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5.6 – Genesis

Genesis Theme Settings

The Theme Settings page allows you to control your theme through nine option menus. Each menu can be collapsed or expanded, reordered and hidden if not required.

The option menus include:

  • Information
  • Custom Feeds
  • Default Layout
  • Header
  • Navigation Settings
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Comments and Trackbacks
  • Content Archives
  • Blog Page Template
  • Header and Footer Scripts


Theme settings information

The Information box displays the version and release date of the Genesis Framework.

There is a checkbox entitled “Enable Automatic Updates”. Checking this box allows your server to check and apply available updates to the Genesis Framework. Further, checking this box presents you with the option to receive an email alert when an update becomes available. If you are handling updates on behalf of a client this option may prove useful. If you keep this box unchecked updates will have to be carried out manually.

Custom Feeds

Theme settings custom feeds

If you use Feedburner or Feedblitz to handle your RSS feed(s) you can enter your custom feed URL and your custom comments feed URL in this section. Checking the “Redirect Feed” box for both the custom feed URL and the custom comments feed URL will redirect all traffic which would normally go to the default feed links to your custom feed links instead. To keep the default feeds that WordPress generates, leave these boxes unchecked.

Default Layout

Theme settings default layout

In this section you can set the default layout for posts and pages. The default page layouts you can choose from include the following:

  • Content Sidebar
  • Sidebar Content
  • Content Sidebar Sidebar
  • Sidebar Sidebar Content
  • Sidebar Content Sidebar
  • Full Width Content

At an individual post, page and custom post types level, as well as category, tag, author and custom taxonomy archive pages, you have the ability to deviate from the default page layout settings. These site layout options can also be removed with custom coding in the child theme to prevent clients accidentally selecting the wrong layout. Child themes with a widgetized home page can be coded to render these layout settings obsolete too.


Theme settings header

In this section you can select what to use for the site title or logo:

  • “Dynamic Text” makes use of the site title and description entered in the Settings > General of the WordPress dashboard.
  • “Image Logo” allows you to set an image in the Appearance > Header of the WordPress dashboard.


Theme settings breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs helps users navigate around your site relative to the home page. This section presents checkboxes for displaying breadcrumbs on different pages of your site.

Comments And Trackbacks

Theme settings comments and trackbacks

This section allows you to, by default, enable or disable Comments and Trackbacks across your site on Posts and Pages. If comments and trackbacks are enabled here they can be disabled on an individual post or page. However, if they are disabled here they cannot be enabled for an individual post or page.

Content Archives

Theme settings content archives

In this section you can set the site-wide Content Archives options to control the way content displays on any blog listings page, including archive, author, tag, category and search pages.

Selecting to “Display post content” will cause the entire post to be displayed along with the HTML code up to the location of a tag. If you opt to use the “Limit content to [___] characters” option then the displayed text will be limited to the specified number of characters and stripped of all it’s HTML code.

Alternatively selecting “Display post excerpts” will cause the first 55 words of the post to be displayed, stripped of HTML code. A manual excerpt set in a posts page will override this 55 word limit.

The “Include the Featured Image?” setting allows you to display a thumbnail of the first attached image or the currently set featured image for the post. The Featured Image will show up on index pages, but not on the single post page. The preferred dimension of the Featured Image can be set here too: the “Image Size” list is populated by the available image sizes defined in the theme and found in Settings > Media of the WordPress dashboard. However, if your displaying the full post content do not use this option lest duplicate images are displayed.

“Select Post Navigation Technique” allows you to select one of two navigation displays: Previous/Next and Numeric. These navigation links will be visible on category, tag, author date, and taxonomy archive pages, pages using the blog page template, and on homepages displaying latest posts.

Blog Page Template

Theme settings blog page template

In this section you can apply settings to any page using the “Blog” page template. This will not include the homepage or post archive pages. A page that is set to use the blog page template will display a list of recent posts.

The dropdown menu lets you select from which category to display posts. The default setting is All Categories. A specific category can be selected instead. Categories can also be excluded by giving their ID in the text box proceeding. Additionally, you can select how many posts you’d like to display on your pages using the blog page template.

Header and Footer Scripts

Theme settings header and footer scripts

In this section script text areas are given for both the header and footer. Within these script text areas you can add scripts for tools such as statistics tracking and other code that third party services, like Google Analytics, require.

Genesis SEO Settings

Most of the Genesis SEO Settings can be found under Genesis > SEO Settings. Additional options can be found for pages and posts when you are in the WordPress editor for that particular page and post. We will address each in turn. The screenshots which follow show the default settings. The italic text is the text found in the various setting option boxes.

seo settings

This includes the following sections:

  • Sitewide Settings
  • Homepage Settings
  • Document Head Settings
  • Robot Meta Settings

Sitewide Settings

Sitewide settings Google+

Your company’s Google+ Profile URL. Must be a business, not a personal account.

Section Headings

HTML5 allows for multiple h1 tags throughout the document source, provided they are the primary title for the section in which they appear. However, following this standard may have a marginal negative impact on SEO.

Document Title

The document title is the single most important element in your document source for search engine optimization. It succinctly informs search engines of what information is contained in the document. The title can, and should, be different on each page, but these options will help you control what it will look like by default.

Document Title Additions Location

Determines which side the added title text will go on.

Document Title Separator

If the title consists of two parts (original title and optional addition), then the separator will go in between them.

Homepage Settings

Homepage Settings

These settings will only apply if the home/front page of your site is your posts page or the page template is widgetised. The settings here will not apply if a static page is set as the front page, instead you will need to set the SEO settings on that particular page.

Homepage Document Title

If you leave the document title field blank, your site’s title will be used instead.

Home Meta Description

The meta description can be used to determine the text used under the title on search engine results pages.

This description will show on some search engine result pages under the clickable link to your site. It will not be visible once a visitor is on your site as it resides in the source code markup of the page or post.

Home Meta Keywords (comma separated)

Keywords are generally ignored by Search Engines.

Meta keywords should not be confused with the keywords used in your page contents.

Homepage Robots Meta Tags

These three options instruct search engines how to handle your homepage:

  • ‘noindex’ instructs search engines not to both index the homepage or include the homepage in search result listings.
  • ‘nofollow’ instructs search engines not follow any any links from your homepage.
  • ‘noarchive’ instructs search engines not to make an archive copy of your homepage.

If you do not want to discourage search engines from listing your site leave all these options unchecked.

Document Head Settings

By default, WordPress places several tags in your document <head>. Most of these tags are completely unnecessary, and provide no search engine optimization value whatsoever; they just make your site slower to load. Choose which tags you would like included in your document <head>. If you do not know what something is, leave it unchecked.

Document Head Settings Relationship Link Tags

Unchecked by default. The tags are added by WordPress as described above. Unless needed by or for a plugin or some other custom use leaved unchecked.

Windows Live Writer Support

Unchecked by default. Applicable only with supporting software. Unless you are using that software leave unchecked.

Shortlink Tag

Note: The shortlink tag might have some use for 3rd party service discoverability, but it has no search engine optimization value whatsoever.

Unchecked by default. Unless required by a third party service leave unchecked.

Robots Meta Settings

Robots Meta Settings

Here you can select various parts of the site to apply the ‘noindex’ and ‘noarchive’ options to. For SEO purposes at least one of your archives should be indexed. Indexing multiple archives may result in a duplicate content penalty being applied by search engines.

The other options to make a decision on are ‘nooodp’ and ‘noydir’, denoting No Open Directory and No Yahoo Directory respectively. These are checked by default. Leaving these checked will add tags to the HTML of your pages and posts.

Genesis Import/Export Settings

Import Export settings

This panel deals with settings specific to Genesis. It does not act like the WordPress export feature to create a backup of your content nor does it include settings for plugins, widgets, or specific settings related to posts, pages, terms, or users. What it does do is allow you to take settings from one site running Genesis and import them into another site.

The Import Settings

The Import settings allow you to import your Genesis Theme settings and/or SEO settings from one site to another by uploading the data file in .json format.

The Export Settings

The Export settings give you the option to create a backup file in .json format. This is you can use for backing up and transferring your theme settings, like when going from a local host to a live server. The panel gives you two options in the form of checkboxes to include your Theme settings and/or your SEO settings in the file. Then you just download the .json file and you’re ready to import your settings.

Updating Genesis

There are two methods available to you when it comes to updating the Genesis Framework. Before undertaking either of them make sure you have backup copies of your child theme and your current version of Genesis saved on your computer and that any changes you have made directly to files in the /genesis/ directory are applied to a child theme instead as these changes will be overwritten on updating.

Automatic Updates

  • 1. Log into WordPress.
  • 2. Go to Genesis > Theme Settings > Information.
  • 3. Check the “Enable Automatic Updates” checkbox.
  • 4. When an update is available towards the top of the dashboard page you will see the “Update Now” link. Click this.
  • 5. Click to confirm the update.
  • 6. Click the link to complete the update process once the new version of the Framework is installed. This will link will take you to Genesis > Settings. No more action is required.

For multi-site installations of WordPress go to Genesis > Settings in each site to ensure all updates are completed.

Manual Updates

  • 1. Download the zip file for the updated version of the Genesis Framework.
  • 2. Extract/unzip the zip file.
  • 3. Navigate to your /wp-content/themes directory via FTP.
  • 4. Delete the old genesis directory.
  • 5. Upload the updated, unzipped genesis directory to your /wp-content/themes directory via FTP.
  • 6. Log into WordPress.
  • 7. Go to Genesis > Theme Settings to complete the update.
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