Dynamik Website Builder vs. Genesis Extender

We get this questions a lot:

“What are the differences between Dynamik Website Builder and the Genesis Extender Plugin?”

So to answer this just one last time we’ve created this post. The above screencast tells you all you need to know, but let me layout the main points below:

Similarities Between Dynamik Website Builder & Genesis Extender:

  • They both require the Genesis Framework.
  • They both add “Settings” and “Custom” admin pages to the Genesis admin section, housing virtually identical features for each admin page.
  • They both hard code the majority of their Genesis customizations for optimal efficiency.
  • They both include member’s only direct email support and no-limit usage.
  • They’re both awesome! πŸ™‚

Differences Between Dynamik Website Builder & Genesis Extender:

  • Dynamik Website Builder is a Genesis Child Theme and Genesis Extender is a Genesis Plugin.
  • Dynamik Website Builder cannot be used in conjunction with other Genesis Child Themes while Genesis Extender can.
  • Dynamik Website Builder adds a “Design” admin page to the Genesis admin section which provides hundreds of intuitive no-coding design options. Genesis Extender does not include this admin page.

More About The “Design” Admin Page

Because this is one of the main differences between Dynamik Website Builder and Genesis Extender in terms of included features I thought it might be helpful to share some key benefits of this “Design” admin page.

  • Customize your site’s design from scratch (the ultimate “Blank Canvas Genesis Child Theme”!) or Import a pre-customized Dynamik Skin to give you a huge head start.
  • Utilize hundreds of no-coding design controls for your Fonts (tons of Google Fonts available), Backgrounds, Borders, Margins & Padding, various dimensions and much more!
  • Take complete control over the Content and Sidebar Widths for the various Layouts offered by Genesis.
  • Create completely custom widgetized Static Homepage and Featured/Fat Footer areas in seconds (note that Genesis Extender does include a similar “EZ Static Homepage” feature).
  • Utilize intuitive “Responsive Design” controls that make customizing your site for mobile devices a breeze!
  • Upload images using the built-in Image Uploader to easily add custom logo and background images to your design (note that Genesis Extender also includes this Image Uploader).
  • Utilize the extensive Import/Export options to backup, transfer and even take a “Snapshot” of your current design. Even Export your entire Dynamik Website Builder design (including your “Settings” and “Custom” options) into a totally independent, hard coded Genesis Child Theme!

Why Not Include These “Design” Options In Genesis Extender?

The above is another common question about Genesis Extender that is usually followed by something like, “It would be great to be able to use all of those “Design” options to customize the many pre-customized Genesis Child Themes!”

The simple answer is that implementing these design options into a highly refined, pre-customized Genesis Child Theme would not only be quite complicated, but not really ideal either. With Dynamik you’re taking complete control over the design. This is ideal for certain users/designers, but for others it may not be. Many prefer to pick from the many pre-customized Genesis Child Themes in which case we wanted to provide a tool to help “Extend” such Child Theme’s functionality and design, but not completely take it over.

So with Genesis Extender we wanted to provide the perfect balance between powerful control and a light weight Genesis Plugin that doesn’t get in the way of your Genesis Child Theme. Β And though Genesis Extender provides things like EZ Static Homepage controls and Front-end CSS Builder design capability it still leaves the overall styling and structuring to the Child Theme. This gives the user the ability to use as much or little of this extensive Child Theme control as they need.

Who Should Buy Which Product?

Dynamik Website Builder was developed for both the non-coder/Do-It-Yourselfer who likes to take complete control over their design as well as the web designer who likes the ability to quickly “Skin” their designs and even spit them out as hard coded Genesis Child Themes in seconds.

Genesis Extender was developed for both the non-coder and web designer who prefer using the pre-customized Genesis Child Themes, but still want all those powerful “Settings” and “Custom” options found in Dynamik to tweak their design and site structure with ease.

Both Dynamik Website Builder and Genesis Extender seem to eventually find their way into the tool boxes of many of our members for the single reason that different web design projects require different tools and both products provide a unique solution. So it’s less about the user and more about their various projects.

At the end of the day you may find that it’s not about “this vs. that”, but just figuring out which one to start with. Your current project may require the functionality provided by one, but the next may lend itself to the other. Either way, hopefully we’ve clarified what distinguishes Dynamik from Extender and given you the insight needed to make the best decision moving forward.

36 comments on “Dynamik Website Builder vs. Genesis Extender”

    1. Not at the moment, but this has been requested by several others in the past so it will probably find its way in a future update. And I’m guessing sooner rather than later.

      Eric

        1. No, because Dynamik already provides all of the features found in Extender so it would be redundant. Also, they can’t work together because they would cause conflicts. When you have both active you will see a message that tells you to either Clone your settings (when both are active you can clone the DWB settings over to Extender and vise versa) or deactivate the one you’re not using.

          Eric

    2. Hmm activating Genesis Extender gives Genesis Extender requires the Genesis Framework! Deactivating Plugin.
      Where to find that?
      Also tried Genesis design palette pro but it gives: Sorry, you cannot run Genesis Palette without WordPress 3.3 and Genesis 1.8.0 or greater.
      So i think (as i use wordpress 4.0 this plugin is too old.

  1. I had never heard of the Genesis Extender plugin until looking at Kim Doyal’s “The WordPress Chick” site. Really sounded exciting. Then I saw your information about Dynamik. Wow! I can see uses for both of them. I am currently looking for a good theme to use as a digital photo site for a client. It has been a difficult task. There is always something the client doesn’t like about each child theme. The use of Dynamik may be the answer. As I am fairly new at doing much besides switching child themes and a few easy tweaks. I do have a few questions:

    What is the difference and/or how does Genesis Extender compare with the Microthemer plugin other than Genesis Extender is exclusive to Genesis?

    Concerning the child themes made with Dynamik: How do we update them assuming we hard code a child theme for a client site?

    I read your statement that Dynamik will work with most WordPress plugins. I wonder do you have any experience with WooCommerce, or the Word Press Photo Seller plugin by Tips and Tricks? Those are two plugins I am looking at for digital sales. Or any other tips you might be able to provide.

    Thanks for the help.

    Tim

    1. Hey Tim,

      To address your questions:

      -I’m not really familiar with Microthemer. I just found it after a quick Google search and watched a video on it. Looks interesting, but I can’t comment on it as I’ve never used it. What I would say is that it looks like it’s mostly giving you the ability to easily tweak the styles of various WP themes, while Genesis Extender, especially since it’s specifically focused on Genesis, provides TONS of Child Theme customization capabilities that go way beyond tweaking some styles.

      -When you Export a Child Theme using Dynamik you’re presented with a purely hard coded version of your design in the form of a traditional Genesis Child Theme. So there’s no auto-update built into the Exported Child Theme or anything like that. Generally, though, with a hard coded Child Theme like one Exported by Dynamik, the updating will come in the form of Genesis Auto-Updates. The Child Theme itself is not like Dynamik in that you’d need to update it when new features come out. But if you ever did need to update something in the Exported Child Theme you’d have to do it manually.

      -I don’t have experience with WP Photo Seller, but many of our members use Dynamik and WooCommerce with great results. You just need the Genesis Connect For WooCommerce Plugin.

      Eric

  2. Hi,
    I bought CTRTheme+ from Sitepoint’s DealFuel yesterday and with the usual welcome emails, I received an offer for Impact Page Builder WP plugin. I was reading over the Impact Page Builder website and saw in a comment the site was built using a combination of the Impact plugin and a theme called Frugal. I googled the Frugal theme and found myself at the CobaltApps website on the former front page for Catalyst (I manage a Catalyst themed site for a client, so I am familiar with using it and Dynamik). After reading about DWB and GE here, it seems to me, Impact Page Builder plugin and Frugal Theme are earlier iterations of Genesis Extender and Dynamik Website Builder , or at least these have been superceded with DWB and GE. Am I correct on this? If so, it seems the real offer would be to buy DWB and Genesis Framework. Kindly let me know. Thanks!

    1. Hey David,

      Oh, the memories of my WP exploits. πŸ™‚

      Yes and no. Many of the core ideas behind Frugal Theme and Impact Page Builder Plugin found their way into our products that followed, including Dynamik Website Builder and Genesis Extender. But no, Dynamik Website Builder doesn’t equal “Frugal 2.0” and Genesis Extender doesn’t equal “Impact 2.0”, though there are many similarities. And to be clear, as described in the above post, Dynamik basically includes all of Extender PLUS it’s own features, while Frugal did not include what Impact added. Extender is for extending non-Dynamik Genesis Child Themes, not Dynamik itself.

      We had sold Impact to a 3rd party a while back and they have seemed to just maintain it up to this point. So I don’t know all the details about the product at this point, but if it’s pretty much the same as when we sold it then it may be a bit dated when compared to our own maintained and updated products, such as Dynamik and Extender.

      Eric

  3. Can I import a child theme into Dynamik Website Builder so that I’m not starting from scratch? I use Eleven40 now and want to have that look. However I would prefer to use Dynamik Website Builder than a plug-in. Thanks…Russ

    1. Hi Russ,

      Unfortunately, that is not possible. I guess you know that you can always use the Genesis Extender Plugin with Eleven40 but the GE Plugin does NOT offer control of the design, it does offer the Dynamik Website Builder’s Custom options for use with the Child Theme.

      Make sense?

      1. Well, no not really. As I have already said on previous occasions, I think you are missing a HUGE chunk of the market by not having a function within Dynamik, or add-on, which allows you to import an existing (Genesis/Dynamik) theme and to save the result as a Dynamik exported theme. Also, while we are at it, the other thing you are missing is a plugin/function within Dynamik which allows the exported themes to be auto-updated from a master theme. I for one would happily pay for both of these additions.

        Terence.

        P.S. For the sake of order and perhaps another chance to poke you (in the right direction), I will post both these ideas on the suggestions forum.

  4. Hi, eric just want to ask a quick question. Can i use Dwb to build a dynamic website even if i know nothing about coding? I mean i want to have total dominion over my website

    1. That’s hard to definitively answer this as everybody has their own idea of what it is to have “total dominion over their website”, but yes, you can do a whole lot with little to no coding required. Does that mean you’ll never run into a situation where a little coding will go a long way? No, that will never be the case and DWB is not supposed to completely replace the need to code. But yes, with DWB you can do much more without coding than most other WP Theme solutions out there.

      Eric

  5. I can see times that I could use Builder and other times when Extender would be better for me. Is there a price break if someone buys them together or if one is purchased now and the other later?

    Is there an affiliate program?

    And finally, am I correct in my understanding that there is no charge for updates? No yearly charge?

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. It seems like a fair price either way. We all know that some theme shops offered lifetime licenses and then changed their pricing model after the purchase so you pay every year. As a designer, I need to know my costs so I can appropriately price my services for clients.

        That brings up another question. What happens when I design a site for a client and then turn the site over to them? I assume they have license to use the plugin or theme to make modifications but they’d have no support or updates unless they do it through me. Correct?

  6. This is separate question from my earlier one.

    If I like a purchased child theme for Genesis can I install that child theme and the Extender plugin. Then save (or is it export?) the styles (the CSS menu colors, widget borders, floats, transparency, etc.) from the child theme with Extender. Then deactivate or delete the child theme and install the Builder child theme. Then reapply the settings (import them) with Builder?

    In that way, the child theme would give me a jump start. I understand that the big difference between your products is that Builder can work with the layout of any pages whereas Extended cannot modify that aspect of child themes.

    I’m wondering if Extender “captures” the styles built into a child theme – or only the custom styles that you modify yourself.

      1. As the other 2 guys above, I too would say this would probably go a loooong way and would be a major selling point.

        If dynamik could import stylesheets from other child themes (through extender?) that would be an amazing time-saver. Even if it does it imperfectly, and even if it doesn’t “replicate” the theme. Sometimes we just want to have a different starting point in dynamik builder, other than the default skin.

        I mean most people would be happy even if it just imported the genesis-relevant CSS and body-css. It won’t be perfect, but it will be a great time-save for being a “starting point” on projects.

  7. Hi there,
    I’ve recently decided to use the Genesis framework moving forward for all of my websites moving forward. I’m contemplating getting Genesis Extender vs. Dynamik. I am very comfortable customizing CSS and HTML but really hate when I need to make changes to functions.php.

    After reviewing many Genesis child themes, I think I would probably be better off creating my own child theme, although, I’ve heard of some child themes with “dynamic style homepages” which seem like a great option. Does that type of functionality come with Extender or Dynamik? Which do you think would be the best option based on my knowledge? Would love to limit my purchase to just one, but if I need both I’ll probably get them.

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Terrie,

      If you prefer hard coding and getting your hands dirty with CSS and HTML code then you may prefer Extender matched up with your favorite Genesis Child Theme (other than Dynamik, of course, which essentially has Extender built-in). But if you want to create your own Genesis Child Theme and don’t want to mess with a bunch of functions file bits, then Dynamik would be the way to go. Not only can you do a whole lot without touching code (though let me be clear that you will usually at least do SOME hard coding, but all in the WP admin, no FTP necessary), but Dynamik then allows you to export your design as a fully independent Custom Genesis Child Theme, hard coding everything for you according to your Dynamik settings/options. This is something not available in Extender.

      Hope that helps, though I can never say for sure what’s best suited for any particular person, I can only presume and guess.

      Eric

      1. Thanks Eric,
        That info definitely helps. I think I’ll go with Dynamik as it will best suit me creating my own custom child themes, and if I ever find that I want to start with a different child theme, I’ll go ahead and get Extender as well.

        Terrie

  8. Hi Eric, we’ve chatted a couple of times in the past. Started to hijack this thread further up because I couldn’t find a more relevant question. I’m considering the move over to Genesis from the Catalyst Bundle…but, I wanted to confirm that I don’t need the extender to still have access to using custom hooks, CSS Front End and custom Fonts because DWB includes those still with Genesis? Happy 4th!

  9. I would like to know if I am correct in thinking I can do the following:
    1) Install the Genesis Framework and Dynamik Website Builder to create my own child theme which includes customized widget areas on other pages as well as the home page,
    2) Export from DWB as a child theme
    3) Use Genesis Extender to make changes to the child theme per client requests (such as adding customized full-width widget areas in pages other than the home page)
    4) Export from GE as an updated child theme

    Thanks!

    1. 1) Yes.
      2) Yes.
      3) Yes.
      4) No. You can’t create child themes from Genesis Extender customizations. Genesis Extender must remain active for its customizations to remain in effect.

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