As you may know, I recently discovered a great WordPress framework that I am quite taken with. I’ve already converted quite a few sites to it. Most of those sites were previously using a Genesis theme. Some were using other WP themes.
The biggest undertaking so far has been the conversion of my civic club’s site at https://idylwood.org from the Genesis Streamline Pro theme to GeneratePress. The site is large, 81 pages and 132 posts. There were some challenges along the way, which I will address below, but the entire process took just a few hours.
GP ships with a large selection of Google fonts but the one that Idywood uses in its masthead, Pinyon Script, was not among them. No worries. I just grabbed the Google link to the CSS and inserted it in the header hook provided. Speaking of hooks, like Genesis, GP is repleat with hooks in every location so further customizations are possible.
The layout remained basically the same except for the front page. The Streamline Pro Genesis theme had a three-box widget on the front page which I attempted to replicate by creating a child theme and inserting a new page template, front-page.php. But no matter how I tried to insert the code for the widgetized front page, it would not work.
I could have hard-coded the three floated sections, but that would deprive the civic club of the ability to feature a certain post or page. I decided to deploy a plugin to have one featured post or page of high importance in the sidebar on all pages.
I was told by the developer that GP does indeed honor the front-page.php WP scheme, but I could not get it to work no matter what I did, even down to creating a child theme for a custom page template.
Also, GP does not allow for more sidebars than what is already provided, a left and right sidebar, and up to five footer widget areas. In the Genesis version of the site, we had one sidebar for pages and another sidebar for blog posts, both located on the right side. You can use a plugin (one recommended is Content-Aware Sidebars).
My stop-gap solution, which I am not completely thrilled about, is to tell GP to use the left sidebar for blog posts and the right sidebar for pages.
GP also does not natively support breadcrumbs and most Genesis themes have a breadcrumb trail. So if you’reconverting from Genesis to GP, you’ll want to implement them. I’ve written an article about that adventure!
Everything else was easy-peasy. I copied all my customized CSS into the Custom CSS area in the GP customizer and everything fell into place.
GP’s strength lies in its ease of use. You can, with little effort, have a basic site up and ruining in nothing flat. If you know a thing or two about CSS and WordPress, you can make it sing. There are myriad customization features to ensure that no two sites look alike.
The asking price of $39 for the GP Premium plugin that brings you all those great customization features for any site you build with it, commercial or otherwise, is extremely reasonable.
Support is quick and helpful. The developer, Tom Usborne, is on the forums quite regularly and seems to really care about the theme and suggested improvements.
My only criticism at this point is the lack of “mo better” sidebars (without having to use a plugin), no breadcrumb trail, and the inability to have a separate, configurable front page template.
This might be the last theme you’ll ever need to buy. Even if you decide to use plugins to fill in missing features and functions, it’s not bloated like so many themes out there are. You use only the components your site requires.
Joni Mueller has been designing web sites for hire since 2003, when she first blew up her web host’s server by insisting on running Greymatter. Since then, Joni has designed for Blogger and Movable Type, TextPattern, WordPress and CMS Made Simple. She lives with her cat and shoe collection in a bucolic old section of Houston called Idylwood. For some strange reason, Joni likes to refer to herself in the third person. When she’s not working on web design, she’s ordering lawyers around. And blogging about it. Or both.