Q&A: Comparison of Genesis, Catalyst WordPress Themes

Question 1 in this series arrived via Twitter:

Nice talking with you on Twitter. How does Catalyst compare to Genesis & Thesis? I’ve been using Genesis almost exclusively

I’d love to hear your thoughts on it all, as it seems you’ve been using several different frameworks, so have a better point of reference.

Im really curious to know if I should look at a different framework for my clients, one that will speed up my development time, easy to change the design/layout/widget areas, etc., has solid internal coding, and good SEO.

My clients are local small business owners, so having an attractive website that ranks at the top of search for their local keywords is of most importance.



Hey Seth, thanks for asking!

Let me begin by clearly stating that I’m an active affiliate of both Genesis and Catalyst, if that offends anyone then stop reading this comparison.

With that said, I do have a documented obsession with WordPress Themes.

When it comes to Genesis and Catalyst; I love both themes, their support, and the companies behind the themes.  I own the developer option from each as well.

Manual Or Automatic

Adopting a WordPress premium theme for personal use is akin to choosing between manual and automatic transmission.  In this metaphor I view Genesis as the manual transmission.  Very powerful, built to be driven by specialists at high speeds, where the learning curve for a noob-off-the-street can be quite steep for customization.  As for SEO, I linked below to a review done by Yoast, a respected 3rd party and developer of a Premium SEO plugin, etc.

In my experience, the Catalyst Theme is akin to the automatic transmission.  Hop in, buckle up, check the mirrors, and go where you want to go.  Custom Layout for a Page you just thought of adding to your website?  Crazy simple.  So simple I can do it; AND add custom widget areas to the layout with ease.

SEO with Catalyst?  Couple things, it works for me, but I am not Yoast.  I found I have options with Catalyst however, since there is a single kill switch for all SEO options in Catalyst to allow use of a plugin for SEO that you prefer.  You can’t go wrong.

Below is a short measure of the tape for each theme, and here is my other response to the questions.

Genesis Theme

  1. Price: $79.95
  2. Support: Fantastic! You will not be disappointed.
  3. Child Themes Selection: 41+ among others
  4. Coding Required For Customization? Yes
  5. Developer Package? Yes, $300.00 all themes
  6. SEO? Yes.

Catalyst Theme

  1. Price: $97.00
  2. Support: Fantastic! You will not be disappointed.
  3. Child Themes Selection: Dynamik, 22 Skins, with more coming
  4. Coding Required For Customization? No
  5. Developer Package? Yes, $174.00
  6. 200+ page Catalyst Theme Cheat Sheet Included

End User Tip

Catalyst and Genesis will work well for any end user. Especially when you throw in the WP101 Series WordPress plugin to help end-users lay a solid foundation and get more from their WordPress website.

What Did I Miss?

Let me know your questions in the comments, your choice, ask follow-ups to Seth’s question or let me know your questions for future Q&A’s in this series.  Click Catalyst or Genesis to get a copy for yourself and let me gain a few bucks in the process.

Great Content Jerod Introduced Me To


  1. says

    Hi Jason
    Good to see such an even handed evaluation of Genesis V Catalyst.

    I only use Genesis at the moment but the barrier between the two is being slowly eroded by Eric Hamm’s great plugins.
    First the Dynamic website builder for genesis and then the soon to be released Genesis Extended plugin, which I’ve been playing with.
    Two fabulous plugins.

    I think both systems have their merits and both systems definately have their own loyal followers.



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