Why You Should Use A Genesis 2.0 Child Theme

Using WordPress 3.6 and Genesis 2.0 is like offering free candy to Google using HTML5 microdata

Alright, folks. If you hang out online with internet techies like I do, you’ve likely heard some buzzwords like “HTML5” and “microdata” being thrown around surrounding the release of WordPress 3.6 and Genesis 2.0. As of writing, WordPress 3.6 has been officially released, and Genesis 2.0 is right around the corner, with a scheduled release of sometime next week. It all sounds awesome, but how does it affect you as a blogger?

Here is the short answer: You want your website to be found by search engines. Search engines like microdata. Microdata is served up by HTML5. WordPress 3.6 + Genesis 2.0 + a Genesis 2.0 child theme support HTML5 markup.

…What the whaaaa? I know. It’s all super geeky and complicated, but let’s break this down into some bite-sized pieces:

What is HTML5?

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, and it’s the primary coding language used to create web content. HTML5 is simply the latest version of the HTML coding language, and is packed with lots of awesome features, including microdata.

What is microdata?

Microdata is kind of like candy for search engines. It assigns labels to specific types of content, such as people, reviews, or events. Basically, it makes information reaaally easy for search engines to index. The less you make search engines work, the more they’ll like you and prioritize your content. To see some examples in action, check out Google’s microdata page.

Eep, do I have to add the microdata myself?

Thankfully WordPress 3.6, Genesis 2.0 and your Genesis 2.0 child theme do the heavy lifting, meaning you’ll reap many of the SEO benefits of microdata without ever having to touch code. That said, I’m a strong advocate of not simply knowing that things work, but learning why they work, so I encourage you to go out and learn more. Schema.org is a great place to start!

Do all Genesis child themes include HTML5 markup?

Sadly, no. Your child theme will still work just fine after you upgrade to WordPress 3.6 and Genesis 2.0 (and you definitely should upgrade!), but you will not reap all the SEO goodness unless your theme has been specifically upgraded to support HTML5.

The good news? I’ve got Genesis 2.0 versions of all my Genesis child themes in the pipeline! The 2.0 version of Crave is ready to be released as soon as Genesis 2.0 itself drops, with the other four to follow shortly after.

If you’re not using one of my themes, 2.0 versions of many popular StudioPress themes will become available upon the release of Genesis 2.0 as well (eleven40, Metro, Executive, Enterprise, Lifestyle and AgentPress to name a few).

If you’re currently using a custom (or highly customized) Genesis child theme, I recommend the Genesis Update service! They’ll revamp all your code with HTML5 markup while keeping your pretty design intact. :)

Additional Resources:
Post by: Jessica Barnard


  1. Thanks for mentioning our update service Jessica, we really appreciate it. :)

    Love your site redesign by the way, looks great!

  2. Yeah, thanks a lot, Jessica! We really do appreciate the mention.

    Keep those themes coming!

    • No problem! I was telling some of my designer friends that I definitely plan to go through Genesis Update if any of my past clients want to update their custom child themes.

  3. Quick easy read, and more importantly you’ve explained it all in plain English. Thank you for that.

  4. Nice share. very informative post. Hope to see Genesis 2.0 update sometime next week. Mainly interested in eleven40 child theme.

  5. Yes, microdata is something new to me. With G2.0 in HTML5, it’s a good starting point for me to start learning and implement microdata on my site. Currently working on new theme, can’t wait to finish and using it on our site.

  6. Jessica, you alluded to 2.0 versions of Enterprise theme. You are the first to mention that. I see nothing at Studio Press about that. Do you know anything more?

    I’d rather wait for the 2.0 version of the Enterprise them than do all the HTML 5 mods manually.


    • Hey Jim, the StudioPress themes I mentioned that are being upgraded for Genesis 2.0 (eleven40, Metro, Executive, Enterprise, Lifestyle and AgentPress) were listed by Brian Gardner in a comment on the StudioPress blog.

      I’m not sure which article it was since it looks like they have now disabled comments, but I’m sure a quick tweet to brian (@bgardner) could confirm. :)

  7. Hi Jessica

    Always good to read a well set out post spiced with interesting similes “Microdata is kind of like candy for search engines” good way to think of it.
    Looks like HTML5, schema.org and microdata are things we’ll all have to get to grips with in the future.

    Good to know that Robert and Ozzy’s updating service is available – just in case.

    BTW – love the graphic

  8. I love Genesis Framework!

  9. After upgrading to genesis 2.0 and started using micro data on my site I have observed that search engine ranking are getting better.

  10. Hi Jessica
    Nice clean blog. Great content.
    I would like to use a Genesis Child theme for my website. I like all of the HTML5 and CSS3 benefits that you have explained. Unfortunately, I can not find a Genesis theme that works with the WooCommerce plugin. I currently use the default TwentyThirteen theme because the majority of my customers use Mobile phones. I have tested all of the StudioPress themes and can not find a Genesis Shop theme that will display products correctly on Mobile phones. Do you have a demo theme that will work with the WooCommerce plugin?

    • Hi Ian, have you tried using the “Genesis Connect for WooCommerce” plugin? I believe WooCommerce is responsive out of the box, so if you are using a responsive Genesis child theme, it shouldn’t require much tweaking. The only genesis child theme I know of that is specifically designed to used with WooCommerce is MomPrenuer by Pretty Darn Cute Design: http://prettydarncute.com/mompreneur-wordpress-theme/

      As of writing, I don’t believe this theme has been updated with HTML5, so bear that in mind. I think your best bet would be to choose a responsive Genesis child theme of your choice and use that “Genesis Connect for WooCommerce” plugin, then add in custom CSS to style the eCommerce output where necessary. Hope that helps!

      • Hi Jessica & Ian

        I just came across your comments and wanted to let you know that I’ve just released a WooCommerce-enabled Genesis theme called ENVY. It’s a fairly simple theme, with efficient and minimal coding – allowing designer/developers plenty of territory for easy-customisation, while still building a robust and reliable integration with WooCommerce.

        Ian, perhaps this might suit your needs in the future. And Jessica, I’d love to know what you think? You can view the demo and details at http://envy.krolyn.com – look forward to hearing your thoughts.


  11. WordPress and Genesis themes is the best combination. I’m using HTML5 custom child theme on my blog :)

  12. Today we switch our blog from thesis to genesis 2.0. Incredible features and its totally compelled my heart !!
    Thank You for sharing this informative article with us.

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