6 Reasons I Use the Genesis Framework

While a lot of web designers promote custom websites “built from scratch,” I take a different approach. Hundreds of web developers have spent thousands of hours building, refining and supporting website frameworks. Why not take advantage of all this hard work? While there are plenty of websites that require more development than a framework can provide, I would venture to say that 90% of websites being built today could cut development time and dollars by using a framework.

After running through my fair share of templates, layouts and frameworks, I have finally found one that I love- the Genesis Framework from Studiopress.

Here is a round-up of the reasons why I think Genesis is the best WordPress framework to build your next site with.

Huge Community

One of the reasons I have embraced WordPress as my development platform of choice is because of its huge community of developers, designers and bloggers. The Genesis WordPress framework is a thriving niche within the larger WordPress community.

A passionate and growing number of Genesis users and developers are just a tweet or forum post away. The ability to tap this network is like having my own extended support team. Some of the more notable resources in the community are:

  • Genesis Dev - The official Genesis WordPress resource site has a growing library of tutorials, reference documents and showcase of sites developed using the framework.
  • Genesis Tutorials – A site operated by Christopher Cochran gives great genesis tutorials for developers.
  • Support Forums – If I can’t find my answer on the developer site, I can either find it or have it answered in the support forums. The Studiopress support team is among the best in the business!
  • #genesiswp on twitter – The official hash tag of the framework. The growing community of Genesis developers and designers can be found tweeting new tutorials and announcing their latest designs.

Less Development Time = Lower Costs

Building with the Genesis Framework gives me an incredible head-start on deploying websites. Built in layout options, powerful custom widgets and beautifully marked-up code means that I can deploy a website in nearly half the time it would take me to create it from scratch. In turn, this also reduces the cost of projects using the framework.

Future Upgrades

The Genesis Framework has already undergone several upgrades since it was introduced. As WordPress continues to add new features, Genesis has grown and evolved with it. Because of the child/parent theme structure that the framework is built on, upgrades to the Genesis will never break your site.

In addition to code improvements, Studiopress has merged with Brian Clark of Coppyblogger to form Coppyblogger Media. The partnership will produce future benefits for Genesis websites such as tight integration with SEO software like ScribeSEO.

Common Language

Unlike custom coded websites, other developers can easily pick up where I left off with Genesis. This means that if you were ever to switch web development companies, a new developer that is familiar with Genesis could jump right into the code and easily make updates without a long (and costly) learning-curve.

Built-in Features

Out-of-the-box Genesis comes with powerful SEO options, advanced custom widgets, state-of-the-art security and a a lot of other features. This means that Genesis will be able to make almost any website function you want happen.

Joy to Use

Above all else, Brian Gardner, Nathan Rice and the rest of the Studiopress team have made developing and deploying websites fun again. I remember the thrill I got when I coded my first HTML webpage over 10 years ago. I get the same feeling when I build sites with Genesis. Now more of my time and energy can goes into design, marketing strategy and the other factors that will help build your business.

Sites I Have Built Using the Genesis Framework

Politician Genesis WordPress Website
Elect Bob Singer – Built using a customized Enterprise Child Theme.

Genesis Framework Wedding Child Theme
Elisa and Chris Are Getting Married! (my wedding site) – Built using a custom child theme.

Magazine Genesis WordPress Framework Website
Discover JCC Magazine – Built using a custom child theme.

Non-profit Genesis Framework WordPress Website
JCC Association – Built using a customized version of the Metric Child Theme.

Conference Genesis Framework Website
JCCs of North America Professional Conference 2011 – Built using a custom child theme.

JCC Maccabi Games WordPress Genesis Website
JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest in Israel – Built using a customized version of the Metric Child Theme.

Law Firm Genesis Framework Website
Moulinos and Associates LLC – Built using a custom child theme.

New York City Genesis WordPress Site
NYC Big Deal Book – Built using a custom child theme.

New York WordPress Website
NYC Pizza Run – Built using a customized version of the Freelance Child Theme.

Interested in a Genesis WordPress design for your website or blog? Contact me today!

For a complete list of features, check out the official Genesis Framework page over at Studiopress.

Comments

  1. says

    Hello Chris,
    I came across your site while search about genesis framework. I have a website that I am paying for with a webdesigner every month. I recently got into blogging and decided to subscribe to a 2 year hosting plan through bluehost for my blog. Then I went through the Studiopress site and came across a theme for real estate which allowed for IDX. I am interested in getting that theme but I am afraid setting up IDX search for property listings would be difficult. Also, I don’t know whether I want to create a webpage or a blog. Can I have both? A blog within a website.

    I am new to this wordpress and building a website/blog. Not sure if you are willing to offer any of your advice and expertise in this area. You can check out my site: http://www.khuurealestate.com and my incomplete blog at http://www.khuurealestateblog.com

    Please send me an email at [email protected]

    • chris says

      Kevin,
      Thanks for the comments and great questions. The updated AgentPress theme integrates with IDX via a plugin. I haven’t explored this theme yet, but would be happy to explore it more.
      One of the advantages of WordPress is that you can have a website and blog on the same URL. This is preferable because you would rather drive traffic to one website than divide your efforts over two.

  2. says

    Hi Chris
    I’m with you when it comes to Genesis.

    I bought the Genesis Pro Plus package just before the price went up and I now offer clients a choice of any of the Genesis child themes.

    My own site uses the Genesis Minimum theme, which I think is gorgeous.

    Another great bonus of being part of the Genesis community is the help forums – always get a quick and helpful response.

    Are you on twitter – let me know if you are and I’ll head over and follow you.

    • chris says

      Keith,
      You’re right – the Genesis forums are unbelievable. It’s like having your own support team on your staff. The Minimum theme does look great over on your site! Have you tried your hand at building custom child themes yet? You can follow me on Twitter @marketplicity.
      Thanks!
      Chris

      • says

        Hi Chris
        Noticed that my Google analytics is showing a few links from your site so I came back to say thanks.

        Not ventured into custom child themes yet!
        The child themes in the Pro Plus package look pretty good out of the box and the latest ones have choice of colours and are mobile responsive – but eh… you know that. LOL

        Chris – add the subscribe to comments plugin so that we can get a conversation going and… head over to my site and introduce yourself.

        All the best.

        Keith

        • chris says

          Keith,
          Thanks for the comment. What plugin are you referring to? Post a link if you get a chance – I’m interested in learning more about it.
          If you have the time, definitely invest in learning how to build child themes for Genesis. I totally agree that all the child themes from the pro-plus package are top-notch right out of the box, but sometimes clients need and or want something with a different look, more functionalities, etc..

          Thanks again for reaching out,
          Chris

  3. says

    Hi Chris!

    Nice works! I’m a web designer, i use wordpress in making all my sites. I make the designs in photoshop and i usually build my websites on a theme that i modify and use it as a “framework” However its my first time to use the Genesis Framework, and when i look at the child theme’s folder i cannot find the layouts to edit(wherein the usual themes you’d find the header.php, sidebar,php, index.php and all) and i know the genesis core files are not to be editted. Could you point me in the right direction in making my own child theme for genesis?

    Thanks!
    Dan

    • chris says

      Dan,
      Thanks for the comment and compliment! I have the same process for the most part. Photoshop provides the perfect environment for me to sketch out my ideas for what I want the website to look like.
      When building a custom child theme, I either start with one of the existing themes available in the pro-plus package, or start with the sample child theme. Create home.php to create a custom homepage and then edit the function.php file with the other edits you want to make. Genesis comes built with an extensive list of hooks and functions that you can call and build. The Studiopress blog has a great introduction to building child themes – I recommend to check it out.
      I browed your site – great looking portfolio!

      Thanks again,
      Chris

  4. says

    Hi Chris,
    Just came across your blog while searching for genesis theme customization. I am convinced that Genesis is the way forward for me. However, I am apprehensive about switching to a new theme as my current theme (old copyblogger style) converts pretty well.

    My questions are:

    1. Do you have any suggestion on a particular genesis child theme that is good for Internet marketing, MMO type of niche? I considered ‘Generate’ but my aim is not to build a list

    2. I prefer minimal customizing and hence themes built on Arial (for AdSense purpose) would be my priority.

    3. I am not at all interested in magazine themes.

    4. Mobile ready will be a boon as at the moment I used mobile theme plugins.

    Any suggestion will be highly appreciated.

    I wish I could hire a theme developer but the current goal is to get a stock theme and probably change only the logo.

    cheers,
    Ajith

    • chris says

      Ajith,
      Thanks for the comment. I totally agree that child themes and the Genesis Framework is the way to go. From the questions that you are asking, being able to easily change themes and update the core framework sound like features that could really help you out.
      Ajith, just out of curiosity – why don’t you want to start a list? One of the most lucrative MMO opportunities is creating a list. Take some of the more popular content on your site, repackage it as a white paper or report and give it to people in return for their email address. I feel that you could even have a greater conversion rate on your blog if you started to collect emails and set-up an auto-responder system.
      That being said, I would recommend looking at the Streamline theme. You could use the homepage widgets to promote some of the best pieces of content on the site. You will be able to easily insert your logo, adsense and more. Streamline is also mobile-responsive. Take a look and let me know what you think.
      What have you found to be best converting content/deal on your site?

      Keep me in the loop with what you decide and let me know if you have any other questions.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      • says

        hi Chris

        nice post!!

        im looking into getting genesis,

        regarding streamline theme would it be easy to increase the size of the top opt in form? of say to the size of the one in the Generate theme, and add an image?

        I like the design of Streamline better, but like the size opt in form of Generate

        keep up the good work!!

        thanks
        Ben

        • chris says

          Ben,
          You can definitely adjust the different elements of the streamline theme (as well as all other genesis child themes) by modifying the CSS. Do you have much experience with style sheets? If you do, making a change like that is pretty easy. And if you do have issues, the Studiopress support forum is quick to help.
          Thanks for the kind words and keep me in the loops about what route you go!

          Thanks,
          Chris

          • says

            Hi Chris

            thanks for your answer, i have messed around a little with stuff like this before so i should be alright with the guidance from the forum

            im seriously thinking about getting the pro package so i can make a bit of money on the side, using genesis to make websites for small businesses in my area, just a question

            so once i own the pro package i can give away or charge my customers for the use of genesis, they wouldnt have to purchase one for themselves? i hope this makes sense

            Ben

          • chris says

            Ben,
            Genesis has definitely turned out to be a great investment for me. I’m actually working on a new blog post about this very topic!
            The pro-plus account gives you “unlimited everything.” The Studiopress site says it best – “You get unlimited support. Unlimited updates. Unlimited websites.”
            This doesn’t give you the license to sell Genesis to other people, but you can use it on all your clients sites. It’s really one of the best deals in the WordPress marketplace.

            Thanks again for the comment. Let me know if you have any other questions about Genesis!
            Chris

    • chris says

      Thanks for stopping by. Interested to know how well the Generate theme has converted for you.

      Thanks again!

  5. says

    I have moved all our low & mid range wordpress sites to be based on Genesis now.

    The flexibility of the framework is amazing. Just came across this post while writing an email explaining to a client why we use genesis. Thanks!, also I like you portfolio, very nice.

    • chris says

      Phil,
      Thanks for the kind words – glad I could help you out. I love your site. Very slick slider on the homepage.

      Thanks,
      Chris

  6. says

    Hey Chris, great post, you’ve built some great sites with Genesis. I fell in love with Genesis about 2 years ago and have used them for almost all my web projects, they are simply the best out there in the field as far as I’m concerned. They offer so much for little investment. Thanks again and all the best for the future.

    Fabrizio

    • chris says

      Fabrizio,
      I appreciate the comment and kind words. I’ve used Genesis for about two years now also and haven’t looked back.

      Thanks again!
      Chris

  7. says

    Interesting post. I currently use Thesis, but hear good things about Genesis. However, I’ve read elsewhere that switching from Thesis to Genesis can harm your SEO. Do you have any views or any first hand knowledge of switching a website with a track record over to Genesis?

    Neill W

    • chris says

      Neill,
      If you take the time to pay attention to your title tags, URL structure and assuring your category and tags archive pages are properly set-up, I wouldn’t be afraid to make the switch. While I haven’t switched a site from Thesis to Genesis, I have updated other blogs to Genesis and have been satisfied with the SEO results. I’m actually in the process of updating an older WordPress site that has hundreds of posts to Genesis – I’ll make sure to keep you posted on what the results are!

      Thanks again for the comment,
      Chris

  8. says

    Chris,
    I am very interested in the Genesis Word Press framework. How would the child frame work work in my situation?
    I am going to have a home design website with blogging for 3 different segments-interior design, exterior design and landscaping. Would the SEO work for all the parts? Thank you, Boyd

    • chris says

      Boyd,
      If you are looking to build a new website using WordPress, Genesis and a child theme would definitely be a good route to go. Where Genesis is going to help you out in terms of SEO is that you don’t have to worry about clean, optimized code – it is built with search engines in mind. You also have control over some important SEO elements on a post by post basis like Title Tag. So if you were to right a post about interior design like “Top 10 hottest flooring trends in 2012″ you could adjust what the title tag read, slightly differ it for the headline of your article and also give it a unique meta description. Your current site doesn’t give you much control it looks like over these important SEO options.
      If you need help choosing a Genesis child theme, want any more advice or need help setting up your new site, let me know. Would be happy to help you build your new site into a lead generating machine!

      Thanks for the question and let me know when the new site is up!
      Chris

    • chris says

      Kyra,
      Thanks for the comment. There are tons of advantages to using Genesis over a WordPress theme from a marketplace like template monster. When looking for a theme, its important to take into account more than the look and feel of the template. Make sure you take into account the support that comes along with your purchase, SEO options out of the box, community to help you with any questions you may have and what kind of future upgrades are on the roadmap for the theme. With Genesis, you get outstanding support, complete control over your on page SEO and a ton of other Genesis developers in the support forums, on twitter and blogging that are more than willing to help. The Studiopress team pushes out improvements to Genesis continually and they ensure Genesis is compatible with the latest version of WordPress.

      Hope this helps!
      Chris

  9. Leah says

    Thanks for the great article. I consider buying Genesis but I am worried how about localization? Is it easy to localize the framework or separate theme? Are there ready-to-use files with different languages on support forum of Genesis?

    • chris says

      Leah,
      Thanks for the comment and feedback. I have never had the need for localization, but I did some digging in the forum and found out that the the Framework is ready to use with different languages. Some of the themes have been localized as well. Studiopress actually has created a tool to help translate their child themes into other languages – http://translate.studiopress.com/home/
      If you dig a little deeper, you can see that about half a dozen of the themes have translations that are nearly done. For example, the Prose theme has been translated into Italian, Dutch, German and French. The tool they have set up also enables the community to contribute translated versions of themes.
      Out of curiosity, what language are you looking for themes to be translated to?

      Thanks again for the comment,
      Chris

      • Elizabeth says

        I had a really important question. I am a web builder, but many of the Genesis Themes are not mobile or tablet ready. Currently over 20% of browsing is on phones and tablets and the projections in the next few years will move that to 80%. The themes I use go directly into tablet ready without having an extra tab and extra site. Plus I like my theme and don’t want to work on making one of their themes nicer.

        My QUESTION is: Can I use my own themes like say from Elegant Themes and still use the Genesis Platform. All I need is the SEO capabilities, not their themes. Is that possible to use the Framework and another theme??????

        My second QUESTION is: Can I use the framework on more than one website? Once I buy it can I put in on my clients sites so they can have good SEO too?

        I am not as fancy of a designer yet (soon) that can make my design in photoshop then somehow modify the themes, but if you have a good URL to send me of a tutorial that would be great. Thanks.

        • Chris Strom says

          Elizabeth,
          Thanks for the great questions! I totally agree with your need for mobile ready themes. A lot of recent child themes from StudioPress for the Genesis Framework have been designed with smartphones and tablets in mind and are mobile responsive. I am working on a redesign of my site with this trend in mind.
          You can not use themes from other shops with the Genesis Framework. Your options are to either customize one of the child themes in the marketplace or build one from scratch.
          One of the reasons I like Genesis so much is that the license you purchase from StudioPress allows you to install the framework plus child themes on as many sites as you want. As a web design shop, this feature obviously helps the bottom line!
          As for the tutorial on going from Photoshop to WordPress theme, I don’t have a good one to point you to. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, I just have never came across one I can recommend.

          Thanks again for the questions,
          Chris

  10. says

    I’m a newbie and interested in learning the process of setting up my own site. However, it sounds like most of the developers are using photoshop to design. this is where i am confused. If the theme you buy looks the way you want why would you need photoshop? if a photo design program is necessary are there any low budget or free software for that? Finally, what about genesis and mobile friendly sites? do all of them come with this option or do you have to know code to program that in? i thought i saw something about plug-ins but the comments said that plug ins could take too long to load.

    thanks for any tips you give. enjoy your blog post!
    ed

    • chris says

      Ed,
      Thanks for the comment and questions. You ask 10 different web designers what their process is when building a new site and my guess is you’ll get 10 different answers. My personal preference is to start with Photoshop. When I set out to design a site, I think of how I want it to look and feel. The best tool I have to accomplish my vision is Photoshop. Starting with photoshop helps me achieve two steps – a wireframe (albeit an elaborate one) and a design to slice up for images for the design. After designing what I want the site to look like in Photoshop, I decide if I want to modify an existing Genesis child theme or start from scratch with their sample child theme.
      If you are interested in a low-cost alternative to Photoshop, I have heard good things about GIMP. While a graphic editor program is not a necessity to build a site, it is very useful if you will be using any sort of images in your design.
      To be honest, if you are just starting out and want to build your first site, I would learn HTML and CSS first. Wether you decide to build sites in WordPress, or any other platform, you’ll always be glad to know HTML & CSS. Check out Code Academy’s tutorials on web fundamentals to get a head start on HTML and CSS. Once you have a good grasp of these languages, I would then start exploring building a site in WordPress.

      Hope this helps and good luck!
      Chris

  11. says

    Hey Chris, I’m a graphic designer but interested in setting up my website/portfolio in something better, more professional than just a standard “online portfolio”. I researched Genesis, along with many other WordPress themes. But I’m still not sure if this would be right for me. I have no experience with code or designing websites, do you think this is something I can pull off designing with not code experience? I just want a professional website that I can feel proud to call my own. Thanks Chris!

    • chris says

      Amy,
      Thanks for the comment! First off, I think your portfolio is great! I love the San Francisco Zoo pieces.
      Amy, if you have litte experience with web design, customizing your own Genesis child theme might be a little daunting. Some other theme houses make some turn-key portfolio themes that might be a better start for you like WooThemes. As a short-term solution, I would be look into WordPress options that don’t rely on coding in order to customize.
      Now, with that being said, I would recommend learning HTML and CSS ASAP. The time you spend today to learn these web languages will pay dividends in the future, especially in your field. I recommended to a commenter above that he check out Code Academy’s tutorials on web fundamentals – you should check it out also. Once you have a good command of HTML, CSS and have started to play around with WordPress theming, then I strongly suggest looking into the Genesis Framework.
      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions!

      Thanks,
      Chris

  12. says

    Came across this article and comments, it really helped me better understand Genesis themes and framework. I have been building WordPress themes for over 8 years and I have to tell you, I am not interested in checking out the Genesis themes to build client WordPress websites. Thanks for the great read Chris.

    • chris says

      Lisa,
      Thanks for the comment. Looked at your website – awesome portfolio! You design beautiful sites! I see that you are using a Elegant Themes theme for your site. I don’t have much experience with Elegant Themes, but can assure you that switching over to a framework will be worth it in the long run. Site development time, consistency in upgrades and a bunch of other untold benefits come with building client website on Genesis. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Thanks again,
      Chris

    • chris says

      Mohan,
      There are too many factors aside from your theme to increasing blog traffic. Genesis will give you a solid SEO foundation from which to build on. Ultimately, the best way to get more traffic to your site is to create great content. Really no mystery to it :)

      Thanks for the comment,
      Chris

    • Chris Strom says

      Thanks for the great question! The SEO options on Genesis Framework are top notch and the framework is used by some of the biggest bloggers in the internet marketing niche where SEO is critical. That being said, top search engines are getting smarter and smarter. The more technical part of SEO is becoming less important as search engines evolve and factors like remarkable content, a beautiful site design and a quick site load time are much more important.
      Thanks!
      Chris

  13. says

    Genesis is one of the most prominent WordPress theme frameworks and there’s a good reason for that. I really love genesis flexibility & quality of its code, which is why it gets a full 5 out of 5 stars.

  14. says

    Hi Chris. Thanks for all the information. Im new to all this website stuff and im struggling to understand all this world.
    Im doing web design and web programmer at a local college… learning html/css in the moment. But i have to be honest, im in the beginner of the course and dont know much. I have a website (actually is my husband..) and i just bought another domain to start my own. But im struggling to find a theme/design that i like. Currently on the http://www.howtodiyright.com we are using a theme that im not happy with…. i dont like that the subscribe is all the way in the footer, i cant get all the social butons together etc. But i dont much about coding to do my own …. or i dont have much money to pay 2-5k. What do you suggest ?
    By the way, i really like what you said about Genesis. When i fell confident about my coding i will try use.
    Thanks so much.

  15. says

    We are a WordPress developer and I’ve come across with your blog. I would agree that Genesis Framework is a good one because of its usability and functions.

    I also believe that there are many WordPress framework that you can have but just exploring it online but if you are trying to make other customized idea using WordPress I believe that you need some help with some webmasters. I’m sure they can be able to help you in this.

    Thank you for posting something about Genesis Framework.

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