Problem with updating Genesis themes

Although I have little time now to test ClassicPress, I couldn’t resist installing it on a mock site in order to see how it would work.
Installation went fine, very simple, no issue.
Since my websites all use Genesis, I decided to install a Genesis theme on the test site.
When installing it, I saw that I had saved v. 2.5 of the Genesis Framework (required for Genesis child themes to work) on my desktop - the current version is 2.7.1. I decided nevertheless to install it, along with a standard Genesis theme, in order to see how theme update would work.
I installed it, activated the child theme. Soon after, I received as expected the warning that an update was available for Genesis Framework. I launched the update, but it failed, with the warning: “forbidden”. I made several attempts to no avail.
Then I deleted v. 2.5, uploaded directly v. 2.7.1, and I could install it without any problem.
Maybe the update problem is unrelated to ClassicPress. However, I just wanted to report this small issue, in case you had other similar problems. Since all my WP sites are built with Genesis, it is really important for me to make sure that the Genesis framework and its child themes will work with ClassicPress in case I choose it (and that they work in the long run).
Since the hosting on which I tested recommends to deactivate a number of PHP functions by default for security reasons (exec, popen, passthru, etc.), I wondered if this might be the cause. Thus I downloaded and installed an outdated version of Enhanced Media Library Pro (v. 2.4.5), and then updated it to v. 2.7.2: it went well without any issue.
I hope that StudioPress is not blocking updates outside WP installs…

This sounds like an issue on their end, as we aren’t blocking any updates anywhere. We hope StudioPress isn’t blocking updates but can’t speak to whether that is the case or not (I personally haven’t tested any of their themes). My recommendation is that you reach out to their support and see if they could either detail why you received “forbidden” and/or if they are blocking it whether they could provide support for ClassicPress going forward.


Thank you. Yes, I will ask the question on their forum, since obviously it is an important one, considering that Genesis is a significant player in the field of WP themes.

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Great, thank you! We would love to be kept in the loop though, so if you don’t mind could you let us know when you hear back from them?

Yes, I will. If no clear answer is provided on the forum, I will attempt with support directly. But I try the forum first, since one might thus hear different perspectives - and it also draws the attention of Gutenberg-averse users to the existence of ClassicPress.


I have now received an answer from WP Engine support regarding my question about the Genesis framework and ClassicPress.

Good news: “No, Genesis does not prevent updates on a WP fork.” If there is a problem in updating, one should see if there is a caching problem - or update manually.

Regarding my question: “Will Genesis framework support ClassicPress?”, the answer is: “Genesis is a WordPress framework and is guaranteed to work with WordPress installations. Also, we haven’t haven’t received reports of incompatibility with ClassicPress.”

As you can see, the future is open. But no guarantee at this point. I assume that it will very much depend on the demand. Let’s see how many average, non technical WP users will become upset once they get introduced to the new world of Gutenberg… But in order to make those users aware of the existence of ClassicPress, there will need to be some willingness of hosting companies to let them know about that option as well as to offer easy migration.


Thank you for updating us, it sounds like they are open to the possibility in the future :slight_smile:

This is something we are working on, and is why the migration plugin is a pretty big deal :slight_smile:

I believe hosting companies will support CP if there seems like there is going to be enough users who use is, so similar to reaching out to plugin devs it may be beneficial to contact your hosting companies and let them know :slight_smile:


Hi @jfmayer, it looks like this was also reported here (separately, after you made this post): Genesis update doesn't work

Right now we are trying to track down some details about this issue.

Does this upgrade fail for you every time? Can you provide screenshots of error messages or anything else that looks “off” about this update?

Yes, I have seen that, and you remember that, on the other hand, WP Engine / Studio Press assured me they did not prevent updates on forks.

Since I have only one test site with ClassicPress, I only encoutered the issue once. It was a very simple “update failed” message each time I attempted to do it, then I installed manually.

Next time I have to do an update of anything Genesis related, I will definitely pay much attention and document each step.

OK, I can now confirm there IS a problem with Genesis.

Genesis 2.7.2 has been released. I have updated to the new version of Genesis without any problem on websites using WP 4.9.8. However, on a website using CP with Genesis, the update failed as it had last time. See attached screenshot. “Forbidden.” Is it Genesis forbidding it? As you remember, StudioPress support assured me this was not the case, and they are not preventing updates on WP forks. Then is it an issue with some CP setting?

On that CP site, there are few plugins, and there is no plugin installed that is not installed on my WP sites. Thus plugin conflict can be ruled out.

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So, it appears this is unfortunately incorrect.

As Genesis is a paid theme it is also not easy for us to test this issue.

At this point the best path forward is to continue reaching out to the Genesis support team. I’ve also just sent them a message via

Yes, I have been really surprised to see this failure to update, after being assured by Studio Press / WP Engine support that they did not prevent updates on forks.

This puts into question the use of the entire Genesis framework on CP: what failed to update this time was the very theme of which all other Genesis themes are children themes. This affects not only the themes of Studio Press, but also those themes produced by independent theme-makers and using Genesis framework.

I have built all my websites with Genesis (except for the two most recent ones, this months, for which I have used CP-compatible themes from RoughPixels - RoughPixels will make all themes CP-compatible). For me, it is not possible just to switch to other themes now for most of my sites, since I invested months over the past three years for moving sites to WP with Genesis, and I have now to focus on content (moreover, the Gutenberg move of WP has also meant already much time lost in testing, looking for alternatives, worrying, etc.).

I am glad to know that you have contacted Studio Press. I hope this issue can be resolved, since this would be one of the few things that would prevent me from switching to CP.

(Maybe this thread should more clearly marked as Genesis-related: why not to rename it “Problem with updating Genesis themes”?)

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If you edit your opening post, you should be able to rename the thread.

Updated thread.

Disappointing to hear after the assurances that it now doesn’t work. Do you still have a copy of your exchange when they said it would work with CP?

Yes, I do: Nov. 26, I have saved the message on my Mac. They gave the following additional advice at that time:

No, Genesis does not prevent updates on a WP fork. In general, if you’re having trouble updating Genesis, you can try the following:

  • Temporarily disable all cache, and code optimization plugins from the website.
  • If the host applies any server level cache to files and/or database objects (such as memcached or Redis), please make sure that is disabled as well. Likewise, if a CDN serves the site, make sure its cache control is turned off too.

However, since WP installs with the same host have Genesis updates working fine, it seems clear that it is CP-related - either due to Genesis configurations or due to some CP setting (?).

There aren’t any weird settings we have added, so it is more likely a Genesis issue. With the copy of the transcript I would reach out to support again and ask them to clarify their position (while providing them a copy of that message).

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Yes, I intend to do that.


@jfmayer who is your hosting provider for this site?

It is SwissCenter. But I doubt that it has something to do with the hosting, since I have two WP sites with Genesis on the same hosting, and for those sites the updates proceed without any problem, as they always have done. It is only the CP install.

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Well, it seems that Jame’ intervention to the support team did not go unheard: just before writing myself to StudioPress support, I have made a last attempt to update the theme… and now it has worked instantly, despite the several earlier failed attempts. Very good to see that! I will monitor very carefully what happens next time there is an update.