Studiopress Themes

Designing your Own WordPress Themes with Genesis Framework


I have long been a fan of Genesis for creating robust and unique websites, either completely from scratch, or from one of their many child themes. I have used it on a number of sites that I have built for my clients and like it’s ease of use.

However, for anyone who has never delved into theme design before, it may be a little daunting with the amount of work needed to create a unique, custom theme.

Thankfully, the awesome people at Studiopress (the creators of the Genesis framework) just released a 44-page tutorial booklet to help you with every aspect of creating your own Genesis-powered theme. And since they’re just trying to help you understand how to make the most out of their existing products, they have released it free of charge.

The guide covers topics from the very basics to much more advanced topics, so to give you an idea of what’s included, I’ve listed the main chapters in the guide:

  1. Introduction to Genesis
  2. Installing Genesis and a child theme
  3. Genesis settings
  4. How Home Pages Work
  5. Widget Areas
  6. Included Widgets
  7. Logo/Header
  8. Genesis Templates
  9. Upgrading Genesis
  10. Additional Resources
  11. Troubleshooting

I’ve long admired the coding and UI work that Studiopress have carried out and that has carried over into this guide; the tutorials are well laid out and written for all to understand.

If you’ve been wanting to create your own custom theme, this may be the perfect place to start. If you’re not fully convinced, just download the guide that they’ve written so that you can see the level of effort involved. Then if you’re convinced, you can always buy Genesis and get to building your first custom theme.

Genesis for Beginners

Categories: Resources & News, The Basics, Themes | Permalink

What next?

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If you couldn't quite manage this yourself, find it too intimidating, or just don't have the time to do it, you can always hire Dave to do it. Please get in touch so that we can discuss your needs.

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Dave has been tinkering with WordPress for many years, and he now shares his WordPress knowledge here on Do It WIth WordPress to help others realise its impressive power. He can also be hired to help with your WordPress needs. Dave, who is British, is married to his best friend, Marti, with whom he has a beautiful daughter, Ellie. When he's not dabbling with WordPress, he's probably eating Triscuits or hummus, watching an indie film or British TV show, spending time with friends or family, or exploring the world.


  1. Wow! Dave,
    Thanks for sharing this information! I am beginning to see more and more why so many people love the Genesis Theme! As of this writing, I only use Thesis Theme. That’s all I’ve used for the last two years and it has served me well, but I do truly wish that they had a guide that would let me know how to create my own “skins” or child themes. Well, they’re supposed to come out with Thesis Theme 2.0 In the meantime, thanks for sharing all this useful information for Genesis users or for anyone considering moving to Genesis!

    Take Care,

    Jupiter Jim

    • Yeah, Thesis isn’t bad, but it’s more “techy” in my opinion, where Genesis is more lightweight and “clean”. You can see the differences in the appearance of both. Just a personal preference though; both are excellent frameworks.

  2. I just jumped on Genesis, but I’m still trying to find a tutorial out there that helps with going from a Photoshop file to Genesis. I know how to code out a PSD to MY specs, but I want to know best practices for coding out to Genesis’ specs. This guide just seems to be an intro to using Child Themes with Genesis,

    • Well, coding from any PSD to any WP theme, requires knowing the size of all the elements, which can be done in Photoshop by slicing, or from the theme by using Developer Tools in Chrome, or Firebug in Firefox. There’s nothing particularly special about the process for converting PSD to Genesis over any other theme.

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