You may have seen recently that we merged StudioPress, creator of the powerful Genesis theme framework, into Copyblogger Media. Why did we do it?
I can sum it up for you in a single phrase: because we’re control freaks.
With Genesis, we saw an opportunity to create WordPress themes that were tailored exactly to our customers’ needs and desires.
We could incorporate the features that are most important for content-rich sites, the expert SEO you insist on, and the security to keep your sites as safe as possible.
Brian and I worked closely with Genesis founder (and our new partner) Brian Gardner on a new collaboration. A WordPress theme designed for those of you — bloggers, copywriters, consultants, and content marketers — who in one way or another produce great content to make a living or part-time income.
I’d like to introduce you to Prose.
An elegant minimalist design
The first thing we knew was that we wanted the design to support your content, not fight with it.
Some themes make great use of animated widgets, or are designed to highlight striking imagery. Or they’re great for e-commerce, or building a corporate brand.
And Genesis has terrific themes that do all of those.
Prose is something different. It’s all about words.
It’s simple and elegant, so it doesn’t distract. But it has enough design sophistication that it never looks amateurish or “fly by night.”
Like the perfect little black dress, it doesn’t call attention to itself … it just makes you look amazing.
Point and click design controls
But just because you may not be first and foremost a designer, that doesn’t mean you want to commit yourself to a single rigid design mold.
Writers are creative people, after all. And we knew you’d insist on being able to change some key elements yourself, without “breaking” the overall clean, designed look of the theme.
That’s why we built in point-and-click design controls into Prose. They let you control site colors, typefaces, font sizes, and other critical elements of your site design. Instantly.
Do your readers want a larger font size? That’s just a few clicks away, starting right from your WordPress dashboard.
Want to try a different column layout for your site, or to change the look of your subheads? Takes less than a minute. And if you don’t like it, it’s a few clicks to change it back again.
You can change how your links are styled, how tall you want your header to be, and dozens of other key design elements.
And you don’t have to know any CSS, HTML, PHP, or any other letters. If you can point and click, you can customize your site design.
Search optimized and powered by Genesis
You might have seen that Genesis isn’t just a WordPress theme, it’s actually what’s called a theme framework.
So my first question when I saw that was, What’s a theme framework?
The first thing you need to know is that when it comes to web design, form and function need to be separated.
In other words, how your web page works (like the code that Google looks at to find your content and how to rank it, or the security that keeps evildoers from hacking your blog) should be separated from how your web page looks.
Well, in the first place, Google is a big fan of clean code. The Google “bots” are sophisticated, but they’re only so smart. Clunky, junked-up code can confuse them — and if Google gets confused, they won’t give your site the ranking you deserve.
In the second place, the web evolves. Those “back end” elements always need to be up-to-date. Security evolves, SEO evolves, WordPress evolves, and your page function needs to grow with those things so that everything works the way it should.
But the last thing you want is for your carefully designed web page to suddenly look completely different because you updated your WordPress theme.
That’s the beauty of a framework. When you click the button to update Genesis, it automatically takes care of all of those security and SEO issues for you. But it doesn’t touch the design of the page, because that’s handled by “child themes.”
OK, so what’s a child theme?
The theme framework is all about how the site works.
The child theme controls the “look and feel” of your site. And the exact same content will have a very different feel depending on how that content gets presented.
The nice thing about child themes is that with the Genesis framework, you can change them in just minutes.
That means you can take a funky site with a handmade flavor, like the Genesis Bee Crafty theme, and in about two minutes you can give that exact same content a sleek professional gloss by switching to the Enterprise theme.
And you’ll never touch the important “behind the scenes” code that makes your site work exactly the way you want it to.
The biggest security hazard for most blogs
Unfortunately, bad guys are everywhere, and blogs get hacked every day.
The most common culprit? Bloggers who haven’t updated their theme or their WordPress installation because they’re worried it will mess up the look and usability of their sites.
Outdated software is a major security hazard. In fact, Brian Gardner told me that one of the reasons he developed the Genesis framework in the first place was to make updating his own sites one-click-easy.
When it’s easy for you to update WordPress and your theme framework, and you don’t worry about anything breaking, you won’t put it off.
And that keeps your blog (and your readers) safer.
Get Prose + Genesis today
Pick up Prose with Genesis today and you’ll get:
- Prose’s point-and-click design controls to create the exact look you want
- A great-looking theme that puts the focus on your content
- All the SEO and security benefits of the Genesis Framework
- Unlimited updates and support
- The ability to use Prose on as many sites as you like (no developer surcharge)
About the Author: Sonia Simone is Senior Editor of Copyblogger and CMO of Copyblogger Media. Follow her on twitter.