GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework Which Theme Is Right for You?

GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework, the key differences are…

To compare GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework you have to understand what they have in common and what they don’t.

  • GeneratePress has more layout and styling options than Genesis.
  • To design the content area of webpages and blog posts you use a plugin. StudioPress themes use the Genesis Blocks plugin. GeneratePress themes use the GenerateBlocks plugin.
  • You setup StudioPress themes and GeneratePress themes in different ways. This is even more important if your existing site has a lot of content.
  • GeneratePress recommend you use their site library themes for brand new websites. That is, websites without any content.
  • WP Engine is the parent business of StudioPress. They offer bundles, such as web hosting with StudioPress themes included. StudioPress also sell a bundled product called Genesis Pro. Genesis Pro includes 35 StudioPress themes and two premium Genesis plugins.
  • Pricing for StudioPress products is higher than GeneratePress pricing.
  • StudioPress and GeneratePress have significantly different licences to each other.

GeneratePress has a lot of styling and customization options

GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework? These are just some of the GenesatePress styling and customization options.
GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework? These are just some of the GenesatePress styling and customization options.

Who should use Genesis and who should use GeneratePress?

There’s no obvious answer to the GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework question. However, this is one rule of thumb I use…

  • If you own and run a small business and want to build your own minimalist website, use Genesis and one of the simpler StudioPress child themes.
  • If you’re a freelance web designer building a lot of websites, use GeneratePress.

Genesis and GeneratePress are high-quality products and either could be right for you, but there are significant differences between them.

Which Genesis theme is most like GeneratePress?

The closest Genesis Framework child theme to GeneratePress is Dynamik Website Builder. Dynamik Website Builder has hundreds of settings and options that enable you to build your own layouts on top of the Genesis Framework. However, it’s not really fair to compare Genesis directly to GeneratePress. Genesis gains much of its popularity and from its simplicity. Many people choose Genesis because of its minimalist designs, not despite them.

If you’re reading this guide, I expect you to be…

  • a freelance web designer
  • the owner of a small web design agency
  • a small business owner
  • or a keen amateur web designer

If you’re taking the time to compare GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework it’s obvious you take your website seriously. You’re determined your site should have excellent content, quality hosting, and a top-tier premium WordPress theme. You know these investments are the rock you’re building your website, business and future on. And you know getting it right matters.

StudioPress and GeneratePress have different approaches to child themes

StudioPress and GeneratePress differ in the way you buy and setup their themes. With StudioPress sell each theme separately. GeneratePress bundle all their themes in with your GeneratePress subscription price.

Another important difference between GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework is how you install your theme. GeneratePress recommend you only install themes from their site library on a brand-new empty website. You can use a StudioPress theme on an established site with a lot of content.

However, changing themes is not always a quick and simple process, especially if your site uses the block editor (Gutenberg).

You can use a StudioPress theme or a GeneratePress site library theme on an established website. But in addition to installing and activating the new theme, you must configure that theme, especially the homepage.

Automatic setup wizards

Both GeneratePress and Genesis have automatic theme setup wizards, but these are more suited to brand new websites. If you use a setup wizard on an established website, you must manually clean up and make adjustments after the installation. 

Some older themes StudioPress designed before the Gutenberg editor existed do not have automatic setup wizards.

StudioPress sell themes individually

StudioPress themes are Genesis Framework child themes made for WordPress. The themes designed by StudioPress are minimalist themes. They look clean and professional out of the box. StudioPress themes have limited customisation options. StudioPress also sell themes designed by third party designers such as Biz Budding’s Mai Theme range. Mai Themes have more customisation options than the minimalist StudioPress themes. No StudioPress themes have as many customisation options as GeneratePress.

With a StudioPress theme, based on the Genesis Framework, each theme is a stand-alone product. So, to make major design changes to your website, you need to change your theme.

GeneratePress include all site library themes in your subscription

With your GeneratePress subscription, you get access to all themes in the GeneratePress site library. Unlike StudioPress, you do not have to buy each theme separately.

Although each theme in the GeneratePress site library looks unique, most of the design comes from settings in the WordPress customizer or from GeneratePress settings. Some themes in the GeneratePress site library contain extra CSS. You find the extra CSS in the WordPress customizer’s additional CSS tab.

This gives you, the site owner, much more control over how your site looks. However, GeneratePress has a lot of settings. Therefore, fully understanding how all the settings work takes time, effort, and practice.

The quality is excellent for both Genesis and GeneratePress

Genesis Framework, StudioPress child themes, GeneratePress and GeneratePress child themes are all good quality products. They are all well coded, secure and can produce fast loading websites.

Making your choice, GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework, what’s your buying criteria?

When choosing GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework, both are excellent quality. So, you will probably make your choice based on which theme is best suited to the website you want to build.

StudioPress themes are Genesis Framework child themes and are ideal for building clean, minimalist websites that look great out of the box.

GeneratePress is the best choice if you want to make extensive style and layout customisations to your website.

If you are a web designer and a client insists on Genesis but wants a lot of design flexibility, you could use Dynamik Website Builder, which is a Genesis child theme. However, Dynamik Website Builder is a powerful and complex beast. It gives you a lot of control over how your website looks, but it takes time to learn.

Sometimes less is more

A clean and minimalist website presents good quality content professionally.

Your initial reaction might be to choose the theme with the most options. However, simplicity can be a real bonus. With fewer design options to choose from, you’re freed up to concentrate on the content of your website.

  • Good quality content
  • that looks clean and professional
  • and is easy to navigate
  • will always trump fancy but poor-quality content.

KISS (keep it simple stupid) always makes sense

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

It’s a sad fact that website owners love fancy design features, and website visitors do not. User Experience (UX) experts all tell us to make our websites easy to understand, easy to use and fast to load. Fancy bells and whistles and fancy design slow your site down and make it more difficult to navigate and use.

Your website needs to look professional, but no more. Concentrate on your content, your message, the guts of what you offer. That’s what your visitor came to your website to discover. Don’t put any hurdles, barriers, or stumbling blocks in her way.

Know your customers, know your product, and explain exactly why you are best placed to solve their problem.

Sometimes to look professional, you need more options

There are many legitimate reasons to need more design and layout options when building a website, especially if you’re building a site for a client.

Having more options available helps you look professional in your client’s eyes. If your client asks for a feature, you want to say yes. The more often you tell a prospective client I can’t do this, or I can’t do that, the less valuable that client will view you as their service provider.

You might caution your client against some of their design decisions, but you’ll look more professional if you can do the work if they insist.

GeneratePress can build most features a small business website needs

GeneratePress is powerful, but it’s not designed to add bells and whistles.

Luckily GeneratePress enables you to add the features and functions that a true usability expert, or web design expert, would consider legitimate and necessary website components. Most importantly, GeneratePress provides the options a small business web designer needs. But the code is lightweight, which makes the pages you build fast loading.

Tools like Divi or Elementor are powerful, but they have a reputation for slowing your site down. They also make it too easy to add bells and whistles that user experience experts condemn.

GeneratePress enables you to build and customise web designs and web page layouts, that make it easy for your site visitors to navigate to, and find the information they came to your website looking for.

GeneratePress is one of the highest quality and well-respected web design tools. It’s a great tool for freelance web designers and small web design agencies. GeneratePress is easy enough to learn so small business owners, and competent amateurs, can use it too.

GeneratePress vs Genesis Framework, licensing, prices and bundles

This is confusing, so please read carefully.

Generate Press and GenerateBlocks pricing

GeneratePress Premium price is: Yearly $59 or Lifetime $249
GenerateBlocks Premium price is: yet to be disclosed (release date January 2021).

GeneratePress comes in two parts, but it also has a sister plugin that also comes in two parts. So, there are four components in all.

The GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks components are…

  • GeneratePress theme: a free theme via the WordPress theme repository.
  • GeneratePress Premium plugin: is a premium plugin that adds functionality to the free theme.
  • GenerateBlocks plugin: is a free plugin via the WordPress plugin repository used to design the content area of your posts and pages.
  • GenerateBlocks Premium plugin: this is due for release in January 2021 and adds readymade page layouts and page sections to the GenerateBlocks plugin. It also adds a few CSS effects to GenerateBlocks.

Having four components to install sounds confusing. But after installation you have GeneratePress as your theme and when you add blocks to a post or page, you have some extra blocks to use. The extra blocks are container, grid, headline and buttons. So, it’s much less confusing than it all sounds.

StudioPress, Genesis Framework, Genesis Pro and WP Engine bundles

With so many options, this gets confusing.

At the time I wrote the article, early January 2021, these were the prices…

  • Buying a copy of the Genesis Framework and a StudioPress theme cost a onetime fee of between $99.99 and $129.99 plus tax.
  • The Genesis Pro bundle cost $360.00 per year plus tax.
  • WP Engine hosting plans that include Genesis and a StudioPress child theme include: Startup $360, Growth $1380, Scale $3480, and Custom (POA).

The WP Engine hosting plans have regular special offers and sales pricing. But as you can see from the prices, StudioPress themes, Genesis Pro and WP Engine hosting are all firmly in the premium price band.

Find out more about GeneratePress and StudioPress