No doubt, genesis is the best theme framework for WordPress. Genesis is used by more than 112,000 websites, reasons are clean code, speed and security and the customization. There is a long – long list of child themes for this framework, several being free, rest paid. In this article I would show you how to customize your genesis theme, the way you want it.
There are mainly two ways for customize your theme. The first is to do with the default options presented by the framework and the second is with some plugins. Before I start I am assuming you are using genesis theme framework and a child theme.
Note : It is advisable to backup your database and wordpress before getting your hands dirty. You can use a Backup plugin or Go to Tools > Export. Use of codelibrary is also recommended.
Genesis provides you with several customization options, with which you can customize your theme quite a bit. The best thing about customizing your theme via the default options is you can always revert them back easily ( unless you’ve edited the theme files directly ). You can also edit your genesis theme / extend it functionality with a set of plugins. Below is things you can customize with options found in Appearance > ( Child theme name ) > Customize / Live preview. ( The snapshot in right side is customization options provided by themes )
Site Title & Tag line : Here you can customize / edit / rename your site’s title and its tagline, the same can also be customized in the settings > general menu.
Colors & Background Image : You can select from two background options, either select a background color, or a background image. You can upload your image as background and use it on your blog.
Navigation : Depending upon the child theme it may allow one , two or more than two navigation places. Most themes I’ve used provide two navigation places. From the navigation option you can select which menu appears on which place.
Widgets : If you are using WordPress, you should these well. Widgets are items added in the sidebar or wherever there is place to add one. They are believed to add the fifth star in your appearance. From within theme you can add widgets in your sidebar or wherever the theme allows you to.
Static front page : Want your homepage to be a “page” itself ? websites like askvg use a similar thing. Well, if you too want to show a page instead of homepage, you can select that page from this option.
Color Scheme : Most of the genesis child themes come with this option ( not all ), you can select from 5 color schemes mainly red, green, blue, black, hybrid. The color schemes then reflects on various things on your blogs.
Site layouts : Do you want your sidebar to be in right or left ? You can select from variety of layout options here, the default options in some child themes I’ve discussed are primary content, sidebar : sidebar, primary content : Content, primary sidebar, secondary content : primary sidebar, secondary sidebar, content etc.
Breadcrumbs : It is always good to tell readers where they are this time, and this is exactly what breadcrumbs do. From the settings here you can enable / disable them on posts and pages.
Content archives : It adjusts how your recent posts look on your home page or front page. You can configure its featured image size, position, excerpt length.
Customize Genesis Child themes With Plugins
Plugins extend your functionality and make your life easier, much more easier. There is always on options to get back if the plugin didn’t work for what you needed. Instead of making changes in theme’s core files if you just use a plugin you can always disable them when you wish to.
Below are mentioned some plugins which would make customizing your blog easier :
1. Genesis Simple Edits : It lies on top of my plugin list as it helps you remove the footer credits. Via this plugin you can not only remove the footer credits as well as customize your post meta ( The post meta contains : Posted by : Date etc ) It is quite obvious that this plugin will not work without Genesis theme framework installed.
2. Genesis Layout Extras : I’ve mentioned above how you can change site layout from the default options available, what if you don’t have default layout options available ? This is what this plugin answers .. The plugin provides extra layouts for your theme, although I am not sure how every would customize its interface and cope with this plugin.
3. Genesis widgetized footer : It works as genesis simple edits ( Removes footer credits, and go to top button )
4. Genesis Widgetized 404 & Search : Annoyed with the too simple Error 404 page ? It is very important to optimize your 404 page. You might be shocked, neil patel increased techcrunch’s traffic by 30 % by redirecting Error 404 page to home page. With this plugin you too can edit your Error 404 page.
5. Genesis Optimized Social share : Is your social share plugin effecting your site load time ? With this plugin with you, you can optimize your social share buttons and this plugins loads them without effecting your site’s load time. And you must know site load speed, is important, very important !
6. Genesis Custom header : Don’t be sad if your theme is not providing an option to add one custom header by default. This plugins helps you place an image to each post / page. Consider as anything, even to book advertising space !
7. Genesis Featured page Advanced : Wish to promote a page of yours on the front ? Forget the old navigation menus, you can show them off on homepage with this plugin. The promoted pages are placed below posts, just above footer.
8. Genesis Easy logo Uploader : Upload your very own blog logo on the top of page ( or wherver your theme places your site name) Logo helps readers differentiate your brand from others. You can create one logo for your blog easily via free online logo makers, they are easy, fast and above all, they are FREE.
9. Genesis post teasers : Place your post’s teasers ( excerpt ) on homepage , archives or blog page itself. This is quite useful, as it doesn’t over crowds your sidebar on any widget area, and users easily know which posts are trending on your blog.
10. Genesis widget toggle : This plugin adds additional widget area that can be slide up and down at the top of your site.
Final words : Above mentioned are a few tools, with which you can customize your child theme ( Genesis ). If you think I missed a tool, do comment it below. Let me know your opinions in the comments below.
So, which tools , and plugins are you using to customize your Genesis child themes ?