Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that - at zero cost to you - I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t personally use and find to be a valuable asset to my business.

Genesis Theme for WordPress Review


  1. Great write up. It will be cool to read what you think about the Genesis Extender Plugin when or if you get it. :D

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Thanks – the plugin looks fairly interesting, but the conglomeration of all these themes/companies/accounts on the sign up page is a bit daunting and confusing. The partially convince me to sign up and then start talking about accounts through other companies, etc. However, at some point, I’ll definitely check it out and do a write up on it … just gotta find the time. :)

    • This platform is terrible. Their product is significantly not as described in their advertising. I’d stay far away if I were you. I wasted the last two days trying to figure this thing out and I’m going back to Thesis.

      My bottom line word is “no.”

      • TG – curious as to what you disliked. Do you consider yourself a dev? I’ve definitely found (and as I mention in my review) that devs seem to prefer Thesis while the individual blogger (sans those with good dev skills) seems to prefer Genesis.

  2. I’m with you on that Sugarrae. I use Genesis exclusively when building my own, as well as clients’ sites. I looked at Thesis first but didn’t care for the price of the developer license. Then I checked out Genesis and didn’t need to spend the big price. I much preferred the Genesis designs and the professional look to Thesis.

    Very happy with Genesis and wouldn’t consider building sites with any thing else. The great thing about using the framework with child them is, while the framework gets updated, the child theme remains untouched. In addition, themes can be modified to look any way you want.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      “while the framework gets updated, the child theme remains untouched” – yep, that’s a definite plus in my eyes as well. :)

  3. Daniel McClure says:

    Great review and thanks for the tip of the Genesis Design Palette plugin. I also took a similar path from Thesis to Genesis and the News child theme was the first one that I began to roll out to many of my sites. I’m now in the process of building my own child theme for Genesis so that I can quickly roll out sites with the features and design elements that I frequently use. It’s a great framework and when combined with the WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast and the SEO Data transporter from Nathan Rice I doubt I’ll need to worry about a professionally developed theme controlling the SEO optimisation of any WordPress site any time soon.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Yeah… I have a child theme in the works too – pretty excited for it. I used the News theme on a recent tech site – absolutely loved it. Crazy how easy it was to get that look.

  4. Yup, I made the switch as well. Genesis is very smooth. I also found a nice drag and drop child heme builder for Genesis called Dynamik. Nearly everything is available on screen (CSS, layouts, etc.) and widgetized which saves massive amounts of time. Do make sure that once you are done with your design that you export your child theme and install back into WordPress as a child theme and activate. Leaving Dynamik running leaves too much messy code in your WordPress, but its great for design and development. To use Dynamik you need only purchse Genesis base code then add on Dynamik.

    • Hey Justin,

      I know this comment is quite old, but I just found it and wanted to address it as a customer is now asking me to explain what you mean by it. I’d love to know exactly what you mean by “Leaving Dynamik running leaves too much messy code in your WordPress”?

      Dynamik does not leave “messy code” anywhere that I know of. There should actually be very little, if any, difference between the Exported Child Theme and Dynamik itself when it comes to what the visitor experiences. Now, of course in your WP Dashboard you’ll find a lot more there with Dynamik active since all the Dynamik Options are present and this does add a bit of “weight” to your Dashboard, though nothing more than any other options rich theme or plugin, but again this should not affect your front-end.

      Having said this, the only thing I can think of that one might see as messy is the source code on the front-end when you’re logged in as an admin and have the Front-end CSS Builder active. This loads all your styles in the of your site so you can manipulate it with the CSS Builder for real-time results, but this is only present for those logged in and having admin privileges and is not at all visible to the regular site visitor.

      Anyway, I just wanted to ask for some clarification here and at least share my two cents so more don’t see this and assume that somehow Dynamik “leaves too much messy code in your WordPress”. :)


    • Rae Hoffman says:

      I’ve never heard of it before, but I’ll have to put it on my list of things to check out – thanks!

  5. I love the Genesis child themes except for one big thing….the homepage pretty much has to be a blog with widgets. If you use a static homepage, you can’t use the slider that’s in the demos. If they ever fix that, I will be in for sure.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Funny… I noticed that when I moved our HOA site to Genesis… I’d originally built it to use a static homepage and when I uploaded the child theme I’d chosen I was like “Why won’t this WORK?!” and then I realized it was because I was using a static page. That said tho, you simply move the widgets around to put whatever you want wherever you want so I didn’t notice much difference as far as static or posts for the homepage – it still had the final look of the child theme that I wanted – however, where it did become an issue was wanting a blog page that was nothing but posts to link to that wasn’t the homepage. Only way I could see to do it was to create a base category archive that all posts are put into.

  6. Mark Barrett says:

    Wow, you can really tell that you love what you do. I personally love genesis, could not be without it. Hope you keep cranking out the great info:)

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Ha – thanks Mark. I’m glad that comes across in my writing, because I really do love what I do for a living. :)

  7. Adam Sherk says:

    I’ve been meaning to convert my blog from Thesis 1.8 to Genesis for a while now, and your post (plus not wanting to do a conversion to Thesis 2) has motivated me to finally do it.

    In Thesis I use the “Post Image and Thumbnail” function to embed an image at the top of my posts and then have it automatically be a thumbnail on my home and category pages. Do you know if that can be transferred over to Genesis? I’d guess that it’s not covered by the SEO Data Transporter since that’s not SEO related.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Hey Adam – I know my response is really late but in case anyone else has the same question…

      Genesis will by default use the first image that was uploaded to the post as the featured image by default if you didn’t specifically set a different featured image. :)

  8. Kyle Taylor says:

    So how did you fix the duplicate image issue in the luscious theme. I am having the same problem on one of my sites. Thanks in advance to the tip.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Hey Kyle – I know it’s been a while, but in case anyone else had the same problem. If memory serves, it was that the theme automatically included the feature image in the post on the single post page (which most child themes don’t do) – so because I was putting the image into the post, it was showing double. :)

  9. Jason Waite says:

    This is interesting. I’m thinking of using the Genesis for some new affiliate sites as well, however am nervous to switch current personal blog to it, … and for some reason thinking it might compromise any existing work for the last year and a half that have put into it…


    It does look like a great option to put into place for the new websites that am wanting to put into place.

    Maybe will have to as well learn some code?

    Great review… and well enjoyed the Thesis vs. Genesis post…

    Thanks Rae!


  10. I’ve tried many CMS and choose WordPress because it’s powerful and relatively easy.
    I’ve then tried many themes and choose Genesis because it’s robust and compatible with many plugins. It’s also easy to run in other languages (and compatible with WPML)
    I’m now trying child theme but, thanks for Justin tip, I might just create one with Dynamik. Any body else tried that tool ?

  11. Beth Niebuhr says:

    There’s an easy way to add a favicon. It is a plugin called All in one Favicon and it makes it very easy to add one. No need to deal with WordPress Media Library or FTP.

    I love the Lifestyle child theme although I usually tear out my hair trying to get to the code I want in WordPress themes.

  12. Hi Sugarrae, thank you for this recommendation. After reading this, I went around to read even many more great reviews on Genesis. And each of them had affiliate links to Genesis. But I came back to you to use your affiliate link because yours was the article that first convinced me to go buy Genesis. So thanks!

  13. After your advice at the Blog Elevated conference, I’m going through which Genesis child theme will work for me right now. I did a search for genesis theme and sure enough this blog post came up in my search :). Bookmarked to help me get through the weekend of blog work.

  14. I gotta say, every Genesis theme looks just about the same to me. I look at the sample screenshot above and I see Genesis or Thesis. I have a bunch of frameworks and the boxyness of every Genesis theme is sort of a turn off, in my opinion. The same goes for Thesis.

    For Genesis, what bugs me is the one size width for body. One size width for sidebar. There is no flexible width. The plugins for sidebars make everything very boxy as well. While one can do a lot of stuff with the plugins, you can’t change the big box look.

    While I appreciate the framework and own it, I struggle using it to make my sites look not so 2010ish or whatever. Now that flat design is making a comeback, maybe the framework and its themes will come back into up-to-date style. I’m no designer, though. Just kind of a snob, I guess.

    I just think there are much better frameworks that don’t force so many restraints on ease of design and what not.

    Just found your blog and like it.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Thanks Jeff – I feel you on the width – that has been an issue for me in the past as well. In the last few months or so, Genesis has been releasing a lot of themes that are much more modern in look (IMHO). There’s also now a ton of reasonably priced third party child themes on the market now as well. :)

  15. Arafin Shaon says:

    Great write up @ Rae. Really liked the comparison. Appreciate your effort.

  16. Jason Waite says:


    Hi Jason Waite here! …

    Rae, if we used the Genesis Framework, and we were use to something like say Yoast SEO plugin, obviously the Genesis SEO tools would be disabled right? And with the Genesis Framework, do you think the Yoast SEO plugins are better than say the Genesis SEO tools? And guess when using the SEO tools it’s sorta’ maybe an either or thing choosing which one you want?

    Thanks Rae!,
    Jason Waite

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Hey Jason – if you use the Yoast plugin, yes, the internal SEO options on Genesis will “stand down” so to speak and Yoast replaces them. As far as which I prefer, the answer is Yoast – if for no other reason than that you can remove the category slug from your URL strings when using it (but there are other benefits IMHO to using Yoast vs. the Genesis SEO functions). I hope that helps! :)

  17. I am confused about 1 thing at the moment. I normally use WP default themes/ with a customized child theme. If the default theme is updated, my changes in the child theme are safe.
    If I were to use Genesis framework + third party child theme, do I need to make a child of the 3rd party theme? How would updates to that theme not trash any changes I have made?
    Or would using Genesis Framework + Prose (for example) mean that any changes I made to Prose won’t be over written if it is upgraded?
    See this is where I am confused. I am very close to paying for Genesis, but need some answers and you seem to have them. Thank you.

  18. Hmm what are your thoughts on that?

    Genesis seems to perform very poorly when analysed in PageSpeed Insights:


    how can that be, i thought its supposed to be one of the best ones

  19. Jason Waite says:


    Help! Lol…

    Okay so my Genesis Framework blog is getting HAMMERED with spam. I’ve went from Livefyre, to Disqus.

    1. Should I change my comments like yours? (Is this a custom Genesis Framwork commenting feature?)
    2. What settings, or what should I do to eliminate all this spam.


    Jason Waite
    Lewisville, TX (We’re Neighbors! :))

  20. Jason Waite says:


    Help! Lol…

    Okay so my Genesis Framework blog is getting HAMMERED with spam. I’ve went from Livefyre, to Disqus.

    Should I change my comments like yours? Is this a custom Genesis Framwork commenting feature?)

    What settings, or what should I do to eliminate all this spam.



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