It’s no secret that over the last year and some change, I’ve become completely smitten with blogging. It has taken over my life in the best way possible bringing me some of my best friends, a passion and hobby that will turn career, and it has taught me some amazing skills. Without being a blogger, I never would’ve started working on blog designs, which have been my biggest design passion lately. I spoke before about how to choose a WordPress theme because when I switched to WordPress that was the toughest decision. Now I want to share my favorite themes for WordPress especially for lifestyle bloggers.
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Aside from WordPress themes being different than Blogger, WordPress also has frameworks and themes. It’s a bit confusing, but think of the framework as the engine of a car and the theme as the paint job. They work together, but in the case of Genesis child themes, they won’t work without Genesis. I highly recommend all of my design clients to use Genesis.
There is SO much built into the framework automatically that even with choosing a theme that limited some things I wanted to do, I’ve been able to use forums and plugins to figure out how to add in everything I want. Genesis just has so much tech support and there are so many helpful blog posts about it out there. It’s also automatically mobile friendly which is going to be huge for SEO in the coming months. Genesis also has its own set of plugins that are lifesavers. My favorite is called Simple Hooks and it’s a plugin that allows you to add in HTML code basically anywhere you want on your blog. This is so handy if you realize after purchasing a Genesis child theme that there wasn’t a feature you wanted and you want to add something on your own.
You can use Genesis alone, but adding a child theme makes things a lot easier and prettier!
Foodie Pro: Genesis Child Theme
Foodie Pro is one of my favorite child themes because it has some amazing features. One of the most popular is its built in recipe index which can also be used as a project gallery. It also has a dynamic home page that can be customized to different blogs. The child theme was designed by Shay Bocks and her site is loaded with tutorials for different customizations. I will say one downside to this child theme is that it can be really complicated to duplicate the recipe index coding (for example if you wanted a recipe index and project gallery). It’s also built differently and some Genesis tutorials for customization don’t work as easily on Foodie.
Flourish by Restored 316
Flourish is my latest child theme purchase and I love it so much. It’s just feminine enough for my taste and has tons of great features built in. It is built with e-commerce which is really helpful for those who have a shop on the side. It is also set up to use the Genesis Responsive Slider plugin from Studio Press, which is a feature I think a lot of bloggers are really liking right now to showcase favorite posts!
Other favorites from Restored 316
Jane by Pretty Darn Cute
This is the child theme that I am currently using on this site! Being brand new to WordPress and blog design when I started here, I loved how easy the Jane child theme was to use and learn! The customizations and tutorials you can find online for Genesis were easily applied to this child theme as well, which was huge for me! It’s also cool to see how much customization I was able to do from the original theme.
Other PDC themes I love:
While I love Genesis themes, there are definitely some fantastic WordPress themes out there for those who don’t use Genesis. BluChic has a ton of them and their support team is amazing, too! Marilyn is one of my favorites because it has a built in gallery feature and the design is clean and easy to work with. BluChic does a great job of building their themes so that simple customization is easy to do!
This is another theme I’m fairly familiar with since I’ve worked with it before. Isabelle is another from BluChic and this one has a lot of Genesis style features built in, so it’s an awesome non-Genesis theme option. It has the post slider at the top and a more dynamic looking home page similar to the options that Foodie Pro has.
These are some of the favorite themes I’ve learned about and worked with doing blog designs. These are my trust themes that I go to when designing a theme, but I am always looking for new ones as well.
If you’re interested in a blog design, head to my blog design inquiry form to fill it out and reserve your spot! I only take on a few clients per month, so be sure to act quickly!