WordPress is turning out to be a very popular way for people to create small websites on campus. While we have a variety of themes to choose from, I’m always on the lookout for ones that offer flexibility not only in design, but in structure.
I recently started looking at StudioPress’s Genesis framework. It’s a commercial theme, but quite reasonable in price. I also like that you can use it as many times as you need and updates are free. Considering we want to use this on our multi-site installation and budgets are tight, this was a big plus.
Genesis is the actually just a theme, albeit a very plain one with many options. The intent is that you will build your own child-themes on top of it. StudioPress also has many child themes for sale, as do other developers. There are even a few free ones.
I ended up going with Genesis with the Legacy Child Theme. Here are the features that fit what I was looking for:
- 7 color styles
The blue color matches well with UCI. The style sheet allows for further customization to match UCI’s colors exactly if needed.
- 6 layout options
You can choose the layout on a site-wide basis and also on a post or page option. This flexibility will be important when used as a CMS.
- Custom header
This will allow uploading UCI’s web banners
- Responsive design
It will work well on mobile devices out of the box. A big win.
The option of including dynamic breadcrumbs on different types of content.
- Secondary navigation
The option of having a second row of navigation that can be set on a page or post basis.
- Granular Comment Options
WordPress by default only allows you to turn comments on or off on a site basis. Genesis allows you to choose between Post and Pages. You may want comments on Posts, but not Pages.
- Custom home page
Legacy builds the home page with several widgetized areas. You can opt for a static home page, but this has some nice features that work well for Sites@UCI including the ability to do a Featured Sites slideshow.
We plan to roll this out to make it available to all sites soon.