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A Guide to Advance Genesis Framework Settings

September 14, 2016

14 Min Read
Reading Time: 14 minutes

Previously, I have discussed how you can configure Genesis Framework with Basic Settings. However, in this article, I will guide you on how to configure each part of your Genesis Framework in detail. Welcome to the depths! Let me explain you how you can configure Genesis Framework with Advanced Settings Options.

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Configuring the Home page of Your Genesis site

Every child theme has few options to display content on home page. You can also set a static page as Homepage while a few child themes have custom widget areas to add widgets to your home page. Let’s take a look at these page styles:

Custom Home Page

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Most StudioPress Genesis child themes have custom home pages that have widgets to add content on it. Go to Settings > Reading and check Your latest posts to set this type home page.

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You can select which widgets to show on the homepage by visiting them at Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets. You can access member’s area here anytime to guide yourself on how to set front page as shown in the theme’s demo.

Blog Style home page

This home page style displays latest posts on home page. Do not add any widgets in homepage specific widget area so that home page displays latest posts.

Useful Tip: In some of our older themes, you may need to rename the home.Php file to home-old.php via FTP or the web based file manager provided by your host to remove the requirement to use widgets on the home page.

Static Homepage

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This displays a single static page that you choose as your home page. From the Dashboard go to Appearance > Reading and select A static page option.

Now select a static page for Front page and page for Posts page.

Introduction to Setting Up a Navigation Menu

Genesis uses WordPress default menu features. You can create and manage menus either in WordPress Dashboard or in Customizer.

Create Menu in WordPress Dashboard

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To add a menu via Dashboard, go to Appearance > Menus and click Create new menu.

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Give a name to the menu ( a name is for your reference only) and click on Create Menu.

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You can see all the Pages, Posts, Custom Links and Categories available here. Select the items from each section that you want to show in the enu and then press Add to menu.

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Click the Screen Options tab in upper right corner to show complete list of options that you can choose from. Enable the options that you need and click the tab again to hide Screen Options.

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Once you are finished click Save Menu to save the settings. Child theme options will appear in Menu Settings where you can assign your menu to a specific location.

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Also, you can click Manage Locations tab and manage each menu position. Click Save Changes to save your settings.

Create Menu in WordPress Customizer

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Go to Appearance > Customize > Menus and click Add a Menu.

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Give a name to the menu ( the name is for your reference only). Click Create Menu.

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Click Add Items to select items to add to the menu.

You may check the box in Menu options to automatically add a page to menu. It will be added if it is not a sub-page.

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Clicking Add Items shows another panel with all your Posts, Pages, Categories, Tags and Custom Links. Click the arrow to expand each.

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Click on each item you want to add in the menu. Once you are done, click Save and Publish to save the settings.

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You can select which menu to show at a specific place. These options may vary theme to theme though.

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Select menu options for each position and click Save & Publish to save the settings.

Create a non-Clickable Menu item

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Go to Custom Links section and write the menu item name and in the URL section just add the # symbol. When a visitor clicks this menu item, it will not be forwarded to any page.

Create a Drop Down Menu item

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You can easily create a drop down menu entry by dragging the element until it becomes added to the list. This new drop down element will appear slightly ahead of its parent item.

Click Save Menu to save the settings.

Introduction to Widget Areas in Genesis Child Themes

Many themes include common widget areas where you can add content like:

  • Header Right Widget Area
  • Primary Sidebar Widget Area
  • After Entry Widget Area
  • Footer Widget Areas

Few child themes have specific widget areas that help populate home page and other areas of your site.

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You can configure widget in Customizer or Appearance > Widgets area.

Header Right Widget Area

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It’s available in some child themes which is displayed next to site title or logo.

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Since it has limited space, a custom menu widget is placed here. Generally Homepage, custom links and company links are given here as well.

Primary Sidebar Widget Area

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Some themes have layout that includes Sidebar in Genesis Theme Settings, this Primary Sidebar Widget Area will be available.

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You can use any widget in this area. For e.g. Subscription box, social icons, recent posts or many others.

After Entry Widget Area

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This appears at the end of a single post.

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You can use any widget in this area, like for e.g. a newsletter.

Footer Widget Areas

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It allows you to add widgets at the end of your website. To activate Footer 2 or Footer 3, you first have to put some widgets in Footer 1.

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You can place contact information and links in the Footer area.

Introduction to Genesis Framework specific Widgets

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Genesis brings in 3 specific widgets to your Widget area in Appearance > Widgets

  1. Genesis – Featured Page widget
  2. Genesis – Featured Post widget
  3. Genesis – User Profile widget

Let’s take a look at each of them:

Genesis – Featured Page Widget

This widget is used to display a featured image and an excerpt of the article from a single page. It can be used in frontpage-specific widget area, a sidebar, footer or any other place.

To add a widget to the widget area, go to Appearance > Widgets. Here are the configuration settings for this widget:

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1 – Title: Title written here will be displayed at the top of the widget content.

2 – Page: Select the page you want to feature.

3 – Show Featured Image: Tick the image if you want to show featured image that’s been assigned to the page.

4 – Image Size: Select the size of featured image.

5 – Image Alignment: Select alignment for image i.e. left, right, or centered over the text content.

6 – Show Page Title: Tick this box to display the title of the page being featured.

7 – Show Page Content: Tick this box to display the page content. Leave this option unchecked to display the title and featured image only.

8 – Content Character Limit: If the Show Page Content is ticked, then enter a number here to limit number of characters to display in the widget.

9 – More Text: Enter a value here like Read More or Continue Reading to be displayed after the Content Character Limit entered above is reached.

After completing the configuration, click Save to store the settings.

Genesis – Featured Post Widget

This widget is used to display a featured image and an excerpt of the article from one or more blog posts. It is similar to the Featured Page Widget but applies on Posts rather than pages.

To add the widget to a widget area, go to Appearance > Widgets.

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1 – Title: Title written here will be displayed at the top of the widget content.

2 – Category: Select which category you want to feature.

3 – Number of Posts to Show: Number of posts you want to display in this widget.

4 – Number of Posts to Offset: Enter the number of posts to offset (or skip). It is used when you have Featured Posts appearing elsewhere and you don’t want to repeat posts in those areas. Offsetting by 1 will show the next most recent post.

5 – Order by: Select the order in which the posts will be displayed.

6 – Sort Order: Select whether the order is descending or ascending.

7 – Exclude Previously Displayed Posts?: Tick the box to exclude already displayed posts on the page. It’s effective when you have one post featured in many categories. And you want to stop it from showing up in more than one Genesis Featured Posts widget on the page.

8 – Exclude Sticky Posts: Excludes sticky posts from being displayed.

9 – Show Author Gravatar: Shows Author’s gravatar with each post. For this to display, the author must have a gravatar from http://gravatar.com associated with the email address in the profile.

10 – Gravatar Size: Selects the size of the gravatar.

11 – Gravatar Alignment: Select alignment for gravatar i.e. left or right of the text.

12 – Show Featured Image: Tick the box to show featured image that’s been assigned to each post. If you have not assigned it in post editor, Genesis will automatically assign the first image that’s been uploaded to the post as the featured image.

13 – Image Size: Select size of the featured image.

14 – Image Alignment: Select alignment for featured image i.e. left, right, or centered over the text content.

15 – Show Post Title: Tick this box to display the title of the page being featured.

16 – Show Post Info: Shows post info including the post date, author and comment link. This is customizable.

17 – Content Type: Select whether to display the Excerpt, Content, a Content Limit, or No Content.

Content Types

Excerpt: The excerpt consists of first 55 words of the post’s content. HTML tags and graphics are not included in excerpt’s content.

Content: The complete content of the post, including images, will be displayed. Use this setting along with the more tag inside the post if you want to show an excerpt of the post.

Content Limit: Shows only limited part of content. This setting is like Excerpt, but you can define the exact number of characters displayed.

No Content: No content from the post will be displayed. This setting is used if you want to display the title or the title and featured image.

18 – Limit Content: Used with the above Show Content Limit setting. It Operates like the excerpt, however gives you more control over the number of characters shown.

19 – More Text: Enter a value here like Read More or Continue Reading to be displayed after the Content Character Limit entered above is reached.

20 – Unordered List of More Posts: Shows only titles of remaining posts from the category or categories chosen, that are not shown in the above list.

21 – Title: If you would like to display the Unordered List of More Posts from the selected category, add a title for this list.

22 – Number of Posts to Show: Number of posts to show in Unordered List of More Posts list.

23 – Show Category Archive Link: Tick this box to show a link to more posts in this category if you have chosen only a single category in this widget. But if you have set it to show All Categories, this link will not be displayed.

After completing the configuration, click Save to store the settings.

Genesis – User Profile Widget

This widget shows a user’s gravatar with bio or custom link. You can use it in any widget area like Sidebar, Front page widget area or footer.

To add the widget to a widget area, go to Appearance > Widgets.

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1 – Title: Title written here will be displayed at the top of the widget content.

2 – Select a User: Select the user to feature in this widget.

3 – Gravatar Size: Selects the size of the gravatar. For this to display, the author must have a gravatar from http://gravatar.com associated with the email address in the profile.

4 – Gravatar Alignment: Select alignment for gravatar i.e. left or right of the text.

5 – Author Description Text: Author description can be loaded from Author Bio from the user’s profile or you can be Custom Text.

6 – Extended “About Me” Page: Select a page to link at the end of the Author Description to provide more information about the Author.

7 – Extended Page Link Text: Enter the text for the above link.

8 – Show Author Archive Link?: Tick this box to add a link at end of widget content, leading to the author’s archive page, where you can see all posts of this user.

After completing the configuration, click Save to store the settings.

Additional Widgets

Some child themes may have additional widgets and they ask for certain plugins to be installed as well. You can find all the documentation on those widgets and plugins in the theme setup guide.

You can access all child themes and documentation in the Member’s Area at http://my.studiopress.com/downloads/.

Using your own Logo or Header Image

You can upload Logo or Header image with  the following two possible ways depending on what options your theme provides.

1 – Setting Logo in WordPress Customizer

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This option is available in most Genesis child themes. Go to Appearance > Customize > Head Image to add your logo.

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Click Add new image to upload or select already uploaded image as your Header. You may crop the image as you like but recommended Header size is written on screen.

Click Save & Publish to save settings.

2 – Setting Logo in Genesis Theme Settings

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If the above option is not available, you can go to Genesis > Theme Settings and in Header section select one of the following:

  • Dynamic text

It displays your site title and tagline as your logo. You can set it here: Appearance > Customize > Site Identity or in Settings > General.

  • Image logo

An image logo is displayed if this option is selected. Image logo.png or in some themes header.png file will be selected as your Header logo.

To upload your own logo you have to replace the logo.png file with your own logo.png file. Go to /wp-content/themes/childtheme/images folder of your website via FTP and replace it.

Using Genesis Templates

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You can select any Template from Page Attributes section. This applies only to pages, not posts. Each theme offers its specific and additional templates.

Archive Template

It creates a sitemap of your website. Here’s how to use it:

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  1. Create a new at Pages > Add Page
  2. Enter the title of Page.
  3. Leave the content area blank. Archive template will auto fill this page with sitemap.
  4. Click Publish.

Blog Template

It creates a list of recent posts in a blog format. Here’s how to use it:

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  1. Create a new at Pages > Add Page and insert the Title of Page.
  2. Select Blog from Page Attributes section.
  3. Leave the content area blank. Archive template will auto fill this page with recent posts.
  4. Click Publish.

Updating Genesis Framework

You can update Genesis from the WordPress Dashboard or do it manually. Let’s look into both options:

Manual Update

Follow these steps to manually update Genesis:

  • Download the latest version of Genesis from http://my.studiopress.com/downloads/
  • Extract the downloaded zip file.
  • Upload the unzipped Genesis folder to your website’s /wp-content/themes folder via FTP and replace the previous version.

Automatic Updates

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To enable auto updates, go to Genesis > Theme Settings and tick Enable Automatic Updates. You can enter your email address to get notified when an update is available.

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When you enable this option, whenever an update is available you will receive a link in the Dashboard. Update will only begin when you click the link.

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You can also visit Dashboard > Updates to check for updates.

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Press Check Again to check for updates.

41Click update now to begin the update.

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On Update Theme screen click on Click here to complete the upgrade link to complete the update. When all is done, you will be redirected to Genesis > Theme Settings.

Warning: Backup your Genesis and Child theme before you go for Updates.

Errors and Other Resources

Here are some common Genesis and WordPress errors you my face.

  • Genesis not found

Problem: When you install the Child theme before Genesis Framework or delete Genesis while child theme is installed, this error appears:

Warning:

require_once(%path-to-wordpress%/wpcontent/themes/genesis/lib/init.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in %path-to- wordpress%/wp-content/themes/%childtheme%/functions.php on line 3

Solution: Go to /public_html/wp-content/themes/ folder of your website via FTP. You can also see this address in above error as well.

Download the latest Genesis framework from my.studiopress.com. Unzip it and make sure it is named “genesis” and Upload it to themes folder. You can read a more detailed description in Part 1 – Installation of Genesis Framework.

  • WordPress needs upgrade

Problem: When your WordPress is outdated you are missing out on few functions. Always keep your WordPress updated. If this error appears however, a simple upgrade will not be available. The error might look something like this:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function add_theme_support() in /%path-to-wordpress %/wp-content/themes/genesis/lib/init.php on line 17

When WordPress isn’t updated you may see this error too:

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/user/wp-content/themes/genesis/lib/admin/term-meta.php on line 256

Solution: You cannot access the Dashboard, so access the website directory via FTP and Go to /public_html/wp-content/themes/. Either remove your active theme or move it out of themes folder. This deactivates the theme and enables default theme.

Now you can login to WordPress dashboard, update WordPress and now bring your theme back to themes folder and reactivate it.

If your WordPress is already updated, you need to update your database as well. Visit http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/upgrade.php. Replace “yourdomain.com” with your domain name. If a database update is required you may do so from this page.

Useful Tip: Always keep both WordPress and Genesis updated. But if upgrade is available for both, first update WordPress and then Genesis.

Helpful Links

Whether you are a beginner or advanced user, you can still find these resources helpful:

WordPress Resources

Genesis Resources

  • Genesis Tutorials – You can find useful tutorials here. It is a third party resource that is not affiliated with StudioPress.
  • Genesis Explained In depth explanation of Genesis can be found here. It is a great resource for learners.
  • Community Forums – You can discuss your projects with other users, get and offer assistance, and brainstorming code with the community.

Additional Resources for Installation & Getting Started

  • Building Child Themes – StudioPress site with tutorials for customizing the Genesis Sample Child Theme.

Questions?

We have tried to put together a compact Genesis framework guide for you. If you have any questions.

We’re always here to help!

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

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Danish Ashrafi

Danish was a WordPress Community Expert at Cloudways - A Managed WordPress Hosting Platform. He loves helping out WordPress beginners and solving their problems. His passions takes up his free time as well and he spends time designing, developing and learning new stuff. You can email him at danish.ashrafi@cloudways.com

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