Genesis framework is well-known for its SEO-optimized code and strong security features. Due to the performance first approach, most Genesis child themes do not include any control panel. Additionally, the framework uses hooks and filters which are not particularly beginner-friendly. Earlier I have shared some of the best premium & free Child themes for Genesis, if you haven’t gone through it, you can browse all the Genesis skins below:
For these reasons, you need to install third-party plugins to get more features. While there are lots of Genesis plugins out there, you don’t need all of them. Rather, you only need to use the most reliable and useful plugins for your Genesis-powered website. In today’s post, I will introduce you to the top 20 most wanted Genesis plugins. All of these plugins are available in the WordPress plugin repository. Feel free to download and try them in your website.
20 Genesis WordPress Plugins to Help in Customization & Extension
This highly popular Genesis plugin provides an easy solution to edit the three most common areas of your website – the byline, post meta and the footer section. You can edit all these sections without messing around with any filters, hooks or PHP code. It is possible to put normal text, HTML code or shortcodes into the sections.
This brilliant free plugin lets you attach HTML, PHP code or shortcodes to more than 50 Genesis hooks. The plugin will create a new settings page under the Genesis menu in your website dashboard. By using that page, you can define the content and the relevant hook. When using the plugin, you won’t have to create custom functions to insert content into the hooks.
Genesis eNews was a very popular genesis widget which was removed in Genesis 2.0. By using the Genesis eNews Extended plugin, you can bring back the plugin along with some enhanced features. The plugin supports most mailing list service providers including MailChimp, AWeber, FeedBurner and FeedBlitz.
If you are looking for a plugin which lets you display a slideshow of featured posts, Genesis Responsive Slider is the answer for you. This fully responsive plugin allows you to choose the maximum dimension, specify a category or specify the post IDs to display in the slideshow. The slideshow could be placed in a widget area too.
Genesis Simple Sidebars allows you to create custom widget areas and place the areas into the sidebars. The plugin supports two sidebars – Primary and Secondary. It is also possible to assign the sidebars to specific posts, pages, tag and/or category archives.
As the name suggests, this simple plugins lets you upload custom favicons for your website. In order to use the plugin, name your favicon file as favicon.ico and go to Genesis > Upload Favicon from your website dashboard. Upload the favicon file from that page and you are done. The plugin supports multi-site installations too.
This very useful plugin lets you hide the page title from any page you want. The plugin will add a new metabox in the WordPress post editor. By checking the hide checkbox, you can easily hide the title for any page. The plugin also allows you to set site-wide defaults. You will find the option in the ‘Title Toggle’ section at the Genesis > Theme Settings page.
WP Responsive Menu lets you create fully responsive, mobile-supported navigation menus for your Genesis-powered website. Besides customizing the color, the plugin lets you choose the menu animation too. You can also choose to add your logo to the menu, hide specific things, enable swipe gestures, pinch zooming etc.
9. Genesis Layout Extras
While Genesis is not provided with any additional page payout, you can use the excellent Genesis Layout Extras plugin for getting extra layouts. The plugin comes with customizable layouts for the home page, search results, 404, posts, pages, attachments, author, date archive, category, tag etc. The plugin also has layouts for the custom post types created by other Genesis plugins.
10. Genesis Visual Hook Guide
If you want to customize your Genesis child theme on your own, this is a must-have tool for you. This is actually the plugin version of Genesis Tutorial’s extremely popular Visual Genesis Hooks and Filters guide. By enabling the plugin, you can view the hooks, filters or the markup of your currently active theme.
If you want to translate the Genesis framework into other supported languages, you can do that by using the Genesis Translations plugin. The plugin frees you from fiddling with the functions.php file or uploading the po and mo files for the translation process. You can check the available languages in the StudioPress translations page.
Genesis Easy Columns provides a simple and easy way of creating column-based layouts in your posts or pages. Once you install and activate the plugin, it will include the Genesis column classes as separate buttons in your post editor. You won’t need to write any HTML or CSS code; just clicking the relevant button will create the layout for you.
Planning to create an e-commerce site with Genesis and WooCommerce? Make a note to install this plugin in your site. This handy plugin will replace the default WooCommerce styles for various pages with Genesis-ready styles. By using the plugin, you can enjoy customized designs for the product, product category, tag archive and the main shop pages.
Genesis Simple Menus provides an easy way to manage the secondary navigation menu of your Genesis-powered website. The plugin allows you to set customized navigation menus for specific posts, pages or taxonomy pages. These settings will override the values provided in the Appearance > Menus page.
Social shares have become an important element of modern website. By using the Genesis Simple Share plugins, you can provide easy sharing options for your visitors. By default, the plugin enables the sharing icons for each post. However, you can customize the plugin settings by going to the Genesis > Simple Share page from your website dashboard.
If you are looking for a simple solution to customize the footer text of your Genesis child theme, Genesis Custom Footer could be an excellent choice for you. The plugin will add an additional section in the theme settings page. You can replace the default footer text with custom text, HTML code or Genesis shortcodes.
17. Genesis 404 Page
Customizing the 404 page requires special expertise, which could be challenging for most newbies. Furthermore, Genesis uses a function to generate the default content for the page. If you want a simple solution for customizing the 404 page, this is the plugin for you. The plugin lets you choose the title and content of the page.
This is an interesting plugin for creating print-ready version of your webpages. The lightweight plugin will add a printer-friendly CSS file in the currently active Genesis child theme. The print versions will be stripped off any unnecessary page elements like widgets, sidebar, forms etc. Besides English, the plugin is also available in German and Italian languages.
The default Featured Page widget of Genesis is an excellent way to display some of your best contents. However, the default widget does not offer enough customization options. Genesis Featured Page Advanced offers an enhanced version of the widget. Along with customizing the title position, you can also upload images in custom sizes, display page excerpt, remove link from the title, insert read more links etc.
If you want to add custom headers in your posts, pages or any other custom post types, you should install Genesis Custom Headers in your website. This powerful plugin lets you display a custom image, the featured image, slideshow, custom content, iframe content or rah HTML code into the custom header.
By using the above-mentioned plugins, you can easily customize your Genesis-powered website. Let me know which plugins are most useful for you.
Did I miss any of your favorite Genesis plugin(s) here? If yes, please let me know the name(s) by leaving a comment below. I will be happy to take a look.