Choosing a WordPress theme is one of the most important blogging decisions you will make, so it’s important to get it right. Here’s 10 reasons why you should use the Genesis Framework WordPress theme for your blog.
Whether you are just starting out on your blogging journey or thinking of switching themes, the choice of themes can be bewildering…
Many bloggers make the mistake of picking the theme that looks the prettiest… this is a BIG MISTAKE! While choosing an attractive and professional looking theme is important, a theme affects so much more than just the look and feel of a blog. Your theme can affect site speed, website functionality, SEO, traffic, security… even the success of your email marketing efforts!
For this reason, it is important to choose wisely – very wisely.
If you have done even a small amount of research into WordPress themes for your blog, you will have probably come across the Genesis Framework by StudioPress.
The Genesis Framework is one of the most popular and powerful framework themes in the WordPress market… and it has a ton of benefits!
In this post I am going to share with you 10 good reasons why you should use the Genesis Framework WordPress theme for your blog.
But first up, what exactly is the Genesis Framework?
What is the Genesis Framework?
The Genesis Framework is a type of WordPress theme, often known as a ‘parent theme’. Technically, you could use the Genesis Framework as a standalone theme on its own, but this is not advised*. Most people use the Genesis parent theme in conjunction with a separate child theme. Essentially Genesis handles the core theme functionality and the child theme handles the ‘pretty bits’.
To make this easier to get your head around, let’s imagine your blog is a car…
If your blog was a car, WordPress would be the engine, Genesis would be the bodywork (something which has a big effect on the speed and performance of your car) and the child theme would be the paint job – the decoration to make your car look nice.
How to get the Genesis Framework
The good news is Genesis Framework is now completely free! (It used to cost $60!!)
All you need to do is download the Genesis Framework Package from StudioPress* and then install it.
How to install the Genesis Framework
Once you have bought the Genesis Framework, you will need to login to my.studiopress.com and download the theme file.
Next, go to your blog’s backend and select APPEARANCE >> THEMES from the left-hand menu.
Select ADD NEW, then UPLOAD THEME.
Now hit CHOOSE FILE and select the file you downloaded from StudioPress.
Finally hit INSTALL NOW.
If you are planning to use the Genesis Framework on its own (NOT ADVISED!), you should now ACTIVATE the Genesis Framework Theme.
If you are planning to use the Genesis Framework in conjunction with a child theme (such as the Restored 316 child themes*), you should install but NOT activate the Genesis Framework Theme. Once you have installed the Genesis Framework, you should then install AND activate your chosen child theme.
The theme section of your blog will then look something like this…
10 reasons why you should use the Genesis Framework WordPress theme
1. Built for SEO
One of the reasons why I love the Genesis Framework so much is it was built with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in mind. That’s not true of all themes!
In fact, to ensure Genesis was as good as possible at SEO, StudioPress even hired SEO expert Greg Boser to make Genesis more SEO friendly.
If you have worked hard on your blog’s SEO, you want your theme to support your SEO efforts, not ruin them!
2. Optimised for speed
Unlike many WordPress themes, Genesis was built specifically with site speed in mind. Genesis is light-weight and bloat-free, meaning your blog will load significantly faster.
Site speed is an important part of SEO both directly (speed is a ranking factor) and also indirectly, as a fast loading website gives a good user experience (UX) and UX is also a ranking factor.
READ MORE >>> 11 easy ways to improve site speed that ANYONE can do!
3. Airtight Security
StudioPress take website security very seriously. To make sure the Genesis Framework has the best security possible, StudioPress brought in Mark Jaquith (security expert and core WordPress developer) to perform a security audit on Genesis and ensure it adheres to all the WordPress security best practices.
While you cannot rely on your theme alone to protect you from hackers (you will also need to ensure you have good hosting and a security plugin), knowing your theme is providing the best security possible is very important.
4. Regularly updated
One of the best things about Genesis is that you get lifetime updates for free!
Better still, the Genesis Framework is regularly updated by experts to reflect best practices for coding and is always compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
5. You can update without losing customisations
The really great thing about the Genesis parent theme + child theme setup is that you can update Genesis without losing all your customisations, which are essentially housed on your child theme.
Genesis child themes are kind of like skins which sit on top of the Genesis parent theme to make your blog look different. When you make customisations (colours, fonts etc.), you always make them to the child theme. This means when you update Genesis, none of your customisations are lost AND any functionality changes in the Genesis update won’t affect the way your site looks, because this is all taken care of by the child theme.
6. A huge marketplace of child themes
Because the Genesis Framework is so popular among bloggers and website designers, there is a HUGE marketplace of child themes out there for you to choose from.
You can browse and buy many of these child themes on the StudioPress website, however my top pick for child themes is Restored 316*
Restored 316 child themes are well-coded and look great. They are also easily customisable so you can make them look exactly how you want them to… so, although they are advertised as ‘feminine’ themes, you can easily change the layout, colours and fonts to make them look more ‘masculine’ – or whatever you want them to be!
READ MORE >>> How to choose the right theme for your blog
7. A ton of dedicated plugins
Better still, there are tons of dedicated Genesis plugins which allow you to further customise and add greater functionality to your blog. While some of these plugins are premium, many are completely free!
Some of the most popular free Genesis plugins include:
- Genesis Simple Hooks: This plugin allows you to easily insert code into any area of your website, without having to mess with your theme files.
- Genesis Simple Edits: This plugin allows you to edit the post-info (byline), post-meta, and footer areas of your blog without needing to know any code!
- Genesis eNews Extended: This plugin allows you to integrate Genesis with your email newsletter service of choice – such as Mailchimp, ConvertKit or MailerLite. This allows child theme designers to create beautiful sign-up forms which match your theme colours and branding, which you can then seamlessly integrate with your email marketing provider.
READ MORE >>> 15 essential plugins for WordPress blogs
8. Thriving Community
One of the best things about the Genesis Framework is that there is a large and thriving community of developers, designers and bloggers who use and love it.
This means there are always plenty of people to ask when you get stuck!
If large forums full of developers and designers and people who speak ‘tech’ feels a little bit daunting, then why not ask your Genesis related questions in the Productive Blogging Community – a friendly Facebook group, full of lovely, helpful bloggers, where no question is too basic or too silly! Many bloggers in the Productive Blogging Community use Genesis and may be able to answer your questions or at least point you in the right direction.
9. Tons of great tutorials
Because there is such a large community of people using Genesis, there are tons of great tutorials online that will show you how to do almost anything with the Genesis Framework.
StudioPress themselves also have a large Knowledge Base* full of help documentation, FAQs, tutorials on how to use various WordPress and Genesis-specific features, tips on how to customise your Genesis child theme and advice on how to use Genesis plugins.
10. Mobile responsive
These days, it’s essential for SEO and User Experience that your blog is mobile responsive – meaning your blog looks just as good on mobile and tablet devices as it does on a laptop or desktop computer.
With the Genesis Framework, you can be confident that your website will be perfectly optimized for every browser, device, and screen size!
Over to you…
Do you have the Genesis Framework already? What convinced you to get it? What is your favourite feature?
Not got Genesis yet? What’s holding you back? Let me know in the comment section below and I’ll do my best to help you!
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*This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!
**Prices correct as at 29/07/20