Genesis 2.1

Genesis 2.1 Changes

By now you’ve heard the news: Genesis 2.1 is available! This update to the Genesis Framework comes almost six months after the major update we saw with Genesis 2.0. Although it’s only a minor update, there are still some interesting changes to note. I’ll go over a couple of the “biggies” below and then show you where to get the full detail on all the Genesis 2.1 changes if you want to know more.

Most Interesting (to me) Genesis 2.1 Changes:

Primary Navigation Extras

Say goodbye to primary navigation extras on fresh installs of the Genesis Framework. In earlier versions, primary navigation “extras” were a way to add search, RSS feed link, Twitter link, or date to your… you guessed it… primary navigation bar.

I’m not sad to see this go. The search was the only useful addition, but that can easily be incorporated in a header widget area or elsewhere. Some StudioPress themes (i.e. Outreach Pro, featured below) still use the “extras” in their demos, but I’m pretty sure we won’t see any more of it moving forward.

Outreach Pro

If you’re upgrading from a earlier version of Genesis, you’ll still be able to use the extras, but I recommend against it.

The better way to add linked content on the right side is to add a link to your menu and give it the CSS class “right” – most StudioPress themes come with this CSS class already built-in and will style your menu item accordingly.

Changed Handling of Title Tags

Long story short, in the past Genesis included title tag markup <title></title> when outputting the title. In the case of certain plugins using wp_title() to grab the title, the resulting markup included double title tags.

Genesis 2.1 adds a new function called genesis_do_title() that fixes the issue. Unless you’re looking at the code, you won’t notice any change, but just know that it’s better underneath. 🙂

To summarize: Genesis fixed a markup issue and made Mark Jaquith happy, all in one fell swoop.

Must Haz Understanding of all Genesis 2.1 Changes!

Changes in GEnesis 2.1If you’re a nerd like me, you like to see the changelog for software when there’s an update. You can get the bullet-point Genesis 2.1 changelog from StudioPress with high-level changes for starters. But if you want to understand the why behind the changes and not just the what, I’d highly recommend picking up a copy of Gary Jones’ Changes in Genesis 2.1 guide.

Gary is a key contributor to the Genesis Framework and an absolute champion of coding standards and quality. I paid him for a code review of my first theme for the Genesis Framework and have learned a lot since just through checking out his code.

All of that to say, if it’s from Gary Jones, you can trust the quality is top-notch. Pick up a copy of Changes in Genes!is 2.1 if you’re code curious or simply want to support Gary’s many contributions to the Genesis Community.

Go Forth and Update

If you haven’t updated your site(s) to Genesis 2.1 (actually 2.1.1 now!), go for it. You have a 99.9% chance of not running into a single problem. But with any WordPress update, there’s always that small chance something could go wrong, so please, for the love of Carrie, backup your site before updating!

David Bowie drawing by craniodsgn

20 thoughts on “Genesis 2.1 Changes”

  1. I’m personally not a fan of them removing the navigation extras. It was a nice little feature that was convenient to a lot of people I’m sure. Now it has to be coded in.

    Seems like the Framework is putting more emphasis on the development portion of things making simple convenient features more difficult for the average user.

    It’s not a bad thing for the developers I guess, but will leave more room for errors and support when people can’t figure out how to do simple things.

    Just my thoughts =)

    1. Any customizations to that area were really janky to implement… I get what you’re saying about ease of use out of the box, but as Genesis pushes to do things “the right way” (in terms of coding standards, semantic markup, etc), this feature needed to go. Have you ever used anything besides the search box? Just curious. 🙂

  2. I’ve always used the CSS class “right” for implementing features on the right side of the nav. What a lot of people do not know is that you need to click “Screen Options” on the top screen of the “Menus” part of the dashboard and then check the box next to “CSS Classes”.

    1. Exactly what I was tearing my hair out looking for Darren, thanks!

      >> I’ve always used the CSS class “right” for implementing features on the right side of the nav. What a lot of people do not know is that you need to click “Screen Options” on the top screen of the “Menus” part of the dashboard and then check the box next to “CSS Classes”.

      1. It’s kind of hidden at the top isn’t it? Those screen options are also useful when you’re editing posts or pages. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff that is hidden by default.

  3. Here is something that is driving me crazy. When I copy a piece of code, it automatically populates the finder field in the stylesheet. It also happens if I just want to search for something, that searched item replaces anything that was in copy and paste – making it impossible to find and copy and paste at the same time.

    Was this part of the upgrade? Is there a way to get rid of this? Thanks!

    1. Hey there, where are you copying your code from? Are you using the built-in WordPress editor or something else? Not sure what context you’re talking about, but it does sound annoying. 🙂

  4. Looks like rem is officially gone. What do you think about that, besides it be easier to code without it? It was the “answer” for coding responsive design. At least Genesis did a 10px formula not one that required math like the twentytwelve 14px formula. If it was so important then, why not now?

    1. I think in theory a theme could use the media query for a universal adjustment to a size, but most themes don’t even use it that way. I’m guessing from a confusion/support perspective (not to mention the file size increase it made for the stylesheet), it was more hassle than benefit for most users.

  5. Hi Carrie,

    I have a big issue with the blog title dissapearing on a multisite Genesis install and if I switch to the twenty fourteen theme then the article is fine and displays [post title] – [blog title] whereas with Genesis and Yoast installed or just Gensis without Yoast I get [post title] and that is all.
    Any ideas how I can force this back or use a genesis function to get it back?
    Juliette over at Yoast suggested this: but that means hacking the header.php or functions.php files!



    1. That’s weird. Have you tried disabling all plugins (with your Genesis child theme active) to see if the problem persists? My guess is it’s a plugin conflict, unless you’ve made any customizations to to template files or functions (which it sounds like you haven’t).

      1. Hi Carrie,

        Thanks for getting back to me. I did also post a message on StudioPress about this (ref: describing the approach to find a solution. Nobody has responded (Yoast responded on their free plugin support in a matter of minutes). Disabling all plugins did nothing (and I mean all plugins were deactivated) I did a complete copy of the site and then tested everything. It was only when I switched themes with our without plugins (tselecting wentyfourteen) that I got rid of this issue.

        I’ve been looking at it since and I noticed that some older articles have the site name included in the title and this regardless of what I do. Most newer articles don’t have it regardless of what I do. It seems that while I use Genesis then only older articles work and when I use twentyfourteen then all articles have the proper title. Don’t know if these older values where saved and the updated Genesis takes them as is whereas new ones are stripped (or don’t include) the blogname. Can’t yet figure it out…


        1. Sorry to be daft – so even when the Yoast plugin is disabled the problem remains? If that’s the case AND you haven’t added any code affecting post titles, then it could be a bug. Also confirming that you can activate just the Genesis Framework (not a child theme) and the problem remains?

          If you think it’s a big, submit it here -> (note, you’ll have to be logged into your acct).

          1. Hi Carrie,

            No I don’t think that sounds daft. I think after having spent several hours investigating and having posted a question about this on Yoast, Genesis and Dynamik’s support sites and having only heard back from Yoast I was starting to wonder if I was missing something obvious of if Genesis & Dynamik are just not very reactive. It may well be a bug…

            I’ll update here when I get some feedback from StudioPress having just submitted a report with links to all the conversations about this…



          2. Yeah, when in doubt, use the SP 1 on 1 help desk. The support forums are a volunteer/community effort and not always guaranteed a response. Thanks for the update – look forward to hearing what the solution is.


  6. Hello Carrie
    I have viewed your site many times over the past year getting tips on using the AgentPress theme for REALTORS. Your set up made things easy. Question if I may. Is there a way to widen the viewing area or page content are for the theme? Mine lacks about an inch to an inch and a half both sides.

    1. Hey Tim,
      Glad you’ve found some useful stuff here! Something to keep in mind about widening the viewing area…be sure to take into account various monitor sizes. For example, you have an inch and half both sides on your monitor, but on a larger or smaller monitor that could differ. Generally speaking, 1200px is about as wide as you want to go for your content area, and then use media queries to accommodate smaller screen sizes.

      To wide the content area, you’ll need some familiarity/comfort with CSS. I’m happy to recommend some learning resources if you’d like (or, if you could care less about learning CSS and just want the work done, you can always hire somebody – I can make referrals there, too – just shoot my an email through my contact form).


  7. Carrie,
    Thank you so much for your reply. I will take your “hidden advice” and just leave it be and alter the content per page for the maximum coverage. May I ask another question? I want to use the Genesis slider to highlight areas of our community, not my listings. Is that possible?


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