Last week a friend of mine took my advice and purchased the Genesis framework with a child theme to use on her blog. About an hour after she bought it, she emailed me and said, “Um, how exactly do I get this installed on my site?”
Sometimes I think designers and developers take their knowledge for granted – we forget that some people are just starting out or may not know how to install a theme yet, especially when it involves both a framework and child theme that need to be uploaded. For this reason, I decided to create a tutorial that will show new bloggers (and/or new Genesis users) how to get the framework installed.
I’ve created a video (below) that will walk you through each step of the process. Not a fan of video? Me neither! If you’d rather read than watch, scroll down to find text instructions with screenshots.
Video: How to Install the Genesis Framework
Genesis Framework Installation Steps
Step One: Download the framework and your child theme.
Once you’ve purchased Genesis, you can visit your StudioPress download page (you’ll need to be logged into your account) to download a zip file of both the framework and your child theme. If you purchased the framework alone without a child theme, you should still have the Genesis Sample child theme available in your downloads area. Just click the blue download button beside each item and they should download automatically.
If you’re using Safari on a Mac, your download may not arrive as a zip file. If that’s the case, here’s how to fix it: In Safari, go to Preferences > General and uncheck the box that says “Open safe downloads automatically.” Once you do that, try the download again and you should get a .zip this time.
Alternately, you can right-click on the Genesis folder and choose the option that says Compress “genesis” to make it a zip file again.
Step Two: Upload and install the framework first.
Always install the Genesis framework before installing your child theme. The child theme will look for the framework to be sure it’s there, so it’s important to get in the habit of uploading the framework first.
To install the framework, go to Appearance > Themes in your WordPress dashboard. At the top of the page, you’ll see a tab that says “Install Themes.” Click on that, then select the Upload link.
On the Upload page, click the Select File button to locate the Genesis zip file (genesis.2.0.1.zip as of this writing) on your computer. Once you’ve chosen it, you’ll be able to click the Install Now button.
You should see this screen after clicking the Install Now button:
You can activate the framework if you want, but it’s not necessary. You just need to leave it installed on your site at all times. You can click the “Return to Themes Page” link to begin installing your child theme.
Step Three: Upload and install your Genesis child theme.
Just like in Step Two, you’ll want to go to Appearance > Themes, click the Install Themes tab, and click the Upload link. This time you’ll want to look for your child theme’s zip file on your computer:
Click the Install Now button to upload the zip file. This time after uploading, you’ll want to activate your child theme by clicking the Activate link.
Congratulations! You’ve just installed the Genesis framework and your Genesis child theme.
A Few Things to do Now:
Fix your widgets: Nearly all Genesis child themes have a Header Right widget area, which is the first in the list under Appearance > Widgets. When you activate your child theme, the sidebar widgets you had before tend to jump into the Header Right area, which makes your site look crazy (or you may not see any widgets at all). Take a look at your site and make any widget adjustments needed.
Set your Genesis theme settings. You’ll see a new item in your WordPress dashboard titled Genesis. Hover on it and choose Theme Settings to look through the basic Genesis theme settings and make changes as needed.
Configure Genesis SEO settings. If you use a separate plugin for SEO, this step isn’t needed. However, if you didn’t have a plugin, you’ll be able to navigate to Genesis > SEO Settings in your dashboard. The most important thing to do is choose a home meta description and home meta keywords for your site – this will help search engines understand what your site is about.
Set up Google authorship. Genesis makes it easy to set up Google authorship for your site (to show your Google+ profile picture in search results). All you need to do is visit Users > Your Profile in the dashboard and paste your Google+ profile URL in the text field. That’s it! No other configuration required.
Install any Genesis plugins you’d like to use. In a previous post, I gave you 11 great Genesis plugins that will help you get started with the Genesis framework. You may not know which ones you need or want yet, which is fine, but that list will give you an idea of what’s available to help you customize your child theme.
Need More Help?
If you need help setting up your Genesis site to look like the theme demo, go back to your StudioPress downloads page and click the Theme Setup button next to your child theme’s name to get detailed instructions.
If you want to make cosmetic changes to your site such as changing colors and fonts, adding widget areas, etc., we have a tutorial for that, or you can visit the StudioPress forums to ask the community for help. Alternately, a Google search for “genesis framework how to _____” will usually help you find a great tutorial.
Ready to Try Genesis?
Maybe you’re reading these instructions because you’re considering the Genesis framework for your WordPress site. Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to get started, go grab the framework and a child theme!