Download the Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners (Free PDF)

The team here at StudioPress has put together a basic guide for you on how to navigate Genesis (as well as a good bit of WordPress), and get your site going right out of the box.

Whether you’re just starting out with the Genesis Framework for WordPress, or you’ve been enjoying its power and flexibility for a while, this download should prove very helpful.

The guide is packed with 44 pages of useful and specific instructions on getting started with Genesis, including:

  • Ever wonder what a functions file is? … Check page 6
  • Need a quick tutorial on getting those widgets going? … Head over to page 26
  • Wondering what the heck all those SEO settings mean? … Find out on page 19
  • Want to install Genesis from inside WordPress? … We’ve got you covered on page 8

This is also a living document, so be sure to check back often for updates and improvements as Genesis itself evolves with the future web.

Genesis for Beginners

Click here to download The Beginner’s Guide To The Genesis Framework (PDF)


  1. Hey, great gift ! Thanks a lot. :)

  2. Sweet! Thanks for the early present.

  3. Righteous resource, thanks for the share!

  4. This guide looks awesome as it is. That is quite a TOC.
    Have you thought about making it a rebrandable PDF for your partners? I can see this boosting conversions. Anyway thanks for the hard work.

  5. I will say this in the most awesome gift by StudioPress. genesis Rocks !! We love the genesis because working on genesis is like playing with brush and pencil…

  6. You guys have truly put together one amazing framework, and yet you continue to put free things out like this that help newcomers tremendously. I am really glad that I decided to take a step back from Thesis to try you guys out. I can’t see myself going back anytime soon.

  7. Please do let us know what you think of the guide and if you have any suggestions at all. :)

  8. Thanks for the awesome Christmas present Brian and team! You guys rock, as always! πŸ˜€

  9. THANKS!!!!! You guys are AWESOME! Man, it’s tough making the shift to WordPress when you are designer and not a developer or programmer. This should go a looooooooong way in helping.

    Thanks again and Merry Christmas,
    Rudy in Ottawa

  10. Nicely done!

  11. Great work for ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS

  12. Huge thank you! You guys continually impress me. So happy to be using the Genesis framework exclusively for new client sites these days!

  13. Awesome guide! Reading it right now. :) I have found a link error on page 13 in regards to the forced homepage layout.

  14. In regards to my previous post, I have also found a broken link on page 17 .. πŸ˜‰

  15. Terrific idea! Happy holidays to everyone on the Studiopress team!

  16. This is great!

    Thank you. WP and Genesis are major parts of my online strategy, so info like this is golden. CB should consider an ILE for Genesis! I would sign up.



  17. I am running my website on the Genesis framwork that my son set up for me. I want to thank you for this gift, because as I will go through it, it will definitely bring more understand to me. I love Genesis!!

  18. Just wanted to leave a comment to say thanks for the comments so far. We’re thrilled that we were able to make this available, and look forward to getting feedback.

    Also thanks to ALL OF YOU for using Genesis, for teaching others how to use Genesis and for being a part of our community! :-)

    • Great guide Brian. Have been using Genesis and a few others for a whole now but have settled on just Genesis as it’s more flexible to work with and not so much hidden.

      The guide has already answered a couple of “am I doing it right?” questions so saved a post on the forum.

  19. As someone who is just getting started with Genesis, the timing could not have been better. Props to the writer(s) as it is well organized and at a good level of detail.

  20. Been really looking forward to getting this out there. We definitely want to make it better so we are taking suggestions and ideas. Most of the options are there, but we do need to cover the post editor options and the template files. That is planned for the next version.

    Like Andrea said, let us know if you have any suggestions.

    • Hi Nick (and the rest of the Studiopress team). Thanks for putting this out there but I’m curious to know if you have plans for a theme development guide. Not all of us are ninjas like Bill Erickson, so a (semi) advanced guide that covered topics like adding theme options, post options etc would be really useful to intermediate developers like me. For reference, WooThemes have instructions in their WooCodex for the above.

      In case such a guide already exists, please point me to it. WordPress themes evolve so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up with it all. Thanks!

      • David, we have an extensive amount of tutorials regarding Genesis development and have a sample child theme for use when it comes to this. Not sure what in particular you’d like for us to have in terms of a theme development guide. Can you elaborate?

      • David, I would also like to point out that at the end of the beginners guide we include links to development resources. This includes my Genesis Explained series and a couple of resources from other top Genesis devs.

  21. Perfect! Just what I needed!

  22. Excellent stuff. Have been considering upgrading themes on my sites. Wishing you all a safe and happy festive season in preparation for a spectacular 2012

  23. This is an excellent one stop guide – and the links to deeper tutorials are good to have too. Thanks for this, and for the entire framework!

  24. Thanks for the feedback, everyone! Nick, Andrea, and Daisy worked hard on this one for the community.

    We’d love to hear any specific feedback you all have – glad to hear it’s helping already!

    • Wonderful!
      Wonderful gift!
      Wonderful guide!
      Wonderful Studio Press!
      Thank you!!!

      Happy Holidays to everyone at Studio Press. You’ve all been SO helpful throughout the year and we thank YOU!!!

  25. Just wanted to mention that a couple of the links in the PDF aren’t active: the first link under the title “Genesis Resources” and the second link under the title “Additional Resources for Installation & Getting Started”.

  26. Resourceful guide, nice gift. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Thank you for the guide. Genesis has so many great features and the guide makes it easy to for new users to take advantage of them. It so nice to have the info in one guide rather than sifting through the excellent but large support forum.

  28. You did it. I was thinking to send you a mail regarding this issue but finally got a mail in my inbox.
    Thanks a lot.

  29. Great work. It resolved many of the doubts about genesis I had and clarified many things that I thought I already understood.

    One issue though is that some of the links in the PDF are not working. So, please check those.

  30. Top Notch Resource by a Top Notch Company! Thank you for this guide. I will be printing this out and keeping in a binder by my workstation and using this frequently. As a newcomer to Genesis, the forums have been great, but this is so much easier and the language is great.

  31. This is really nice! Thank you because I have clients who need documentation and I can just provide them with this or parts of it.

  32. Thanks for this, now I have something to pass onto my customers instead of writing custom guides all the time.

  33. I know the content is much more important for you than design but I’m wondering how many of you can guess the meaning of the cover? πŸ˜‰ I wanted to convey a hidden message in this little artwork.

  34. Great document. My New Years resolution is to build a Studio Press music blog and Instructional Design portfolio blog. The Genesis framework document is proving invaluable. Its informative and well written.

  35. Awesome works bro !! That’s all we need for long time ago !! Great Job and Thank’s a lot !!

  36. Why would anyone want to use any other framework? I mean, seriously! Thanks for this!!

  37. this is sweet, brian! thanks!

  38. I love Genesis! My team have developed websites using Genesis for almost a year now and it’s great. I would really love Genesis to have a built in functionality that creates a mobile version of a WordPress site… just like (or better) than the one Ashford has.

    It’s the trend so I think Genesis should have this functionality. It would be top-notch!

  39. Hello, everyone!

    I made this e-brochure for StudioPress from “Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners” PDF file. You can now comfortable read it here:

  40. Great guide. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. I remember diving into Genesis a while ago and being quite confused at the start.

    It’s well worth subscribing to StudioPress updates via Facebook & Twitter so you don’t miss out on this and future great support.

  41. Awesome! This will surely add value to our company. WE CHOOSE GENESIS!

  42. Wow. I need to read this. Thanks.

  43. Thank you guys,this will surely come handy for a beginner like me.

  44. iBook to read “Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners” made from original PDF file is available right now at

    Feel free to watch, read, download, print and share it via Facebook or Twitter πŸ˜‰

    Yevgenii Radchenko,

  45. Thanks for the beginners guide. Short but thorough. Keep up the good work.

  46. Hi Brian and Team!

    Thank for creating a absolute beginners guide. I hope my presentation at Chicago WordCamp 2011 on Improving Support Documentation for Themes & Plugins spurred the development of this pdf.

    It sounds like the beginners appreciate the effort your team made.

    My presentation can be seen at Please Like it!

  47. If you are a wp beginner like me, this PDF comes at the right time …

    Thanks for the insight in Genesis!

  48. Excellent! I’ve been looking for a great resource like this for myself and my team! Happy New Year!

  49. I have always been hesitant to use genesis not suure if i would be able to learn how to build sites properly but now with this guide i feel more confident and ready to join the genesis world

  50. It’s great. This is a good document help me rock Genesis theme. Thanks your contribution.

  51. This Guide is indeed a step in the right direction. nevertheless, I thi nk StudioPress should have more built-in features and functionalities for their Genesis & Child Themes. It continues to be a bane depending on third-party plugins that usually possess no development roadmap or dedicated support.

    I think beginners and corporations would not mind spending money on a product that offers excellent support, stability and future upgrades consistently or according to schedule.

    • Just as WorPRess encourages plugin development to keep the core code flexible and lightweight for the majority of users, we adhere to the same design philosophy. :) Many of the genesis plugins are done in house and released to the public, or are done by contrbutors to the project at large.

    • To agree with Andrea, the reason certain functionality is moved to a plugin is because not all themes nor all users will use the feature. The sign of a good product, from a development perspective, is that it doesn’t add every single feature it can, but makes it easy to add on. For years the gaming industry worked hard to make games 100% complete on release. Recently they realized they can build a platform for themselves and other to release DLC for. It is a good way to make money, but it is also a good way to make a great game, then let the community build pieces they want and make it available for others. It really did wonders at extending replay value, which means the game is worth owning.

      Genesis, as a core concept, is intended to be extended. Child themes and plugins are the method by which it is extended. Being able to edit the footer is a great thing, but building Genesis Simple Edits (which is a StudioPress official plugin) allows this edit without forcing all Genesis users to use Simple Edits, which may not work ideally for their needs. The same with Genesis Simple Hooks. It is great for a lot of people, but putting it in core would add unneeded bloat to my sites and nearly every client site I’ve setup.

      As far as consistent upgrades, Genesis has released 6 major revision updates and several more minor revision updates since I’ve been here, almost 2 years. That means every few months a new version comes out. More often than WordPress updates. These updates do not cost any more.

      Most other theme and plugin shops will charge an annual fee for this kind of support and development schedule.

      This, and many more reasons, is why I use Genesis almost exclusively.