There was a time when people has to write every single thing in HTML just create a simple webpage for internet. But now the time has changed, technology got more advanced than we ever imagined and creating a website has become as easy that everyone can do it regardless of what technical or programming knowledge they have. With the help of WordPress people now can create a website under 60 seconds and if you want to create a good looking site, there are tons and tons of free and/or premium theme available in free WordPress repository as well as various marketplaces like Themeforest, Elegant Themes etc.
As a professional webmaster when I started to walk down the web development road, I also used to use themes from Themeforest, customize them as per client’s request or my need and then publish to the web. This is great, I know and I love the huge theme collection of Themeforest and other premium marketplaces. As you get full tutorial (sometimes the PDFs also) when you purchase any theme from Themeforest or any WordPress theme marketplace out there.
For the first time when I start using Genesis Framework for my website (when I was working on v4.0 release of my site), I was so amazed to see its limitless power and after I completed my whole site using Genesis Framework, I was so happy that I used Genesis Framework for all of my client’s project from that moment. Today in this post I’m going share with you some of my honest experience about Genesis and other marketplace theme. I’m also going to share my views about why I love Genesis Framework so much over most other WordPress themes out there.
Oh! I hate them so much that I can’t literally explain by words. I know many of you like visual composer so much that you can’t live without it. Visual composer is a great tool which made everyone a web developer regardless of their technical knowledge. You might think that this is great, what’s so bad in this, right? Well if you are a non-technical person, who have no idea about programming and other things, you won’t be able to see the reasons I hate it.
The main reason I hate visual composer is because the way it built a webpage. When I see the source code of a website built using visual composer it feels like I better die before reading that source code. Does any of you ever wondered that what happens behind the scene of these drag-n-drop page builders? Let me show you. All these page builders are basically a jQuery UI which keep adding bunch of short codes for everything. Even if you write “Hello World!”. This is disgusting and it end up with a webpage with is badly coded and compacted with millions of classes which you might never need.
Now if you are thinking that why do you care about all these things if your site is running smooth without any issues? Well you have to worry because if you don’t in future you are going to face such a catastrophic issue that you can’t fix and eventually you have to delete all your data and recreate a new site from the scratch. Let me give you a more easy example, suppose you are building a website for your business and you chose an awesome WordPress theme from Themeforest which comes with visual composer to make your life easy. After spending days and weeks to learn visual composer at least you build your website perfectly. Now after 1 – 2 years or even after 6 months, you realize that the design is not matching your business profile or your users don’t like it, so you head over to repurchase a new theme. Now if the new theme does not comes with visual composer your site is gonna look like a hacked site with bunch of garbage text and millions of short codes for no reason.
On the other hand if you would have built your site using Genesis Framework, it will remain same on all theme you install in future as it does not use any junky admin or front end features which does not comes with WordPress or is not officially supported by them. So, you are completely future protected with genesis.
This is another thing makes me crazy most of the time when I visit any client website who are having problem and using a theme from those popular marketplaces. I’ve seen many themes & plugins in various WordPress premium marketplaces which are coded badly without following the guidelines and functions provided by WordPress team or WP Codex. Now for this reason when you have any incompatibility issue with other plugins and you seek for help to the theme authors, mostly they will say, “as this is a 3rd Party Plugin, we cannot provide extensive support for this, you better contact the plugin author” and when you do so, he/she says the same thing to you about the theme author and this keep running circle around unless you become frustrated. I’ve seen and handled many cases like this and even provided review to many premium themes and plugins.
On the other hand with Genesis Framework you don’t have to worry anything about the code quality. If you are considering to use genesis on your website, always be assure that you are in very good hand and every single code is written perfectly and optimized by following all WordPress coding guidelines and functions. As most of the Genesis Framework developer are also WordPress core developer, you never have to worry about your theme security, code quality, code optimization and other things like that.
In terms of support I will give thumbs up to the marketplace themes rather than Genesis for various reasons. If you purchase any theme from any general theme marketplace website (e.g. Themeforest), the theme authors provide extensive support for their theme, no matter what it is. Suppose you want to add a new column to the theme and don’t know how to do it, they will help you with that (if it is easy), they will even write some custom css (1 or 2 lines) for you, if you are having any issue with their theme.
On the other hand Genesis support is completely opposite. If you just have purchased Genesis Framework (i.e Genesis Framework + simple genesis child theme) they will provide email support about how to install and setup the genesis theme like the way it is looking in the demo. That’s all! If you have any personal problem or issue, which needs any types of customization, even some simple css, they will say “Sorry” to you and ask you to post your problem in the StudioPress Forum, where people mostly won’t reply to you if you have asked a few complicated question. That is because this forum is run by volunteers like you and me and not studiopress staffs, so people will check your question when they get some free time 🙂
Genesis Framework provides limitless customizability option which is only bounded by your imagination. As all genesis theme built upon Genesis Framework, it uses the parent theme – child theme architecture, best for creating any WordPress theme. The Genesis Framework work as a parent theme while you do all your modification inside the child theme. So, in future when Genesis Framework gets updated, your site remain same along with all the customization you have done. I’ve seen many marketplace theme also follows this parent theme – child theme architecture now, which is really good.
But the problem is all the premium genesis child themes, that are available on studiopress website just comes with the unique and feel without any extra features like shortcodes, portfolios or ecommerce integration. If you want any of these features you have to build them by your own. This is seriously good and bad depending upon the user. For someone who has web development and programing knowledge at his fingertips, this is a great thing. As you don’t have to load everything which comes by default with the marketplace theme, just to make sure that the theme works perfectly.As most marketplace themes comes with lots and lots of built in features, but what if you don’t need all of them, like you don’t need the portfolio to show up, but as you are using that marketplace plugin theme theme will still load all the portfolio css, js files and increase your webpage size and page load time.
On the other hand if you are someone who have no programming knowledge (even basic HTML, CSS) you might feel scared and angry about the themes as they do not have any built in features. But look at the bright side of it, you can either learn to code or hire someone to add those features into your site or you can even purchase some plugins for that specific features, but your site will only load the things you need. Nothing extra. The CSS and JS files will not have millions of classes, beside just the ones you need for your site. This simple way can increase the website speed and loading time drastically.
Beside all, as you have to build of customize you genesis child theme, you will always know that how it works and what things you need to tweak just to get the desired result you want. This is really great and you don’t have to depend on others to fix a serious issue with your theme, as with Genesis Framework, you are the boss of your theme. I’m truly thankful to the power and customizability option of genesis, without it, I wouldn’t have built by site the way it is now.
Search Engine Optimization
This is another thing for which I suggest everyone to use Genesis Framework for their WordPress website. Genesis comes with a world class SEO built into it. I’ve never seen any WordPress theme before which follows all the schema.org SEO markups so perfectly all over the website. If you start using genesis for your website, I can tell you that you will see some serious SEO boost for your website.
I’ve worked with many marketplace themes, but none of them follows the markups the way Genesis Framework does. In today’s search engine war where people send thousands of dollars on SEO, you much consider to create a strong SEO base of your website using Genesis Framework.
This is the best part of genesis. I’ve seen that many marketplace plugin have incompatibility issues with other plugins, but not genesis. You see general marketplace themes comes with a lot of in built features and some of them collide with certain plugins. But with genesis as you are building your site your own way, you are only adding the things you want, even the way you want. So, you never face any incompatibility issue with other plugins and even if you do, you can easily debug the culprit which is causing the incompatibility as you have built the site by yourself and you know everything you have added into it.
Speed is another key aspect of Genesis Framework. As the whole framework coded so well following all the WordPress & Google’s best coding practice, your theme will load lightning fast with genesis. If it doesn’t load that fast then you are pretty sure that some features you have added into your theme (maybe slider) is causing the slowness and you can easy debug it in few minutes.
I know that Genesis Framework is intentionally created for the developer community and code enthusiasts but even a general non coder person can also use it out of the box, unless they want custom feature to be added. As I said earlier for some people (who doesn’t know how to code) this can be a big deal, but those know how to code and have basic HTML, CSS, JS & PHP knowledge, they are gonna love Genesis Framework every possible way.
If you don’t know how to code and don’t even have the time to learn you can always hire genesis developer to either customize an existing studiopress child theme the way you want it to be or to create a brand new child theme with custom design and looks.
So, from next time if you ever consider creating a website using WordPress, always try to use Genesis Framework for the betterment of your business & goal. So, are you currently using Genesis Framework on your WordPress website? What is your experience with it? Are you planning to use it in your next WordPress project, but not sure whether or not it is the right choice for you? Let me know all your thoughts in comment section below. I’ll love to hear back from you. Also if there is any feature of genesis that you love most which I’ve not mentioned above, let me know that in the comment section below.