5 Genesis Starter Themes To Start Building Your Own Custom Child Theme

I’ve been using Genesis Framework for years. Clients like it too. After started using Genesis few years ago, I never look back. I use it in every single project I had.

Genesis Framework

For most of the time, when developing custom theme for clients, I realized that I’ve been doing the same thing over and over. So, I started looking for “starter” child theme so I can reduce the development time. If you’re like me, you’re lucky because I’ll be sharing a list of 5 Genesis Starter Child themes to be used in your future projects.

Sample Child Theme

Sample Child Theme is the official Genesis child theme by StudioPress. The style.css file will have the same exact style as the latest Genesis theme and it comes with blank functions.php file. Nothing much. If you want the simplest child theme, this is for you.

Download: Sample Child Theme

Base Child Theme

This starter child theme was developed by Bill Erickson, a WordPress Consultant and developer. He specialize in Genesis and one of the contributors to Genesis 1.9. Base Child Theme is one of the earliest starter child I theme I tried. I comes with lots of useful codes such as metabox, custom shortcodes, widget and many more.

Personally, I love the way he manage all the custom files.

Download: Base Child Theme

Info: Billerickson.net

Starter Child Theme

This is a starter child theme by Jared Atchison. I’ve used his starter child theme on most of my projects. This starter child theme also comes with lots of cool features such as HTML doctype, responsive menu, footer navigation some other custom files. This theme also includes few styles taken from the Twitter bootstrap.

Download: Starter Child Theme

Info: Jaredatchison.com


Bones comes with lot of comments and makes it lot easier to use if you’re building your first custom theme. Bones includes the option to use LESS or Sass to create your CSS.

Bones was first released as a premium starter theme where you’ve to pay $5 to get a copy. Luckily, the developer, Eddie Machado recently decided to release it for free! However, donations are always welcome.

Download: Bones for Genesis

Info: Themble.com

Genesis Sandbox

Genesis Sandbox is built off of the 1140 Grid. It is more robust and mobile responsive. Besides lots of custom files, it comes with many admin options. Besides, it also comes with styles taken from Twitter Bootstrap.

I personally never use Genesis Sandbox on any project but the latest version, Sandbox v1.1 really caught my attention. I think I should start using it for my future project.

There are three versions:

  • Sandbox free
  • Sandbox for designers
  • Incipio

However, at the time of writing, only Sandbox free version while the other two are still in development.

Download: Genesis Sandbox

Info: Genesissandbox.com

Which one should you use? This is hard to say. I highly suggest you try each one of them, remove any unnecessary custom files, mix and match or build your own starter child theme on top of these 5 starter child themes.

Sometimes you won’t need to use any of these starter themes. Instead, use any of the existing child themes available on StudioPress and start customizing it to your liking.

If you’re not using Genesis Framework, you really should. Don’t forget to get your own copy of Genesis Framework.

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