Choosing a theme for your WordPress website is a hugely difficult task. There are thousands of themes to choose from and each one looks cooler than the next. Many people decide on using the Genesis framework powered by Studiopress.
How it works:
You buy the Genesis framework and also purchase a child theme to install on top of it. The basic framework is the same for everyone, and you can pick from hundreds of child themes to give your site the layout and design you like.
While Genesis is powerful on its own, here are the 9 Best Genesis Plugins that will help you super-charge your site:
All I have to say on this one is wow. This plugin allows you to completely control how posts show up in your blog feed. The settings allow you to decide if you want a full post to show up, just an excerpt, or a combination in between. It also allows you to set the featured image and control how everything looks. You can set the number of posts it will show in that format and even offset posts to skip the first few posts. Needless to say this is a must-have for anyone using Genesis.
Have you ever wondered how to change the footer text using Genesis? This plugin lets you edit the three most commonly modified areas in any Genesis theme: the post-info (byline), the post-meta, and the footer area. It makes basic formatting changes easy, that way you won’t need to dig deep into the code framework.
While this is not technically a Genesis-only plugin, I consider it a must have for designers working on Genesis sites. This plugin allows you to add custom CSS styles that override Plugin and Theme default styles.
This helps make your site upgrade friendly and saves you the time from having to dig into the theme’s massive style sheet to make changes.
Have you ever wondered how to change the little icon at the top of your browser tab? It is not that intuitive to make a Favicon change in Genesis so thankfully this plugin comes to the rescue. Create a 30 x 30 .ico image -> rename it to favicon.ico -> and upload it using this plugin. This is a much easier option than messing with your site’s FTP folder structure.
Have you ever designed the perfect home page but once you click “Next Page” it looks nothing like you thought it should? It allows you to customize your archive pages in Genesis to use a grid layout. This plugin is advanced but it definitely packs a punch and helps you make those category, tag, and archive posts look great.
Have you asked yourself what plugin should I use to create a post slider in Genesis? I like this one because it has simple controls and works will within the framework. There are hundreds of slider options out there, but if you want a simple option to feature certain posts in a slider format, look no further.
Your sidebar space is incredible valuable real estate. This plugin allows you to create several tabs of widgets, that way you can pack more into less space. Here is an example of it working in action:
You’ll notice that Search, Archives, and Tags all exist within the tabs.
This plugin allows you to create custom sidebars that can be assigned to specific pages. I like using this when you want to style a particular page and don’t want to use the full sidebar you might use in your blog roll.
This plugin is for developers but wow does it help. That’s it. If you are ever in the need to insert code (HTML, Shortcodes, and PHP), and attach it to any of the 50+ action hooks throughout the Genesis Theme Framework, do yourself a favor and use this plugin! For example, do you want to place a banner above your header? Open Genesis Simple Hooks, find the correct spot, insert your text, code, or graphics, and save.
*P.S. You must have the Genesis framework and a child theme installed for these plugins to work properly. If you are not a Genesis user, don’t worry there will be a post like this coming for you too!
**P.P.S. This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to go with a Genesis theme I receive a small commission from the sale. I’ve used Genesis for many of my client’s sites and highly recommend!
Your turn: are there any plugins you would add to this list? What are your biggest challenges when trying to figure out plugins?