At some point as you’re researching WordPress themes (either here at Tech Photo Guy or elsewhere) you’ll hear a reference to the Genesis framework, built by the folks at StudioPress. But what does that mean?
What is a WordPress Theme Framework?
Genesis is a theme development framework for WordPress. But what does that mean? In short, a theme framework is a theme, with an associated set of code functions, designed to be used as a parent theme from which other themes can be built.
As a photographer using WordPress, you don’t need to worry too much about the details of this, since the real advantage to theme frameworks is to theme developers, not necessarily to the end user (you!) of the theme. But in summary, you can know that theme frameworks make it easier for theme developers to provide a robust set of functionality among the various themes they build, without having to waste time reinventing the wheel (features) each time they create a new theme.
There are plenty of theme frameworks on the market. Each can have different advantages for the developers using them to build themes. I like using themes based on Genesis because StudioPress (the company that built Genesis), focuses on:
- Support: as a StudioPress customer, you’ll have access to an online support forum, as well as the ability to contact StudioPress directly to ask a question about theme customization or troubleshooting.
- Security: StudioPress puts an emphasis on security, having their code reviewed by WordPress security experts to minimize the chance of your site being impacted by a security flaw in a theme.
- Features: The Genesis framework has a lot of features built into the framework, including the ability to make some changes easily through your WordPress dashboard (without writing code) and it adds extra SEO features on top of those already provided by WordPress. There are also many plugins designed to work specifically with Genesis-based themes.
- It’s Kept Up to Date: You’ve probably heard tales about folks who have had problems with their WordPress theme after a WordPress upgrade. StudioPress does a great job of a) building their themes such that WordPress upgrades shouldn’t cause a problem and b) keeping the themes up to date as things evolve.
Genesis is one of many theme frameworks, but it’s a good one.
Browse the StudioPress themes based on Genesis.