For the last year, chrislema.com has been running the Catalyst theme. I had tried several themes from WooThemes and they'd worked pretty well. I'd played briefly with Pagelines. I'd designed some other sites using Headway and iThemes and thought about making the move to either of them. But then I found Catalyst and fell in love.
The other theme framework that constantly called out to me was Genesis. It was lightweight. It loaded fast. And, in my opinion, it was written by engineers for engineers. I say that because it exposed all the hooks and filters way before others were ready to use them. It added a programmatic layer to help developers move faster. In engineering terms, it was a serious framework (in the real sense of the word).
My issue with Genesis wasn't an issue. I liked it. But I knew that handing it off to others, clients particularly, had created issues for me – since most everything required a little snipped of code and my clients weren't ready to do that. And I wasn't ready to do maintenance contracts.
Then I discovered a product that CobaltApps (the guys behind Catalyst) had created for Genesis – and I told you all about Dynamik for Genesis.
That looked like the best of both worlds to me – because I knew customers could tweak font colors easily and power users could create custom hook boxes all day long.
Genesis 2.0 is on the way
When StudioPress announced Genesis 2.0, I was thrilled. Most importantly, and I know this is just me, they were introducing rich support for schemas.
Now, you don't need to know much about schemas – you just need to know this. SEO professionals who talk to you about backlinks, +1s, likes, and more – just give it a year or so and they'll be telling you all about schemas. They are the search engine's version of tagging. And the better your friendly neighborhood search engine “understands” your content, the better off you'll be.
That's why I spent the last few weekends playing with Genesis 2.0 (their release candidate). Schemas to me are a huge, huge feature of Genesis 2.0. If you remember when Genesis 1.0 came out and people trusted it for SEO, then you can just know that they're doing it again – setting the bar for everyone else.
But wait…what about Catalyst?
At this point, some of you are wondering – “Hey wait a second. Schemas sound interesting, but what about picky design-oriented people who want to change colors and lines without writing code?”
Well, I have good news for you.
The guys behind Catalyst decided they liked Genesis so much, they were going to move all of their energy to supporting Dynamik for Genesis. They've done the work to move everything into the child theme, so that you could get all the power of the Genesis framework, and all the user-friendly options of Dynamik.
They are also releasing their Genesis Extender – which is pretty powerful, and also works on Genesis 2.0.
Over the past several weekends I've been playing with both Genesis 2.0 and the latest versions of Dynamik. What I can tell you is that it's fantastic! One minute I'm adjusting simple things like a font, and the next I'm doing work (quickly and easily) that I could only do with Genesis. The combination is truly amazing!
Who's making the move to Genesis?
I don't know about you, but when I see moves like this, I get happy. In this story, there is no loser. The guys at StudioPress keep doing the things they're fantastic at doing. The guys at CobaltApps get to keep doing the very thing that people love without having to support tons of extra products.
And you and I, developers and end users, get to pick the perfect solutions for the problems we face daily in the marketplace.
But if you're a bit worried about the move, I want to tell you about a couple of people who can help you.
1. Jared Atchison – Jared is an incredible and focused individual who's worked and small and large sites alike. He's also a contributor to the Genesis Framework. That means he knows stuff! Serious stuff.
2. Carrie Dils – Carrie is so incredibly talented and such a generous person that if you don't fall in love with her, call me and I'll make it right (free ebooks for you). She works with Genesis all the time!
3. Bourn Creative – Brian and Jennifer are not just developers, they're the total package – from brand work to conversion work, to development work, to creative work. And they focus on Genesis.
There are more. Many more. But these are folks I trust and have on my speed dial. So I wanted to share them with you.
Oh, and if you already have your site on Genesis 1.0 and want to make the move to 2.0 but are a bit worried, check out this offer.
I'm making the move. Will you join me?