Genesis has a long tradition of being extremely flexible for the average user while at the same time remaining developer friendly. This latest release continues that tradition in a big way. Our sincere thanks to a group of Genesis power users for helping turn Genesis 1.8 into a developer’s dream, without sacrificing any of the usability that we’ve all come to know and love.
Front End Redesign
Genesis 1.8 ships with a hot new default style on the front end. And while we know that you would never activate Genesis directly, this new style can, and no doubt will serve as the basis of many of the beautiful creations our users continue to push out.
This modern new look takes a step into the realm of responsive design, adjusting to fit whatever device on which you happen to be viewing the site, including smart phones and tablet computers.
New SEO Controls
One of the biggest weaknesses of the Genesis SEO controls was the fact that you couldn’t actually control the text displayed on category, tag, and term archive pages. All you could do was decide whether or not you wanted the term title and description to display.
With Genesis 1.8, this all changes. You now have the ability to control EXACTLY what gets displayed on your term archive pages.
New Extendable Classes for Creating Admin Menus
Considering how many Genesis-specific plugins there are out there, we imagine that more than a few developers are frustrated at how difficult it was to add new Genesis admin menus. In Genesis 1.8, it gets about 100x easier. How much easier? See for yourself.
Completely Disable a Navigation Menu, from functions.php
If you’ve ever build a Genesis Child Theme for a client, and knew you’d have no use for the Primary or Secondary Navigation menu, you know how hard it can be to keep your client from messing with the Theme Settings and potentially ruining your beautiful design.
So, with one line of code, you can now disable either menu. It works using the “theme support” method. By default, both menus are enabled. But, you can use this line of code to change which menus are supported via your child theme.
remove_theme_support( 'genesis-menus' );
This line will remove both menus. But let’s say you just want to remove the secondary nav menu, and leave the primary menu intact. Easy.
add_theme_support( 'genesis-menus', array( 'primary' => 'Primary Navigation Menu' ) );
This line indicates that you ONLY want the primary nav menu to be enabled.
Color Style Options
If you’re building a child theme and want to give users the ability to choose a color scheme from the Theme Settings page, this option is for you.
add_theme_support( 'genesis-style-selector', array( 'theme-blue' => 'Blue', 'theme-green' => 'Green', 'theme-orange' => 'Orange', 'theme-red' => 'Red' ) );
Just add this to your child theme’s functions.php file, and Genesis will handle the rest. A new box will appear in Theme Settings, and users can choose the color scheme for their site.
Genesis handles the body class, and all you have to do is build the CSS. Less coding. More designing. You know you love it! More here.
Code Standards and Inline Documentation
One of the core values of the Genesis coding style is that we want you to be able to find what you need without using a Genesis dictionary. Clarity is king. But how awesome would it be if each of the functions in Genesis had an explanation of what it did right above it? Done!
Thanks to Gary Jones, Genesis 1.8 is chock-full of inline documentation.
In addition, Genesis has been trying to move towards the WordPress coding standards for a few versions now. As of 1.8, I think we’re pretty much all the way there. Code now has room to breath, with plenty of whitespace for readability.
Since WordPress 3.3.1 was recently released, Genesis 1.8 does require this latest version of WordPress. It’s always good to stay up to date anyway, so go ahead and upgrade with confidence knowing that Genesis is fully compatible.
To see a more comprehensive list of changes in Genesis 1.8, check out this page.
Note: Users of WordPress 3.2.1 or older will not be prompted to upgrade to Genesis 1.8 via their dashboard. Please upgrade to WordPress 3.3.1 first, then our update servers will prompt you to update within 24 hours.
So what are you waiting for?! Go upgrade, already!
A very special thanks goes out to the developers that helped make Genesis 1.8 happen. Jared Atchison, Charles Clarkson, Chris Cochran, Nick Croft, David Decker, Remkus de Vries, Bill Erickson, Gary Jones, Travis Smith and Ade Walker.