This is part of a continuing series covering My Favorite Things for blogging and content marketing. Each week, I’ll review a tool I use and explain why I love it!
For years, I was doing it wrong.
At first, I thought I could simply create a blog on BlogSpot or WordPress.com. I didn’t want to spend money. I wasn’t going to pay for hosting or a domain, so there was no way I’d pay for a premium theme.
Then I finally got serious and started building self-hosted blogs on WordPress. But even then, I refused to take a dive into premium themes.
Finally, I realized that if I wanted my business to be taken seriously, I needed a seriously powerful theme. That’s why, after months of research and gathering feedback, I went with the Genesis Framework by StudioPress WordPress theme.
The results have more than paid for that one-time fee. I’m thrilled with Genesis and use it exclusively to build websites for others. Here’s why…
- Search Engine Optimized: Google will love you!
- Turn-Key Designs: Dozens of child themes to choose from.
- Unlimited Everything: Unlimited support, updates and websites.
- Easy Customizations: Dozens of widgets and plugins made for Genesis.
- Access to Expert Help and Code: Need help? You can get it.
- Social Proof: All of the big dogs are using Genesis.
- Proven Results: I’ve seen the difference in the numbers.
Search Engine Optimized
In prior iterations of this website, I used an SEO plugin like All-In-One SEO or WordPress SEO. Those worked fine, but heavy plugins like this one also slow the site down.
Genesis provides built in SEO tools to help you pick title, keywords and descriptions for search engines.
Additionally, if you want Google to love you, you need a site that is fast and cleanly coded. That’s exactly what you get with Genesis, giving you a built-in advantage.
If you want the generic version of Genesis, you can quickly convert your site and go happily into the sunset.
But countless developers have also created dozens of amazing child themes that are targeted at specific industries and needs. Here are a few examples:
- AgentPress Theme for real estate agents
- Generate Theme for driving more email subscriptions
- Corporate Theme for a more professional look and feel
- Education Theme designed for schools
- Executive Theme for showcasing your projects
- Expose Theme for photographers
- Dozens more…
I use the Sleek Theme for this website because it’s clean, professional and adds a home page that I feel is important for my business.
When you buy the Genesis Framework, you get unlimited access to support and updates to the theme. Even better, there aren’t separate themes for personal use and consultants. Most themes put a limitation on the number of websites on which you can install the theme. If you want to install your theme on the websites of 20 clients, you can do that — and you only pay for Genesis once.
Sure, Genesis is slightly more than the typical premium theme at $79.95 (including the child theme). But understand that this is a one time fee and you get far more for your money than what you get for other themes. The few extra dollars is more than worth it!
It’s a piece of cake to change the layout of your website, choose different navigation styles and edit various settings for archives, use of images and much more. But that’s just scratching the surface.
One of my favorite things about Genesis is that I can easily create different templates for different sections of my site. Or choose a different template based on categories. This is great for providing relevant information related to the type of content in a particular blog post.
Additionally, there are dozens — even hundreds — of plugins and widgets created specifically for Genesis. Some are official Genesis plugins while others are created by fanatical developers who only build with the Genesis Framework.
Access to Expert Help and Code
Is the support forum helpful? Sure, it is.
But one of the reasons I love Genesis is the easy access to experts who write how-to’s on making very professional customizations to your website. Just run a Google search for any need you have, and you’ll find it.
Brian Gardner is my favorite source. I’ve used his tips to make some awesome customizations. Here are a few tutorials that he provides:
- How to Add a Newsletter Signup After Your Posts
- How to Create a Landing Page with the Genesis Framework
- How to Make Money with the Genesis Box
- Kickstart Your Email List with a Featured Box
Whether you are or aren’t a developer, these are awesome tips for professional-looking changes that anyone can implement.
You know what sold me on buying Genesis? I started paying closer attention to the footers of my favorite blogs. Here, you’ll often see what WordPress theme they use. Over and over, I was seeing Genesis.
Here are a few of the “big dogs” who are “Powered by the Genesis Framework”:
This is a who’s who list of blogging. There are a ton more out there. If this doesn’t convince you that you need to give Genesis a serious look, I don’t know what will.
On April 26, I relaunched my site with help from Genesis. My site was doing reasonably well before the switch, collecting about 61,000 page views during the first 25 days of April (an average of just under 2,500 per day). Since the move to Genesis, however, I’ve averaged 3,500 page views per day.
Was the change entirely because of Genesis? Maybe there are other contributing factors. But it’s been a very steady, consistent rise since that point (following seven very inconsistent months of traffic).
Additionally, Genesis has helped me grow my email list. My list of subscribers has tripled in the less than three months since moving to Genesis, and much of that can be attributed to the great widgets, sleek design and custom code I was given to drive people to my newsletter.
This Dude: Genesis Fanatic
I’ve never been a fanatic of a particular WordPress theme. I’ve never understood anyone who was. Until now…
I love Genesis. If you are serious about your business or building professional websites for others, I highly recommend it!