Today’s how to marketing post is about the WordPress theme Genesis, my take on the theme and a review of its pros and cons.
Having set up hundreds of sites over the years, both for my business and my customers, I can tell you that finding the right theme that works best for marketing was a long and arduous process. But the good news is that now I have a well oiled machine that lets me set up a blog, fully loaded in about 10 hours (including writing the posts and about us and contact pages!)
Major WordPress Themes A History Lesson
When you hear “theme” you might hear boring and blah, just like everyone else and that was the case years ago. Today’s themes are dynamic, bold and very stabile to work with. The reason that I chose to go with Genesis was sort of a long and drawn out process over the years. In case you are wondering, with the exception of Socrates, I have lifetime developer access to each of the themes so cost is not a variable in my recommendations.
My very first premium theme that I bought was the Thesis theme by DIY. At the time (about 7 years ago), it was the only player on the market and it was a great way to get my feet wet on setting up a blog. It had some really easy plug and play features that worked great and I used it almost exclusively until they rolled out Thesis 2. Now, if you are a “blog designer” or want a lot of custom setup features for your websites, Thesis 2 may be your answer. For me it is way more work than it is worth to have a site that will look mostly like the ones I have now!
Headway was the next theme I used for a bit. It was marginally easier to use than Thesis 2 but it breaks much more frequently during the WordPress updates. Not a theme that I can recommend in good conscious, hence the lack of a link!
Socrates is made by a gentleman named Dan Nickerson who I know makes great products and has tremendous customer service. While I have not ever used Socrates, I can recommend Dan highly and in the spirit of giving real choices, you might want to take a peek at his product!
All in one solutions like Rainmaker or Hubspot
One last thing I want to touch on before I get to Genesis is an “all-in-one” solution like Rainmaker or Hubspot. These are great because they are comprehensive solutions that oftentimes have monitoring and social media integration built right in. If you are a well established company with a pretty big marketing budget and a tech team, these are great solutions. If not, I prefer knowing that I have a site that can be moved to another host anytime I want (I use Godaddy and have been happy with their service). If you have an all-in-one and decide to stop paying, you lose all the traction that you have gained and pretty much have to start over from scratch instead of just moving to new host.
I really and truly love the Genesis theme. It is a super quick setup and the “child themes” make your site look pretty right from the start. (A child theme is a specific look and feel that you pick which makes your site look pretty). That said, there are definitely some pros and cons to consider.
Super easy to find a look and feel you LOVE. Currently there are 51 different looks and feels that you can choose from! That said, I tend use a few of them more than others. My main site, MarketingArtfully.com is built using the Enterprise Pro Child Theme.
A really fun real estate site that we just finished giving a facelift looks great with the Agent Press Pro theme.
And one last one, Agency Theme, to get you thinking about what you want your website to look like!
There are many other “pros” including:
- You can just pop scripts for your Analytics right into special boxes (no coding required)
- There are plugins built exclusively for Genesis
- If you need someone to work on your site, there are thousands of developers to choose from
- Genesis blogs rank really well for SEO with the built in tools
If you have any questions about purchasing the Genesis theme, please feel free to shoot me an email and I will be happy to answer or make a video for you! tara (at) marketingartfully.com.
Notes About Themes
One last thing. I have had many people over the years ask me if they should buy a theme or hire a designer to work on their site for them. Here are a few considerations that you should mind if you are thinking of going the DIY route.
It is tempting to find a site that you love the looks of and demand that yours be just like it. I think this is a huge mistake. For most businesses a straight template with amazing content will be the perfect looking site that has 5 wimpy pages every day. Worry more about what you are going to put on the pages than about what those pages look like.
No matter what template you buy, it will not come pre-loaded with graphics. You will need to purchase pictures from a stock photo site like istockphoto.com or depositphotos.com or use your own. Sometimes getting the pictures formatted for the theme is the worst part of the process!
Make sure you have Google Analytics loaded onto your blog site. Adding your site to the Google Webmaster tools is also a great idea!
The power of a blog is the RSS feed that reaches out and taps Google and the other search engines each time you make a post. It is worth your time to set up more than just the built in “pinging” platform in the writing section of sections. We have over a hundred sites that we ping each time a blog post goes out!
Well there you have it, my WordPress Genesis Review. As with all my posts here, there are possibly affiliate links which means that I might have access to potential discounts or could receive a couple of bucks if you go ahead and buy a product. That said, my opinions are my own and your are welcome to email me to find out more!