It’s been nearly three years since I wrote this post. I’m actually a huge fan of Genesis Framework and StudioPress team. However, strangely enough, I was upset with them due to my misunderstanding. Recently, I wrote a StudioPress Review on another blog. However, I still keep this post to remind myself of my initial days with Genesis Framework.
Updated on 25th October: Before you begin to read this post, please be aware that this post was my reaction to an earlier email from StudioPress Support. After spending much time with their framework, supported themes and recommended plugins, I am beginning to realize, I’ve been just as frustrated at my helplessness just as much as anyone else could have been in my place.
I am not a coder as such and I cannot follow any tutorials that are meant to help people who are familiar with html, css or php. However, it is important to realize all the people on the internet that have written posts on how you could possibly modify a genesis theme are a coder themselves and their posts are meant for people who already know some coding.
Three months into using Genesis Themes and plugins, I can say that the framework is meant for people who have hands-on experience in coding stuff for their website. If you do not know how to code (e.g how to build a hyperlink in html), you may find it extremely frustrating. The folks at Genesis always advise against using unreliable third-party plugins for security reasons – if you keep on installing unknown third-party plugins, you leave your site open to hackers in the event of any potential vulnerability of the plugins you have installed.
Folks at Genesis, therefore, would rather you made changes to your code than install plugins or shortcodes. This requires that you hire a developer to work on your website. Therefore unless you have any intention to use the available themes out of the box or spend additionally on hiring a developer for their customization, Genesis may not be the that ideal WP framework for you to approach.
You may proceed to read the post now…
I wanted to add a contact form to my sidebar so I searched for a compatible plugin for the same.
I wasn’t quite sure if a normal contact form plugin would be compatible with Genesis Framwork.
Since I had already spent a quite some time searching for the plugin, I decided to contact their Twitter Support and see if they could help.
But as you can see in their reply below, they wanted me to contact their support. Their reply to my Tweet occurred nearly 2 hours after I posted my question to them on Twitter.
— StudioPress (@studiopress) September 5, 2014
I knew I couldn’t expect a quick reply or solution from them, so I had already contact their support via their support panel.
After waiting for 6-7 hours, I got a reply from their support as shared below.
Reply from StudioPress Support
Thanks for your question.
You can use just about any WordPress plugin you want to create a form in your sidebar area. Plugins like Ninja Forms or Gravity Forms will work just fine.
In fact, you can use a vast number of WordPress plugins with Genesis. They most certainly do not have to be Genesis-specific at all.
So, your Request A Quote form can be done very easily.
I hope this helps and please let us know if you need further assistance.
As per their advice, I decided to give Ninja Forms a try.
So I logged in to my WP dashboard, installed and activated the plugin
to realize it wasn’t the best advice.
I was disappointed with the fact that they gave me a solution which wasted my precious time.
So basically, I came back to searching for a plugin again after spending time contacting their support both via email and Twitter.
I wanted to share my thoughts with them so I replied to their email. However, since nobody would ever find out, I thought I should write a post to let the potential buyers about my experience with StudioPress Support.
My Reply to StudioPress Support
Thanks for your reply!
I was expecting you to understand my needs in the first place and then address my question.
Have you checked out Ninja Forms plugin after WordPress was updated to its latest version (4.0)?
Because WP Plugin Dashboard says Ninja Forms plugin has not been tested on my version of WP i.e, Genesis. However, I can still install it.
But here is the issue.
When you install and want to create a Contact Form or Request a Quote Form on your Sidebar, it throws two issues at you mercilessly.
#1 – When you test the form to see if it’s working perfectly, it fails. I didn’t get any email from the test queries. This effectively means when a visitor submits a query on my website using the form, he will get an automated reply from me, but I won’t know about it at all. Because I do not get any email from the recipient.
Ninja Forms Sucks!
#2 – Ninja Forms doesn’t allow me to customize or stylize the form, which sucks big time. When I am using a WP framework as super-hyped as Genesis, I cannot afford to use a form that looks rather bland on my website. Heck, it will not even entice the visitors to submit their queries when they are sitting on a fence.
So basically, you just threw at me a so-called solution without understanding my queries or verifying your solution for an answer.
If you had done so, you could have recommended the following plugin instead.
The plugin works great and it’s something you can customize as per your needs. And, it’s FREE!
Although I have got my solution, I get a feeling contacting you was useless because you suggested a solution that only wasted my time further.
And, this is the very first time I was seeking your support.
Can’t really speak for others, but to me,
StudioPress sucks big time!
Affiliate Program with StudioPress
Coincidently my application for their Affiliate Program was approved around the same time I was struggling with their support.
Honestly, I would not expect such kind of support from a company that
seems to be hyped out of proportion.
So should you pay for Genesis Framework from StudioPress?
Wait for my next post!
In the Meanwhile
I got in touch with Graham from QuickPlugins.com about a potential issue with his plugin. Guess what, I got his reply only within an hour (yes, that’s 58 mins to be precise).
I haven’t paid anything for using Graham’s plugin, but I won’t mind considering the level of support I just experienced.
Honestly, you would expect similar support from StudioPress Support staff, if not more.
Dear StudioPress, are you even listening to your customers?
NB: I hope they are listening to their customers. I will update this post based on their response. So if this post is not updated anytime soon, you should assume they are not actually listening to their customers properly.
Status Update: StudioPress staff responded to this post earlier today. And, I have found WP Ninja to be very useful as well.