As a WordPress developer, I work with WordPress themes everyday. Over the years, I have used many different themes, and like anything else, over time, you get to know what you like. For me, the Genesis framework from StudioPress has become an easy choice because I can count on it for support, a wide number of widget areas and plugin options, simple SEO, and I just know it works. Let me explain that in a little more detail.
1. Support- Working with Genesis saves me time because when I use it, I am starting out with a great product that I am already familiar with. But to speed things up even more, Genesis has a great team behind the framework. To begin with, each child theme has a tutorial to help you get the site set up exactly the way the demo site looks. That can be a big time saver the first time using any new theme. It always takes a while to look around a new theme and see how things are set up. Even though I work with themes all the time, each one is a little different. With Genesis, if the setup isn’t immediately obvious, (and many times it is) then I go straight to the tutorials and don’t waste time trying to figure out how they put in a slider or some other option.
And if I’m looking to do something a little different, the support forum is always there to answer my questions. Many times, someone else will already have had my same question, and I can just search the forum for the answer. If not, the StudioPress team is always quick to respond to my questions.
2. Widget Areas- One of the nicest things about Genesis child themes is that most are set up with special widgets areas to make your homepage stand out. These widgets make it easy to add image sliders, portfolios, and custom text right to the home page. Right out of the box, Genesis comes with some great options. Genesis offers a “featured page” widget that lets you have an excerpt that links to the actual page on your site. The spacing is already set up and I just plug in my personalized settings. Very easy! One of my favorite set of widgets are the 3 or 4 footer widgets that run along the bottom of the page, just over the copyright notice. This allows you to accentuate your main features. If this widget doesn’t already come with your child theme, it’s also available as a free plugin, which brings me to the next topic- plugins!
3. Plugins- Genesis offers some great free plugins to make life even easier. One of my favorite is the Simple Edits plugin that allows you to, among other things, simply put your footer information into the theme settings without having to go into the coding. Another good one is the Genesis Simple Hooks plugin that allows you to insert HTML, PHP, and even shortcodes and attach any of the 50+ action hooks throughout the framework. It’s an easy way of creating functions for your theme. Very useful!
4. SEO- Genesis’ code is created with search optimization in mind. For the website as a whole and for any page, you can easily set a meta title and description. It’s easy to set up the noindex and nofollow codes. Even if you leave the easy to fill out forms blank, Genesis will automatically pull the post or page title and use it as the meta title.
5. It works- There is no more important element than the fact that it works and works well. Genesis has been around awhile and is backed by a capable support team. You can count on it to run well. The bugs and discrepancies you find among the new themes and novice developers just aren’t there. The glitches have already been worked out and you’re left with a streamlined, stable system. Genesis’ core is created with secure code to help keep your site safe. And I would be neglectful if I didn’t mention that all future Genesis upgrades are free, once you buy the framework. That is simply marvelous. As a busy developer, I don’t want to waste time testing new themes and worrying about updates. I want to buy a framework that I know is a sure thing, and that’s Genesis.
So, you can try out different themes and learn all this stuff on your own, or you can take my advice and make your life simpler by using Genesis. Or better yet, let me use my experience to create a great site for you using Genesis. You’ll see that the flexibility of the site, the security, and the search engine optimization make it just as good choice for you as it is for me.