Looking for the best WordPress Plugins to use with the Genesis Framework?
Here are 10 Genesis plugins taken from StudioPress, WordPress directory and other sources. I use many of these on my own Genesis-powered WordPress site, others I have downloaded, tested, and inspected thoroughly. All plugins are free (except #8) and have at least a 4.2/5 star rating. Some things you don’t need plugins for though, like columns and some shortcodes – just keep that in mind since too many plugins can effect your site speed.
Here’s the list…
This combines a newsletter and an HTML section (where I chose to add an author pic/bio + top articles). You can see it on my right sidebar and I also use it at the end of each post.
I wish I knew about this years ago since it took the headache out of collecting emails and while it’s not much, I got a few 100 subscribers just from the newsletter section (listing top articles helped reduce my bounce rate too). It’s easy to integrate with MailChimp (what I use), Constant Contact, Aweber, and most email services. Here’s a tutorial by Carrie Dils.
Makes it easier to edit your footer, copyright area, and entry meta. FYI “entry meta” is the space above and below your blog post content. I install this on every Genesis site.
Not all Genesis themes comes with a built-in slider. If it doesn’t, you can always install the Genesis Responsive Slider plugin which lets you add sliders throughout your website. Here’s what it looks like – you can see a live version on the Executive Pro Theme by StudioPress.
Adds social sharing buttons to posts, pages, and other content. Has Pinterest and Stumble Upon buttons, plus basic options like changing the icon size, appearance, where to display them, etc. It’s a lightweight plugin so it shouldn’t effect your page load time much, if at all.
This is good for controlling (personalizing) what widgets visitors see depending on the page, post, category, or tag they’re viewing. So if people are reading a post from my “WordPress Speed” category I may want to show them related articles about site speed. There are other plugins that do the same thing like Widget Logic which I prefer, but this one is specifically for Genesis. Either way you will use conditional tags to control where each widget appears.
If you want to add WooCommerce functionality to a non-WooCommerce Genesis theme, this plugin will do that. It replaces WooCommerce’s built-in shop templates with its own Genesis-ready versions, specifically the single-product.php, archive-product.php and taxonomy.php templates needed to display the single product page, main shop, and product category and product tag archive pages. This is one of the more popular Genesis plugins.
If you purchased a non-responsive Genesis theme, you may want to customize it to be mobile-friendly. I’ve done lots of research and there is no plugin that does this correctly.
While you can use the Genesis Mobile & Sticky Menu plugin to add a hamburger style mobile menu (plus other features), it’s best to pony up and purchase a Genesis theme that is mobile responsive. That is what I did, and that is what you should do if your theme is not responsive.
Want to customize your Genesis site without code? This plugins helps you customize your header, navigation, background, content/sidebar/footer, and typography without any code. Has options for colors, sizes, weights, margins, padding and alignment. Pricing is $49-199.
9. Photo Gallery / Portfolio
Unfortunately there is no plugin for the Genesis Framework that adds a portfolio to your site, but there are plenty of free and premium portfolio plugins for this. Numbers 5-15 in that list are premium plugins and are worth spending an extra $15 to make it look nice.
Genesis Layout Extras gives you 9 layouts instead of the standard number your theme comes with. Use these on your homepage, pages, blog posts, archived pages and other content.
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I hope you found my article helpful! If you did please give it a share. And if you have any questions about the Genesis plugins in my list, drop me a line in the comments section.