Not so long ago, I published an in-depth review of the Genesis theme framework software, if you want to check that review post out, just click here.
Today I want to review another amazing piece of software that complements Genesis very nicely, it’s called Genesis Design Palette Pro, or GDP for short.
What is it?
GDP is a premium-quality WordPress plugin designed to help make the process of customizing your Genesis child themes a lot easier, so let’s take a closer look.
Trying to customize a Genesis Child theme, before the arrival of this plugin
…Was, putting it mildly, a complete nightmare.
I started using this plugin many years ago, way back before I was competent enough to understand or even write a single line of code.
If you’re a Genesis user yourself and find modifying or customizing your child theme a complete nightmare, then you can probably relate to this.
Just doing simple things like trying to change font style, font size, or even the theme colors, would mean spending time messing about with bits of code in the theme Editor.
No one has that kind of time to waste when they could be building their business.
Thankfully though, this little plugin came along to make things easier for many Genesis users, including me at the time.
With the GDP plugin, you can edit quite a number of elements in your Genesis child theme without having to touch a single line of code.
So, if you’re wondering what kind of problems will this plugin solve for you, it’s simple. Firstly, it will save you time and prevent you from going insane trying to add some simple customizations to your Genesis powered WordPress website.
Here’s what you need to know about the Genesis Design Palette Pro plugin –
- Yes, it will work with pretty much any of the current StudioPress child themes available.
- No, you don’t need to have any skills or knowledge in HTML or CSS to use this plugin. Absolutely zero!
- No, this plugin will not break any other customizations that you’ve already applied to your Genesis child theme. What this plugin does is create a separate CSS file and make the changes in that file only. Your original theme settings stay untouched.
Does this plugin sound like it could be useful for you? If so, read on,
1. Installing Genesis Design Palette Pro
Installing the Genesis Design Palette Pro plugin is so easy. It’s just like installing any other plugin into your WordPress website.
Once installed and activated, to access the plugin settings you simply go to Genesis > Design Palette Pro. See image below.
You can see from the top screenshot, the available tabs in the main plugin dashboard. Here you have options to style and customize all of the major areas of your Genesis child theme.
The General Site Styles tab: This option lets you make global changes to colors, fonts, and even upload a Favicon to use on your site.
Have you ever tried adding a Favicon to your Genesis theme manually? If you don’t know how it can be a complete headache.
You can refine anything by clicking on each tab to access more options and settings for different areas of your site, as shown in the image above.
If you have this plugin installed already, play around with it for a while and get used to it before making any major changes to your site.
The screenshot above shows that you can refine some of the changes to the content area of your Genesis powered website.
You’ll notice that there is a live preview window showing your website in the right column. Any changes you make in the design column will take effect in the right column, in real-time.
When you’re happy with the design changes you’ve made, you can go ahead and hit the save button, it’s that easy.
Think how much time you could save with your blog customization using this plugin? Especially when before you’d have to tediously look for bits of code to modify in your theme’s template editor.
Under the Settings tab you have options for set the default child theme, preview URL, data export and import – which is useful if you want to import settings used on another theme. Or, you can export the current settings to use on another site.
And, let’s say if all your tweaks and mods go haywire, you can simply hit the reset button and remove all of the customizations you’ve made and start over. Although I like this feature, it would have been be nice to have an undo/redo option as well.
So what exactly can you customize or change using the Genesis Design Palette Pro plugin?
With this plugin installed into your site, 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, color), text alignment, paddings, and margins.
Other notable features in this plugin include the ability to preview on mobile layouts and child theme add-ons.
Revisions made to this plugin since this review was written
In the latest version of the GDP plugin, a Freeform CSS box has been added so that you can add your own CSS to your Genesis Child Theme.
If you have some knowledge of basic CSS, this feature could help you add even more customizations to your Genesis child theme.
How much does the Genesis Design Palette Pro plugin cost?
As I said this at the start of this post, 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 gets 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 also a Plus Plan which will set you back $89 and give you a 5 site license. All of what’s included in the basic package plus priority email support is included in this plan.
Finally, there is a Deluxe Plan which will cost you $199 and give you a 50 site license, 3 exclusive palettes, and priority email support.
Pros and Cons
- Simple to install and use.
- Great for personalizing child themes without coding.
- It won’t break your theme’s existing setup or customization.
- It’s a premium quality plugin with a great money-back guarantee.
- Quite expensive for a plugin of this kind. The Basic Plan would perhaps be more appealing at $39, I think, especially when you consider you can pick up the Genesis Extender Plugin for only $39 and do so much more with it.
- Would have loved to see an ‘undo’ and ‘redo’ feature added
- Perhaps a few more font style options built-in too.
My final verdict?
This is a great all-around plugin and a wonderful addition to have and use with any Genesis child theme.
I do recommend it if you’re not confident enough to learn and apply your own CSS to customize your Genesis powered WordPress website. Or, you don’t have a ton of cash at your disposal to pay for a professional web designer. And, the GDP plugin is a real time saver too which is the big selling point for this plugin.
Price-wise, however, I do think it’s a pretty steep for what you can actually do with this plugin, that’s my honest opinion. As an alternative, I would recommend checking out the Genesis Extender plugin. Although some knowledge of CSS is required to use that plugin, you can do so much more with it.
All-in-all, the Design Palette Pro plugin is a great little tool. If you want to be able to add some simple customization your Genesis child theme quickly, and you don’t want to mess around with code, then this is for you.