GeneratePress is an excellent WordPress Theme Framework option for those creating websites for both themselves and their clients. It’s well coded, well supported, and growing in popularity. And the fact that it’s free is just icing on the cake! So it was only natural for us to add this theme to our list of supported frameworks. That, and the fact that more and more Cobalt members requested this latest iteration of our Extender Plugin.
Before I get into the details about our latest Cobalt Apps Plugin offering I want to touch on GP add-ons in general. As far as I know the primary way the GeneratePress devs monetize their efforts is through their premium add-on which currently provides 12 useful “extras” to their already feature-rich theme. And these additional tools are not essential, but likely worth their price of admission, and then some, to those using GP for more than a single blog site design. So let me be clear when I say that GP Extender is not meant to replace or even compete with their own Premium add-ons. GP Extender simply offers the power users, web designers, and WP developers out there a GeneratePress add-on that goes even further with the extra control desired by those serious about their WordPress website productivity.
So What Exactly Is GP Extender?
Glad you asked! 😀 If you’re already familiar with our Plugin lineup then you know about our Extender Plugins. We already have one for the Genesis Framework as well as Beaver Builder Theme. So GP Extender is no revolutionary idea, but instead a GeneratePress port of those other Extender Plugins. So the options are very similar, but the specifics like hook locations, HTML element selectors, etc… are unique to the GP framework. But if you’re not familiar with our products then let me get a little bit more specific.
Like A Developer In Your Dashboard!
With our Extender Plugins we try to provide professional tools inside your WordPress Dashboard that are not only flexible and efficient in their use, but more accessible to a wider range of skill sets than the old FTP/Editor combo that so many pros tout as developer gospel. These days we do so much more on both the front and backend of our WP-powered sites that going outside these lines during the process of a design is less and less a likely scenario (at least for most of the project). So in a nutshell, Extender is your developer toolbox, tailored to excel inside the walls of wp-admin.
Custom Coding Done Right
First and foremost your ability to add custom code to your theme, and do so professionally and efficiently, is a must! With GP Extender you are provided with Custom CSS, PHP, and JS code editors that have full Ace Editor integration. This means you not only have the full gamut of code types covered, but each one offers full syntax highlighting and checking, line-numbering, find and replace search, and even helpful features like code auto-completion that tries to guess what you’re typing and can finish your code snippet for you with a single tap of the “enter” key!
And when it comes to custom coding your styles there are few WP solutions that come close to competing with Extender’s Front-End CSS Builder tool. Not only does it allow you to add your Custom CSS code right on the front-end of your website, but you enjoy the intuitive advantage of real-time results. So as you add those styles your design adjusts on the fly so you can see your changes as you make them. This also means you can try out some style changes and see their effect without actually saving them to your Custom Stylesheet, keeping them hidden from your visitors until you’re ready to “Save Changes” and make them go live. And when you get stuck or just need a little reminder of what element or style you’re trying to create the CSS Builder is right there at your fingertips. With an intuitive interface you can select pretty much any element in your theme and have the CSS Builder write the code for you, showing the results in real-time. It’s a game-changer for many of our members!
Adding Custom Templates, Widget Areas, And General Content With Precision
One of the reasons we only work with Framework Themes is because they’re loaded with useful action hooks which is essential for our tools to do their best work. Without these hook locations Extender wouldn’t be able to make adding custom content to pretty much any place on your site so effortless. But with a solid WP Framework you get the kind of design control that is unmatched by other kinds of WP theme types.
- Need to add a Custom WordPress and Page/Post Template to your GP Child Theme? GP Extender’s got you covered!
- Need to create some Custom Widget Areas and strategically place them around GeneratePress? GP Extender can knock this out in seconds!
- Need to add some custom text, HTML, PHP, CSS, Script code, or pretty much any kind of custom content to any place with an action hook, and do so conditionally or on a per page/post/post-type basis? Not a problem for GP Extender!
A Note About Efficiency
I’ve mentioned the “E” word a few times already, but let me talk about a different kind of efficiency. Yes, Extender makes customizing your website a more efficient and intuitive process, but what’s also important to note is the fact that almost all of these customizations are being hard-coded to files on your server where the actual execution occurs. This means less database hits, easier caching, and therefore faster page loads. Even your custom styles are minified by default, so Extender is built for professional results, not just easier customization.
A WP Dev Multi-Tool
I guess the best way to sum up our Extender Plugins, and GP Extender specifically, would be to describe them as a WP web dev multi-tool. Professional grade, yet accessible to pretty much anyone serious about their WordPress web design efforts. The necessary tools are there, ready to fill the various and inevitable needs along way.
So be sure to check out the GP Extender Plugin today! This is one GeneratePress Add-On that the serious developer inside you won’t want to pass up! 🙂