“I heard it was the best, but I don’t know why”
“I have Genesis, but I don’t know if I’m using it to the fullest.”
“I don’t know what makes it better than other themes”
For the last post in my WordPress theme series, I asked some of my favorite Genesis gurus to give us the low down on their favorite Genesis features for bloggers like you.
Let’s see what you can do with Genesis:
I love the category, tag, and custom post type archive settings page. You can add a custom headline and introductory text to any archive page, letting readers know what they’re in for right up front and giving yourself a nice SEO boost.
I looked for a decent post to explain how to do this, but I couldn’t find one, so I wrote one. 🙂
Carrie Dils, carriedils.com
Brad Dalton, wpsites.net
Julia Sydnor, pixelfrau.com
Genesis has so many great features, but my favorite is the built-in layout options (as easy as clicking a button to choose a full-width, sidebar, or double-sidebar layout) for each page. This makes it so much easier for my clients to create and edit pages just how they want them!
Another worth noting is the great security and fantastic developers. A lot of WordPress themes are full of bad code, and can be quite buggy. Genesis is a solid foundation that helps keep sites secure and running smoothly!
The community is by far the biggest perk. There’s a very helpful forum, incredible Facebook group, and even a Slack chat for designers and developers. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help–whether you’re a newbie or seasoned designer, the community is an incredible resource.
Erin Flynn, erineflynn.com
One of the features I love is the archive introductions/descriptions. I think more bloggers should use the Category archive title and descriptions available. It’s a great way to provide an introduction or overview for a Category archive, letting visitors know where they are and what type of articles/posts they will find. It’s also great for SEO if you have your Category archives indexed.
It is also battle tested and backed up by Copyblogger, so you know you’re working with a quality product that is being actively developed and improved. Genesis uses HTML5 markup, the new code standard and supports Schema.org which allows you to output microdata in your site’s code, which is great for SEO.We also love Genesis because it is lightweight, search engine friendly, and follows security best practices.
Jennifer Bourn, bourncreative.com
Sandee Jackson, sandeejackson.com
My favorite feature and one that so many users don’t understand is the widgetized homepage. If you are looking at a Genesis child theme, and the homepage layout is more than just a list of blog posts, maybe something similar to a magazine layout. Or perhaps it has a slider and then three boxes below that. From just looking at the demo, or even following the demo instructions, you aren’t always aware of the flexibility of that homepage. Take for example the slider. First of all, you can use it to simple show a single image. It doesn’t have to be a slider. Or since this is a widget area that the slider widget is placed in, you could put another widget in there just as easy. Maybe a video. Or something else. And if you don’t want to use that widget area, don’t put anything in it. It will just disappear and all the content below will move up.
The same goes for those 3 boxes across that are links to recent posts. Those again are widget areas. They could be links to 3 pages, or photos and links of 3 products. See where I’m going with this?
Also, they can be stacked on top of each other in the widget area. So if you have a large image across at the top, 3 boxes below that, you could add one more widget to that first spot below the image and put in some welcome text.
The possibilities are endless.
Bob Dunn, bobwp.com
Susan Ramsey, graphicallydesigning.com
I could spout off some technical reasons for why I love Genesis, like rock-solid code, impressive SEO, HTML5, schema.org, and the forward-thinking Studiopress team. BUT my favorite things about Genesis include: how easy it is to manipulate for those of us who know just enough code to be dangerous and, of course, the Genesis community.
I don’t think there’s any other framework out there that is more documented and supported by a vast community than the Genesis framework. You can find a tutorial for just about everything. In fact, I can honestly say I rarely feel limited with what we can do with it–and I’ve worked on everything from small basic projects to online shops to vast community sites that require a ton of custom features.
Shay Bocks, shaybocks.com
I hope you have a better understanding of what makes Genesis themes so fabulous. Here are two of my favorite features of Genesis (that haven’t been mentioned yet):
Header/Footer script boxes. I always forget that these come built into Genesis and are not usually included in other themes. Makes it super easy to add things like Google Analytics, Pinterest verification and more without actually accessing the code. To access navigate to Genesis > theme settings > scroll to the bottom of the page.
Columns. You’ve probably seen the examples of columns in the demos. They are so easy to implement into your posts! StudioPress has a great tutorial once you log into your account.
What features do you love with your Genesis theme?2