Over the years I have seen the theme space in WordPress grow like crazy. Even back when I was doing workshops on themes, bloggers were overwhelmed with what was out there. It’s can be tough finding the right one.
Why I Recommend Genesis Child Themes
On BobWP.com we had numerous posts that were tutorials on some of the Genesis child themes. Those became outdate and it’s likely that is why you ended up here.
When I taught workshops on themes, I often used Genesis child themes as examples. Why, because over the years of doing WordPress site design for clients, I found that those child themes were some of the ones that works for best for my clients. They weren’t filled with tons of features. Once someone learned how to use it, they were hassle-free. And they did the job.
Ourselves, I have used numerous Genesis child themes on BobWP.com and on Judy’s blog. Too many to list.
This site runs on a Genesis. And likely I won’t be changing anytime soon.
Five Reasons Genesis Has Been My Go-to WordPress Child Theme
1. My background is design, not development.
I have said this many times: I don’t do code. And if I do, I carefully and somewhat hesitantly follow instructions that are hand-fed to me. I can muddle my way through CSS but I don’t enjoy it. There is just enough flexibility in the Genesis child theme home pages to give me the control I need., including all those widget boxes that allow me to set it up as a demo or to get a bit creative. No, it’s not a page builder theme, but I don’t want one. I have been amazed with what I can do with it out of the box.
2. There are plenty of ways to extend a Genesis Child Theme.
There are plenty of widgets and plugins I can add to do what I want with the child theme. And if I really need to, I always can add a page builder. With Genesis specific-plugins like Design Palette Pro, I don’t have to mess with that dreaded CSS and can take more control over the themes it works with. And changing fonts, colors, padding, etc. becomes a lot easier. Of course there are the other smaller plugins that help as well, ones like Genesis Simple Edits, Genesis Simple Sidebars and Genesis eNews Extender to name only a few.
3. No need to re-invent the wheel.
Tons of clients in the past have used Genesis child themes. As with any new theme with its own unique features, becoming totally comfortable with it can be challenging, but once they got past that initial learning phase, my clients loved them. Many are still using one of them to this day because once they understood the basics, and how the homepage was a simple collection of widgets, moving to another Genesis child theme wasn’t overwhelming to them. In fact, most of them didn’t hesitate with a new design for that very reason.
4. They’re solid and dependable.
I can honestly say, over the years, I never had headaches with my themes. They were kept updated and I found very few plugin conflicts, if any, over that time. Support has always been there when I needed them, and I didn’t need them much. New themes are added just often enough to keep some flexibility in my choices.
5. It’s not freaking rocket science.
So here’s the deal. I know I have used at least eight different child themes on my site. And the change was never that they didn’t work, I just needed to change my site to better meet my readers’ and clients’ needs. And once I got the groove down of how to set them up years ago, well the transition to a new theme is generally fast and without any issues. In fact, knowing how these themes work, specifically with the homepage, it was easy to find a new one, understand how my content would perfectly fit in, and make the change. TAnd although I don’t want to oversimplify the process, there were many times these theme changes took me less than a day. Because I knew this framework inside-out as far as the themes coming to me out-of-the-box. And really, this is the clincher.
How To Understand a Genesis Child Theme Homepage By Looking at the Demo
Not all themes are the same. That goes for Genesis child themes as well. But a majority of them are built on widgetized homepages. And by that I mean that the homepage is a collection of widgets. It’s not your normal WordPress “page” that you create and edit.
So when you are looking at the demos, it’s sometimes hard to understand exactly what you are seeing and how much flexibility you have to adjust and adapt your layout. And when it comes to Genesis child themes, you have some pretty good flexibility.
First, when you look at the demo, you need to imagine your content in those widget areas. It doesn’t always have to look like the demo. For example, if the top widget area has a photo, text and a link to a post, you could just as easy have a video there. It’s a widget area. You can add any widget you want. It may not look quite right, or how you expect it to, but there is no harm in giving it a try.
Secondly, the layout. If you have two columns across, you must use both or neither. If you use only one, the second one will be blank. If you don’t use either one, that area will not show up and everything below it will move up.
So basically it’s like a puzzle where you fit specific pieces in.
Want a custom design layout? You are better going with a page builder like Beaver Builder.
I would recommend that you check out the themes on StudioPress and give some serious thought about considering one for you new or next blog.
Extra Tip: Hiding the Page Title When Using the Genesis Framework
Have you ever wanted to hide a page title on all your pages? Or maybe just on specific pages?
You are probably asking why I would do that. Well, there are endless examples but here are just a couple
What if you create a page on your site to use as the blog template? But you don’t want that page title on it?
Or maybe it’s more of a landing page and you want the title centered. So you hide the page title and then add it into the page, assign it as a H2 and center it.
This Genesis Title Toggle plugin does just that. All you have to do is check a box to hide the title on all of your pages or on specific pages.
Once you have uploaded and activated it, you will get two options.
If you go to Genesis > Theme Settings you will now find this.
This allows you to globally hide all of your page titles.
And on each page you will have this option.
You will see that it says By default, this post type is set to display titles. What this allows you to do is only hide the title on this page. Now if you had the global setting to hide all pages, this one would then say By default, this post type is set to hide titles.
So for the global setting under your theme setting in the first screenshot, if you plan on hiding more titles than showing them, you would tick that box. Or just the opposite if you wanted to show most of your page titles.