Introduction to Genesis : A WordPress Framework

There are a lot of wordpress frameworks out there. Most of them are paid and some surprisingly are free like Hybrid or Thematic. Most of the wordpress users who are using frameworks either use Thesis or Genesis. Why use a framework, one might ask. It’s because of its simplicity and straightforwardness. Although it’s difficult to switch to a framework, and learning it in the initial stages is quite difficult, but it will definitely pay off in the long run.

There can be a lot of reasons for opting for a framework over a standard wordpress theme. Some of them may be;

  • Clean and semantic Code
  • More control over the look and feel of your website
  • Better SEO options
  • A lot of themes to select from
  • Option to create your own child themes, (More on child theme in a minute!)
  • Custom widgets and design layout
  • And yes the prompt customer support

I might have missed a few, but these are pretty much that needed to be mentioned.


What are Child themes?

In simple words, Genesis is the framework just like a picture frame hanging on a wall. This frame is empty and you will require a picture so that the viewers can see it. This picture is the child theme, and the viewers are your daily visitors on the website. There are many organizations that provide you with custom built child themes. The child themes have their own cascading style sheets and you can easily edit them. The child theme also has a functions.php file, in which you can add your own custom code and make it operate as you like it. The child theme actually contains three files and the rest of the files are in the Parent Theme.


Why use a FrameWork?

The answer is simple, once you start to use the framework you’ll get used to it in no time. You can make your own changes in a pre-existing theme that came with it, or you can build yourself the dream theme that you always wanted to. If you want a unique design, then you must go for a framework.


Which one; Thesis or Genesis?

Genesis is built for Designers and Thesis is built for Programmers

Choosing between these two top notch frameworks in wordpress family is quiet difficult. When choosing between them, you might have to consider your options. They may vary from person to person. Some people would like a very simple and minimalist design and some may like completely the opposite. When choosing between these two frameworks, design may be an important factor. Genesis provides more designing options as compared to Thesis, but Child themes of Genesis are less in quantity as compared to those of latter. There are many child themes available for Thesis on the internet, both free and paid. So to use the entire designing capabilities of the Genesis Framework, one must be willing to get their hands dirty with hooks and short codes. Some people also say that Genesis is built for Designers and Thesis is built for Programmers.


Designing Options

Design plays a very vital role in our life. It is a very important element of the nature and if you look around your room, it will have a certain reflection of what you really are. If you look at the design of entire network of Envato, you will get the idea. Integrating design in websites is becoming more and more important these days. Users tend to spend more and more time on websites which have new and innovative designs. When it comes to designing your websites, Genesis gives its users a lot of options. There are premade child themes which you can edit. A lot of layout options are also included. You can also change the typography by adding Google Fonts and so much more.


Genesis Hooks

Every Framework comes with its own set of hooks, which lets you take control of the overall look and feel of the design. These hooks provide the user with complete command even on minor details. Plus you can change it anytime you want and that too, very easily. So you pay for it in the start and it saves you time and work, looks like a nice deal to me!

It provides you with good functionality; you can add and remove many widgets. Your custom widgets will also work the same way with the framework as if with any other design. You can spice up the sidebar with social media sharing buttons, twitter plugin and a lot more.


Search Optimized

The framework is nicely built keeping in respect SEO. Its code is semantic and you will never need any SEO plugin like Yoast or All-in-one. According to Studiopress, they have collaborated with Greg Boser who is a partner and SVP of search marketing powerhouse BlueGlass Interactive.

All the options related to SEO are integrated into the framework and you require absolutely no plugin. The SEO options also provide Custom Canonical URLs for post and pages. Also there is an option for Custom Redirect URL and you can use this to redirect your previous post to any URL you want to. One thing that I liked the most about its SEO options was that it offers custom keywords for every article that you post on your website. It becomes easy for you to add keywords for your article without using any plugins. So search engines will find it easier to find the article based on the custom keywords!


What to do when you are stuck at some point

If you are like me and poke around the code, I am sure that you will get stuck at some point or another. There is no need to panic because there are tons of articles and tutorials about Genesis which will help you out. And if that specific problem still exists you can always go for the Support provided by the StudioPress Team. They will surely remove any errors that you might have made when digging into the code.

There are also some basic tutorials on StudioPress website. They also provide video tutorials, which are great and easy to follow. They will surely help you get going with the framework after you have purchased it. Also there are many developers that you can hire if you have extra coins in your pocket!


Conclusion

The theme options of Genesis somewhat fall short when compared to those of Thesis. Also if there was sitemap generator built into Genesis it would have been great. But I guess that you never acquire something which is complete in every aspect. There is no need to buy an extra developers license to use Genesis on more than one website, thus you end up saving money. Other than that, the security and support, both are top notch. So all in all it’s a nice framework and you can learn it in a very short span of time.

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