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WordPress Frameworks & Child Themes 101 with an Emphasis on Genesis

This session will be primarily informational, we will not be creating any child themes. But you will leave with a strong foundation of what it is, if you need one, and how to best develop one (for the developers).

Beginners will learn:
- the difference between WordPress, themes, frameworks and child themes
- what templates to look for in your next theme choice
- what layouts are and how to use them
- how to select the right framework

Designers will learn:
- where to find code snippets for copy/paste
- best practices for CSS files

Developers will learn:
- how to speed up development
- how to organize the child theme files
- where to find snippets and tutorials

Who should attend
This session is informational and applicable to beginners to developers.

About the speaker
Cathy Tibbles has been behind Desperately Seeking WordPress for the last five years, initially the jack-of-all-trades, and now finding her happy place in customer service and project management. DSWP specializes in Genesis child themes, hosting, and especially welcoming the non-technical business owner into the online world.

Workshop Sponsorship
Thank you to our sponsor, The Network Hub, for providing space for our monthly workshops! The Network Hub is a beautiful co-working space located in the heart of Vancouver. Check them out at www.thenetworkhub.ca

Join or login to comment.

  • Katherine

    Hi guys, Cathy mentioned a resource list in the presentation. However, I didn't catch where to find it. Does anyone have a link to it?

    January 18, 2013

  • Erin Anne B.

    Hey everyone, I found this link on the StudioPress (Genesis Framework) website about some of the basics of HOW to build a child theme. Hope this helps!

    http://my.studiopress.com/docs/building-child-themes/

    1 · January 18, 2013

    • Erin Anne B.

      Johnny, honestly, don't be a troll. All I'm asking is for you to explain what you mean. I'm asking you to clarify the link between a how-to guide and your obscure comment, and all you do is insult me? (Like my return insult? heh heh)

      Please, either explain yourself, or go away. [NOTE TO SELF: Remember to hit "Shift+Return"­ to achieve paragraph breaks on this site. grrr...]

      January 18, 2013

    • Johnny Z.

      Keep talking

      January 18, 2013

  • Jerry W.

    Well, correct me if I were wrong, Cathy. I believe the Child Theme based on Genesis Framework in your introduction is not the popular term Child Theme in Wordpress. In another word, I should be able to start my own Child Theme based on any Genesis Child Themes.

    Saying so, is because I never start any project from an original theme, but a Child Theme.

    January 18, 2013

    • Cathy

      ooops - you don't 'hook' into a child theme. You just pick up a child theme and edit it. so in that way, you can start with a child theme. When I am speaking about Developing a child theme based on a framework, I'm talking about developing a child theme from scratch. Or I sometimes use the 'example' child theme that ships with Genesis.

      January 18, 2013

    • Jerry W.

      I C. Seems I need to learn more about this Framework and Child Theme thing. Thanks Cathy. Really appreciate your time and info. Cheers!

      1 · January 18, 2013

  • David D.

    I'm glad that Cathy got a chance to 'rehearse' her slides and presentation on us, and that it goes much better in Chicago. It's a good reminder, however, that if you are a presenter you should always come early (perhaps an hour to 1/2 an hour), work out any technical issues ahead of time, and rehearse your talk in front of a mirror before doing it publicly. A final screen with contact information is also helpful (the last slide looked like any other with a hanging empty bullet point. Also, clean up your computer's desktop, and have handouts ready for any who might wish one (another marketing opportunity!). For the slides, the diagrams were not helpful, and the code wasn't called out or explained. Google Docs is a terrible presentation program. Keynote is best but is Mac only, so use at the least Powerpoint or OpenOffice because even if you don't have a wifi connection you can still present.

    2 · January 18, 2013

  • Erin Anne B.

    Good overview. I was hoping for more in-depth knowledge, but think now that was unrealistic. Enjoyed meeting Cathy and others, and re-meeting a few people, too. Have a few useful concepts to research further: plugins vs coding into child theme; timthumb.php; tutorials on child theme development... :-)

    January 17, 2013

    • Laurie K.

      Well put. That said, kudos to Cathy for your work to prepare the presentation and getting up there! With your upcoming presentation in Chicago, my only suggestion would be to consider creating step by step, easy to follow, bigger, more colourful graphics in your slide show. Also, walking the attendees through a hands on approach from installation to use will make it easier to digest the more technical parts of the process, like the coding. Thanks Cathy... it did learn a few things!

      2 · January 18, 2013

    • Cathy

      Thank you Laurie - thats very constructive and helpful feedback!

      1 · January 18, 2013

  • Ko

    I honestly didn’t know that there were frameworks (not themes) and about the Genesis till I hear about this meetup, so thank you Cathy for bringing attention and the intro to it. However clearing the definition of child theme at the beginning might have helped. Also I was still not clear about the difference between themes and frameworks and left me the same question Johan had after the meetup.

    I use Thematic theme as a parent theme for most of my work and wanted to see if Genesis framework would be a better option.
    Recommendation from eperienced users like Cathy helps.
    Today I found that WP codex link below also helps me (and maybe Johan) understand the themes and frameworks. (I now know that Thematic is actually a "base/starter" Theme framework.)

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Frameworks

    I always learn something new and meet new people at this meetup, so big thanks to the organizers!

    January 18, 2013

    • Johnny Z.

      Wow. I agree totally with Ko. She framed it right without sounding like a child.

      January 18, 2013

    • Cathy

      I had that exact page outlined as the FIRST slide on my presentation that I ignored because of time!! It seems that was the most important slide. So frustrating!

      January 18, 2013

  • Carly H. F.

    I'll be honest, I found this Meetup very disappointing. When there's a room of 50+ people waiting for a presenter to show up, then get connected, locate the presentation online, etc. to the point where the actual presentation doesn't even begin for 30 minutes after the start time, it really starts the whole event off on the wrong foot. I think it's important as a presenter to be be conscious and respectful of attendees' time and arrive extra early to accommodate any traffic/parking or technical difficulties that may arise and to keep a copy of your presentation on your computer in case there are Internet difficulties encountered.

    I felt like the presentation itself was a bit vague and scattered. Sometimes, people are good at doing something, but have a hard time articulating the nuts and bolts of it to others. I felt like this was one of those instances.

    1 · January 18, 2013

    • Johnny Z.

      I completely agree. I felt like the presentation itself was a bit vague and scattered. Sometimes, people are good at doing something, but have a hard time articulating the nuts and bolts of it to others

      January 18, 2013

    • Cathy

      Hi Carly, I understand your frustrations about the time thing. Thank you for the feedback on the presentation.

      January 18, 2013

  • Priscilla

    Too bad we started so late. The speaker was upbeat and approachable. Not sure I followed everything the speaker was saying, but perhaps it's because I'm still relatively new to Wordpress? Note to self: have your computer on and all applications for the presentation opened BEFORE so you're all booted up and ready to go.

    January 17, 2013

    • Priscilla

      grr... just pressed the "Enter" button to start a new paragraph but it sent the message instead. (Funny I was listening to O'Reilly Books author Jonathan Stark's webinar on interface design yesterday (https://twitter.com/jo...­) and that was exactly one of the things he said to avoid. I guess we should write to the Meetup headquarters, the more people requesting this the better, lol.)

      As I was saying, it's a good thing that Cathy got to present this to a small group for practice before presenting in the States in the near future. Things happen in life and we can't always be on time, but may that serve as a lesson to all of us to be prepared.

      Thanks again Cathy as well as to Morten & Vanessa for your generosity, time and effort in preparing and organizing all this! :0)

      1 · January 18, 2013

    • Cathy

      Thank you Priscilla. Lesson learned! Yikes.

      1 · January 18, 2013

  • Johnny Z.

    The presenter was a super nice person but she did not explain what frames are and he they relate to other concepts

    January 17, 2013

    • Cathy

      Thank you for the feedback, Johnny. What other concepts can I dig into further next time?

      January 18, 2013

    • Johnny Z.

      Well thank you Cathy. Before tackling other concepts it would be helpful if you explained your current concepts so there would not be any confusion.

      January 18, 2013

  • Vanessa C.

    Thanks everybody for your feedback on the presentation last night. It's always useful to get constructive feedback to improve. For those who may be interested in giving a presentation at a future meetup, please let Morten or I know (msg us via the meetup) and we'll get in touch with you to discuss possibilities! Thanks and have a great weekend.

    January 18, 2013

  • Nicolas D.

    Well, I for one got value out of Cathy's presentation. I thought it was a good intro to Genesis. The prelude, where she went over the basics of WordPress, was interesting as well. It's a good overview if I want to explain this whole WordPress thing to non-techy but curious clients

    1 · January 18, 2013

    • Erin Anne B.

      I did, too. And I agree, Cathy gave me a fresh way to try to explain what I like so much about WordPress versus an agency's proprietary platform.

      1 · January 18, 2013

  • Laurie K.

    I'm giving this five stars for effort and content even though the presentation was disorganized and technology challenged.

    1 · January 18, 2013

  • Johan

    I am sorry to say but I agree with Teresa. Was hoping to get better understanding why I should use a frame work.

    January 18, 2013

    • Cathy

      Hi Johan, You should use a framework for security, ease of use, and stability (upgrading)! Sorry that was clearer.

      2 · January 18, 2013

    • Johan

      Thanks for that

      January 18, 2013

  • Teresa G.

    sorry, but while the presenter was " getting her geek on " I was getting my "critique on". Late start did not help. The presentation had a poor overview, the slides were weak. I got more from the link posted by Johnny below. I was disappointed and left wondering if meet ups ever offer value. I am a visual communicator with an emphasis on the communication :), Do we need a meetup about creating good presentations?

    January 18, 2013

    • Cathy

      Hi Teresa, I'm sorry the presentation didn't offer any value for you. Keep in mind that the group offers a variety of speakers so hopefully next time there will be something you like better!

      January 18, 2013

  • Johnny Z.

    10 min late

    January 17, 2013

  • stan

    Sorry can't make it this time. Enjoy.

    January 17, 2013

  • Vanessa C.

    I realize that my wording in my email was unclear. To confirm your RSVP, simply means to ensure that if you have RSVP'd yes, that you ARE in fact attending. If you are not, then please change your RSVP to NO. You do not need to post or email us to confirm. Thanks!

    1 · January 17, 2013

  • Christine R.

    Sorry, something has come up and I have to bail. Hopefully someone can grab my spot.

    January 17, 2013

  • Johnny Z.

    I wanted to tell everyone who are not aware of Morton that he is one of the top wordpress pros in North America. I took some of his courses online. Here is his courses

    http://www.lynda.com/Morten-Rand-Hendriksen/725535-1.html

    1 · January 16, 2013

  • Johnny Z.

    1 · January 16, 2013

  • Petra K.

    Re-confirming, I will be there

    January 16, 2013

  • Jill B.

    Hey eager beavers, before my inbox fills up, note that keeping your Yes on this meetup page means you're confirmed.
    (I'm someone's +1 guest, so I'm confirmed. :) )

    January 16, 2013

    • Jill B.

      Aaaand if you need to take yourself off the list, change your attendance to No.

      January 16, 2013

  • Ann

    Re-Confirmed. Thanks

    January 16, 2013

  • Jerry W.

    Re-confirm, will be there for sure.

    January 16, 2013

  • Priscilla

    In agreement with Janice, not sure where to confirm attendance (the email was from "[masked]", which seems pretty generic.

    January 16, 2013

  • Janice

    Re-confirming attendance. (Your email doesn't say where to confirm to?) Thanks,

    January 16, 2013

  • Nigel L.

    Hi,
    Please take me off the confirmed list. I am unable to make it due to overtime. thanks.

    Nigel Lim

    January 16, 2013

  • Carly H. F.

    Could the organizer of this meetup request that anyone who will not be able to make it to change their status to not going so waitlisted people might have a chance to attend? Thanks!

    1 · January 14, 2013

  • Johnny Z.

    Hi I will be coming somebody remove me from confirmed to waiting list but I will still come thank you

    January 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ouch! will be coaching a group of teens for upcoming public speaking contest. Besides "Desperately seeking Wordpress" where else on the web can someone get great information about using Genesis child themes? Joy!

    January 10, 2013

  • Petra K.

    Hi there... I am still coming but my friend is not. I tried to take the 1+ out of my RSVP, but it doesn't seem to show. So there is one place for Natalie.

    January 8, 2013

    • Vanessa C.

      I've removed your +1. Thanks for letting us know!

      January 9, 2013

    • Petra K.

      Thanks Vanessa!

      January 9, 2013

  • Morten R.

    The waiting list was omitted by mistake. It has been reinstated. Unfortunately our venue can only safely hold 50 people, and we can only hold one session per meetup, but if you get on the waiting list there is still a chance to get in.

    1 · January 8, 2013

  • Natalie

    Bring back the waitlist please =)

    1 · January 8, 2013

  • Stewart P.

    FULL!! :-( Judging by other recent posts, looks like there might be enough demand for a second sitting. I'm probably just the tip of the iceberg expressing my disappointment at missing this event. Others are surely out there, but haven't posted. If you are one, lets have your voice heard as to the feasibility of a second session. :-)

    January 8, 2013

    • Jill B.

      Normally I sign up for the waitlist, and there are always enough cancellations on the day of that I get in. I'm wondering what happened to the waitlist this time.

      January 8, 2013

  • Carly H. F.

    Full! :-(

    January 7, 2013

    • Jiten S.

      You need to put up a notice on the above post that you are fully booked. I wasn't aware until you notified. Thanks.

      January 8, 2013

  • Jill B.

    Is there no waitlist this time?

    "Because this Meetup has filled up before your RSVP was submitted, you cannot RSVP." :(

    January 7, 2013

  • Jiten S.

    I'm in. Can't wait to know more about this. Thank you Cathy!

    January 7, 2013

  • Cathy

    I will supply notes, Priscilla Biju Then - the old fashioned, flat 'screen' type.
    We will not cover specifics, Erin Anne Beirne, rather how to select them (most recent child themes are already responsive). For developers we'll cover the best suggestions (not sure best practices are established yet) for responsive design.

    January 7, 2013

    • Priscilla

      I think I'll bring my laptop to take notes anyways, however clunky. Thanks for the reply, Cathy! :)

      January 7, 2013

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