Looking for a way to make as much as possible with your website? Of course you are, but the question is how. One obvious answer and common piece of (often trite) advice is to keep the attention of readers on the content. How this is done depends greatly on the site and its audience, but there is a good method that works with a large cross-section of the web-viewing public: themes. One such theme is the Genesis Framework.
Subtle but Gorgeous
Some themes are about as subtle as some post-modern art. This might be great if one is promoting the latest and loudest band, or discussing the most outlandish of ideas. Genesis is probably on the far end of the spectrum from such visual needs, but it is easily adaptable by those with the technical know how. Before covering that, it is worth covering what Genesis is in and of itself.
Genesis is, at its core, a three-columned WordPress theme that is decidedly subtle yet quite complex to those with an eye for fine details. For example, the use of grays and gray/blues for borders and title backgrounds is visually striking. A wide open area between items on the page creates a very open look and feel that can help content stand out. It also makes it easier for viewers to focus on the content of the website instead of an overly busy design.
A subtle design is excellent for keeping attention on text, which is excellent for serious topics. Even less serious topics or deadpan comedic styles can benefit from a subtle design such as Genesis. Those who have visitors that have an eye for fine details will doubly appreciate what Genesis has to offer. Only the integrated menu items stand out in their complexity, which somehow still remains subtle while looking slightly high-tech. It is difficult to blend subtle with high-tech, but the menu in Genesis seems to pull it off quite well.
What is a Framework?
For those that do not know what a framework is, at least in the WordPress theme context, the answer is simple. Frameworks are extensible tools that provide (typically) well-remarked code for those that want to change or tweak things in one way or another. Not all WordPress themes are frameworks, which means that modifying them might require extensive amounts of time and knowledge in order to modify effectively. Genesis is designed from the ground up to be easy to work with, and even comes with a handful of examples.
After torture testing Genesis with almost every single add-on we could lay our hands on, nothing seemed to phase it or cause it Genesis to create visual anomalies. Of course, we only test with plugins that are known to work well with the latest versions of WordPress. This might mean that plugins that have known issues will not be fixed by Genesis, but that is only reasonable and thus not something that we can fault Genesis for.
The Bottom Line
The framework approach to Genesis is one of the reasons why the package sells for $59.95, a price that might seem slightly high to some. Even if one is not going to modify their stock Genesis theme, there are plenty of good reasons to buy Genesis. The stock theme is very attractive and excellent at keeping attention on content. Is Genesis worth buying? If one is looking for a theme that will please those with an eye for details and/or plans on modifying the theme, then it certainly is worth a look. Those looking for a ‘glam-rock’ or obnoxious theme that grabs attention without the need (or maybe in lieu of) quality content, Genesis can be modified but there might be better buys out there. All things being equal, Genesis is likely to appeal to a lot of webmasters.