The Genesis Framework from StudioPress is a WordPress parent theme created for the purpose of being extended via child themes.
Genesis Framework for Developers
As a developer, I love working with the Genesis framework and I use it exclusively when building custom themes. The killer feature of Genesis is the hooks and filters that appear throughout the theme. You can see a sampling of these below. As a developer, these hooks allow you to modify the theme rather than create it from scratch.
StudioPress (and others) sell Genesis child themes. When building a custom site with Genesis, you can create a custom child theme from a parent theme. Using the Genesis Framework as your parent theme has two main advantages:
- It reduces the complexity of the child theme
- You can update the Genesis Framework parent theme without impacting your child theme
Most of my work involves custom Genesis child themes. I’m a big fan of the Bootstrap framework, so I’ve created a Bootstrap Genesis Starter Child Theme. This starter theme uses the hooks and filters in Genesis to modify the markup to apply the Bootstrap grid system as well as other features of Bootstrap.
Pre-built Genesis Child Themes
There are other cases when I’ll leverage an existing StudioPress Genesis child theme. I’ve purchased all of the StudioPress themes (including ones they release in the future) and I’ve been happy with that purchase. When modifying a purchased StudioPress child theme, you modify the child theme directly (there are no grandchild themes). Child themes from StudioPress use the same actions and filters that I use for custom themes, so the work is similar.
Even if you are not a developer, choosing Genesis and a StudioPress child theme is a smart choice.
- The themes are well made
- You have an easy upgrade path in place because you can update the parent Genesis theme (even if you’ve modified the child theme)
- Genesis has a large and supportive community
- If you need the assistance of a developer, Genesis developers will be happier (and faster) working on a Genesis website
Why Use the Genesis Framework
As a developer, the Genesis framework is the best $60 I’ve spent on WordPress. For a one-time $60 fee, I can use the Genesis framework on as many sites as I want. This includes free updates of Genesis on all of my sites, indefinitely. When I started using Genesis I was introduced to WordPress hooks and filters, integral features of WordPress core. This familiarity dramatically improved my skills as a WordPress developer.
If you’re not a developer, your decision may not be quite as clear cut. There are many good commercial WordPress themes out there.
My experience with the Genesis framework has made me partial to Genesis Themes. I enjoy working on them but you need to decide what is right for you.
Hooked On Genesis
On November 2, 2015 I spoke about Genesis at the Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup, which is a terrific monthly meetup you should check out if you’re in the area.
Liam Dempsey of LBDesign was kind enough to record and post my talk.
Visual Hook Guide
A map of the locations of Genesis Hooks and Filters. Pictured above
Visual Hook Plugin
WordPress plugin to overlay the above Visual Hook Guide on your Genesis website. This tool is invaluable for a developer.
My Genesis starter theme using Bootstrap, Sass, and Grunt
Was browsing around looking to integrate bootstrap into genesis child project and came across your entry. Looking forward to poking around in your bootstrap-genesis theme. Thanks!
Sal Ferrarello says
Glad to hear you find it interesting. I enjoy seeing it used. If you launch a site built on Bootstrap Genesis, please send me a link as I’d like to compile a list of sites built with it. Thanks.
Jamaluddin Rahmat says
Yeah I agree with your statement.
“If you’re not a developer, your decision may not be quite as clear cut.”
I think the Genesis Framework not for novice WordPress users who need drag & drop to do anything.
The Genesis Framework absolutely for WordPress developer who need make project faster.
Jiu-Ran Chen says
You said – As a developer, the Genesis framework is the best $60 I’ve spent on WordPress. For a one-time $60 fee, I can use the Genesis framework on as many sites as I want.
Can you give me the link for $60-Genesis framework?
Sal Ferrarello says
The $60 purchase I refer to is the Genesis Framework (i.e. the parent theme) without any of the Studiopress Child themes. Here is a link: Genesis Framework
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I am a former programmer. I haven’t done any professional coding since around 1996, so I’m not ready to do so now. As a consultant, do you know of any themes which are good for consultants?
Sal Ferrarello says
My experience with creating Genesis themes has been exclusively custom themes, so I can’t recommend any specific prebuilt themes. Based on the underlying framework, I’d prefer to work with any Genesis theme rather than a non-Genesis theme. Best of luck.