Customizing Genesis Themes

Customizing Genesis Themes Just Got Easier

I’m really excited to announce my first course release on Customizing Themes with Genesis for WordPress. I’ll give you more details about the class in a second, but first…

A little about Lynda and Me

If you’re not familiar with Lynda, it’s a video-based tutorial site that’s been around 1995 (yes, it actually pre-dates YouTube for streaming content!). My first introduction to Lynda Weinman was via her web design books in the late 90’s. They were beautifully produced books that taught the basics of web graphics, html, and css.

Fast-forward to 2010 when I started working with WordPress… I signed up for an annual subscription to with the goal of quickly learning WordPress. After a handful of WordPress classes by Morten Rand-Hendriksen, I was on my way to setting up a business creating WordPress sites for people.

I had the pleasure of meeting Morten last year at WordCamp San Francisco 2013, where I pulled a WordCamp n00b maneuver by getting starry-eyed over the opportunity to meet someone who’d been so influential in my WordPress experience (and he didn’t even know it!). Some time after that meeting, Morten introduced me to the folks at Lynda and so the journey of becoming a Lynda author began.

In early July, I spent a week in Carpinteria, CA where the Lynda headquarters are and recorded two classes, the first of which Lynda released on Friday, August 22. So that brings us to present…

Customizing Genesis Themes

Customizing Themes with Genesis for WordPress is ideal for someone who already has a foundation working WordPress and Genesis and wants to take their understanding of the Genesis Framework a bit deeper. I talk a lot about the file structure and “guts” of the Genesis Framework and how to use that help you with theme customizations. I’ll also walk you through how to work with actions and filters to bend any Genesis child theme to your will.

The course is a little over an hour and includes some practical exercises to help cement your knowledge. While subscriptions cost money, here’s a link to a free 7-day trial if you want to check out my class or any other classes in the learning library. If you go over a week, the subscription fees are well worth the money for the access you get to awesome tutorial content. At least, I think so. 🙂

Course Preview

Here’s a wee preview of the course introduction. If you take the course, I’d love to hear your feedback. Want more video tutorial content? I’d love to hear your ideas for future topics.

48 thoughts on “Customizing Genesis Themes Just Got Easier”

  1. Hi Carrie, I watched your videos on Lynda yesterday. I like the first set of videos about up and running with Genesis but I looove the second tutorial about Customizing Genesis themes. I may have learned a bit about that by reading tutorials in people’s blogs but your video makes the process clearer more understandable! ^_^ Thank you for making me feel smarter!

    1. Hello,
      You don’t have the Genesis Framework (or a Genesis child theme) active on that URL. For support with the Genesis Framework, please log into your account at and submit a support ticket or check for an answer in the community forums.


  2. Watched this travelling today Carrie and loved it, you really explained things well and I’ve a much better understanding of Hooks and Functions now which previously baffled me a little. I can’t wait to try out some of the examples and learn more and look forward to more of your tutorials, thanks 🙂

  3. This was a fantastic course & when finished I was able to really customize the look of my site. Finding out about the G Hook guide was worth gold! Outstanding tutorial, but then, I haven’t had a bad one on Hope you create more!

  4. Hello Carrie!

    I am using the knowledge I acquired thanks to your courses and I have started to customize a Genesis Child Theme. This is a theme that is already a Genesis Child Theme (from Studio Press). I am having problems with the design and I’m trying to get rid of a space that looks like it’s taken by an action. I have used remove_action(); the same way I did while following your course and I keep seeing the action there; I am using the very helpful plug in “Genesis visual hook guide”.

    After some research, I tried to use the remove_action() line in different files, for example, page_landing.php where I found a bunch of remove_action’s lines, but still. I even add it directly to the genesis functions file, but nothing is changing. I was wondering if you would have another idea that could help. I know you should be busy and that my question may sound like a hassle, but I thought about giving it a shot in here.

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Manu!

      You’d want to keep your remove_action() in the child theme’s functions.php file. First, double-check that you’re removing the function from the correct hook.

      For example, you can do a remove action like this and it would have no effect because genesis_do_footer() was never hooked to genesis_header() in the first place:

      remove_action( 'genesis_header', 'genesis_do_footer' );

      Once you’re sure you’re trying to remove the correct function from the correct hook, then the next thing to double-check is the priority. Default priority is 10, but if the function was originally hooked at a different priority, you’ll need to unhook it at that same priority.

      Hope that gets you pointed in the right direction!


  5. Hello Carrie,

    First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question.

    The action I wanted to remove was the ‘site_description’ and it didn’t work doing it this way:

    Taking the following action from the genesis header.php:

    add_action( ‘genesis_site_description’, ‘genesis_seo_site_description’ );

    and removing it in the functions.php in my child theme:

    remove_action( ‘genesis_site_description’, ‘genesis_seo_site_description’ );

    This however didn’t work, at the end I remove the following line from the header.php from the genesis theme and I got rid of the action. This line is inside the genesis_do_header function. However I don’t know if that is a good idea and if it’s even something that a developer should do.

    do_action( ‘genesis_site_description’ );

    I think I’m just going to leave it there since I got to work around it. My only concern was that I still don’t know why the first approach failed. There is actually a file called deprecated.php inside the library’s functions in the genesis theme, I wonder if that has something to do with it.

    Thank you again for taking the time, you’re awesome!


  6. Can you tell me how to customize the size of Gravatar in the comment section. Means as you are showing the main author gravatar size big and the users gravatar size is small. Please tell me how I could do that. Sorry about that I am commenting here this question.

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