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Introduction to StudioPress Genesis Design Framework for WordPress

genesis and wordpress

If you’re building a website these days, you’re in luck!
WordPress has revolutionized the ease and power of what a website (or blog) can do and be.
Now, with the emergence of theme frameworks, you can take WordPress even further.
As you’ll see throughout this free guide, the Genesis Framework for WordPress is much more
than a mere WordPress theme.

It’s an underlying framework of immaculate code that’s been built to achieve three important objectives. Before we get started, let’s take a quick look at each of these objectives

1. Easily spoon-feed Google your content

2. Erase the headache of security concerns and updates

3. A huge selection of turn-key design options for your websites or blog

1.1 What’s a Framework?
In short, a framework is a robust WordPress theme that can be utilized out of the box as is or also easily extended with child themes and hooks (customized code).
Not only do they provide a number of enhancements above and beyond a typical WordPress theme, they also serve as a platform on which to build added functionality.

1.2 What’s a Child Theme?
A child theme is an extension of a framework comprised of typical WordPress theme elements.
With Genesis, these include a screenshot, theme files, a style sheet, a functions file and an
images directory. These elements are grouped together in what’s known as a child theme
directory and can be activated like any other WordPress theme.

A Screenshot
All WordPress themes have a screenshot image included – typically this is called
“screenshot.png”, it is 300 x 225 in dimension and is a visual display of the theme. It can be
seen on the Appearance > Themes page inside your WordPress dashboard.
Since child themes have their own directories and are activated like any other theme, they
require a screenshot just like a standard theme.

Theme Files

The Genesis Framework, which acts as the parent theme of your entire site, is where all of the
theme files are kept.
Typical theme files include: 404.php, comments.php, footer.php, header.php, index.php,
page.php, single.php and so on.

Child themes can also include these same files – and the hierarchy dictates that if any of those files exist in the child theme directory, they will override the parent theme. In other words, if you customize a file (ex: page.php) and place it into your child theme directory, it will be used in lieu of the one in the Genesis parent theme.

A Style Sheet

Many frameworks simply import the parent theme style sheet (files that improve functionality and consistency of presentation throughout the entire site), and then allow for customizations by way of the child theme style sheet. While there is nothing wrong with this system, we’ve chosen to simplify things and only give the child theme a style sheet.

A Functions File

Most WordPress themes have a functions.php file – this is typically a file where you can control certain behaviors of how WordPress runs or how the theme outputs various things (functions). A functions file can register sidebar widgets and how they are styled, as well as a number of other “functions”.

With Genesis, the functions.php is simple – it runs the entire framework and that is the only code found there.

An Images Directory

This one is pretty self-explanatory – as with any WordPress theme, there is an images directory which is used to hold images that a theme requires.


The easiest way to explain the relationship between a parent theme and child theme, in the case of Genesis, is to relate it to a cell phone.

The Genesis parent theme is the cell phone, and the child theme is the case you hold it in. You’ll always use the same phone, but if you want to change the way it looks on the outside, you change the cover on it to make it look different.

The same holds true with a child theme – it “decorates” the way your theme looks.

About Mithu Sarkar

Mithu is a Blogger and Digital Marketing Evangelist functioning independently since April 2010. She specializes in search engine optimization, social media marketing, media buying, content strategy, online brand building & alliance, analytics engineering. In past couple of years, she has successfully helped many e-commerce startups and celebrities to launch and establish their online brand and catapult their brand reputation from nowhere to somewhere.

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