***Updated September 30, 2012***
We develop all of our custom WordPress projects exclusively on top of the Genesis Framework by StudioPress, and there a few Genesis-exclusive WordPress plugins we use when creating our custom themes.
For non-Genesis specific plugins, check out our list of our favorite top free WordPress plugins we use that are compatible with most WordPress themes.
Combine the plugins from both lists that you need, along with a Genesis based theme, and you can create a very powerful WordPress site for your business.
WordPress Plugins for the Genesis Framework
- Genesis Simple Edits
This is my number one plugin that goes on almost every Genesis site. Use this plugin to edit the footer credits text and the blog post author info & blog post meta info (categories and tags).
- Genesis Widgetized Footer
This plugin is a more robust option for customizing the footer of Genesis child themes using widgets. It still supports all of the Genesis shortcodes, but with widgets you can add additional items like menus, search boxes, etc.
- Genesis Slider
This is a simple featured content/image slider plugin that is easily added to any widgeted area of a theme. There are multiple options and configuration possibilities available.
- Genesis Responsive Slider
This plugin is very similar to Genesis Slider but has a few different options and most importantly; it works with responsive (mobile friendly) themes by resizing itself to the screen size.
- Genesis Simple Sidebars
This plugin allows you to create multiple sidebars and assign them on each post, page, category, or tag page. This one is great for displaying one sidebar on your main WordPress pages and a different sidebar on your blog.
- Genesis Simple Menus
Similar to Simple Sidebars, this plugin allows you to create multiple secondary navigation menus and assign them on different pages, posts, etc.
- Genesis Subpages As Secondary Menu
Another plugin for managing the secondary menu by replacing the manually managed secondary menu with one that automatically lists the current section’s subpages.
- Genesis Title Toggle
By default the title of your page or post will automatically be inserted at the top of your content. This plugin allows you toggle the automatic title on or off and set sitewide defualts.
- Genesis Tabs
This plugin allows you to create a tabbed section within a widget, that can display the featured image, along with the title and excerpt from each post. It functions similarly to Genesis’ built-in featured post widget.
- Genesis Simple Hooks
This plugin creates a new Genesis settings page that allows you to insert code (HTML, shortcodes, and PHP), and attach it to any of the 50+ action hooks throughout the Genesis Framework.
- Genesis Visual Hook Guide
Once installed this plugin adds a drop down menu to the admin bar to select between three views (Hook, Filter, and Markup). Select an option or all three to see the hooks in their actual locations on your current theme. This can help you see if you are adding code to right spot using Genesis Simple Hooks.
- Genesis Simple Comments
This plugin allows you to easily make changes the comments section and comment form, including changing the size of the comments Gravatar. It’s simple to use and works great.
- Genesis 404 Page
Genesis themes have a default 404 page (not found) that displays a loop of archives to your pages and posts when a bad URL is requested. This is fine most of the time, but often you may have hidden pages or posts that you don’t want to be found this way or simply want control over your 404 page. This plugin adds the WordPress editor to its settings to allow you add any content you want.
- Genesis Custom Post Type Archives
If your site or theme utilizes custom post types, this plugin extends the Genesis SEO, layout settings, and more to your custom post type archives.
- SEO Data Transporter
This plugin isn’t Genesis specific but it will help with transferring your existing SEO data from your current theme or plugin into a form that can be used with Genesis (with Genesis, an SEO plugin isn’t necessary).
There are even a quite a few more Genesis-specific plugins listed in the WordPress plugin repository … I just haven’t had the chance or the need to try them out yet.
Remember: Only use the plugins you need and deactivate and uninstall any you are not using. Always make sure you backup your site before installing new plugins.