Review of Genesis framework.
Hello my lovely readers, I hope you are well. Today, after more than a year of using them, I would be doing a review of the Genesis Framework (theme) for wordpress and the child theme maker (Dynamik website builder). Also, i would chip in a review of three other themes i was considering when i wanted to buy a premium theme for my blog.
Let me first take you through the backstory of how I discovered the Genesis framework and also the dynamic website builder. It all started in June 2015, as you can see from my about page, that was when the idea for this blog was conceived. I was a little familiar with wordpress, but not at an expert level. I mean I could carry out the basic installation, post articles and edit them; you know, the basic stuff anyone could do by just taking up a book and reading or by simply watching visual guides like how to install wordpress on YouTube or something.
Anyways, I was confused over the blogging platform to use, I heard a lot about themes malfunctioning or having serious problems immediately after an update to the wordpress version, so initially, I entertained the idea of blogging the Drupal platform. I was so confused, on one hand, wordpress is something I was familiar with and one of the easiest blogging platforms to learn while Drupal was completely unknown to me and looked a little too technical with all the taxonomies and all.
During this period, I was serving as a financial analyst at one of the biggest pension funds in Nigeria, and I went as far as consulting with one of our tech gurus, seeking his opinion on the safer and easier blogging platform between the two. His feedback was that Drupal is the better option, and way safer than wordpress. I said, common you are a tech guru, Drupal looks too complicated for a newbie like me and besides I heard that updating a Drupal version takes a lot of work and sometimes professional help is needed unlike wordpress where you can update with the click of a button.
After much deliberation, I decided to go along with wordpress. As a youth corper, I didn’t have so much money to go full scale and buy webhosting, so I decided to kick off with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) free tier hosting and maybe later on when I have saved some money, either upgrade my Amazon Ec2 free tier hosting package or get a managed wordpress hosting. One major challenge I faced at the beginning was installing wordpress on an Amazon Ec2 instance. Amazon Ec2 is a central part of Amazon.com’s cloud-computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS). It allows users rent virtual computers on which to run their own computer applications. This means you do not have your Apache web server, Php, MySQL pre installed for you. You would need to login to some weird platform through SSH to install the above applications through commands such as “sudo-yum install”. It is really confusing for a newbie though, but if you are up for it, you can read guides on installing wordpress on Amazon Ec2. First start with this guide and then proceed with this. If on the other hand you want everything made for you, just proceed to purchase a managed wordpress hosting package. My two recommendations are Siteground because that’s what I am using presently on this site since April 2016, and I have not had any down time since them. Also, blue host is another great one, my friend and classmate in secondary school, who is a fashion blogger (beautygeekng.com) receives thousands of visitors daily to her blog, and she uses blue host which has never let her down.
Back to the story, by the grace of God, I somehow managed to set up the wordpress blog on my new Amazon Ec2 instance. The next question was then which theme to use. Like I said money was a major constraint for me so at first I tried out free themes but they just didn’t work, it didn’t offer me the flexibility I needed and besides they were a lot vulnerable to attacks than premium themes because websites distributing them could insert malicious codes into the themes without your knowledge.
Then I made up my mind that I needed to spend money on this aspect of my website since I plan to make it a going concern for a long period of time and not just to start and fold up within a year. So I started my research, searching for themes that offered both security and customization. I ended up with four, the Genesis Framework, Thesis Framework, thrive themes and Elegant theme.
Elegant theme is a platform that allows you access to over 80 themes either on a renewable yearly basis or lifetime access depending on the package you choose.
Now let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of Elegant theme.
- You have access to over 80 premium themes for a fixed price of $69 per year or $249 for lifetime access;
- No limit to the number of your personal website or blogs you can use the theme on;
- Free access to theme updates within the validity of your subscription
- Access to technical support in case you encounter difficulty when using the theme.
- It is not easily customizable as you require some technical knowledge to mess around with the themes;
- It can’t be designed to your taste because you choose from the standard themes that have been created for thousands of customers.
In all, Elegant theme is a fantastic option for the newbie blogger, especially if you run a number of blogs and you want a new look and feel for each one of them.
Thesis theme is developed and sold by Diythemes.com. The self proclaimed ultimate design and template manager for wordpress really lives up to the hype. The theme boasts three revolutionary features for every newbie blogger that hates or is not too keen about coding.
The features include
- Box: A point and click add on functionality;
- Skins: A visual drag and drop functionality for tweaking the design of the theme. It has built in tools like a patent-pending color scheme picker and golden ratio typography controls;
- Site tools: Useful tools for SEO and the likes.
Now, let’s briefly take a look at the advantages and disadvantages
- Plug n Play, easy to operate even for a novice. No need to mess things up by going to the hood to tweak the codes. You can make all changes via your wordpress admin dashboard.
- Active support for the theme with frequent release of updates. This is great considering the number of times in a year the wordpress engine is updated. With active supporters and an active community of user, there is always an update to support the latest version of wordpress.
- Large blogs like smartpassiveincome.com are using it, this means it supports quite a large number of visitors without fail.
- No need for a separate child theme like the Genesis framework.
- For the basic option, subsequent updates are only available for a period of 12 months.
- It is quite expensive when compared to Genesis framework that avails lifetime updates.
Thrive themes is another great theme resource for newbie wordpress bloggers. They have a variety of wordpress themes to choose from, and also a great content builder plugin for wordpress that can be utilized by simply dropping and dragging elements through the admin interface.
With just a click of a button, you can add various elements to your page such as a call to action button, responsive pricing tables, lead generation elements, customizable social shares and so much more. All this is possible in the normal edit page of individual posts or pages, you don’t have to be a code monkey to operate the plugin.
Now that I have provided you with an overview of thrive themes, lets take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages.
- Variety of themes to pick from which are proven as top conversion themes for bloggers that are affiliates;
- The content builder plugin makes it super easy for a newbie blogger to tastefully design his blog to his standard. You have complete control over the look and feel of your blog;
- The content builder can also be used with other themes. The best result is achieved with a responsive theme.
- For $19 per year only, you can get access to all thrive themes and the content builder plugin.
None I can think of.
Drumroll please!…now for the main agenda, the Genesis framework. I have been using the Genesis framework for over a year now and have never had problems with it. It all started with my research and cost- benefit analysis. I was a corper working an 8- 6 job (or 8- 8 sometimes) and on a salary of barely US$260 per month. Obviously, I was looking for cheap, but quality themes I do not have to break the bank for.
I came across 4 themes as detailed above, and two that really stood out for me were the Genesis Framework and thrive themes. Out of the two, the one that really hit the nail on the end was the Genesis Framework theme. The Genesis framework was created and is being managed by a team of professional wordpress developers with extensive experience in wordpress programming and development.
Also, quite a number of their team actually contribute to the development and upgrade of the wordpress engine itself. For example, Mark Jaquith, a security expert and core WordPress developer has been in charge of the security aspect of the theme. With his guidance, the Genesis Framework was built, and is still being built to follow all WordPress security best practices.
Now, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of Genesis Framework.
- Solid theme of developers always up to date with vulnerabilities in wordpress and sends out updates accordingly;
- Timely update tot the Genesis Framework with each major update to the wordpress version;
- With just US$59.95, you can buy the Geneis framework and get unlimited updates, support and sites, and access to detailed tutorials;
- Onetime fee and no yearly charge for usage like the thrive theme
- Very active community with thousands of users to listen to questions and provide answers;
- In built SEO setting where the meta tag title an meta description for all o pages or posts can be specified.
Requires a child theme and this involves incurring additional costs;
Not easily customizable as you need coding knowledge to mess around with the child theme. This is where the dynamic website user comes into great use.
Dynamik Website Builder
So what is the dynamic website builder?
A dynamic website builder is a highly customizable child theme you can get creative with and design your website in every possible way, according to your taste and desire. With Dynamik website builder, you have control over every single aspect for your website. From designing the header to the sidebar, to the universal font, widths, content, comments, breadcrumbs etc. you can also easily add hook boxes and widget areas for advertisement purposes. It is really wonderful and easy to use.
Now let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of the Dynamik website builder
- Easy to use visual editor;
- You have control over every aspects of your
- Dynamik custom section which avails you the option of writing custom code in to your css, functions, JS, Template etc.
- Hook boxes and widget areas which enables you add advertisements practically anywhere on your blog;
- All these available at a price of US$79 with one year of support and updates.
- Requires a payment of half the purchase price (US$39.5) for continued support and updates a year after the date of purchase. You can continue using it though without support or updates;
- The $US79 contains license for only one site as subsequent sites have to purchase a license individually or purchase in bulk of 3 for US$129 or unlimited license of US$199.
All above mentioned options are fantastic options with regard to a custom theme for your wordpress website. You can pick any option based on your preference, and be rest assured that you are getting value for money.