In this post, let me compare Genesis and GeneratePress, and help you decide which one to choose.
There are a plethora of WordPress themes online. But finding a theme that's fast, customizable, and lightweight and moreover suitable for your needs is a bit hard task.
GeneratePress and Genesis are the two WordPress themes known for their speed, flexibility and also for a small footprint. These two themes are also developed by taking SEO into consideration.
Why am I the right guy to review these products?
Initially 2 years ago I was using Genesis on this very blog, later I shifted to FocusBlog, and now to GeneratePress. I'm now using GeneratePress along with Thrive Architect (best builder for marketing sites) on my blog.
Due to my experience of both these themes, I can help you decide between the GeneratePress and Genesis theme.
Overview of the themes
Genesis is one of the most famous WordPress themes. The theme has been buzzed due to the dedicated SEO options it provided. The Genesis theme is the product of Studiopress, who popularized parent and child theme concept in WordPress.
GeneratePress is gaining buzz recently. It's a freemium WordPress theme. GeneratePress follows a minimalistic approach similar to that of Genesis and along with this, it also offers good customization options in the pro version.
Features of Genesis
In order to use Genesis you need to first install the Genesis Framework. The framework lays the foundation for the child theme that you install after installing the framework.
Any changes you make to the theme will be reflected only in the child theme.
The Genesis encourages other WordPress developers to develop custom child themes upon their framework.
The theme comes with the below features.
- Built in SEO features. This is one of the most marketed features of Studiopress themes. With plugins like The SEO Framework and Yoast, I wonder who properly uses these options.
- The theme also comes with a basic theme settings page where you can add Google AdSense publisher ID, change default layout, breadcrumbs, etc.
- Import/Export for Genesis settings.
When you purchase a Genesis child theme separately, depending on the child theme you buy many more customization options will be unlocked.
Some of its downsides are:
- Lack of customization and features is the major downside of Genesis.
- Another major downside with Genesis is that the uploaded logo for the website is not responsive for mobile devices. You need to add some media query CSS code to the theme files to make the logo appear good on mobile devices. In the beginning days of my blogging career, I wasted hours of time trying to figure out how to make
Genesislogo responsive on mobile devices.
The theme is well suited for developers who have at least a basic knowledge of CSS, JS, and PHP.
If you want to make Genesis customization easier without coding, you may make use of tools like Dynamik Website Builder. But, do remember that this tool also comes at a premium yearly cost.
Features of GeneratePress
GeneratePress is the theme I'm using right now on my blog. As I told you, this is a freemium theme. In terms of features, the GeneratePress free version is comparable or perhaps even better than the Genesis framework and themes.
GeneratePress free is included the WP official repo.
The free theme alone comes with dozens of features to play with like modifying the logo and the header, primary navigation, sidebars, containers, footers and also add custom CSS.
The premium version of the theme gives you access to premium add-ons which together enables you to customize any aspect of the theme and the website.
- Menu Plus
- Page Header
- Secondary Nav
- Disable elements
With these add-ons, you can customize any aspect of your website. Above are only a couple of examples.
You need not use the child theme along with GeneratePress theme.
Say bye for the direct editing of functions.php and other files.
With the Hooks add-on that comes with premium version of the theme, you can just add any code snippet on the add-on page, and you can do any customization to the tool.
Speed and performance of Genesis theme
Genesis theme severely
For example, to get all the features offered by GeneratePress on Genesis. You need several plugins like:
- Genesis Simple Edits
- Genesis Simple Hooks
- Genesis Custom Footers
- A good customizer plugin like CSS Hero
- Genesis Responsive Menu
- Genesis Connect for WooCommerce
Along with these plugins, you need to purchase and install a child theme along with the Genesis framework. The usage of separate plugins for implementing each of these functionalities slows down your site to a considerable extent.
The GeneratePress and Genesis themes both have a very quick page load speed when hosted on a server with good response time and caching mechanisms.
While using both of these themes, I haven't noticed any page load delay caused due to the app. Both these themes are equally optimized for speed and SEO.
In GeneratePress, all the features come baked right into the theme, so you need not worry about speed and hassles involved in installing a separate plugin for accomplishing simple tasks like modifying the theme footer and changing the font colors like you do with Genesis.
I would say that the speed of both the GeneratePress and Genesis is same.
Ease of Use C
Genesis theme – How easy is it to use?
On the other hand, to make the Genesis customizable you need to install some of the plugins as I mentioned earlier in this post.
When you rely on plenty of plugins for the customization of theme, the settings will be scattered all over the place and sometimes may not be easy to use.
For having complete control over the colors, margins, and size of the elements, you may need to make use of visual CSS editors like CSS Hero.
GeneratePress theme – How easy is it to use?
When it comes to learning curve, both these themes are very easy to use.
But, you need to consider that the GeneratePress comes with very powerful customization options when compared to Genesis. You can customize every part of the site.
In spite of dozens of customization
Genesis framework pricing
For Genesis Framework it costs you a one-time fee of $59.95. By paying this price, you'll get lifetime updates and unlimited site access to Genesis Framework (GPL license).
Along with the framework, you also need to obviously invest in a good child theme that again costs you around $50 depending on the features and design. Most of the Genesis Child themes also come with
GeneratePress is a freemium theme. If you need to unlock the premium features and add-ons, it costs $39.95 with lifetime access, 1 year of updates, and usage on unlimited sites.
If you want to renew the license yearly to get continued updates and support, they'll give you 40% off the renewal price. So, for renewal you just need to pay $23.97.
FAQs on GeneratePress vs Genesis
Yes. Both GeneratePress and Genesis themes are optimized for SEO. Both have a very lightweight code and are designed neatly.
Yes, I recommend you use the child theme with Genesis. But with GeneratePress it's not needed although you can.
You cannot use Genesis for free. But, GeneratePress is a freemium theme
Yes, both themes are now updated to make them compatible with the Gutenberg editor.
Considering that you'll be changing the theme from either of these after 3 years, Genesis costs you like $100 one time payment (excluding customization plugins you may want to purchase).
GeneratePress costs you $39.95 +($23.97*2) = $87.89 for three years of access.
As you can see, the GeneratePress clearly has more features for the money spent.
With an yearly fee, you get access to GeneratePress and rights to use the theme on unlimited sites. Genesis on the other hand has very less customization options. You obviously need to use dozens of third party plugins to extend it's functionality especially if you are a non-coder.
Hope you guys found the review helpful.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission with no additional cost incurred to you :-)