February 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm #19140thehorsegalParticipant
I am going crazy... I am sure I read an email last week regarding a new plugin for Genesis ($44)... However, I can't find the information on it???? Anyone know about it or (as I said) am I going crazy?
Thanks much!February 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm #19141
You are talking about the Genesis Extender Plugin developed by Catalyst. It wasn't created by SP.
Love coffee, chocolate and my Bella!February 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm #19150de PaulusMember
WOW, I just checked the plugin mentioned above, and it's dope!!. This will definitely save a lot of time creating custom theme home pages.
.:: the fall never hurts…. it’s the landing that does the damage ::.February 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm #19260thehorsegalParticipant
No wonder I did not find it! Thanks so much... I am going to check it out.February 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm #19264
Love coffee, chocolate and my Bella!February 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm #19280
I posted a query a week or so ago asking if any had tried this plugin and what there experience has been. No one answered. I'm going to spring for the $44 product and when I get a chance I'll post back here about it. From what I can see, it doesn't do anything you can't do in code... but we're looking at it as a "replacement" to Framework Option... which is a PITA to configure (IMO.) I wish there was a way to "turn off" certain Extender options because I don't think most clients will want all 800+ of them! We'll see how this beast works next week.February 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm #19282MoodyRivieraMember
Thanks for that info link, anitac...looks very interesting, but I'll probably have to watch the explanation video ten times before I begin to understand what all those capabilities actually mean...ha ha ha.February 9, 2013 at 9:12 pm #19311
Please review the plugin here... I will follow this thread 🙂February 10, 2013 at 2:19 am #19335
I'm about 3 hours into using the Extender plugin, so these are just some first impressions... as you know first impressions are often wrong.
1. This thing is great for creating widgetized homepages in like 3 clicks. They have two methods... their EZ method and a Custom method. I've only used EZ and it really is EASY! They give you a huge menu of layout options where you can have widget areas below the header and above the footer... like 2,3,1 meaning you get 2 boxes at top, 3 in the middle, and 1 wide one at the bottom. Or you can have two boxes at top but one that is 3/4 of the width and the other 1/4. Yes, you could easily write the code and then set the .css widths, but this is so much easier and faster. I've not tried the custom method yet, which gives you greater flexibility from what I saw on their video.
2. Their CSS Builder is OK, but I think it still needs some development. I would like it to show me every class on the homepage, but it just shows the main classes , I guess those that are endemic to Genesis. Finding the exact "item" in their menu to change is not easy because I didn't find it accurate. However, once you figure out what you are changing, their menus for changing colors and borders and backgrounds seems to work well... and it is in real time. I don't yet know where the changes go. Maybe it writes out a custom .css file somewhere or maybe it shoves these into the database and pulls them out when page is generated. (I hope it isn't in the DB... as it would probably be serialized data in the wp-options table and if something in WP is going to break, it will be serialized data in that table. We've all been there!)
Conclusion: I think the ability to create rather complex widgetized homepages in a few clicks makes this plugin ultra-valuable to people who don't want to mess with code.. even though the Genesis code to do this... registering the areas and then creating them... is not that hard... this is still so much quicker... and my bet is that the Custom method is even better (but probably not as fast.)
As for CSS... well I find it faster for me to find what I need to change via the Chrome "Inspect Element" process and test out my change and if it works, add it to the style.css theme file. But perhaps as I get a better grip on how the CSS builder works I might find it faster/better than the old "search, change, and hope" method of dealing with .css.
More to come, assuming anyone is interested.
You can reach me via this site if you wish. (I don't know if I'm allowed to put name/company so I'll just put a link and hope no one is offended.)February 10, 2013 at 6:57 am #19350
I am interested. Just looking at the site and what you explained, I wouldn't buy it. They probably should have come out with a "free" version with a few features and then develop a PRO version. This way people would have had time to play around with it and digest how it works. I try not to spend money on things.
Love coffee, chocolate and my Bella!February 10, 2013 at 10:06 am #19376
Please understand that my post was not and is not intended to be anything more than just one person's experience with the plugin after ONLY a few hours using it. It would not be accurate for anyone to make a buy/no-buy assessment based on my short use of the product. First of all, you don't know if I have any credibility here at all, much less with WP or programming. Second, you don't know if I can walk and chew gum at the same time.
To base an opinion of anything on the ramblings of just one anonymous person is at best foolish and at worst, wrong. (I don't believe people should "review" products from the darkness. The producers of the product should know who "their accusers" are and that is why I put a link to me and our company in the post. I don't know if "sigs" are allowed here as I'm fairly new to Gen-world.")
When I have more experience with the plugin I will contribute more to the analysis of it. I hope others will also.
As for spending money, and while this might sound like a "knock" on open-source products, where my business is concerned I would rather use so-called "premium" software... where there is a person or a company who has their reputation on the line and who has a vested interest in making it work and solving problems.
People can get websites for free... but they come to us and pay us to do it "right" (which we do most of the time! 🙂 )"Community support" is often very good, but often very bad. If I have a serious issue, I like knowing I can submit a "help ticket" to Genesis (and Catalyst) and get a reply from someone who is (should be!) intimately familiar with the (their) product. To me, that is what I'm paying for... not the framework or the plugin.
So much of open-source software is the proverbial "camel," which as we all know is a horse designed by a committee!
I agree with you that perhaps Catalyst could have put out a plugin with a sub-set of its features... or maybe a time-limited product (like how the Mac editor Coda does... seven day trial and then it locks.)
More to come as I find the time. I think the Catalyst people would be well served to give a free copy of Extender to credible writers/bloggers in Gen-world to review it. I am NOT in that refined group of software engineers... but maybe I'm closer to it than others. As for the price, well nothing is really free. I can't tell you how much Pepto I've had to buy over the years working with free WP themes, free CRM systems, free editors, etc. Of course, YMMV.February 10, 2013 at 10:20 am #19378
Hold on there... I am not basing my decision to my purchase it soley on what you call your own *ramblings*. I did indicate that I had been to their website and read everything they have to offer. What you wrote is just a tiny piece of my decision making process. "Don't give yourself that much credit!"
Love coffee, chocolate and my Bella!February 10, 2013 at 10:55 am #19384
Yea, I am not going to purchase the plugin, but not because of your review. I really appreciate the review though. I wasn't sure what all functionality the plugin offered. I personally use DreamWeaver, so I have live css coding already. I also don't think the front end widget builder is worth $40. Though I really like the idea 🙁 After you get used to it, continue the review. I have to admit, if I could see this front page builder used a little more, I might be interested. Some sites I build have a custom page on 10-15 pages. It would be nice to dramatically lower the price of theme development by speeding that up...
Does the theme have to stay plugged in? Can you build the front pages then disconnect it?
Thank you Dev, for looking at the plugin and reviewing it a little...
What other plugins are out there for Genesis that are supported by large companies? I am like you Dev, I don't do anything except *PREMIUM* on clients sites. I might suggest to you WPMU.ORG. They have a huge array of premium plugins. Their forums are about 10x more active then Studio Press. Their support is unrivaled as they have programmers (paid) to be on the forums all day.February 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm #19416MoodyRivieraMember
Dev, thanks for the review...helps me understand a bit about what the plugin actually does.February 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm #19885de PaulusMember
Thanks dev for the time you took to write about your experience so far with the plugin, I am very interested in giving it a try, and you actually enticed me more..
YES, I do and can play around with the code and add custom widgets, however if this plugin makes it A LOT faster, then I'm in, at the end of the day it's all about saving time, and if that is what this plugin does, and it's stable, it sounds like a very well spent $40
.:: the fall never hurts…. it’s the landing that does the damage ::.February 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm #19887
Do you have to leave the plugin installed ( ie are the sidebars created registed in the function.php and the css for width in the css) or are they in style sheet in the plugin. Can you see the registered sidebars in the plugins editor. Can you see the css sheet there?
I don't wan tto be in another instance like simple sidebar where the sidebars are not registered in the function.php nor anywhere that can be gotten to on WP. Sometimes this plugin causes phantom sidebars... I can't get rid of ever. I want to make sure I am not lining my self up for the same thing again.February 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm #19920
Just found out from another user on the LinkedIn Group that if you remove the plugin, all of your customizations will be deactivated. So that's it for me... I won't be getting the Extender plugin.
Love coffee, chocolate and my Bella!February 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm #19939
Wow, that is what I feared. A client could easily uninstall that plugin and the home.php is gone.
Anitac, can I join the linkedin group 🙁February 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm #19942
Sure, just click the group link in my footer.
Love coffee, chocolate and my Bella!February 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm #20005eric1508Member
I'm actually the developer of the Genesis Extender Plugin and one of our members pointed this thread out to me in our forum so I thought I'd stop by and see if I could address any concerns you have.
First, know that Genesis Extender, though fairly mature in its development in terms of refinement, is quite a new product (currently at v. 1.0.2) so there's plenty of room to grow. So even if there are things that you would like to see refined or expanded upon there's a good chance that they will be in the future.
But for the most part I just wanted to introduce myself, let you know I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about the Plugin and hopefully clarify any concerns that may be keeping you from exploring it further.
Regarding the concern about what happens when the Plugin is de-activated. Yes, if you de-activate Genesis Extender then anything the Plugin was affecting (ie. Static Homepage Widgets, Custom Content Areas, Custom CSS, etc..) will, at least temporarily, disappear. I say temporarily because the settings and files will still be in place so once re-activated everything should return as it were before the de-activation occurred.
Now I understand the concern here, but the reason behind this is that this is just the nature of Plugins. They are supposed to "go away" when they are de-activated and this is how Genesis Extender acts. But of course without it being a Plugin you wouldn't have the HUGE benefits of being able to use it with any Genesis Child Theme.
Having said this, we can certainly look further into the possibility of providing an option that keeps the affects in place, even after the Plugin is de-activated or maybe a way to "lock" it into place to prevent clients from causing issues, as one of you noted in their concerns. But that's not something that is currently in place, of course.
What I can say for sure is that the majority of people who use Genesis Extender find it to be a huge time saver and a must-have tool for their Genesis powered websites. 🙂
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