Is Genesis DevKit Replacing Dynamik Website Builder?

After several Dynamik users contacted me with this particular question, I felt it necessary to try and clear things up for anyone else who might wonder if the Genesis DevKit Plugin is in fact replacing Dynamik Website Builder. The simple answer is no, definitely not, but there’s quite a bit of nuance to that answer that is worth expanding on, so if you’re interested read on…

DevKit Is Simply The New Kid On The Block

Dynamik is about 7 years old, which is pretty much unheard of as a piece of WordPress software that has continued to remain relevant year after year. It has received thousands of hours of my DEV time and countless notable updates. And though this development attention has mellowed quite a bit over the past few years, it has been, and will continue to be maintained to ensure relevancy and dependability.

DevKit, on the other hand, is around 2 years old and is simply built on a different foundation. Where Dynamik is a Genesis Child Theme, DevKit is a Plugin that creates Genesis Child Themes. And though Dynamik can also spit out Genesis Child Themes, it does so in a way that’s just not as intuitive and seamless as Genesis DevKit. So both of these Genesis DEV Tools do very similar things, but in significantly different ways. Another way to look at it is that when I created DevKit I had 5 years of Dynamik development experience under my belt which helped me build an even better web development tool. But again, this wasn’t about replacing Dynamik, but simply creating something new that could not be achieved through updating a very mature piece of WordPress software.

Who Should Use Which Product?

I’ll try and keep this simple as too much explanation will likely only muddy the watters.

  • Use Dynamik if you already use it, are comfortable with it, and simply love it. Dynamik isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and will continue to be maintained for reliability and relevance.
  • Use Genesis DevKit if you aren’t currently use Dynamik and want the tool that will likely receive the most new and notable attention moving forward.

The fact is that I couldn’t have replaced Dynamik with DevKit if I had wanted to. They’re just too fundamentally different. One’s a Theme and one’s a Plugin. One is more of an all-in-one solution while the other leaves a bit more room for other Plugin add-ons. And DevKit’s 80/20 rule that uses a little more of a minimalist approach when realizing the user interface, could not have worked if its starting point had been Dynamik’s “kitchen sink” tactic.

So probably the best way to put it is this: Dynamik had too much legacy code and functionality to be able to upgrade it into what I wanted to do with Genesis DevKit. And yet Dynamik was too popular, relevant, and loved by its users to deprecate it. So the decision was made to simply add DevKit to the Cobalt Apps lineup and let Dynamik keep chugging along like it has for so many years.

The following screencast might help shed some light on all of this as well:

What If You Do Want To Move Over To Genesis DevKit?

None of this changes the fact that many Dynamik users will want to move over to Genesis DevKit. And for those who do I have two points to share with you:

  1. The Design Options in Dynamik have no automatic solution for converting over to DevKit. There is definitely enough overlap to make the manual process of conversion very much doable, but time and effort are certainly necessary. I’ve done this several times myself over the past few months and have found it to be a great opportunity to update my design in the process.
  2. The Dynamik Custom Options, on the other hand, are a one-click process, but do require the Extender Pro Plugin. This means that you can transfer your Dynamik Custom CSS, Functions, JS, Templates, Labels, Conditionals, Widget Areas, and Hook Boxes, all with the click of a button inside the Extender Pro Import/Export admin page. This will import them into Extender Pro which you can then use along side the Genesis DevKit Plugin. Below is a screencast that walks you through this process…

Final Thoughts…

Dynamik is still an excellent piece of WordPress web design software that can be used to develop professional Genesis-powered sites quickly and efficiently. That has not changed. It has simply seen less aggressive updating as my primary development focus has transitioned over to Genesis DevKit. So it is not being replaced, but is also no longer the flagship Cobalt Apps product that it once was.

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