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Genesis Extender Tutorial

StudioPress theme customisation with the Genesis Extender plugin

If you’re using a StudioPress theme or a theme based on the Genesis Framework, Genesis Extender is a useful add on.

Genesis Extender lets you…

  • Change the look of your theme by editing the CSS styles.
  • Make new page layouts such as magazine style home pages.
  • Make widget areas and hook boxes (content boxes).
  • Use conditional tags to choose which content appears on which post or page.

StudioPress theme customisation

Using the plugin is much easier than writing all this code by hand. And you’re also less likely to damage your site by making typos in your code. Once you’ve made new widget areas, you can add widgets or content to them and then use conditionals to choose which pages or posts your new widget code and content will appear on.

Use Genesis Extender to edit CSS

Genesis >> Extender Custom.

  • First activate the front end CSS builder. Don’t miss the tiny tick box it’s important!
    Custom CSS ( Activate Front-end CSS Builder) TICK THE BOX.
  • Click Save Changes button.
  • Now click – Click To View Front-end (text link).
  • In top right hand of your web page click…
    Show Hide CSS Builder button (it’s blue).
  • Top left of screen, click small Elements button.
  • Click Enable Elements Selectors.
  • Click one of the little blue tabs, e.g. #content.
  • Choose Content Paragraph from the drop down selector.
  • Click the little arrows button, this inserts the CSS selector into the first edit box.
  • Make sure your cursor is inside the curly braces.
  • Close to the very top of the screen, click the Fonts tab.
  • A new dialogue pops up, click the buttons to insert font weight and colour etc. into the editor.
  • When you’re happy with the code, click the button at the bottom of the first text box. Your code is inserted in to the text box beneath it.
  • Look for a Save Changes button near the top right of your screen. Click Save Changes.

Activate front end CSS builder Genesis Extender Plugin

Front end CSS builder Genesis Extender

Add simple Widget Areas using Genesis Extender Plugin for the Genesis Framework

WordPress and Genesis have many ready made widgets that you can drag in to Widget Areas and configure, such as the Genesis Featured Post widget.

We are going to make some custom content in a WordPress post and copy that content into a text widget.

We will make our own widget area to contain this content.

Before you start, go to StudioPress.com and find out if you have an HTML5 theme.

Step One – Make your content

Make your content just like any other page or post you would make. By making the post or page content using WordPress, you don’t have to write the HTML by hand.

Save this as a Draft, don’t publish it. You will copy the HTML using the Text tab in the WordPress post editor and past it into a Text Widget or Hook Box.

Now you have some content to use. By pasting that content into a Text Widget, you can use Genesis Extender to place that content in any position on your web page.

Step Two – Make two widget areas

  • Go to Genesis >> Extender Custom.
  • Select >> Widget Areas.
  • Name: top_left (use under scores)
  • Choose a hook: genesis_before_entry_content (use under scores)
  • Class: one-half first (use hyphens) (You only need first on the first box in a row)

Click the Add button to add a second Widget Area.

  • Name: top_right (use under scores)
  • Choose a hook: genesis_before_entry_content (use under scores)
  • Class: one-half (use hyphens)

Widget area settings Genesis Extender Plugin


Now you have content and widget areas.

Drag a text widget into one of your new widget areas, paste the HTML you made on the first step. Your content will display in the position, or on the hook, you chose.

You can now use a conditional tag to choose which pages or post your new widget areas and their content appear on.

StudioPress theme customisation

Conditionals in Genesis Extender

You can target…

  • The Front (or Home) page. is_front_page
  • All single Posts. is_single_post
  • All single Pages. is_page
  • A list (array) of posts or pages. is_single is_single( array( ‘115’, ‘119’ ) )

And much more. So you control what content appears on what post or page.

What we’re going to do…

  1. We already made a widget area in a previous video.
  2. We’ll make a conditional.
  3. In our Genesis Extender Widget Area dialogue, we’ll attach the conditional to our widget area.

In WordPress Dashboard Go to…

  • Genesis >> Extender Custom.
  • Choose Conditionals from top Menu.
  • Click Add button.
  • Examples drop down >> Is Single Post.

You now have a conditional tag available to use. But you need to connect your widget area and conditional tag together.

On the Genesis Extender top menu chose Widget Areas.

  • Find the widget area you want to edit.
  • In the Conditionals drop down box choose the conditional
    you want to use. E.g. is_single_post.
  • Save changes.

Now your Widget Area will appear or not appear depending on the conditions you’ve set.

Conditional tags in Genesis Extender Plugin

Labels – let us attach widget areas we’ve made, to posts and pages, on an individual basis.

  • Dashboard >> Genesis >> Extender Custom.
  • Choose Labels from top menu.
  • Type a name for your new Label.
  • Tick the box…
  • Automatically create a Custom Conditional for this Label.
  • Click Save!

Make a note of what your label is called e.g…

  • In the top nav Menu, click Widget Areas.
  • In the Conditionals drop down, choose...
  • Save Changes!

Add the Label to any individual Post or Page
(adding the Label will add the widget area and it's contents, a calendar etc. to your page.)

  • Edit an existing post or write a new one.
  • Scroll down and look for a section that says...
  • Genesis Extender Labels.
  • If you have more than one label, find the one you want to use and tick the box.
  • Save your post or page.

Your widget area is displayed only on the posts and pages you chose, by ticking the tick box.

Assigning a label to a hook box or widget area in Genesis Extender

Assigning a label to a page or post in Genesis Extender Plugin


Hook Boxes

A Hook Box is similar to a Widget Area but more powerful.

You can assign CSS classes to widget areas. But if you want more control of the area surrounding your widget area, or you want to style a block of widget areas as one unit, you use a Hook Box.

Making a hook box is similar to making a widget area.

In WordPress dashboard, go to…

  • Genesis >> Extender Custom.
  • In the nav bar near the top of the screen, click Hook Boxes.
  • Click the Add button, to add a new Hook Box.
  • Type a name.
  • Choose a hook to hang your Hook Box on.
  • Put your content inside the big text box.
  • Surround your content with a div class so you can use CSS to style the box and it’s content.
  • Save your changes.

You can put several widget areas inside one hook box.

When you make your widget areas, choose short code instead of hooked in the drop down box.

When you make your Hook Box, in the big text box, type the name of your widget area e.g. ad_banner_one.

Put square brackets around the widget area’s name. [ad_banner_one]

Click the, do_shortcode, button.

Genesis Extender will surround the short code in the PHP code needed to run the short code.

By setting several widget areas to short code and wrapping them in one or more CSS classes in your hook box, you can build and style complex layouts.

Styling a hook box in Genesis Extender


Don’t forget to add some CSS styling using Genesis Extender to make your Hook Box look the way you want it to.

StudioPress theme customisation