Long time readers of SmartBusinessTrends may have noticed a change to the site’s design last month.
Yup, that’s right, we switched our WordPress theme.
While I purposely didn’t make any drastic changes to the original design, I made the switch to the Genesis/Dynamik combo to provide some important benefits for the future growth of this site.
There are literally thousands of WordPress themes out there, both free and paid. So why did I decide to go with Genesis?
Let me tell you why in this Genesis Framework and Dynamik review.
Originally this blog was built using a customized version of Hades theme which I had purchased from ThemeForest awhile a back. It was a nice looking theme, and it served this site well since its existence.
But the problem was that I always felt constrained when trying to make any changes.
The built-in options for customizing the theme were limited and I would have to muck around with PHP code if I wanted to make any plastic changes.
Not only are my programming skills quite limited, but I was also scared of the fact that any changes I made would be overwritten if there was ever a theme update.
And oh yeah, Google had announced Mobilegeddon and my theme wasn’t mobile responsive. Argh!
No question, I needed to make a change.
I didn’t go with the Genesis framework right away though. I actually spent some time to look at 3 different option to figure out the pros and cons of each.
Thrive Themes is the newest of the 3 and its themes have some nice features like being mobile responsive, built in short code elements, and the ability to add email form built in.
Elegant Themes’ flagship theme Divi was also a consideration. I liked how it looked and it offered some powerful drag and drop customization abilities which were very intriguing.
But in the end, I went with the Genesis theme framework because it just fit with where I wanted to take SmartBusinessTrends as a site, now and for the future.
By going with Genesis, I got these built-in advantages that the other two wordpress theme memberships couldn’t match.
I have some prior experience using Genesis and Dynamik on some other sites.
Plus I understand and how to use Genesis concepts like hooks to mold my site exactly how I want it.
My site would become mobile friendly automatically, with no additional effort on my part.
That means the site would look great on any mobile phone or tablet and I didn’t have to be worried about being penalized in Google’s mobile search results.
I love Genesis’ enthusiastic community of developers and bloggers. There are lots of freely available tutorials out there to help me customize my Genesis site.
If I ever need to hire a developer or designer later on, it will be quite easy since many are already quite familiar with how to customize Genesis based themes.
Some of my favorite Genesis resources are:
- Official Genesis Framework Tutorials from StudioPress
- Genesis Google+ Community
- Carrie Dils – Some great Genesis articles, tutorials and home of the Officehours.fm podcast
- Sridhar Katakam – Great blog filled with Genesis framework tutorials
Genesis Child themes
While I went with Dynamik, there are a wide variety of Genesis child themes to choose from. Some free and some paid. This gives me some additional flexibility if I do want to make more major changes to the site’s design in the future.
StudioPress, the creator of the Genesis Framework offers almost 50 child themes itself for sale and is always adding more.
Author Pro Theme is currently their latest child theme and it’s aimed squarely for book authors.
This wide variety is great for developers or designers who do custom website design for clients and want to use the Genesis theme framework as their base.
Upgrades for Life
The web is always changing, and I wanted a theme that is as future proof as possible.
Genesis is under constant development by the StudioPress team and I get the peace of mind knowing that if any future security holes that come up, or and when great new features are developed that I can seamlessly upgrade when I choose.
Dynamik Website Builder
While the Genesis Framework provides the foundation, your child theme provides the overall look and feel for your site.
Most of the changes you will need to make can be done via the Dynamik Design Options. As you can see the different options are categorized under different tabs to prevent things from being too overwhelming.
For example, I wanted to change the color the links on the site so I went to the Content tab and set the Content Bylink and Content Paragraph link colors to #EA484A.
The default sidebar headers are black by default which didn’t match my previous scheme. So I went into the Sidebar tab and tweaked the Sidebar Heading background to the darker shade of red you see now.
There are a ton of options that Dynamik makes available to you which you can tweak and test from the comfort of the design options screen.
And it’s not just font sizes and colors you can change.
If I wanted to I could change from a fixed width layout which I’m using now to a more liquid type layout which would make the site resize based the size of a visitor’s browser window.
And using the Layout Widths options I can easily change the widths of my content areas and sidebars very easily.
If you know CSS, Dynamik gives you even more flexibility with the Front End CSS builder. When enabled, it will open up a live preview of your site with the CSS builder pane appearing on the left hand side of the page.
As you use the builder to add css rules, you will see its effect immediately in your site preview. And it makes working with CSS so much easier.
And now SmartBusinessTrends has joined this list with our latest redesign.
By moving to Genesis and Dynamik, we get some much needed features like mobile support and it will allow us to more easily make changes in the future as well.
Interested in moving to the Genesis Framework as well? Make sure to take a look at our Genesis framework bonus before you buy.