But before I get into them I want to say one thing. Even though I decided to change this site, I still believe Headway is a great WordPress theme and I still recommend it to my clients whenever I think it will meet their needs the best. I’ve already extolled the virtues of Headway in other posts and they’ve only improved that theme since.
But let’s get back to Genesis.
My Own Reasons for Changing
I have long been a fan of themes designed by Brian Gardner, the head of StudioPress. In fact his were the first themes I purchased for working with client sites years ago. His themes are coded exceptionally well for performance and are easy to work with from a developer perspective.
We’ve started offering WordPress web hosting here at SuccessCREEations and Genesis is one (of the many) options available for customers to purchase directly from inside our hosting dashboard. Since Headway isn’t (at least not yet anyway) it makes sense for me to use using Genesis.
And honestly, I like to change things up from time to time. In fact I am already talking about my team on how I’m going to adjust the current Genesis child theme that we’ve got here on SuccessCREEations to better represent our brand.
But the single biggest reason I made the change is because I see that the Genesis theme framework is…
Great for Small Business
The closer I looked at what the folks at StudioPress are doing with Genesis and where they are going the more I began to realize that it is a great platform for small business.
Here are some reasons why I see it that way.
1. Theme Framework
First Genesis is an entire theme framework rather than just a single theme. With this theme framework there is a core theme, Genesis, which has most of the functionality and does the heavy lifting of the theme, and there is a child theme which acts like a skin over the top of the Genesis theme framework.
A big advantage of this type of theme framework versus a traditional WordPress theme is that the core Genesis theme can be upgraded without danger of disrupting the look and layout of the small business website. Another advantage is that a small business can redesign their site with a completely different look and layout simply by creating a new child theme and yet still maintain all the core functionality.
That way everything will continue to work for their site in exactly the same way they are used to it working.
That’s huge: Flexibility without having to retrain staff!
2. Great Support
The StudioPress support forums are some of the best of any theme I’ve worked with. They are very active, and well moderated with people who know the StudioPress themes inside and out. There is a thriving community growing up around the themes.
This means that the do-it-yourself solo entrepreneur or very small business person working on a very tight budget can get answers to questions about the theme relatively quickly and easily.
3. Highly Configurable
Genesis has a huge variety of configuration that can happen all from inside the WordPress dashboard without any need for messing with programming. For example Genesis makes it easy to change the sidebar layout on your posts and pages with just a mouse click. Not only that, but the StudioPress folks have created some great plugins to add even more customization for those who want to fine tune all sorts of things.
- Want to have custom sidebars on a post by post basis? There’s a plugin for that.
- How about different navigation menus on different pages of your website? There’s a plugin for that.
- Or maybe you want to be able to easily create clean URL redirects, but without the extra coding I had do go through for my affiliate links? There’s a plugin for that too!
All that built in, or easy to add on, functionality means that the business can focus on running their business and creating great content to attract customers rather than having to mess with programming their site.
4. Fantastic SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is hugely important for small business websites. Genesis is coded very cleanly so that it serves up WordPress pages very quickly. Speed is becoming a more important factor for SEO.
Not only that, but the code in Genesis has all of the latest SEO best practices built in. They make it easy to manage all of the various settings to maximize search engine optimization right from your edit screen and without any programming required.
This gives businesses using Genesis a competitive advantage!
5. High Security
WordPress security is a growing concern as the number of websites powered by the platform continues to grow at a record pace. As more and more websites are created in, or switch over to WordPress the platform will likely become more targeted by hackers.
And that’s a powerful reason why it’s critical that your small business website has a theme that follows all of the WordPress security best practices. Genesis does.
The theme developers invited WordPress Lead Developer, Mark Jaquith to perform a security audit on Genesis. Here’s what Mark had to say about Genesis:
“StudioPress reached out to me to do a security review before Genesis was even released, and I did another review for Genesis 1.3. They were very responsive to my suggestions, and the result is a theme framework that follows all the WordPress security best practices. It’s clear StudioPress made security a priority when developing Genesis and from a security standpoint, Genesis 1.3 is at the top of its class.”
That priority on security with Genesis provides huge peace of mind for small businesses!
6. Plays Well With Other Scripts
Many times small businesses are looking to integrate other scripts with their websites to do things beyond what WordPress does. Some of the themes out there cause difficulty integrating with these non-WordPress programs. Go into the support forums of some themes and you will find a big long list of “known conflicts,” often with popular WordPress plugins.
Genesis rarely (if ever) has this problem. From my experience, if it works with WordPress it will work with Genesis.
This is a big deal for small businesses that need even more from their website than what WordPress offers.
What It All Means
At the end of the day all these factors add up to make Genesis a great WordPress theme framework for small business websites.
Click the banner below to learn more about the Genesis framework.