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  1. Good article Carrie. As a developer that makes a living building WordPress sites running on Genesis, are you worried that StudioPress is cannibalizing it’s dexeloper base of users that bought pro theme packs etc?

  2. It seems like Studiopress are continuing to pretty much relegate Genesis to being a poor relation in their stable of products.

    Whilst other platforms/offerings continue to frequently add multiple new child theme designs, Studiopress seem to be putting all their time & effort into other things – only rarely adding another child theme to the Genesis library.

    Whilst I don’t object to Studiopress as a company developing other products & services, they should remember that it is/was Genesis customers who helped them build their company in the first place and at least put as much effort into looking after us!

    • One thing to keep in mind is that Genesis has been under active development the entire time, so product improvement continues to happen behind the scenes even though there’s not as much to show for it in the theme shop as some customers would like.

      • Agreed Carrie – although, apart from urgent bug fixes, Genesis releases seem to only be around once per year. My point is/was exactly as you commented: “there’s not much to show for it in the theme shop”.

        If the Studiopress team are not going to put much effort into regularly adding new themes, then maybe they should get more added to the library/shop from independent developers?

        I purchased the full pro package and would love to make best use of it. But it’s very frustrating to have to use other offerings to satisfy customers simply because using a Studiopress theme would require a lot more work on the look-and-feel, whereas other offerings often have a ready-made theme designed to fit a client’s industry/style. This means time & effort can be spent more on content & marketing for a client, rather than coding.

  3. Hello Carrie

    Rainmaker is very powerful with loads of options.

    When you describe it as… easy – little to no technical aspect required, in terms of normal people. Do you mean normal people will find Rainmaker easy to use to its full potential?

    Or do you mean running a Rainmaker site is easy in comparison to building a site that has as much extra functionality a Rainmaker site?

    • Hey Philip! Good question.

      For starters, ignore the websites in the Rainmaker showcase – those are highly customized builds that a “normal” user will not achieve without hiring a developer. With the expectation that “what you see is what you get” then yes, I think normal folks can definitely utilize all it has to offer (granted they have a willingness to read the documentation/tutorials included with Rainmaker).

      So, yes to the first question. To the second as well!

  4. Carrie, I consider myself “normal” user. I was unable to use the Rainmaker platform easily. I wanted desperately to be able to use it. But it was overwhelming with a capital O. I could not find anyone (live person) to help me with questions, or even to hire to narrow the gap in understanding, or to outsource the activities to transfer my site, or to activate the cool functionality that I wanted. It does require you to read extensive documentation and tutorials. I have had a WordPress site for 2+ years, and learned everything myself. It is not a fancy site, but I can do the things that I need. I purchased Rainmaker because it was all inclusive, and clean look and lines – but after 6 months and my site was still not functional – I had to return to WP.com in frustration. I needed help and could not find it. But I wish that I had – I would love to be on Rainmaker. But after reading this post -I will investigate Studiopress.

    • Hey Michael, the good news about Genesis/StudioPress is that there’s TONS of community support for it as well as available developers for hire. I think you’ll find it more consistent with your previous experience with WP.

  5. Carrie,

    Superb analysis. As a novice, I like your checklist Here is how I stack up…

    6 ways to know if StudioPress Sites is right for you

    1 – You’re a DIY sort who doesn’t mind getting a little technical.
    YES

    2 – You want full access to the code base
    NO

    3 – You’ve already tried self-hosting WordPress and found it frustrating
    YES

    4 – You’d rather choose plugins from a curated list
    NOT SURE

    5 – You’re budget-conscious*
    YES

    6 – You love Copyblogger or StudioPress
    NOT FAMILIAR

    With all that I evaluated Rainmaker and found it too expensive but intriguing. Wix is lame. However, I love Squarespace.

    How would Studiopress, in its latest iteration, stack up to Squarespace? Many of us love it.

    • Hey Ernie,
      Thanks for your survey results. 😉

      Here’s a ridiculously brief comparison of Squarespace to WordPress (+ StudioPress) and who wins what:

      1. Ease of custom design/layout: Squarespace
      2. Ease of admin area use: Squarespace
      3. Ease of custom features: WordPress (typically via plugins)
      4. Quality of underlying code: WordPress
      5. Site visitor experience on mobile devices: WordPress

      I’m painting in broad strokes, but WordPress + StudioPress is unquestionably a better product. The code quality means good things for search engines and website visitors. The mobile responsive designs that StudioPress has are also excellent. That said, for a novice, it’s more difficult to work with WordPress.

      Clear as mud? The best choice really depends on your objectives. If you need a basic brochure-type site for your business, Squarespacae is great and pretty easy to use. If you’re looking for a website that professionally supports your business (and generates revenue), go with higher quality and, if you get stuck, hire someone to help you out.

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