Roots Discourse

Thoughts on Genesis & theme frameworks compared to Sage & Roots

Hello, as someone who’s relatively new to web development, and new to WordPress, I’m a bit confused as to what platform is right for me. From my understanding you use Genesis to create child themes from pre-existing starter child themes, like genesis-sample or another bought from studiopress. Then mess around with style.css and use framework specific hooks and filters to get the functionality you want.

However Roots incorporates modern build tools and ideas from outside of “WordPress world,” like better folder structure and deployment, which if your creating a genesis child theme (w/o Roots) you’d have to go through a lot of extra work to get setup.

My question is can you use sage together with genesis to customize a child theme, and would you if you could? Do you just create complete custom themes with Sage, or have you built your own parent “theme framework”? What are your thoughts on using something like genesis? Can you give examples of where you would use one and not the other?

Sorry for the loaded question, but if someone could shed light on this and nudge me in the right directions it would be greatly appreciated.




I prefer starter themes over frameworks.

1st of all, you’re going to get pretty biased responses here, but you probably knew that. I don’t honestly have much to say about the topic, as I’ve been using Sage for a very long time, but the reason why I started and still use it is: every single job I do is different, has a custom design (not based off of any template), and needs a flexible workflow - Sage meets that.

I don’t know enough about Genesis really to have much opinion, but from what I’ve seen of it it seems to have a lot of hooks and a lot of other stuff on top of the normal bloat you get with using any CMS or things like WordPress, and at some point I think it gets to be too much. But people could say the same thing about our build process.

Also the other tools like Soil, Bedrock, and Trellis are all awesome, and work pretty well together too!

@benword Thanks for the reply, that helps clear things up for me

@JulienMelissas Yeah I was hoping for some biased or opinionated responses. I suppose something like a theme framework and Sage are in different enough worlds. It seems like Roots is the way to go if I want to get into more custom work and have more control. I’ve watched the Genesis course over at and it seems more cookie cutter and definitely not as interesting.

Coding standards and best practices are very important to me. I am also interested in having skills that transfer outside of WordPress. Roots seems to be a better choice for me.

I bought a Genesis license before finding Roots. My experience with both is limited. What attracted me to Roots is the modern build tools and their philosophy of bringing WP development up to the current standards in other languages. There are some very skilled developers using Genesis, but in general I think they are aiming for a different type of developer than Roots is.

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You could actually use the Roots/Sage templates for a genesis child theme. That way you would get all the benefits of the Genesis feature hooks but you would also get bootstrap and the build process.

Can you elaborate on that?
How can I do it?