Bland themes

Community Forums Forums General Discussion Bland themes

This topic is: not resolved

Tagged: ,

This topic contains 36 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  braddalton 2 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 37 total)
  • Author
  • #19115


    Bill – if you get a post marked as spam, post the URL of the thread in the bugs/suggestions forum – someone will take a look at it, and unspam it for you. I don’t know how Askimet determines what is/is not spam, but it’s happened to a few users around here.


    Susan @ One Happy Studio I offer theme customizations I tweet!
    I’ve taken up the challenge! – help me answer some of the unanswered posts



    Amen, Bill.

    I, too, have responded to more than a few posts in the new forums only to have them disappear upon Submit. That puts a damper on future responses. Which puts a damper on future visits to the forums. Which means less interaction, and the cycle perpetuates. I don’t expect a support forum to have every bell and whistle (similar to some vBulletin forums), but there are certain basics that don’t exist here, and that inhibits participation. Forums should be about participation. I’m visiting less often since the forum and support changed.


    project guy

    Dear all,

    I am quite pleased to see the numerous responses my original post has received. I can see now that I’m not the only individual feeling that the Genesis themes could benefit from a bit more layout creativity/appeal out of the box.

    This spamming/disappearing issue has me worried now. Is it possible that SP is removing certain posts? :o

    BTW: if you google “Studiopress Review – Is it Good or Bad?” you’ll find an interesting (first result as of today) article.

    Anyone had any experience with itheme’s Builder?
    Keep those 2 cent’s coming!



    I can assure you that SP is not removing posts. For the most part, these forums are community driven. Posts will be closed if they don’t meet the forum rules, but the person who posts will be told the reason why the post is being closed.

    Susan @ One Happy Studio I offer theme customizations I tweet!
    I’ve taken up the challenge! – help me answer some of the unanswered posts



    @project_guy I don’t see the people you are talking about who “feel the way you do” in their responses. I do know that there are “web developers” and there are “WEB DEVELOPERS”. People like me… who cannot build a theme out the box… a person who cannot code from the front end into a viable “theme” … but who can hack code, is a “web developer”… a puppy so to speak. People who are WEB DEVELOPERS – are people like the SP team and all the other theme developers who front end code the “pre-made” themes in say Themeforest and the like – those are “WEB DEVELOPERS” the BIG DOGS.

    “puppies” are asking for more “BIG DOG” pre-made themes to pass along to their clients without having to make a lot of custom changes because their clients like what they see in the “pre-made.” Actually… to me… it’s really the lazy way out for us “puppies”.

    That being said…. we shouldn’t just merely say, Studiopress is building “bland” themes you don’t like… and they need to start being more creative and giving the puppies more to play with…. if you don’t like what they offer… there are other themers out there for you to choose from. And.. there is also the choice to step up to the plate and take what they’ve given us and turn it in to one of these –



    One of the greatest benefits of using SP themes is the ease of customization compared to other themes.

    Whats the point in using a theme if you can’t customize it fairly easily?

    Who wants to use a theme out of the box without making it your own?

    I’ve worked hard to learn how to customize different themes over the last 3 years and the child themes SP offers along with the code snippets, community support forums and tutorials written by many Genesis designers give you the best support to do this.

    Its the whole package that is of the highest industry standards and provides incredible value at a one off investment.

    All the themes now and in the future.

    I could name a few theme providers who do offer a very bland canvas to start out with and don’t offer anywhere near what you’ll get from SP in respect of multiple support options.

    Genesis and SP make it easier than other theme providers because they offer both an excellent framework and also a great range of child themes that is ever increasing.



    Exactly Brad, I agree!! I tried to customize a few where my clients picked them from Themeforest. One in particular, as soon as I changed something in the CSS, the entire theme was destroyed! No matter what I did, i could I could not customize it. In another case, it was a church theme and all the areas you saw on the demo were NOT widgets. They had “hard coded” those blocks of “specific” areas into the theme and you couldn’t change them unless you knew how really hack it. But why pay for something you have to hack like that. They disclosed widgetized area but there weren’t any. I complained and they gave me a replacement theme. All that time I spent on that and the client could have just selected one from SP, I could have customized it and been done with it!



    Add some high qaulity images and graphics, custom fonts, pallette colors and you can use all the code snippets and tutorials to create and customize a high qaulity website.

    If you ever get tired of your theme, you can easily change it as well because they’re all built on a highly flexible framework.

    Ever get stuck, you’ve got a helpful community forum who answers questions 24/7.



    I think a lot of people confuse the themes on Themeforest with the high quality graphics they use with the themes. They look at them and go “Wow, that’s nice.” But then once they get it and they replace the images with their own or try to manipulate the theme in a different manner – all hell breaks loose. I try to strip down a site by just reading comments from others, then checkout out the themes layout, the CSS with Firebug and go from there.


    Bill Murray

    @Susan – Thanks. I will add a comment in the separate thread.

    @anitac – Just to be clear, I agree with the general thought of project_guy’s observation, especially regarding recent theme introductions. See my comment on the trend toward blog style home pages.

    @anitac & braddalton – A lot of the customization capabilities you comment on are features of the Genesis framework, not the child theme. It would be possible to address project_guy’s observation with different Genesis child themes. One example that is a little more tricked out: Themedy’s Grind. See the portfolio on our Grind demo. In general I agree that other premium theme vendors make customization harder, but your comments change the discussion to which is the best premium theme vendor. I think project_guy’s original point is that SP child themes would be better if they included more elaborate designs, which is a narrower, more focused conversation than which is the best premium theme vendor. Further, the customization argument cuts both ways. Yes, it’s easier to customize a Genesis framework child theme. On the other hand, because of the change in support around late Nov 2012, that customization capability is less accessible to newcomers. That makes it a less effective selling point.

    @braddalton: You said:

    Ever get stuck, you’ve got a helpful community forum who answers questions 24/7.

    That’s true in a strict sense. The Genesis community is probably one of the biggest and most vibrant out there, and that’s a good thing. However, in practice, praising these forums ignores the observations I made in an earlier post: a) some of the most experienced Genesis folks don’t participate here as much as the old forums and b) because of (a), these forums tackle basic questions quickly and efficiently, but more involved questions often go unanswered. Nick & Susan tweet to draw more eyes and hopefully more replies to forum topics, something that never seemed to be necessary in the old forum.

    I think everyone in the Genesis community would do well to re-read the last sentence in RonnyMac’s last reply and figure out how to change his behavior. He’s a level-headed guy and he’s not wrong.

    I’m visiting less often since the forum and support changed.

    Web: or Twitter: @wpperform

    We do managed WordPress hosting.



    @Bill if you just click on your profile link you can see a list of  Topics Started and Replies created…
    I see you got more answers than questions…
    Forum Role: Participant
    Topics Started: 2
    Replies Created: 275
    You can also use links like this replies by Bill:
    or you can add treads to your favorites..
    But I have to agree with you… the forum is not what it used to be :-(
    Lately I learn less from the forum. But also guilty of B type behavior..
    And on topic… I mainly use the themes as a starting point for customization, I hardly look at colors etc. just at the general layout, which is decisive to make it a starting point.
    I realize that is a developer view and from the type of question asked (lately?) “how can I change the color of the header” etc. I can see a lot of people have a long way to go before finishing their sites

    Simplicity is not Simple Webtaurus



    Here’s something I’ve noticed about using Genesis themes vs. using the more esthetically pleasing themes from ThemeForest or ElegantThemes and others where the designs and layouts are, shall, we say, prettier.

    Generally speaking, Genesis themes are not as visually attractive as other themes, but they’re usually more flexible, and more customizable. Therein lies the big difference. If you work on Genesis themes, customization and personalization, even of Genesis themes off the shelf, carry a common structure, therefore you’re leveraging your knowledge of both the framework and plugins as well as the layout. That’s not the case with most of those prettier themes with all the bells and whistles built-in. Customizing one of those is a nightmare most of the time because you have to learn where everything is, and why it’s there, even before making cosmetic changes.

    A mastery of CSS helps, yes, but I often dread the client who wants an ET theme and then wants a laundry list of customizations. There’s only one remedy in such a situation.

    Aren’t billable hours wonderful?



    Aside from all the comments about ease of use and ease of customization…from the viewpoint of a designer (not a coder)…I *would* like it if StudioPress would come up with some more interesting designs. Are they all designed by the same designer? Maybe that’s part of the problem.


    project guy

    If a client comes to me and says I’d like something like this:!/splash

    What would you do? Can something like this be done using SP or would you just buy that theme?

    This is pretty much the scenario that sparked my original posting. And the reason I am even asking this forum is because I too would like to adopt SP given the good reviews it gets. I want to start on good footing and focus on one or at the most 2 frameworks as opposed to using various different ones for my clients. That approach would be too all over the place and would cause my hair loss to accelerate.

    In your opinion what would be the next second best framework to use?




    What would you do? Can something like this be done using SP or would you just buy that theme?

    The answer is, ‘Yes.’ Almost any layout and design can be built using Genesis and a customized Child theme. That’s because Genesis is remarkably flexible.

    But math enters into the equation. If a fully customized theme costs $100 and building the same layout and design in Genesis would cost $1,000, someone has to make a decision. There are times when billable hours are your friend. Other times, it’s simple math.

     I want to start on good footing and focus on one or at the most 2 frameworks as opposed to using various different ones for my clients.

    For a developer it’s usually a better practice to stick with one or two flexible frameworks vs. hopping and skipping all over the place. Unless billable hours is your objective.

    That approach would be too all over the place and would cause my hair loss to accelerate.

    Amen. There are few layouts or designs I’ve run into that cannot easily be used as inspiration for a Genesis Child theme project. The benefit of an out-of-the-box custom theme is that it’s finished, complete with bells and whistles. And, some of those custom bells and whistles can burn through a lot of time trying to build in a Genesis Child theme (there’s a point of diminishing returns then trying to reinvent the wheel).

    I use Genesis for most sites and projects because it’s fast, flexible, very easy to update and upgrade, as well as easy enough to add components without wrecking the whole site. That’s not the case with the more esoteric frameworks, such as ElegantThemes, which are beautiful, but difficult to customize beyond what’s there. But, I use ElegantThemes for sites and clients that need pretty more than flexibility and don’t want to pay the billable hours required to replicate an ET site in Genesis.

    After a year plus search for a WordPress framework (I came from pMachine/ExpressionEngine before WP) my favorite was Thematic. Free and very, very flexible (the leader developer was hired by Autommatic, which runs WordPress). I remember reading somewhere that Genesis was inspired by Thematic. The problem with free, of course, is ongoing development and support. The former is sporadic and the latter is almost non-existent.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 37 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.