Genesis framework by StudioPress is used by thousands of theme developers, and for good reason too. It’s clean, it loads fast, has an SEO-friendly structure, and it doesn’t create compatibility issues with WP upgrades. It’s also very, very customizable.
Genesis packs all you could need from a framework and more. But if you set your sights above the usual, you can extend Genesis’ functionalities with plugins.
Here’s a list of 10 that you absolutely must-have from the entire lot:
This is the first plugin you need to add to any Genesis site, especially if you can’t be bothered with making your own hooks.
Genesis Simple Hooks allows you to add your functions in HTML, PHP, or just plain shortcode, which you can then hook to any of the 50+ hooks available in the Genesis framework.
It’s easy to use and saves a lot of time.Download
Proudly showcase your featured content on the website homepage with Genesis Responsive Slider.
It’s a simple, responsive slider (of course) that showcases your content or pages with Featured image, Title, and excerpt. It lets you choose from content/page display and define which category to pick from. It has navigation arrows. You can put it in widget area.
It’s simple and effective.Download
This plugin is the first in this list not developed by StudioPress. It’s also as easy as plug-and-play.
Basically, Genesis Layout Extras will change the default layout of pages like homepage, archive, search result, singular post pages, tag page, author page, even the 404 error page.
There are more than 10 available layouts to choose from. You’ll probably end up liking them all.Download
If you’re bored of Genesis credits in the footer, this plugin will allow you to edit it without delving into code.
Genesis Custom Footer is easy to use. You simply install it and add your own footer in plain text or HTML (your choice).
Keep in mind that if your child theme already has a custom footer function, this plugin will override that functionality.Download
Add more functionality to the Genesis’ own Featured Posts Widget with this plugin.
The new enhanced Featured Post widget will now support custom post types and taxonomies, Pagination and Meta key values (and meta key sorting), and more.
It also has additional hooks and filters you can use to customize it even further.Download
This is a very simple plugin for making your navigation more inclusive and comprehensive by adding a secondary menu for posts, pages, categories, tags, or taxonomies. So you won’t have to sweat over it.
Note that it overrides all previous Genesis theme Menu settings. Also remember to toggle secondary navigation on to use this.Download
If you prefer grids over lists, you’d love this plugin.
Genesis grid allows you to show your posts in a grid view. There is the full-width ‘features’ tab at the top of the page to display featured posts. You can break the posts into columns (teasers).
You can customize the sizes of images for featured and teaser content. The grid view can be enabled on the Home Page; Categories, Tags, Taxonomy, and Author Archives, and Search Results listing.Download
From the maker of Genesis Layout Extras, this plugin is great for handling downloads from your Genesis powered website.
This plugin gives you optimized templates from the very popular ‘Easy Digital Downloads’ plugin to use in Genesis themes.
The plugin supports Genesis SEO and Layout settings and works with templates and breadcrumbs. It also gives you two additional widgets (Downloads Archive (top) and Single Downloads (bottom)).Download
Social sharing plugins (especially the ones with counters) are heavy. This plugin is not.
Genesis Optimized Social Share adds social sharing buttons (along with their counters) to your Genesis sites. The counters display under your posts.
It’s a very non-nonsense plugin and doesn’t have its own settings page. To customize it, you’ll have to make them in your own custom functions.phpDownload
For seamlessly integrating the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress with your Genesis site, this is the plugin you need.
Genesis Connect for WooCommerce will replace WooCommerce templates (single and archive product, and taxonomy) with Genesis-ified versions.
If you happen to have Genesis simple sidebars and simple menus plugin, then this plugin will make them compatible with WooCommerce too.Download
These plugins should add some layout customizations and other features to your Genesis framework. There are hundreds of others, but these are some of the most used.
Genesis is known for its simplicity and quick load times. Adding too many plugins to it will affect that speed.
So choose those plugins with care.