Child themes are similar to other premium themes that are available for purchase throughout the web. The child themes control the design elements and overall look of a Genesis powered website. The Genesis Theme requires the Genesis Framework to be installed via the WordPress administrative panel, and the child theme is simply activated through the same control panel.
A Genesis Theme contains several files that are used to style design elements and control the look of your site. All of the design specific cascading style sheets (CSS) are contained within the child theme. The other files control the overall look of your site, and any page specific layouts.
Understanding the Genesis Theme Relationship
It is important to understand the WordPress, Genesis Framework, and Genesis Theme relationship. If you think about a typical house, WordPress would be the foundation, Genesis would comprise the frame of the home, and the child theme would control the color of the room, position of the artwork on the wall, and all other design elements of the home.
Genesis Themes can fully customize the look and feel of your site, while keeping the many benefits that only the Genesis Framework can provide.