I don’t give many 5 star ratings, but the Genesis Framework is an exception. I use Genesis on a daily basis when I work on my own WordPress site (this one) and my client’s. I always recommend using a Genesis-powered WordPress theme because of it’s built-in SEO, reliability, security and other features. I cover all these in my Genesis Framework review.
Here’s why Genesis deserves a perfect 5 star rating…
Genesis Is Used By The Pros
Genesis is recommended by the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. There’s two other people who use Genesis that aren’t mentioned on the StudioPress website: Joost De Valk (from the Yoast SEO Plugin) and Matt Cutts (head of spam at Google). If it’s recommended by the top dogs at WordPress, Yoast and Google – it’s going to be worth it.
Large Selection Of Genesis-Powered WordPress Themes
You can get a Genesis-powered WordPress theme from any of these theme stores. I like to stick with StudioPress themes because they’re the ones who built the Genesis Framework, but there are some really nice third-party themes to choose from.
All StudioPress themes have been optimized by SEO expert Greg Boser
Most themes are mobile responsive (good for SEO)
The main reason Genesis themes have built-in SEO is because they use lightweight code. This makes your site load faster (site speed is a ranking factor in Google). Genesis isn’t cluttered with unnecessary options either, which can often cause slow load times.
You know how there’s tons of free WordPress tutorials online? Similar thing with Genesis.
StudioPress provides documentation for each theme to help you get started, and they post updates on social networks about Genesis-related topics. There’s also third-party social media groups who help each other out. And if you need to hire a developer to help you customize your theme, here’s a list of StudioPress recommended Genesis developers.
The Right Amount Of Built-In Features
Multiple page layouts
Some WordPress themes come with tons of built-in features. While these can be appealing at first, they’re also notorious for slowing down a website.
Genesis only includes features that are necessary for designing a website which they refer to as their “lightweight code.” All you need is a few page layouts, widgets, and theme options to design a nice site. You can (and should) use plugins if needed. Keep reading…
My Genesis Framework review naturally includes WordPress plugins specifically built for Genesis-powered WordPress themes. Most of these have very good ratings.
I would definitely use some of StudioPress’ plugins. StudioPress is known for developing top-notch products, both themes and plugins, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the plugin becoming outdated, break, or mess with your site.
Reliability & Trust
At the end of the day I don’t want to worry about whether my theme has good SEO, security, or any of the things a theme should have.
I know Genesis not only includes these but is also updated automatically. I know this will minimize any potential issues with my site. And I know the team at StudioPress knows what they’re doing. I just want to be in good hands so I can handle what I’m good at, and that’s exactly what you get when you use the Genesis Framework.
Because I’ve been using it on my own Genesis-powered WordPress site for around 3 hours/day for the last 4 years. While Outreach Pro is advertised as a church theme, mine is a marketing website that advertises WordPress SEO consulting with a ton of blog tutorials on SEO, site speed, Genesis themes, and other WordPress topics. Nothing to do with churches.
But yes, you can definitely use Outreach Pro as a church theme and I will show you examples of websites that were customized using Outreach Pro (which you can find on StudioPress’ showcase page). I will also give you an inside look at the Outreach Pro theme settings, plugins I use, and StudioPress documentation that will help you customize this theme. Let’s do this…
My Background And Why I Migrated To Outreach Pro
I was a full-time freelance WordPress designer for 4 years. I designed my own website with a theme called Dailycious from ThemeForest which got discontinued, plus it wasn’t responsive.
I read that Yoast and Matt Mullenweg (lead developer at WordPress) recommended child themes built in StudioPress’ Genesis Framework. I checked out StudioPress and went through pretty much every Genesis theme store there is. Seriously, from StudioPress to Zigzagpress, Web Savvy Marketing, even smaller Genesis theme stores like The Pixelista and Restored 316.
I kept opening the Outreach Pro demo and realized how much I loved it. The design, the widgets, the boldness of it. I was sold. I purchased Outreach Pro to use for my website (which is a marketing site, not a church or non-profit site) and I am SO glad I chose this theme.
AMP – accelerated mobile pages which make your site load faster on mobile and gives you a nice “AMP” sign next to your search results on mobile.
Glue For Yoast & AMP – adds an “AMP” option in Yoast’s settings which lets you better design AMP pages and make them compatible with Yoast.
Wrapping It Up
Overall I love StudiPress’ Outreach Pro theme and recommend it to anyone looking for a bold, user-friendly Genesis theme. NOT just a church website! Obviously there is a learning curve when using any Genesis theme, but Outreach Pro is fairly simple to work with. Also, any lightweight theme naturally comes with options, so yes, you will be relying on plugins to add functionality. But that’s what lightweight themes are all about.
If you’re looking for a WordPress theme that looks awesome and is actually SEO-Friendly, you should probably check out StudioPress.
All StudioPress themes are mobile responsive and have clean, lightweight code that make your website fast, secure, and run smoothly. They’re trusted by over 200,000 WordPress users including Yoast, Matt Cutts from Google, plus the founder of WordPress – Matt Mullwenweg. Few theme stores can actually get an interview with Matt. StudioPress is just that respected.
I wrote this StudioPress review because I use their Outreach Pro theme on a daily basis for my website. It looks awesome, loads in under 1s, and I’ve never had a single theme-related issue. I’ve built over 15+ WordPress sites using StudioPress themes and wrote 20 blog tutorials about their Genesis Framework. And while there are plenty of WordPress and Genesis theme stores out there, I always end up at StudioPress. This StudioPress review is based on my experience using their themes along with practical tips to help you customize YOUR theme.
Here are 15 reasons you should choose StudioPress to build or redesign your WordPress site:
1. SEO-Friendly: Clean Code = Less Technical Problems
The real SEO you get with a StudioPress theme is the clean code that makes your website run fast, responsively, securely, and smoothly. It’s not like your rankings are going to skyrocket if you use StudioPress (or any theme for that matter). But the fact is most websites do have technical issues that could have been prevented if the theme code was written better. Avoiding technical issues consequentially DOES benefit SEO and it also improves user experience, uptimes, security, and can save you a LOT of money hiring a developer to fix errors.
Genesis Framework does come with it’s own SEO settings but as with any theme, you’re better off configuring the Yoast SEO Plugin. Genesis also comes with schema.org for rich snippets but you’re better off using a plugin like All In One Schema (free but minimal) or WP Rich Snippets (premium and robust). These plugins will do a better job no matter what theme you choose. Don’t get fooled when a developer slaps the words “SEO-Friendly” on their WordPress theme. The best way to know is to follow what the top WordPress people are using, and that’s why people like Yoast and Matt Cutts from Google use the Genesis Framework by StudioPress.
2. Reliability: Trusted By 200,000 People Who ♥ Genesis
There’s a lot to be said about purchasing a theme from a reputable company (as opposed to an independent developer on ThemeForest). StudioPress now has over 200,000 users who trust them to make ongoing updates and improvements to their themes and Genesis Framework. The reliability factor alone can save you countless hours having to deal with technical issues, and the possibility that your WordPress theme will be discontinued or worse, abandoned.
@jm_cook@Skitzzo I bought Genesis. AM folks had sent over example themes years ago. I reimbursed (gift card) AM person who gave me advice.
@bgardner because it’ll make people think I favor Genesis over other theme frameworks. Oh wait, that’s actually true ;) — Joost de Valk (@yoast) January 31, 2012fac
With StudioPress my updates have always gone flawlessly…
I can count on them to release frequent updates to the Genesis Framework…
Whereas ThemeForest themes are built by independent developers who may not be as reliable. This is a ThemeForest theme I used for my website (the one you’re on). It eventually got discontinued, no updates were released, and I started running into technical errors. I had to redesign my site using the Outreach Pro theme by StudioPress which took me weeks, but long-term this was a blessing in disguise. You however, have the option to avoid that mistake.
3. Lightweight: No More Bloated Code Slowing You Down
Most StudioPress themes don’t include a built-in portfolio, shortcodes, and some don’t even include a slider. Instead of having these features caked into your theme (which hurts your load time), you will be relying on plugins to only add the functionality you need. This is the whole concept of lightweight. StudioPress’ coding is also top-notch so you can be sure your Genesis-powered WordPress site will load instantly. Mine usually loads in .8s when tested in GTmetrix.
4. Mobile Responsive + HTML5
All StudioPress themes are mobile responsive and all but 1 (Focus Pro) are HTML5…
5. Security: Code Reviewed By Core Developer Mark Jaquith
I’ll admit I don’t know much about security when it comes to coding (only general things like changing your admin username, installing a security plugin like Wordfence, etc). But I do know StudioPress brought on security expert and core WordPress developer Mark Jaquith to review and tweak their themes. This is good since WordPress sites have been a recent target.
6. Accessibility Ready (For The Impaired)
This makes your website is more easily readable by people who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, or color blind. They’re small things like making the text high contrast compared to the background color, or making your navigation selectable by keyboard. It’s not a ranking factor in Google (yet at least) but does make your site easier for this group of people.
7. Amazing Designs With A Wide Selection Of Themes
I assure you there are better WordPress designers than myself, but my website is a customized version of StudioPress’ Outreach Pro Theme. Check out my homepage or see the showcase section on StudioPress to see Genesis sites designed using StudioPress themes.
8. Powered By The Genesis Framework
All StudioPress themes are built in the Genesis Framework. This is similar to a parent theme and facilitates the development of your child theme (the one you choose on StudioPress). By using Genesis you are allowing StudioPress to make ongoing updates to the Genesis Framework which keeps your website running smoothly. It basically helps with everything listed in this StudioPress review. You can learn about theme frameworks on this WP Beginner post. Rest assured, Genesis is among the top frameworks is respected in the WP community.
9. Automatic Updates: One Less Thing To Worry About
Once you install your theme, you can enable autoupdates in your Genesis theme settings:
10. Theme Settings: An Inside Look
All StudioPress themes have Genesis theme settings which you can export and import to use on multiple Genesis sites. As you can see there aren’t nearly as many options as a robust theme like Avada on ThemeForest, but like I said, that is the concept of a lightweight theme.
11. Genesis Plugins (Also Lightweight)
StudioPress has an array of Genesis plugins I would DEFINITELY use to customize your StudioPress theme. Most of them have high ratings are they are lightweight so you don’t have to worry about them slowing down your site. I would at least check out these Genesis plugins:
The documentation StudioPress has for both Genesis Framework and their themes is super helpful. Once you purchase a theme you will have access to it’s setup instructions. Here they will show how to install your theme, import demo content, setup the homepage, Genesis SEO settings, use columns, and other tutorials. Below are the instructions I got for Outreach Pro.
Since StudioPress is so popular, a LOT of people have used their themes. You can usually find Youtube tutorials showing you how to setup your StudioPress theme especially if it’s been around for awhile (like Executive Pro, Eleven40 Pro, Parallax Pro, others). Here’s a great Youtube tutorial by Lisa Irby showing you how to customize any Genesis WordPress theme:
14. Community Support: Join The Facebook Group!
If you buy a StudioPress theme you should definitely join the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They are super helpful and the StudioPress team posts regular updates on new theme releases, tips, and other news about the Genesis Framework. If you have a question or issue related to anything Genesis, this is one of the most helpful Facebook Groups I have joined.
15. Plenty Of Genesis Developers If You Need Help
StudioPress has their own list of Genesis developers but I work with Pronaya who is much cheaper ($40/hour) and has helped me build over 15 WordPress sites in the Genesis Framework. We’ve been working together for 5 years and you can hire him on freelancer.com (just sign up and search for user bdkamol). He lives in Bangladesh but if you don’t mind the time difference, he speaks good English and usually completes updates within 1-2 days. He can install your theme, customize it, and does all WordPress speed optimization projects for me.
Choosing A StudioPress Theme
I would base your decision off the design you like. While some themes are industry-specific, the content is meant to be swapped out anyway. So don’t base your decision solely on the content. Outreach Pro is advertised as a church theme but I used it as a marketing website and love it. Obviously real estate, WooCommerce, education, and even parallax themes are unique to that type of website, but multipurpose themes can be customized for any industry.
Pro Plus All-Theme Package: Get All 55+ StudioPress Themes
The StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package includes all StudioPress themes for $499.95 + $99.95/year after. This theme pack includes all third-party and future themes in their collection. I found many higher paying gigs involve companies who want to use Genesis, so being a WordPress developer (and Genesis developer) can get you more clients in itself.
Showcase Websites: See Customized Versions Of Each Theme
Use the showcase section on StudioPress’ website to see customized versions of each theme. There’s an option on the right side of the page where you can filter by theme (and you’ll notice some websites look completely different than the theme, showing you how flexible they are).
That’s all I got! If you have any questions about my StudioPress themes review, the Genesis Framework, or a specific theme, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll be glad to help you out. As soon as I found out about StudioPress I fell in love (as they say). But seriously, I really enjoy working with their themes and it’s definitely made my life easier especially the design aspect.
They’re all mobile responsive + HTML5 (I tripled checked) and compatible with the WooCommerce plugin. You’ll find setup instructions, pricing, and other helpful resources in my descriptions. Most are $50 – $130 depending if you’ve already purchased Genesis and I recommend using StudioPress’ plugins and tutorials to customize your theme, as well as the theme’s setup instructions. Most of these Genesis WooCommerce themes are feminine (because most of the developers are females) but the content/colors can always be changed.
Mai Lifestyle Pro is a beautiful lifestyle theme with multiple column layouts that showcase your products, recipes, or any content you want. It’s definitely one of the nicest eCommerce themes by StudioPress and I’d definitely take a look if you want a theme you’ll be happy with.
Academy Pro is a recent StudioPress theme designed for online courses, membership sites, and other educational websites. It has shop, account, cart, and checkout pages with filters on the shop page, and it also features quite a few of sample pages with a cleanly designed homepage.
Authority Pro is a flexible Genesis eCommerce theme and is also specifically designed for online courses. Like all StudioPress themes, it is mobile responsive + HTML5 and has quite a few call-to-action buttons. Plus, it features both a 2 and 3 column layout on the homepage.
Monochrome, a black/white WooCommerce theme with cart/checkout/account pages and other samples pages like most StudioPress themes. Background colors and buttons are found on the features page – plus they have pricing, blog, author, contact, and layout sample pages.
Altitude Pro is similar to Parallax Pro, only it features a single page (homepage) where the individual sections are larger than those in Parallax Pro. The navigation items don’t HAVE to have the scrolling effect – each item can lead to a new page (check out the links in the footer).
Navigation Pro is filled with bright and bold colors and layouts making it perfect for travel, cuisine, fitness, or law websites. Included are custom blocks for adding content, an advanced Theme Customizer for making changes, and AMP enabled functionality for fast load times on all devices.
Jessica is featured on StudioPress and was developed by Web Savvy Marketing (now 9seeds). Rebecca Gills and her team do a great job with support and keeping her themes updated. She also has 2 other WooCommerce themes, Sarah Ellen and Caroline (also responsive + HTML5).
Revolution Pro is a minimally designed WooCommerce ready theme that works great for creatives, including photographers. It comes with 5 homepage examples, a customizable logo, and is mobile responsive for those on the go.
EExecutive Pro has also been around for a while and looks like a business theme. However, StudioPress recently made it WooCommerce friendly. It features the Genesis Slider Plugin on the homepage, plus Genesis eNews Extended. I have used it before and it’s easy to work with.
Another classic Genesis theme by StudioPress, News Pro is similar to Metro Pro and is mainly for news blogs that want eCommerce functionality. There are setup instructions and plenty of samples websites since this theme has been around for a long time. It’s minimal and loads fast.
Divine was developed by Lauren from Restored 316 Designs and is featured on StudioPress. Lauren made a nice tutorial video showing Divine’s versatility and how you can customize the content to be completely different if you’re not designing a food blog. You can also center the logo and do some really cool things with her themes. She also has quite a few other themes.
Glam features a non-fullwidth slider on the homepage, 4 images below it, and a blogroll underneath. It includes 3 color options, a custom header, and has a very nice design. Setup instructions show you how to set up your homepage, subpages, shop page, widgets, plugins to install, image dimensions, and WordPress settings to tweak. Use those instructions!
Pretty Chic was developed by Pretty Darn Cute Design who creates feminine Genesis themes. Many of Lindsey’s other themes are also WooCommerce ready, mobile responsive, and HTML5, and I’ve included some them in this list. Pretty Chic comes with a sticky header/navigation, optional fullwidth ad widget, 1-3 navigation menus, and is retina-ready.
Pretty Creative features a fullwidth, widgetized homepage and an optional portfolio. It’s retina-ready and all Pretty Darn Cute Design themes come with 20+ WordPress tutorial videos. Customize images, colors, background, header, and more. Featured on StudioPress.
Hello Boss is a minimal, versatile, modern Genesis eCommerce theme. It features a custom blog or homepage and a pre-designed coming soon page. In addition, you’ll have access to social share icons, beautiful color schemes, and smooth parallax scrolling with a large background image.
Hello Darling was one of Hello You Design’s original themes, and it’s still my favorite. The top of the homepage features multiple content items and clean, multiple column layouts underneath that can be customized with whatever you want. It’s still one of my top picks.
Hello Trending is a multipurpose theme that comes comes WooCommerce ready and with neat features like a carousel slider, parallax image sections, a filterable portfolio, and even extra wdidget areas for ads.
Built exclusively for the Genesis Framework, Hello Boho is best described as an everything theme. Upload a custom logo, change the color schemes, open up an online store, and even create landing pages with this versatile theme.
Modern Blogger Pro was originally featured on StudioPress but can still be purchased on Pretty Darn Cute Design’s website. It’s a nice, unique theme created by a trusted Genesis Developer and can be used by any blogger. Whether you take advantage of its pre-styled WooCommerce design (or portfolio) is up to you, but they’re both there if you need it.
Pretty Travel is built on the Genesis Framework and is designed to help you document your travels, monetize your blog, and display beautiful photos. It comes with a Color Customizer panel, 7 page layout options, and a landing page template.
Pretty Fabulous is another great theme with WooCommerce functionality brought to you by Pretty Darn Cute. This lightweight theme loads blazing fast and comes with features like an animated slider navigation menu, sticky header, fancy fade effects, and a landing page template.
Splendor is a WooCommerce compatible WordPress theme built on Genesis Framework. It comes with 4 homepage designs, built-in newsletter capability, and responsive design so your site always renders seamlessly.
Beloved is a WooCommerce ready theme that’s built on the Genesis Framework and helps you share your most compelling writing. Complete with a sales and custom Instagram page, flexible widget space, and 2 homepage designs to pick from, your blog is sure to shine.
Sprinkle Pro has 2 navigation menus (one on top for your pages and one below the logo for categories), along with a 2/3 width slider on the homepage with surrounding widgets. Sprinkle comes with 7 color options, 6 layout options and FAQs about the theme.
Captivating features SEO benefits, ads, and affiliate networks so bloggers can succeed. And if monetizing your blog is on your radar, this theme comes WooCommerce ready, complete with a sticky announcement bar, responsive design, and multiple H2 styling options.Flourish is a feminine eCommerce theme that features 2 navigation menus (main menu and categories), slider, and a boxed layout beneath it. It’s simple yet attractive. The shop page also comes with sorting functionality like of these Genesis eCommerce themes.
Custom blog pages, SEO optimization, sticky announcement bars, and easy to change color schemes all come with this theme. Not to mention, it’s WooCommerce ready so you can set up an online shop with ease.
The demo version of the Market theme is photo-heavy if that’s your style, but you easily adjust it to feature whatever content you want to be in front. It’s also very organized and user-friendly. It comes WooCommerce compatible and SEO optimized for the best search rankings possible.
Delightful Pro is a Genesis WooCommerce theme by Restored 316 Designs that includes a bright, feminine look. It comes with 4 color themes and 6 layout options, plus a nice category section so visitors can easily navigate through your different blog topics.
Darling is a Genesis WooCommerce theme by Restored 316 Designs that includes a bright, feminine look. It comes with widgetized areas for all things business and responsive design so those on the go can see your site.
As the first feminine parallax WordPress theme to be built on the Genesis Framework, Restored 316 Designs brings you Simply Charming Pro in hopes of helping you succeed. It’s mobile responsive, WooCommerce ready, and lets you change the color scheme using the native customizer.s.
Those with food blogs, restaurants, or kitchen gear for sale will benefit from the WooCommerce ready Tasteful theme. Footer widgets with ad space, custom backgrounds, category indexes, and more make up this Genesis theme.
If you want an SEO-friendly WordPress theme, you should probably be using a theme from StudioPress.
All StudioPress themes are built in the Genesis Framework which gives your site clean, lightweight code. My website was built using their Outreach Pro theme and loads in .5s. It’s completely mobile responsive + HTML5 and has no security issues in Google Search Console. It supports rich snippets and is constantly updated to stay current with new releases of WordPress core and plugins. Yoast and Matt Cutts recommend StudioPress and Genesis.
@jm_cook@Skitzzo I bought Genesis. AM folks had sent over example themes years ago. I reimbursed (gift card) AM person who gave me advice.
What Makes a WordPress Theme SEO-Friendly?
It all comes down to code and reliability. Code because you want your theme to be fast, responsive, HTML5, secure, and cross browser compatible. Reliability because you don’t want to buy a theme from ThemeForest just to have the developer abandon it so no future updates are released, causing your website to have more and more compatibility issues down the line.
Over 194,500 WordPress users trust StudioPress, and while their themes are more expensive than most premium themes ($99.95 including Genesis Framework), you’ll save a LOT of money down the line. Talk to the website owners who pay $500 to make their website load 2 seconds faster. Or the lawyer I’m working with who had to rebuild her site because her theme was labeled as responsive but looked terrible on an iPhone. Talk to me about when my ThemeForest theme got discontinued and the developer stopped updating it, so I had to redesign my site using the StudioPress Outreach Pro theme (this was 3 years ago before I knew about StudioPress).
All I’m saying is… be careful when you see the words SEO-friendly WordPress theme. Anyone can slap this on their theme, but few companies have been around long enough to build a loyal community of 194,500 people, have a highly active and supportive Facebook group, and are respectable enough to hold interviews with the core founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg.
Eleven40 Pro is a slick blog theme developed by StudioPress which I’ve used for multiple clients. It comes with different color schemes (orange, blue, red, purple, green) but you can also add your own. Includes landing page templates, different column layouts for pages and well-designed blog post templates. One of the most popular Genesis themes by StudioPress.
Foodie Pro is a little more pricey but is worth it if you want a state of the art blog (doesn’t have to be a food blog). Includes 3 color options, optional ad space, a widgetized homepage, and everything you need to build a beautiful, SEO-friendly blog in WordPress and Genesis.
Metro Pro is a Genesis magazine theme with 5 colors styles and 6 layout options. It’s similar to News Pro and Magazine Pro (the next 2 themes listed) but has a slightly different design. Like all Genesis themes it’s super customizable when it comes to design and functionality.
StudioPress’ News Pro is a lightweight, highly customizable theme for news or magazine websites. It includes 6 layout options, 5 color styles, multiple page templates, and theme options. This is another popular StudioPress theme that has been around for many years.
Magazine Pro is similar to News Pro and Metro Pro (their both Genesis magazine themes) but Magazine Pro has a different design. This WordPress theme comes with 4 color styles, 6 layout options, page templates, a theme customizer, custom header and other options.
Modern Blogger Pro was originally featured on StudioPress (not anymore since StudioPress is always coming out with new themes) but you can still purchase this theme on Pretty Darn Cute Design’s website. They also have quite a few other feminine WordPress themes and are a respected developer in the Genesis community, so I would definitely check them out since they have a good collection of SEO-friendly themes which are all built in Genesis.
This is a great SEO friendly food theme that helps you showcase your latest recipes both visually and in written text. Its minimlaist style lets you highlight what’s important. Plus, you can create a custom logo, translate content, and choose from multiple layout options.
Love this theme! Digital Pro is is designed for businesses or any type of website. It’s super professional with a unique design to make you stand out. This is a new theme and I almost wish it was out when I was building my site (I used Outreach Pro) but I still love my baby.
If you’re looking for a user-friendly theme, the developer of Showcase Pro JT Grauke specializes in UI/UX. It’s a multipurpose theme with a fullwidth, clean layout featuring team photos on the homepage (though content can always be swapped out). Check out the demo.
Executive Pro is a simple, flexible business theme with a built-in portfolio. It features a homepage slider, clean 3 column layout, and has 7 color styles. I also love the call to action buttons it comes with. I have used this theme and can vouch that it’s easy to work with.
Altitude Pro, a slick SEO-friendly WordPress theme with parallax scrolling which allows you to use motion backgrounds. Use it to create a simple 1-page website or layer it with multiple pages. A very minimal WordPress theme but if that’s what you’re looking for, try it out.
Drone was developed by Zigzagpress and has a built-in portfolio. This is my 2nd favorite theme store after StudioPress. Their themes are $49 and all are mobile responsive, but keep in mind you will need to purchase the Genesis Framework separately. Here’s a demo of Drone if you want to see a customized version, although I did very little customizations. Most Zigzagpress themes come with a portfolio, shortcodes, multiple homepage layouts, and more built-in features than you’ll see on StudioPress themes. Definitely worth checking out.
Agency Pro is a unique SEO-friendly WordPress theme with a built-in portfolio and professional design. Included are 5 color styles and 6 layout options. If you like the style of the fullwidth layout with an eye capturing background image, check this one out.
Prestige is one of my favorite WordPress themes from Zigzagpress. It comes with tons of features including a built-in portfolio, multiple portfolio/blog/homepage layouts, shortcodes, color options, and a featured fullwidth slider on the homepage. Browse through the different pages and you’ll see why I love Prestige so much, it’s an awesome theme.
This is another one of my favorite WordPress themes from Zigzagpress. Super clean, easy to work with, and includes a nice built-in portfolio, shortcodes, plus multiple homepage and portfolio layouts where you can view some awesome features of this SEO-friendly theme.
Showroom can be used for either a website or blog. It comes with a built-in portfolio, shortcodes, and features a fullwidth slider on the homepage. This might be good for an interior design website – and the shortcodes do really help you customize the theme easily.
Patricia is a non-profit WordPress theme developed by Web Savvy Marketing, a theme store that develops industry-specific themes. Patricia’s homepage features an eye capturing photo and it’s design is specifically tailored for charities. I also know Rebecca Gill (owner) takes care of her themes, which is why I gave them 5 stars in my Web Savvy Marketing review.
The dentist doesn’t have to be scary. Nancy includes everything you need to build a user-friendly dentist website in WordPress. It’s compact layout makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for, like your address, appointments, contact information and more.
This StudioPress theme allows you to showcase your work using a simple, elegant design. You may also want to check out the Showroom theme (#17) from this list since that can also be used for interior design websites, but I always prefer themes developed by StudioPress.
Daniel is a really nice theme designed for doctors, physicians, or any type of medical website. It has a clean layout and comes with 7 different color options. This is similar to the Nancy theme only the content is tailored for a medical WordPress site.
I rely on these WordPress affiliate programs to make a living and make $10,000/month endorsing hosts, themes, WordPress developers on freelancer.com, and even SEO services.
So instead of managing tons of client projects (like I used to), I’ve basically found an affiliate program for everything and just make commissions. I have a LOT more free time and my affiliate income is honestly more consistent than any income I was making through consulting.
You can sign up for many of these through shareasale.com which is used to find, track, and payout commissions from tons of merchants. But that is just one place. Browse the list and I assure you will find a new affiliate program you will be excited to make more passive income from. And don’t forget to leave me a comment if you have questions – or new programs to add!
SiteGround – life changer for me… I made $80k in 2017 and $120k in 2018 just through SiteGround. I highly contribute this to showing people 26 different Facebook polls where SiteGround was ranked #1 (screenshots below). It’s $50 – $150 per sale depending on the tier you reach each month, $150 per sale if you start making 31+ sales/month (you should contact their affiliate manager and be selling some higher priced plans other than their StartUp plan). $160/sale if you hit around 81+ sales/month. Read my SiteGround review to get marketing materials. 11 sales/month will make you $13k/year. 21 sales/month and some of you can quit your job making 31.5k/year. Excellent speed, support, security, and they’ll migrate you for free.
Even though other hosting affiliates like WP Engine offer flat $200 commissions, SiteGround is highly respected in the WordPress community (and #1 in most Facebook polls) so you will likely have higher conversions and lower cancellations – even if you have to climb a tier. They raised the regular price but their promotional price is affordable and you can get it for 3 years.
97 sales x 150/sale = $14,550 in 1 month (this was in March, 2018)
Selling SiteGround is easy when they’re rated #1 in pretty much every Facebook poll…
Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a chunk of the commission at no expense to you. Each year I donate $3k to GoFundMe campaigns (2018 was to feed the hungry in Denver, and 2017 was Hurricane Harvey). Your support helps and I really do appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they’re the best host and that your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google and Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.
WP Engine – $200 per sale plus $50 for every sub-affiliate sale (if you refer an affiliate and they make a sale, you get $50 off each sale). If that isn’t enough, it’s also a tier affiliate program with volume bonuses. Huge commissions with 180 cookie tracking but does have a 20% reversal rate. This makes the average commission around $175 which is extremely profitable.
Cloudways – usually the second highest rated host in Facebook polls offering higher commissions than SiteGround (once you climb to higher tiers). Doesn’t have CPU limits, a common complaint with SiteGround. Reports from the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group have been that their hosting is super faster. Only reason I don’t promote them is because I’ve been doing so well with SiteGround, they’re not #1 in every Facebook poll like SiteGround, and Cloudways is a little expensive for the average user (although SiteGround’s promotional price expires after 1-3 years and then THEY get more expensive). There are pros and cons for each.
Bluehost – $65 per sale from one the most popular WordPress hosts, however Bluehost has many bad reviews and they’re not rated high in the Facebook Poll. Most people read several reviews before finalizing a host, so I would advise you to become an affiliate for SiteGround or WP Engine who have much better ratings (plus you get higher commissions).
Godaddy – 15% commissions and even though they used to suck, they have made significant improvements in the last few years. My site loaded in less than 1 second on their cheapest shared hosting plan and their support team is based in the US (Arizona). Still, I would go with SiteGround or WP Engine. Read my SiteGround vs. Godaddy review to see the difference.
InMotion – tier starts at $50/sale up to $120 per sale. Decent host not owned by EIG.
HostGator– $50 – $125 per sale (same tier program as SiteGround) but HostGator is TERRIBLE and the reviews show it so conversions are lower. You can generate custom coupon codes which is good if you’re creating videos and makes it easier for people to type the code rather than click a link (YouTube prohibits affiliate links), which can generate even more commissions. However I’ve talked to a few other HostGator affiliates who said they made nothing because people do their research and learn they are definitely not the best choice.
Elegant Themes – 50% commissions selling beautiful WordPress themes that convert extremely well. Includes extra commissions if people renew their subscription. Sell their lifetime theme pack and get $150. Trusted by 350,000+ WordPress users and includes their popular Divi theme. Elegant Themes has been around forever and has a solid reputation.
MyThemeShop – 55% commissions on the fastest loading themes on the market. $48 commissions for a single theme, $244 for a membership. They also have plugins – I recently switched rich snippets plugins to their WP Review Pro and promote that now. They also have a a two-tier program where you get 10% if you refer other affiliates and they make a sale.
ThemeForest – horrible affiliate program. You only get 30% of each new person’s first purchase. If they’re already an Envato/ThemeForest customer, you get jack shit. This affiliate program is horrible and I only included it here as a warning to stay away. Unless you’re promoting a reliable theme like Avada, stay away especially since all ThemeForest themes are created by independent developers who may or may not be reliable. You don’t know the code quality, whether they will come out with updates, etc. That’s why I use StudioPress for all my WordPress sites (and so do top WordPress people like Yoast and Matt Cutts from Google).
Creative Market – 10% commissions for 1 full year (marketplace similar to Envato)
StudioPress – StudioPress builds WordPress themes in the Genesis Framework and is my main affiliate for themes with over $8,000 in commissions. Read my StudioPress review if you haven’t heard of them but they are so legit. I average $28 per sale with less than 5% cancellation and high conversions since StudioPress is endorsed by tons of top WordPress people like Yoast and Matt Cutts. They are truly SEO-friendly WordPress themes that have top-notch coding, lightweight so they load fast, come with tons of Genesis plugins, and awesome documentation. Sell their Pro Plus all-theme package and get a $175 commission.
Zigzagpress – 50% commissions (costs $49 for a single theme which means $24.50). Zigzagpress is NOT a good affiliate. I was making a consistent $300/month with them, but this dropped to virtually 0 sales for almost an entire year. I also got a few complaints that when they rebranded, they deleted all their customer’s purchased themes and made their customers rebuy them. I used to love Zigzagpress but it seems they are not taking care of their affiliates or customers. They haven’t even paid me the $163 for the referalls I made to them this year – I will be deleting all my affiliate links + good reviews for them. I would definitely avoid them.
Hello You Designs – 30% commissions on designer quality Genesis themes many of which are WooCommerce ready. Relatively new theme store but their designs are awesome – if you haven’t checked them out, definitely do it. They haven’t been around enough to become “popular” but I’ve been promoting them on only a couple blog articles and make around $100/month. I’ve also gotten great feedback from my readers and they absolutely love them.
Freelancer – if you get people asking about WordPress development and speed optimization, you can refer them to my developer in Bangladesh and make around 13% commissions from the project for the first 100 days. This has saved me a TON of time while still earning money off these inquiries. I have been working with Pronaya for over 5 years who is $40/hour. He’s built over 20 WordPress sites and optimized multiple sites to load 400% faster for clients. You can hire him by signing up for a Freelancer account then searching for user bdkamol.
My commissions basically pay for all the development work I need…
It doesn’t have to be limited to design or development, you can do this with any freelancer…
The only downfall is you can only use an affiliate link on the Freelancer homepage. So instead of linking to someone’s profile directly, you will need to tell people to sign up through the homepage (using your affiliate link) then search the freelancer’s username. But if you show their portfolio on your website like I do (these WordPress speed projects), people will do it.
WP Rocket – 20% commission on the #1 rated cache plugin in this Facebook poll (and this poll too) which makes WordPress sites significantly faster. I use it on my website and it’s easy to configure with great support/documentation. Here’s my tutorial on the WP Rocket settings.
Soliloquy – 20% per sale from one of the best lightweight slider plugins which won’t slow down your site like Revolution Slider and other robust slider plugins. It’s minimal, but it looks nice and is super easy to use. If you run the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) Plugin and see your slider plugin is causing slow load times, check out Soliloquy – or tell your clients too :)
Thirsty Affiliates – affiliate link management plugin that cloaks, tracks, and manages affiliate links. Premium version let you get stats, autolink, even add Analytics event tracking. You make 30% which is relatively small compared to other WordPress affiliate marketing programs.
CodeCanyon – 30% of each new person’s first cash deposit (same commission as ThemeForest). Marketplace for tons of WordPress plugins: sliders, HTML5 audio players, events, membership… you name, it, CodeCanyon has it, but the program is not very profitable.
SEMrush – 40% recurring commission for SEMrush subscription sales. That means $40 – $160/month for each person who continues their subscription when they sign up with your affiliate (not bad). This is one of the top rated SEO tools on the market and provides you with a large amount of data about keywords, backlinks, authority, referring domains, and more.
SEOPressor – up to 50% monthly recurring commissions on a premium SEO plugin. I have gotten spam comments from SEOPressor backlinkers, but they’re endorsed by ShoutMeLoud.
WP Review Pro – MyThemeShop’s rich snippet plugin which I use on my own website, after I switched from the unsupported WP Rich Snippets plugin. Very happy with WP Review Pro (they also have a free version) and you get nice 55% commissions which is $36.85 per sale.
AWeber – 30% recurring commissions. As long as they’re using their account, you’re making money. Does not include limitations like MailChimp does, and pays cash instead of credits.
Constant Contact – $5 for every customer who signs up for a free trial and $105 for each new customer who becomes a paying customer. A very generous email software affiliate program.
MailChimp – earn $30 in MailChimp services for each person you refer plus 3 new inbox inspectors. However that person MUST be a friend or colleague and both of you must also have paid accounts. Otherwise free accounts must include the MailChimp badge in emails.
ShutterStock – 20% commissions for a large selection of photos. When asking clients which stock photos they want to use on their website, send them an affiliate link if they’re buying.
iStock & Getty Images – 20% commissions for new customers, 10% for returning. You will need to email them to sign up as an affiliate but you will also find a large selection here.
Udemy – 20% commission on any course. Instructors can create a custom link that gives them 97% commissions on their course. Udemy lowered their commissions, making it less appealing.
WP 101 – 20% commissions from one of the most reputable source of WordPress tutorials.
Refer WordPress – 20% commissions for wordpress.com, JetPack, and WooCommerce.
StackPath – if you blog about website speed or do it for clients, you can refer them to StackPath who bought out MaxCDN. I was making $1,000/month with MaxCDN – we’ll see how StackPath goes. It’s much harder to get accepted into their affiliate program than MaxCDN – they want to know you’re capable of producing higher sales, and that CDNs are a key part of your business/blog. I contribute my sales to writing tutorials on cache plugins which nearly all integrate StackPath – those tutorials alone get me over 500 visitors/day.
Kraken (Image Optimization) – losslessly compresses images to improve page load times (free plugins are nowhere near as good). For each referral you generate, Kraken will permanently increase your monthly quota by 100 MB. You will see a referral option once you’re signed up.
OptiMonster (Forms) – you know those annoying pop-ups as you’re exiting a website? I don’t like them either, but supposedly they work. Earn 20% for each sale you generate.
Amazon – if you send traffic to Amazon and someone ends up purchasing an entirely different product, you STILL get a commission from that sale. If you create Youtube tutorials you can refer people to the Blue Yeti microphone, or that dumb t-shirt you always wear during your videos. Think about physical products instead of digital goods. Earn up to 10% commissions the single largest eCommerce retailer in the world. Honestly, you’d be an idiot not to sign up.
TubeBuddy – popular software/Chrome Extension for optimizing and managing YouTube videos including audio/video effects. 30-50% recurring commissions. See plans/features here.
Know of any other good WordPress affiliate marketing programs? Let me know in the comments section (no self-promotions please). Or if you’re new to affiliate marketing and have a particular question, I am more than happy to answer it for you – just drop me a line!
p.s. WP Beginner is an affiliate for basically every WordPress affiliate program out there. Chances are if they list a company on their deals page, they also have an affiliate program.
💰 Which affiliate program did I make $150k/year from?
SiteGround and Cloudways make up at least 90% of my affiliate income. I wrote a tutorial on affiliate marketing which shows you how I did it.
💰 Which hosting affiliate programs are most popular?
SiteGround, Bluehost, HostGator, and a couple other shared hosts are the most popular. Join WordPress Facebook Groups and check polls and people's conversations to see not only the most popular hosting companies, but where the trends are going.
💰 Where do most people make their money from?
The high majority of successful WordPress bloggers make their affiliate income through hosting. It's a high-paying, lucrative (but competitive) industry.
💰 Can I make a living promoting themes/plugins?
Do the math. If you only make $30/sale, how does that compare to hosting commissions at $150/sale? You will need to make 5x more sales which can be challenging, but it can be done with enough traffic.
💰 What is the best affiliate link management plugin?
Here are 10 Genesis plugins taken from StudioPress, WordPress directory and other sources. I use many of these on my own Genesis-powered WordPress site, others I have downloaded, tested, and inspected thoroughly. All plugins are free (except #8) and have at least a 4.2/5 star rating. Some things you don’t need plugins for though, like columns and some shortcodes – just keep that in mind since too many plugins can effect your site speed.
This combines a newsletter and an HTML section (where I chose to add an author pic/bio + top articles). You can see it on my right sidebar and I also use it at the end of each post.
I wish I knew about this years ago since it took the headache out of collecting emails and while it’s not much, I got a few 100 subscribers just from the newsletter section (listing top articles helped reduce my bounce rate too). It’s easy to integrate with MailChimp (what I use), Constant Contact, Aweber, and most email services. Here’s a tutorial by Carrie Dils.
Not all Genesis themes comes with a built-in slider. If it doesn’t, you can always install the Genesis Responsive Slider plugin which lets you add sliders throughout your website. Here’s what it looks like – you can see a live version on the Executive Pro Theme by StudioPress.
Adds social sharing buttons to posts, pages, and other content. Has Pinterest and Stumble Upon buttons, plus basic options like changing the icon size, appearance, where to display them, etc. It’s a lightweight plugin so it shouldn’t effect your page load time much, if at all.
This is good for controlling (personalizing) what widgets visitors see depending on the page, post, category, or tag they’re viewing. So if people are reading a post from my “WordPress Speed” category I may want to show them related articles about site speed. There are other plugins that do the same thing like Widget Logic which I prefer, but this one is specifically for Genesis. Either way you will use conditional tags to control where each widget appears.
If you want to add WooCommerce functionality to a non-WooCommerce Genesis theme, this plugin will do that. It replaces WooCommerce’s built-in shop templates with its own Genesis-ready versions, specifically the single-product.php, archive-product.php and taxonomy.php templates needed to display the single product page, main shop, and product category and product tag archive pages. This is one of the more popular Genesis plugins.
If you purchased a non-responsive Genesis theme, you may want to customize it to be mobile-friendly. I’ve done lots of research and there is no plugin that does this correctly.
While you can use the Genesis Mobile & Sticky Menu plugin to add a hamburger style mobile menu (plus other features), it’s best to pony up and purchase a Genesis theme that is mobile responsive. That is what I did, and that is what you should do if your theme is not responsive.
Want to customize your Genesis site without code? This plugins helps you customize your header, navigation, background, content/sidebar/footer, and typography without any code. Has options for colors, sizes, weights, margins, padding and alignment. Pricing is $49-199.
9. Photo Gallery / Portfolio
Unfortunately there is no plugin for the Genesis Framework that adds a portfolio to your site, but there are plenty of free and premium portfolio plugins for this. Numbers 5-15 in that list are premium plugins and are worth spending an extra $15 to make it look nice.
After building over 10 Genesis-powered WordPress sites using Zigzagpress themes, I gotta say… they’re QUITE easy to work and most come with a built-in portfolio with shortcodes. This can make them easier to customize which is awesome especially for those who don’t want to rely on plugins to add portfolios, buttons, columns, accordions, team boxes and so forth.
Update: Since Zigzagpress rebranded, I have gotten multiple reports of them deleting customer’s themes and making them repurchase them, along with slow support. I still love the design of their themes and the fact they’re built in the Genesis Framework, but I recommend sticking with StudioPress. As an affiliate, my conversions dropped to less than .5% which means a lot less people are purchasing themes from Zigzagpress. It seems they need better support and to treat their customers and affiliates better.
A comment from one of my readers:
“Zigzagpress : beautiful demos, outdated backend and… no refund !
I have myself purchased the “Vanish” theme, which looked very appealing on the demo. There was no detailed user guide available without paying (the “documentation” link sends back the theme’s page), so I didn’t know much about its configurability. I made the error to purchase it, and… what a disappointment when I installed the theme !
No widgeted areas for the front page, overall very few widgeted areas, errors which I reproduced on several hostings (PHP5.6 and 7.1)… Overall the backend dates back from several years ago and doesn’t seem to have been maintained, such that it is unstable and not in line with today’s WordPress design concepts.
Therefore I contacted the customer support to get a refund, invoking all those arguments. Guess what ? After asking me to open a ticket (crazy on a product just purchased), and constantly avoiding the topic of refund, they simply stopped answering me, until two weeks after, I threatened them to disclose my experience. They immediately answered that no refund will be given, only an exchange with another Zigzagpress theme. Conclusion : I’ve lost $45, and I hope that other disappointed users will make themselves heard, such that this company doesn’t continue to mislead its customers this way.”
Zigzagpress currently has 25+ Genesis themes which are ALL mobile responsive and supported by major browsers. Most are designed for businesses/blogs but they have a couple magazine, eCommerce, and parallax themes. A few are styled specifically for photographers.
Why did I write this review?
I wrote this Zigzagpress review based off my experience using their themes to develop websites for both myself and for clients. I used Prestige, Mindfulness, Showroom and Zen. Here are some key highlights and why I think Zigzagpress’ Genesis themes are a solid choice.
Built-In Portfolio For Most Themes (With Multiple Layouts)
Here’s the portfolio on the Mindfulness theme which is one of my favorites. It comes with filters and categories for sorting, and multiple portfolio layouts (2, 3, and 4 columns)…
Pre-Styled Shortcodes = Add Elements Without Code
Many Zigzagpress themes come with an array of shortcodes which allow you to quickly and easily customize pages/posts with different types of content.
The advantage to having these built-in to the theme is that their CSS styling is pre-designed to match the color and styling of the theme. A shortcode plugin will work, but it will require CSS customizations if you want it to match your theme. Having shortcodes built-in is just easier.
The shortcodes below are also from the Mindfulness theme…
Call To Action
Accordions, Toggles, Tabs
Most Zigzagpress Themes Have Multiple Homepage Layouts
Zigzagpress themes come with multiple layouts, some more than others. Prestige comes with 9 homepage layouts, 3 page layouts (eg. sidebar right), 2 blog layouts, and 3 portfolio layouts. If you’re looking for even more, check out the free Genesis Layout Extras Plugin.
Theme Customization (Before And After)
It always helps to see what the demo looks like before and after it’s customized. This is a WordPress site I developed for Legal Runners Inc. using the Zen theme from Zigzagpress.
Before Theme Customization
After Theme Customization
You can visit the website to see the different pages and styling I used – just to give you an idea of how a theme looks when it’s customized. The site has a page load time of around 2.2 seconds which is good, but could be reduced even more if the plugins were tweaked.
Theme Options: An Inside Look
Many Zigzagpress themes come with theme options that allow you to customize specific elements of your site without editing code. These aren’t always the same for each theme but here are the theme options that come with Zigzagpress’ Showroom theme:
My Top 5 Favorite Zigzagpress Themes
Mindfulness – the same theme showcased throughout my Zigzagpress review. This is a multipurpose theme with tons of options, shortcodes, homepage layouts, subpage layouts, and multiple portfolio layouts. I have used Mindfulness before and highly recommend this theme.
Prestige – multipurpose theme with just as many features as Mindfulness. Navigation menu has little bits of text under each one, which gives it a nice touch.
Gallery – photo-based themes mainly for photographers.
Bijou – yet another multipurpose themes, but I have seen a lot of photographers use this.
I recommend either purchasing a single theme for $49 or getting the forever membership for $349 which includes all Zigzagpress themes, lifetime updates + premium support, and all future themes from Zigzagpress. This is one of the top WordPress theme packs I’ve found especially since StudioPress now charges are recurring fee. Keep in mind you will need to purchase the Genesis Framework on top of your theme. Total cost should come out to around $110 which is about average when purchasing a Genesis theme with the framework.
I love working with Zigzagpress themes and I continue to recommend them to my clients and blog readers. They’re definitely in my top 2 theme stores overall. Their themes are clean, the shortcodes make designing them a breeze, and they don’t have that boxy look like some Genesis themes. Zigzagpress and the Genesis Framework is a winning combination.
Well, what do you think? Have you used any themes from Zigzagpress and what do you like or don’t like about them? If you have any questions or feedback about my Zigzagpress review, or need help finding a nice Genesis theme, drop me a line in the comments.
They’re all one-time fees except for StudioPress who recently changed their pricing to $499.95 plus a recurring fee of $99.95/year. Web Savvy Marketing is all industry-specific themes and the Zigzagpress theme pack comes with lifetime support (while others do not). These are the kind of important details I will share with you in this list. Hope you enjoy it!
Yes I used affiliate links, rest assured they’re going straight to Navient for student loans (thank you). But hopefully you find this list helpful in finding your Genesis theme pack because I spent a lot of time researching and putting this list together. Here they are…
1. StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package
StudioPress built the Genesis Framework so you know their themes are reliable and coded well. You also get all third party themes featured on StudioPress which go through quality testing. Most StudioPress themes come with setup instructions and their support is solid (a major downfall for other Genesis theme stores). They’re the #1 place to get Genesis child themes which is a huge benefit in itself (if you build Genesis sites for clients chances are they’ll want to use a StudioPress theme). Their themes are also be updated frequently, and StudioPress is active on the popular Genesis WP Facebook Group. The StudioPress website is loaded with tutorials as well as Genesis plugins. These are just a few benefits of choosing StudioPress, so if you can get over the $99.95 recurring fee, they should be your first pick.
Zigzagpress is a collection of 31+ Genesis child themes with a Forever Membership that is a one-time fee of $349. Zigzagpress themes are super nice (StudioPress themes are lightweight and minimal while Zigzagpress themes are styled using shortcodes, portfolios, and other features. While you can rely on plugins to do this, Zigzagpress elements are pre-styled so they match the fonts, colors, and styling of the theme (making it much easier to customize). I have used Prestige, Mindfulness, Drone, Zen, and Showroom. All were super easy to work with so if you’re new to Genesis, you may want to go with the Zigzagpress Genesis theme pack. Includes all future themes. The ONLY complaint I have is some themes can have typos in the text, and support can be questionable according to some customers.
Web Savvy Marketing creates industry-specific Genesis child themes for non-profits, psychologists, dentists, universities, realtors, lawyers, accountants, salons, and other industries. They also have a couple Genesis WooCommerce themes. The content can always be swapped out, but some people like to have their photos/layouts as close to their finalized website as possible. Web Savvy Marketing is a recommended Genesis developer on StudioPress’ website and has a solid reputation in the Genesis community. Recommended.
I know it’s a big investment especially if you’re not rich. I’m not rich, but I did buy the StudioPress and Zigzagpress theme pack and have used them to build multiple websites both for myself and for clients. If you have any questions about any of these, leave me a comment and I’ll be glad to answer any questions I can. Otherwise good luck to you!
They’re all mobile responsive + HTML5 and most have a built-in portfolio. I included quite a few Genesis theme stores (and links) if you need a wider selection. Keep in mind you can always swap out content if a theme doesn’t showcase photography-specific content/images.
Here’s a list of Genesis WooCommerce themes if you need to sell on your site. Remember, all 20 of these Genesis photography themes are SEO-friendly, secure, and have clean code for faster load times via the Genesis Framework. Leave me a comment if you need help with this.
Longer pages generally rank higher than short pages (design vs. SEO dilemma)
If you choose a theme outside of StudioPress, you will also need to purchase Genesis
Fearless is a photographer’s Genesis child theme. The vertical side header design, common for photography websites, is not that common among Genesis child theme designs. Imagely offers a series of similar, side-header themes, most of which have a high-impact, full screen slideshow on the home page, along with the photo-centric blog and page template layouts. Imagely offers 18 Genesis themes for photographers which can be purchased as a bundle. Erick (from Imagely) has been super helpful with providing images and theme descriptions for this post – so if support is important to you I assume they treat customers the same way.
Free Spirit is a photography-focused variation of common Genesis theme designs. It has a bold, image-based feature area at the top, followed by multiple widget areas on the homepage. It extends the visual design to masonry and grid blog layouts, as well as featured image templates with big images. It’s a bit like Ansel (also in this post), but with lighter colors.
If you haven’t seen the 21 Genesis themes from Hello You Designs, you should. They’re all mobile responsive + HTML5 and have (optional) WooCommerce functionality. More importantly they are truly designer quality – they look completely unique and symmetrical. Comes with 20+ WordPress video tutorials, lifetime theme support, and setup instructions.
Hello Gorgeous features a beautiful homepage with a grid layout on top, centered navigation menu, and multiple column layouts as you scroll down the page. Another one of Hello You Design’s masterpieces… that’s really the only word I can use to describe it because I haven’t seen anything out there close to what this theme store produces in terms of quality design.
Gallery is just 1 of many Zigzagpress themes which can be used as a photography website. Zigzagpress themes are slick, easy to work with (I’ve used Vanilla, Mindfulness, Prestige, Megalithe and Drone). Most come with a built-in portfolio + shortcodes. Gallery features a large homepage slider, multiple gallery layouts, and shortcodes. The next few themes are also from Zigzagpress and can be used for photography sites. Would definitely check out.
Bijou comes with a style selector so you can play with colors, background patterns, and fullwidth vs. boxed sliders before purchasing the theme. Includes multiple gallery layouts + shortcodes (some of which are featured on the homepage) plus a clean navigation menu. It’s a robust Genesis theme that, like most Zigzagpress themes, you’ll find easy to work with.
Revolution Pro is a Genesis photography theme built by StudioPress (developers of the Genesis Framework) so you know the quality and coding is top notch. It features a built-in landing page for guiding visitors to your online shop or the custom pricing page you create, both of which can help your business grow.
Ambiance Pro is the perfect Genesis photography theme for highlighting your best work front and center. It features a custom header and menu for guiding visitors through your site. Plus, it comes mobile responsive and with a built-in landing page.
Elegance Pro is a sophisticated photography theme that balances beautiful typography with large, statement-making imagery. This combined with several layout options, translation capability, and mobile responsive design just sets you up from success from the start.
Parallax Pro is a Genesis parallax theme featured on StudioPres and can be customized into a photography site. It features 5 color and 3 layout options (though you can add more through CSS, column classes, plugins, etc). Here are Youtube instructions for setting it up. View the sample websites to see what different layouts, colors, and designs can look like.
Altitude Pro is similar to Parallax Pro only it features a single page (homepage) where the individual sections are longer than those in Parallax Pro. Though you can also do this with Parallax Pro too. The navigation menu doesn’t HAVE to have the scrolling effect – each menu can lead to a new page if you like. Just another alternative if you like this style of theme.
Swank is a WordPress photography theme developed by Lindsey from Pretty Darn Cute Design. She has 12 feminine Genesis themes in her store, Swank would just be good for a photography site. It’s been featured on StudioPress’ website and is centered on photos.
Ansel is the first and flagship child theme released by Imagely in 2016. At time of writing, this theme is being used by Imagely to power their own site (imagely.com). It’s a visually rich design with a full screen slideshow on the homepage, a widgetized homepage, and extensive use of featured images for blog layouts and featured image page templates.
Journal is a side-style blogging theme. While it makes good use of images and photos, it’s less photographer-specific than other themes from Imagely. It could make a nice ‘journal’ or blogging theme for many different kinds of interests or niches. Unusual among side-style themes, it still comes with a widgetized home page that allows for nice content layouts. Journal is one of the more recent additions to Imagely’s relatively new series of themes.
The best themes are simple, lightweight, and grab your attention. This is exactly what Atmosphere does. It’s incredibly flexible and minimal so people focus on 1 thing – photos. Doesn’t come with a built-in portfolio but Themeforest’s portfolio plugins can change that.
Julia is from Creative Market which is a smaller version of ThemeForest but has a larger Genesis theme section. It comes with smooth parallax scrolling, complete with a beautiful background image, eCommerce functionality, and a floating sidebar sticky opt-in form for boosting conversions and sales.
Pure Elegance is Genesis theme for photography websites developed by Oh Hello Designs. The layout is designed to showcase a primary image and photography services below it, plus an optional blogroll, about me, and newsletter section which uses Genesis eNews Extended.
Developed by Dinosaur Stew and featured on Creative Market. The Fairlight theme is a Genesis child theme designed specifically for photography websites. It features 2 and 3 column layouts with a built-in portfolio to help you organize your photos and services.
Zen is a simple, lightweight theme developed by Zigzagpress. Includes a portfolio, color styles, and features black/white styling AND a style selector. I used the Zen theme for one of my client’s websites and found it very easy to work with – and the site turned out very nice.
Megalithe is a compact theme with a filterable portfolio, multiple gallery layouts, and includes shortcodes and integrated blog. Not a fan of the background shadow but that can be changed if you don’t like it. Focuses heavily on the portfolio if that is important to you.
As you would expect, Imagery all about showcasing fullwidth images as a background when you scroll down the page. It’s great for storytelling using your most powerful images, and while it doesn’t have a built-in portfolio, this can be added through a nice portfolio plugin. There are over 15+ themes by Appfinite, some of which have been featured on StudioPress.
Tom Dupuis started OMM in 2011. He falls asleep to serial killer documentaries and pukes in Mobil garbage cans. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about Tom and the story of Online Media Masters.