Introduction to the Genesis Framework
Genesis is a premium paid-for framework. Once you have paid for it you can make child themes that run on top of Genesis.
I am going to assume you have at least 6 month worth of experience with WordPress and know about the basic things like adding themes and plugins. You should have a general idea what the structure of a WordPress site should look like.
If you haven’t done it yet you should probably setup your own local copy of WordPress using my 5-minute install post.
Let’s jump in with a few basic questions before moving on to the nitty-gritty…
PLEASE NOTE: If your site is hosted on WordPress.com (example: mysite.wordpress.com), you can NOT install the Genesis Framework or new themes. This is a restriction on WordPress.comhosted sites
What’s a Framework?
A theme framework is a robust WordPress theme that acts as a platform on which your WordPress website can be created.
The Genesis Framework integrates all of the SEO, security, and performance features needed to help you have the best site possible.
You can build your site on the Genesis Framework using the included Sample child theme (it’s easy, flexible, and powerful enough for that), or you can purchase one of our many beautiful turnkey child theme designs to help you accomplish exactly what you want.
What’s a Child Theme?
A child theme is a layer of code that sits on top of the Genesis Framework and is comprised mainly of the design elements of your site, but can also extend and modify the functionality of the Genesis Framework’s default functions.
The Framework + Child Theme structure of site building is great because it separates the performance issues of your site from the design issues. So, if you use a child theme, you can design all day long without ever touching the critical, underlying code that makes Genesis sites so powerful.
Analogies are sometimes helpful. Think of your website like a car:
- WordPress – acts as the engine of your car.
- Genesis (the framework) – is the frame and body of the car, and is the basic design, security, and SEO foundation of your website. In handling all the core code, Genesis also helps to “future-proof” your site, so all your customizations won’t disappear when it comes time for your one-click software upgrades.
- Child theme – is the pure design element that rests on top of your framework — the cherry red paint job on that car. Or blue. Or black. Pink. Green. You get the idea, whatever works for you …
A Genesis child theme will generally be comprised, in part, of the following elements:
- Screenshot: An image of the design that the theme will create around your content.
- Style sheet (style.css) (required): The CSS code that determines the look of the site based on the HTML generated by Genesis and WordPress.
- Functions file (functions.php) (required): Connects the child theme to the framework. Can also be used to add, remove, and modify elements from the framework defaults.
- Front Page file (front-page.php) (optional): Generally used to create a widgetized or custom
- Other template files (optional)
- Images (optional): Used by the Style sheet as a part of the site design
These elements are grouped together in what’s known as a child theme directory (or folder) and can be activated like any other WordPress theme.