I am always tweaking Genesis Child Theme designs. I use the Genesis Framework and its child themes, precisely because they don’t offer lots of choice regarding design. I don’t like themes that are overloaded with buttons for this and that.
Genesis thankfully isn’t like that. It’s plain and simple. Themes heaped high with buttons get old very quickly and keep you stuck in a land of dependency, where you can’t make a move without a plugin to do it for you.
How Does Genesis Extender Help?
The way I work is to start with a Genesis child theme that is close to what I’m looking for, and then make small modifications to bring it closer, visually, to what I want. This is the most cost effective way of getting a customised theme up and running.
To effect these changes I modify the theme’s style.css file and occasionally, the functions.php or other php files. The problem with making edits to functions.php is that your site will literally disappear if you put a single character out of place. At this point you have to rescue it by re-editing the file to remove the error via FTP or cPanel.
To avoid that headache, I prefer to use the Genesis Extender plugin. The plugin broadly allows you to do two things :
- make modifications to the CSS. It does this by creating a separate file for your CSS modifications which are added or cascaded onto the theme’s original CSS to override any styling you want changed.
- Further, when it comes to changing the PHP in functions.php then you can do that via the Extender plugin with no fear of making a mistake and nuking your site. Of course it won’t stop you making mistakes but you can make and fix them without having to get involved with FTP or cPanel.
Extender will save you time and help you learn as you work on your site.