There are lots of reasons to love the Genesis Framework. Built in SEO, HTML 5, great coding, solid support, and so many other reasons. And sure, those are great. But sometimes it’s hard to see how those will affect you as you blog, day-to-day.
Want to take a step back? Here is a bit of background – What is a WordPress theme framework?
My reason for using Genesis is simple: dedicated plugins.
Several times I’ve found absolutely beautiful pre-made WordPress themes that I loved but that were not Genesis child themes. If a theme is not specifically built as a Genesis child theme, it will not work with Genesis.
I’d go back and forth about whether I’d be able to do everything I needed without Genesis. How important was it, really? So one time I purchased a beautiful non-Genesis pre-made theme and within minutes of installing, realized why I needed Genesis and quickly jumped ship back to Genesis and my old theme.
I’ve grown accustomed to Genesis dedicated plugins that simply make my life easier. Let’s take a look at a couple of my favorites.
If a user is directed to your site using a link that doesn’t exist, they’ll get a 404 page. Most often, this proves to be an exit point for the user.
If they arrive at your site expecting to see one thing and instead see that dreaded 404 page, what incentive do they have to stick around and search for it? Here’s how you can make the most of your 404 page. This plugin is the easiest way to do that.
Honestly, I never had any idea what this did until I bought a Restored 316 Theme for this blog. Turns out, this is how you make your newsletter sign up forms pretty and makes it easy to integrate your newsletter or rss service (like Mailchimp, Mad Mimi, or just Feedburner).
The easy peasy way to get your favicon (that little picture by your blog name on the tab in your browser) to match your branding.
I always create my favicons to be 32px X 32px (you can also upload a 16px X 16px). I create mine using PicMonkey and then, because it requires your favicon be in .ico format, I use this .png to .ico converter to get it to the format I need.
If you are a non-coder who wants to make simple changes to your site, this plugin will prove most helpful.
Genesis simple edits makes it easy to change the most commonly edited blog design elements – the location of the link to comment, the author info, date posted, categories, and tags. You can also easily edit your blog footer details.
Genesis Simple Hooks is the easy way to insert ads to a specific location (not the sidebar) on your site. Want a leaderboard ad across the top? Drop the code in to the <before header> hook in Genesis Simple Hooks and it will appear, no problem.
When I had my brief (10 minute) stint without Genesis, I realized that I had no idea how to place ads in my header area without it.
This is also good for adding any type of coding you need to add in a specific place, without having to actually dig in to your html files.
There are lots of slider plugins out there and not all of them work. Many times it’s the first thing people see when they come to your site (lots of bloggers have their sliders right at the top). If it’s not working or it doesn’t work well, it gives an immediate bad impression.
Though I have never used a slider plugin, this one is rated well and is absolutely what I’d use if I ever wanted to add a slider (but I’m a bigger fan of getting right to the content).
Genesis Grid allows you to display your posts on a page in grid format. Genesis grid is similar to Content Views (which I use and discussed here). Check out my Start Here page to see a similar effect. Using Genesis Grid or Content Views is a great way to dress up your 404 page or show your archives by category.
Want to Add Genesis to Your Blog?
The Genesis Framework can be purchased from Studiopress directly or there are lots of Genesis child themes that come with the Genesis framework. Many of the WordPress themes on my WordPress Themes Pinterest Board are Genesis child themes.
Do you use the Genesis Framework? What do you love about it? If not, have you ever considered using it?