Genesis Extender: Customizing Your Child Theme

Genesis has long been know as one of the best developer frameworks. Customizing or creating a Child Theme is easy if you know PHP, HTML, or CSS. Finding a theme that fits 100% of your needs rarely happens. For example: You find the perfect blog theme but your client wants a slider on the homepage or you need four widgets areas across on the homepage instead of three. If you know code you can jump into the functions.php file and the style.css file and make those changes. But how about everyone else? By using Genesis Extender Plugin (affliate link) you can quickly and easily create Custom Widget/Content Areas, Custom Page Templates, and customize CSS with little to no hand coding. The built-in CSS builder tool allows you to see your changes live before you make them. Combine the CSS builder with Firebug and you can change style and save them all in your browser…no FTP needed.

I admit I know CSS, I know HTML, and I can copy and paste functions and code snippets with the best of them but I wanted and NEEDED to do more. I am currently working on a large church website. This church has many satellite campuses. Currently they are all separate WordPress installs but I wanted an integrated solution under one domain without using a WordPress Multi install. I needed to easily change header (logo) images on different campus pages and I needed a custom homepage template for each smaller campus that looked just like the main homepage. I turned to Genesis Extender to this for me.  I could have easily used Dynamik Website Builder as well.

What exactly is the difference between the Dynamik Theme and Genesis Extender Plugin. To put it simply Dynamik Theme is a Genesis Child Theme with all the superpowers of Genesis Extender plus the custom design features. If you own the Genesis Framework and a few child themes (or you are thinking about using Genesis and your CSS skills aren’t where you would like them to be) Dynamik is for you. What if you already own the Developer Pack and have access to all the child themes but just want the ease of customizing what you already own then Genesis Extender may be for you. Of course you could purchase both and cover all the bases which is what I did.

For this WordCamp session we are just going to cover the Genesis Extender Plugin. So, what does Genesis Extender actually do?

The Genesis Framework is excellent but for many it is missing an easy no coding solution for:

  • custom widget or content areas
  • adding custom functions
  • customizing styles
  • front end CSS builder

I’ve included two videos by Cobalt Apps …an Intro to Genesis Extender and a video that explains what it is NOT.

Genesis Extender Plugin Introduction from Cobalt Apps on Vimeo.

Or better yet…what it doesn’t do

 

Let’s Customize….

Rather than make my own videos I’ve included the ones from Cobalt Apps that I found very helpful when learning Genesis Extender.

 

Create a Custom Static Homepage

Genesis Extender EZ Static Homepages from Cobalt Apps on Vimeo.

Adding a Slider to the Home Page

Adding A Home Slider To Your Genesis Child Theme Using Genesis Extender from Cobalt Apps on Vimeo.

Using the Front End CSS Builder

Using The Genesis Extender Front-End CSS Builder (Part 1) from Cobalt Apps on Vimeo.

Using The Genesis Extender Front-End CSS Builder (Part 2) from Cobalt Apps on Vimeo.

Using The Genesis Extender Front-End CSS Builder (Part 3) from Cobalt Apps on Vimeo.

The Power of Labels and Conditionals

Using Custom Templates And Labels To Customize Page Content from Cobalt Apps on Vimeo.

Custom Page Templates

Create A Widgetized Custom Page Template Using Dynamik Or Genesis Extender from Cobalt Apps on Vimeo.

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3 thoughts on “Genesis Extender: Customizing Your Child Theme”

  1. Quick question. Will the customisations be on the site if I delete the plugin? I’m thinking of using it on a client’s website?

    • Olamide, no if you delete the plugin the customizations you have done in Genesis Extender will go away. The workaround is to copy any css in the extender to your stylesheet in your theme. Any custom functions would go in the functions.php, any layouts you would have to build a template in your theme folder. If you used it to build a widetized homepage that would also leave you with a blank homepage.
      I use this on sites that I need to be able to do things out of the norm. For example, I have built a site for a rabbit farm. On one side they sell food related items and on the other side, they sell the blood and other parts for medical research. (Farm and Pharm) The food product pages have the regular logo and color scheme and the pharmaceutical pages have the Pharm logo and color scheme. This was super easy to do with Extender using labels. A simple checkbox in the editor denotes a page as a pharm page and the appropriate logo and color scheme are applied.

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