and StudioPress child themes. These people at StudioPress are just so damn thoughtful!
7. You Get Support With The Genesis Framework And StudioPress Themes
When you purchase the Genesis Framework and StudioPress themes, you’re not left to fend for yourself. Their forums have a wealth of knowledge. If for any reason you can’t find what you’re looking for in the forums, there are Facebook groups. These groups are full of fellow Genesis users. The chances are that someone in those groups will be able to lend a helping hand or answer your question. In the unlikely situation that all else has failed, there is a hefty FAQ section for you to browse.
Most of the themes created by StudioPress themselves come with documentation that covers everything from how to set up your Genesis Framework and child theme on your WordPress website, to integrating WooCommerce with the theme. They have even provided some cheeky code snippets to help you with tasks such as customizing the footer credits and modifying the ‘read more’ link on your excerpts. These guys are spoiling us, aren’t they?!
I swear by the Genesis Framework and StudioPress themes. They make developing websites, for myself and clients, such a pleasure. Straight out of the box, each theme has solid security, fast performance, the basic setup for awesome SEO, responsive design and flexible foundational code. I honestly don’t know what more a web developer could ask for! Since discovering the Genesis framework and child themes, I haven’t once looked back.
Now, as I mentioned at the beginning, these Genesis Framework and StudioPress child themes are premium WordPress themes. This means you will have to pay a pretty penny for them. But when you weigh up the time you will save, what you get with the themes (security, SEO, support) and the fact that you can say to your clients they are getting a PREMIUM product, to me, this certainly outweighs the cost in the long run. I understand that purchasing the themes is a significant investment. So if you have any questions about StudioPress, the Genesis Framework and child themes, feel free to ‘Ask Blue’!