2013 Edition – Choosing the right theme provider is important! A poorly designed and coded theme can not only have devastating consequences on your visitors and sales it can also effect your brand and business.
In line with this, we are conducting reviews on all major premium WordPress theme providers and reporting back to you. Our first StudioPress review was in 2009, however it has been updated many times throughout the years with our current 2013 Edition being the latest.
With Brian Gardner as the founder, StudioPress is well-known in the WordPress community. Specifically, they have created the very popular Genesis Framework which allows users to quickly and easily build sites with WordPress.
The credentials of the company owners and managing officers are one of the aspects that you should check when selecting for the best provider of WordPress themes. It is important ake sure that they are experts in the field of website development and WordPress specialists with years of experience. Thankfully Brian and his team have been long standing members of the WordPress ecosystem.
Knowing the expertise of the people behind the services that you are subscribing is important because it can give you assurance that you are getting premium services and backed by exceptional support from experts who can provide excellent technical assistance if you encounter difficulties and issues on the use of your chosen theme. In this case, the people behind StudioPress have excellent credentials; each of them has their own specialty and expertise in different fields to ensure broader knowledge for the whole team.
StudioPress offers various premium WordPress designs and themes with wide variety of selections to choose from. StudioPress offers two main choices: 1) Genesis Framework and 2) Child Themes.
As of February 2013, there are more than 43 different child themes and many other community oriented products/services around the Genesis framework. It is important to keep in mind that G. They also offer WordPress Genesis theme framework where you have more freedom in customizing your website according to your preferences.
The Genesis framework is optimized for theme development. Whereas most WordPress theme developers create a theme that you can install on your site and modify as needed, StudioPress has an extra layer (Genesis) in between by which you can build your theme upon or select form one of their dozens and dozens of expertly crafted child themes.
When using a theme framework such as Genesis, you install a theme by using the Child Theme functionality built into WordPress. This way you or your development team can make all sorts of changes to your specific theme install without overriding core framework files. Since StudioPress continually updates Genesis to be compatible with the latest versions of WordPress, this allows you to do all the development you wish while still being able to install the latest updates from Genesis without having to worry about it overriding your customizations.
Another important aspect that you should take note is to ensure that the themes are optimized for search engines. In this case, all themes offered by StudioPress are optimized for better ranking among major search engines by following SEO best practices for web development. In fact, one of the staff is an SEO expert to ensure that every theme that is being developed by the group is search engine optimized. This point is made even clearer by a recent feature they added where you can have built in Google authorship markup allowing your Google+ profile picture to show up in qualified search results for articles you have written.
Moreover, all WordPress themes from StudioPress have user friendly content management systems with provisions for advertisements and monetizing the site. Sidebars are also provided for easier integration of gadgets and widgets in your site.
Another vital aspect to check from any theme shop is their theme graphics. Though the graphics of StudioPress themes are not as creative as themes developed by ElegantThemes, most of the themes have high resolution graphics that blend well with the theme. StudioPress has also done a nice job of staying with the latest trends in broader web development while not sacrificing a pretty design for bad code.
Another interesting point to StudioPress is that with the release of the Genesis framework, other developers can potentially feature their theme design in the StudioPress community. We have started to see more variations in the graphical and layout design due to this opening up of their platform for others to build upon.
Example Themes developed by StudioPress:
Similarly important is the pricing of the themes offered by StudioPress. It is $79.95 for the Genesis Framework + Theme of your choice. On top of that, they also offer a Pro-Plus All-Theme package for $349.95 which you can gain access to all themes offered by StudioPress (with the exception of Marketplace items created by third parties).including all future theme releases by StudioPress corporate. Some discounts and promotions are available to existing members as well for future purchases.
Studiopress offers theme support through their support forum where you can ask any technical questions, and they shall be answered by helpful members and supportive staff. On the negative side, no email support is available and your issues will have to be posted in the forum where others can address it. As you can see from our comments below, StudioPress has built a thriving community where many times other users will help you out if it is something they have experienced themselves. If not, you can rest assured that a member of the StudioPress support staff will be there to assist.
When it comes to the use of the selected WordPress theme for your website, there is support and a detailed theme tutorial provided for the members in order to make integration of your StudioPress theme as smooth and easy as possible.
To conclude our StudioPress review, the overall assessment of this premium WordPress theme provider is excellent and highly recommended, having wide variety of expertly developed SEO WordPress themes plus a growing and thriving community.
100% GPL for CSS, XHTML, PHP, design and any other elements.