Recently I published an in-depth review for Genesis theme framework, if you want to check out that review post just click here.
OK so today I want to review another great little product that complements Genesis very nicely, the Genesis Design Palette Pro plugin, or GDP for short.
This is a premium quality WordPress plugin designed to help make the process of customising your Genesis child theme a lot easier, so let’s take a closer look.
Before this plugin came to life
Maybe other Genesis users can relate to this, but back in the day before this plugin came to life (and before I knew how to code), customising a Genesis child theme was a real challenge. Especially if you didn’t have much knowledge of HTML or CSS.
Simple things like trying to change font style, size or even the theme colour would mean that you would have to sit in front of your computer, trying to figure out which piece of code to make changes to inside the editor.
Thankfully though this little plugin came along and changed a lot of things. You can now edit quite a few things with your child theme without having to touch a single line of code.
Before I share with you some screen shots, list of features and essentially how to use this plugin and what you can do with it, let’s first answer some quick questions that you might have about using this plugin.
- Yes the GDP plugin will work with almost all of the StudioPress child themes. Check here to make sure it will work with your child theme.
- No you don’t need any skills or knowledge in HTML or CSS to use this plugin.
- No this plugin will not break any other customisation you’ve already made to your child theme. What this plugin does is create a separate CSS file and make the changes in that file only. Your original theme settings stays untouched.
OK so let’s look at the plugin in more detail.
Installing the Genesis Design Palette Pro plugin is so easy, using the same steps as you would to install any other plugin into your WordPress blog. Once installed, to access the plugin settings you simply go to Genesis > Design Palette Pro. See image below.
Top screen shot: As you can see from the available tabs in the main plugin dashboard, you have options to style and customise all of the major areas of your Genesis child theme.
The general site styles tab for instance let’s you make global changes to colours, fonts and even upload a Favicon to use on your site. Have you ever tried adding a Favicon to Genesis without the use of this plugin? It’s almost impossible. You can refine any of those changes by clicking on each tab to access more options and settings for different areas of your site.
If you have the plugin installed already, play around with it for a while and get used to it.
Top screen shot: Here you can refine some of the changes to the content area of your Genesis powered blog.
You’ll see that there is a live preview window showing your blog in the right column. Any changes you make in the design column, you’ll see the changes instantly take place in real-time in the right column.
When you’re happy with the design changes you’ve made, you can go ahead and hit the save button, it’s that easy. Can you imagine how much time you could save with your blog customization using this plugin? when before you’d have to tediously look for bits of codes to modify in your theme’s template editor.
Top screen shot: In the settings tab you have options for default child theme, preview URL, data export and import – which is useful if you wanted to import settings used on another theme. Or export the current settings to use on another site. And if all your tweaks and mods goes haywire, you can simply hit the reset button and remove all of the customizations you’ve made and start over.
So what exactly can you customize or change using the Genesis Design Palette Pro plugin?
With this plugin installed you can make changes to the following areas within your child theme:
- Header area
- Content extras (Such as read more links, bread crumbs, pagination and author box)
- Footer widgets and footer area
The elements you can customize are:
- Background colours
- Typography (Font style, weight, colour), text alignment, padding and margins
Other features with this plugin includes the ability to preview on mobile layouts and child theme add-ons.
How much does this plugin cost?
OK so as I said this is a premium quality plugin, so it’s not free. There are currently 3 plans available for this plugin.
There is a Basic Plan which get’s you 1 year standard support, 1 year worth of upgrades, documentation, import and export capabilities, live preview, and child theme extensions. The single basic license will set you back $49.
There is a Plus Plan which will set you back $89 and give you 5 site license, all of what’s included in the basic package plus priority email support.
Finally there is a Deluxe Plan which will cost you $199 and give you 50 site licenses, 3 exclusive palettes and priority email support.
Quick Pros And Cons
Pros – Simple to install and use. Great for personalising child theme without coding. It won’t break your theme’s existing setup or customisation. It’s a premium quality plugin with money-back guarantee.
Cons – Pricey for a plugin of this kind. Would have loved to see an undo and redo feature added, perhaps a few more font style options built-in too. In my opinion, and this is purely my opinion. The Basic Plan would perhaps have been sensibly priced at $39, but who am I?
My final verdict?
This is a great all-round plugin and a wonderful addition to have and use with any Genesis child theme. I do recommend it if you’re not too hot on using CSS or HTML to customise your site. Or you don’t have thousands of Dollars at your disposal to shed out for a professional developer. The GDP plugin is a real time saver too.
Price wise however, I do think it’s a little steep for what you can actually do with this plugin in all honesty.
Yes it’s a time saving plugin, and no you don’t need to mess about with CSS files and codes to use this plugin, but I mean for $49 you could even purchase the single site license for the Genesis Extender Plugin if you wanted to, and have a lot more options than just change background colours, fonts and margins. With the Genesis Extender Plugin you can literally extend the functionality and design of your child theme.
All in all the Design Palette Pro plugin is a great little tool to have. If you want to save yourself a lot of time and heartache with customising your Genesis child theme yourself, then this is for you.