The Studiopress community is the most awesome community of developers and designers. They have made Genesis the absolute best premium framework for WordPress there is, not just because of the fantastic features, but also because it continues to evolve to make it better and easier to use. (On a side note, have you updated to the latest version yet? You should.)
It is very easy to add functionality to your Genesis-powered site without having to learn how to code. (If you are reading this and you are my client, then your site is running on Genesis.) The best part about these plugins is that most of them are free. If you were to choose between a plugin created by non-Genesis developer, or one that’s been created specifically for Genesis, do choose the Genesis one. You’ll make your life easier.
These are my top picks for plugins created for and by the Genesis community. (Most of these I install on client’s sites when I install the theme. )
1. Genesis Simple Hooks
This plugin creates a new Genesis settings page that allows you to insert code (html, php or shortcodes) and attach it to any of the action hooks throughout the Genesis Framework. Instead of creating functions in your theme files (which you might be scared to do), this plugin gives you an easy-to-use interface for modifying your Genesis theme via the hook system. The hooks are listed in order, and are very descriptive. Need to place an ad above your header? Paste the code in the genesis_before_header hook.
2. Genesis Enews Extended
Easily add mailing list sign up forms on any widget area. Guaranteed to work with Mailchimp, Aweber, Feedburner, Feedblitz, and Constant Contact. I normally style this from within the theme so that it matches the overall look of the site.
3. Genesis Responsive Slider
This plugin allows you to create a simple responsive slider that displays the featured image, along with the title and excerpt from each post. Or just the image if you prefer. You have control over the maximum dimensions of your slideshow, whether to display posts or pages, what category to pull from, and even the specific post IDs of the posts you want to display. It includes next/previous arrows and a pager along with the option to turn both on or off. The slideshow is also responsive and will automatically adjust for the screen it is being displayed on. Place it on any widget area. Most of the time I place this on the top homepage widget, above the featured posts.
4. Genesis Featured Widget Amplified.
I’ve already blogged about this last week. It’s an awesome plugin that extends the functions of the Genesis featured post widget.
5. Genesis Easy Columns
This is a new favourite. I love working with Genesis column classes when styling a page, but sometimes dealing with all those <div style…> codes can be cumbersome. This plugin allows you to do that with the click of a button. It’s amazing, really.
6. Simple Social Icons.
When you want to display social media icons on any widget area that are linked to your social media profiles. Easily customizable (you can change the background color and icon color; align them left, right or center; open to a new page, etc. ). I sometimes tweak this further by changing the order of the icons via the plugin files, but that’s another matter altogether.
7. Genesis Simple Share Buttons Adder
This fantastic plugin adds share buttons to your posts and pages. It’s simple to use, and you can even upload your own custom buttons!
Those are the seven plugins that I absolutely recommend. Are there any plugins that you recommend that are not on the list? Let me know in the comments.