for friends of the Genesis Framework”
When I started using The Genesis Framework and StudioPress themes, there were a few things I didn’t understand. I made a note of them and documented what I learned. I made these Genesis Framework and StudioPress tutorials to help you get your site set up with an even shorter learning curve than I had.
The Genesis Newbie is my contribution to the Genesis Community.
Setting up a StudioPress theme
Depending on your theme, you might find these two StudioPress video tutorials useful.
“My site doesn’t look like the StudioPress demo!”
When you’re first setting up your StudioPress site, or a site based on the Genesis Framework you might notice that the front page looks different to the demo site at StudioPress.com.
Some Genesis based themes need less setting up than others.
Some StudioPress themes use a standard blog style listing for the front page. Some themes use the Genesis Grid Loop which shows your most recent posts in a grid style layout. This type of theme needs less setting up.
But there some themes that use widget areas on the front page, and these need to be set up, my StudioPress tutorials will help you.
Not sure how to set up your front page?
I’ve made some StudioPress video tutorials showing you how to set these features up.
Associate theme uses a slider and featured post widgets.
Themes like Associate use widget areas to position the image slider and to build the box type layout on the front page.
Themes like Balance use widget areas to display your email sign-up box, or important text, at the top of the page.
Balance uses the Genesis Grid Loop to automatically display your most recent blog posts on your site’s home page. When you write a new post, the Grid Loop PHP code finds the post and displays it in a prominent position on the home page. So you get a good looking home page with less setting up. However, you can make changes to the grid loop code if you wish.
StudioPress plugins, what every Genesis Newbie should know
Plugins are small programs that add extra features and functionality to your WordPress based website.
There are may thousands of plugins made for WordPress. And there’s a small number of plugins provided by the StudioPress team, StudioPress plugins only work if you’re using the Genesis Framework. This is a brief overview of what the StudioPress plugins are and what they do.
Find the official StudioPress plugins here…
The Genesis Slider plugin and the Genesis Responsive Slider plugin.
There are two Genesis slider plugins. These make images slide across your web page. You often see this effect on website home pages. If your theme has a built in slider you’ll want to install one of them.
- If your theme is mobile responsive use the Genesis Responsive Slider plugin.
- If your theme is not mobile responsive, use the Genesis Slider.
Images used in the responsive slider resize depending on what type of device is used to view the site. So if you view the site using a mobile phone or a tablet computer the images will be smaller so they still fit on the screen. I made a StudioPress tutorial showing you how to set up the Genesis responsive slider. The Genesis Slider plugin is very similar but the images are not responsive and don’t resize on mobile devices.
Three more of the most popular plugins for the Genesis framework are…
Genesis Simple Edits
“This plugin lets you edit the three most commonly modified areas in any Genesis theme: the post-info (byline), the post-meta, and the footer area.”
Genesis Simple Social Icons
“This plugin allows you to insert social icons in any widget area.” There are several Genesis plugins that let you easily link to your Facebook, twitter and Linkedin profiles. Simple Social Icons is modern looking and very popular.
Genesis Simple Hooks
The Genesis Framework was designed to make building websites a faster, more modular process. Genesis has been compared to a web designers Leggo set. But because Genesis works in a different way to most other WordPress themes, the StudioPress team came up with a plugin called Simple Hooks. I found Simple Hooks to be a good way to gain a basic understanding of how Genesis theme development works. Simple Hooks is a series of text entry boxes. Each text box corresponds to a position in your theme or design. When you add code or content in one of these boxes, the code or content will appear on your web page in the corresponding place. Above the sidebar or below the main content etc. I made a StudioPress tutorial showing how simple hooks works.
A quote from the StudioPress site…
“This plugin creates a new Genesis settings page that allows you to insert code (HTML, Shortcodes, and PHP), and attach it to any of the 50+ action hooks.”
Simple hooks is a good plugin for people who know HTML and CSS but are new to PHP.
Buying StudioPress themes and The Genesis Framework
Still not decided which StudioPress theme to use? There are over forty StudioPress themes. And there are some free themes that run on the Genesis Framework. But, even if you use a free theme, you have to buy the Genesis framework unless your developer provides it for you.
StudioPress are the only people who sell the Genesis Framework but many web designers sell themes that run on the Genesis Framework. If you want more choice than you can find on the StudioPress site, there are many more themes available some are recommended by the StudioPress team. These recommended themes are referred to as community themes. StudioPress refer to community themes as “Quality Themes from the StudioPress Design Community”. StudioPress also give this assurance, “we assure you that the design and coding of the themes are top-notch”.
The interactive theme chooser.
This handy little gadget helps you pick the right theme for your particular needs, why not give it a try? (The link above includes themes in the Pro Plus pack as well as community themes which are sold separately.)
As you can see, StudioPress offer an awful lot of high quality coding and design at a very reasonable price.
How does the pricing work?
Some options you could choose…
- Buy the Genesis Framework and use a free theme.
- Buy the Genesis Framework and a StudioPress theme as a bundle.
- Buy the Pro Plus All-Theme Package. Ideal for web developers.
You can buy the Genesis Framework and a single theme, but if you’re a designer, why not get the whole package? Its a good deal.
This is what the StudioPress.com site says about the Pro Plus All-Theme Package… (correct in Dec 2015)
“Get every theme we make, now and in the future, for ONLY $499.95! ”
“With the purchase of the Pro Plus Package you receive support and updates for all themes created by StudioPress.* ”
“Every theme we make for ONLY $499.95. That’s a savings of almost $1000! ”
“*PLUS: For the first time ever, the Pro Plus Pack includes [some] themes from 3rd-party developers.”
(Support for 3rd-party themes — which are clearly marked — will be delivered by the developer.)
I bought the Pro Plus All-Theme Package over 3 years ago and I’m still delighted with it.