Switching from Genesis to Kadence? Here’s a pre-activation checklist!

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Changing from one theme framework to another is different than just swapping out one Genesis child theme for another. When you activate Kadence or a Kadence child theme, you’ll lose any hooks, scripts, or custom functions associated with your Genesis theme settings or files.

I like to keep copies of the old theme’s version of the home page, blog page, single page, single post, and category archive page open in another tab while I’m activating a new theme. But there’s so much more than appearance to match when you’re switching between frameworks.

Create a Google Doc, Evernote Note, or whatever works for you to back up your custom code and store screenshots of your Genesis settings so that you can replicate them in Kadence.

Here are a few of the Genesis settings you’ll want to check and backup before switching to a Kadence theme. Stay tuned for updates to this post!

Genesis Theme Settings: Header/Footers Scripts

Once you activate Kadence, you won’t be able to access the codes that were in your Header/Footer Scripts.

Navigate to Genesis, Theme Settings, Header/Footer Scripts and copy/paste anything that was in there into your backup document.

After activating Kadence Pro, navigate to Appearance, Kadence, and activate Header/Footer Scripts under Pro Add-Ons. If you’re using the free version of Kadence, the plugin Insert Headers and Footers by WP Beginner will do the job.

Genesis Theme Settings: Footer

Copy the contents of your customer footer copyright notice now so you don’t have to revisit your site on archive.org to remember what you said there.

Navigate to Genesis, Theme Settings, Footer.

Genesis Simple Hooks

If you’re using Genesis Simple Hooks to add any custom code to your site, it will be inaccessible once you’ve activated Kadence.

Navigate to Genesis, Simple Hooks and copy/paste each piece of code into your backup document, noting the hook where it was to appear and whether PHP was involved. Use Kadence Pro Elements to recreate hooked code.

Genesis 404

Using the Genesis 404 plugin to customize your 404 page? That won’t be accessible after activating Kadence.

Navigate to Genesis, 404 Page and copy your content to back it up.

After activating Kadence Pro, you can use Elements to create your own custom 404 page with Kadence.

Additional CSS

Any CSS you’ve added to Additional CSS will not be saved when you activate a different theme.

Navigate to Appearance, Customize, Additional CSS and copy the contents to your backup document.

After activating Kadence, you’ll want to review the CSS you were using before to determine what (if any) you need to use with your new theme.

Custom Code in Functions.php

Do you know what kind of custom code is hiding in your functions.php file? If there are any functions you’ll need to keep using after switching to Kadence, you’ll want to install the Code Snippets plugin then copy and paste each respective snippet, customizing as necessary to match Kadence theme hooks. Save the snippets as drafts until you’ve activated Kadence, then you can Save Changes and Activate each snippet individually to test.

Reference my Genesis to Kadence Code Snippets post as needed to replace favorite Genesis code snippets with their Kadence counterparts.


Widgets often get rearranged when activating a new theme.

Navigate to Appearance, Widgets and screenshot each widget area, saving the screenshots to your backup document so you know what widgets you were using where.

Genesis Featured Posts and other Genesis related widgets will not work once a Kadence theme is activated. If you had extremely custom settings in a Genesis Featured Posts widget, screenshot it for reference. A plugin like Smart Recent Posts Widget works to replace the Genesis Featured Posts widgets. You can also use Elements in Kadence Pro to replace the entire sidebar.

The Genesis After Entry widget will be no more in Kadence. You can use Elements in Kadence Pro to add an after entry element.


Do you know which menus you’re using where? Navigate to Appearance, Customize, Menus and grab a screenshot.

Keep in mind that Kadence treats the mobile menu as a separate menu. You can use Kadence Pro to add two menus into the mobile menu location. With the free version of Kadence, you’ll need to merge multiple menus into one named “Mobile” and specify that as your mobile menu.

Header Image

Do you know how to find your logo file wherever it’s hidden in your Media Library? It will make things easier when activating a new theme if you know the exact file name of the image you were using.

Navigate to Appearance, Customize, Header Image then right click your current header and choose “Open Image in New Tab” to get the exact file name/URL.

Custom Colors

Make sure you have your custom color codes handy before you switch themes.

Navigate to Appearance, Customize, Colors and select each color to copy/paste the hex code to your backup document.

Genesis Plugins

Don’t forget to deactivate and delete all Genesis-related plugins when you’re through! Genesis eNews Extended is one of the few Genesis plugins you can keep using with Kadence. If you can replace blocks from Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg or Stackable Ultimate Gutenberg Blocks with Kadence Blocks, that will streamline your blocks, too!

What other settings have you found that you have to recreate in Kadence?

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  1. Hello Gretchen,
    Thank you very much for the post. I want to migrate from Genesis to KadenceWP.
    What happen with header and individual body scritps of each individual post? The general scripts are unique and easy to copy and paste, but the scripts for each article (for example, I have hreflang tags in each post) Do I have to copy one by one from Genesis to Kadence? That would be a lot of work because I have hundreds of posts. Is there an easier way? Thank you very much for your help

    1. Hello Pedro,
      I wish I had some advice for you on this one! I’ve not migrated a site which used the individual header/body script options provided by Genesis. Have you reached out to Kadence support about this to see if they happen to have any advice? Manually migration would definitely be time-consuming for that!