I love the Genesis framework! There, I said it.
When we first started using Genesis, I didn’t feel that way. But once I took the time to understand the philosophy behind Genesis and began using the multitude of tools available for Genesis development, it became something that I look forward to using.
So what is Genesis? Genesis is a framework for designing WordPress websites. Think of it as a “theme—on steroids!” A normal WordPress theme gives you the ability to customize the look and feel of your WordPress website, and sometimes throws in a little added functionality, too (like a rotating showcase or other such goodies). Genesis gives you all of that plus a huge array of tools for the theme developer. In addition, there are many plugins out there developed specifically for use with Genesis.
Genesis functions as a “parent theme.” Developers can then create “child themes” that extend the base Genesis template to include new styling, custom post types, custom page templates, and anything else the developer wishes. Sure, you can do a lot of that kind of work without using Genesis, but using Genesis makes everything much much easier (and faster) for the developer.
Here's a little more information for the techies:
The real powerhouse of Genesis framework is its robust hook system. WordPress itself has hooks, but Genesis adds to that hook list and gives you methods to easily insert, remove, or manipulate the HTML for a given component of the WordPress interface. Want to remove the title text and replace it with a custom sidebar area? Piece of cake. Want to wrap the HTML for the author byline with your own custom div structure so you can do some fancy CSS? No problem. Want to incorporate the Foundation 5 responsive CSS framework into your new theme? Easy breezy. And because of the way Genesis is designed, you are usually just adding a couple of lines of code rather than editing an entire page template.
Sure, there is a learning curve. But once you start seeing the power of what Genesis has to offer, you’ll love it just as much as we do!
The Genesis framework for WordPress gives you the tools—now, make sure you're getting the most out of your website redesign process and all of your team's hard work.