Genesis Framework v1.6 Now Available

We’ve been working on Genesis 1.6 for a over two months now, and we had it in beta for 3 weeks. This version includes a number of features that integrate seamlessly with WordPress and also fixes some bugs. Below you’ll see what’s been included…

Footer Widgets

Recent themes, like Venture, Focus, and even Prose, have been using this feature for a long time now. But unfortunately, they had to do things the old way, the hard way. With Genesis 1.6, this gets SO much easier. Now, all you need is 1 line of code in the theme’s functions.php file, and a little CSS (which we’ll be happy to build into many of our themes).

Learn how to add footer widgets with Genesis v1.6.

Custom Header Image

The easiest way to customize Genesis is to utilize the custom header and custom background functions that are native to WordPress and select child themes.

With custom header, this feature can be as simple, or as rich, as you need it to be. The array you pass for it it can handle a number of arguments like text color, default header fallback, and custom callback functions for the admin and front end CSS output.

Learn how to setup custom header with Genesis v1.6.

100% Custom Menu Support

When WordPress 3.0 was released, one of the biggest features added was custom menus. Immediately upon that release, Genesis was updated to include support of custom menus in addition to the Genesis option of list pages/list categories for your primary and secondary navigation. In Genesis v1.6, we’re removing the list pages/list categories options, and relying on WordPress custom menus.

During the upgrade process to v1.6, Genesis will take your old menu options (Page and Category IDs, depth options, etc.) and move them to a safe place where they can be accessed for as long as you need them. Behind the scenes, Genesis will recognize that you’re not quite ready to move to a custom navigation system just yet, and continue to display your old menus.

Learn how to setup navigation with Genesis v1.6.


  1. For developers interested in the finer details of what’s changed, they can find a changelog at that sums up all Trac commits for Genesis 1.6.

  2. Once again y’all have given us some great features. The custom header image is a huge enhancement for those of us with multi-site installations. Thanks guys!

  3. Great work, and we’re looking forward to seeing the upgrades, esp. with the header.png. However, 8 out of 10 of our customers don’t need custom menus for pages, or, for rare occastions they use custom nav for their secondary nav.

    The previous options are fine, and simpler for them to use — just add child page to parent and “Viola!” They will never have a need to customize their menu(s) beyond that. In fact, in many instances, it’s easier for them to use the “Redirect Page To” plug-in for special cases.

    I’ll go to Studio Press Support later for the question on how to customize functions.php to retain the “old functionality” for new sites.

    • Of course, I’m certainly open to your comments on this so I can get on board with your overall logic and long-term planning. I mean, it’s why I keep coming back, right? :)

  4. Are your child themes all compatible with Genesis 1.6 (i.e. if I upgrade Genesis now, will the child themes work without problems?)

  5. That’s Really Gr8!!

    I whould love to see this on my blog.

  6. Great update. Thanks!

  7. Still waiting for creative options/shortcodes like many other themes have.

    • Not sure we’re going to load a bunch of shortcodes for things that can easily be done with CSS. What specifically did you have in mind?

      • Sorry to butt in here but this option would be amazing. For myself stylish buttons and stylish instruction icons such as download, upload, help, important, email and contact etc etc.
        Another one is to have shortcode for putting content into columns. Being able to say split a full width page into 4 columns would be a nice touch.

      • I used to think shortcodes would be a nice addition too but I now applaud the stance StudioPress has taken. I feel that if Genesis were to incorporate all of the bells and whistles every other theme has it would lose it’s appeal.

        My wishes for Genesis… Just do the essentials. Minimalism is good. Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.

        • I tend to agree with Fred and Robert. I’d prefer to use short codes for multi columns, tabbed pages, buttons, etc. Rather than coding and maintaing CSS myself. I am not very CSS savvy and really do not want to have to Implement custom code and QA that code after new releases of the framework or a child theme. I think short codes and other graphiv styling options could help make Studio Press implementations a bit more unique from each other.

          • While I agree there is a case for shortcodes, many people don’t realize the performance implications of adding all of that code to the framework. Using CSS adds very little (if any at all) overhead to the load times and overall experience of page loads.

  8. Will future releases have more than 2 custom menus? I’d like to have a custom sidebar menu (widget) that is specific to each section of the site.

  9. Fantastic update, the footer widgets are so much easier to maintain now. I have not had a chance to play around with the header or menu changes yet but they all look promising. Thanks for all your hard work on the update.

    Are there any thoughts about including the Prose options into genesis? Change of fonts etc? Or is that still going to be CSS based?

  10. I’m using Freelance, I’m all updated, but I’m not seeing any option for Custom Header Image upload, am I supposed to do something specific? The other two major changes have nice “Learn how to…” links, but not that one.

    • Nick, the custom header feature is something built into Genesis core, but only activated on a child theme basis. Some themes such as Freelance haven’t been update to accommodate custom header, but it’s definitely something on our to-do list.

      • I am trying out the Custom Headers as well – great that it was added. Which child themes are supported?

        • As of right now – only the Focus theme has been updated to include the simple code for custom headers. Any new themes that are released will include it, and we will be going back and updating older themes one at a time to include the new features.

          • Hi Brian,
            I’m updated to WP 3.1.2, Genesis 1.6 and have the Executive Child theme. I am very interested in the custom header function. Do you know when the update to the Executive Child theme is coming? As in imminent? If not, should I manually update the theme and if so, how will that effect things when Executive is actually updated and I install the updated version?
            If manual update is recommended, where are these instructions?



          • Hi Brian,
            I found the instructions and it worked nicely, doing it manually. Any problems when Executive gets updated to include the header mods, when I have already entered it manually?

            Also, how do I expand a header picture to fill the page from left to right? Currently the one I uploaded in the does not expand the entire distance of the page from left to right.



          • There’s really no way to expand the header full width across the page. If you were going to do something like that, custom background would be the much better option.

          • Tom Malcolm :

            Hi Brian,

            Thanks for the input. Executive doesn’t have a button for background changes. What is the best way to implement the background change you are referring to?



  11. I upgraded to 1.6 today on a site that is still under development, I was working on a custom 1.5 child theme that already had a Widgeted Footer section, and Custom Image Header.

    I spent a bit of time getting all the 1.6 child CSS changes into my already customized child CSS.

    I spent a bit of time rolling back my own Widgeted Footer and removing functions, and getting the new core Footer widgets working. Took a bit of time to get all the CSS displaying correctly again, but I got that done.

    I also spent a bit of time getting the Custom Header image looking like it was before. Took me awhile to realize the a .png image needed to be of exact size to work correctly. But I got it sorted out. The only thing that has me bummed at this point, is the header image is no longer linkable back to my Home page. The site I’m working on is for a Retirement Community and I have very specific instructions that their can’t be a “Home” link anywhere in the Navigation. How do I make the new Custom Header Image Clickable and link it my Home Page? You can see what I’m working on here:

    I would hate to have roll back all the work I did today to get back to 1.5 to get this working like it was….


  12. Hi there, good job, but we still have the same non translatable strings since 1.4 (see
    Sorry to post this here, but it seems nobody is really fixing this recurrent glitch.
    Still very annoying to fix core files with each release on multiple sites…

    • Hi Gilbert,

      I have to agree with you on that one.

      They are constant improvement with Genesis, which is good, but the aim of a framework should be not to have to change the core files manually at each release and translation is also a big aspect for us, specifically when updating automatically multiple sites for our clients.

      We also have to browse manually through all the core files to fix that ourselves and manage our own version of core files and .pot file.

      This one is really a pain, and quality control seems to be very low on that aspect but who cares about non English speaking customers?

      Sorry to sound harsh, but the impact, associated extra work and frustration is quite important and I guess unecessary…

      • Sorry about this – it may have been an oversight as we were working our way through things for Genesis 1.6. I’ll make sure that Nathan sees this, and that we get this added as a ticket in our Trac system.

    • Damien Lecour :

      Agree. Same here…

  13. Great release guys and gals! Love the new features!

    – And like so many others I’d like to toss in my 2 cents for the next release. Just wondering if there are plans to add the simple edits plugin features right into Genesis so that we don’t have to install yet another plugin?

    Thanks for another great release!


    • Paul – we had talked about that at one point, as we also did the same with Simple Sidebars. Ultimately the decision we came to was that we didn’t want to bloat the framework down with features that a small amount of people would use.

  14. Hi
    Just updated my local install to Gen 1.6 and updated WordPress to 3.1.2.

    I’m using Enterprise theme and had no problems.

    Looking forward to using new features.

  15. Just updated 4 site with NO problems, smooooth.

  16. We upgraded to 1.6 on our buddypress forum and got a fatal error. Fatal error: Call to undefined function genesis_get_option() in /home/aceofsa/public_html/wp-content/plugins/genesis-connect/lib/class.theme.php on line 28 Do you have a fix for us? Our site has been down for a day now.

  17. It says that I do not have permission to access this page. If I download from the original purchase receipt email, will the new version download? I looked at it and it had the same file name.

    • Try downloading from the original email. The current version is 1.0.4 – and if for some reason that doesn’t work, let me know your forum account username and I’ll make sure you have access.

  18. where can I find the latest version of Genesis Connect?

  19. No update about version 1.6.1? Kind of disconcerting to see all my Genesis sites pop up asking for updates when there’s been no communication from SP about it. Thanks!

  20. Thanks for the update Brian, I have updated my blog. Its working fine for me.. But I am really upset about the price hike. I have planned to upgrade my account to Pro Plus in the coming November. But Due to the price hike I will have to postponed my plan!! :( That’s really bad for me.

    By the way Genesis Rocks and the price is really low comparative to features like unlimited everything and lifetime upgrading. I think most people will continue enjoying the fabulous features.

  21. I am fairly new to studiopress. The improvements of 1.6 are super stellar. I especially enjoy the transition of the custom header image. Keep it up Brian. Thanks for all your hard work.