Why Photographers Should Use The Genesis Framework

Why Photographers Should Use The Genesis Framework
NOTE: One great reason to Genesis? There are hundreds of beautiful Genesis themes available. Check out our ultimate list of Genesis child themes.

We built Imagely themes on a theme framework called Genesis.

If you are unfamiliar with theme frameworks then this is the article for you.

But if you understand frameworks and have hard of Genesis then do not need to read this. But please check out the other articles here on the Imagely blog.

Theme Frameworks

Theme frameworks are themes that consist of a library of code which other themes can build on. Think of them as start themes.

Some theme frameworks include Foundation (made by Zurb), Bootstrap (made by Twitter) and Bones (made by Themble).

In a way, theme frameworks are all considered bootstrapping, because developers build on something that already exists. They build on something that already has a foundation that can carry the weight of more code, functions and styles.

Genesis is a theme framework created by StudioPress, a division of Rainmaker Digital.

Genesis Framework

The Genesis theme framework is one of the most popular for WordPress. In fact, it is one of the most popular themes for WordPress. Even more than the default themes that come bundled with the WordPress software.

Genesis has solid code which has been tested by developers and users around the world for many years. It has a reputation for quality and speed.

The theme includes SEO functionality, like to the Yoast SEO plugin, but also plays well with Yoast SEO to prevent conflicts. It has few features and few options, although developers can always build those in as needed.

Genesis runs fast, performs flawlessly and has a great community both at StudioPress and in various other locations, to seek help.

The Genesis theme is a parent theme, and Imagely themes are child themes.

What this means is that Imagely themes need the Genesis theme to be installed (not active) at the same time. Imagely themes then use the framework provided by Genesis to lay the bottom foundation of the site's design and function. Then, our themes add our own photography based styling and layers on top. We also add our functionality, like more color control and slideshows.

The Genesis theme is known for being SEO friendly out of the box. Earlier I mentioned its SEO features, like the Yoast SEO plugin. But Genesis is also developed in HTML5 and uses schema markup. The combination of these three things, and the clean code has made Genesis a theme which search engines like to see.

But Genesis, on its own, is not the prettiest.

genesis-framework-demo

Child Theme Advantage

The advantage of using a child theme is awesome. The Genesis theme (the parent theme) is updated many times throughout each year. When an update is needed, a photographer's website will not change looks or lose function. Because the website is running our Imagely child theme.

At the same time, it means we, Imagely, need to stay on top of potential Genesis changes which could impact the look and function of our child themes. Not a big deal and it's something we are happy to do because we believe in the Genesis framework.

On its own Genesis is not pretty. It looks like a standard blog theme, not a website.

That is where child themes come in. StudioPress sells their own child themes, but they're designed for general business use. Imagely themes are Genesis child themes, designed for photographers.

Added Theme Cost

One thing that has come up from customers is the added cost of buying Imagely themes and then the Genesis theme.

When considering a WordPress theme, consider all that goes into the theme. Think about the people creating the theme and the community surrounding it.

You can buy all our Imagely themes in a package, or buy them in a package with our plugins. But, the price does not include Genesis. Customers must buy Genesis direct from StudioPress for an extra $59.95.

While this might sound like a turnoff to some, think about what we said earlier.

  • Genesis is solid.
  • It's fast.
  • It's robust.
  • It's highly tested.
  • It's extremely well optimized for search engines.
  • It has a huge community.

There is another advantage of using Imagely child themes and the Genesis framework. You can change Imagely themes anytime and not lose any of the content created, or the optimization efforts you put in, because they're all built on Genesis.

It also means that you could change from an Imagely theme to any other Genesis theme and still keep most of your content. But, specific Imagely designed functions might be lost, like our homepage slideshows.

genesis-framework

Genesis Plugins

The large community around the Genesis theme, which we mentioned earlier, goes beyond just the theme. There are hundreds of plugins, free and premium, available only for Genesis based sites.

Searching for Genesis in the WordPress plugin directory brings up over 230 plugins. Some of those include:

  • Genesis Connect for WooCommerce (Because WooCommerce doesn't work with all themes out of the box)
  • Genesis Simple Share (fast loading share buttons)
  • Genesis Club Lite (a suite of tools for Genesis themes)
  • Genesis Dambuster (for use with Drag & Drop plugins)
  • Genesis Slide-in Widget
  • Genesis Testimonials Slider

Visit the WordPress plugin directory to see others.

Imagely Themes

summerly-demoImagely themes came from everything we learned creating the Photocrati theme. Yet, we took a different approach with the Imagely themes then we do with Photocrati. The Photocrati theme is filled with bells and whistles. It's packed with options, whereas Imagely themes are lightweight with few options. This is on purpose.

See the themes here.

 

Genesis Course at Lynda

Carrie Dils, a WordPress developer who specializes in Genesis development, has created multiple courses at Lynda.com. Courses that range from DIY (end user) and development. Visit Carrie's website for a full list.

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This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Hi Scott,

    Nice article , I too agree with you Genesis Framework is faster and make our easier compared to others out there. Just saw the Imagely Themes all are lovely , I liked Free spirit and Lovely Theme so much.

  2. So are you saying that we have to purchase the genesis theme in order for our photocrati/imagly theme to function correctly?

    1. You’re half right, Terry. Imagely themes are child themes of Genesis. So Genesis is required to use Imagely themes. Photocrati, however, is its own framework and theme. So Photocrati does not require another theme.

      1. Does that mean Photocrati the theme will be retired?

          1. Hi Scott,

            I have noticed that on a Photocrati theme I could not save the image to my computer, on a Imagely theme I could. I don’t want people to save my pictures to their computers.

            And i like the buy option in Photocrati, is that also available for Imagely?

            Cheers Mike

          2. Photocrati Pro includes NextGEN Gallery & NextGEN Pro which offers the e-commerce system as well as right click/drag protection. So if you want Imagely themes with that functionality you’ll need a Themes & Plugins plan.

  3. I’m hosted on Synthesis and, thus, have the Genesis theme available. If I wanted to move from photocrati to an imagely theme, I then have to activate genesis and install imagely theme on top? Is that how it would work?

    …Bill

    1. The way child themes work is, as long as the parent theme (in this case Genesis) is uploaded to your themes collection, you activate the child theme (Imagely theme) and WordPress handles the usage.

  4. Hi there, I’m interested in trying out the themes. I already use Genesis with a child theme. I guess installing one of your themes is straightforward, then activate the new theme…anything I should be aware of? Such as:

    – Will my existing plugins work?
    – If I switch back to my existing child theme will it revert back to current look and settings, or does testing your themes run a risk of losing some settings?
    – Can I continue to use my existing contact form (Ninja Forms)?
    – Any limitations/recommendations for performance regarding galleries/sliders? Ie. Maximum image sizes and maximum recommended number of images in a slider?
    – Any know issues/problems with any of the themes which any potential buyer should be aware of (compatibility issues/bugs etc)?
    -I’ve noted my URL in the box below, if you had a quick look at my site can you see any potential problem which may arise switching to your theme?
    – I have ‘featured image’ on all posts – will these be retained with your themes?

    Sorry for all the questions, I just want to save as much hassle as possible or at least be aware of problems before committing.

    Thank you!

    Regards,

    Jonathon.

    1. – Will my existing plugins work? Well coded plugins will work.
      – If I switch back to my existing child theme will it revert back to current look and settings, or does testing your themes run a risk of losing some settings? You should always have a backup of your site and its settings. Switching between any themes runs the risk of settings being lost, or widgets dropping into Inactive Widgets.
      – Can I continue to use my existing contact form (Ninja Forms)? Totally.
      – Any limitations/recommendations for performance regarding galleries/sliders? Ie. Maximum image sizes and maximum recommended number of images in a slider? We do not limit anything. Performance wise, the choices are up to you.
      – Any know issues/problems with any of the themes which any potential buyer should be aware of (compatibility issues/bugs etc)? Nope. Being that they’re Genesis child themes, any compatibility would be on the Genesis side, which we’re unaware of any.
      – I have ‘featured image’ on all posts – will these be retained with your themes? We also use Featured Images. You’ll need to do a Regenerate Thumbnails to make sure they all match our sizes.

  5. Thanks Scott, if I don’t use regenerate thumbnails plugin (or it doesn;t work as it’s not been updated in ages) I guess a manual setup is required?

    Is there any online help available for setting up/user area for tweaks etc?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Jonathon,

      The Regenerate Thumbnails plugin works perfectly. It’s used on over 1 million sites. We have documentation for our themes available here.

  6. I have a Photocrati Pro theme and use Ecommerce. If I switch to Imagely, will my site transfer or will I have to rebuild it?

    1. If you’ve already switched from the Photocrati theme’s gallery and ecommerce system to NextGEN Gallery and NextGEN Pro, then all of those will remain in tact. The only part you will need to work on is the design aspect, which is your theme.

  7. Can thumbnails be auto resized with Genesis Framework WordPress theme?

    1. Thumbnails are generated to specific sizes to match the theme design. If you have a specific request you’d like to see in our themes, please send it to our support team by opening a ticket.

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