Many companies and individuals looking to get online start with a WordPress theme.
A year or two down the line, they will look at upgrading that theme to have something a little more unique, or with features that are specific to their needs.
The initial approach is to find a WordPress theme that looks nice and has the basic functionality they require.
This theme would then be ditched for a completely bespoke theme.
On the face of it, this makes sense. But what if the first theme you bought could easily be turned into the website you want later down the road – even if you don’t know what you might want just yet.
That is exactly where a theme framework can help you.
In this article, we will be looking at the Genesis Framework and why you should be using it.
What is a WordPress Theme Framework
A framework is essentially a theme itself.
It contains all the basic functionality you would want from a theme, but will often look rather bland.
You would install the framework the same way you would any theme, but the point of them is that you never change the files in a framework.
Any custom functionality, designs, layouts etc would be done in a separate theme – called a child theme.
The child theme works as overwrites for the framework files.
This means the Framework can be updated with new functionality, security fixes and theme options from the author of the framework and it won’t break any of the changes that exist in the child theme.
So your website can stay up to date with the latest releases without you having to worry about the layout suddenly breaking or changing like you would if a theme you purchased didn’t have a framework.
Why you should pick the Genesis Framework
The Genesis Framework created by StudioPress is one of the leading WordPress frameworks.
#1 – SEO Optimised
One of the best features about Genesis is how it’s been thoroughly optimised for search engines.
The framework itself has all the latest standards for search engine optimisation.
It supports Schema.org, this allows us to output microdata in our code – this not only enhances are website optimisation further, but allows other websites (like Facebook, LinkedIn etc) to pick out the right pieces of information when someone shares our articles over there.
All of the themes have been optimised with search engine industry expert Greg Boser to ensure their high quality.
#2 – The community
Genesis has an active community of both Developers and Marketers who are constantly asking questions and providing help to others.
Communities behind a framework are always essential as any questions you might have that don’t fall under a “support” question can be answered by other members of the Genesis community.
#3 – Kept up to date
The folks over at StudioPress take each release very seriously.
They run lots of tests before releasing the framework update to the public. This means you don’t need to worry about anything breaking when you click that update button.
With the use of child themes, you can update all the code that’s doing the work for the website without touching the code that’s outputting the display.
This means seamless updates with new features, security fixes and search engine optimisation at the click of a button – no need to bother your developer.
#4 – Once you’ve bought it, you can use it wherever you want
Most themes on the market state you can only use the theme on one website. So once you’ve bought it, you can never create another website with a similar look without buying it again.
If you’ve bought the framework or one of the child themes at StudioPress, you have unlimited access to that theme and you can do what you like with it.
So you could purchase the Genesis Framework, then use that framework on the next 100 websites you release – receiving the latest updates as you go.
Every purchase comes with a developer license; once you’ve bought it, you never need to worry about it again.
#5 – Easily extendible
As it’s a WordPress theme, you would be mistaken in thinking all themes are easy to extend and add functionality too.
Lots of both premium and free themes are created in the most complex way the developer knows how.
This is normally to stop people adding the code into their own websites, or selling the theme as their own.
But this means that making changes to websites like this becomes a much bigger job than it should be.
Genesis is not written in this way.
They pride themselves on making their themes easily extendible.
Even though your first website might consist of a few pages and a blog, with the Genesis Framework a developer can easily add new features and functionality onto your website.
This reduces your costs of having to build a new website just for a small bit of functionality, and means you should never need to move away from Genesis.
#6 – Dedicated support team
Finally, StudioPress provide a dedicated support team who will be there to help you with any questions or issues you should have with Genesis or any of its child themes.
So if you have any questions, concerns or problems with the framework, you can drop them a line and expect a response within a couple of days.
If you have a very technical question about some new functionality, they will often pass you onto one of their recommended developers who can create this functionality for you at their normal development rates.
Normally when you purchase themes or frameworks, you feel very tied into them. Almost like once you’ve bought it and setting up, there’s no going back.
With Genesis, you feel like you made the right decision. Everything just works. Nothing is over complicated and the system is easy to develop with.
So whether you’re starting out online, or looking to move to the next stage, I’d strongly recommend Genesis as a framework to help you move in the right direction.