I’m asked quite frequently about my workflow when I build Genesis website. While it may vary from time to time, there’s a short list of things I do right away when developing custom themes for folks. This was true when I developed Becoming Minimalist for Joshua Becker and when I did my own redesign here.
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Here are the first 5 things I do when building a custom Genesis website.
1|Remove Unnecessary CSS
I like to run a lean ship, so I approach my style sheet with a minimalist mindset. If I don’t need something, I remove it before I even get started. Examples of things in a style sheet I’d remove would be declaration blocks for sidebars, footer widgets, and widget areas I know I won’t be using.
2|Remove Media Queries
Even though our StudioPress themes are mobile responsive and include CSS for media queries, I make enough changes in a theme that warrants this. Once I’m done designing the desktop version, I go back and add the media queries. Since I add containers and elements when building a theme, this ensures that I don’t miss anything.
3|Remove Approved HTML Tags
This is something that makes me cringe every time I see it on another site. I’m not exactly sure why, and my guess is that it’s very seldom used by site visitors. You can remove the approved HTML tags container with this code:
Update: WordPress has removed the output of the approved HTML tags from the comment form, so technically this step is no longer necessary.
This is something that quite honestly isn’t necessary, but I still do it. When I know I won’t be using specific site layouts or sidebars, I feel better removing them. Because No Sidebar. You can remove the site layouts with this code:
You can remove the primary and secondary sidebars with this code:
Obviously you need to modify the code above depending on which site layouts and sidebars you won’t be using. The code above is what I use on my site, because I’m only using a full-width content site layout and no sidebars
This is something for me that is really not necessary anymore because I’m using the Mobile First theme I created as a starter theme. Prior to that, it was the Genesis Sample theme which didn’t include functions and CSS to optimize Gravatars for Retina Display. If your theme doesn’t have it, and you want to do this manually, follow this tutorial .
And there you have it … Once I get these things out of the way, I start the process of developing a custom theme on the Genesis Framework.