This is a tutorial on how to install Genesis for WordPress.
The process is different from how you would install a traditional WordPress theme because Genesis is actually considered to be a framework, not a theme.
Genesis is developed by StudioPress (which is owned by the folks behind Copyblogger).
Because it is a framework, it does not come with the web design elements that characterize the look and feel of a website or blog.
For that reason, you also need to install what is known as a “child theme” to make your website pleasing.
This is how you do it.
A Word of Warning
Before we get started – be aware that installing a new theme can (and most likely will) mess up the look of your website.
Proceed with Caution!!! – I can’t stress it enough.
Changing themes is kind of like changing clothes, but not exactly.
The formatting of your site will change drastically, you most likely will need to upload plugins and possibly demo content to get the site to look the way you want.
You will also need to spend a good amount of time, tweaking your site to get it the way that you want it to look.
And if you are not sure about doing it yourself – engage a good web designer to do it for you.
This post is merely a guideline and may not be right for you.
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Get Genesis and a Child Theme
StudioPress offers packages of Genesis bundled with a child theme – which is a good value.
Download both of these to your computer.
Install Genesis for WordPress
Now, go to your WordPress dashboard and find the “Appearance” tab on the left hand side and then navigate to “Themes”.
Next click on “Add New” at the top of the page.
Now click on “Upload Theme”.
From here click on “Choose File” and find the Genesis Framework zip file that you downloaded from the StudioPress website.
Make sure that it is in .zip format (don’t unzip the file) and click on “Install Now”.
The next screen is your success message but DO NOT ACTIVATE the theme.
Instead, click on “Return to Themes page”.
Install Your Child Theme
Again, click on “Add New” at the top of the Themes page and then the “Upload Theme” button at the top of the next screen.
Hit “Choose File” and navigate to the .zip file of the child theme that you downloaded.
For this example, I chose the Glam Pro theme.
Again, the file should be unzipped (in .zip format) and click on “Install Now”.
Now, when you see the success message – go ahead and click on “Activate”.
My Before & After
I installed the Glam Pro theme on a brand new WordPress install that did not have any content.
Prior to installing the Genesis for WordPress – my site was wearing the default Twenty Sixteen theme that comes with WordPress and it looked like this:
After installing the Glam theme – my site looked like this:
You can see that I have a bit of customizing and formatting to do to get the website looking good.
As I said above – beware of the work involved. Your site will not look anything like the theme demo when you first install it.
Just for reference, this is what the theme demo looks like:
Big difference, right?
Customizing the Glam theme will involve installing some plugins and modifying some settings. It definitely is material for another post.
Is Genesis for WordPress Worth The Effort?
As you can see, installing Genesis for WordPress is a slightly different process than installing a traditional WordPress theme.
You have to download and install the Genesis Framework first – but you don’t activate it.
Next you have to download and install a child theme on top of Genesis, and this is the one that you activate.
However, the theme is not going to look great right out of the box.
Many factors, including the amount of content that you already have on your blog or website and the theme that you are currently using will effect how much work you have to do.
You really need to understand the challenges involved before you make a decision to switch.
The best scenario is to install Genesis for WordPress on a brand new website that does not have any content yet.
What is Your Favorite WordPress Theme?
What WordPress theme do you love – and why do you like it?
Tell us in the comments below.
You can also find more WordPress tutorials here.
Also, in case you were wondering – this blog is currently wearing The Refined Theme from Restored316 which also runs on the Genesis Framework.