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by Keith

Why We Are Moving from Thesis to Genesis Theme

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Do it for the Children!

You know we love the premium WordPress theme, Thesis.

We’ve built a large user-base of sites for the TransformNation community using Thesis, and of course our WebPro Creative team will continue to support all of those sites. Thesis remains a rock-solid premium theme.

However, now we’re building new client sites using the Genesis Theme Framework from StudioPress.

Why are we switching?

Reason One: It’s For the Children . . .

To be more specific, what we’re really excited about is what StudioPress calls “Child Themes.”

Child Themes allow easy customization.

Basically, after your purchase Thesis, if you want your site to look any different from the thousands of other Thesis sites out there, you must customize the theme from the ground up.

If you’re a user with very little CSS experience (ummm, like me . . .), you have to hire a pro (like Jon) to design your site for you using the theme.  There’s a thriving industry of Thesis designers out there.

Yes, as with all premium themes, it does  help to know some CSS (or know someone who does) to do deep customization. With Genesis, once you’ve loaded the core framework, you simply purchase one of the easily customizable “Child Theme” designs, and plug it right into the main Genesis framework.

With a wide variety of designs to choose from, it’s much easier to start with an eye-catching and professional-looking site that fits your brand and doesn’t look like all the other sites out there. The brilliant use of Child Themes is where Genesis shines, and distances itself from all other premium themes, including Thesis.

We’ve already built several sites with Genesis (here’s one of them) and here’s another) using one of their growing family of Child Themes right out of the box, with some minor design adjustments.

We love that!

Child Themes enable easy and secure updates.

And this might be the best reason to switch: the Child Themes allow you to confidently and easily update both WordPress and the core Genesis framework without having to re-do the Child Theme customizations.

For anyone with several Thesis sites running, this is huge!

You know the headache: every time your WP Theme updates, you’re in danger of one of your customizations breaking. It’s a hassle – and one of the main reasons many WordPress/Thesis owners wait to update their sites, leaving them vulnerable to security breaches. (Several of our Thesis sites have been hacked more than once.)

Reason Two: Because Sometimes Adults Act like Children . . .

Chris Pearson is the mad coding genius behind the Thesis theme. I don’t pretend to know all the techy-details (snore . . .), but it seems Mr. Pearson has attempted to take on “The Man,” and that man would be WordPress.

WordPress and Pearson have had a few skirmishes over the WP “GPL” (General Public License). WP likes it, Mr. Thesis, not so much.

We don’t like skirmishes – they just ain’t good for business.

For these reasons, and a few more, the Thesis theme doesn’t always play well with the WordPress interface.

Reason Three: Software that Plays Together Pays Better

We prefer all our software plays well together on the big virtual playground.

Brian Gardner, the developer of Genesis, was one of the first premium theme developers to step up and embrace the WordPress GPL.

So the Genesis framework has a very tight working relationship with the WP interface.

Why should you care? Because with Genesis, your WordPress sites just work better.

And that means more time focusing on your business, and less time on the moving parts.

Reason Four: Trusted Support

There are a lot of premium WP themes out there, and when you’ve got a growing business counting on your web site, you’ve got to trust the software you use.

We trust Brian Clark and all of the other level headed adults over there at Copyblogger Media. They’ve joined Brian Gardner to bring us Genesis and all it’s beautiful design children.

Brian Clark is a guy who lives what he preaches over there at Copyblogger: Build a relationship of trust and establish authority with your readers.

We’ve invested in Brian’s Teaching Sells course (which is superb, by the way), and many of his other products over the years.

And now, the whole Copyblogger Media empire is behind Genesis. Which can only mean many more good things to come.

And That’s Just the Beginning . . .

Then there are the SEO benefits of Genesis,with some serious SEO-technology built right into the Genesis framework.

Faithful TransformNation readers know we actively use Scribe SEO, another great Copyblogger Media project. Thesis also continues to operate nicely with Scribe SEO.

See for yourself, check out the Genesis Theme by clicking here . . .

And, for a great primer on how to use and work with Genesis, check out Eugen Oprea’s excellent Genesis review here.

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{ 4 comments }

Tracey Rollison January 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

We picked Genesis to run our website, and it is all that! The founding group looked at a bunch of different platforms, and picked WordPress, and then looked at a bunch of different themes and then frameworks, and picked Genesis. It isn’t “easy”: it’s not WYSIWYG; you still need to know how a theme goes together; a little CSS to customize it, what widgets do, etc. But it’s truly easy to upgrade, and it’s great that the child themes make it so you don’t have to start all over again! That feature right there was one of the main selling points for our site. When it takes weeks to get a multi-author site together in the first place, having to replicate much of it all over again when the theme updates was not something we wanted to do.

Good choice. I never thought about having Brian working so closely to abide by WP’s GPL requirements as a reason that Genesis doesn’t glitch, but that’s good thinking.

Keith January 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Hey Tracey,
Thanks for stopping by!
And you’re right: None of the premium themes are “easy.” We still have a way to go before someone creates the truly drag and drop web creation environment that’s also customizable. I haven’t found a (good) theme yet that doesn’t require you to roll up your sleeves and learn a little CSS (or hire someone who does…). But you nailed the big benefit we’ve found with Genesis: Easy, secure upgrade. That’s the whole ball game right there.
Thanks again,
Keith

Tracey Rollison January 17, 2011 at 9:38 am

Yes, a layman’s “easy” is a bit different from a web developer’s “easy”. Many reviews don’t define their terms, and that can make that tough for rank beginners. To make full use of Genesis, you need to know the basics of CSS and WordPress, at least, and should know a bit about SEO just to know which options to check!

Keith January 17, 2011 at 9:55 am

Tracey,
Ah — the dilemma: Being an Official Layman myself, how many frustrating hours have I spent searching the web for tech information like a stranger in a strange land, barely “groking” the strange symbols I was reading.
You’ve inspired me to stay focused on one of our core tasks: create more information for the busy “layperson” about the technology they need to create online leverage for themselves.
Thanks for adding to the conversation.
Keith

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