1. It has a high coding standard and is very well maintained.
Each release of Genesis solves not only bug fixes and compile errors that the development team have found, but also new features requested by the genesis community to make building web projects with Genesis easier. New releases of Genesis range from every few months to daily. You can view the changelog here.
From a professional standpoint, I know that when I run into development problems with Genesis, I have a variety of support options available. Those options range from logging a ticket with Studiopress, starting a thread in the community forum, or even reaching out to my personal mentor Bill Erickson who is arguably one of the best Genesis developers out there.
2. Its easier to keep your site updated
So a lot of agencies in Australia and around the world, pride themselves on building WordPress websites from scratch. To clarify, from scratch means using bare bones starter theme like BonesWP or Automattics underscores theme. It could also be your own customised starter theme such as Bill Erickson’s genesis child.
Now there are huge pros and cons to both development strategies, and sometimes using an existing child theme to build a site with a lot of custom functions and plugins is like trying to squash a square peg into a round hole. In these cases, then no doubt a custom theme is required. And the project cost is definitely reflective of the amount of work done.
However, if you build a custom site then you need to be prepared for ongoing costs to maintain the site in the form of debugging and code updates. Because in a nutshell, a custom theme that is not maintained is essential a deprecated web app, and there are going to be issues over time. You wouldn’t refuse to update the ios on your phone now would you?
You should apply the same mentality to a custom site build.
For small businesses and smaller budget projects, having the Genesis parent theme updated regularly squashes a lot of these issues, and means a business without much of an ongoing maintenance budget can have an update site with each Genesis release.
3. There are many ways to skin the genesis cat
The term “WordPress development” can encompass many things, from customising existing child themes, building a starter theme, building plugins, maintaining plugins and so on.
And within the first category you can build a website with:
- no code using an extensions such as the Beaver Builder
- you can use and modify a purchased Genesis child theme by altering the stylesheet and functions.php file
- you can use the Genesis sample theme and import the demo content as a base
- or use your own starter theme
- You can build a site with Gutenberg and style the blocks
- You can call in a variety of widget areas and use raw html
- You can use Genesis simple hooks to hook in your markup to specific areas
- You can create custom blocks with ACF and style them in SCSS.
This list isn’t exhaustive, and I’m sure there are cross combinations of these that can be applied too. The point here, is that Genesis is accessible to people from all levels of experience, and there are options for you even if you’re just starting out.
4. There are Genesis dedicated extension plugins to help you
Whether you are a seasoned developer who wants to save time or a newbie who is less comfortable editing your functions.php file, there are an array of Genesis plugins with additional functionality to make your development process feature rich without a lot of effort. Studiopress has a library of plugins you can checkout here. Certainly, starting out the Genesis simple hooks plugin certainly assisted in learning which actions and filter hooks applied to each page section, and that has been incredibly helpful.
5. Its easier to use Genesis for all your projects than jump around from one them to another
The phone call that fills me with dread is the one where a client has a third party theme and page builder that was used to build their site, and now they want changes to their site. Ugh. Every theme is built so differently, and it can take you a whole day to get your head around how the site was built and figure out the file ecosystem. Plus some third party page builders are horribly slow and very limited in functionality.
This is a problem because website changes are usually a small job, but suddenly the client wants functions and customisations that aren’t possible with their current setup. So I then find myself explaining it will cost significantly more, and usually we end up looping back to the available functions and making compromises to get the result. This all adds to unforeseen development hours, and at this stage I haven’t made any money on this job, and both the client and myself are unhappy.
Staying with one framework like Genesis, means you get to know the ecosystem and whether it is built this way or that, you are familiar and can make changes fairly easily without pulling your hair out.