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By Carrie Dils |

What's So Great About the Genesis Framework?

Here's what's great about the Genesis framework

I’m a big fan of the Genesis Framework for WordPress. I talk about it when I’m at a WordCamp or local WordPress meetup, and I always get some version of this question:

What is Genesis—and why is it so great?

Whether you’re new to WordPress or you’re a long-time developer looking for a new framework, let me tell you why Genesis is more than just a theme framework.

Parent themes, theme frameworks, and child themes

In WordPress lingo, a theme is what you lay on top of the WordPress “engine” to give your site style or make it function in a certain way.

To speed up the theme creation process, developers frequently start with an existing code base, or theme framework, to use as the foundation for building a child theme. The theme framework, sometimes referred to as a parent theme, contains all the core functions and features of your site. The child theme inherits all these features, and then adds on any customizations to styles or functionality as needed.

Think of it like this:

Just as human parents expected to lug around all the things their baby needs (snacks, wipes, emergency change of clothes), a parent theme (or theme framework) does all the heavy lifting, carrying around the basic necessities for a child theme.

The child theme’s job is to behave according to the structure set out in the parent theme, and have a style of its own.

For a comprehensive introduction to child theming in WordPress, check out the lynda.com course Building Child Themes.

Genesis: More than just a theme framework

Now to tell you why I love Genesis.

Not all theme frameworks are created equal. They’re designed to appeal to different audiences, from newer users looking for a simple “drag and drop” page builder all the way to developers looking for a code base they can build on for highly customized sites.

The Genesis Framework falls in the latter category. While it’s approachable for newer WordPress users, it also provides a robust foundation for experienced developers. The code is clean, well-documented, and written to WordPress coding standards. In other words, it’s a quality product.

While average users may not care what the code looks like underneath the hood, they’ll still reap the following benefits of using Genesis:

  • Better SEO: Genesis supports HTML5 markup and schema.org, which means you can deliver your content to Google on a silver platter, so to speak.
  • Great performance: Although Genesis is loaded with great features, it’s lightweight and fast.
  • Responsive Designs: If you don’t feel like coding, no problem. Between Genesis creators StudioPress and a slew of third-party theme developers, there are well over 100 Genesis child themes in varying styles, ready for your use.

That’s why I like Genesis. But here’s why I love it:

  • The community: With well over a 100,000 users, there’s a large and enthusiastic Genesis user base. It’s highly engaged on just about every social media outlet, asking and answering questions, writing tutorials, sharing code snippets, and building cool stuff with WordPress.

That makes Genesis more than just a theme framework; it’s a community of people ready to learn and grow alongside you in your WordPress journey.

Delve deeper into Genesis with my lynda.com beginner courses:

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