February 13, 2013 at 9:48 am #20073Joseph LeeMember
Thanks for being involved Eric! I think our concern is about client websites. You know they deactivate plugins (alot). lolFebruary 13, 2013 at 10:40 am #20085
I hear ya! 🙂 Yeah, as I mentioned it's kind of a catch-22 since one of the key characteristics of a WP Plugin is that it "goes away" when it's de-activated, but one of the huge benefits of Genesis Extender comes by way of being a Plugin (i.e.. being able to work with any Genesis Child Theme).
But like I said I'm open to looking into possible future solutions if a viable one comes along.
EricFebruary 13, 2013 at 11:10 am #20091
For me adding the widgets in the functions.php and css is not hard to do.
Setting up the home or static php page is what takes more coding knowledge. And that's where the child themes differ the most.
If I could use this plugin to spit out a home or static php page I could use that on any child theme and just add the little code to the functions and css. So once I use this to make my static page, can I find the php code for it somewhere?February 13, 2013 at 11:42 am #20101Joseph LeeMember
That is a good question Eric. Then we could (if we wanted) copy/paste the code into a file.February 13, 2013 at 11:46 am #20102
Lively discussion going on here and since I use the Genesis extender plugin on all my sites and all my client sites, I thought I'd add my two pennies worth - I'm from the UK.
I run a small website design business and deal mainly with local businesses who want a great looking site at a price they can afford.
The genesis child themes (I bought the Pro Plus package) allow me to give them a great looking site and the Genesis extender plugin allows me to give them a customised homepage and make changes to the CSS.
I have no PHP so being able to produce a customised homepage using the Extender, is a real lifesaver for me.
I also love using the Custom CSS function to play with the CSS whilst actually being on the page i.e. I don't have to FTP new info to my stylesheet and check for results. I see results in real time on the actual page.
Learning how to use the plugin is a doddle - Eric Hamm has produced a series of fabulous videos and he answers any queries you have in the forum.
If you use Genesis child themes and would like to be able to customise them quickly and easily - then the Extender is the plugin for you.
I've written a couple of articles on the Extender, which you may like to read.
Creating an EZ static homepage - http://www.wmwebdesign.co.uk/genesis-extender-plugin-create-an-ez-static-homepage/
Hope you enjoy them.
Keith DavisFebruary 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm #20125
Keith I'm familiar with your site. I actually read your review and wrote you an email with a few questions about it, and also his child theme. I have also read some background about Eric also and am confident it does what it does. My concern is that it is still a plugin and sometimes there are conflicts or sometimes they need to be upgraded. Even if it's just 1 day, a site could be down for that day. I would feel much more secure with a page template.February 13, 2013 at 2:50 pm #20139
With regard to manually transferring code from Genesis Extender to the Child Theme itself this could certainly work and most of the customizations are hard coded and located in the /wp-content/uploads/genesis-extender/plugin/ directory.
So yes, this is certainly a possibility, but I'll have to look a little closer and see what the best ways of doing this might be. I've even considered adding a "Code Creation Only" settings or something like that where you could just use Genesis Extender to create the hard coded files, but not actually take effect, allowing you to copy/paste directly into your Child Theme, but this is just in my head at the moment. But I've added this to my "List" for potential future additions.
Thanks for all the feedback thus far. 🙂
EricFebruary 14, 2013 at 9:53 am #20315
If there is a concern about clients deactivating the Extender plugin then maybe a warning could be displayed when the plugin is deactivated...
"Warning - deactivating this plugin may cause problems with the layout and appearance of your website.
Do you want to continue?"
The wording can be refined, but that would be a simple solution.February 14, 2013 at 11:00 am #20330
That's a good idea, but the implementation would be tricky. Not only am I not sure of a "clean" way to focus that specific functionality onto the Genesis Extender "Deactivate" link (though I have some ideas), even if it was properly implemented it would not account for a "Deactivate All" action that could just as easily be taken in deactivating Plugins.
EricFebruary 14, 2013 at 11:04 am #20332
I'm not really afraid of them deactivating it. Most are too scared to even click on the plugins. It's just that as wordpress does updates it's possible that the plugin would need to be updated also. I don't know if a Genesis update would be a problem. I would doubt it, but that's my only worry about plugins, even though I do have confidence in Eric.February 14, 2013 at 11:18 am #20336
As you know, with anything that is written with code that interacts with other code and runs on hardware that interacts with other hard ware you run the risk of having something go wrong and then dealing with the domino effect of a possible crash or down time of some kind. Whether you're dealing with Themes or Plugins or WordPress itself. And of course once you add the imperfections of human interaction you're dealing with a ticking time bomb. 🙂
So of course there are always concerns with trying to keep things up and running and fully functional 100% of the time, but there will inevitably be some glitches. But for the most part they are few and far between and when they do arise we are 100% behind help resolve them, especially if they are the result of something needing adjustment in our own code.
I would say the vast majority of update situations (whether with WordPress or the Genesis Framework) are not going to cause any issues with Genesis Extender and generally we catch things that might as we beta test both WP and Genesis before they release to the public. But when they do occur we're on it.
To give you an example of this, the one thing we missed with regard to one of the last Genesis updates was their changing of the way they call in the stylesheets for Child Themes. So when the Genesis update came out the Genesis Extender Custom Stylesheet ended up being called in above the Child Theme's stylesheet instead of below it like it should be, meaning that some of the Custom Styles that had been implemented by the user were no longer overriding the default Child Theme styles.
We caught this the day this Genesis update was released and pushed out a fix within 24 hours.
The funny thing was that a day or two later another Genesis update was pushed out with the note that it was to fix an issue with the way the previous update had changed the way stylesheets were being called in, which was causing issues with some Child Themes.
So in this case it was the Genesis update that partially caused the issue and not only was Genesis Extender affected, but some Child Themes as well.
So this is all just to say that stuff happens, and that's not 100% preventable, but who's behind the product and their track record of staying on top of that "stuff" is the key. And in my example I just showed that both Genesis devs and our team are fully behind the Themes and Plugins we produce.
EricFebruary 15, 2013 at 5:37 am #20495
You are right, problems can crop up on most things, especially when dealing with computers, and the support of the authors are most important. Thanks for the assurance that you "are on it". From my experience those are the words I like to hear. I'm looking forward to using it.February 15, 2013 at 8:13 am #20498Expanding DesignsMember
I watched the demonstration video on your site and it does seem like a very nice plugin, which simplifies a lot of things for the end user. I don't think I would personally use it, as I have the ability to do the the things the plugin would do for me, but for someone who is not a developer, it does seem like a great option. I'll probably buy a copy to play around with it because I'm sure I'll run into clients who are using it in the future.
Where was this plugin announced? I have not heard anything until I saw this thread.
If something saves you just a few hours of time, it's well worth $44 (or more). I actively seek out premium plugins for my sites, as they are typically maintained much better and have better support (Gravity Forms for instance).
http://www.ExpandingDesigns.com – Custom WordPress websites built on the Genesis Framework.February 15, 2013 at 8:44 am #20502
We really didn't officially "announce" it anywhere, in terms of promoters or other websites. We instead pushed it out first to our own community of Catalyst and Dynamik members who have since spread the word through various means. You could say it's been a bit of a grass roots effort. 🙂
We do, however, plan on pushing promotion of it a bit more down the road.
Yeah, it's funny because even though I myself can hard code all the bits that Extender does for me, I still prefer to have it done for me. It's just a lot faster in terms of work flow for me, but I totally understand how many coders would prefer to just code things themselves. And yes, our biggest target market are those non-coders who like the control and flexibility of something like Extender where they're not tied to their developer when it comes to doing fairly common design and structure customization on their websites.
EricFebruary 16, 2013 at 6:39 am #20666
"Yeah, it’s funny because even though I myself can hard code all the bits that Extender does for me, I still prefer to have it done for me."
Same thing when I'm fine tuning CSS - it saves me time, makes it quicker and easier to see results, and I actually enjoy using the plugin.
The great big bonus for a non PHP guy like me is that I can customise any Genesis child theme homepage. with just a few clicks and then hit the custom CSS function to style it - or copy and paste the CSS from another project.
Like I said, I use it on all my sites and all my client sites!
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