In this time and day, why would you want to spend tens of hundreds of hours and resources on building a website from scratch? Even the most advanced developers take advantage of frameworks that readily provide a lot of the initial code needed for designing a functional website. When it comes to looking for information on building a website, you will discover that WordPress sites and Genesis Theme Framework and its child themes are all the buzz. Why do so many users – both developers and non-developers use the Genesis Framework? It boasts of many outstanding features including Search Engine Optimization. Discover the SEO advantage of using Genesis for WordPress.
The Genesis Framework is among the most popular and powerful theme frameworks that empowers novice and advanced developers, even non-developers, to build amazing websites with WordPress. True to what StudioPress claims, it is the foundation of any smart WP site design that features search engine optimization, responsive designs, impenetrable security, unlimited options for customization, lightweight and high-performance code, speed, instant updates, and superb customer support. Now that we’ve covered that and you’re convinced that this framework is for you, explore the best of the best Genesis child themes.
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For WordPress users – whether beginners or seasoned, one notable trend that you’ll notice is a lot of them use and recommend Genesis Theme Framework. By understanding what draws these people to use Genesis on their own as well as their clients’ WP sites, you’ll discover a multitude of reasons why you too should choose Genesis Framework.
Fact is – Genesis 2.0 is among the most popular and is widely considered to the most powerful theme frameworks in the market today.
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Not many people think of pest control until they find ants have invaded their kitchen, mice have moved into the attic, or cockroaches live in the walls. What do you do about these pesky pests? How would you find the right company to do the job? The internet, of course! Not only are pest control companies unique, so are their web sites. The following companies have varying web sites that reflect their individual styles in enticing you, the potential customer.
What kind of bug or pest do you have? Orkin will leave you little doubt. Their home page is filled with numerous categories of common pests, complete with pictures. You know what you saw; now identify it in the line up. When you scroll your mouse over any particular critter, an interactive feature causes the critter’s link to magnify, leaving you know doubt as to which pest you are about to read about. Splashed across the long home page in various places are red banners with Orkin’s phone number, making it very easy for you to pick up the phone and call them. Want to know more about Orkin and what they will do? Scroll down and information about Orkin, its methods, and its policies are available.
All Natural Pest Elimination (www.nobuggymds.calls.net)
The site for All Natural Pest Elimination provides most, if not all, of the information you can think of while searching for a reputable company. Neatly organized into a geometric grid, you can peruse articles, blog posts, and customer testimonials. You can provide contact information for a sales rep to call you. You can even sign up to receive their newsletter. All Natural provided everything at your fingertips in a very organized manner.
Terminix takes a different approach on their home page. Covering the majority of the home page is a banner-like request for you to submit your contact information. In this way, you do not have to determine what kind of pest you have or how to get rid of it. This can be compared to PestKilled. Simply put in your contact information and a sales representative will contact you. Should you want to know more about Terminix or pest control methods, tabs are also on their home page that will lead you to additional information.
Cook’s Pest Control (www.cookspest.com)
Cook’s Pest Control takes a grab at your emotions. A banner with two children and a kitten is bordered by the typical home, complete with a lush, green lawn. Who doesn’t want to protect their home and family, right? Cook’s does get down to business. Providing tabs for Homes, Businesses, and Builders, you can research the services Cook’s will provide. Want to identify what bug you saw? Use Cook’s Pest Identifier by clicking on the name of each bug. Once you know your pest and choose accordingly, pictures of different kinds are provided. Cook’s home page also has links for other information, such as for making payments, Kids Corner, and Teachers/Parent Info.
Sovereign Pest Control (www.sovereignpestcontrol.com)
Sovereign Pest Control uses its reputation to sell itself on its web site. Devoid of a lot of color or fancy whistles, Sovereign has multi-page banner containing lists of why they are the company you should choose. Additional links are available for you to learn about the types of services they offer, customer service information, and current specials.
These five pest control companies are five of many with sites across the web. Each company has decided how it wants to present itself to the customer world, and it has been reflected in their web site design. Each is successful in its own way, based on the customer the site is intended to entice.
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For today’s post we have another site review and success story that we got involved in about 6 months ago. I want to use this example as another highlight of how themes and visual layouts have a massive impact on the usability of a website. The site we will be focusing on is http://www.babywheels.net and the owners Chris and Emma contacted us after they read some of our other success stories.
They were having some challenges with their theme and it really wasn’t performing that well, which they noticed in their conversion rates for visitors. While I don’t usually take on consulting clients I found their problem intriguing and it was a challenge for me. It was also an area that I wanted to get some actual real life test results on, so we teamed up and put together a plan of action.
The site was set up using WordPress, which makes perfect sense for the type of content they are creating. The main focus of their sites is parenting advice with their expert area being baby stroller reviews. It is a very content driven site and the problem they had was that their original theme was simply not visually appealing enough. Once I did some analysis I realized that there were severe layout limitations, which meant that images and other rich media could not be placed where it had the biggest wow effect.
The other problem was that their theme and underlying framework was very poor at making their content mobile friendly. With about 30% of visitors coming from mobile devices having a so-called responsive theme was very important and when I showed them the site on a Smartphone they were actually shocked how poor it looked.
The more text based your site is the more important it is to display that content in a convenient way. The great thing with the Genesis framework is that it is fully optimized for mobile responsiveness. You do still have to make sure you pick a theme that fully takes advantage of this, so we decided to stay with Studiopress for the theme as well.
After a bit of research and experimenting Chris and Emma decided to install the Lifestyle Pro theme, which gave them, the best results for the layout I had suggested. The main reason though was that it is a fantastic looking theme on mobile devices making it look uncluttered, which is important when you have a lot of text and images to display.
Now let’s look at some results. In the 5 months since the site upgrade has been completed Chris and Emma have seen a reduction in bounce rate from 65% to 51%, which is a significant decrease. They also have noticed that those people that do not bounce go to 25% more pages than before. And finally their actual conversion rate has improved by almost 20%, which excludes the Christmas period just gone. Overall it was a great success resulting from less than 10 hours of research and modification.
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There is no doubt that WordPress has become one of the leading, if not the number one, blogging platforms in the world. It is also no secret that it has parlayed its strengths to become one of the best and most commonly used used in both free websites, as well as in e-commerce and informational websites.
The changes, which WordPress has introduced through the years have also made it easy for users to jump versions without any need of continuing with updates. With a few exceptions, a user who has stopped using WordPress in 2009 would be able to go back to WordPress six years later, without any downtime caused by studying the system from scratch. The bells and whistles, as well as core systems may have been upgraded, but as far as users are concerned, the system has remained the same and as usable as ever.
Websites as diverse as that of an Oxford Alabama real estate firm to a personal injury lawyer in Tampa Florida could be created in WordPress in minutes. Full customization and testing can take days, but it would be fully functional in no time. Once deployed, and running, a website can be revised on the fly as much as the owner, administrator or designer wants. However, in most instances, getting a website up and running on WordPress solves almost half the problems which a website would usually have.
The beauty of WordPress resides in the sheer volume of plugins, and themes that run on it and on top of it. There are development platforms, which were specifically designed for it. One of these is Genesis Framework. It is a comprehensive set of tools, methodologies, themes and presets, that it answers most of a web owner’s needs. It also just so happens to be one platform that is easy to customize. It has support for HTML5, it is responsive, and it has multi-column support as well. It matches well with most uses of WordPress or any CMS for that matter.
Solid Through Internet Changes
Barring a massive paradigm shift, this is a platform, which a web owner can use, presumably for the next 5 years. In terms of a website’s lifespan, that translates to two to three generations of websites and website technologies. That is a long time on the Internet. There have been several paradigm shifts in the last five years, and so far, WordPress has weathered them all, and has come out on top.
If you are a traditional desktop oriented website owner, you should seriously look at Genesis as a theme and platform. It has a solid base of development for desktop browser applications. For those who are looking towards creating space on the mobile device market, Genesis is a solid choice as well. It is not only a fully-responsive platform, but it was also designed to be so from the ground up. In between a smartphone and a desktop application, there are several subsets that can be used to gauge a platform. This one, however, meets all criteria for a responsive platform, which is easy to use, and a lot of fun to deploy.
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DssTuff is a premier CrossFit website offering guides and in-depth reviews of CrossFit products. With CrossFit’s rapidly growing fan base, the sheer amount of information and gear out there can be a bit daunting to any beginner. It is always great to come across a site that can compile information from all over into an easy-to-manage guide.
When it comes to getting a good workout, if you are not employing the proper gear, you will only impede progress. And whenever you try a new product it is in your best interest to research what you are spending your money on. The DssTuff team, Kelly Worthington and Dave Hewitson take on the challenge of sifting through the mess of information that the world has become. With 14 years of experience in CrossFit training, they both have what it takes to provide this kind of service..
When it comes to finding information, DssTuff.com is generally easy to navigate. The site is hosted with the Genesis Framework from Studio Press. The Genesis Framework is highly customizable and very straightforward. Design can be everything when it comes to creating something that is actually functional. If a website looks terrible, doesn’t work correctly, and is just not ergonomic, then no one wants to visit it. DssTuff is set on a white background with easy to read, black text. Orange accents add just enough color to keep it interesting. The site is both attractive and usable, the two biggest factors that contribute to a workable page.
The focus is always about crossfit gear. DssTuff’s CrossFit and Weightlifting shoe reviews can point you in the right direction whether you are just getting started or looking for an upgrade. With the site’s growth, the aim is to become the “best online resource for buying CrossFit gear.” Beyond your general clothing and shoes, they also review accessory products and various fitness tools.
The first tab you encounter is for inexpensive, quality, CrossFit approved clothing. If you have been in the fitness community for any length of time, you have seen some of these exorbitant price tags. Truth is, a Nike tick on your chest is not going to make you lift any heavier. It won’t make you faster or stronger. You do not always need name brand clothing to break a sweat. There are some benefits, however, to shelling out a little bit more for something that can make you more comfortable. Various designs and fabrics exist to keep you cool and wick sweat. There are socks made of more unusual weaves to prevent irritation when running long distances. DssTuff offers connections to low cost, quality gear that can help take you to the next level without clearing out your wallet.
Proper shoes are paramount to any athlete. Unfortunately, when it comes to buying shoes, going with the high cost name brand is definitely in your best interest. Prevention of injury, particularly when tackling a workout like CrossFit, is so incredibly important. When you take a look at the best options for CrossFit and lifting shoes, DssTuff allows you to read reviews from the web, do a price comparison, and interacts with Pinterest if you would like to save the items for later. Beyond the brief web reviews, you also have access to their professional opinion on each product. Near the bottom of the page you will find a comprehensive guide for choosing the right shoe and the various factors you need to consider.
DssTuff has so many resources and their site is growing. Dig into it and you can find more information than you will ever need. It doesn’t have to be hard when everything you need is right in front of you.
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If you have ever used WordPress for any period of time, you’ve will more than likely have noticed that a lot of users use and recommend the StudioPress Genesis framework. I use Genesis now for every single one of my own sites, along with my clients’ sites, and so do many other developers I know. I recently designed a website for a cloud pbx provider, built using genesis framework. It hasn’t gone live just yet as I am still performing a few tweaks, but genesis has made it so much easier.
From time to time a potential client will often question me as to why I use Genesis instead of anything else. They’ve all seen the great reviews, but why is Genesis such a big deal? I just like to respond with, “Because it is!”. I know that answer isn’t exactly helpful.
So here are just a few reasons why I love the Genesis framework so much, and reasons why I would also recommend it for non-designers too.
Well-supported and well-coded
Genesis is maintained by a large group of developers from StudioPress. The Genesis framework is continually being updated to mirror the best practices for coding and always remains compatible with latest versions of WordPress. Due to this consistency, I’ve never had to worry about whether updating to the next version will break my site. I instantly know everything will be fine.
If I need support or in the unfortunate event that you run into any problems with Genesis, you can open a support ticket with StudioPress, perhaps start a thread on their support forums, or even ask a designer friend. Since Genesis has such a large community, you can perform a Google search which will bring up many tutorials for free.
Update your site without losing any customizations.
The Genesis framework uses something that is called a child theme, these are like skins that sit above the framework to allow your site look visually different. Instead of making a change to the framework itself, any customizations can be made to the child theme.
It’s not expensive.
Some site themes require users to pay an annual (or monthly) fee for support or updates. With Genesis, you can expect to pay a one time fee of around $60 for the initial framework, that guarantees unlimited access forever. Commonly, child themes are then priced between $20 to $50 range. There is also a Developer Pro Pack (which provides access to 60+ current child themes as well as future releases) which is available from $400. Every Genesis purchase, either a framework or a child theme, always includes a developer license.
Genesis can do pretty much anything. Looking to add a widget to the top of every blog post? No problem for Genesis! How about a slider on your homepage? Guess what, you can do that too! Anything you can see can be edited, deleted, moved, or even reconfigured so that your website performs in the way you exactly want it too. You can also choose from different sidebar layouts for various pages or posts. You even make a homepage entirely full of nothing but widget areas, this means you can simply drag and drop content onto your site.
Wide variety of features and plugins.
From its built in SEO options and settings to mobile friendly child themes, Genesis has a wide variety of features straight out of the box. If a particular feature is not included already, you can bet someone is creating or has created a plugin to integrate it.
Are you convinced yet?
There are a mountain of reasons as to why you should use the Genesis framework, and you certainly don’t need to be a web designer to benefit from them. While I still strongly believe there is no real substitute for a professionally created website, Genesis is certainly a good starting point for DIYers and designers.
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Website designers had a wonderful year in 2014, with many new ideas and innovation. Although some didn’t make it, there were a lot that did.
The ones that did make it big in 2014 will forever be household names in 2015. So what new innovations and ideas can we expect in 2015? Check out our list below.
If you think flat design was just a hipster thing or just a fad, then you might want to think twice. Flat designs is about keeping it clean, modern and simple, which are what most clients say. Check out our work for one of our client at http://ultimatearcheryhq.com. They are a blog that review different types of archery bows like crossbows and longbows. Here we created a Flat Design for them, and by doing so they have less of a clutter, and more white space, giving users a better user experience to read about the products.
Responsive design in 2015 will certainly become a standard. Clients will surely ask for this as one of their must haves on their list. Why you ask? Its simple, the demand is going to be there. Since tablets and smartphones are selling out left and right, there is a big marketing potential. From fortune 500 companies to a mom and pop shop, responsive Design is best for everyone.
Websites With Better Images
Designers for many years have pushed for better quality images when creating a sight, but always fell short due to technology issues and affordability. With 2015 creeping around the corner , things are going to change. As loading speed gets faster, and pricing for images gets more affordable, access to high quality images will increase making 2015 a year to look out for.
Infographics Are still King
Infographics will still be the best way of representing ideas or data. They are great in presenting a lot of information in a very small space. They are also very eye catching and don’t cost a lot to make. That’s one of the biggest reasons infograhics are ask for. End users really like infogrphics because the layout helps them understand the information a lot easier. It combines bold color schemes, typography and shapes in a way that it intrigues the viewers. Because this is such a great way to communicate, infographics will for sure be used more in 2015.
Goodbye Hevetica, goodbye Georgia, goodbye times Roman! Welcome to 2015, the year typography takes over. Arial is no longer the go to font, as prices of better and higher quality fonts become more affordable. The default fonts are no longer a good fit. And as more companies want a bolder look and better fonts, they will have to step outside the usual font family and be different.
Presentation Videos are making a come back because of companies like vine and instagram. The 6 second videos of vine or the 15 second videos from instagram has the potential to go viral easier then your usual 5 min videos. Short presentation videos are a lot easier to make and as the our addition span gets shorter, you’ll see a lot of short clips become part of many website designs in 2015.
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When starting up a new website one of the most important considerations is which framework to build it upon. This choice can affect everything from how the website performs to how it looks on different displays. While there are plenty of options out there for web developers to choose from, there is one that has gained popularity in the last few years since it was first introduced: it’s called Twitter Bootstrap. With most of the world’s web content being consumed on mobile devices its important to have websites that operate naturally on these smaller screens. The developers of Bootstrap created it as mobile first framework that makes it easier for other developers to transition sites from desktop sized screens to handheld ones with the same code.
Responsiveness refers to a website’s ability to change its design based on the size of the screen that is viewing it. This was never an issue in the past but since the invention of the smart phone developer now need to be considering smaller displays anytime they are designing a site. The great thing about Bootstrap is that it is designed to be responsive at its core – meaning all Bootstrap sites are responsive by design. The way this is accomplished is by Bootstrap’s column and row system. All the content of the website is wrapped up in to rows and columns, and depending on the screen size these rows and columns can shift and change positions so that they span the entire screen, or stack vertically. The result of doing this means a website that is less cluttered on smaller devices and presents the information naturally. A great example of this is a website that catalogs different drones for sale: when viewed on a desktop the left panel and right side bar are shown inline with each other, but on a smaller device the left panel expands to take up the full screen width. This little change makes it much more appealing for users who now don’t have to zoom in on their mobile devices to see content.
Well Designed CSS
The base CSS of Bootstrap is very appealing in the Web 3.0 space. There is a flat design that effects buttons, forms, navigation bars, body text, typography, images, and headers. This constant design runs throughout Bootstrap’s framework, leading websites to have a consistent look without effort from the developer.
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WordPress has changed the world of web design. It has broken down the walls and decimated the learning curve that obscured casual users in the past and has finally brought the internet to full maturity. After all, if it weren’t easily accessible to the masses, web design and the internet in general would have stayed allocated to a few knowledgeable programmers around the world. Seriously though, where’s the fun in that?
Yes, things have become very easy to pick up and learn by practically everyone. A simple YouTube search for easy to use WordPress themes will reveal hundreds of great video tutorials on how to make a website quickly and efficiently… they don’t look half bad either! And as it that weren’t enough, the platform has begun to open up even further with the release of simple, drag-and-drop WordPress themes that take ease-of-use to an absurd level. LITERALLY ANYONE can drag and drop something with a mouse, right? That may be oversimplifying things but you get the idea.
You can usually find me looking at sites working under the Studio Press Genesis Framework but there are plenty of options out there for web designers who really don’t know too much about programming, whatsoever. Here are some great options for all of you that may be looking.
1. Site Origin’s Page Builder
This theme uses widgets that you can move around in order to build your page. Check out their site and you can find some themes that they’ve created with Page Builder. Here’s my favorite one (just out of simplicity I guess). Best of all? It’s FREE.
2. ThemeFoundry’s Make
The Make theme by ThemeFoundry is another free offering that let’s the layman go wild with his web design with just a few drags and drops. While very easy to use and pick up, I found that there were some limitations in the interface and didn’t like it as well as Page Builder. You can check out the Make theme’s site here for more info and here are some sites that are currently using this Make theme (Site 1 and Site 2)
3. Aqua Page builder
Another super simple and free option for all you cheapskates out there. The Aqua Page Builder is a tad on the “beginner’s” side of things but it is undoubtedly super easy and intuitively made. The interface is probably the easiest to use for me among all of these examples (probably due to its lack of features and functionality) and this is exactly what someone who is just starting out is looking for. You can check them out over here.
There are so many options available out there and all of these will certainly give the Genesis Framework a run for its money. The problem though with a lot of these widget-themes is that the cold may sometimes be bulkier than usual and this will certainly add to your Google PageSpeed profile and may simply just turn away visitors. This is where hard-coded sites will always have the advantage but my opinion on this is that internet speeds are only getting faster so this may soon not be an issue at all.
Only time will tell if these drag-and-drop themes will change WordPress for the better. Whatever the case may be, I’m looking forward to the bumpy roads of user-friendliness ahead!
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When designing a website, it is important to catch the readers’ attention immediately. Most users won’t even enter or select other pages on your site, if you don’t have a design that stands apart from others. When designing an extreme sports site it is important to keep the it simple. Simplicity avoids users from being overwhelmed and lost. You do not want your users’ thinking, “What’s this website about.” You want them to know immediately. With that in mind, here are 5 design tips for sports websites.
1. Showcase Photos of Action Shots: Extreme sport participants only care about one thing, excitement. No other sports give people a more intense rush and your website should show that on your homepage. Grab the users’ attention and make them feel part of the images. Let their imagination take over. Remember to use professional photography. Here are some ideas for action shots.
- Show pictures of an air dog snowboarder landing intense arial tricks.
- Show a skydiver turning flips in mid-air.
- Show a rock climber using an ascender off the side of a cliff.
2. Put Key Information on Every Page: When users search the web, many different pages show in the results. Ideally, you want your homepage to be within the list. However, this does not always happen perfectly. Sometimes users will be directed to sub-pages on your site. For example, a user may click on the first result which happens to take them to your FAQ page. You want every page to have links to your homepage, as well, as the most important information. Examples of important information, if company name, phone number and city. You don’t want users to feel lost and go back to the search results.
3. Bright Colors/Simple Background: It is important to enhance the products you are advertising with radiant and bold colors. For example, ThePaintballProfessor does a great job showcasing paintball guns on its website. Design popular brands and equipment with bright colors. These are the things that users will recognize. You want them to know exactly what your website is about. In order to make this more successful, use a simple base background. Usually, different shades of grey will draw eyes towards the more bold colors.
4. Mobile Friendly: In today’s technical world, people are spending more time on their phones than an actual computer. Because of this, it is extremely important to have a mobile site as an option. Nothing turns a user off more than having to maximize and minimize to see information. You want your mobile site to be clean and simple. You can choose to have a mobile app for your site or have the site automatically sense a mobile device and show accordingly.
5. News Section: Much of your traffic will be interested in the latest news and trends in their sports. See this section will keep users on your site and increase the likelihood of them clicking on more sub-pages. Here are a few examples of things you can highlight in your news section.
- List current rankings and standings.
- Highlight upcoming competitions.
- Current weather for popular extreme sporting places, such as, ski resorts or mountains.
- Live updates.
Keeping your sports site simple and easy to maneuver is the key to keeping traffic. Following the above tips will assist you in making your site a popular result.
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Having a great looking website that appeals to visitors is something very important to many online businesses, but looks alone won’t make the site great. Having an easy to navigate website, where visitors can easily find what they’re searching for is also very important. For example, we recently created a website for the police department called policeofficercareershq.com. Their main service is teaching someone how to become a police officer. Our goal for the site design was to make sure, when a visitor comes to the site. They can find what they are looking for very easy. So although site design is very crucial, it shouldn’t be given too much value. There are many businesses out there that have amazing looking websites, yet it is very hard to tell what service they are offering.
When building websites, our favorite platform has been WordPress, using the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. Although their theme doesn’t have that wow factor, visitors can very easily tell what the sites are about and what services our clients is providing.
Our Genesis Review
Very Easy To Use
The Genesis Framework theme is one of the easiest to use themes on the market. One of the biggest hurdles developers have when they take over a website is another person’s unfinished job, but with the Genesis Framework, the difficulty is no longer there. Everything is very well documented and standardized. Making handovers, or team development super easy. Developing on a Genesis WordPress theme will save a lot of time and money. The two things people cherish most.
The Genesis Framework became very popular very fast, and is used by many developers, creating a very huge community of Genesis users. There are thousands of websites that have Genesis powered WordPress themes and a lot of developers developing themes based on it, so when a problem arises, finding any documentation shouldn’t be a problem. Studiopress themselves published their own official documentation and many other developers document their Genesis tweaks on their personal blogs and websites. Below is a list of links that are very important if anyone wants to use the Genesis powered theme.
– StudioPress Documentation: This site has a lot of great tutorials, published by the creators themselves.
– Genesis Tutorials: This is a personal blog containing great genesis ideas and tutorials for theme developers.
– Genesis Plugins: There are tons of great plugins for the Genesis theme available in the plugin directory of wordpress. Many of these plugins are developed by third party vendors, but they are still great.
– StudioPress Themes: Studio Press themselves have their own shopping center for their Genesis framework. So for non-developers, you can easily purchase many different child themes created by Studiopress themselves.
The Genesis Framework theme is very easy to use, and backed up by a huge community of users, full of features and updated constantly. This theme is used by many of the top people in the internet and blogging world, such as ProBlogger Founder Darren Rowse, and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. So if there was one theme to pick, the Genesis Theme is the way to go.