Updated September 9, 2016: Even though some time has passed since I first wrote this post, the Genesis Framework is still very popular. StudioPress is used by 189,000 users. Yoast not only continues to recommend it but also has built several themes on top of it. And the new Smart Passive Income Pro theme is very attractive (more on that below). But is a Genesis theme right for you? Read on and decide.
If you have been in the WordPress world for a length of time, you undoubtedly have heard of Genesis. Genesis is a WordPress framework on which many themes have been built. Fans praise the ease of use and even claim that it is the “best for SEO”. I was curious about it for a while, and my interest level went up when Sugar Rae transitioned her blog to it a. Joost de Valk (author of the Yoast SEO plugin) is another one that recommends it highly.
There’s definitely no debate that beautiful, functional themes can be created from the framework. The library of premium themes has really grown over the years and newcomer Smart Passive Income is a compelling addition. Designed for affiliate marketers, it was inspired by Pat Flynn’s widely popular Smart Passive Income website. Use my affiliate link below to find out the details and take it for a test drive.
I love the bold colors and typography of Smart Passive Income Pro. On the home page it marries a strong Call to Action while keeping the balance in featuring your content with a unique navigational bar as well as having a space for your most recent blog posts.
You may not care about the inner plumbing of your theme, but you should. The code of your theme is important for your site speed and for the ease of customization. To really get a handle on Genesis I attended a workshop created by Anca Mosoiu, founder of a technology salon: Techliminal located here in Oakland and it became clear to me why it is so popular, especially among developers.
Here’s my take on the strengths (and a few weaknesses) of Genesis. At the bottom of the post, I’ve included a bulleted list if you want to skip the details and read a summary.
I had the privilege of attending a Meetup featuring the one and only Joost de Valk who along with his wife and partner Marieke van de Rakt gave a presentation on “Beyond SEO: Copywriting for Professionals with Yoast”.The talk covered Joost’s view of Holistic SEO and the increasing importance of Quality Content in SEO.
If you are not familiar with who Joost de Valk is, he is the creator of the very popular Yoast SEO WordPress plugin which just about handles all your WordPress SEO needs. Even though I haven’t gotten around to migrating this site to Yoast SEO, I have extensively used it on many client sites as well as some of my other sites and have watched it’s evolution over several years.
The latest version (3.3) of Yoast SEO has some new features which evaluates the readability of your page or post; Joost and Marieke covered the new readability analysis feature and gave us an inside look on it came about.
I’ve been thinking about migrating to a new WordPress theme. Definitely webenso.com needs an updated look.
But I get paralyzed by all the choices out there, so I haven’t taken any action yet. In the meantime, I was really getting bothered by the small font size on webenso.com. So here’s how I made some simple tweaks to modernize slightly (at least) this site by making the text more readable with a larger font.
You could do worse than model your blog or site after the leaders in your niche. I started to notice that sites that covered the topic of online marketing were not only using a larger font size than I was, but were also using a bigger line height. If you are not familiar with it, line height is a CSS property that defines the space above and below your lines of text.
When I transitioned from reading other online marketing and SEO blogs to mine, I found the experience jarring. Not only were the letters smaller but the smaller line height made the whole thing feel cramped.
Then I wrote a script to vet many of the services that many bloggers were using and found several returned errors or didn’t respond at all. That was the first red flag. The second red flag showed up when I found out about a Matt Cutts warning that Google looked unfavorably on some of the services that many were using. Essentially some of them are spam magnets and you really don’t want your site associated with them.
So I cut down my ping list down from 31 services to just 3. And published my post, which got a lot of attention due to my contrarian stance.
Recently I ran into a problem with adding a Facebook pixel to a LeadPage (which we had mapped to WordPress using the LeadPages plugin). I could see both the Google Analytics code and the Facebook pixel code in LeadPages’s tracking code dialog, but only the Google Analytics code was showing up in the source code. I solved the problem by reversing the order of the scripts, but at that point I decided there had to be a better way to manage all the tracking scripts you might need for a paid traffic campaign or optimizing a funnel.
There is, it’s called Google Tag Manager.
Once you have it installed, Google Tag Manager makes it easy to manage your scripts. Instead of having to update your website with each new script, you just log into Google Tag Manager and add it as a new tag. The other benefit is that it will help your site’s performance as Google utilizes their own CDNs to execute the tag, and the GTM script itself fires asynchronously; taking the burden off of your server and not impacting your render time.
These moves can be really dependent on the scenario you are dealing with, for example: who has the domain registered etc., so I’m just going to detail what I did and hopefully it will help others.
I’ve created many child themes. It’s usually a quick and easy process that takes just a few minutes, especially if you are comfortable with the task of creating a directory on your server.
However recently I ran into issues modifying the CSS of a child theme using the Responsive theme as the parent that took me a long time to resolve. I spent hours looking through posts and the WordPress forums and found no answer, so if you are having the same problem with your child theme read on..
For this project my needs are simple and so far twenty thirteen has delivered, albeit with some manageable issues.
Turning off comments was a simple one line code change, but implementing excerpts turned into something a little more involved, thanks to some newer underlying functionality that nevertheless complicated the task.
I attended SF WordCamp 2013 in San Francisco. If you have never been to a WordCamp, I highly recommend you check one out. This was my second WordCamp and it was great to reconnect with folks I’ve met at various Bay Area WordPress meetups as well as check out what interesting things people are doing with the WordPress platform. You can find all the presentations at wordpress.tv
WordPress is a great CMS and sitebuilder, but one area it can fall a little short is its interstitial pages that are designed to help you navigate a site’s posts via category, author or even date. WordPress automatically generates archive pages for each of these grouping mechanisms, but from the SEO perspective these pages fall a little short in providing unique content that the search engines love.
Search engines such as Google want to see pages that have content that can’t be found anywhere else on the site (or in fact elsewhere on the internet). But WordPress’s default archive pages just show a list of posts for that given category (or author). If the blogger has used the “more” tag, then the post’s content is shown on the archive page up to the tag, otherwise the post is shown in it’s entirety. Either way there is no new content on the page that isn’t already on on the individual post pages. Today we are going to look at ways to modify your WordPress category page to be more SEO friendly.