use genesis framework

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.

Visual Composer

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.

Disgustedness of Visual Composer

Disgustedness of Visual Composer

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.

Code Quality

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.

Support

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 🙂

Customizability

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.

Compatibility

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

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.

Programming Skills

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.

Conclusion

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.

Published by Saumya Majumder

Passionate, Hard Worker. Love to develop new things, Singing Songs, playing computer Action Games, tweaking with computer languages, Riding Bikes, Love long driving, love books, web & Photography. You can follow me on twitter @iSaumya

34 Comments

  1. Hi Saumya,

    I am a graphic designer, who does not know how to code. Using visual composers included in themes such as Avada or Zephyr, I can run a website pretty easily. The code certainly looks bad as you mentioned and there are plenty of speed problem due to non-asynchronous JS loading. Speed problem that can partially be corrected with additional plugins and a great hosting + CDN.

    But the good thing is I know my way around the theme + plugins and manage to sell a bunch of nice-looking, functional websites to my clients.

    If I were to start again from the scratch with a framework such as Genesis, in order to “make things the proper way”. How long would you estimate the learning curve? Basically I can understand what HTML / CSS / JS do, but I just can’t type a line of code without having to read my notes at the moment. I can dedicate up to 4 or 5 hours / week learning a new thing but not more.

    Most websites I create are multipages long scrolling page, with a large slider/header – sticky menu, video background, these nice automatic counters and interaction hovers. Thanks to the templates they are naturally responsive, and finally they also run more complex portfolios widget such as Essential Grid. They look pretty similar to Agency websites with the additional “wow” effect of a nice minimalistic background image, or a small piece of interaction. If I were to start from the scratch, this would be at least the minimum result I would like to achieve again before selling sites on this framework.

    Thank you for your help and this great article.
    All the best,
    C.

    Reply
    • Yah you are right that it’s built to build a site with those tools for a person who doesn’t know how to code. But if you even need to implement some custom feature specifically for that site, then you will feel the pain of using these tools 🙂

      Reply
    • I have been developing websites for about 15 years now, having started out with simple HTML and CSS, then moving on to various content management systems, and finally landing on WordPress about 3 years ago. At first I was like you and loved the themes that included Visual Composer because I could quickly create attractive websites that fit just about every need and it was so much easier than composing every little thing by hand. It’s great for getting a client site done quickly and beautifully… and the fact that the site is inelegant isn’t necessarily a huge issue if there won’t be many changes to the site, the themes doesn’t update frequently and the site doesn’t require specialized custom features.
      After all, VC makes it easy for the client to add their own beautifully formatted content once I hand the site over… what’s the harm?

      Well, after having used a feature-rich, minimally styled pre-built theme that included it’s own proprietary visual editor as the base for my own website and having the finished site come out looking absolutely the way I wanted it, I learned the hard way what the harm can be with these deceptively simple solutions. When the theme was upgraded it completely broke my website because the developer used custom naming styles in their CSS and with the upgrade he had changed what some of his names referred to and renamed others. The upgrade also decreased both the speed and the functionality of my site. It was amazing since the most complex part of my site is a gallery!

      So about three months ago I decided that I needed a theme that I could completely customize, that used a standard naming convention throughout the code and wasn’t going to foist a lot of extra functionality on me that I didn’t need. In other words, I needed simplicity and elegance to build on… something that was clean but robust enough for me to add features as the site and my needs grew. After quite a bit of research that turned out to be Genesis combined with Dynamik. Between the two I can pretty much code my entire site by hand using proper standards and without bloating the code.

      Like you I was worried about the learning curve of Genesis… which is admittedly a bit steep… but Dynamik actually cuts that learning time down quite a bit. Before Genesis I wanted to build my own themes from the bottom up but I had no idea how, and after playing with it for a couple of months I’ve come pretty close to doing just that. So far I’ve been able to find a solution to every quagmire I get myself into with a Google search and a bit of persistence because if you can think of adding it to your site, someone out there has figured out how to do it… and usually it doesn’t require another plugin!
      I’ve been frustrated at times but as of yet it hasn’t reached the point of wanting to just kill the entire site and beat the heck out of my computer… a situation I frequently found myself in with other pre-builts. Also, using Genesis had giving me an opportunity to go further under the hood of WordPress so I’m learning a lot. Give it a shot, I was reluctant to take the leap too, but it was so worth it!

      Reply
      • Yah! I also heard that Dynamik is really a great plugin for Genesis, but I personally never used it. I personally prefer to write my own code by my own hand. LOL! 😛 Be it css or some custom PHP functions or custom plugin just for my theme. I like coding it. But that’s me. I know many people use Dynamik and they are pretty happy with it. But I’m still kinda skeptical about it’s true potential. In the current theme I’m running on the v4.0 of my site is a Genesis based theme and I’ve added so many custom features & tweaking which I generally didn’t find on most websites I’ve visited so far using the same infrastructure.
        But I must say that not all pre-made themes are bad. I know most theme developers out the (in themeforest) love to add useless stuffs n their codes and most of them don’t even follow the proper coding guideline, but there are still a few developers out there (even in ThemeForest) who don’t use crappy VC (no offence) on their themes and code them fantastically. A few days ago I’ve seen a theme made by Array Themes and I was really overwhelmed after reading the codes. It was coded so fantastically that I literally can’t explain you by words. Designs are minimal and intuitive. No extra code / bloat features are baked into the code. It was truly amazing. In the upcoming v5.0 of my site I might use them 😉
        But again if you are a just a beginner and have no idea about HTML, CSS, PHP and stuffs like that, you better stay with those VC based clunky themes. Because no matter what tool you use, Genesis expect you to have the basic knowledge of web development (my personal opinion). 🙂

        Reply
  2. I almost confuse for the first time use Genesis.
    The theme don’t have shortcode or drag and drop like others theme.
    For now, I’m a Genesis fan. Their code are very very very clean.

    Btw, I have been use Genesis since 1.8 version 🙂

    Reply
    • Yah! you are absolutely right. Actually I always feel like genesis was never built for people who have no coding knowledge, specially it’s for code junky people giving them freedom to do whatever they wish for. 🙂

      Reply
  3. You are a inspiration man! I really admire your writing and web programming skills! Wish you had a affiliate link so I can get you some extra credit for the Genesis recommendation, Will definitely spread the word of your site out to future clients!

    Reply
    • Thanks man. I’m really glad to know that my articles helped you. After upgrading to v5 of my website the affiliate links gets deleted but thanks for reminding me that. I’ve re-added the affiliate links as hyperlink within the post. Also I’ve added a StudioPress affiliate banner on my sidebar, so if people wanna help they can use my affiliate link. Also if you want to manually share my Genesis affiliate link via email or social media, here is the easy to remember version of my affiliate link https://www.isaumya.com/refer/genesis so that you can easily share it with others.
      Thanks for all your support 🙂

      Reply
  4. I also came a long way in investigating the right tools for themes. I started with the free Atahualpa in the time I knew little or nothing about the effect the code could have on speed, SEO and compatibility. After a while I started learning more about this en made the decission to use (the rather expensive) PageLines. These guys messed up their development cycles more than once and started all over again for at least 2 times, without backward compatibility. By then I already heart about Genesis, but did not know what to do with it. Yes, I knew a bit of PHP, HTML and CSS and childthemes, bit did not know how to start. I also bought some commercial childthemes and that was ‘it’.

    Not very excited about these childthemes, I discovered Dynamik Website Builder (which is a childtheme as a developement tool on top of Genesis). With this tool you can export Genesis childthemes and remove DWB afterwards. With that you can make effective coded childthemes.

    Yes, it sure helps you to develop your sites faster. You do however need CSS knowledge and the way CSS is used in Dynamik to fully understand the concept of it. It only pays off if you decide to use it for longer times, so that you gain experiences in using it. Only then it will be a timesaver. And yes, also I had secound thoughts about Genesis/DWB and wanted to shop for some Visual Composer. But until today I did not. Although I have to invest more time I thought in going throught CSS in Genesis/DWB.

    Reply
    • Thanks Peter for sharing your experience. I did build quite a lot child themes with Genesis and I truly love it. But I didn’t used DWB though I heard a lot of good words about it. May be try it sometime in near future. 🙂

      Reply
  5. The reason I use Genesis: Simply put:
    1. Fast
    2. Lightly
    3. Custom Easy

    Reply
  6. What about front end css editors like Microthemer and CSS Hero, which actually produce style sheets?

    Reply
    • I really don’t think you need front end css editor if you have even moderate css knowledge. You can just use the Chrome dev tool to try out your css in real-time and then add them into your style.css or any other css file.

      Reply
  7. You nailed it! Some visual composers do not allow as much freedom as one thinks. While great for those who have the inability to code, a nightmare for the ones who can code and need to fit a clients specific needs!
    I have worked with both, I always go for the theme that allows the most flexibility with other plugins and gives room to GROW a website should the client need a specific feature.

    Reply
    • I completely agree with you. I’ve also used both of them and that’s why I hate Visual Editor. It’s good for newbies but for pros it’s a nightmare.
      Anyways if you like this article feel free to read my other articles and subscribe for more 🙂

      Reply
  8. Genesis is good for sure. Just curious, why did you switch to theme forest theme ?

    Reply
  9. HI

    I am also building wordpress websites for more than 7 years now. And whenever I see a new premium theme added to themeforest and its getting popular with excellent sales. I ask one question to myself. All features included in that theme are required for a normal business theme? They don’t need all those features.

    I also agree with you about the code which gets added with the visual composer or by any shortcodes. Its a bunch of code which is not needed. Also when we switch websites to a different theme we have to start from scratch again.

    Now I am planning to switch to genesis. Can you please tell me advantages in terms of SEO. Other than speed..

    Thanks for this beautiful post with excellent information….

    Reply
  10. Hello, thanks for the thorough article!

    I’m just wondering if you could clarify your point about Visual Composer. “you are completely future protected with genesis”, you said, and I understand why, but is VC and Genesis a better combination? Does using Genesis as a foundation with VC help future-proofing a site? Are you future-protected with VC as long as you use the Genesis framework?

    Hope my question is relatively clear…

    I’m a graphic designer with only basic css skills, so am trying to find the right tools for me to be able to produce websites and am trying out Genesis+VC now.

    Thanks again for a good article!

    Reply
  11. Thanks Jamal

    That you let me see the disadvantages of the visual composer. Because customers are increasingly asking to be able to easily adapt itself here we also wanted to use. After reading the blog is our vision and we will work with advanced fields and flexible content.

    Reply
  12. I laughing loudly you say,

    “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.”

    I think so …:D

    Reply
  13. Thank you very much for this post! I am fully agree but what after uninstall Visual Composer … How to keep the content designed with VC ? What is the most easy way to recover the styles of our pages, post, etc?

    Regards!

    Reply
  14. It is good, fast and simple! But theme graphics are not so good! thats the cons of genesis…

    Reply
  15. What is the different b/w 2012 theme and Genesis framework? I was trying to use Genesis theme, i installed it, but saw nothing in admin panel except one simple options page. Who i can make beautiful pages or posts containing different type on content inside.

    If it is only coding that you are talking about, then ok. other wise I found nothing.

    I found it just like 2012. May be i m wrong, but this is what i found.

    If some one can help me, then it will b good.

    Reply
  16. was considering it but saw this..your thoughts? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke-GNABSP1U

    Reply
    • Well, I’ll not quite agree with the video in some places. Yes, as I also mentioned in my review, genesis theme is not for people who have no idea about coding. For them Divi or any visual builder based theme would be nice. But themes has tons of problem, dependecy and content lock issues which is why no quality WP dev will ever wanna use a theme with any kind of visual customer in it. But again, if you gonna use genesis just for blog, then you can use it out of the box, no issues. But if you want anything extra, you must need to use and customize your child theme the way you like it.
      Hope this helps 🙂

      Reply

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