August 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm #117202
I've been designing websites for about 5 years. I have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS and I do write some of my own code. I'm currently building all of my client websites from the ground up using Freeway Pro. Although I've become a master at Freeway Pro, I find my current workflow is extremely time-consuming.
While I love designing websites from scratch, the fact is many of my clients simply cannot afford this option, nor do I have the human resources to continue working this way and still make a reasonable income. BTW, my goal is not to fully abandon Freeway Pro. Instead, I simply want to add another faster tool to my website development toolbox.
After a great deal of research, I've decided to go with WordPress and the Genesis framework. I've played around with WordPress and while it's very different from how I currently work, I don't seem to have a problem grasping the WP workflow. Where I do need help is deciding which of these options makes the most since for a beginner.
1. Studio Press Pro-Plus Package (which includes Genesis) and Genesis Extender
2. Genesis, Themedy Lifetime Themes, and Genesis Extender
3. Genesis and Dynamik Web Builder
While I really like the flexibility of option 3, I may be better off starting with option 1 or 2, which will not only help me acclimate to the WP environment, but it will speed the website development process through pre-made customizable templates.
Any advice from somebody coming from a similar situation would be extremely helpful. Thank you in advance for your time.August 5, 2014 at 11:28 pm #117283michaelbeilMember
I would encourage you to check out the following blogs that contain great tutorials that could help you with your development:
And you can't go wrong with #1.
Cheers!August 5, 2014 at 11:30 pm #117286Brad DaltonParticipant
I use this: Studio Press Pro-Plus Package
This gives you access to code from 63+ child themes and all the code in every new theme released in the future so i think its the best investment for designers who don't have strong PHP programming experience.
August 5, 2014 at 11:48 pm #117290
Awesome. Thanks guys.August 6, 2014 at 12:23 am #117291
I know the Pro-Plus Package is already discounted, but do they ever run any specials to reduce the price even further?August 6, 2014 at 12:58 am #117293Ren VenturaMember
I definitely agree with Michael's list of recommended Genesis pros to follow. As a newer Genesis user myself, I have been so pleased with the amount of help I've found from the Genesis community. Sridhar's blog contains a massive amount of helpful tutorials (very detailed) and he regularly adds new stuff. Brad is a nice guy who clearly loves what he does and provides some awesome stuff for Genesis users. Bill Erickson and Gary Jones are a couple other names to follow for valuable Genesis-related stuff.
I think you'll really like Genesis. I've only been using it for a few months and I love it. I wrote a post on my favorite things about it if you'd like to check it out.
Best of luck!
August 6, 2014 at 3:02 am #117303Brad DaltonParticipantAugust 10, 2014 at 3:43 pm #118107essaysnarkParticipant
@RavenManiac, just be prepared for a learning curve - especially if you don't know PHP. Diving in with both WordPress **and** Genesis at the same time can be a lot. I actually don't suggest adding any of the Dynamik things straightaway; my personal opinion is that you would do yourself a favor by learning Genesis on WP first and then adding whichever of the Dynamik tools you want as a timesaver down the road. Both Genesis and WP are fairly simple to get started with - the instructions for setting up a Genesis child theme are quite straightforward but if you don't know the terminology, it can be a lot to try and get your head around. Seemingly simple things like what is a theme versus a page template, not to mention slightly more advanced stuff like Custom Post Types... these things can drive you batty. You'll want to start by installing your first Genesis child theme in a dev environment and uploading all of that theme's demo files, so that you understand how it's put together. Again, the instructions are good but they also assume that you know what things like widgets and such are. Then there's the whole complexity of a specific site's design adapted to the WordPress world, like what should be a category vs a tag, and what are permalinks and how do they affect SEO, and all these other things...
I'm not trying to dissuade you from this but all of it is more complex than it appears at first glance and my opinion is that Genesis is best for people with at least marginal tech skills or those are willing to learn. It sounds like you have a great foundation so it's going to be a good fit for you - but be prepared for some frustration along the way!!! It's well worth it in terms of the flexibility and ability to do very cool things quite easily so this is a smart investment if you're up for the challenge.August 11, 2014 at 11:50 am #118237
Thanks for your post and advice essaysnark. I think that's exactly how I'll proceed. I'm just waiting for a Studio Press promotion, which I was told is forthcoming, so I can purchase the Studio Press Pro-Plus Package at a further discounted price.August 12, 2014 at 9:17 pm #118493
@essaysnark, I know you said there will be a bit of a learning curve, especially if I don't know PHP. I didn't realize PHP knowledge was required to modify WordPress templates. Exactly how much PHP training will I need? Can I use Genesis Extender to help with my lack of PHP?August 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm #118501SummerMember
Start by downloading a few of the top-ranked free WordPress themes from the WP.org repository, and look through the code (don't start with the TwentyTwelve-TwentyFourteen themes... they might scare you off completely). See if the code makes sense, if you can follow what the different functions and layouts are doing, and definitely read through the CSS, see if that is easy for you to decipher or not.
What steps have you started taking to learn WordPress? Have you looked at the basics in the Codex yet?
Genesis Extender will help you modify Genesis child theme layouts without needing to know code, but eventually you're going to want to know how to maneuver in the raw code.
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