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Genesis WordPress Theme Framework

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Genesis is the flagship theme framework of theme developers StudioPress. It is used to power all StudioPress themes and at only $59.95 for an unlimited license, it is undoubtedly one of the most affordable premium WordPress theme frameworks available today.

Over the next few weeks I will be looking at a range of different frameworks that are available for the WordPress platform. I am a Genesis license holder and have been using the framework on two of my small content websites for around a year, therefore I feel confident in writing a good overview of the framework for you all :)

Genesis Settings Area

You may be surprised to find that Genesis has a surprisingly small settings area. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though beginners who aren’t comfortable with HTML or CSS may be disappointed to see that every single aspect of your theme can’t be enabled or disabled like it can in WP Sumo or Backbone.

After using Genesis on a few of my websites, I’ve found myself liking the fact that there aren’t too many options, as it means I can set up my site the way I want it much quicker (rather than having to go through dozens of setting pages).

At the top of the theme settings page is an update section. Updates can be done automatically and you have the option of entering your email address so that you get email updates too. Your main RSS feed and comments feed can be redirected to Feedburner as well.

Genesis Settings

There are 6 different layouts to choose from: no sidebar, sidebar on left, sidebar on right and 3 layouts using 2 sidebars. Most Genesis designs allow you to use your site title or a logo in your header though this option is absent from some designs. The majority of Genesis designs also have two navigation menus. The second navigation menu is usually placed at the very top of the design or underneath the main nav.

Genesis Settings

Breadcrumbs can be enabled on different areas of your site and comments and trackbacks can be easily switched on and off for posts and pages too. In the content archives section you can choose to display full posts or excerpts, featured images and whether WP Page-Navi style numeric navigation links instead of ‘older’ and ‘newer’. The numeric navigation looks great but you cannot modify the numeric links like you can with Wp Page-Navi. Unfortunately, WP Page-Navi integration isn’t supported so you cannot replace the Genesis numeric navigation links without doing some hacking. Hopefully a future version of Genesis will support this plugin or at the very least improve the navigation options built into Genesis.

Genesis Settings

Genesis allows you to display posts from only one category on your blog page. Alternatively, you can specify exactly which categories are displaying by choosing all categories and then removing categories you don’t want to display. Just underneath is a section that lets you insert header and footer codes.

Genesis Settings

Genesis is known for being well optimised for search engines. The site description can be appended to the home page title and the name of your website can be appended to the title of all other pages.

Genesis SEO Settings

SEO for the home page can be configured from the SEO settings area. You have the choice of wrapping the site title or description inside an H1 tag or editing your index template manually. Meta details and robot meta details can be defined too.

Genesis SEO Settings

Header tags for be enabled and disabled via the SEO page too.

Genesis SEO Settings

Via the robots settings you can control which archives sections should be indexed by search engines.

Genesis SEO Settings

The framework adds an SEO section to the post editor page so that the title, description and keywords etc can be customised for each individual post or page.

Genesis Post SEO

Theme settings and SEO settings can be exported. This is particularly useful if you want to set up all of the websites you create with Genesis in the same way.

Genesis Import Export Settings

One of my favorite features of Genesis is that removes all Genesis SEO functionality if you install a popular SEO WordPress plugin. For example, if you install WordPress SEO by Yoast the SEO settings area will no longer be shown and Genesis SEO options will be removed from your post editor page too.

Many WordPress themes and theme frameworks that have SEO functionality don’t let you use an alternative SEO solution so I love the fact that Genesis lets you decide what to use (plus hiding the SEO settings page when an SEO plugin is installed will ensure you configure the correct SEO system).

Genesis Plugins

There are a lot of official and non-official plugins for the Genesis framework that enhance its functionality and make it easy to perform simple changes. Three of my favourite are Genesis Simple Edits, Genesis Hooks and Genesis Simple Sidebars.

Genesis Simple Edits

Being perfectly honest, there’s no real need for me to use Genesis Simple Edits but I’ve found myself installing it whenever I use Genesis (put it down to laziness). The plugin lets you modify the meta information that is used on posts and customise the footer output.

Genesis Simple Edits

Genesis Hooks

Genesis Hooks adds functionality that, in my opinion, should be build directly into the framework. I use the plugin on websites to automatically insert Google Adsense ads into specific areas of my website design.

The plugin lets you add code to dozens of areas such as before the closing head tag, before the closing body tag, after the sidebar, after comments etc. If you use Genesis, I recommend installing Genesis Hooks.

Genesis Simple Hooks

Genesis Simple Sidebars

Another plugin which isn’t essential is Genesis Simple Sidebars however I’ve found it useful on a number of occasions. It allows you to easily add new widget zones and then assign them to individual posts or pages.

Genesis Simple Sidebars

Other Available Plugins

Some other useful Genesis plugins include:

Genesis Widgets

Most Genesis designs have at least three widget areas: one in the header (to the right of the site logo), the primary sidebar and the secondary sidebar. The secondary sidebar is only used when a three column layout is selected. The header widget is useful for displaying a banner or a horizontal subscription box (social media, newsletter, RSS etc).

Several Genesis custom widgets are included with the framework including a Feedburner subscription form, user profile box and featured post list. There’s nothing there that can’t be downloaded from the WordPress plugin repository though you should find them useful.

Genesis Widgets

The featured posts widget is particularly impressive. You can filter posts by category, display Gravatars and featured images, control how much of the excerpt is displayed and display meta information too. You may find it frustrating that you can’t change the thumbnail size used in the widget directly. It is defined by the thumbnail size set in your Media Settings page (i.e. http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/options-media.php).

Genesis Featured Posts Widget

The featured page widget is a little more basic. It lets you pull content from a page. You can align the page featured image to the left or right and choose whether to show the page title, byline and content.

The user profile widget is great for personal blogs. It connects to your WordPress user database and pulls the Gravatar information for whatever user account you select. You can display the author bio connected to the users account or write a custom bio for the widget. You also have the option of adding a link to a page (e.g. your about page) to the widget and a link to the users author profile too.

Genesis User Profile Widget

The current version of Genesis also includes category and page widgets too though these are being depreciated and will eventually be removed.

Genesis Page Templates

One thing I have found lacking in Genesis themes is page templates. In addition to a 404 error page templates, most Genesis themes also have archives and blog page templates.

Genesis Archives Template

Via the Genesis settings area you can control whether full posts or excerpts are shown. Featured images can be switched on or off here too.

Genesis Blog Template

I’d like to see more page templates included with themes. A sitemap page that listed all posts and pages would be good though I think an author page is needed more as at the moment clicking on an authors profile link simply lists their posts (because an author template is missing, WordPress defaults to the archives template).

Genesis Theme Support

It takes time to learn how a framework works so that you can get the most of it, therefore good quality support is essential when choosing a framework. Genesis doesn’t disappoint in this regard. They provide a 46 page user manual for beginners and dozens of tutorials that walk you through the basics to customising your site with Genesis.

Support is provided through their dedicated support forum. Many WordPress users prefer direct support via email though I don’t believe that anyone will be disappointed with the support they receive via the discussion forum as there are lots of moderators and other Genesis users who will help you. I don’t recall ever waiting more than an hour for a reply to a question of mine though on many occasions I got a reply in minutes.

Having had to ask a lot of questions in the StudioPress forums, I can vouch that the support provided to Genesis customers is top notch.

Using Genesis

I briefly touched upon the fact earlier that Genesis isn’t the perfect for those who have no experience with HTML or CSS. The two theme frameworks that I reviewed recently, WP Sumo and Backbone, are more suitable for beginners as individual items can simply be switched on or off and the style editors allow those not familiar with CSS to style their design effectively.

With Genesis, the vast majority of design changes are made via theme templates. This is the main reason why all Genesis users are encouraged to use child themes. If you are comfortable making small HTML and CSS changes to WordPress themes, you should feel comfortable customising one of the many Genesis child themes available to you (the support forums and tutorials section will help you greatly when you are starting to learn how Genesis works).

I do like the fact that Genesis has kept theme options to a minimum so that major changes are done via the templates, as this is how I normally make changes to WordPress themes I use, however I would prefer some additional options in the settings area. At the moment you cannot upload your logo or define your logo image URL in the settings area. Instead, you need to replace the logo.png in your theme folder using FTP. In many Genesis designs you also need to add some CSS code to your stylesheet in order for your logo to display properly. It would be much easier if you could simply define the URL of your logo image or upload it via the settings area.

I do understand why many options have been left out though as there is a fine line between a framework being useful and it being bloated. For example, the simple hooks plugin that I mentioned earlier is incredibly useful and something which I’m sure many Genesis users would benefit from using though I can understand why they have decided to leave it out as not everyone needs or wants it.

After trying out several frameworks over the last month, I have noticed a pattern of how I feel about a WordPress framework. Initially I start using the theme with curiosity. Curiosity changes to frustration when I cannot figure out how to change something I want to change. The frustration fades after I read some tutorials and I then have a good grasp of what the framework can and cannot do easily.

Genesis was no different. You’ll find yourself a little frustrated at first but once you have spent some time modifying the stylesheet and templates you will feel confident using Genesis on all of your sites.

Genesis Themes

One of the biggest selling points of Genesis over other frameworks is the vast number of child themes available for it. At the moment there are over 100 Genesis themes available.

You may find that some of the older designs from 2010 and before have not aged well though the designs released over the last 6-12 months such as Streamline, Generate and Eleven40 look great.

I love the minimal style sample child theme that comes with Genesis and I’m using it on one of my small content websites however don’t worry too much if you’re on a budget and you don’t like the sample theme as there are over a dozen free Genesis themes available at the moment.

Since version 1.8 Genesis has a responsive design. Most newer Genesis designs are responsive however the vast majority of Genesis designs weren’t designed with mobile phones and tablets in mind (as they were released before version 1.8). David Wang has advised me however that StudioPress are planning on updating all Genesis designs in the future to be responsive.

Below you will find a list of over 100 themes that are available to Genesis owners. Existing Genesis users should find this list useful and it should help those of you who are considering purchasing Genesis see what designs you could use with the framework. :)

1. 24K
FREE

24K WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

2. CopyBlogger
FREE

CopyBlogger WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

3. Fairway
FREE

Fairway WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

4. Georgia
FREE

Georgia WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

5. Nomadic
FREE

Nomadic WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

6. Sample
FREE

Sample WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

7. Adaption
FREE

Adaption WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

8. Autobahn
FREE

Info & Download | Demo

9. Buster
FREE

Info & Download | Demo

10. Fremedy
FREE

Info & Download | Demo

11. Gridspiration
FREE

Info & Download | Demo

12. Latitude
FREE

Info & Download | Demo

13. Mini Press
FREE

Info & Download | Demo

14. Simply Sweet
FREE

Info & Download | Demo

15. Genesis
Genesis Framework License: $59.95

Info & Download | Demo

16. Venture
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Venture WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

17. Tapestry
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Tapestry WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

18. Streamline
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Streamline WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

19. Social Eyes
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Social Eyes WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

20. Sleek
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Sleek WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

21. Serenity
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Serenity WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

22. Scribble
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Scribble WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

23. Prose
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Prose WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

24. Pretty Young Thing
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Pretty Young Thing WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

25. Platinum
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Platinum WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

26. Pixel Happy
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Pixel Happy WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

27. Outreach
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Outreach WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

28. Nitrous
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Nitrous WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

29. Mocha
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Mocha WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

30. Minimum
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Minimum WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

31. Midnight
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Midnight WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

32. Metric
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Metric WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

33. Manhattan
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Manhattan WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

34. Luscious
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Luscious WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

35. Lexicon
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Lexicon WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

36. Landscape
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Landscape WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

37. Going Green
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Going Green WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

38. Freelance
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Freelance WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

39. Focus
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Focus WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

40. Family Tree
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Family Tree WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

41. Fabric
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Fabric WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

42. Expose
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Expose WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

43. Executive
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Executive WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

44. Enterprise
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Enterprise WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

45. Education
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Education WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

46. Delicious
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Delicious WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

47. Crystal
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Crystal WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

48. Corporate
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Corporate WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

49. Blissful
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Blissful WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

50. Bee Crafty
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Bee Crafty WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

51. Backcountry
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Backcountry WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

52. Amped
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Amped WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

53. Agency
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Agency WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

54. News
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

News WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

55. Magazine
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Magazine WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

56. Balance
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Balance WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

57. Associate
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Associate WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

58. Lifestyle
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Lifestyle WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

59. Generate
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Generate WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

60. Eleven40
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Eleven40 WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

61. AgentPress
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

AgentPress WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

62. Blingless
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Blingless WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

63. Clip Cart
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Clip Cart WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

64. Cre8tive Burst
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Cre8tive Burst WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

65. Curtail
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Curtail WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

66. Driskill
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Driskill WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

67. Elle
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Elle WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

68. Fashionista
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Fashionista WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

69. Legacy
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

(in)SPYR

Info & Download | Demo

70. Legacy
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Legacy WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

72. Modern Blogger
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Modern Blogger WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

73. Politica
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Politica WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

74. Production
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Production WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

75. Pure Elegance
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Pure Elegance WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

76. Vintage
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Vintage WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

77. Avett
Regular License: $25

Avett WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

79. Improvement
Regular License: $25

Improvement WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

80. Hightech
Regular License: $20

Hightech WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

81. Adapt
Regular License: $24.95

Adapt WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

82. Agile
Regular License: $24.95

Agile WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

83. CinchPress
Regular License: $35.00

CinchPress WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

86. Feedpop
Regular License: $35

FeedPop WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

87. Foxy News
Regular License: $35

Foxy News WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

88. Happy Hour
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

Happy Hour WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

91. Line It Up
Regular License: $35

Line It Up WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

93. Mockfive
Regular License: $35

Mockfive WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

95. Optimal
Regular License: $24.95

Optimal WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

96. Readyfolio
Regular License: $35

ReadyFolio WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

97. Rough Print
Theme License: $24.95, Theme & Genesis Framework License: $79.95

RoughPrint WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

98. Secret Garden
Regular License: $350

Secret Garden WordPress Theme

Info & Download

99. Slipstream
Regular License: $350

Slipstream WordPress Theme

Info & Download

99. Skope
Regular License: $24.95

Skope WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

101. Smooth Post
Regular License: $35

Smooth Post WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

102. Stage
Regular License: $35

Stage WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

Overview

Genesis is rightfully one of the most popular frameworks available for WordPress. It’s well coded, has great support and has a reputation for being really secure. Please bear in mind however that there is no ultimate WordPress theme framework out there that is perfect for everyone.

Many frameworks are developed for designers so just have a foundation to build upon. Other frameworks have so many options and features that users never even have to look at the theme templates. Which is best for you depends on your experience with WordPress themes and with using HTML, PHP and CSS. It also depends on how much you want to change the default design provided with a framework.

If you love the default design that comes with a framework, a bigger theme options area is generally better as all you will be changing is the colour scheme and deciding on which information is and isn’t displayed on your site. If you are looking to make changes to the layout and add more functionality to your site, frameworks that have a large number of options and features are generally more difficult to use, as the templates will have lots of if statements and functions. This makes it a bit harder to make a change to something that can’t be changed via the settings area.

For my own level of experience, Genesis gets this balance between options and minimalism just about right. It allows me to choose the number of columns for my layout, whether excerpts and featured images are displayed. However, if I want to change the width of the site container or the colour of links used on my site, I just need to quickly change the stylesheet. Likewise, by creating a single.php template in my child theme I can change how my blog posts look.

If creating new templates, modifying the functions.php file and working with child themes seems a little daunting to you, Genesis probably isn’t the best framework for you. You’d be better with a framework that offered you more options. Those of you who feel comfortable working with WordPress templates should be able to get the most out of Genesis.

Pros

  • Great built-in SEO features
  • Known for being a secure framework
  • Lots of tutorials and active support forum
  • Over 100 child themes to choose from
  • Templates are well commented so are very easy to modify
  • Lots of built in hooks
  • One of the most affordable WordPress theme frameworks available online

Cons

  • No native support for WordPress post formats
  • Majority of Genesis designs aren’t responsive (though this will hopefully be fixed soon)
  • With few options and no style editor, Genesis is not the perfect framework for WordPress users who don’t know HTML, PHP and CSS

A license for Genesis retails for $59.95 and comes with sample child theme, unlimited support and updates and access to details tutorials. There is no expensive developer license to consider – $59.95 will give you everything you need; and whereas many theme stores charge a yearly renewal fee, Genesis only requires a one time purchase.

Most child themes retail for $24.95. If there’s a child theme you are thinking of purchasing, it’s worth buying at the same time as Genesis as you can get the framework and a child theme for $79.95 (it only saves you $5 but the money will be happier in your pocket than theirs!!).

If you design a lot of websites for clients, you may want to consider purchasing the Pro Plus package. The package retails for $349.95 and includes the Genesis framework and all 46 StudioPress premium designs. These designs retail for $24.95 each which means you are getting around $1,200 worth of products for only $349.95.

I’ve did my best to cover most of Genesis’s features and speak about it’s strengths and weaknesses however if you are thinking of purchasing Genesis and you have questions about the framework that I haven’t covered here, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer your query.

Thanks for reading. If you have enjoyed this review, I encourage you to subscribe to WP Mods via RSS, Facebook or Twitter :)

Kevin

Link: Genesis WordPress Theme Framework

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Codeable info

Comments (6)

Comment by Affan says:

Yeah I know there’s limitations on Genesis if you’re not good at CSS and PHP.
But I think you should see to latest child themes released by Studiopress, Prose and InSpyr, both are super easy to customizes and lost of options to choose from :)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

[email protected] it’s painfully slow sometimes. The problem is it makes creating a layout etc easy but most other tasks much more difficult. 

Comment by blogjunkie says:

[email protected] Muldoon Yeah my website is waiting to get overhauled. I have the same feelings about Headway. I was a big Headway fan before, but the Visual Editor is slow to load and makes the process of making a small 2 minute change into a 10 or 15 minute job sometimes. I think Headway has a lot of potential especially for less technically savvy users but for me I prefer to bang write CSS any time :)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

[email protected] for taking the time to leave such a great comment. I’ve updated my article to correct the points you made about Genesis being responsive from version 1.8.
 
It’s good to hear from someone who designs with Genesis. That’s something that my review lacked. I’ve always just used a Genesis child theme and then modified it for my website. I’ve never designed a website from scratch using Genesis.
 
I think you are right about clients being overwhelmed with options. The vast majority of frameworks are packed full of options that never get changed after setting the site up. The one feature I have found useful on frameworks is a style editor. I don’t mind changing the colour scheme of a site via the style sheet but style editors make this painfully easy as you simply choose the section you want to change and then change it.
 
I noticed that your own website is powered by Headway. I’ve had a developer license for Headway for a few years but was a bit disappointed with the latest version. It seemed overcomplicated to me. Two websites that I used headway with were replaced with Genesis because of it. It’s a shame as I love the idea of creating websites by simply dragging and dropping.
.adslot-overlay {position: absolute; font-family: arial, sans-serif; background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.65); border: 2px solid rgba(0,0,0,0.65); color: white !important; margin: 0; z-index: 2147483647; text-decoration: none; box-sizing: border-box; text-align: left;}.adslot-overlay-iframed {top: 0; left: 0; right: 0; bottom: 0;}.slotname {position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; right: 0; font-size: 13px; font-weight: bold; padding: 3px 0 3px 6px; vertical-align: middle; background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.45); text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap; overflow: hidden;}.slotname span {text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-transform: capitalize;}.revenue {position: absolute; bottom: 0; left: 0; right: 0; font-size: 11px; padding: 3px 0 3px 6px; vertial-align: middle; text-align: left; background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.45); font-weight: bold; text-overflow: ellipsis; overflow: hidden; white-space: nowrap;}.revenue .name {color: #ccc;}.revenue .horizontal .metric {display: inline-block; padding-right: 1.5em;}.revenue .horizontal .name {padding-right: 0.5em;}.revenue .vertical .metric {display: block; line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 0.5em;}.revenue .vertical .name, .revenue .vertical .value {display: block;}.revenue .square .metric, .revenue .button .metric {display: table-row;}.revenue .square .metric {line-height: 1.5em;}.revenue .square .name, .revenue .square .value, .revenue .button .value {display: table-cell;}.revenue .square .name {padding-right: 1.5em;}.revenue .button .name {display: block; margin-right: 0.5em; width: 1em; overflow: hidden; text-overflow: clip;}.revenue .button .name:first-letter {margin-right: 1.5em;}a.adslot-overlay:hover {border: 2px solid rgba(58,106,173,0.9);}a.adslot-overlay:hover .slotname {border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(81,132,210,0.9); background-color: rgba(58,106,173,0.9);}a.adslot-overlay:hover .revenue {border-top: 1px solid rgba(81,132,210,0.9); background-color: rgba(58,106,173,0.9);}div.adslot-overlay:hover {cursor: not-allowed; border: 2px solid rgba(64,64,64,0.9);}div.adslot-overlay:hover .slotname {border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(128,128,128,0.9); background-color: rgba(64,64,64,0.9);}div.adslot-overlay:hover .revenue {border-top: 1px solid rgba(128,128,128,0.9); background-color: rgba(64,64,64,0.9);}

Comment by blogjunkie says:

Hi Kevin, what a great comprehensive review. I’m a big Genesis fan myself and didn’t know of all these free child themes.
 
I wanted to offer my opinion as a theme developer. I love Genesis for allowing me to build sites super quick. The built-in functions allow me to do a grid layout or add footer widgets in just a few lines of code, for example. Also there is a feature that allows me to build theme options pages really easily.
 
I have used themes like Catalyst and WooThemes which offer lots of theme options but I find my customers get overwhelmed. And even I get confused when trying to set all of them up – so it’s refreshing that Genesis keeps things minimal. And once the design is set, why would you want to modify it again anyway? Unless you’re just the kind with ADD ;)
 
I agree it’s not for everyone but as a former skeptic I can see why developers love it so much and why it has such a big fan base. 
 
One last thing – the base Genesis theme *is* responsive from version 1.8 onwards. StudioPress has also promised to update their old themes to be responsive like their new ones. Well for the popular ones anyway
 
Thanks again for a great review :)

Comment by WPMods says:

@renewabelle thanks for the rt :)

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