Here at Coded Creative, we’re all about the Genesis Framework. It’s what each of our themes are built on, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Genesis is a great framework for many reasons. It has a solid foundation, it’s easy to use, and it has dedicated Genesis plugins.
Interested in learning more about the benefits of the Genesis framework? Check out this blog post from Fran at 259 West.
If you’re using the Genesis Framework, but you’re not sure how to get the most from it, you’re missing out on some of Genesis’ best offerings. Today, we’ll go over four things you can do to take advantage of your Genesis theme.
If you’re not using the Genesis Framework yet, check out our themes! Each theme comes with the framework itself and is incredibly easy to use.
[Tweet “Genesis has a solid foundation, is easy to use + it has dedicated Genesis plugins!”]
Use the different layout options
Have you seen websites where every page has the same layout? It’s not very visually intriguing. In fact, it’s kind of boring. If you have the Genesis Framework, you can keep your site from straying into boring territory by varying the layout of your pages.
The Genesis Framework gives you the freedom to choose different layouts on each page. For instance, if you only want a sidebar on your Blog page and your blog posts, you can do that with Genesis. If you want a sidebar only on your About, Contact, and Blog page, you can apply that setting in your theme.
With a Genesis theme, you have control over where and how you use your sidebar, which seems simple enough, but strategically placing your sidebar is important to enhancing the effectiveness of your site.
Using your sidebar sparingly is a great way to keep your audience focused on your content and ensure that they’ll absorb more of what you’re saying. This is especially important on pages that encourage people to hire you or buy from you. You don’t want them to get distracted by something in your sidebar and not go through with their purchase.
Genesis helps you easily customize your page layouts and add or remove a sidebar where you see fit. If you haven’t already started using this great feature, play with where you place your sidebar on your website and see if you notice anything different. You may be surprised at the number of website visitors who stick around.
Use Genesis-specific plugins
WordPress has tons of free plugins that will let you do virtually anything you can imagine.
If you really want installing, using, and updating plugins to be a breeze, look for Genesis-specific plugins instead of simply WordPress compatible plugins. Genesis-specific plugins are great because they’re created especially for the framework.
You can be sure that they’re optimized for performance with your theme, so you don’t have to stress about breaking your site when you install them. These plugins also offer great support, so if you have a question about how to use the plugin, you don’t have to worry about struggling to find an answer.
Plugins created specifically for Genesis also add features that you wouldn’t be able to add otherwise. As long-time Genesis users, we’ve singled out several of our favorite plugins to share with you. If you’re in the market for great plugins, check out Genesis eNews Extended, Genesis Responsive Slider, and Genesis Columns Advanced.
Find the perfect child theme
Child themes are important when it comes to maintaining the changes that you make to your theme. Without a child theme, the changes that you make to your Genesis theme might be overwritten during the next theme update. While you could simply not update your theme, that’s not a good idea (see the next point).
To get around the problem of losing your changes when you update your theme, you need a child theme. The only issue is that you usually have to write your own code if you want to create a child theme, unless you have Genesis.
A huge benefit of the Genesis Framework is all of the amazing child themes that are available. You can be sure that these themes are at least mostly responsive, and you don’t have to worry about trying to create one yourself and breaking your site in the process.
Also, it’s easy to switch between the Genesis child themes, so if you decide you want to change your theme, you can with minimal fuss. The child themes don’t leave any shortcodes behind like Divi and other popular themes often do.
Keep it updated
Genesis themes keep up with the latest coding standards and ensure that everything will work on any browser. However, they won’t update automatically, so you need to keep your eye out for the update notifications in your WordPress dashboard.
You have to manually update your theme to make sure that you receive the benefits and security that come with themes updates. Leaving your updates to sit for weeks, or even months, doesn’t do you any good, and it could expose your site to potential security and compatibility problems.
Be sure that you update your theme and plugins regularly to ensure that you have the latest improvements and bug fixes.
Are you using your Genesis theme to its fullest potential? If this blog post has opened your eyes to all that you can do with your theme, spend some time exploring your theme. Play with your page layouts by adding or removing the sidebar. Decide which pages work best with a sidebar and which can do without.
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You should also check out the Genesis plugins to reap the full awesomeness of the framework with compatible, well-supported plugins. If you’re currently using the Genesis framework, and you’re in the market for a new theme, check out the Coded Creative shop. We have several beautiful themes ready for installation.
If you’re not on the Genesis Framework yet, check out our themes . You may find one that you can’t live without. Each theme comes with the framework itself, so you don’t need to go find it somewhere else and then come back for the theme.
And if you need a little help choosing the perfect theme for you, check out our free 3-day mini-series!