The latest version of the Genesis framework by StudioPress, Genesis 1.9, is due out soon this December.
Many WordPress users and developers are anticipating the new version, and I personally can’t wait to lay my hands on it.
Genesis is already a super solid platform, and Genesis 1.9 will bring in some incremental improvements, nothing game changing because the framework is already great.
Perhaps the biggest change will be the default Genesis parent theme, which is getting a big revamp. Comparing the old with the new Genesis parent themes, you will see that there is a big difference and I’m really anticipating this new theme.
The current Genesis parent theme:
The new Genesis 1.9 parent theme:
I’m loving this cleaner interface, it’s much more in line with current design trends, and a perfect starting point for custom themes.
Brian Gardner has also announced that Genesis 1.9 will have new functions written for implementing Google Fonts as well as one for responsive design. These seem to be very interesting, however there is little more information at this point.
Another new thing will be Google Authorship profiles. Basically this is a feature which has already been implemented in the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, so it’s nothing new for those who are already using that plugin.
There is an ongoing debate on whether themes should include SEO features, especially after Woo themes ditched their SEO settings in favour of users installing a specialist plugin like WordPress SEO. I agree with leaving SEO aspects to a plugin, a theme can never come close to matching the power of the WordPress SEO plugin, and at worse will only introduce conflicts and create confusion amongst new users.
There is no release date for Genesis 1.9, however my guess is that it will follow the WordPress 3.5 release, which should happen sometime this month (December 2012).
Following Genesis 1.9, work will start on Genesis 2.0 which will primarily include support for HTML5 elements and will most likely be a spring 2013 release.
Do you already use Genesis, and what do you think of the new parent theme? Let us know in the comments section below.
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