- Editor Rating
- Rated 5 stars
- StudioPress Themes
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If you’re looking for a WordPress theme that looks awesome and is actually SEO-Friendly, you should probably check out StudioPress.
All StudioPress themes are mobile responsive and have clean, lightweight code that make your website fast, secure, and run smoothly. They’re trusted by over 194,500 WordPress users including Yoast, Matt Cutts from Google, plus the founder of WordPress – Matt Mullwenweg. Few theme stores can actually get an interview with Matt. StudioPress is just that respected.
I wrote this StudioPress review because I use their Outreach Pro theme on a daily basis for my website. It looks awesome, loads in under 1s, and I’ve never had a single theme-related issue. I’ve built over 15+ WordPress sites using StudioPress themes and wrote 20 blog tutorials about their Genesis Framework. And while there are plenty of WordPress and Genesis theme stores out there, I always end up at StudioPress. This StudioPress review is based on my experience using their themes along with practical tips to help you customize YOUR theme.
Here are 15 reasons you should choose StudioPress to build or redesign your WordPress site:
- Mobile Responsive + HTML5
- Accessibility Ready
- Amazing Design
- Powered By The Genesis Framework
- Automatic Updates
- Theme Settings
- Genesis Plugins
- Youtube Tutorials
- Community Support
- Genesis Developers
1. SEO-Friendly: Clean Code = Less Technical Problems
The real SEO you get with a StudioPress theme is the clean code that makes your website run fast, responsively, securely, and smoothly. It’s not like your rankings are going to skyrocket if you use StudioPress (or any theme for that matter). But the fact is most websites do have technical issues that could have been prevented if the theme code was written better. Avoiding technical issues consequentially DOES benefit SEO and it also improves user experience, uptimes, security, and can save you a LOT of money hiring a developer to fix errors.
Genesis Framework does come with it’s own SEO settings but as with any theme, you’re better off configuring the Yoast SEO Plugin. Genesis also comes with schema.org for rich snippets but you’re better off using a plugin like All In One Schema (free but minimal) or WP Rich Snippets (premium and robust). These plugins will do a better job no matter what theme you choose. Don’t get fooled when a developer slaps the words “SEO-Friendly” on their WordPress theme. The best way to know is to follow what the top WordPress people are using, and that’s why people like Yoast and Matt Cutts from Google use the Genesis Framework by StudioPress.
2. Reliability: Trusted By 194,500 People Who ♥ Genesis
There’s a lot to be said about purchasing a theme from a reputable company (as opposed to an independent developer on ThemeForest). StudioPress now has over 194,500 users who trust them to make ongoing updates and improvements to their themes and Genesis Framework. The reliability factor alone can save you countless hours having to deal with technical issues, and the possibility that your WordPress theme will be discontinued or worse, abandoned.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) June 27, 2013
With StudioPress my updates have always gone flawlessly…
I can count on them to release frequent updates to the Genesis Framework…
Whereas ThemeForest themes are built by independent developers who may not be as reliable. This is a ThemeForest theme I used for my website (the one you’re on). It eventually got discontinued, no updates were released, and I started running into technical errors. I had to redesign my site using the Outreach Pro theme by StudioPress which took me weeks, but long-term this was a blessing in disguise. You however, have the option to avoid that mistake.
3. Lightweight: No More Bloated Code Slowing You Down
Most StudioPress themes don’t include a built-in portfolio, shortcodes, and some don’t even include a slider. Instead of having these features caked into your theme (which hurts your load time), you will be relying on plugins to only add the functionality you need. This is the whole concept of lightweight. StudioPress’ coding is also top-notch so you can be sure your Genesis-powered WordPress site will load instantly. Mine usually loads in .8s when tested in GTmetrix.
4. Mobile Responsive + HTML5
All StudioPress themes are mobile responsive and all but 1 (Focus Pro) are HTML5…
Their mobile responsive testing tool lets you preview your website on different screens…
5. Security: Code Reviewed By Core Developer Mark Jaquith
I’ll admit I don’t know much about security when it comes to coding (only general things like changing your admin username, installing a security plugin like Wordfence, etc). But I do know StudioPress brought on security expert and core WordPress developer Mark Jaquith to review and tweak their themes. This is good since WordPress sites have been a recent target.
6. Accessibility Ready (For The Impaired)
This makes your website is more easily readable by people who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, or color blind. They’re small things like making the text high contrast compared to the background color, or making your navigation selectable by keyboard. It’s not a ranking factor in Google (yet at least) but does make your site easier for this group of people.
7. Amazing Designs With A Wide Selection Of Themes
I assure you there are better WordPress designers than myself, but my website is a customized version of StudioPress’ Outreach Pro Theme. Check out my homepage or see the showcase section on StudioPress to see Genesis sites designed using StudioPress themes.
8. Powered By The Genesis Framework
All StudioPress themes are built in the Genesis Framework. This is similar to a parent theme and facilitates the development of your child theme (the one you choose on StudioPress). By using Genesis you are allowing StudioPress to make ongoing updates to the Genesis Framework which keeps your website running smoothly. It basically helps with everything listed in this StudioPress review. You can learn about theme frameworks on this WP Beginner post. Rest assured, Genesis is among the top frameworks is respected in the WP community.
9. Automatic Updates: One Less Thing To Worry About
Once you install your theme, you can enable autoupdates in your Genesis theme settings:
10. Theme Settings: An Inside Look
All StudioPress themes have Genesis theme settings which you can export and import to use on multiple Genesis sites. As you can see there aren’t nearly as many options as a robust theme like Avada on ThemeForest, but like I said, that is the concept of a lightweight theme.
11. Genesis Plugins (Also Lightweight)
StudioPress has an array of Genesis plugins I would DEFINITELY use to customize your StudioPress theme. Most of them have high ratings are they are lightweight so you don’t have to worry about them slowing down your site. I would at least check out these Genesis plugins:
- Genesis Simple Edits
- Genesis eNews Extended
- Genesis Responsive Slider
- Genesis Simple Share
- Genesis Design Palette Pro (Third Party)
12. Solid Documentation To Get You Started
The documentation StudioPress has for both Genesis Framework and their themes is super helpful. Once you purchase a theme you will have access to it’s setup instructions. Here they will show how to install your theme, import demo content, setup the homepage, Genesis SEO settings, use columns, and other tutorials. Below are the instructions I got for Outreach Pro.
- How To Install Genesis or a Child Theme
- How To Import The Demo Site Content
- How To Use Content Column Classes
- Shortcode Reference
- Setup Instructions (must purchase theme first)
13. Youtube Tutorials For Nearly Every Theme
Since StudioPress is so popular, a LOT of people have used their themes. You can usually find Youtube tutorials showing you how to setup your StudioPress theme especially if it’s been around for awhile (like Executive Pro, Eleven40 Pro, Parallax Pro, others). Here’s a great Youtube tutorial by Lisa Irby showing you how to customize any Genesis WordPress theme:
14. Community Support: Join The Facebook Group!
If you buy a StudioPress theme you should definitely join the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They are super helpful and the StudioPress team posts regular updates on new theme releases, tips, and other news about the Genesis Framework. If you have a question or issue related to anything Genesis, this is one of the most helpful Facebook Groups I have joined.
15. Plenty Of Genesis Developers If You Need Help
StudioPress has their own list of Genesis developers but I work with Pronaya who is much cheaper ($25/hour) and has helped me build over 15 WordPress sites in the Genesis Framework. We’ve been working together for 5 years and you can hire him on freelancer.com (just sign up and search for user bdkamol). He lives in Bangladesh but if you don’t mind the time difference, he speaks good English and usually completes updates within 1-2 days. He can install your theme, customize it, and does all WordPress speed optimization projects for me.
Choosing A StudioPress Theme
I would base your decision off the design you like. While some themes are industry-specific, the content is meant to be swapped out anyway. So don’t base your decision solely on the content. Outreach Pro is advertised as a church theme but I used it as a marketing website and love it. Obviously real estate, WooCommerce, education, and even parallax themes are unique to that type of website, but multipurpose themes can be customized for any industry.
- Business: Executive Pro, Agency Pro, Digital Pro
- Real Estate Agent: Agent Focused, AgentPress
- General Blogger: Eleven40 Pro, Wintersong, Sixteen Nine
- Food Blogger: Foodie Pro, Brunch Pro, Daily Dish, Wellness Pro, Cook’d Pro
- Magazine / News: Metro Pro, News Pro, Magazine Pro
- Parallax: Parallax Pro, Altitude Pro
- Restaurant: Cafe Pro
- Education: Education Pro
- WooCommerce: Jessica, Divine, Gallery Pro, Glam Pro
Pro Plus All-Theme Package: Get All 55+ StudioPress Themes
The StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package includes all StudioPress themes for $499.95 + $99.95/year after. This theme pack includes all third-party and future themes in their collection. I found many higher paying gigs involve companies who want to use Genesis, so being a WordPress developer (and Genesis developer) can get you more clients in itself.
Showcase Websites: See Customized Versions Of Each Theme
Use the showcase section on StudioPress’ website to see customized versions of each theme. There’s an option on the right side of the page where you can filter by theme (and you’ll notice some websites look completely different than the theme, showing you how flexible they are).
That’s all I got! If you have any questions about my StudioPress themes review, the Genesis Framework, or a specific theme, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll be glad to help you out. As soon as I found out about StudioPress I fell in love (as they say). But seriously, I really enjoy working with their themes and it’s definitely made my life easier especially the design aspect.
- All themes are mobile responsive + HTML5 (except Focus Pro)
- Lightweight themes are minimal and load super quickly
- Fast load times, less technical issues, etc make for better SEO
- StudioPress built the Genesis Framework (so they’re reliable)
- Coding has been reviewed by WordPress security expert Mark Jaquith
- Some themes are accessibility ready for visually or hearing impaired
- StudioPress comes with Genesis plugins, setup instructions, documentation
- It all comes down to code and StudioPress has the highest standards
- There is a huge community for Genesis, finding help is no problem
- Very reliable when it comes to updates and keeping your site run smoothly
- Returning customers get a nice discount off future purchases on StudioPress
- $99.95 is too expensive for some
- Some people think their themes look too similar
- Less built-in features means you will rely more on plugins
- Pro Plus All-Theme Package has recurring fee which nobody likes