The Themes and Blocks I use for every Academic Website Build

I used Genesis for many years. It was the foremost theme framework for designers and developers – very lean and well-coded to high standards. But it was definitely a designer-centric framework, meaning that you needed a designer to customise it, unless you knew CSS and PHP.

When the modern crop of page builders such as Elementor and Beaver Builder came along, creating sophisticated designs became a faster process and opened the doors for more DIY website builders. Like many other designers, I started to switch away from Genesis towards mainly using Page Builders (although in practice I found I always needed to use some CSS to get the design just right).

At this point I began to use the GeneratePress theme instead of the Genesis framework. GeneratePress is a lightweight theme which is easy to customise. I paired this with Elementor Pro which I preferred over Beaver Builder for ease of use.

When the Gutenburg Block Editor for WordPress came along I began to switch away from Elementor towards using Gutenburg. For a time I used both in combination while the new Block Editor was being developed. Increasingly now, I find what I previously needed a third-party Page Builder to accomplish in short time, I could now build using Gutenburg. So my current design toolbox consists of:

These are the 4 basic design tools I use for any website.

Depending on the project requirements, I might add the Ultimate Gutenburg Blocks plugin. Sometimes I’ll use Stackable and Redux block patterns for design inspiration, or if the project budget means there is not much time available for customisation.

That’s it! If you are looking for a partner for the entire website building process or simply the technical side of building a website for your business don’t be afraid to contact me for help.

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