Back when I moved from Blogger to WordPress, I went with the Twenty Ten theme as it was the default option and I thought it was a good starting point.
At first I didn’t feel the need to try a different theme, be it a free or a premium one…
It was all good until I started running into problems a month or so later.
Every now and then my blog would behave weirdly. I’d see glitches, wrong loading of the elements and occasional crashes. Add to that the fact there was no one to contact with my issue and it felt like I just had to start researching on the available options.
Some days later I decided to go with the Genesis Framework.
In the next paragraphs I’m going to explain why namely the Genesis Framework was my choice. I will go through both the pros and the cons of this premium theme and all this based on my one year experience.
Keep reading if you are interested to see what the Genesis Framework has to offer:
1. Wide Variety of Child Themes to Choose From
If you want Genesis, you basically have two options:
- To get the Framework only
- To get the Framework and select a child theme
And while with the first chice, you still have a functional theme, this option is better for those who are thinking of hiring a designer to customize the looks.
But it’s good news if you don’t want to spend money on a custom design since the Genesis marketplace offers a solid selection. The variety of themes is pretty good.
If you go to the Shop for Themes page, you get to find the theme that best suits you by choosing a category (e.g. business, ecommerce, photography, etc.), then choosing the theme features and the layout (e.g. one column, two column, three column).
As of now there are 43 themes and chances are with a bit of searching around, you are sure to find the one you are looking for.
2. Fast and Helpful Support Team
Support is an important factor in pretty much every online purchase. You need to be sure that once you make the purchase, you won’t have to solve any future problems on your own.
You need to be certain that every potential glitch and bug will be fixed in the shortest of times possible.
And that is where the Genesis Framework really shines for me.
You know I’m not the kind of guy who’d simply buy a theme and leave it as is. Nope. I like playing around with it.
That is why I had to contact the support theme on multiple occasions (all of which my fault).
I generally get a reply within an hour of sending my issue report. And once I get a reply by email, it can really turn into a chat. The support team is there to answer every single question you have until your issue is resolved.
And the really cool thing is it doesn’t feel like you are chatting with one of those bots. It’s a real conversation and you don’t ever get an automated reply thrown at you.
3. Responsive Design for Better Mobile Experience
With the introduction of ever-more sophisticated tablets and smartphones, mobile traffic has been gaining a lot of strength over the last few years. And you HAVE to adapt if you want to make the most out of your online undertaking. You have to put effort towards every possibility.
Some two years ago the mobile traffic that Reviewz N Tips received was a little over 10% of the total traffic, which although a number worth taking into consideration, isn’t THAT much. To date that number has increased to almost 30%. And whatever you tell me several thousand monthly visits are a significant number.
And what’s the cool thing about the Genesis Framework?
That almost all themes are suited for optimal work with mobile devices.
How is that achieved?
With the use of media queries, which specify different “behaviour” for different resolutions and different pixel ratios.
How does this work in your favor?
First off it results in faster loading. The media queries disable specific desktop elements from appearing (and hence having to be loaded) on a mobile device. Other elements like font sizes and dimensions are corrected for specific type of displays.
What you get from all this is reduced bounce ratesand people spending more time on your site.
4. Genesis Offers Handful of Useful Features
Aside from all the above, Genesis offers a lot of small but useful features that bloggers can certainly find useful. And here are some of the more important ones:
- Custom layout settings - that option can be found under the post editor and it allows you to change the layout for a specific blog post. For instance you can remove the sidebar, move it to the left or add a secondary sidebar if your theme allows it. There’s also the feature to add a custom class for your post, meaning you can apply specific modifications to specific posts. For instance you can create a predefined class with a different background color and you can set it to display for some types of posts (for instance based on category).
- In depth tutorials - From the simplest of things as installing the Genesis Framework and adding child themes to understanding how hooks work and what difference the various SEO settings available make.
- Genesis Specific Plugins and code snippets – Once you buy the Genesis Framework, you gain access to a whole directory of plugins, which only work with Genesis. Some of them allow you to easily modify your theme’s elements (like comments, sidebars, etc), others help you add social icons. On the other hand the authors have taken the time to build a comprehensive list of code snippets to help you add or remove various elements to your theme.
- Header and footer scripts - One of the coolest things about Genesis is that it allows you to add scripts to the
wp_footer(): straight from the WordPress Dashboard. That is really useful since you don’t have to open up the functions.php and edit directly. The latter can result in some nasty crashes that take time to fix.
5. High Customization Potential
Although I was able to make huge modifications to my theme, most of it is simply CSS changes. Just for the record here’s a comparison between the stock theme and my modification:
So, designing in terms of CSS isn’t any different.
It gets interesting when you want to do more serious structural modifications to your theme.
That is mostly achieved via the so called hooks. The Genesis team has come up with a plugin called Simple Hooks, which allows easy modifications on all important theme elements, starting from the head, moving through the body, the content, the widget areas and reaching the footer.
I personally am no expert in PHP or WordPress coding, but generally if you want a modification done, aside from the tutorials Genesis offers, you can find a bunch of useful Genesis-specific articles to help you find the way.
6. The Genesis Framework is Reasonably Priced
Well first off, most people’s concern when deciding to buy a product is of course that product’s price. Before choosing to settle with the Genesis Framework, as greedy as it might seem, my goal was to invest as little money as possible.
It’s not as much about buying cheap, but more about spending your money wise i.e. getting the most functional product for what you are paying.
And to help you see why I believe the Genesis Framework is reasonably priced I made a bit of a comparison between two other premium themes – Thesis and Elegant Themes:
So above from left to right we can see the cheapest plans for the Elegant Themes, Thesis (or DIY Themes) and Studiopress’ Genesis Framework.
- First off we have only 39$ PER YEAR for the Elegant Themes. If that was a one-time fee, it would certainly have been the lowest price for a premium theme. The good thing is you get access to all available themes, which is good if you aren’t quite sure how you want your blog to look like. If you would however like to receive lifetime access to all features, you would have to pay a hefty 249$ fee.
- Secondly we have Thesis. The price of 87$ is certainly steeper than the one Elegant Themes offers. And we have a problem – for 87$ you will only get free updates for a year and aside from that you can only use the installation on one sever. If you want Thesis for unlimited number of sites, you would have to say goodbye to 164$.
- Lastly let’s take a look at Genesis. The good thing about it is that the price of 79.95$ that you see is a one time fee and you get unlimited updates and support. If you want you can also use the theme on unlimited number of either client sites or your own sites. For the price you also get to choose a theme. If you only want the Framework without a child theme, you will only pay 59.95$
Get the Genesis Framework
I really hope you found my review useful friends. If you believe the Gensis Framework is what you need, make sure to check official site for more information.
Now I’d like to hear your thoughts!
When it comes to blogging is WordPress really the best? Are you using a free or a premium theme? What do you think of Genesis compared to the other options in the premium theme market?
NOTE: There are affiliate links included in this post.