Choosing a theme for your WordPress site is often a painstaking process, but it doesn’t need to be. WordPress is such a widely used site platform that there are literally an infinite number of themes out there to use, free or paid. (There are affiliate links in this post.) I, however prefer to use a premium theme by StudioPress called Genesis, along with a child theme that is highly customizable.
Free Themes vs Paid Themes
I used free themes for years and taught myself how to customize them. Free themes are great for those starting out and on a budget. The problem with them although, is a lot are not updated regularly, many are abandoned completely, and there is no support for most of them.
For all these reasons, I switched to a premium, or paid-for theme. It’s been an excellent investment for me. Currently, I use Genesis by StudioPress. The child theme that I use is a customized version of Lifestyle Pro.
8 Reasons to choose Genesis
1-Search Engine Optimization
We are all wanting SEO, and we all want our site to be picked up by the search engines when someone “Googles” something. If you are going to build a website it might as well function best and be seen by Google, So search engine optimization is totally needed and is built into Genesis.
You put a lot into your site – you want to make sure that you’re ranking well in the search engines so readers, customers, and clients can find you. And clean, code and smart design is important for achieving the best rankings possible.
2-Responsive HTML5 Design
As I talk about this in my article, Why Your Website Should Be Mobile Responsive, HTML5 design is very important these days. Over 50% of todays websites are being viewed on a mobile device. You want your design to be mobile friendly and responsive. Genesis themes work beautifully on any device, any screen, any size, they work. So Genesis is amazing for that.
How does HTML5 work you might ask? First, it’s the new HTML code standard, which will make your site compatible with future changes to the web. Secondly, it will ensure cross-browser compatibility. HTML5 makes your site mobile-friendly by being responsive, and it will improve your site’s ability to deliver audio and video. And it’s completely extensible — want your site to behave like an app? Go for it. Simply put, HTML5 is a truly state-of-the-art design.
When you buy Genesis through Studio Press you can get unlimited everything. You get unlimited support. Unlimited updates. Unlimited websites. There’s no “Developer Option” here. One low price entitles you to unlimited support, updates, and domains you can build on.
Security is very important. You can have confidence in the security of your site when you build on Genesis. WordPress sites can be vulnerable to those who want to take your site down or exploit it for malicious reasons. Having your site hacked is an expensive, time-consuming hassle — and it can really damage your reputation.
What happens with Genesis is that you buy the framework first, then you also have a child theme that you use as well which is your actual design. The design lives in the child theme. So your child theme is a separate file, from your actual wordpress site. That means as WordPress updates, your design will not change as it as it is in a separate file, or child theme.
WordPress is constantly updating but your design is in a separate file, so its completely secure and safe. You can go ahead and do any WordPress updates or any Genesis updates, which can happen at any time. Genesis is constantly growing, building, and improving. These updates are amazing and they will not affect your design.
6-Customizable and Fast
Speed is very important, understandably we all want the fastest site out there, Genesis is amazingly fast. Genesis is also highly customizable–as a designer, this is key. You can take any Genesis child theme and pretty much do anything you want with it. The Sky is the limit with the design. You can change everything on there, if you can dream it, you can create it. It is totally customizable. As a designer, this is one of the main reasons I keep coming back to Genesis, just because I can do so much with it. I love how customizable it is.
7-Widgets & Layout Options
Because the Genesis Framework has been widgetized beyond just the sidebar, StudioPress has developed some custom widgets for you to use on any area of your site. Here’s a list of the custom widgets available with the Genesis Framework.
- User Profile – displays the Gravatar of a user, as well as their bio and a link to an About page.
- Featured Posts – displays post excerpts and a thumbnail to be used in a featured section.
- Featured Page – displays page excerpts and a thumbnail to be used in a featured section.
8-Developers You Can Trust
Creating a WordPress website is simple with Genesis, but many people still prefer to outsource it. Or you may want a customized design, or even a designed-from-scratch look and feel that reflects your own brand. This is totally possible with Genesis as there are so many designers and developers that use it every day. I am one of them, and if you can imagine it, I can design it for you. Contact me at Rob Mcdonald Web Design to discuss this. Also, you can check out my Services page, fill out the questionnaire, and I will contact you with a quote for your site.
Large selection of Child Themes
There are many child themes to choose from with Genesis and they are continuously adding more. You can buy the child themes individually or you can purchase the Pro Plus All-Theme Package which gives you access to all child themes (excludes 3rd party themes). If you like to switch out your theme frequently, have several websites or are a blog designer, I highly recommend it. I bought this package a couple of years ago and it has paid for itself many times over.)
Genesis Is An Awesome Theme Framework
So, I hope I gave you enough reasons to use the Genesis Framework when selecting a theme for your WordPress site. Whether you build the site yourself, or you decide to use a web designer, inquire if some type of framework is going to be used. There are other frameworks on the market, but I feel that overall, Genesis is the best, and that is why I keep using it on all of the sites that I build.
You can purchase the framework from StudioPress for about $60. It comes with a sample child theme that you can use, or you can purchase a premium child theme for around $30. If you click on my affiliate link below, and purchase it, I will receive a commission on the sale at no cost to you. I would appreciate if you do, but you are certainly under no obligation to.