Genesis 1.9 the popular WordPress Framework by StudioPress was released today with a new default layout and some SEO enhancements. Version 1.9 will be a prelude to a major upgrade, Genesis 2.0, to be released sometime around Spring/Summer of 2013. The only hints given for version 2.0 are it will be built with HTML5 and it will be a whole lot easier to get your site mobile ready.
Genesis 1.9 Default Layout
The new default layout has been changed significantly from the previous version. It now has a very clean and spacious feel with lots of white spaces and big bold fonts. It is something that lead designer Brian Gardner has been propagating for a long while concerning site designs.
It is also something that I see in the same light these days. Maybe it’s because of my advancing age and my eroding eyesight. Small fonts really make reading tough for your readers.
The default layout uses Lato/Helvitica font-stack site wide. The Lato font is used for the Titles while the contents uses the Helvitica font set to 16px, a new standard font size advocated by most theme designers these day.
Do note that this latest version
Genesis 1.9, we are also utilizing the rem unit of measurement and will use a pixel fallback for browsers that don’t support rems.
Based on the 1140 grid system, the theme responds smoothly in tandem with any screen sizes so you can rest assured your contents will be view-able in all mobile devices.
It is hard to imagine any theme that does not adhere to the responsive design structure in this age and time.
Easy Implementation Of Google Authorship
Another enhancement which I find proper and thoughtful is the easy implementation of Google Authorship for your blog.
It is said that if your blog is verified by Google that you are the legitimate owner with a proper profile and not some fly by night blog operator out to make a fast buck, you will be better recognized by Google and given a higher ranking.
Many have complained about getting this authorship status because they do not know how and where to insert the scripts and snippets provided by Google. Genesis 1.9 solves this problem.
Just edit your profile, find the field where you can enter your Google+ account URL, and save. Genesis does the rest. And if you want to associate an author with the homepage, you can do that in SEO Settings.
Creating A Genesis 1.9 Child Theme
Of course many will not be satisfied with the bland look of the Genesis 1.9. Honestly speaking, it only looks bland of you have not inserted any contents. Once you have added a header image or logo, embedded some images the theme will look quite nice as it is.
However, if you must, then there are some easy ways to customize Genesis 1.9.
1. Using The Sample Child Theme
If you have a good understanding of CSS, then you can customize the Theme using the Sample Child Theme. This is provided free for all Genesis Owners who wants to do customizations on their own.
2. Choose A Pre-Made Genesis Child Theme
There are a wide selection of ready made Genesis Child Themes in the StudioPress Theme Shop. You can opt to buy all and save considerably or buy only the Theme you need individually.
3. Build It Yourself With The Genesis Site Builder
The easiest way is to build it yourself with the super powerful Dynamik Genesis Site Builder. It is also a child theme to the Genesis Framework but this awesome child theme comes with hundreds of customization options that lets you create unique Genesis Child Themes of your own with ease.
One thing to note when using the Dynamik Genesis Site Builder –
Just note that Dynamik will still look and act the same in that it will not utilize the new 1140 grid system available in the default Genesis styles. Dynamik does its own thing with Responsive Design and I just wanted to be clear about that so there was no confusion after the upgrade
Rest assured that it will work seamlessly with Genesis 1.9
4. Use A Genesis Child Theme Extender Plugin
Another easy way is to use the Genesis Extender Plugin. This easy to use plugin lets you customize ALL Genesis Child Themes.
For example if you have bought a child theme from the Theme Shop and you want to do some changes to the Child Theme to make it unique, this plugin will minimize the task for you.
Of course that would mean spending money twice. First to buy a Child Theme, then to buy the plugin. I would suggest you download the Sample Child Theme, then use this plugin to customize it to your heart’s content.
Last but not least, everything mentioned above depends on you owning the Genesis Framework. Without that, all the tips above will not work.