Introducing Bill Erickson – Genesis Developer

Recently we celebrated the anniversary of the launch of the Genesis Framework – and wanted to spend the next year focusing on the Genesis development community. After all, without all of their hard work and contributions, Genesis wouldn’t be where it’s at.

With that being said, we plan on introducing you to the developers who’ve made a difference…

Meet Bill Erickson

Website: Bill Erickson · Twitter: @billerickson· Portfolio: View Showcase Sites

Bill EricksonI’m a WordPress Consultant, an entrepreneur, an amateur photographer, a recent college graduate, a skier, and a wine lover living in Austin. I’ve been developing with WordPress for over 5 years, using theme frameworks for over 2 years, and built my first client site using Genesis about four months ago. Since then, I’ve built too many Genesis child themes to count.

Before using WordPress, I worked as a web developer for Texas A&M University. The majority of my work was simple text changes: changing Spring to Fall, 2004 to 2005…. I was tired of people sending me 10 page Word documents of their site’s text, with two words changed, and asking me to “update the site”. I knew there had to be a better solution, and started experimenting with WordPress.

Using WordPress to Build CMS Websites

After a few months I began rebuilding the sites in our department using WordPress 2.0 (check this out). I don’t know how many others were using WordPress as a CMS at this time, but it was a huge improvement over our old system of “email me changes”. I could finally give control of a site’s content to the content producer, and I loved it.

Since then, I’ve been building sites using WordPress as a CMS. WordPress has really matured as a CMS, and with custom post types, taxonomies, meta boxes, and option pages you can make any type of website easy to use and maintain. I have a wide range of clients, from small and large businesses to universities. My philosophy has always been to empower people to manage their own websites, which is why I use WordPress and Genesis.

Why Bill Loves to Use the Genesis Framework

  1. It’s a wonderful base to build from. Instead of building a site from scratch, I can focus on the 20% that’s custom to this specific project. It saves time and money.
  2. It’s very customizable. It has a ton of hooks and filters to customize almost everything, and the code itself is well documented. If I want to figure out how to customize something in the header, I go to /lib/structure/header.php and look for the appropriate hook/filter and read the comments.
  3. StudioPress has developed an amazing community of developers. If I run into an issue I can hop in the forum and find an answer quickly, or post to twitter and get an answer immediately.
  4. Visibility. If you build great sites using Genesis, StudioPress will promote you and your work, and you’ll get more great projects to work on.
  5. I recognize the value I receive from this community, and try my best to give back. I post tutorials on dev.studiopress.com and my blog, share themes, and release plugins. If you’re a developer using WordPress and Genesis, I highly recommend you do the same.

Using Genesis Makes Bill’s Life Easier

Because of WordPress and Genesis, I’m able to focus on what I enjoy doing – turning designs into easy-to-manage websites. Nowadays I work on a few specific types of projects: converting existing sites to Genesis child themes (keeping the same look and feel), and converting new designs (PSDs) to Genesis child themes.

If a client doesn’t have a design already I hire a designer to work with them on it. Because of the flexibility of Genesis, there’s no design constraints on what a Genesis site can look like.