You wouldn’t build a house on quicksand, would you?
Just like houses, websites need to be built on solid ground with sturdy foundations.
If you have a shaky foundation, it’s going to be that much more difficult to build and scale up.
The WordPress theme you choose is that foundation.
It can help propel your site to success or make your goals harder to reach. Sure, there’s a lot more that goes into a successful website apart from choosing a theme. But your theme acts as the central foundation of your website.
When it comes to theme selection, StudioPress, the team behind Genesis, is one of the best.
Below I’ll highlight what makes Genesis stand out from the pack, how to choose the best Genesis theme for your needs, and I’ll even offer a few of my favorite theme recommendations.
Why Genesis Is an Incredible Framework
In my time as a WordPress developer, and even now as I build my own sites, there’s one framework that stands out from the rest: Genesis. And no, I wasn’t paid by StudioPress to write this glowing recommendation. It’s simply the truth.
1. Easy Set-up and Customization
If you don’t come from a technical background, then a Genesis theme can be a great choice. They’re very easy to set up and there’s extensive documentation and tutorials for any theme you purchase. It’s a rarity to purchase a theme and have it match the attractiveness of the sample theme right out of the box, but Genesis themes come very close.
2. High Performance
When you’re choosing a WordPress theme you’ll want to take site performance and overall loading speeds into account. How fast your site loads affects both your search engine rankings and how your users perceive your site.
Genesis themes are quick and always up to the latest design and development standards.
3. Clean Code
A lot of other themes have a bloated codebase from the get-go, which means that any other plugins you install will slow your site down even further. Genesis themes have very clean code, meaning your site will load quickly and you won’t run into all kinds of theme errors or conflicts.
Just like choosing WordPress will further your SEO efforts. A Genesis theme will make ranking even easier. Their themes are developed with search engine optimization in mind. Plus, plugins like Yoast SEO are completely compatible.
5. Custom Genesis Plugin Selection
Unlike other themes, Genesis themes offer a host of Genesis-specific plugins to add more features to your site. Usually, you have to be careful with plugin selection, because you can never be sure about the quality of the code or how it will affect your site’s performance.
The plugins you’ll have access to with Genesis can easily integrate into your existing site and design.
6. Large High-quality Theme Selection
Finally, there’s a theme for every occasion. Corporate themes. Large content sites. Food blogs. SaaS sites. No matter your style of website, you can find a theme to match.
If you’re overwhelmed with choice, don’t worry. You’ll find some favorites below.
How to Choose the Best Genesis Framework Theme for Your WordPress Site
As mentioned above, you’re going to have a lot of options to consider when choosing the right theme for your needs. Luckily, not every theme will be a great fit.
Remember, you’re not looking for the theme with the greatest wow factor, you’re selecting a theme that will serve your audience and website’s needs the best.
When you first begin browsing their theme selection you might be a little overwhelmed, so follow the process below to easily choose the right theme for your needs.
1. Take Stock of Your Needs
What’s your website all about?
A large content website will look differently than a site designed for a SaaS product. A multi-topic technology blog will require different functionality than a single-author lifestyle blog.
Think about what you need your site to do and choose accordingly.
2. What Kind of Site Layout Do You Require?
With Genesis themes you can usually switch the layout of your site around. But, some themes have more of a blogging focus, while others can support sites that sell products or have dozens of different content categories.
- Do you require a homepage with a slider, easy optin-box integration, or do you prefer a traditional blogroll?
- What do you want your homepage to look like?
- Is your blog the core focus of your site?
- Will you sell products directly from your website?
- Do you want a static homepage with a separate blog section?
- Do you want a blog that can support dozens of categories?
Spend some time browsing their theme selection to get a feel for the potential layouts you might prefer for your site.
3. Do You Want a Minimalist Design or More Features?
Most Genesis themes have a clean design. But, some have a greater minimalist aesthetic than others.
Do you prefer sites that have little in the way of design so your readers can focus more on the content of your site? Or is your site very complex, requiring features like sliders, video integration, bold typography and more?
4. What’s Your Ethos?
What kind of brand image are you looking to convey? Chances are, there’s a theme that can match this perfectly.
5 Favorite Genesis WordPress Themes
If you’re undecided on a theme right now, the themes below are good places to start. Note that the themes highlighted below aren’t the only themes for Genesis out there, but they’re great for content-heavy sites.
If you already have a few theme choices in mind that you think might be a good fit, you can use the above information to make your final decision—and compare your choices to these recommendations.
1. Magazine Pro
If you’re looking for a theme that can give you an online magazine layout, then Magazine Pro is a solid choice.
This theme is stylish, clean and even has built-in advertising spots, if this is a concern for you. Looking for a sleek way to organize and present your catalog of content? Then Magazine Pro could be just what you’re looking for.
2. Ambiance Pro
Ambiance Pro is all about your headlines and images. These two can work together to truly captivate your readers.
This minimalist theme places a heavy focus on reader experience and creates an intimate reading environment. If you long for a theme that allows you to showcase your stellar imagery and your written content at once, then it’s worth checking out.
3. Whitespace Pro
Whitespace Pro has an extremely clean layout.
The header image gives you space to immediately share what your website’s all about, and the homepage blog post layout lets you showcase a ton of your content at a glance. The typography of this theme creates a very enjoyable reading experience for your visitors. If content is a core focus of yours, then give this theme a test drive.
4. Aspire Pro
Aspire Pro is a very bold theme that can make a big impact in the eyes of your visitors.
This theme can be well-suited for sites that are selling a product or service and want to feature it on the homepage. You’ll also notice the large email optin which can help to convert site visitors into new subscribers.
5. eleven40 Pro Theme
The eleven40 Pro theme has been around for a long time, and it’s a classic, dependable choice for a more traditional blog-style site.
The theme is minimalist, fast and looks good no matter what device it’s viewed on. If readability is a concern, then this theme is worth checking out.
When choosing a Genesis theme, it’ll be hard for you to make a poor choice.
Just keep your needs and ultimate website goals in mind, then choose a theme that supports those goals.
Once you’ve got this strong foundation in place, you’ll be ready to construct, design and polish your site!